Searsport residents re-enact naming of the town 175 years ago

SEARSPORT, Maine (WABI) - 175 years ago a newly formed town between Belfast and Frankfort was named.

Searsport officially became a town in 1845.

Townsfolk met at the Methodist church, which is still there today.

People re-lived that day Thursday morning.

At the original meeting two names were suggested.

Maineport, in honor of the state of Maine.

It had been formed just 25 years earlier.

And Searsport after David Sears.

He was a wealthy businessman and senator from Massachusetts who owned a nearby island.

There were strong feelings over the issue so the towns men took the meeting to a local tavern.

Town Historian, Charlene Knox Farris says, "It makes you want to talk a little more after you've had a couple of drinks and perhaps it's easier to persuade someone especially if you've paid for their drinks. Money talks. When they came back, the vote was easy."

David Sears was honored by the naming and gifted the town $1,000 to build a new town hall.

He visited and hated the look of the building and never gave the town another penny.

Searsport will be hosting 175th birthday celebrations throughout the summer.

They will commemorate their inception as well as the bicentennial birthday of the state.