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The Stone Barn Farm Project

In December 2019, MCHT acquired the buildings and surrounding 128 acres to create a unique public preserve

For over a century, Bar Harbor’s iconic Stone Barn has been a welcome sight as travelers cross Mount Desert Island on the Crooked Road. Built around 1907, the beautiful structure is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Landowner Harry Owen purchased the farm in 1963. “I’ve always felt I was put on earth to protect this land,” Mr. Owen has said. “Finding a way to do this has been on my mind for many years.”

Ensuring land and trails are open to the public

In 2019, Owen reached out to Maine Coast Heritage Trust to see if there was interest in purchasing the farm. “We recognized this as an extraordinary opportunity to create a new public preserve on MDI,” says Misha Mytar, MCHT’s Mount Desert Island Project Manager. 

The property includes almost two miles of hiking trails and more than a mile of frontage on Northeast Creek and Fresh Meadow. The property’s rolling meadows, woods, blueberry patches, and a small farm pond give it exciting potential for a variety of uses including walking, birding, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and other activities which could include agricultural programming such as community gardens.

Opportunities for community programming

After months of fundraising, MCHT acquired the property in December of 2019. While the property has been acquired, MCHT continues to raise funds to care for the iconic land and buildings and provide for community use and programming.

Many step up to conserve the Stone Barn Farm

“This place means a lot to the MDI community, and we’re grateful to the many who made generous gifts to make this project possible,” says Misha Mytar. “I’m so happy to know this place will be here and open to the community for the long haul.”

What’s happening next at the preserve

In the coming months, MCHT’s MDI Land Steward Douglas McMullin will be working on readying the preserve for the public. Some projects on the docket for 2020 include:

  • planning for building renovations
  • creating additional parking
  • marking existing trails and adding signs

Douglas says, “Hopefully by this summer we will have improved access and the fundamental infrastructure in place to formally invite public use. We expect this work to take much of 2020, with work on the buildings likely to extend into the following year.”

Douglas invites members of the community to be in touch with any thoughts or concerns. His contact information, along with Misha Mytar’s, can be found below.

Give Today

Making a gift by check is always an option. Make checks payable to Maine Coast Heritage Trust and write “Stone Barn Farm” in the subject line. Please send to this address: Maine Coast Heritage Trust, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 201, Topsham, ME 04086. Thank you!

Project details

Location: Bar Harbor, Hancock County
Project size: 128 acres
Estimated project cost: minimum of $2.5 million

MCHT’s fundraising covers land acquisition costs, pooled stewardship funds, operational support, and anticipated long-term programming.

Questions?

Regarding ongoing fundraising for stewardship and programming contact:

Misha Mytar
Land Protection Project Manager
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
P.O. Box 669
Mount Desert, ME 04660
(207) 244 – 5100

Regarding management of the preserve contact:

Douglas McMullin
Regional Stewardship Manager
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
P.O. Box 669
Mount Desert, ME 04660
(207) 244 – 5100