Dedicated to the conservation and protection of native ecosystems, farm and forestlands, watersheds,
and scenic landscapes for the benefit of wild and human communities in western Maine.

Western Foothills Land Trust
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Roberts Farm Preserve: Trail Map

Roberts Farm Preserve is a conservation and recreation project of the Western Foothills Land Trust. We welcome you to respectfully explore the 165 acre Preserve using the trails provided. The agricultural history of this land will reveal itself as you skirt the farm pond, passing through remnants of fields and pastures, through numerous stone walls, orchards, and groves.

 

1787–1823 Dudley Pike and the founding of Norway, Maine. Part of Henry Rust’s 6,000 acre purchase known as Rustfield, Massachusetts, this 165 acre parcel was purchased from Rust by Dudley Pike in 1787. Pike, one of the incorporators of the town of Norway, gave the rights to the northwesterly section of the land to his son, Henry Pike, in his 1818 will.

 

1880–1920 John Roberts marries Henry Pike’s daughter Carrie in 1881 and assumes management of the farm. Within a decade Roberts transformed it into a model Maine farm that produced, among other commodities, 100 lbs. of butter per week. “Located on a commanding eminence among the Oxford hills and having a fine view of Norway lake that nestles at the foot of the nearby mountains, [Roberts farm] contains over 200 acres of choice and highly cultivated land, and here has been built up as one of the finest dairy establishments in this section of Maine.” (A Visit to the Fine Dairy Farm of Hon. John A. Roberts, Lewiston Journal, 1903) Roberts was a Bowdoin graduate, a farmer, a lawyer, a trustee of the University of Maine, a founding trustee of the Norway Library, a State Representative, a State Senator, and the Maine State Commissioner of Agriculture from 1913 until his death in 1920.

 

1920–2007 Thaddeus Roberts, John and Carrie’s son, farmed the land until 1968. Thaddeus’ son, John A. Roberts Jr., sold the original farmhouse lot in the 1970s and retained the land as a separate 161 acre parcel. By 2000, the historic fields and pastures had returned to woodlands. The property was sold, logged, and sold again in 2002 to the Growth Council of the Oxford Hills with the intention to build a technology park on the site. The project never materialized, and in July 2007, the Land Trust negotiated for the Preserve’s purchase.

 

2007–Present Recognizing the site’s cultural and resource conservation significance, as well as the strategic recreational potential of the parcel, The Western Foothills Land Trust purchased the former dairy farm as two separate lots with great support from the community and state. In December 2009, the Trust purchased the 1823 Pike-Roberts farmstead that you see behind you. Planning for its adaptive reuse is ongoing.

 

 

Roberts Farm Preserve Trail Names

The trail names honor some of our community’s exemplary residents.

Akers Field Vivian Akers (1886–1956) Professional portrait and landscape artist and photographer, Akers had a studio in Norway. In 1959 he was commissioned to paint the portrait of Chief Justice Earl Warren.

 

Dunham Trail (hiking) Mellie Dunham (1853–1931) Snowshoe craftsman and long bow fiddler, Mellie began making handcrafted rawhide snowshoes in 1906 with Walter Tubbs. In 1910 the firm outfitted Admiral Peary for his Arctic expedition. By the 1930s Norway boasted that it was the snowshoe capital of the world. Mellie was also a nationally renowned fiddler and fiddle tune composer, commissioned by Henry Ford.

 

Gates Cutoff Hortense Gates (1879–1967) Poet and children’s book author, Hortense worked for the Advertiser Democrat for 25 years.

 

Howe Cutoff George Howe (1860–1950) Born in Norway, George graduated from Tufts University with a degree in mineralogy, spurring interest and success in local amethyst mining. George started a club called The Adventure Club, which was very similar to the Boy Scouts. Howe taught mineralogy, geology, astronomy, and appreciation of the outdoors at local summer camps.

