Visitors to the Lincoln County Courthouse after the first of April will see some changes in the location of the offices. According to County Administrator Carrie Kipfer, the changes in office locations are an effort to make the best use of space, giving more space to offices that need it and less to others that no longer need as much space as they have.
Most of the changes will take place the last week of March, during administrative week for the courts. The week of March 27-31, the courts and the clerks’ windows will be closed from 8 a.m. to noon to allow court staff time to complete administrative work.
The district attorney’s office will move into the office of the registry of deeds office on the first floor of the courthouse. Deeds will move into the office previously used by the grand jury. The display cabinet that faces visitors when they come into the commissioner’s office will move to another location, near the front entrance to the courthouse facing Main Street. At one time there was a door behind the cabinet, and it will be reopened for the entry into the deeds office, according to Kipfer.
Since most of the records at the deeds office have been digitized, the office no longer has the same volume of foot traffic, therefore, the office doesn’t need the amount of space it now has. According to Kipfer, the district attorney’s office does need more space.
The space vacated by the district attorney’s office will house County Treasurer Richard Newell, County Finance Director Michelle Cearbaugh, and bookkeeper Pamela Perry. According to Kipfer, a door will be opened between the administrator’s office and the finance staff’s office to facilitate easier communication between all parties.
With the separation of the communications and emergency management agency director into two positions, the EMA office has been moved back to the courthouse from the communications center. EMA Director Casey Stevens and Deputy Director Melissa Temple are now located on the first floor across from the probate office, in the office previously used by Mary Stacy, who retired recently. Training and Operations Specialist Kenneth Desmond’s office is in the basement of the courthouse.
The Lincoln County Courthouse was built in 1824, and has the history of Lincoln County, dating back to the mid-1700s, stored within its walls. It is the oldest courthouse in the state of Maine still being used for that purpose today.
The county courthouse in Wiscasset is not Lincoln County’s first courthouse. The Pownalborough Courthouse, in Dresden, built in 1761 on the banks of the Kennebec River, served as the county’s first courthouse.
Both courthouses are still serving their county today, the courthouse in Wiscasset as the seat of county government, and the Pownalborough Courthouse as a museum.