2016-02-19 / Community

Cape recaps resident’s service, knowledge

By Wm. Duke Harrington
Staff Writer


Norm Jordan, center, poses at the Feb. 8 meeting of the Cape Elizabeth Town Council with board Chairman Molly MacAuslan, left, and Councilor Jessica Sullivan, right, as recipient of the 2016 Ralph Gould Award for Outstanding Citizenship. (Courtesy photo) Norm Jordan, center, poses at the Feb. 8 meeting of the Cape Elizabeth Town Council with board Chairman Molly MacAuslan, left, and Councilor Jessica Sullivan, right, as recipient of the 2016 Ralph Gould Award for Outstanding Citizenship. (Courtesy photo) CAPE ELIZABETH — The owner of landmark property known simply as “the farm,” has been honored as the town’s “outstanding citizen” for 2016.

At its Feb. 8 meeting, the Town Council named Norm Jordan as this year’s recipient of the Ralph Gould Award for Outstanding Citizenship.

Handed out annually, the Gould Award is named for its first recipient in 1986 and is intended to recognize individuals who make a difference in the community through volunteer service.

The lifelong resident of Cape Elizabeth, Jordan is known as a local historian, archivist and activist, while his farm, located at the corner of Fowler and Ocean House roads, is famous for its flowers, raspberries and Christmas trees, sold by the side of the road using the old-fashioned honor system.

In presenting the award, Town Councilor Jessica Sullivan said Jordan has been “a valuable resource” to generations of Cape residents, including “those of us who have lived here for years, and those of us who have just arrived.”

“He is well known for generously availing himself to many people wanting to learn more about the history of Cape Elizabeth, or, for example, the history of the old farmhouse they just bought,” Sullivan said.

A 1953 graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School, Jordan served in the U.S. Army in the 1950s, returning afterward to his ancestral home, taking up residence at “the farm,” where he grew up after his father died in 1985.

But Jordan’s roots go back much further than that. He’s a direct Jordan of Robert Jordan, the original settler of Cape Elizabeth, and remains active in the national organization named for the family forbearer, serving as the group’s contact in town. He has maintained a “Jordan Family file” for the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society for the past decade.

A longtime member and past president of the historical society, Jordan has more recently served on the town’s 250th Anniversary Committee and the Senior Citizens Advisory Commission, as well as the first library study committee, which first sounded the need for modernizing Thomas Memorial Library in 2008 – a project finally completed earlier this month.

Other notable high points in Jordan’s life of citizen activism, Sullivan said, include leading the charge to keep access to Fort Williams Park free, when the council was weighing the possibility of instituting parking fees.

When accepting the award, Jordan could not help but point out that the council chambers of town hall was, in his boyhood, a schoolhouse, and that what is now a section of the room was once the auditorium stage, which also served as a fourth-grade classroom during his tenure as a student.

“Norm’s stories of Cape’s history always bring tremendous perspective, and fun, to the business at hand,” Sullivan said.

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