Merchant’s Landing at Spruce Head is for sale, and a woman who has used it for years to reach her island home is hoping there is some way to save the place so that fishermen and others have access to the sea.

The 2.5-acre property, including a house and deep-water dock, is listed at $1.4 million, a price that only the “big bucks” people could afford, said Sharon McHold. The landing includes a sheltered cove and 45 moorings, and it’s where boats wait their turn to be hauled at nearby Spruce Head Marine, a boat yard that depends on the tide.

McHold lives in Yarmouth in the colder months but her heart stays on 60-acre Dix Island, which she and some associates bought in 1977.

Back then, 10 people plunking down $25,000 each was enough to buy the island — and to help a woman who grew up there in the late 40s and 50s, Barbara Wasgatt, have a share there too.

Now McHold would like to see a similar partnership at Merchant’s Landing, with perhaps 20 to 35 people chipping in to share the cost. She said four fishermen and 40 others, including islanders and recreational boaters, now use the landing. The Dix Island Association, she said, has no money. One or two individuals in it have expressed interest in joining her proposed venture for a shore base. Several Dix islanders already have their own shore base, and several aren’t interested, she said.

Sally Merchant, who owns and lives on the shorefront parcel with her husband, Don, said: “We would rather see it stay as access to the water for a large number of people. Anybody can get from our place to anywhere in Penobscot Bay.”

Don Merchant agreed. “I would like to see it happen.” But he also said, “We could sell this place the quickest for the house lot.”

“I would like to hang onto it,” he said of the house and land the couple bought in 1963. “But it doesn’t make enough money.” Don Merchant was a seaman for 20 years, worked on state ferries, lobstered and did boat repair. Now, “We’re pretty much on a fixed income,” he said.

The couple would keep a piece of land for their home if the property sells, they said.

McHold pointed out that Spruce Head has no public access to the water, no parking and no harbormaster. If a group could form to buy Merchant’s Landing, it would assure permanent access and the right to a mooring.

“I’m hoping to find enough people to keep the cost as low as possible,” she said, explaining that besides fishermen, the landing is used by owners of other Mussel Ridge islands such as Hewitt and Pleasant.

The idea of preserving both island access and the livelihood of local fishermen appeals to McHold, who last August married her second husband, Tom Settlemire, on the island. Her three grown children — Kim, Chris and Brian Lawrence — all grew up exploring Dix with their friends.

McHold owns the last remaining house from a once busy settlement on Dix, which lies in the unorganized Mussel Ridge Township. Dix made a name for itself more than a century ago as a thriving granite quarry and stone-cutting center, shipping stone blocks for the New York and Philadelphia post offices.

In its glory days, Dix hosted 2,000 people working for the Dix Island.

Granite Company. Most of the men lived on island in the Aberdeen and Shamrock boarding houses — names reflecting their Scottish and Irish roots.

For McHold, a lawyer/mediator who grew up in the Washington, D.C., area, summers on the island have always seemed magical: “To have that exposure to the natural world, as a child, changes who you are, she said. My kids had that.”

Being on the island means coming to “a place away from the usual frantic, busy world,” she said.

McHold can be reached at 207-846-5128, or by email: