December 19, 2013

Keep Lot North Conservation Easement Protects Historic Lot on Katahdin Lake

Baxter State Park Authority Accepts Conservation Easement on Katahdin Lake

At a special meeting of the Baxter Park Authority on Monday, Authority members voted unanimously to accept the “Keep Lot North” conservation easement granted by heirs of the James Sewall family covering an historic parcel of land on the shores of Katahdin Lake.

Sewall Family members Tingey Sewall of Boston MA, University of Maine Chancellor James Page of Old Town, ME and Thomas Gary of Mashpee, MA, offered an unconditional gift of various conservation rights on 43 acre parcel including over 500 feet of shore frontage on scenic Katahdin Lake in Baxter State Park.

Over 4,500 acres of private land surrounding Katahdin Lake was gifted to Baxter State Park in 2006.  The Sewall tract was not included in the gift and remains as a privately owned “in-holding” surrounded by land owned and managed by the Baxter State Park Authority.  An adjacent in-holding owned by the Huber Family and Corporation was donated to the Park in 2012.

The 43 acre parcel was originally a part of a 200 acre parcel provided to the Reverend Marcus Keep of Patten, ME by the Maine Legislature in 1860 in recognition of the work Reverend Keep had done in establishing some of the first hiking trails to access Katahdin.  Keep Ridge on Katahdin is named after Reverend Keep.  James W. Sewall purchased the Keep Lot in 1901.  Although some of the original Keep Lot was sold, Sewall retained the 43 acre lot that includes stunning views of Katahdin.

The Keep Lot North Conservation Easement permanently protects the lot from commercial or industrial development and provides permanent protection to the wildlife, water and scenic values of the parcel.

Park Director Jensen Bissell stated “This generous and foresighted action by the Sewall heirs provides the final piece of protection needed on Katahdin Lake.  Together with the Huber donation in 2012 this conservation easement ensures that Katahdin Lake will forever remain the pristine and beautiful Maine lake envisioned by Percival Baxter.”