Sanford Springvale News Banner

Copyright © 2024 – Sanford Springvale News – All rights reserved.

Historic Sweat Homestead To Become Mousam Way Land Trust’s New HQ

The 1777 farm and homestead of Reverend Moses Sweat will become the new headquarters of the Mousam Way Land Trust following a bequest of 100 acres of land and the historic home located on lower School St. The bequest was made by Virginia Hurd Morin, a Sanford native who passed away earlier this year at the age of 99. The gift of the properties was unexpected, according to Bud Johnston, President of the Land Trust.

Mrs. Morin also provided one million dollars in a stewardship fund for the maintenance of Land Trust properties.  In announcing this gift, Dr. Johnston said, “We are extremely pleased that Virginia recognized our accomplishments and decided, without our knowledge, to pass this property into our keeping.  The house and barn will be renovated to serve as our operation center.  The land will be, in her words, ‘a green space to be known as the Louise Virginia Hurd Morin Preserve for the benefit of wildlife and nature lovers.”

Dr. Johnston went on to say, “the planning process for this property is just beginning and will take several months to complete before much of anything is done here. At some point in the future, an open house will be held so people can learn what we have planned.” He said work will begin soon on clearing a walking trail through the property.

The house needs repairs, including chimney work and a septic system. The barn needs extensive work, but it is hoped it can become much-needed storage for the Land Trust’s equipment.

Mrs. Morin was the daughter of Charles and Delma Hurd and a 1941 graduate of Sanford High School. Her father worked as a weaver in the plush mill before opening a radio store on Main St., where the Salvation Army is located now. Brian Desrochers, who took care of the property for Mrs. Morin, said she and her husband moved to Connecticut after the mills closed and Sanford’s economy took a downturn. They later returned to Sanford and moved in to the Sweat homestead to care for his parents in their declining years.

Mr. Desrochers remembered Mrs. Morin as a lover of nature and wildlife who would not allow him to trim trees or shrubs, and insisted that a fence remain unrepaired so that deer could cross through her front yard. He said she was a kind and loving person who cared for several family members, and always had interesting stories to tell.

Rev. Moses Sweat was pastor of the first Congregational Church in Sanford and ministered to the flock there for 36 years, until his death from tuberculosis in 1822.

The Mousam Way Land Trust is a small conservancy of volunteers who manage about 1,200 acres of land in the Sanford region.  They also operate a community garden for those who lack growing space or funds to grow their own food.

Mrs. Morin’s Sanford High School yearbook photo.
Copyright © 2024 - Sanford Springvale News - All rights reserved. | CoverNews by AF themes.