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One of the tallest mountains in Waldo County, Frye Mountain is a popular destination for local hiking and recreation. Though a summer access road runs over the mountain, the summit holds a wild feel, as the clearing once present there is now overgrown by the forest. This tells a larger tale about Frye Mountain, a place once home to a community, but now reclaimed by the forest from which it originated.

Located on the Montville-Knox border, Frye was once a place of farmland and houses, but the environment there was disturbed, as it was in the rest of the country, by the Great Depression. The harsh winter of 1934 compounded those difficulties, as it killed many apple trees.

In 1937, the federal government used the Bankhead Jones Act to authorize the seizure of 5,000 acres of land in the Frye Mountain area. The residents of the area were compensated for their farmland, many of them glad to be leaving it behind because of its dwindling value. Others were reluctant to go and miss the sense of community they had known there.

The government originally planned to turn the land into a national park, then a state park, before finally giving the land to the state of Maine, which formed the Frye Game Management Area in 1958. The area exists to this day, with both the Frye Mountain Road and Hills to Sea Trail running through it. I recommend a visit to anyone looking for a local adventure. A map of Frye Mountain Trail can be found on AllTrails.com.

Thank you to Maine Genealogy Network and Bangor Daily News for providing the information used in this column.

Notices

The Montville tax assessor and her team will be reassessing property. If you are not home when they arrive they will leave a letter and a survey which you are meant to fill out and return to the assessing agent.

The Maine Gravel Series will be hosting the Down Cellah Classic bicycle ride starting at Lake St. George State Park on June 26 with a rain date of July 3. This ride will be almost exclusively on unpaved roads and trails. Go to the Maine Gravel Series website to see more information and register.