Twenty Five Years of History

1988 – 2014

October 1988

Community Visioning Conference

The need for a community land trust was identified at a Community Visioning Conference held in Bethel. The Mahoosuc Land Trust, the Mahoosuc Arts Council, the Bethel Area Health Center and the Bethel Retirement Community are all outcomes of the Conference.

March 27, 1989

Articles of Incorporation

MLT Articles of Incorporation are approved by the Maine Secretary of State.

October 22, 1989

First Annual Meeting

Mahoosuc Land Trust holds its first annual meeting. Kirk Siegel is elected president; Bill Pooley, secretary, and Marcel Polak, treasurer. The first board includes Tim Carter, Andi Clones, Betsey Cooper, Marie Hickey, Keith Hodsdon, Sally Rollinson (Taylor), Jim Sysko and Jim Yarnell.

December 7, 1989

Tax Exempt Status

Mahoosuc Land Trust receives 501 (c) 3 designation from the Internal Revenue Service. The designation enables donors to claim tax deductions for their gifts to the trust.

May 31, 1990

School’s Canoe Landing

The first land protection project is completed.  Eva Schools of Bethel donates seven acres of land including 1,000 feet of Androscoggin River frontage to the Mahoosuc Land Trust in memory of her late husband, George Schools. The project is a collaborative effort with the Friends of the Androscoggin.

Summer, 1990

First Newsletter published

December 27, 1990

Scruton Easement

The first conservation easement is completed protecting the 204-acre Scruton Tree Farm in Upton. The easement is a gift of The Rev. Norman and Marion Scruton of Anacortes, WA. Rev. Scruton served as the minister of churches in Errol, Newry and Upton during the 1940s and 50s and had a lifelong fondness for the Lake Umbagog Region

August 20, 1991

Marcel Polak

Marcel Polak of Woodstock is hired as part-time executive director, the first employee of the Mahoosuc Land Trust. The Betterment Fund supports the new staff position.

October 10, 1991

Kendall Island

Becky Kendall of Bethel donates a 35-acre island near Newt’s Landing in West Bethel. The Island is named Maurice Kendall Island in memory of her husband, who planted the pine plantation on the island and who, like Becky, had a life-long appreciation of the out-of-doors.

June 15, 1992

Williamson Easement

Buster and Ginny Williamson of Upton donate a conservation easement on their 133 acre wood lot in Newry. The easement includes the site of the Williamson homestead and is now a very highly productive wood-lot and the site of many fine cross country ski trails.

February 26, 1993

Philbrook Islands

Roy and Mary Newton of Gorham, New Hampshire donate the Philbrook Islands totaling 21 acres in Gilead to the Mahoosuc Land Trust. One of the islands contains a fine example of a mixed hardwood floodplain forest.

June 11, 1993

Pat Angevine

Pat Angevine of Upton is chosen the second president of the Mahoosuc land Trust.

November, 1994

Ken Bohr

Ken Bohr of Bethel is chosen as the third president of the Mahoosuc Land Trust.


MLT Logo

Arla Patch of Woodstock designs the Mahoosuc Land Trust logo.

July 27, 1995

Songo Pond Easement

The Songo Pond easement is concluded. The easement protects 40 acres including 3,200 feet of frontage on Songo Pond, owned for many years by the Rich Family of Roanoke, Virginia. The property was initially donated to the Nature Conservancy which initiated the conservation easement before selling the property.

September 3, 1995

Intervale Gateway

The Intervale Gateway project is completed. It is the first Mahoosuc Land Trust project requiring fundraising. The MLT Board successfully raises $60,000 to purchase the Gateway Preserve and $12,000 for its long term stewardship. The purchase preserves the scenic entry into Bethel Village.

December 1, 1995

Jim Mitchell

Jim Mitchell succeeds Marcel Polak as executive director.

July 1, 1996

Merger with the Friends of the Androscoggin

The Mahoosuc Land Trust completes a merger with the Friends of the Androscoggin.

