In summer, Nicholas and Mika Repenning and son Enishi, 8, swim and play at Alna’s Head Tide Dam. Saturday, in the wind and afternoon sun, the Whitefield couple was above the Sheepscot River instead of in it. They had on hats and layers, and held hot drinks as they sat side by side facing upriver, on the new bench on the new platform that last year replaced one of the century-old dam’s abutments.
“This is a nice little viewing spot,” he said. “So nice to have fresh air,” she said, smiling. They’d been inside all morning, working at the winter farmer’s market at Fort Andross in Brunswick. There, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, they sell the fermented foods of their business, go-en. On their way home this day, they stopped at Treats in Wiscasset. She got hot chocolate; he, cappuccino. Then they stopped at the dam.
As the river ran below them, they looked forward to swimming in it again in summer and checking out the redone path to the water. Swimming was barred during the project. Atlantic Salmon Federation and partners tore down, excavated and rebuilt one end of the town-owned concrete dam to aid fish passage, at no cost to the town.
Nicholas noticed the different look to the water pattern entering the dam now. He said it was good the project was also about safety and history, and that it made a place to sit.