The two weather-beaten shacks plonked down at 236 Route 1 in Freeport are easy to miss, located as they are in the narrow no man’s land between Route 1 and I-295. They’re certainly less conspicuous than the Big Fucking Indian standing a half-mile or so down the road. Maybe they just need a name: the Little Fucking Dumps?
The dandelion-dotted grass around the sheds wasn’t too high when I visited last month, and aside from a pile of sawhorses and some junk amid the brambles out back, the property is decently maintained. But the shacks (or sheds), built in 1978, have definitely seen better days.
The tarpaper on the larger one’s roof is peeling away one storm at a time, and the garage tacked onto it, its busted door screaming for paint, appears to be making a break for it. The smaller shed’s roof is in better shape, but the siding around the bare front door looks burnt. A peak inside revealed several rolls of Strataglass, a vinyl alternative used for protecting boats.
The town assesses the property’s value at $95,200, most of which must be accounted for by the land, rather than the buildings. The owner, Andrew P. Arsenault, was not interested in talking to me about the history of the sheds or his future plans for them. County records indicate he’s been in possession of the property since his parents granted it to him in September of 1997. The Internet indicates he’s involved with a business, located across the road, that deals in marine products.
I also found reference to Arsenault’s membership on Freeport’s Conservation Commission a few years ago. Maybe he’s dedicated to conserving this property in its natural state. Freeport code enforcement officer Fred Reeder told me the town’s file on the place is essentially empty.
If Arsenault does decide to fix his buildings up, he’s in luck. Freeport Hardware is just a short walk north.
— Patrick Banks