Stories About Life in Maine!
  • The Maine Farmhouse Journal
  • Renovating our 1830's Farmhouse in Sebago, Maine
  • Encounters with bats, ladybugs, ghosts, Moxie, fellow Mainers, and whatever else comes to mind
  • Journal Entries are posted on several websites (see list below)

Click on the Journal Entries - Follow Our Progress

Journal Entries - 2009

03/10/2009  “You’ll be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound"
03/29/2009  The Ancient Brotherhood of Maniple Humanus Somes

Journal Entries - 2008
Here is only one of many new stories from 2008. I'm still really behind in posting stories.

11/21/08  “How ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm (after they’ve seen Ancient Egypt)?

Journal Entries - 2007
Here are a couple of many entries that I'll be adding - soon. I just got a little behind in posting stories.

02/28/07  Reflections on a trip to Russia
11/08/07  Forty years after the war

Journal Entries - 2006
09/23/06  German cuisine a hit at cultural festival
09/09/06  Sebago firefighter struck by lightning
08/27/06  Sebago Elementary portable classrooms have a new role
06/10/06  Sebago Lake weather watcher and artist
05/07/06  Lakes Region students compete at State Geographic Bee
04/16/06  Flashover Training aims to reduce firefighter injuries
04/04/06  Sebago Sending Semifinalist to State Geography Bee
04/01/06  Sebago Jumps in the Lake for a Good Cause
03/27/06  Finding Day Care Is Now Easier in Sebago
03/26/06  Ice Boaters Rescued from Sebago Lake
03/16/06  Fifth-grader ready for next challenge
03/10/06  Hurricane Katrina disaster relief stories - 6 months after
01/05/06  The Lady Lives in a Schoolhouse

Journal Entries - 2005
12/15/05  Windham Rotary Donates Pediatric Kit to Sebago Rescue
11/26/05  The Caribou are coming...any day now!
11/06/05  Prompt action by Sebago Fire Department saves house
08/29/05  Hurricane Katrina disaster relief stories
07/24/05  Cousin Emma goes home
06/30/05  Artisan Fair raises money for Spaulding Library
06/12/05  Rescue victim thanks LifeFlight Maine
05/26/05  The Great Northwest River Race
05/12/05  Cancer Survivor runs marathon for charity
04/14/05  Dr. Seuss' legacy lives on
04/14/05  Safe Harbor fire destroys home
03/24/05  Elroy Gregory says "Thank you" at Open House
03/24/05  It is Race Time Again!
03/14/05  Mailboxes lose in the battle with Maine winter
03/10/05  Was there an Underground Railroad Station in Sebago?
02/24/05  Elders cope with the snowstorm
02/10/05  Skiing the Narrow Gauge
01/27/05  Stammtisch sharpens German language skills
01/06/05  Sebago takes delivery of new ambulance

Journal Entries - 2004
12/25/04  The Magic of Christmas in Maine
12/16/04  Senior Lunch serves the Bridgton Community
12/09/04  SUV skids on icy road and overturns, trapping passengers
12/02/04  Fire department projects starting to take real shape
11/25/04  Thanksgiving has a special meaning for Elroy Gregory
11/10/04  Our permanent farmhouse guests
10/28/04  Two Sebago Scouts climb the Eagle trail
10/14/04  Old Iron goes to the Fair
09/23/04  Backyard Bluegrass thrives in Sebago
09/02/04  Where is Backnippin anyway?
08/26/04  Lyme disease strikes Sebago teen
08/12/04  Canoes are being made in Sebago again
07/22/04  Rupert G. Johnson and the Sebago Bat Company
07/08/04  Beware! the Seam-Rippers are Afoot!
06/17/04  Fiddleheads are a wild Maine treat
06/03/04  Getting a quality education at home
05/20/04  Sebago house raising a community event
05/06/04  Morel mushrooms in Maine
05/05/04  Spring gobblers from the back porch
04/22/04  Sebago's deaf firefighters - silent heroes
04/15/04  Mayberry Farm - Quality produce in a small package
04/08/04  Elroy Gregory - A quiet Maine Yankee
04/01/04  Sebago turkey shoot raises money for charity
03/25/04  Making Maine maple syrup - a family tradition
02/28/04  The Folley Road dog follies
02/09/04  Enjoy Sebago Lake's ice, but do so safely!
02/02/04  Cold is not the word for it!

