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Brigham Hill Farm

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 in Uncategorized

In 1769 a widower named David Kneeland came north from Topsfield, MA, and bought the land on this hilltop; when he had cleared the land and built a house, he planted the first apple trees in this part of Maine.

The post-and-beam barn was put together with pegs and hand-hewn nails which are still there today. The foundation of the house was of granite slabs wrested from the land when the fields were cleared, and hauled into place by oxen.

Twelve years later, Kneeland sold the property to Asa Kimball, who owned a mill three miles away on Stevens Brook. Kimball had a large family, and his sons were able to tend the farm while each morning he rode his horse three miles to the mill, and each evening home again. There were no roads then, just a trail worn by the horses over the ridge.

Today I drive those same three miles to the post office, or the library, or to pick up a New York Times at Bridgton Books, which is just beside the bridge over Stevens Brook.


I love the history of a place. I loved a book called Blackbird House by my friend Alice Hoffman; it followed the generations —and their stories—on a small Cape Cod farm about the age of this Maine homestead.


It is foolhardy to hope that things will never change. And I would not want to be without the road, or the electricity, or the 300-foot artesian well that makes my life here both possible and comfortable. Change is inevitable.

But oh, I cringe at the sound of the heavy equipment that I hear nearby. It appears that a driveway is being constructed in the meadow uphill beyond my big pine trees. When a driveway is built, a house will follow.

I can only hope that it will contain people who love books and music and history and Brigham Hill.







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Comments

Clay
Clay
Clay teaches 7th grade Language Arts and enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and sports. He belives teaching mid...
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Clay Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I feel your pain. If we are not careful our country will look exactly the same - sort of Giverish, all torn down and rebuilt - sameness. I love a country road and I love an old barn... but I suppose to someone else, I am part of the problem, to others I am part of the solution. I just try to enjoy what I can, pass my passions on to my kids, and make the days count.

Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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Lois Lowry Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I like the word "giverish".....maybe a new adjective added to our language?

Joan
Joan
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Joan Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I have to say that you are very fortunate to get to stay in such a beautiful state. Maine is my favorite state out of all of them and I dream often of the next time that I will be able to visit.

ojimenez
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ojimenez Saturday, 28 July 2012

In 1769...hand-hewn nails.. still there today...
Twelve years later... There were no roads then...
Today...

The transition from the 18th century to the present is so elegant, smooth and evocative, it's like traveling in a flying carpet from the past to the present. A pleasure to read. Have you every thought about teaching? I'd sign up immediately!

Cheers

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