2013 - Ursula Baier and Bob Geyer

Ursula and Bob are a part of the enduring history of North Yarmouth. Both have made our town a better place to live and have created a great legacy for future generations.

Ursula M. Howe Baier

We are excited to recognize Ursula Baier as one of our 2013 Distinguished Citizens. This award has been a long time coming! Ursula M. Howe Baier came to town by way of Oxford University (where she received her Master’s degree), New York City (where she met her husband Lee Baier), and Lee, New Hampshire, where she became fascinated by local history and “apprenticed” in archival work at the New Hampshire Historical Society. We’d like to believe she was spending her time in those early years preparing for her residency in North Yarmouth! When the Baier family—Lee, Ursula, Matthew, and Simon—moved into the Martin Ring house (1773) on Walnut Hill Road in 1966, Ursula’s fascination with architecture really took flight. The family restored the house and Ursula researched its place in local history, following the research trail to wherever it led, in all directions: from the history of the Royal River to the architectural history of Maine’s private and public buildings, to the fine details of hinges and latches to the forges where they were created, and far beyond. North Yarmouth is so lucky to have Ursula. Our town is highly regarded for the depth of knowledge that now exists about our history, due in great part to her quiet but powerful efforts. With a team of volunteers, she worked on a North Yarmouth Historic Houses Survey; collaborated with author Thomas Hubka on Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn (featuring several of our town’s homes); created North Yarmouth: an Illustrated History 1680-1980; worked to create an enviable archives for our town, rescued precious bundles of early North Yarmouth Town Records, and—oh yes, helped establish the North Yarmouth Historical Society and saved the Old Town House from destruction. And she did all this important work as a volunteer, for close to 50 years and over thousands and thousands of hours. Just when she might have taken a breather, Ursula became one of the driving forces in 1999 behind the founding of Skyline Farm—54 acres of protected fields and woods, right in our town’s center. Skyline provides education and exhibits of the carriages, sleighs and other horse-drawn vehicles that once were our local transport. Like Ursula Baier, Skyline is one of North Yarmouth’s best assets. Thank you, Ursula, for all you have done to save and promote the proud history of our town and make it accessible and fascinating. We are proud of you!

Robert W. Geyer

It is with great pleasure that we name Bob Geyer as the co-recipient of our 2013 Distinguished Citizen Award. Bob grew up in Falmouth. After graduating from Falmouth High School in 1957, he served in the United States Navy. In 1961, he married his high school sweetheart Gloria Stillman and in 1965 they moved with their young children, Wayne and Norma, to North Yarmouth. Bob worked for many years as a furniture maker, a carpenter, and a builder. (He built the Geyer’s house on Cumberland Road, where they lived for the next 48 years.) Bob joined the North Yarmouth Fire Department in 1972 and has been “an excellent worker and a dedicated firefighter,” says North Yarmouth Fire Chief Ricky Plummer. “I’ve always said that not one of us makes or breaks a department or organization or can’t be replaced. But I think I’m wrong. Bob just may be one person who IS irreplaceable. “He knows where to find every screwdriver, roll of electrical tape, nut, bolt, and equipment for Engine 1. If an item has been moved, he knows it. If a truck is dirty, he washes it. If it needs fuel, he fuels it. If I ask Bob to fix something or complete a project around the station, no matter what the task or how difficult, his answer is always been the same: ‘No problem, Chief.’ And before I’d know it, it would be done to perfection, without a word. That’s Bob Geyer. “He’s always behind the scenes—cleaning the bottle building, the kitchen, mowing the lawn, keeping our equipment in readiness. He’s donated thousands of hours to the North Yarmouth Fire & Rescue Department. “Most of all, he’s always ready to respond when the bell rings, night or day, good weather or bad. Being a member of NYFR for 40 years, Bob has missed many a dinner, family event, and holiday.

“He has been a good friend to all, a North Yarmouth unsung hero. It’s Bob’s turn to be recognized and to show him how much we all appreciate what he’s done for North Yarmouth. He is highly deserving of the Distinguished Citizen award.”