Ladies’ Weekend 2015

While it was Ladies’ Day Out here in western Maine, I drove west to Vermont, to celebrate with friends in a different manner.

Brownington, Vermont, was the destination–as three of us drove north and west to converge at a friend’s farmhouse. And then the Talk Fest began.

Yes, instead of a Shop Fest, we enjoyed a Talk Fest. Of course, unless you want to buy eggs, there’s not much shopping to be done in Brownington. That’s the beauty of it. Plus, we aren’t shoppers.

What we did do, which is also a little unusual for a ladies’ weekend, was go on a quest for my ancestral roots. (Thanks B.M.D., P.S. and B.C. for humoring me)

And at the South Cemetery in South Barton, we found what I was seeking.

Folsom 2

My greatX3 grandparents and other ancestors are buried here in a small valley below Crystal Lake (once known as Belle Pond). According to various census reports, they were farmers and I have to wonder if one of the small homes in the area belonged to them, or if there is a foundation somewhere nearby. A future hunt?

QA 10

Wildflowers growing on the hill between the cemetery and road feature an abundance of Queen Anne’s Lace. Like a spray of fireworks, the fruiting structure extends in various directions.

andrew f

Dana A F

Alonzo Dana

Finding physical evidence of those who came before made my heart sing. They were here. They worked this land. They breathed this air. They were born, grew up and carved out a living here. They were farmers who sowed their own seeds. And some of them died here.

QA 2

Queen Anne’s Lace is prolific in spreading its seeds by the wind.

Dana Folsom

They served their country and some didn’t return, like my great-great grandfather. And while my great grandmother was born here, she and my great grandfather moved to Massachusetts and then New Hampshire–I have to wonder why.

QA 8

Some seeds land nearby; others float away in the wind. I must have inherited some of g.g.’s genes.

Willoughby Cemetery

We’d spent enough time reading the headstones and appreciating the lives they represented.

WL, Haystack, Pisgah, Hor

It was time to continue our Talk Fest and take a peek at the peak’s our hostess knows so well. Haystack, Pisgah and Hor create the backdrop of Willoughby Lake.

deer print

We stumbled upon deer prints and . . .

beaver chew

beaver works. The latter forced us to look further, but we couldn’t find any evidence of a lodge or dam, just more beaver chews along the beach–perhaps they floated in from another locale.

Prospect Hill Observatory

We climbed the Prospect Hill Observatory and took in the 360˚ views. Rolling hills, farms, villages, mountains and . . .

Oh Canada

Canada. My great grandfather came from Canada–perhaps right over there. I’m not sure–I’m still trying to figure out his lineage.

horseshoe print

This print is one in a series of tracks that lead up and around the observatory. A couple of Amish families have moved into the neighborhood in the past year–a horseshoe print.

Sisters & Brenna

We left our own prints at the geographic survey mark when we posed for a selfie–photobombed by another lady–Brenna.


The Orleans Historical Society has protected this land and the buildings you see here. Brownington is a picturesque village located along the former stage coach route that led from Canada to Boston.

stone house 2

Thirty-five years ago, when our hostess moved here for a teaching job, she earned her keep by keeping an eye on this building. Stone House sign

Local lore has it that Twilight quarried the granite blocks and erected the building on his own. He used a single ox–on a treadmill on staging–to raise the blocks and when the last stone was placed, he couldn’t figure out how to lower the beast, so he roasted it.

QA 12

It was time to go. We embraced each other and gave thanks to our hostess and host, and for our lasting friendship–as we looked ahead to next year’s gathering. Ancestors below Belle Pond, Queen Anne’s Lace, Brenna and us–a perfect combination for a Ladies’ Weekend.


6 thoughts on “Ladies’ Weekend 2015

  1. Nice visit! On the first headstone, did you look up the significance of that artwork in the back of the rural landscape book? I was curious as to what it symbolizes. Any word yet from David on those tree scratches at our house?

    How many times must the cannonballs fly before they’re forever banned? Bob Dylan

    Sent from my iPad


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  2. Hey Pam, I believe those are lilies on the Folsom stone, representing resurrection, and the symbol on Dana A. Folsom’s stone represents the Masons. David doesn’t think bear. Not sure what caused those scratches–too difficult to tell from the photos. Are you home again, home again?


  3. You don’t know how specail your friendship is! When I was a kid, Pams grandfather took the family up to the Lake Willoughby area. I laughed at the name of the mountains! What a beautiful area. Wishing you many more good times xoxox CS


    1. Hi Carol, Thanks for your comments. It is a very special friendship–and this past weekend was perfect timing to give thanks for such. Pam and Bev shared photos of your PEI adventure–sounds and looks like you had a wonderful time and formed a special friendship of your own. Happy Thanksgiving to the Sheehan Clan and thanks for taking the time to read the blog post and comment. Leigh


  4. I probably would never have left the cemetery. They are fascinating whether they are ancestral or not! I see that the generations interchanged first and middle names: Dana Alonzo, Alonzo Dana, Dana Alonzo. I’ve seen that frequently around here – it adds to the mystery and confusion.
    I was in that area with friends last fall. It is like another world – a nature and history-lovers paradise!
    Beautiful photos!

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    1. Jin–you were with me–I actually returned alone before heading home! And yes, the name interchange is fun–my grandfather, who is buried in CT, is Dana Alonzo! My friend’s friend has since sent me a wee bit more info and I need to return to the historical society–maybe a summer trip. It is a beautiful area.


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