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Site and Setting

On the edge of Machias Bay, Liberty Hall forms the centerpiece of a remarkable cluster of buildings, testimony to Machiasport's more prosperous and famous past. No visitor to this relatively little-known Maine peninsula fails to stop to admire it

Aerial view of the Liberty Hall site

 Just up the hill stands the magnificent Congregational Church, with its Revolutionary cemetery standing guard over the bay. Diagonally opposite Liberty Hall and directly on the shorefront stand the Gates House and the Cooper House, two stately clapboard buildings preserved by the members of the Machiasport Historical Society. Together with a few remaining domestic buildings from the very early nineteenth century, these buildings form all that remains of the once-thriving town center.

The historical reasons to save Liberty Hall begin, of course, with the significance of its site. It stands as the most notable and impressive marker of the 1775 battle in which the rebels of Machias captured the British ship, HMS Margaretta. From the water, from the other side of the bay, and as one arrives at the old center of the town (whether ascending from Machias or descending steep Trafton Hill on the road from Bucks Harbor), Andrew Gilson's building offers a sight of extraordinary beauty. Few town halls in the US could be more reflective of the place for which it was built. Embedded amongst grand maples, and set at the narrow point of a pine-ringed bay, it perfectly mirrors the spirit of the place.

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