Campaign for Woodlawn

Enhancing Community Pride and Sense of Place

Campaign for Woodlawn….building the Woodlawn Community Barn

The Black Mansion was built in 1827 for land agent and lumberman Colonel John Black who named his estate Woodlawn. Truly a gentleman’s farm, the property included the stunning brick mansion and a large barn for horses, cows, chickens, hay, and carriages.From his house situated on a hill with sweeping views of the Union River, John Black could sit on his deck and see his outbound schooners being loaded with lumber for shipment to Boston and returning schooners bringing merchandise to the family’s store in Ellsworth.

The Colonel’s grandson, George Nixon Black, Jr., ensured the legacy of his family when he gifted the estate to the public in 1928 with instruction that the grounds and mansion be managed and remain open for public enjoyment. Each summer the Black House is open for tours, the grounds and trails are enjoyed year-round for walking and recreation. The property hosts the only Nationally sanctioned croquet field in Maine.

Campaign Goals

The Campaign for Woodlawn will help fund the first phase of the Master Plan for Woodlawn. The campaign goals include:

  • Transforming the Carriage Barn into an engaging, year round space for student programs, large functions, changing exhibits, and other public programs.
  • Improving the landscape to facilitate increased use.
  • Increasing Woodlawn’s endowment to support expanded activities.

Read our testimonials.

Woodlawn kids inside
“I just like to learn where I could have been coming from and what has happened in the town I’m living in right now. Woodlawn is a really fun place to be.” – Conner, Ellsworth 5th Grade Student

Center for Downeast History

Cared for by the Hancock County Trustees for Public Reservations, Woodlawn has another opportunity to extend its legacy for the people of Ellsworth and Downeast Maine. The barn will be reconstructed as a year-round, multi-use community space that will house the Center for Downeast History.Woodlawn’s priceless archives will be preserved and made accessible to the public for research and discovery. The work of the Center will unlock new and important information about the history of Downeast Maine and the people who live here.

Every Gift is a Welcome Gift

No matter how large or small, every gift is welcome in this community-wide effort to enhance, preserve and protect Woodlawn for generations to come. Under the terms of our $4 million challenge grant and $1 million challenge gifts, $1 you give will mean $3 for the project. You may make a one-time gift or make a pledge over five years.We also welcome your thoughts on the project and our fundraising efforts.

Education, Outreach, and Community Resource

The Community Barn will be built in 2022, the grounds and trails will be enhanced, and community programming with an emphasis on historical and environmental education will expand.We intend to develop the outreach opportunities to schools throughout Hancock County year-round for both historical and environmental education programs. Events, exhibits, workshops, fairs, gatherings of all kinds will enjoy Woodlawn in every season.

Funding the Future

The Campaign for Woodlawn is nearing its successful conclusion. When Nixon Black gifted Woodlawn to the Trustees, he provided an endowment to assist with its care and maintenance.We intend to do the same for the new barn to ensure its ability to deliver on the promise of sharing history and making new memories well into the future.

Project Budget

Needed to build the Barn: $8,200,000

Raised to date (Thank you!): $5,700,000

Needed to finish: $1,500,000
(meets a $1million challenge match)

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