There must be something in the water.
Chimney Farm has deep cultural and literary roots that continue today. It was home of nature writer Henry Beston, children’s book author Elizabeth Coatsworth, and their daughter Kate Barnes, who was Maine’s first Poet Laureate. Even now, Maine poet Gary Lawless and his partner Beth Leonard are the stewards for this special place, living and caring for the historic farmhouse and surrounding lands. At just 8.7 acres, the fields at Chimney Farm are part of 90 acres of contiguous land that has been conserved. All of it helps protect the water quality of Damariscotta Lake.
There is a small family cemetery where Henry, Elizabeth and Kate are buried. It has a white picket fence and, although privately owned, is open to visitors. A few grassy parking spaces are available on the east (left) side of the road.
Twice-annual events are held at Chimney Farm for all who are interested in visiting this historic and literary landmark. You can visit the writer’s shack, lovingly reclaimed in 2009 by volunteers. Check out the Events Calendar page for more information.
Efforts to save Chimney Farm from development began in 1997 and reached a resting point late in 2007, with all but 6½ acres preserved in perpetuity. Easement protection of 8.7 acres of fields with views to the lake was purchased thanks to some very dedicated fundraising and more than 180 individual cash donations. The remaining 6½ acres remains unprotected but the farmstead buildings are now the home of Poet Gary Lawless and his partner Beth Leonard who together own and operate Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick.
An additional 60 acres adjacent to Chimney Farm are protected by a conservation easement from Sara and Alexander Buck. They donated an easement on the field and cemetery (and had a lovely replacement picket fence built), and in December 2007 donated an easement on the remaining woodland between the road and Deep Cove. The woodlot is managed as a working forest.