September 1, 1996

Gateway Hayfield Restoration –

The Intervale Gateway hay-field restoration begins. The Gateway field contains highly productive agricultural soils, but had become overgrown with weeds and shrubs over the years. MLT receives funding from the Davis Conservation Fund and the Oxford County Farm Service Agency to restore the western part of the Gateway field. Les Robertson of Newry plows, cultivates and re-seeds the field with timothy grass and clover. The next summer the field yields 1,108 bales of hay.

September 4, 1997

Newt’s Landing

Roy and Mary Newton of Gorham, New Hampshire, donate Newt’s Landing to the Mahoosuc Land Trust in memory of Roy’s father, the late Bert Newton of West Bethel. Newt’s Landing is the second gift of land from the Newton’s.

December 18, 1997

Hay Crossing

Becky Kendall donates the Hay Crossing, including 735 feet of frontage on the Androscoggin River, to the Mahoosuc Land Trust. Hay Crossing includes the site of the ford between Kendall Island and the mainland historically used to transport agricultural supplies and products to and from the island when it was used for agriculture. The Crossing provides easy access to the island for the land trust.

October 14, 1998

Trade Lands

Michael and Priscilla Dolan, formerly of Bethel, donate the first of two parcels of land to the land trust for the purpose of re-sale. The properties include land located in South Paris and Woodstock. The proceeds of the sales are used to support MLT’s land protection program.

October 24, 1999

John Laban

Ken Bohr steps down after serving four years as land trust president. He is succeeded by John Laban, the fourth president of the Mahoosuc Land Trust.

December 27, 1999

Willis Island

Helen Dolloff of Hanover donates 12 acre Willis Island to The Mahoosuc Land Trust. The island, located in the Androscoggin River at Hanover includes prime wildlife habitat.

December 12, 2000

Androscoggin Canoe Trail

Mahoosuc Land Trust establishes the Androscoggin Canoe Trail. The trail includes a series of access points to the river between Shelburne and Rumford. The project is supported by the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Program. Becka Roolf, a National Park Service employee, works with the Canoe Trail Committee over the next two years to complete the project.

December 23, 2000

Gateway Extension

The Mahoosuc Land Trust completes a successful capital campaign to raise $33,000 for the purpose of buying four and a half acres abutting the Intervale Gateway.

May 31, 2001

Moran’s Landing

The Canoe Trail Committee successfully submits an application to the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) Program for funds to purchase Moran’s Landing, a five acre parcel at the confluence od the Androscoggin and Bear Rivers, in Hanover. Bob and Cynthia Laux sell the property to the land trust at less than fair market value. The Department of Conservation and Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) funds complete the purchase.

October 28, 2001

Landon Fake

Landon Fake becomes the fifth president of the MLT.

November 14, 2001

Local Knowledge Series

The Local Knowledge Lecture Series begins with a presentation by Seabury Lyons, a Bethel resident and research associate with Bat Conservation International.

October 14, 2003

Frenchman’s Hole

MLT launches the Frenchman’s Hole Project. Maine Department of Conservation submits an application to LMF for funding to purchase Frenchman’s Hole in Riley.  Frenchman’s Hole is an extremely popular swimming and picnicking site, having been used by local residents for generations. The new property is owned and managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and becomes part of the existing Mahoosuc Unit of the Maine Public Reserve Lands. MLT agrees to raise the local match funds for the department’s LMF grant and to be the caretaker of the property.

April, 2003

Moran’s Landing Improvements

MLT receives Maine Recreational Trails Program funding to make improvements to Moran’s Landing. A parking lot and handicap access trail to the river are built.

October 29, 2003

General Alger Farm Easement

The General Alger Farm Easement is completed. This easement will protect 130 acres surrounding the historic General Alger Farm on Route 232 in Woodstock.

October 14, 2004

Mahoosuc Initiative.

The Mahoosuc Land Trust formally joins the Mahoosuc Initiative, a collaboration of community, regional and national organizations, working together to promote conservation and sustainable development in the Mahoosuc Region of Maine and New Hampshire.

