Copyright Ken Woisard Photography
Copyright Ken Woisard Photography

The Gift of Old Point

The conservation story of Old Point officially begins in 1975, when Elizabeth and H Keffer Hartline, former owners of the Lamoine property, decided to protect its woodlands and shoreline through the first of two conservation easements, legal agreements permanently limiting development. Forty-five years later, in March of 2020, their three sons and their families gifted this land to Maine Coast Heritage Trust to own and manage as a public preserve.

“Our parents deeply loved Acadia, Old Point, and Maine,” offer the Hartlines. “They passed on to our generation their feelings and attachment to Maine’s wonderful nature-scapes.” Now, through their gift, the Hartlines have given countless others the opportunity to know and fall in love with this land as well.

The 107-acre property dips down into the top of Frenchman Bay. From the sandy-pebble beaches and bold ledges, the view is of Mount Desert Island and numerous other conserved lands, including MCHT’s Thomas Island Preserve, the Twinnies, and Hadley Point. Bob DeForrest, the MCHT project manager who worked closely working with the Hartlines over the past several years, says it’s a great addition for paddlers in the area.

“You can park at Hadley Point, go up to Thomas Island, paddle around the Twinnies and come across to land on the beach on the west side of Old Point,” says Bob. In the months and years to come, MCHT’s stewardship department will work to improve access to the preserve from the mainland by putting up signs, enhancing trails, adding parking, and more. The land and surrounding waters are also important ecologically, providing habitat for tidal waterfowl and wading birds along with other wildlife.

For the Hartlines, these creatures provided endless fascination, and even inspired several poems published in a book by Elizabeth and H Keffer called Acadian Haiku. In one of many simple and striking poems about Old Point, Elizabeth Hartline writes, “Light and wind waning -/Sovereign in a saffron cove/An ebon heron.”

On the third page of that same book, there is a pen-and-ink drawing of the Point, bay, birds, and moon with the handwritten words, “To celebrate wild lands.” That seems to be something of a family credo. “There’s a multi-generational conviction,” offer the Hartlines, “that our increasingly frenetic and urbanized world needs to remain connected to nature and each of us needs to help protect it.” And so they have offered all of us Old Point.

More Stories from the Coast

Conserving a Trail One Step at a Time

The story of how MCHT, Coastal Mountains Land Trust, and other partners worked together to protect and connect Rockport’s Beech Hill and Erickson Fields Preserves.

Read More

MCHT Helps Create Majority of New Coastal Access Sites in Maine

Twenty years ago, MCHT projects and partner projects made up roughly 10% of the total number of publicly accessible shore sites along the coast of Maine. Today, land trusts own and manage 46% of those sites.

Read More

Brooksville’s Bakeman Beach has Public Access Guaranteed

MCHT works with the community of Brooksville to protect public access to a local beach

Read More

500 Acres Conserved in Rockport and Hope

Coastal Mountains Land Trust makes strides in the Round the Mountain conservation effort, with support from the Land for Maine’s Future program, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and the Maine Water Company.

Read More

Creating More Public Access to the Bold Coast

Small in acres, big in impact: a conservation project at Bailey’s Mistake in Lubec improves access for recreational and commercial use on the Bold Coast.

Read More