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Roberts Farm Preserve
Roberts Farm Preserve: Trail Map
In The News: Roberts Farm Preserve Summer Program
MPBN By ROBBIE FEINBERG • JUL 21, 2017
How Maine Educators Are Working To Make Summer School Less Dreaded
“We had a middle school principal, and he said, ‘This doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,’” says Patrick Carson of the Oxford Hills School District in South Paris. “Why put kids back in an environment where they failed? Only to struggle again?”
Carson and other staff say students weren’t seeing success in the traditional summer school model. So, about six years ago, the district overhauled its summer program." READ MORE
CREDIT ROBBIE FEINBERG / MAINE PUBLIC
Instead of a classroom, some students now come to Roberts Farm Preserve, in Norway. About 40 middle schoolers come here for three weeks during the summer. And it’s about the furthest thing from a classroom that you could imagine.
For anyone who gets the Spectrum TV channel (formerly TimeWarner), there is a 4-minute segment on the winter programs at Roberts Farm that played as part of Your Magazine. Watching this clip during a too-hot day this summer will cool you down.
The piece, which features skiers from the Paris Elementary School, groomer volunteer David Greenleaf and Executive Director Lee Dassler, introduced the Preserve to many new visitors.
Thank you, Spectrum!
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
Crossway Family Dental
Davis Conservation Foundation
Fare Share Co-op
Fields Pond Foundation
First Universalist Church of Norway
Harvest Moon Produce
Healthy Oxford Hills
Land For Maine’s Future Fund
L.L. Bean/MCHT Land Trust
Maine Community Foundation
Maine Dept. of Conservation
Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund
Moose Pond Arts+Ecology
Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust
Moss Mountain Project
National Park Service, RTCA
New England Grassroots
Norway Saving Bank
Norway Triathlon Committee
Stephens Healthcare Foundation
The Oxford Group
William P. Wharton Trust
W.J. Wheeler & Co., Inc.
Woods Lawn Company
Wes and Marilyn Ackley
Jack Armstrong and Barbara Share
Dave and Pam Baker
Al and Mary Alice Bancroft
Al and Lee Barth
Joan and Richard Beal
Edward and Helen Beglin
Ellen and Gene Benner
John and Judy Betts
Robert and Anne Blair
James Burke and Virginia Remeika
William and Cynthia Burmeister
Andrea Hurd Burns
Mary Connaughton and Donna Miller
Bruce and Pat Cook
Roger Crockett and Ann Siekman
Al and Pat Daniels
Don and Ruth Dawes
Bill and Ailsa Deitemeyer
David Dexter and Nancy Hohmann
Carol Dionne and Family
Hank and Sue Emerson
Dyk and Lydia Eusden
Russ and Judy Florenz
Ed and Jill Gabrielsen
Richard and Elizabeth Gates
Bill and Jane Gibson
Ed and Jane Gibson
Ellen Stearns Gibson
Dean and Hazel Glazier
David and Kathy Greenleaf
John and Lori Gunn
Bart and Mary Ann Hague
Peter and Cindy Harbage
William and Barbara Howard
Jon and Pam Jacobsen
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.
WFLT PO Box 107, 445 Main Street, Norway, Maine 04268 | 207-739-2124
David Kumaki and Elizabeth Baird
David Langlois and Beth Coombs
James and Pirkko McBride
Bill and Marge Medd
Ola and Brenda Melhus
Dan and Cindy Mingle
Andrew and Joy Moll
Nathan and Irene Morris
Cleon and Sheila Morse
Ken Morse and Nikki Millonzi
and Libby Sciacchitano
Janet Nicholas and Susan Jacoby
Jeffrey and Mary Parsons
Elizabeth Peterson Julie Peterson
Bob and Linda Popper
David and Linda Porter
John and Hope Pribram
Donald and Nancy Rosenfield
Don Saunders and Diana Dunn
James and Heidi Schellenger
David and Anne Stanley
Bob and Bonnie Story
Forrest and Cyndy Tinsley
Ethyl Bean Turner
Christopher and Sandy Van Curan
Robert and Mary Van Nest
Bill and Lill Van Order
Scott, Zizi and Jasper Vlaun
Barbara Werner and Catherine Riley
Fred and Ginger White
Tom and Allison Whitney Jr.
Rhys and Pixie Williams
John and Linda Wilson