Woodlawn logo 2010
February 2016
Woodlawn Museum, Gardens & Park
19 Black House Drive, Ellsworth ME 04605

The Woodlawn News 

Each year we are amazed at how quickly February passes for us at Woodlawn. In addition to our regular day to day work, we have been busy preparing the 2015 Annual Report, lining up programs for the 2016 Calendar of Events and working on our new website. With a goal to serve 1,000+ students in the Woodlawn School Program in 2016, we have been working with school administrators and teachers scheduling school tours and field days.  

While the weather has been mild and spring-like most of this month, it was unfortunate that a snowy, frigid weather forecast caused the City of Ellsworth's Winter Carnival to be canceled.  We thank the Ellsworth Snowmobile Club for the work they did preparing our grounds for the cardboard sled races and trail rides.

We invite you to share this newsletter with family and friends. The newsletter is published for the community and can be accessed by clicking below.
Starting her first year as a Woodlawn Trustee,
Marilyn Smith, CPA
Partner, BHA, LLC
Woodlawn Welcomes New Trustees at Annual Meeting in January  
 The Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations, governing board of Woodlawn Museum, Gardens & Park held its annual meeting and dinner on January 28, 2016 at the Black House in Ellsworth. The Trustees welcomed three new members to the board.

Marilyn Smith, CPA was elected as Woodlawn's newest Trustee and  Emeritus Trustees, Ruth Brenninkmeyer and Stephen Shea were welcomed back as active members. For more details, visit our  Press Room
Visitors Count Program Results Coming in April

Woodlawn was awarded a $3,750 grant from the Hancock County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation in May 2015 to support our participation in the American Association of State and Local History's (AASLH) Visitors Count program.  The program helps historic properties assess their visitor experience, strengthen their organizational capacity and strategic planning efforts. Visit our Press Room to read more.

From July through October 2015, Black House tour visitors were asked to complete a survey on their visitor experience at Woodlawn and other aspects of their visit to the area.  The program required us to submit 200 surveys to the Center of Nonprofit Management in Nashville Tennessee for analysis.  We will receive our report the first week of April. Then on April 11 and 12, Woodlawn staff will attend meetings in Nashville with the survey analysis team and staff from nine other historic properties that participated in this same session of Visitors Count. These meetings will help us to fully interpret the results and plan our next steps.  Watch for updates on our project results in coming months. To learn more about AASLH and the Visitors Count program, click here.
Coming Soon.......
2016 Calendar of Events   

It may sound a bit cliché to say that our 2016 events calendar has something for all ages and interests, but it actually does.  School programs and community programs are an exciting part of Woodlawn's regular season. Woodlawn's director of education, Anne Russenberger-Keefe has been hard at work lining up a robust calendar of events for the 2016 season. The workshops will give you opportunity to try different art techniques such as Asian silk painting, leather embossing, block printing and mosaics. The popular Woodlawn Nature and Master Gardener Volunteer Programs return with talks on bees, fireflies, wildflowers, owls and more. Pet owners will be pleased to see four sessions of dog training on the docket. Upon publication, the 2016 Program Brochure will be mailed to our members.

Watch for the launch of our new website!
Woodlawn is currently in the process of creating a new website.  Once completed, the 2016 calendar of events will be available online. 

Become a Woodlawn Volunteer   

Recently retired and looking for a fun place to volunteer? New to the area and looking for a way to meet new people and have fun?  We'd love to have you join our group of regular volunteers and have a number of different activities to get involved in.  Here are a few of the tasks you might enjoy helping us out with:
  • Spring and Fall Clean-up Days
  • Preparing the Black House for opening day on May 1st
  • Student Field Days (May and October)
  • School Tours
  • Helping at events and workshops
  • Membership mailings
  • Ellsworth Antiques Show at Woodlawn
  • Christmas at Woodlawn
We also encourage high school students needing to complete their required community service hours to contact us.  To learn more about becoming a Woodlawn volunteer visit our website or contact Anne in our office, (207) 667-8671 or by email events@woodlawnmuseum.org.
Save the Dates.........  
The Ellsworth Antiques Show at Woodlawn
August 17 - 20, 2016

The Ellsworth Antiques Show's Planning Committee started its work this month bringing a number of new ideas to the table for consideration. Now in its 11th year at Woodlawn, this year's Show is shaping up to be one that you won't want to miss!

The Opening Night Cocktail Party and Dinner, Wednesday, August 17 starts at 5 p.m. The Antiques Show: Thursday - Saturday, Aug. 18-20. 
Show Hours: Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more details, visit the Ellsworth Antiques Show page at woodlawnmuseum.org
From the Woodlawn Collection  

This steep back staircase in the Black House leads to the third floor and what were the servant's quarters in the 1800's.  The stairway, along with the bell pulls and the actual bells over the Middle Kitchen door, prompt many many questions from our visitors about the Black family's use of hired help.  The popularity of the PBS series, Downton Abbey in recent years has further piqued their interest in this aspect of Black family history.

Little is known about the relationship between the Blacks and their help, but there is evidence that both day laborers and live-in servants were employed at Woodlawn, some for only a few weeks while others stayed for many years. We have identified over 106 individuals as having been employed by John, Francis, George and Nixon Black.  After 1874, when the house was no longer used year 'round, the Blacks hired a permanent caretaker to live on the estate and care for the house, grounds and livestock. 
For regular updates, interesting facts and photos of Woodlawn....