ELLSWORTH — The people at the Woodlawn Museum are helping you escape the stress of 2020 and go back in time, all with the help from horses.
“This is Trouble on the left. He’s only 4,” said Dustin Tracy, owner of the horses. “The one on the right is Duke. He’s 20 years old and a retired pulling horse.”
The Woodlawn Museum was owned by three generations of the John Black Family. It was first opened to the public in 1929. Now fast forward to 2020, they’re using Belgian draft horses to educate people about Down East heritage.
“We’re finding this summer, especially, the people really need places to enjoy the outdoors and Woodlawn is a great spot where you can do that,” said Rosamond Rea, a member of the museum’s board of trustees.
“It’s reminding people about what made Ellsworth great back in the 19th century,” she said.
According to Rae, the lumbering heritage was also strong in Ellsworth. At one time, she said, more board lumber was being shipped out of Ellsworth than anywhere else on the coast of Maine.
Back then, horses were used for haying and transportation. Rae said carriages dating back from 1840 to 1910 are also on display.
“Years and years ago they used to hay with horses and it’s just nice to be able to bring that back,” Tracy said.
The museum is closed because of the pandemic, but Rae said the trails are open and there’s still a lot of history to learn.
“The grounds themselves have been preserved in a way that allows you to explore them,” Rae said. “And it’s an outdoor activity so it’s a lot of fun.”