Journal Entries - 2003
12/25/03  Weihnachtsmarkte, An Old World Christmas Custom
10/23/03  Quick Fire Department Response Saves Home
10/11/03  Crabtree Family 2003 Reunion
10/09/03  Training + Testing = Fire Fighting Preparedness
09/25/03  Auto accident on Route 107 traps driver in car
06/01/03  Green Side Up!
05/01/03  Now Is The Season for Woods Fires
03/20/03  Spring must be coming!
03/15/03  How Not to Catch a Skunk
02/06/03  Sebago Fire Department Trains for Ice Rescue
01/15/03  Our Silas Hoadley Grandfather Clock

Journal Entries - 2002
12/30/02  The Lena Letters - 1924, "Papa's New Shop"
11/13/02  The Lena Letters - 1949, "Sister, Where Are You?"
11/06/02  Harry's Gone For A Soldier
10/17/02  Steve's Tuna Fishing Trip
10/12/02  Crabtree Reunion 2002
09/23/02  Goodbye Happy
07/10/02  Water for the Blueberries
07/04/02  Service to America
05/06/02  Laurine - Udvandring til Kanada
04/12/02  Aruba - One Happy Island
03/21/02  Driving Cousin Emma
03/04/02  Not Much of a Maine Winter Now, Was It?
02/11/02  The Warmth of a Wood Fire
01/20/02  Tales of a Volunteer Firefighter

Journal Entries - 2001
11/27/01  Andiamo! - Two Weeks in Sicily
11/09/01  And The Bagpipes Played "Amazing Grace"
10/01/01  PYO Blueberries
09/22/01  Crabtree Reunion 2001
09/11/01  Our World is Different Now
08/20/01  Baked Bean Suppers
06/15/01  Getting Ready for the Blueberry Season
03/25/01  Maine Maple Sunday - Sebago Style
02/18/01  On Reaching My Mid-Point in Life
02/15/01  Skiing Through The Weary Months
01/25/01  Snow? Get Used To It!

Journal Entries - 2000
12/25/00  A White Christmas in Maine
10/28/00  The Glory of Autumn
09/30/00  Crabtree Family Reunion - 2000
08/30/00  We Finally Move to Maine
07/06/00  Make Mine a Moxie!
06/09/00  Chamber Pots or Indoor Plumbing?
05/26/00  Rows of Smiling Little Faces
04/27/00  Blackflies - It Must Be Spring!
04/07/00  I Hate to Work on Roofs
03/17/00  They Called Me Buffalo
02/25/00  Those Curious Curved Walls
02/04/00  Togue, or Toque?
01/13/00  Finally, Some Snow!
01/01/00  Years End at the Farmhouse

Journal Entries - 1998 & 1999
12/31/99  The John Meserve Farm
11/24/99  Uncle Charlie's Tapeworm
11/11/99  Mystery of the Hanging Chimney
10/17/99  Coming of Winter
10/01/99  Crabtree Family Reunion
09/03/99  A Day In The Attic
07/24/99  Bears in the Blueberry Bushes
07/05/99  Maine - The Way Life Should Be
06/12/99  Score: Bats 90, Al 0
05/29/99 The Bats Return...but we went fishing anyway
05/10/99  Fiddleheads and Ghosts
04/10/99  Bats in our Belfry
04/01/99  Ladybug Invasion!
03/19/99  Frost Heaves and Pussy Willows
02/12/99  Going to the dump
01/30/99  Carriage house restoration begins
01/05/99  Setting up housekeeping
12/12/98  First night at the Farm

Moving Back to New England

We've always been planning to come back home to New England. We were in California from 1991 through 1997, having moved there from New Hampshire. The move from California to the Albany, NY area in December 1997 was the first step and got us from the lefthand coast to the righthand coast. We asked your help through our web site to find, somewhere back in New England, an old place that exudes character, with a wonderful barn or carriage house that will be the book shop, and located in a community with lots of warmth and charm (and probably a few characters as well!).

