The Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum
372 Fields Pond Road, Orrington, ME 04474
Welcome to the Curran Homestead blog. The Curran Homestead, Inc. is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 corporation which maintains a living history farm museum where our mission is to collect, preserve and present Maine’s rural subsistence farming heritage and to teach yesterdays skills and values to tomorrows citizens.
My name is Dick Stockford, and I first became acquainted with the Homestead when my wife took me to an open house in 1990. It was a fine spring Sunday morning with a steady mist soaking the already muddy barnyard and there was a sizable crowd of people gingerly navigating the boards laid down over the deeper puddles. We paid a couple of bucks for the privilege of entering through a ramshackle, one car garage-size building, grabbed a pamphlet and were told to wander wherever we wanted.
My first thought was to get out of the rain, so I headed for the huge barn, and crowded in with about a hundred other people with the same idea. The barn, which I noticed listed about ten degrees to the north, was a dark, dank cavern crammed with all manner of what I presumed were farming implements, and it was raining harder inside than out. I wandered through a door into the attached ell and passed through several rooms full of more, to me, unidentifiable tools and machinery, and ended up in a simple woodworking shop where I instantly felt right at home. I could almost see an old farmer laboring at the simple workbench, using the rusty hand tools to patch equipment too expensive to replace.
We toured the grounds; saw the peeling wallpaper and cracked plaster of the simple farmhouse and peered into outbuildings that were slumping into the wet ground… and I was hooked.
Twenty-five years later, I have to work hard to recall the deterioration and decay of those early years. The buildings have been straightened and restored, antiques separated from trash, the farm revitalized – all with one hundred percent volunteer labor. Through classes and demonstrations, we are accomplishing our mission of preserving and passing down the skills and values that shaped the best parts of our Maine heritage. To all those who have helped, thank you. To all who would like to have helped, who harbor dormant love of history and a nagging curiosity about the past, follow us here and at www.curranhomestead.org, and come on to the farm and step into the past with us.