” Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Thoreau
My partner and I have been searching for property for the past few years. We have known that we wanted to expand our farm and take another step towards a different lifestyle. With a limited budget and a few specific criteria, it took some time for us to find the perfect place. That finally happened this past summer, when a 93 acre former cow farm came on the market up the coast from our current home.
The farm at Hostile Valley Road had been in the same Maine family for almost two hundred years, since the town was first settled in the early 1800s. Since the 1990s the house, land, and barn have been virtually abandoned as the last living members of the family grew older. The farm has a small cape on one side of a rarely used dirt road and a large, sound barn on the other. While the property continues up the hill behind the house into woods, it looks out over several acres of fields perfect for crops or livestock. Our first step has been to get the majority of the fields cut back, which we were able to do with the help of a neighbor. With the fields cut it was easy to see the potential of the place. The fields are completely free of any rocks, a fact made clear by the miles of wide, tall walls surrounding the property. A little bit of work with a chain saw, and the extent of these walls was revealed.
We will keep pushing back the overgrowth to expose more field as time passes, and plan to till the existing farmland next year. Meanwhile, as the weather turns colder, we turn our attention to the house and barn.
The house does not have any electricity or running water, the extent of plumbing being a three hole outhouse. Our plan is to remodel the existing cape, and build an addition where the ell currently stands. This plan starts with ripping out the walls, floors, and ceilings of the existing structure, and working with a designer to make sure our new home is everything we need it to be.
One of the most exciting parts of dismantling a house that was virtually uninhabited for more than twenty years are the discoveries. While most things of value had been removed, all of the furniture including beds and bureaus remained, along with stacks of books, homework, and town records. We’ve found tin cans of “crow repellent” and boxes of old holiday cards. The vintage kitchen woodstove came with the house and will be refurbished and used in our new kitchen. The paperwork includes copies of deeds for the property dating to 1830.
Continue to watch this space as our new venture begins!