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Reef Point, ca. 1940

Former owner:
Jones, Mary Cadwalader
Farrand, Max 1869-1945
Landscape architect, former owner:
Farrand, Beatrix 1872-1959
Buckler, James R
Rotch and Tilden
Physical description:
1 folder+ 10 35 mm slides; 2 glass lantern slide
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Maine, Hancock County, Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor
Reef Point (Bar Harbor, Maine)
ca 1940
Landscape designer Beatrix Farrand (1872 - 1959) spent her childhood summers at Reef Point on Mount Desert Island in Maine, a six-acre property with distinct garden rooms that featured native plants and panoramas of trees set against the ocean vista. According to landscape historian Judith Tankard the front of the half-timbered house supported flowering vines including clematis, jasmine, wisteria and hydrangea. A stone terrace facing the water had a rose garden complimented by gray foliage plants. In the acid soil banks of azaleas grew on slopes that led to the bay. There was an informal perennial garden sheltered by hemlocks, a vegetable garden, a small rock garden, a bog plantation, a large heather garden, and carpets of ground covers including bunchberry, ferns, trilliums, and ginger. Besides areas for seating and entertaining the grounds resembled an arboretum of spruce and Asian shrubs. Farrand inherited Reef Point after her mother's death and it became her permanent home in 1941.
Circa 1939 Farrand incorporated Reef Point Gardens as a botanical garden and reference library to be used by students of outdoor life and gardening. Her own professional papers and those of English garden designer Gertrude Jekyll were made available for study along with illustrations of European gardens that had influenced Farrand, thousands of books including English herbals, a herbarium of 1,800 plant species found at Reef Point, and the garden slides of garden architect Mary Rutherfurd Jay (1872 - 1953). The center was closed and the garden was dismantled by Farrand in 1955 due to lack of funds and a dearth of visitors to the area, which is near Acadia National Park. Farrand's and Jekyll's documents were sent to the University of California at Berkeley.
Persons associated with the garden include: Mary Cadwalader Rawle Jones (1850 - 1935) (former owner, 1882 until 1935); Beatrix (1872 - 1959) and Max (1869 - 1945) Farrand (former owners, 1941 - 1955); Arthur Rotch (1850 - 1894) & George Thomas Tilden (1845 - 1919) (architects, 1883); Beatrix Farrand (landscape designer).
The folders includes worksheets and photocopies of articles.
This property is featured in: Golden Age of American Gardens, p. 34; "Such, Such Were the Joys" published in Lost Bar Harbor, by G.W. Helfrich and Gladys O'Neil, Down East Books, 1982, pp. 42 - 43; "The Start and The Goal" by Beatrix Farrand, Bulletin of the Garden Club of America, 1947, pp. 13 - 15; Beatrix Farrand: Private Gardens, Public Landscapes by Judith B. Tankard, The Monacelli Press, 2009, pp. 193 - 203
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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