Plumer entering third year owning Boothbay-based surveying company

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 8:45am

In Nicholas Plumer’s world, the Earth is flat. Yes, on a daily basis, Plumer lives his professional life as if the Earth is flat. He is, after all, a surveyor, and in his work making sure all measurements and mathematical calculations work, it’s just easier to work as if the Earth is flat. 

“It’s no lie. We ignore the curvature of the Earth by keeping measurements less than 13 miles so we don’t have to deal with it,” he said. 

The Earth isn’t perfectly round; it’s more of an ellipsoid as it’s longer around the equator. Plumer’s life is more of a circle, as he’s returned to the state of his birth. He was born in Readfield, but his family moved to South Carolina when he was about 3. Plumer had worked for a surveying company for several years when he decided he wanted his own business. But in South Carolina, he couldn’t because the state required a bachelor’s degree for a surveyor’s license. So he either had to return for at least two more years of college or seek employment in a state which didn’t require a degree for a surveyor’s license. 

So in 2008, Plumer put his name on a national professional surveyors’ website seeking a job in a state which didn’t require a degree for a license. Plumer waited  four years until Terry Leighton contacted him about working in Boothbay. Plumer still had roots in Maine as his grandfather Paul Plumer Sr. was Kennebec Journal vice president in the 1970s. Plumer had planned to visit family in the Augusta area in June 2012, and told Leighton he would see him for an interview.

The interview went well, and Plumer began working for Leighton & Associates. Four years later,  Plumer received his Maine Professional Land Surveyors License and, around Thanksgiving 2017, he bought Leigthon & Associates.

“I really forgot all about putting my name on the website when Terry called. I think he was looking for someone to take over after retirement. So I came up and looked around and decided this was a great place to live and work. Just look at it, it’s gorgeous here,” he said.

As a surveyor, he measures properties and pieces of land to determine boundaries. This determines where roads and buildings are constructed, settles property line disputes and leads to creating maps. Plumer Saturday said the job calls for quite a bit of problem solving. 

“Every day you are solving a new problem. The challenge is really determining the intent of an old deed. Properties are marked by stone walls, barb wire, fences and rows of trees. You are matching up to see if the markings match the maps created 200 years ago. So it’s really like sitting down and doing a Sudoku  puzzle every morning.”

In 1989, Leighton bought the business created in 1960 and known as Boothbay Engineering Services. In October, Plumer renamed the business Boothbay Region Surveyors.