RANGELEY – The 2009 RFA Home and Garden Tour to beheld on Aug 4, honors Rangeley’s history as an agricultural community and looks at a home recently built to capitalize on the joys of living in the pristine north woods in the 21st Century. In its early years, Rangeley was accessed by dirt track traveled by horse cart or by the narrow gauge railroad which carried sporting enthusiasts from the cities to the south to the fresh air and rich wildlife of the Rangeley Lakes Region. A community grew supporting a library, school and church. The 2009 Home Tour will take you to two of the original farms in the area, a beautiful garden and a modern home perched above the town and Rangeley Lake.
THE GARDENS OF DAN PERKINS
Dan Perkins has created a garden space that is one of Rangeley’s hidden treasures. A plumbing contractor by trade and quilter by avocation, Dan came into gardening naturally. As the grandson and nephew of Auburn florists Dan spent many hours in his childhood working in the greenhouses of the family business. When the Perkins family moved to downtown Rangeley in the mid 1980s alders and raspberries grew behind their home. Dan bulldozed the existing rocks and wild growth and began making plans for a garden of his own. Paths and walkways were designed and the clay soil enriched. Flower beds developed from stem cuttings and seed. The array of floral growth along the garden pathways evolves throughout the late spring, summer and fall. In early August you will see the lush blossoms of mid to late summer.
SUNRISE VIEW FARM
Sunrise View Farm dates back to the 1890s. Once a dairy farm encompassing 500 acres the land has been owned and farmed by some of Rangeley’s founding families. Names on deeds have included Nile, Garrigues, Toothaker, Oakes, Bubier, Brackett and Pawlowski. Since 1976 Priscilla and Brian St Louis have been the proud owners of this historic gem enjoying its buildings both as their home and the site of their florist, nursery and landscaping business. Your visit to Sunrise View Farm will include a tour of the 100 foot barn, the largest in the area still used for agricultural purposes. The barn was constructed of hand hewn beams and lined with stalls for the farm’s dairy cattle. In the early 1970s, Maryiam Pawlowski used the upper level of the barn to house her dance studio. As you walk through the barn and enter the St Louis home you will be passing through the original milking rooms.
DIANE AND ERIC DARNELL
Perched above Haley Pond this is a newly constructed home built with old fashioned flair. Quality construction and design greet you at the porch entry. The great room offers lovely views of water and sunsets as well as many custom touches. The fireplace was designed with a massive rustic mantel made with lumber taken from the property. Be sure to notice the hand cut plank flooring and trim boards that were also gleaned from this lovely lot. The back part of the house was built to look like an old log homestead with the front section retaining a “new addition” feel. The home is beautifully decorated with primitives collected by the owners mingled with rustic furnishings and accessories from Welcome Home. The Darnell home is a stunning example of “what is new” in Rangeley.
THE FARMHOUSE INN
The history of the life of the Farmhouse Inn dates back to 1833 when John, James and Luther Hoar II began the purchase of land parcels from Squire James Rangeley. The Small House on the left side of the existing inn was built in 1833 using post and beam construction and horsehair insulation. A large barn was soon added adjacent to the Small House. In 1899 Nathan Ellis purchased the property from the heirs of Luther Hoar Nile II and operated a sheep farm until the land was sold to his son Lynwood around 1920. In 1903 Nathan converted the barn to living quarters which came to be known as The Big House. The upstairs was built with 12 bedrooms to meet the needs of a growing family. Under the management of Nathan’s son, Lynwood, his wife Marion Oakes and their 11 children the farm switched from sheep to dairy cattle. Holsteins grazed on the open pastures above the farm. Operating in partnership with his son Walter, (1943-1959) Lake View Farm was modernized and produced homogenized and pasteurized dairy products which were delivered throughout Rangeley, Oquossoc, Stratton, Eustis and Kingfield. In the ’60s and early ’70s Lynwood raised beef cattle as a retirement enterprise.
Following your tour of homes, a reception and silent auction will be held at The Country Club Inn from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m. Please join us for the camaraderie and an opportunity to bid on alpine and cross country ski passes, beautiful pieces of art, gift certificates to local restaurants and many other wonderful articles from local merchants. Tickets and maps are available at the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce 864-5364.