The Great Farm
In 2011 the land trust accepted 58 acres of property from Central Maine Power outside the Sebasticook Watershed in Jackson, Maine and named it Great Farm Preserve.
In 1806 a group of bankers from Boston who became known as The Proprietors, bought 1200 acres as part of an original land grant or patent . It became known as the Great Farm.
"They hired local folk to clear fields and were a primary source of work for cash for folks coming into the area to homestead. Many first settlers worked off their mortgages putting in time there. Israel Thorndike was the Proprietor who bought out his partners and used the Farm as a summer place to "rusticate" with his city friends. Before the buildings burned in the late 1800's and early 1900's and the land divided, The Great Farm was known for the introduction of new varieties of seeds, improved cattle, the only Jack mule for breeding in Maine, its apple orchard and cider mill, impressive hay production and a "wide avenue bordered by elms" leading to the swell of land north of the brook (Great Farm Brook where it turns east and crosses Route 7) whereon were situated the buildings. The original lot ran from "the highway" (now Route 7) to what became the Bog Road; from the Village Road to the plat line." JGR, Sebasticook Regional Land Trust newsletter 2011
A third Great Farm farmhouse now stands on the spot of the original and is the homestead of Aimee Phillippi and Mick Womersley, both professors at nearby Unity College. There is much more history on their blog. Mick is the keeper of The Great Farm history. Aimee is the new steward of the preserve.