There is nothing like a good conversation and a hot cup of coffee to take the chill off a winter’s day. Woodlawn Over Coffee proved to be just the elixir that people needed this Spring after one of the snowiest and coldest winters in recent history.
The six week series started off with The History of Croquet, presented by Larry Stettner. The room was filed with a mix of current players and those considering the game. While many were familiar with the 9 wicket, backyard croquet, Larry explained that the 6 wicket game played at Woodlawn is a game of skill and strategy similar to chess and pool. Backyard croquet became popular in the late 1800’s in England where it took the social scene by storm as it was the first outdoor sporting activity that could be enjoyed by men and women playing together. We know that the recreational game of croquet was played at Woodlawn as there is croquet mallets and equipment in the collection. Woodlawn has Maine’s only tournament sized croquet court. The public is invited to join Woodlawn croquet players in a simplified version of 6 wicket called Golf Croquet on Tuesday afternoons, May – October.
The next two talks in the series, The History of the Ellsworth Antiques Show at Woodlawn and The History of the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations were presented by Woodlawn exeutive director, Joshua Torrance. It was interesting groups at each of these talks. The antiques show talk was attended by a mix of those who have attended and volunteered at the show and those who had not and came to learn more. It made for a lively discussion. For the Trustees talk, several people from Friends of Acadia and a writer on a Acadia National Park. This mix made for wonderful dialogue and information sharing.
April Fools Day brought a light-hearted program, a real estate agent’s tour of the Black House by Teri Sargent Smith. As a Trustee Emeritus and life-long resident of Ellsworth, Teri knows the house, property and history of Woodlawn very well. and shared that her grandfather had been a chauffeur for Nixon Black, the last family member to own the estate. Teri’s tour was much different than the family history tours routinely given. She offered suggestions from a realtor’s perspective on things that make Woodlawn desirable, or undesirable for the modern real estate market. Participants were engaged as prospective buyers and brought many questions forward.
There are two more talks in the series. On Wednesday, April 8th we will present, Think Programs! An overview of the 2015 program schedule and on Wednesday, April 15th we present Getting Ready for Guests! preparing the Black House to open on May 1st. The talks are held 10-11am.