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VHF Newsletter 
June 2014

 
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Vaughan Woods & Historic Homestead 


"When I grow up, I too will go to faraway places, and when I grow old I will live by the sea.“That is all very well, little Alice,” said her grandfather, “but there is a third thing you must do. You must do something to make the world more beautiful.” “All right,” said Alice. But she did not know yet what that could
be . . .  All that summer Miss Rumphius, her pockets full of seed, wandered over fields and headlands, sowing lupines. She scattered seeds along the highways and down country lanes. She flung handfuls of them around the schoolhouse and back of the church. She tossed them into hollows and along stone walls . . .  My great aunt Alice, Miss Rumphius, is very old now. Her hair is very white. Now they call her the Lupine Lady. Often she tells us stories of faraway places.“When I grow up,” I tell her, “I too will go to faraway places and come home to live by the sea.”“That is all very well, little Alice,” says my aunt, “but there is a third thing you must do. You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”“All right,” I say.
But I do not know yet what that can be.                                                                                                        
                                                                                    
- from "Miss Rumphius
,by Barbara Cooney 

A History Mystery

Where in the Woods?


 

Can you identify this popular place in the Woods? 

Hint: This hand-tinted photograph was taken in 1926.  

A Kindred Spirit

 

“The greatest changes of all have been, not in the house, nor in the grounds, but in the brook. When the family came from England [in 1794], it was a wild ravine, with original forest on both sides, containing many enormous pines, and filled with the rapids and falls of a stream kept at flow by miles of woodland at its source.” So begins the chapter entitled “The Brook” in William Warren Vaughan’s memoir, “Hallowell Memories."

A well-travelled man who enjoyed summers at his home by the sea in Northeast Harbor, W.W. Vaughan was surely a kindred spirit to Miss Rumphius and her grandfather (see quotation above), for it is that "third thing" he did that made the most difference - "something" to make the world, or at least our little corner of it, more beautiful. 
 
Great-grandson to the Homestead's first resident, Benjamin Vaughan, W.W. Vaughan was born in 1848, 20 years after his family had sold the lands surrounding the brook, now called the Vaughan Stream. "For a half century," he despairs "we have endured the results of our ancestors’ folly in smoke and dust and noise.” He describes the brook in his childhood as “a desolate valley, with all the wood on the north bank gone from the “Great Falls” (where the stone arch now is) up to the Litchfield Road, and with part of the stream disfigured by mills.” He writes “Nothing can restore the bed of the brook to its original shape, for the valley has been twice torn out in some spots, and filled up in others, by the bursting of the dam that forms Cascade Pond.” 
 
He and his brother Charles worked together to buy back the land surrounding the brook, and over a period of 30 years he built the trails and bridges we know today. In 1931 W.W.Vaughan wrote “Nature has done its part in clothing the banks again with wood, and you will, in time, I hope, see the ravine restored much to its original beauty, as the result of nearly a lifetime’s work by my brother and myself and by our descendants.” 

Seventy-five years after his death hundreds of visitors a week now find peace and joy in the beauty of the woods and trails surrounding his beloved and much-restored brook. 

 

Above: This photograph is pasted into a 1911 entry in the Homestead  journal and depicts W.W.Vaughan (last on the right) and workmen on the Corniche trail. He was deeply involved in designing and building the trails and bridges, often working alongside his hired men.

Volunteer Recognition
 
Three special project teams have joined our fabulous volunteer network of trail workers, special event docents, board members and naturalists.
 
Sylvie Charron, Anne Young and Karen Simpson are using equipment purchased through a Maine Memory Network grant to digitize the Homestead’s extensive collection of historic tintypes, photographs, and negatives. Their efforts ensure that these invaluable documentations of Hallowell history will remain useful to future generations. Upon completion of the project, many of the photographs will be viewable on the Maine Memory Network, a statewide digital museum.
 
Diane Maillet and Jeff Wainoris are creating an interpretive tour of the house. Their goal is to highlight objects, house features, and stories of Homestead residents that, when put together, best paint a picture of Homestead life as it relates to the history of Hallowell and events of national significance. Tours may be arranged for schools and other organized groups by contacting the Homestead.  
 
Outside in the Woods an intrepid team of citizen scientists (Molly Davidson, Anne Young, Roberta Drummond, Sue Kistenmacher, Karen Simpson, Dawn Martin and sons Jack and Liam, and Amber Oberle and sons Isaac and Lucas) are documenting observations of specific flora and fauna at two sites - Cascade Pond and Heifer Field - for UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Signs of the Seasons project. Part of a national network, data recorded about animal behavior and plant growth are entered into an online database to be used by climatologists, land management groups, and policy-makers interested to understand climate patterns in different parts of the country.
 
The three projects represent a significant amount of regularly donated time, for which we at the Homestead are sincerely grateful.  

Above: Candace Kanes, of the Maine Historical Society, trains Homestead volunteers and staff to scan photographs and upload items to the Maine Memory Network.  
 

Upcoming Programs

July 7-11
Nature & Art Day Camp for 6- to 9-Year-Olds 
Details & Registration 

July 24 :
Boneheads Picnic Concert
Ticket Sales & Information 

July 26:
Mr. Harley & the Strollers Children's Picnic Concert
Ticket Sales & Information 

August 15:
Homestead & Hubbard Library Family Campfire
Details to Come

August 21:
Ken Labrecque Picnic Concert
Ticket Sales & Information 

August 23
Movie on the Lawn: Casablanca
Information

September 25:
Ed DesJardins Picnic Concert
Ticket Sales & Information

September 27
Children's Movie on the Lawn: Mary Poppins
Information
 
May Natural History Mystery

Last month we asked you what species of woodpecker we observed feeding on the Homestead lawn this spring. The hint: Only one kind of Maine woodpecker feeds on the ground. It was a pair of northern flickers:

 


Flickers eat mainly ants and beetles, digging for them with their unusual, slightly curved bill. Look for them in open habitat near trees including woodlands, edges, yards and parks. 






































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