Love For Land Resulted In A Gift To Our Community
In 1899 Albert Chatfield Sr. purchased the Aldermere Farm property as a summer destination where his family could enjoy the healthy conditions they realized upon visiting our Maine coast. The next year their son Albert H. Chatfield Jr. was born and thus began a lifelong connection to what has become one of the most beautiful farms in Maine. A studious and thoughtful individual, Albert Jr. was a successful business man who at the age of 50 inherited the farm and made it a focal point for the rest of his long life. First, he reclaimed the fields using pioneering land management practices touted by Louis Bromfield. A few years later he brought the rare but perfectly suited Belted Galloways to the coast of Maine. Soils were tested and amendments applied and rotational grazing of the cattle was implemented to carefully steward his land. His love for the â€œBeltiesâ€ led him to develop a world renowned herd respected across several continents and Aldermere Farm began to become not just a treasured oasis for locals but a destination for travelers and even a positive force for our local economy. Not content to rest on his achievements of creating what we now love as Aldermere Farm, in 1976 he sought the assistance of Maine Coast Heritage Trust to begin placing a series of what at the time were also groundbreaking land protection tools called conservation easements. Restricting development on most of the land, while allowing for modest expansion to support sustainable agricultural activities, these easements began to guarantee that his remarkable creation would continue as he planned. Finally in 1999, A.H. Chatfield Jr. culminated nearly a century of love for and protection of Aldermere Farm by bequeathing it to Maine Coast Heritage Trust. It was a gift ten years ago to MCHT but more importantly, a gift to our communities and everyone who visits and enjoys Aldermere whether by enjoying the stunning pastoral vistas or participating in the many MCHT public programs. Like the most special of gifts, it was one that will not only never be forgotten but one that has grown in its significance over the last ten years, and we know it will continue to do so for a long, long time. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to us all!