A place to take your feet off the pegs and relax for a while!
People across the USA and the world over visit the Madawaska Four Corners Park to enjoy the view and facilities, wondering how all this came about. Here’s our story…
In 2000, after finishing the SCMA USA Four Corners Tour with my wife Diane, I wanted to bring tourism to northern Maine by popularizing the SCMA tour. What would bring people so far north? As an AMA member, I wanted to protect the future of motorcycling and promote the motorcycle lifestyle. What better way than by creating the only motorcycle park in the world honoring long-distance riders?
By 2004, interested members of the community organized a meeting, and I presented a plan. Many approved and saw value in it but feared it would never get off the ground. I had to convince them the plan was solid and would succeed. We contacted Fraser Papers, who had a piece of land next to McDonald’s on Main Street, and asked if they could donate the parcel for our cause. On a handshake, we started raising funds to buy a 12-foot-tall granite monument costing $10,000. We purchased the monument and installed it on the donated land. Unfortunately, a few months later, Homeland Security contacted us and announced that they were taking that parcel of land to build a new border crossing (which they did, 10 years later).
Devastated but not ready to give up, we convinced our postmaster Dick Deschaine to let us temporarily install the monument in front of the post office, but that still left us without an actual park. The Town came to the rescue and offered us a piece of land for back taxes. I assembled a group of civic-minded individuals and created a non-profit organization (501 (c) (3)). With a proper board and all the legal documents in place, I brought up the offer the Town had made to sell us the land. I then partnered with one of the directors and purchased the land for $4800 with the stipulation that the association would repay us when funds became available.
In 2008, I contacted Ed Pelletier and Sons, a local construction company, to see if they could, in some way, help us provide machinery to help us build the park. ‘’What do you need?’’ they asked. Within days, they were on site with bulldozers, dump trucks, payloaders, and manpower, donating their time and machinery to cart away the rubble and grade the grounds. Until that time, the Madawaska Four Corners Park was not a reality. Volunteers came from all over and worked long hours installing a base for the monuments, flagpoles, signage, and the substructure and frame for the fountain. Electricians and plumbers donated time to wire and plumb the park. My dream was now a reality.
In 2012, Charles Lamb from Richmond, VA, (a habitual visitor of the park and one of our benefactors), challenged me to raise $35,000 towards buying the abandoned building adjacent to the park. We need the parking space. If I raised $35,000, he would donate $35,000. I took the challenge and started a massive fundraising drive. The Madawaska Four Corners Park finally collected $35,900 to match Charles’s contribution. When I proudly called him that we had succeeded, he said, “Joe, the check is in the mail.”
So we bought the land, and the condemned house, but the task of clearing the land was a challenge. We did not want to ask Ed Pelletier to do more work than they had already done, so we offered the vacant building to the Four Seasons Lodge, another nonprofit organization that needed materials to build a garage they badly needed. Once the building was dismantled, the ground was prepared and paved, and we had our new parking lot.
In 2017, with the generosity of the community and visitors through fundraisers, donations, and the kindness of local contractors, we were able to construct a well-needed Welcome Center that houses a handicap-accessible restroom, a tourist/information center, and a boutique that offers Four Corners Park merchandise and Maine Souvenirs.
If you would like to help a small group of individuals, in a small town, dedicated to bringing tourists to Northern Maine, donations can be sent to the Madawaska Four Corners Park Association, P.O. Box 261, Madawaska, Maine 04756. Any amount is greatly appreciated.
Madawaska Four Corners Park Association,
We are a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization
Federal ID #20-1689127
Please indicate if you would like a receipt for tax purposes