Land Conservation Effort Underway at Stone Barn Farm
Monday, August 26, 2019
Maine Coast Heritage Trust has entered into a contract to purchase 128 acres of fields and forests adjacent to Northeast Creek at the iconic “Stone Barn Farm” property in Bar Harbor.
The property, owned for years by Harry and Cindy (now deceased) Owen, is located near the intersection of the Crooked Road and Norway Drive and features a homestead that includes the Stone Barn, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Protecting iconic buildings and open land on MDI
Between now and late fall, MCHT will be seeking to raise a minimum of $2.25 million to cover the purchase price and significant expenses associated with long term maintenance of the structures and anticipated programs for the public. MCHT’s arrangement with Mr. Owen allows for an inspection period for MCHT to assess the structures and land, which will inform maintenance cost estimates.
“I’ve always felt I was put on earth to protect this land,” said Harry Owen. “Finding a way to do this has been on my mind for many years.” In 2001, the Owens worked with MCHT to place a conservation easement on the property, and Harry has now decided the best thing to do is to sell and allow MCHT to open the property to public use.
Offering a wide array of recreational opportunities
The property includes approximately two miles of hiking trails, more than a mile of shore frontage on Northeast Creek and Fresh Meadow, and offers expansive views of nearby farms in the Emery District.
A dynamic landscape of grassy meadows, woods, low-bush blueberries, and a small farm pond make this property well suited for a variety of uses including walking, birding, cross country skiing, ice skating, and other activities which may include agricultural programming such as community gardens.
“Conservation of Stone Barn Farm has the potential to offer many benefits to the MDI community,” said MCHT Land Project Manager Misha Mytar. “We look forward to working with local partners and community members to identify the best uses for this spectacular place.”
A potential community gathering place
The Barn is unique in its look and construction, with a first floor made of stone that includes granite from a quarry at Otter Creek and glacial stones from local fields. The second floor is a more traditional wood-beamed construction, with a gambrel roof made of tin (now rusted and needing repair).
If properly restored and maintained, the charming structure could prove to be a great asset for the public, to be used as infrastructure for small scale community agricultural activities, or a place for special programs.
Join MCHT for a special open house this fall
On September 7th from 1 – 4 p.m., MCHT will be hosting an open house for the public to explore the property and learn more about plans for its use.
MCHT is now actively fundraising a minimum of $2.25 million to purchase the property, care for it in the long term, and provide programming for the public. Every $3 donated will leverage an additional $1 from the Bass Family Match.
MCHT will be reaching out to individuals and organizations to help meet the goal. Those interested in more information about donating to the effort should contact Misha Mytar at MCHT’s Somesville Office (244-5100).