May is for Mainers: Free Black House Tours at Woodlawn

Posted May 07, 2012, at 10:27 a.m.

Tuesday, May 1 to Wednesday, October 31, 2012; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Woodlawn, Route 172 (Surry Road), Ellsworth, ME

Contact: Woodlawn; 207-667-8671


ELLSWORTH: Woodlawn (also known as the Black House) is now open for the 2012 season. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, leading museum professionals consider Woodlawn to be one of the premier historic estates in the world. To celebrate the start of the new season, Woodlawn is admitting Maine residents for free during the month of May.

Guests can explore the Black House via a self-guided audio tour system. With easy to use audio wands, visitors can go through the house at their own pace without waiting for the start of a tour. The audio tour system also offers the opportunity to repeat information and to hear stories that are not part of the main tour.

Woodlawn offers two tours of the Black House. The main tour examines the life of George Nixon Black, Jr., or Nixon as his friends and family called him. Nixon was the last member of the Black family to live at Woodlawn and is largely responsible for how it looks and feels today. This tour presents the house through Nixon’s point of view, exploring his life as a collector and the changes he made. The second tour features the voice of Irma I. Eliason, who with her husband Axel, were Nixon’s caretakers. The recordings Woodlawn used for the tour were produced for air over a local radio station and features Mrs. Eliason leading her radio listeners through Woodlawn.

Woodlawn is open in May Tues.-Sun. 1 to 4 PM. All Maine residents receive free admission in May, although donations are graciously accepted.

Woodlawn is an educational, cultural, and recreational treasure for the people of Downeast ME. The public park is open year round, sunrise to sunset. Woodlawn is located at 19 Black House Drive, Ellsworth, ME. For more information visit