We located just the right place, in the small community of Sebago, Maine. It fits most of the search criteria we'd laid out as far as age, size and location. Most importantly, however, the place just "feels" right - a warm, friendly place that has been well cared for and loved. We closed on the place on August 10, 1998, and moved in full-time on September 1, 2000. After a lifetime of living all over the country, it feels good to settle down at the Sebago Farmhouse.

A 170+ Year Old Farmhouse

The Farmhouse is known in the area, and on our deed, as the "John Meserve Farm". His father, Samuel Meserve, was one of the early settlers in Sebago. We believe that Samuel built this heavy timber, mortise and tenon farmhouse in about 1830. It is built in the traditional "big house - little house - back house - barn" style of connected buildings common to the region. Legend has it that a crew of 30-40 men labored to build the house and barn on the ridge just west of Sebago Lake.

The kitchen ell was probably built around 1889, and was joined to the main house. The carriage house is of different construction, and was probably brought to the site and joined to the house and barn about the same time that the kitchen was added. Bringing in a building to make a connected farmstead was a commonplace event at the time in this area. The "J. Meserve" farms is shown on the 1871 maps of the town. Samuel Meserve first showed up in the U.S. Census for Sebago in 1840. In 170 years, we are only the fifth family to have owned the Farmhouse - which speaks volumes about the solidness of the structure and the character of the community. Today the Farmhouse and buildings are just as sound and tight as when they was built - not a sag or tilt anywhere! The house inspector said it is in excellent shape, even considering it's age. Read more about the John Meserve Farm and the people who lived there, about the curved walls that are an unusual feature of the Farmhouse, and our progress in renovation in the various Journal Entries listed above.

The Barn and Land

The old book business demands a dry, clean place to store the inventory. We have gathered all of the piles of books stored in various places around the country, and this barn is just the spot for them. The Meserves had a good, tight barn built, and it was improved with a solid cement floor by Richard and Dot Howard. It'll be just right for our books, and we've built an office into the carriage house connecting the house and barn, so we can do our data entry and orders without having to go outside in those cold, snowy Maine winters!

The farm sits on 16 acres more or less of field and woods. There are nearly 1,000 high-bush blueberry bushes on the place that we carefully prune, fertilize, and irrigate. Then when the picking season begins in mid-July, we open the fields to pick-your-own customers. Visit the webpages for Crabtree's Pick-Your-Own Highbush Blueberries to learn more about this fun and delicious activity for the family. Come and visit us during the blueberry season!

The Region and the Community

Sebago is located about 30 miles northwest of Portland, Maine. It is a community of about 1,500 people. The population grows to 3-4 times that size in the summertime with the folks who have places on the lake. It nicely meets our desire to be in a small town, with a warm sense of community (just like the last couple of places we've lived), with citizens active in their town.

Sebago has good fly fishing for trout and bass, deer hunting, and cross-country skiing right handy. Striper fishing is a short drive to the ocean. The fall colors, snowy winters and mountain views that are such an important part of living in New England are right out the back door. If things get too bucolic, it is not a long drive to Portland's airport, theatres, symphonies, assorted cultural stuff and good microbrew pubs.

Maine Writing

We'll keep you informed as the work continues through our Journal Entries - check them out at the top of this page.

Our Journal Entries are listed on:

Visit these sites - there is some great writing by Mainers about Maine.

And you might have also seen some of the Farmhouse Journal articles on:

as well as several other websites.

Allen Crabtree
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This page was last updated April 3, 2009.

Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 by Allen Crabtree