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Ownership of Augusta Home to be Settled in Mediation

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

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The ownership of the St. Mark’s Home at Winthrop and Pleasant Streets in Augusta, Maine will be settled through a mediation session. The home closed last October after serving as a home for poor and destitute women – a service that was to remain in place indefinitely after the property was deeded by Allen Lambard to St. Mark’s Protestant Episcopal Church in 1870. The home is located on the grounds of the church, which has since closed due to dwindling membership. St. Mark’s now holds joint services at another location.

 

In addition to stipulating the home be used for the poor, the deed also stated the title would revert to Lambard’s heirs when it was no longer in use. Recently, the home’s occupancy decreased to only five women. The lack of residents had created financial issues for the home.

 

At least 17 heirs have been located, about a third of who expressed formal interest in the property. The state wants the home to continue as a non-profit for men and women, or to create a charitable trust modified or terminated to meet the original request for the home. Since the church received no approval before closing, the state is requesting it not revert to Lambard heirs and that there be more time to resolve the issue. Their wish is to reopen the home and continue its charitable use.

 

The mediation could result in settlement of the issue or could pave the way for a hearing or a trial between the parties to determine the fate of the home.


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