Fall 2004

Bethel Area Trails

The Mahoosuc Land Trust partners with the Bethel Area Trails Committee to improve pedestrian access to Bethel and to extend the Bethel Pathway to nearby communities.

May 12, 2005

Maggie’s Nature Park Easement

Margaret Ring of Greenwood donates an 86 acre easement on her land near South Pond in Greenwood. Mrs. Ring subsequently donates the fee to the Town of Greenwood which operates the undeveloped Maggie’s Nature Park at the site.

October 3, 2005

Steve Wight –

Steve Wight becomes the sixth president of the Mahoosuc Land Trust.

February 25, 2005

Stewart Family Preserve

Bob Stewart of Cumberland donates 485 acres of land, including the three summits of Puzzle Mountain and five miles of the route of the Grafton Loop Trail, to the Mahoosuc Land Trust. The gift doubled the acreage owned by Mahoosuc Land Trust and protects an environmentally sensitive mountain top and an important hiking trail

March 13, 2006

Goodnow Island

Patty Dooen of Bethel donates nine acres of Goodnow Island in the Androscoggin River at West Bethel to the Mahoosuc Land Trust. The island is recognized for its wild plentiful wild grapes and excellent wildlife.

2006 and 2007

The Rumford Whitecap Mountain Preserve

The Mahoosuc Land Trust launches a project to purchase and protect 750 acres of land on Rumford Whitecap Mountain. The open summit of the mountain has a 360 degree view, is abundant with blueberries in the summer, and provides fine telemark skiing in winter. MLT raises $490,000 to match LMF funding and acquires the preserve on March 31, 2007.

June 14, 2007

Grafton Loop Trail Parking Area

Bob Stewart of Cumberland donates land on Route 26 in Newry to be used for public parking by Grafton Loop Trail hikers.

October, 2007

Bethel Pathway Extension

The Bethel Pathway is extended crossing the Androscoggin River on a new pedestrian bridge, following the river to North Road.

December 26, 2007

Chandler Family Woodlot

John and Martha Chandler of Laconia, New Hampshire and Henry Chandler of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, donate a conservation easement on their 212-acre woodlot in Andover. The property is the site of a network of historic carriage trails built in the 1880s.

September 2008

The Twenty Five / Twenty Five Endowment Challenge Grant

Mahoosuc Land Trust receives a $25,000 challenge grant from the Maine Community Foundation. The organization is challenged to raise $25,000 for its endowment to be matched by a $25,000 grant from the foundation.

September 2008

Land Trust Excellence Grant

Mahoosuc Land Trust receives a grant of up to $18,000 from the Maine Land Trust network and the Land Trust Alliance for the purpose of preparing the organization to apply for accreditation by the National Land Trust Accreditation Commission. The organization is currently reviewing its policies and procedures in preparation for the accreditation application in 2012.

March 2009

Bethel Pathway Extension to the Intervale Gateway

The Trails Committee receives a major grant from the Maine Recreational Trails Program to extend the Bethel Pathway onto the Intervale Gateway. The planning for the project is currently underway.

July 15, 2009

First Mountain Easement

Larry Ely and Jennifer Lawson of Falmouth donate an easement on 130 acres of scenic First Mountain in Shelburne, NH. This is the Mahoosuc Land Trust’s first land protection project in New Hampshire. The project is part of a community based collaborative effort to protect the rural character of Shelburne.

January 29, 2010

Stifler / McFadden Challenge

Larry Stifler and Mary McFadden challenge Mahoosuc Land Trust to raise an additional $50,000 by matching all new gifts to Mahoosuc Land Trust in 2010. The challenge is successful.

June 18, 2010

Concord River Easement

The Nature Conservancy donate a conservation easement on the Concord River property in Woodstock, Milton and Rumford. The 4,623 acre easement protects a working forest, an enriched hardwood stand and the area near a bat hibernacula,

October 24, 2010

Bonnie Pooley

Bonnie Pooley elected seventh President of Mahoosuc land Trust

October 26, 2012

Step Falls

The Nature Conservancy transfers tile of Step Falls to the Mahoosuc Land Trust. The Land Trust rebuilds the trail to the falls and parking lot in the summer of 2013. More than 10,000 visited Step Falls Preserve in the summer of 2014.

