The Harpswell Anchor was started in 1998 by editor and publisher, Robert (Bob) Anderson. The monthly newspaper captured the voice of the unique community it serves, which includes Harpswell Neck, Orr’s Island, Bailey Island, Great Island, and Cundy’s Harbor. In the fall of 2020, the Anchor closed its doors.
.Many Harpswellians were disappointed, as we relied on the monthly paper to stay connected to the happenings in our community. A group of local residents decided to “raise the Anchor” by reviving the paper while also expanding its content and appeal. We’ve learned that the best way to sustain a local newspaper is as a nonprofit organization. This means that the Anchor is supported by tax-deductible gifts from individuals and businesses as well as advertising. In February 2021 the group filed articles of incorporation as “Harpswell News,” the umbrella organization that will publish a new version of the Harpswell Anchor; and an allied website containing up-to-date news, social media pages, and future programming.
Members of the group pooled their resources to pay for up-front costs, including the purchase of the existing Anchor’s intellectual assets, and worked closely with Bob Anderson on the paper’s transition. In April 2021, we began raising money to start up publication of the new monthly newspaper and to hire staff, and in June 2021, we published the first edition of the new Harpswell Anchor. We developed our companion website in the same month.
The paper is different from the old Anchor in that we are now covering more news like what happens at school board and selectmen’s meetings. We also actively update our Facebook page and our website with breaking news. We do not charge for on-line content nor do we charge for mailed subscriptions. We can offer this service to the community because of the support of tax-deductible gifts from the community.