Last Thursday I took the day off and had a wonderful time exploring Route 1 on my way to Rockland. If you scroll down a couple of posts, you can read about my stop at Swans Island Blankets. After fondling the blankets and imagining the day when such a luxury can be draped across my bed, I stopped at Scott’s Trailer in the Camden Reny’s parking lot for a fresh crab roll.
If you’re not looking for atmosphere but want something healthy, fresh and local then Scott’s is a good option. My crab roll was overflowing and the roll buttered and toasted…the way lunch is supposed to be!
Then I went 1/2 mile down the road to the Historic Old Conway Homestead and Museum. Right off route one, the museum is run by volunteers Monday through Thursday 10-4. If you’re looking for an authentic place to view unvarnished history, stop here and consider giving the ladies more than the $5.00 they ask for a personal tour. For the amount of attention and love they lavish upon this little treasure of a museum, you’ll be supporting a wonderful community project that is probably overlooked for most forms of funding…but I digress.
The homestead and Museum consists of the Conway Farm House, the Barn, the Blacksmith Shop, the Maple Sugar House and the Museum. The Farm was the first non-log home built in the Camden area around 1770. Amazingly it’s furnished with mix of original and era appropriate furniture, kitchenware, toys and daily tools. Even visiting on a July afternoon you get a real sense of how gloomy life must have been in the tiny rooms that made up the homestead. Even the pumpkin pine floors have only a minimal glow in the dim light of the interior. And the fact that the inhabitants had to wait months and even years for their pane glass windows to travel from England to Maine. Did you know that if you moved from your homestead into another, you always took your windows with you because they are so precious?
Actually the house was built in three sections…all restored to their original states according to the years of “improvements” so walking through the house takes you from 1770 to 1826 and finally to the Victorian period where two sisters lived comfortably surrounded by fruit trees, gardens and stonewalls.
My docent was a delightful woman who happily stayed an hour after closing because I hadn’t had time to see everything. She allowed plenty of time to lookat things closely, shared the personal history behind the acquisition of many of the artifacts. She brought the history alive with stories of those who had passed by during her 70 years living in the area.
This is a stop worthy of your time and effort to visit during the relatively short open hours. The Museum hosts summer visits for local school children interested in traditional homesteading life so you should feel welcome to bring your kids along for a taste of the past. Most definitely bring a picnic and enjoy the verdant grounds…maybe sitting by the old granite water trough.