JOHN PHILIP HARRIMAN

Posted April 05, 2010, at 7:18 p.m.

MILBRIDGE – John Philip Harriman, 91, died April 4, 2010, at a local health care facility. He was born May 16, 1918, in Cherryfield, a son of John and Mary (Delano) Harriman. John graduated from Cherryfield Academy in 1935 and attended the University of Maine, Orono, from 1935 to 1939, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. After a semester of graduate study, he was employed as an engineer by Ebasco Services Inc., New York City. During World War II he served for three years with the War Department, U.S. Signal Corps, followed by three years in the U.S. Navy as an electronics officer. From 1947 to 1963, he was employed by New England Telephone Co. in Boston and Portland, as an engineer. During that period he was classified as a state of Maine registered professional engineer – electrical. In 1962, he purchased Cherryfield Motors Ford Dealership and managed it for 20 years until he retired in 1981. John was active in conservation matters, particularly in regard to the restoration of the Atlantic salmon in Maine. In 1952, he organized Narraguagus Salmon Association and served as an officer and director for 35 years. On Aug. 13, 1959, at a public meeting in Bangor, he was elected a member of the first and only advisory council to Maine Sea Run Salmon Commission. On Jan. 1, 1960, he helped organize the original Maine Atlantic Salmon Federation and served as its president. He and his group successfully lobbied Congress to fund a crash program in 1961 to expand Craig Brook Federal Hatchery, Orland, which was the main source of young Atlantic salmon for stocking Maine streams at that time. The federation published two educational documents, both of which were authored by Harriman. Document no. 1 was titled “The Black Salmon Controversy” and presented a strong argument for banning black-salmon fishing on Maine rivers, a step which was eventually taken by the salmon commission. Document no. 2 was a proposed water-control plan for Narraguagus River, a plan which would have eliminated erratic water flow during spring and summer months. John was the author of the book “Mills of the Narraguagus” and numerous articles on salmon restoration many of which were published in the Canadian Atlantic Salmon “Journal” as well as in Portland, Boston and New York sportswriters columns. He produced and filmed the documentary film, “Salmon Country,” a history of salmon restoration on Narraguagus River in the 1950s and 1960s. While living in Portland, John was a member and director of Bald Eagles Flying Club, Maine’s oldest and largest flying club. He held a commercial pilot’s license with instrument and instructor ratings. After moving to Cherryfield he constructed an airstrip on his property. He was active in town affairs, serving as chairman of Cherryfield’s first planning board for 10 years. He also served on the budget committee for more than 30 years and was chairman of the board of appeals for 12 years. He was co-founder of Cherryfield-Narraguagus Historical Society and Cherryfield Taxpayers Association, and served as an officer of both groups. In the 1980s and 1990s he operated a feeding station for bald eagles on Narraguagus River, just above his house. After the listing of the Atlantic salmon as an endangered species, he served as a member of Narraguagus River Watershed Council and the following year, 2001, he was appointed by the selectmen to represent the town of Cherryfield on Narraguagus River Watershed Management Plan. A self-made multi-millionaire, he donated to numerous charities, primarily to the University of Maine Foundation for the purpose of funding scholarships for Cherryfield graduates of Narraguagus High School as well as for the graduates of the other five towns in SAD 37. John was predeceased by a sister, Helen Harriman Holland. He will be remembered by friend, Barbara Harriman and her children, James and Pamela, Paul Merritt, Barry Curtis, Bruce and Nancy Ives, Joanne Wiley, and Foster and Leta Mathews, all of Cherryfield. Special thanks go out to everyone at Narraguagus Bay Health Care facility and Maine Coast Memorial Hospital for all the kindness and care given to Phil during his illness. Graveside service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, at Pine Grove Cemetery, Cherryfield. Arrangements are under the care of Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home, 47 Main St., Milbridge. Family and friends may offer their condolences by visiting www.bragdon-kelley.com.

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