February 13, 2013


Mahoosuc Land Trust is accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission

June 1, 2013

Black and White Trail

The Mahoosuc Land Trust opens the five mile Black and White Trail from the Whitecap Mountain over the summit of Black Mountain to the Black Mountain of Maine Ski Area parking lot.

September 25, 2013

Crow Mountain Easement

The Werner Family donate a conservation easement on their 240 acre Crow Mountain Farm in Shelburne. The easement land protects land extending from the summit Crow Mountain to the Androscoggin River.

October 20, 2013

Bob Iles

Bob Iles is elected eighth President of the Mahoosuc Land Trust.

December 13, 2013

Flint Farm Easement

Bob O’Brien and Michaela Casey donate a conservation easement on their property in Albany. The easement includes Flint Pond and The headwaters of Flint Brook.

December 27, 2014

Glassface Ledges Conservation Area

Maureen Sheldon of Rumford donates 34 acres of land including the Glassface ledges witgh outstanding views to Mahoosuc Land Trust. The Land Trust begins work planning a walking path to the Ledges.


Stifler / McFadden Twenty Fifth Anniversary Challenge

Larry Stifler and Mary McFadden challenge Mahoosuc Land Trust to raise an additional $25,000 by matching all new gifts to Mahoosuc Land Trust in the twenty-fifth anniversary year.

October 21, 2014

Hastings Landing

Mahoosuc Land Trust acquires a ¾ acres parcel of land on the Androscoggin River at Rumford Center to develop a public river access site.

March 13, 2015

Strategic Plan

The Mahoosuc Land Trust adopts a new five year strategic plan. The goal is to develop an effective and pragmatic strategic plan that will be the directive for the organization over the next five years and to stay relevant for the next 25 years.

November 6, 2015

Ellis River Conservation Area

The Mahoosuc Land Trust purchases the Ellis River Conservation Area, 227 acres of land along the Ellis River in Rumford. The land contains an unusual high number of rare and endangered species and is designated as a focus area of statewide ecological significance by Maine’s the Beginning with Habitat Program. For many years tie land was owned by Burt and Jane deFrees whose children sold the land to the Land Trust.

January 22, 2016

Hasting Farm

Sonny Hastings donates an agricultural easement on 174 acres of prime agricultural soils located on the East Bethel Intervale. The easement, a collaboration project between Mahoosuc Land Trust and the Maine Farmland Trust, is the Land Trust first agricultural easement.

April 5, 2016

Valentine Farm Conservation Area

Richard and Mary Valentine leave their 142 acre family property in Bethel to the Mahoosuc Land Trust.  The Land Trust Board of Directors voted to establish the Valentine Farm Conservation at the property.

October 22, 2017

Glassface Trail

Mahoosuc Land Trust opens the Glassface Trail, a short, but steep hike to the Glassface Ledges with outstanding views.

October 23, 2016

Bob O’Brien

Bob O’Brien elected the ninth President of the Mahoosuc Land Trust.

December 22, 2016

Scruton Tree Farm

The children of Rev. Norman and Marion Scruton donate the fee interest in the 204 acre Scruton Tree Farm Conservation Easement to Mahoosuc Land Trust. The Scruton Tree Farm Conservation Easement was the Land Trust’s first conservation easement acquired in 1990. The gift was made to celebrate Rev. and Mrs. Scruton’s great love of nature, this land and the Lake Umbagog Region.

March 7, 2017

Whitecap Lots 36 and 37

Mahoosuc Land Trust purchases 140 acres connecting the Rumford Whitecap Mountain Preserve to the Ellis River Conservation Area.  The purchase provides an opportunity for connectivity between two very significant, but different ecological systems, including capturing the gradient of change between them.