Join Western Foothills Land Trust in our campaign to protect the summit of historic Noyes Mountain. We need your help to purchase the 295-acre parcel that will protect water resources, wildlife habitat, and agricultural fields. Like our other Preserves, it will accommodate a variety of non-motorized recreational trails for public use by the community and its visitors. The land will provide access to outstanding views and to the historic Harvard Quarry owned by Frank Perham, renowned geologist and pegmatite miner of West Paris, Maine. The purchase will assure that the iconic and inspiring view of Norway Lake, framed by Noyes Mountain, will be preserved for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
What We Need
Funds raised beyond our goal will cover closing costs and establish a stewardship fund. Western Foothills Land Trust is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation and all contributions are tax deductible.
What You Get
Noyes Mountain Preserve will forever protect…
Views Iconic view of Norway Lake from the 1,500′ summit and the view of the undeveloped mountain from Norway Lake and Routes 117/118.
Water 1,000′ of streams and 295 acres within the Norway Lake watershed.
Land Dramatic ledges, working forests and fields in a significant undeveloped block of woodlands. The land provides habitat for rare plants and two rare natural communities.
Recreation Trails for mountain bikers, horseback riders, runners, snowshoers, skiers, rock hounds, hikers and hunters.
Community The Trust will provide public programs, pay current use property taxes, and manage resources conscientiously.
History of Noyes Mountain
Historically the land was owned by the Stevens family and included a through road north from Norway to Greenwood (from the Upton Brothers Road to the Hayes Road). In 1869 Ethel Stevens sold the land to Isaac Noyes.
Isaac Noyes became interested in the site’s pegmatitic outcroppings in the late 1880′s. In 1892 the ledge was opened for the first time and became a mecca for scientists and collectors, offering one of the most complex mineralized pegmatites in Maine. Mineral operations on the mountain were opened by Isaac’s 6th cousin George Lorenzo (“Shavey”) Noyes and Tim Heath about 1894. Tourmaline was first recorded from the locale about 1904. In 1917, Harvard College bought a 1 acre mine site and a 100-year mineral rights lease on 60 acres. Over the years the dark green tourmaline found at this location has become known as “Harvard Green.”
The granite pegmatites Noyes collected were largely preserved and passed into the possession of the Harvard Museum. In the summer of 1923 active quarrying was undertaken by the Harvard Mineralogical Department under the supervision of Harvard University student Kenneth K. Landes for Landes’ dissertation, Paragenesis of the Granitic Pegmatites of Central Maine (American Mineralogist, 1925, v. 10, p. 355-411). Loren B. Merrill of Paris and Arthur Valley undertook most of the actual excavation for Landes at the site.
The land, which has been the subject of images by artists and photographers since settlement as the backdrop for Lake Pennesseewassee, is also coveted for its wildlife habitat, rare plants, mineral and cultural significance.
Currently Frank Perham owns the 1-acre Harvard quarry, which remains open to the public. Mineral rights on the western portion will retire in 2016.
Why This Land is Worth Protecting
The View of the Mountain Looking north up the reach of Norway Lake, two mountains shape the horizon and frame the distant view of Old Speck Mountain. The western mountain is Patch Mountain (elev. 1,565′), and the eastern steeper mountain is Noyes Mountain (elev. 1,500′). By day our community and its visitors have enjoyed a verdant mountain backdrop to the lake, and by night humans and wildlife have benefitted from dark hills uninterrupted by development.
That could all change quickly. The Land Trust has seized this as our first and best opportunity to protect that signature view that has inspired artists and photographers since settlement in the late 1700s.
The View from the Mountain The other view to protect, that is less widely known, is the stunning panorama south and west from Noyes. Most of us have not seen Norway Lake, or North Pond, or the nearby McIntire Ridge, or Patch Mountain from this beautiful vantage point. Easily travelled twitch trails will lead hikers, skiers and snowshoers from a maintained landing to the viewpoint and summit beyond.
The Land To the east of the summit, the land descends gradually to a saddle plateau towards Rock O Dundee. A path is a vestige of the old road that crossed to Greenwood City. Now a working forest, the land was historically managed as a mix of agricultural fields, pastures and woodlands, as is evidenced by stone walls in the deep woods, and in historic photographs and paintings. Twitch trails are well-maintained and will make for wonderful hiking and backcountry skiing.
Wildlife Habitat and Rare Plants This site’s diverse ecology supports several rare plants and provides excellent wildlife habitat as it lies in an undeveloped block of 2,691 acres. It also includes nearly 1,000 feet of stream that supports a riparian habitat and, given its size and altitude, is an important forested filter for the Norway Lake watershed.
Mineral and Cultural Significance The parcel is the location of the respected Harvard Quarry (a separately held acre owned by Frank Perham open to the public) that was opened by Shavey Noyes and Tim Heath in the 1890s. The mineralogy of this mountain, like other deposits in this region, played an important cultural and industrial role in the history of western Maine.
Management The Trust will manage Noyes Mountain In much the same way that we have managed our other Preserves. We will maintain existing trails and potentially create additional multi-use trails if consistent with our overall resource conservation goals.
We would allow hunting on site. We would keep the parcel in tree growth tax basis and would continue to manage the forest responsibly. Forest management revenue is important for the Trust’s own sustainability.
Western Foothills Land Trust was founded in 1987 by citizens committed to land and natural resource protection in Western Maine.
Western Foothills Land Trust is a member of Maine Land Trust Network and the national Land Trust Alliance. As a member of this extensive network of land trusts in Maine, Western Foothills Land Trust protects land by advocating locally for open space and resource protection, stewarding lands held in fee-ownership, and assisting landowners as a legal holder of donated or purchased conservation easements.
“Once you have preserved your property, you look at it in a different way…
you take the long view of management and treat your land in a sustainable way that will preserve it. You become more of a husband to your land.”
—Robert Van Nest, President
Mission Western Foothills Land Trust is dedicated to the conservation and protection of native ecosystems, farm and forestlands, watersheds, and scenic landscapes for the benefit of wild and human communities in western Maine.
Service Area Western Foothills Land Trust protects farmlands, wetlands, forestlands, unique natural resources and open space in the greater Oxford Hills area of Western Maine. The Trust holds conservation easements on privately owned lands (3,768 acres) and owns 2,422 acres in the region. The Trust also manages 20 miles of recreational trails on 5 preserves and collaborates within its community to create healthy opportunities.
Other Ways You Can Help
- Please get the word out and make some “noise” about Noyes Mountain.
- Use the Indiegogo share tools or just pick up the phone and ask your friends and family to help.
Purchasing Noyes Mountain serves all of us now and for generations to come.
Thank you for being part of this campaign!