We grew up close to Palermo, in the nearby towns of China and Windsor. After many years away from this area, we moved onto what we’ve named Ridge Pond Farm in August 2014. The house and barn date back to 1830 and sit on a 30 acre property. Like many places it was once a much larger farm that was split up over the past several decades. Ridge Pond Farm is close to Branch Mills Village, a tiny cluster of buildings gathered around the former Dinsmore Grist Mill. Branch Mills is half in China, half in Palermo and Cari grew up two miles away on the other side of Parmenter Hill, or “Moe’s Mountain”, a magnificent spot to see clear to Mt. Washington.
Cari’s parents were back-to-landers from Cleveland, Ohio who bought an old hunting camp nestled at the base of the “Mountain”. It was a magical place to grow up, surrounded by woods to play in, in an off-the-grid home Cari’s dad built around the bones of the original hunting camp. Returning after many years to this beautiful area in Western Waldo County/Eastern Kennebec County is deeply gratifying and joyful for her.
Mike, a multi-generational Mainer, grew up on the top of a ridge in Windsor surrounded by family and views of rolling pastures and distant blueberry barrens. His childhood home was an even older farmhouse than ours in Palermo and from an early age he was drawn to woodworking, building, and architecture. Mike runs his own business, Michael Maines Residential Design, in addition to the farm.