SEARSPORT, Maine — When Charlene Knox Farris was growing up here, the now-retired elementary school teacher said she never learned the history of her town.
But now, Farris serves as the town’s historian, and said she feels inspired to share stories she’s learned about the seafaring community’s past. On Thursday, she’ll revive a historical play she wrote detailing Searsport’s first official town meeting, which took place 175 years ago this week. It will be performed at Searsport United Methodist Church — the town’s inaugural meeting place back in 1845.
“It’s such a part of my being,” Farris said of her connection with the town’s past. “I feel sometimes like I lived through it.”
Prior to 1845, Searsport was split between neighboring Belfast and Prospect. But that year, the growing town incorporated, and residents convened to settle a major point of disagreement — whether to name the new community Searsport or Maineport.
She said townspeople eventually left the church and deliberated at a nearby tavern.
“They argued and they drank, I suppose,” Farris said. “They came back and voted for Searsport.”