Crescent Beach State Park
2010 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Maine State Park system. Crescent Beach was added to the park system in 1962 and opened to the public in 1966. With 4,000 feet of sandy shore, Crescent Beach State Park is a favorite of Mainers and out-of-staters alike.
The Crescent Beach area had first been identified as a desirable park location by the Federal Seashore Study of 1939, and it became an important part of the State Park Commission’s 10-Year Plan developed in concert with the National Park Service and U. S. Department of the Interior. Participation in outdoor activities was rising across the country in the post world war economy. State officials were hoping not only to answer the call for additional facilities, but also to capitalize on a potential increase in tourism dollars.
The 1959 Maine legislature approved preliminary funding for the new park system expansion including preliminary funds to begin the land purchase for Crescent Beach. Acquiring the lands desired for the park was no small undertaking. Over the next three years, through a combination of purchase and gifting, the State was able to acquire most of the land for Crescent Beach State Park.
P. Shaw Sprague, The Sprague Corporation and Black Point Corporation have worked with the state since the late 1950’s to help make this state park a reality. P. Shaw gifted land covering 690 feet of beach frontage between 1961 and 1966. Black Point Corporation, and subsequently The Sprague Corporation, have leased the 100-acre parcel that makes up the southern portion of the Park for one dollar per year. That lease ran from 1960 to April 2010.
Currently The Sprague Corporation and the State of Maine are working under a one-year extension of the old lease while they negotiate future arrangements. The Corporation hopes to be able to reach a settlement with the State that will continue to allow public access to the beach property.