Woodlawn logo 2010
"Maine is a joy in summer.
But the soul of Maine is more apparent in the winter."

Paul Theroux
From the Black House desk...
February 2022 ~ Snowshoe season
Mother nature has delivered for Woodlawn. I may be speaking too soon but I do believe we will have enough snow to enjoy an old-fashioned Woodlawn Winter Carnival on the 12th. Since the storm, families have been out in force on the sledding field, Nordic skiers and snowshoers are here everyday and as I take my dog for walks through the trails, I am reminded again and again, just so beautiful and peaceful it can be in the woods. Please come up and take the time to enjoy Woodlawn this winter - it is quiet, calm, and endlessly fascinating. There are numerous animal tracks and the varied sounds of the trees as they snap, crack, and boom is terrific - they declare their response to the cold, the energy of the wind, and the weight of snow on their limbs. It brings back fond memories of winter mornings having Rice Krispies with my grandmother as she prepared Sunday dinner on a wood stove and my cereal chattered away while she hummed, and the fire crackled. Sounds and memories. Bring your family to Woodlawn and create fun memories for your children and grandkids. I can't tell you how many people have commented on their absolute delight that the skating pond has been returned to Ellsworth, how full of memories they are at hearing about and seeing the skating area. It truly is our pleasure to make these things possible - and fulfill Nixon Black's vision of Woodlawn as a public park, enjoyed by many, in all seasons. Richard and Mike have done an outstanding job making the pond as big as possible, safe, and they put in the time to keep it clear of snow. Thankfully for them, another donor angel has helped us out with a snow blower! You people are just the best. Keep reading to find out how you can get involved. Thanks for caring about Woodlawn.

~ Kathy Young
Hope you can join us - check-in and registration begins in the Gift Shop from 9:30 am; parking is going to be in the main parking lot as well as on the lawns - we have plowed the area and it is clear but watch for flagging and please park tight so we can all fit in!

Wing Dingahs Food Truck will be here along with Star 97.7 broadcasting live! Bring some decorations for the snow sculpture competition (I have a bucket of coal!) which will keep you busy between the sledding and the snowshoe races - we will have some snowshoes for young and old to borrow. The skating pond will be open and we will have installed a new Story Trail, thanks to Ellsworth Public Library. I got a heart-warming phone call on Friday from Open Hearth Inn of Trenton offering to help - they are lending us their guest snowshoes!
Sponsor an Intern at Woodlawn

Help us engage with students throughout the year; from the Hospitality/Travel & Tourism program at the Votech High School (I have a senior starting Thursday!) as well as college students for credit or experience in the summer.

Winter and Summer Internships
High school and college level;
$1,500 - $5,000

Call the office and speak with Kathy (207) 667-8671
The Schooner Abigail Haynes makes a Winter Delivery

John Black’s business letters of 1854 tell a one-sided story about the difficulties of shipping a new church organ from Boston to Ellsworth in the midst of a brutal winter.

In the fall of 1853, John Black contracted with Boston organ builders E. & G.G. Hook to gift an organ to the First Congregational Church of Ellsworth with a goal of its being installed on January 1, 1854.

However, on January 4, 1854, John Black, wrote to the organ builders:
“…I assure you gentlemen that it is a very great disappointment to me that you did not get the organ finished and here before the New Year for our congregation had anticipated the pleasure of hearing it on Sunday the 1st January. There is still one vessel expected from Boston in all this week.” He also wrote to his Boston agent inquiring about the “one vessel”, Abigail Haynes, after a bad winter storm:

“I have heard nothing of the “Abigail Haynes” since a week ago yesterday when she was at anchor in Fox Islands [Vinalhaven area] and I hope she remained there until after the storm of Thursday. It was the most violent N.E. snowstorm that I have any recollection of. We have accounts of the loss of a great many vessels…We have between 2 and 3 feet of snow, which has drifted very much and blocked up all our roads…”

A week later he again wrote to his agent:
“I am sorry to say I have not yet heard of the “Abigail Haynes”…Messrs. E. & G. G. have built and packed an organ which they wish to send down by first opportunity. ...Since the violent storm we have had extreme cold – thermometer ranging many degrees below zero, but the weather has suddenly changed and today we have a severe rain, the thermometer being at 38 above, causing our snow to disappear very fast.”

Finally, in early February, the Abigail Haynes was in Boston and John Black anticipated the organ soon to be shipped to Ellsworth; in March Black’s letters complete the story.

“March 7, 1854 – Capt. Lord has had a long and tedious passage but I have the pleasure to inform you that he has at last arrived safe with the organ, which will probably be received here today.”

“March 8, 1854 –“ … yesterday she arrived in waters at Coggins Wharf at the end of Newbury Neck. She came from Boston to Bucks Harbor in 24 hours and has been ever since getting round to Newbury Neck. The reach and all the passages among the islands being closed by ice, she is a long distance from here, but trams can cross the bay on the ice in all directions and as the sledding is good, her freight can be got up without much

Exactly how, and how long, it took to get the organ from Newbury Neck to the
church in Ellsworth unknown. The organ was used from 1854 until its removal in 1912 when George Nixon Black, Jr. donated a replacement organ.
Adopt a Weathervane - the Eagle needs to soar!

When I mentioned the weathervanes a few months ago, a family quickly called me to adopt the Horse. Their grandfather had been a caretaker here and they have fond memories of the Barn, his stories and their own experiences at Woodlawn. We want to ensure that both weathervanes are restored to excellent condition before they are set up on their perch as the Barn is constructed later this year! Will you consider adopting the Eagle? Call Kathy at 207-667-8671

I am thrilled to say that a Bald Eagle has recently been flying around Woodlawn; I believe it is nesting and feeding somewhere along the Union River. I see it pretty regularly and it swooped low over the eastern field one day when Richard and I were out there talking about the Barn and changes ahead.
New Board Member!

At our January Board meeting, we said good-bye to two Trustees and welcomed someone new. John Ryan has volunteered often at Woodlawn events and looks forward to becoming more deeply involved as a board member. He retired after a 28 year career as a lawyer with Colgate-Palmolive Company in New York City, specializing in international acquisitions and taxes. Geographically, his primary focus was the Asia Pacific region. After years of Maine vacations, he purchased a house in Surry in 2015 and became a Maine resident. 

Mike Marino and Paul Tracy have ended their service to Woodlawn while Chelsea Sawyer, Walter Smalling, Steve Shea, and Todd Little-Siebold all signed on for another three-year term. Thank you all team Woodlawn!
Furniture conservator, Ed Heins, spent a few days examining and working with of one of Woodlawn's twelve painted fancy chairs.

Ed volunteers his time to take care of simple repairs at the museum.

Thank you, Ed!
Wish List
  • Wood chipper
  • Picnic tables
  • Microwave
  • Electric stove
  • Double/Full bed
  • Chest of drawers, side tables
  • Couch
  • 12-seater Board table with chairs
  • Round dining table, with four-six seats
Your support of Woodlawn maintains a unique historic home, trails, and programs for the Ellsworth community.

Please support us: Click here

Thank you!
Woodlawn Museum, Gardens & Park
19 Black House Drive, P.O. Box 1478
Ellsworth, Maine 04605
(207) 667-8671

For general questions, click here