Thursday, April 17, 2014

Illustrated map of "Desert of Maine"

This little card — it's five inches wide — served as both the admission ticket and route map for an attraction called the Desert of Maine in Freeport, Maine. The ticket/map was printed by the Globe Ticket Company in Boston, Massachusetts.

The "desert" is, according to Wikipedia, a "a 40-acre tract of exposed glacial silt (a sand-like substance, but finer-grained than sand) surrounded by a pine forest." It's been a tourist attraction since 1925, when it was purchased for just $300 from the frustrated family that could no longer farm the land.

The map has 19 marked points. Here's the legend for those points, taken from the other side of the card:

1. Desert of Maine Gift Shop

2. Fascinating sand designers

3. The original barn of the once-fertile Tuttle Farm

4. One of the many vari-colored sand beds — Use the trowel and see how many colors you can find.

5. Remains of the original Tuttle homestead boundary posts

6. Moss beds

7. An excellent vantage point for picture-taking

8. Here lies an apple tree which was completely buried in 1953.

9. Another vari-colored sand bed

10. Another excellent point of vantage for photographers

11. The almost-completely buried Spring House built in 1938

12. Birches surviving the encroaching sea of sand

13. The Desert of Maine's highest dune — 75 feet

14. Clay beds, always moist

15. Last vestiges of the original Tuttle farm orchard

16. Indian tepee (A good place to get a photo of the "chief" of the family)

17. Indian shop

18. Desert of Maine Oasis refreshments

19. The famous Desert of Maine register. Please check your state or country and record your visit.

At the Desert of Maine today, admission is $10.50 for adults and a little less for those age 16 and under. It offers narrated coach tours, walking tours, nature trails, gemstone hunts, the opportunity to fill your own sand bottle, camping, disc golf and a butterfly room.

Has anyone ever been there?


  1. Yes, my late husband and I was there in May of 2001, we took a ride on a trailer with a top on it , and had seats to set down and a tractor pulled it, it was so much fun, we walked all over the place, and found gems in the sand, they said they were naturally there?, it was hot that day, and there was a thermometer there in the desert, can't remember the temp, but it was up there, seen the old barn, with the old tools, but we both loved it, I remember it like it was yesterday, it's been almost 23 years now, I lost my Wonderful husband to cancer, but at least we got to go there once, I'm still here from southern Ohio, we loved it there.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this memory. I'm glad it's a good one and that it's so vivid. I'm terribly sorry to hear about your husband's passing.