RANGELEY – Since the passing of Mary Boyd Higgins, who led the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust and ran the Wilhelm Reich Museum for nearly 60 years, things may have seemed rather quiet here at Orgonon, so we’d like to take this opportunity to let you know what has been happening.
Mary Higgins passed peacefully in January of 2019 at the age of 93 and was memorialized in this New York Times obituary here.
During the summer of 2019 the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust, the non-profit organization which runs the Wilhelm Reich Museum and preserves the legacy of Wilhelm Reich by keeping his books in print, offering conferences, controlling access to his archives by researchers, as well as maintaining the property at Orgonon and keeping it open to the public, assembled a new five-member board of directors, all of whom volunteer their time.
In the fall of 2019, the board hired a new director of operations to manage the day to day and work toward executing a newly created strategic plan. By early 2020, it became clear that the COVID-19 situation would require in-person activities at Orgonon to be put on hold, but we kept busy, moving forward with the design of a new website and online store, cleaning up the remnants of a poorly executed timber harvest which had marred the landscape, improving outreach and communications with our worldwide community of donors and supporters, and other initiatives.
Our annual summer conference was moved online in 2020, and had the largest attendance ever, with about 100 participants from 15 countries. The topic was Wilhelm Reich’s Work with Infants and Children: Then and Now.
We have built upon the worldwide interest in this conference by launching a series of monthly online talks and discussions on various topics related to the work of Wilhelm Reich, and are actively planning another online conference for summer of 2021 (Wilhelm Reich & Psychoanalysis) and, hopefully, an in-person conference right here in Rangeley in 2022-the year of the 80th anniversary of the founding of Orgonon.
Our new website and online store went live in August of 2020 at wilhelmreichmuseum.org, and we also maintain an active presence at the Wilhelm Reich Museum Facebook page. We invite anyone who wishes to be informed about our activities to visit those sites, join our email list or follow our Facebook page. We are happy to receive any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org (or the contact page on our website).
We continue to offer our cottage on Dodge Pond, Tamarack, for year-round vacation rentals and it remains quite popular with repeat visitors who love the beautiful, Rangeley area. Bunchberry Cottage (known as the Caretaker’s Cottage in Reich’s day) was sold in 2019.
In order to safeguard the health of our staff as well as the public during the ongoing pandemic, the museum and bookstore were closed to visitors and our Natural Science Program was suspended during the summer of 2020 and will remain so through the summer of 2021. In addition, our need to focus our resources made it necessary to cancel events such as Breakfast with Santa, but engagement with the local community will always remain a high priority for the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust.
Like all of you, we look forward to the day when we can reopen the museum and resume offerings such as our popular summer jazz concert and Natural Science Program.
We wish you all good health and wellbeing during these turbulent times, We love seeing you enjoying the property at Orgonon and invite you to keep coming over to walk your dogs, hike and snowshoe our trails and pick blueberries in summer, and we ask that you spread this latest news from Orgonon whenever the opportunity arises. We look forward to an ever-brightening future as awareness of the importance and usefulness of the work of Wilhelm Reich throughout the world continues to gain momentum.
– Submitted by the Board of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust