The Black House at Woodlawn opened for its 89th season on Tuesday, May 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. The Black House is a Federal style home built between 1824-1827 by John Black, a successful Ellsworth businessman who made his fortune in the timber and lumbering trades.
Tours of the Black House are given through a self-directed audio program which allows visitors to experience the collection at their own pace. Tours are $10 for adults and $3 for children and offer family entertainment for all ages. Children can enjoy a fun photo scavenger hunt throughout the house. The public park is open year round, dawn to dusk, free of charge. There are two miles of walking trails, picnic tables and a bathroom. Dogs are welcome on leash. The Woodlawn Gift Shop is open to the public during museum hours and offers a wide variety of items including toys, teas, housewares, candles and collectibles.
The house was lived in by three generations of the Black family spanning 100 years. The last owner, George Nixon Black, Jr., John Black’s grandson, bequeathed his family home and the estate known as Woodlawn to the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations upon his death in 1928. Nixon, as he was known by his family and friends, had prepared the home in his later years to be a tribute to his family and the grounds to be preserved as a public park. The Black House was first opened to the public as a museum in the summer of 1929.
What is unique about the Black House is that its contents are all original, Black family furnishings and possessions that have been kept exactly as it was when Nixon Black occupied the home. It is an interesting mix of three generations of living along with items that were collected by Nixon. He was a lover of the arts, a collector of antiques and a world traveler and added a number of interesting treasures to his beloved family home. It is nearly guaranteed that everyone, adults and children alike will find pieces of interest in this unique collection.
Woodlawn Museum, Gardens & Park, 19 Black House Drive, Ellsworth is open May and October Tues.-Sun. 1-4; June-Sept. Tues.-Sat. 10-5 & Sun. 1-4pm.