Where in Maine?

Where in Maine?

Photograph by Susan Cole Kelly.

Can you name this park?

The ravine spanned by this mottled stone footbridge cleaves a property once owned by one of Maine’s first families. The arched bridge was built in 1911, some 30 years after the land became a public park — although the engineer who designed the place insisted it not be called one. A nascent ethic of natural preservation was in vogue at the time, and one of its champions, famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, probably helped inspire the acquisition and layout of this quiet, wooded not-a-park.

Over time, though, the space became more park-like, with a scatter of structures and recreation facilities. A couple of its earliest Victorian buildings still survive — although to appreciate the craftsmanship of one of them, you’d have to be about six inches tall and a strong swimmer. A rose garden went in during the Great Depression, and these days, rosaphiles show up in spring to check out new cultivars, put on preview here by the American Rose Society before they go to market.

Despite its various improvements, the land today is still more known to townsfolk for its trees than for its infrastructure. A pretty good poet who grew up nearby once gushed about the romance of the shadows cast by this “breezy dome of groves.” He was an outdoorsy guy — maybe today you’d find him among the joggers following the trail beneath this handsome bridge.

❯❯ If you can name the park that hosts this old stone arch, send a note to P.O. Box 679, Camden, ME 04843 (write “Where in Maine” on the envelope); write an email to [email protected]; let us know on Facebook; or post a comment at downeast.com. We’ll feature our favorite letter in an upcoming issue — and send the winner a Down East wall calendar.

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