Welcome to Glen Na Gael. Our name means Valley of the "Gael", an ancient name for the Celtic People.
Our Victorian homestead is located in East Union, Maine, a small Downeast agrarian village nestled in the Camden Hills of the Maine Mid-Coast.
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Glen Na Gael Farm
Glen Na Gael is a Victorian farmstead situated in East Union alongside Lermond Pond. We are situated on a hill with views of Lermond Pond and the Camden Hills to the Northeast. The land includes pasture, woodland and wetlands. It is a short 10 mile ride to Penobscot Bay in Rockland, the closest "city". Union has several "ponds", which are large enough to be considered lakes.
Union is a quaint and scenic village comprised of predominantly an agrarian society. Abounding the simple country roads are numerous pastures with dairy cattle and horses. Of particular note are the renowned blueberry fields which turn a rich ruby red in the Fall. There is no finer scenery than the Camden Hills in the Fall with the land full of bright hues of orange, red, yellow and gold.
The farmstead of Glen Na Gael has a history which spans more than 120 years. The house is a Victorian Period structure which was built in 1890. However, the house itself is actually comprised of two older houses which were dismantled and then reconstructed into a single farmhouse on the present site. The ages of the houses are distinctly different. The main house has sawn floorboards with straight (reciprocating) cut lines whereas the L-Extension include some floorboards with circular saw lines. Many of the original features have been preserved, including stair rails, moldings, doorways and beams. The L-Extension attaches the house to a large 4-level barn. The barn was also originally constructed several miles from it's current site. The original owners actually disassembled the whole barn and reassembled it at the current site. Some barns in the area have been kept intact and moved over short distances pulled by horse teams rolling it over a log track.
This homestead is identified in the historical records as "the James Dornan House". It was built by Charles Burkett. Originally the barn was built by John Miller as a carriage shop and was located near the Arthur Payson house. The Post and Beam architecture is quite clever and allows the barn floorspace to be very open while still allowing for substantial bearing of weight. There are no intermediate floor beams in the front half the barn. All of the weight of the upper floors are distributed to outer wall beams using an overhead truss design.
When the barn was moved to the present site circa 1890, the rear was extended an additional 14 feet to allow conversion of the barn for manufacturing of granite monuments.There are many "specimens" of granite slabs around the property, some used for foundations and landscaping as well as a few grave markers that apparently were "mistakes" and could not be used.
The original builders, the Burketts, were very innovative and industrious people. Besides the granite monument building operations in the barn, they also owned the local saw mill in East Union about 300 yards from the house. There was a convenient water fall that was used to power the mill. The mill is still in operation as a wholesale milled grain producer (Morgan's Mills). The Burkett house was also the first house in the area to install running water, gas lighting and electricity.
Still later, the barn was converted again for use as a dairy operation. Calving and milking records, as well as various farming and veterinary artifacts, still exist from the 1900's. There are also several outbuildings, that were built as extensions to store farm vehicles and provide additional workshop space.
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