Green Acres - A Family Resort

The towns of Canton and Hartford, Maine, have long been destinations for vacationers.  The draw, of course, is beautiful Lake Anasagunticook. 

Canton was a stop on the Rumford Branch of the Maine Central Railroad that passed through the town beginning in the late 1850s carrying freight, as well as tourists.  Over time, four family resorts were established around the lake.  Green Acres Inn, located in Hartford, was one of these resorts.  The current owners of Green Acres, the Bonesses, provided much of the following information about the property.

Green Acres - Main Building

The original Green Acres Homestead was built in 1807 by Oakes Thompson using his Revolutionary War Officer’s pension grant.  Oakes and his son camped on the property near the spring located below the present day golf course.  They chose the top of the hillside to build their small Cape Cod style farmhouse.  A barn was also built—in fact, a second barn was later merged with the first.  The combined barns became the resort’s lodge.

By the late 1800’s, Green Acres was owned by Caleb and Clara Mendall.  They ran it as a working farm that took in summer boarders.  Maine native and Boston business owner, Edward Franklin Poland, was one of those visitors.  Edward brought along his two sons Everett and Laurence (aka Larry or Laurie) and other family members to enjoy the property overlooking Lake Anasagunticook.

Soon it became clear that the Polands loved this land as much as the Mendall family.  A small cabin was built for Edward’s eldest son Everett and his wife Alida.  The cabin was named for their first daughter, Adelaide.  After a second daughter, Virginia (aka Ginny) was born, they acquired the neighboring Thomas farm with its similar white Cape Cod house.  Ginny Poland, later Ginny Macfarland, lived full-time in that house throughout her later years.  Adelaide met Canton native Conrad (aka Connie) Ray in Lindley’s Drug Store, which is now the Canton Variety.  They married and ultimately moved to house on Staples Hill Road.  In addition to having a wonderful view of the lake from their home, Adelaide could look across to Green Acres!  Two of the Rays’ sons continue to live in the area today.

Card Room - Green Acres

Another small cabin was built at Green Acres for Edward’s second son Larry and his wife Marjorie Kerr.  The cabin was named for their only son, Lloyd.  Since it was located in what became the middle of several cabins, it was fondly called the “Fishbowl.”  Across the road, a cabin was also built for Edward—and to his specifications.  He even placed a small picket fence around the property, pieces of which remain today.

When none of the Mendall family members wished to continue the family farm, Larry Poland purchased Green Acres to use as a family home and a summer inn.  (His best friend, Ned Leighton chose the neighboring Ludden farm, which is currently Highland Acres.)  For the rest of the century, Green Acres had a name and a purpose, and was enjoyed by many who came to experience Maine’s pleasures.  After the deaths of his parents in the 1950s, Lloyd took over as proprietor and ran Green Acres with his wife Ann and a wonderful staff made up of local residents and, frequently, the children of guests.

Green Acres is currently owned by Lloyd’s daughter Leslie and her husband Daryl.  Although it is no longer operated as a resort, the Bonesses have done a wonderful job of restoring the property to its prior glory.  210 years after Oakes Thompson put down stakes at Green Acres, the Bonesses continue to ensure that it is “A friendly place for nice people.”

Additional Source: Obituary of Adelaide Ray