A Colorful, Instructive History
The Desert of Maine is located approximately two miles from downtown Freeport, but the land remains surrounded by woods that abound with Southern Maine’s unique flora. The quiet stillness of the dunes themselves exude the mystery of their formation by ancient glacial lakes that later became the sight of stately pine forests.
In 1827 when the Tuttle family clear cut the spot and began farming, they had no idea what lie beneath their lands until decades of potato farming and sheep grazing depleted the top soil and exposed the glacial silt deposited there millions of years earlier. In a short period of time, patches of exposed silt grew until farming became untenable.
It sat virtually abandoned until Henry Goldrup bought the land in 1925. A gregarious naturalist, Goldrup wanted to share the dunes as the natural oddity that he called the Desert of Maine. Since that time, owners of the land have capitalized on the Desert of Maine’s beauty and ideal location that feels both remote and easily accessible.