St. John Valley

Man at odds with St. Agatha asked to vacate home

FORT KENT, Maine — A controversial figure in the St. John Valley community and his family will have 14 days to vacate a St. Agatha home after reaching a settlement agreement with the homeowner on Friday. 


Leo “Jim” Dugal sued Gary Blankenship to vacate the premises of the Main Street property where Blankenship and his family have been living since last summer. 

The parties came to the agreement after nearly two hours of mediation facilitated by Richard Marston at Fort Kent District Court.

Blankenship was featured in stories by the Sun Journal in Lewiston that highlighted fears he was leading a cult. 

Blankenship denied that, saying he wants to form a community of like-minded people who can offer one another support and camaraderie. He said he wanted to have many people join him and his family in living at the Main Street home and until recently several people from different parts of the country did just that.

Blankenship said he invested approximately $30,000 into the home for repairs. 

Blankenship and his family will not remain in St. Agatha once they vacate the home. 

“We’re definitely not staying in the St. John Valley,” Blankenship said.

It took Judge David Soucy all of 30 seconds to confirm the agreement before the matter was adjourned. 

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