 

Kaemmerling Cutoff Maude Kaemmerling (1874–1957) Trained in classical music, Maude Thompson managed her family’s lumber trade. She and her husband, Admiral Gustav Kaemmerling, built their summer home on Rock Island in Lake Pennesseewassee. Always generous to Norway, Maude funded the construction of the 1938 Norway Memorial Library and eventually donated the original structure, which would become Stephens Memorial Hospital.

 

Libby Trail Minnie F. Libby (1863–1947) Miss Libby studied art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. At 22 she opened up her own photography studio in Norway, serving as the town’s photographer for the next 60 years.

 

Noyes Trail (hiking/snowshoe) George “Shavey” Noyes (1863–1945) Writer, naturalist, mineralogist and artist, and often referred to as Maine’s Thoreau, Shavey was most at home in the forests and on the rivers and lakes of western Maine and eastern New Hampshire. A photographic copy of his journal, including 1,500 pages with some 300 sketches composed between 1916 and 1923, was published in 1989.

 

Scalar Cutoff Madam Scalar (1869–1944) Madam Scalar’s real name was Minnie Plummer. Born in West Paris, her gift for music was recognized during childhood. Her musical talents led her to training in Boston and eventually Europe. In France she picked up the name Scalar, meaning “climbing stairs.” After many years touring with opera companies in Europe and the United States, Minnie returned to South Paris where she married C. A. Stephens.

 

Stephens Trail C. A. Stephens (1844–1931) A graduate of Bowdoin College, Stephens wrote over 1,500 stories for The Youth’s Companion.  The characters were loosely based on his childhood in Norway. In 1884, The Companion sent Stephens to Boston University School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1887. He went on to specialize in geriatrics and built an addition onto his house called “The Laboratory,” where he practiced. His wife died in 1911 and two years later he married the famous opera singer Madam Scalar.

 

Whitman Cutoff Charles Foster Whitman (1848–1932) A graduate of Bates Latin School, Charles became the first judge of the newly formed Norway Municipal Court. He served as Clerk of Courts, was a public school supervisor, co-owner of a newspaper, and a founder of the Norway Public Library. Charles coauthored A History of Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine and A History of Norway, Maine.

 

Tucker Cutoff Cyrus S. Tucker (1841–1899) Cyrus was an apprentice harness maker when he volunteered with the Union Army. A corporal in the 17th Maine Regiment, Cyrus fought in the Battles of Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and in the Battle of the Wilderness. After returning to Norway, he continued his family harness business in the S.S. Hall building which burned in the Norway fire of 1894. Cyrus rebuilt the building in brick.

 

Biographies written by students at the

Ganderia Middle School, Norway

 

 

Become a Friend of Roberts Farm Preserve

Make a contribution that fits your life and trail use.

We’ll send you a laminated mini trail map.

 

Support The Work of the Land Trust Within Our Community

Part of the network of land trusts protecting open space, agricultural and forest lands, and natural resources in Maine, The Western Foothills Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) corporation. Founded in 1987, the Trust protects over 3,600 acres of land in a 10-town area.

 

 

 

 

Working Together For The Community

Corporate and Foundation Supporters

The Betterment Fund

Brooks Foundation

Café Nomad

Cricket Foundation

Crossway Family Dental

Davis Conservation Foundation

Fare Share Co-op

Fields Pond Foundation

First Universalist Church of Norway

Grover Gundrilling

Harvest Moon Produce

Healthy Oxford Hills

Heywood Club

K&K Excavation

Land For Maine’s Future Fund

L.L. Bean/MCHT Land Trust

Grant Program

Maine Community Foundation

Maine Dept. of Conservation

 

 

Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund

McLaughlin Foundation

Moose Pond Arts+Ecology

Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust

Moss Mountain Project

MSAD 17

National Park Service, RTCA

New England Grassroots

Environmental Fund

Norway Downtown

Norway Saving Bank

Norway Triathlon Committee

Stephens Healthcare Foundation

The Swampdonkeys

The Oxford Group

William P. Wharton Trust

W.J. Wheeler & Co., Inc.

Woods Lawn Company

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Western Foothills Land Trust is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

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