HOLDEN, Maine — When the new Holden municipal facility opened in 1975, the old town hall built in 1873 was retired and for decades sat vacant, silently awaiting its fate.
A 2009 mutually beneficial land swap with Jeff Leadbetter of Bangor, who built a 4,000-square-foot convenience store next door, led to renovations of the historic edifice located at 723 Main Road.
The first town hall meeting inside the 140-year-old building since the renovations is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, May 20, according to the town’s website.
Residents will be able to meet the candidates running for local posts, listen to town leaders talk about upcoming goals, and participate, if they wish, in a public hearing on the liquor license for Chase Family Restaurant.
The entrance to the Old Town Hall is at the rear of Leadbetter’s parking lot.
The Leadbetter land swap gave the store a larger area for its septic system and more visibility, and the town got free access to utilities through the store, and a good setback from the busy road.
Over its long history, the town hall, with its tall, narrow windows, has been a meeting place and housed Grange 544. The Holden Historical Society now calls it home.
Over the last couple of decades, town leaders discussed demolishing it, selling it and moving it, but let it just sit idle until the land swap was proposed.