Osborn Finch Cabin

We’re sorry! Due to structural issues we will not be renting out the cabin for the foreseeable future.

The Osborn Finch Wildlife Sanctuary and its beautiful trails remain open to day-use visitors year-round. Click here for additional information.

Growing Up on the Osborn Finch Wildlife Sanctuary

by Betty Davis Stevens and Carmen Davis Anderson

The 1930s old Ford bumped along the gravel roads carrying honeymooners Mel and Florence Davis, our parents, from Stanstead, Quebec, to their new home on what was to become PWA’s Osborn Finch Wildlife Sanctuary at Dutch Neck, Waldoboro, Maine. It was the fall foliage season of September, 1939.

Prior to 1939, the Osborn Finch Wildlife Sanctuary was owned and farmed by Hubert Witcher, a friend of the Davis family, and consisted of 18 acres on both sides of the Dutch Neck road including the farm house and buildings located across from the Finch Preserve. Mr. Witcher is buried at the Dutch Neck Cemetery.

Black and white family photo

Fireplace at other point of Finch Preserve, circa 1954, Carmen front left, sister Betty next to her

After Mr. Witcher died, our parents continued farming the property and raised two children there: Carmen born in 1943 and Betty born in 1945. While living on Dutch Neck from 1939 to 1957, our parents utilized the ‘Preserve’ land as a chicken hatchery. This had a large hen house on the Finch Preserve side of the road and kept about 1000 ‘Barred’ Rock and Rhode Island Reds chickens. Newly hatched chicks from the farm incubators were shipped out by train from the Waldoboro railroad station.

Other Dutch Neck residents were farmers also. The farmers got together to cut the hay and put up loose hay in our father’s barn, still standing across the road from the Finch Preserve. Other farm animals included several milking cows, a hog or two and a working horse. We remember our father squirting warm, fresh milk into our mouths directly from the cow. These animals were found at most farms on the Dutch Neck road about 1950

The cottage

On the field between the road and woods of the Finch Preserve, we raised a huge garden each summer. We spent many hours pulling weeds from the garden; our mother canned the produce and it fed us for most of the year.

Our father had a certain talent with wood and woodworking. A woods road wound its way to the cottage he built on the shore of the Medomak River about 1941. It still stands at the Osborn Finch Wildlife Sanctuary. Our father always built very sturdy, strong structures using lots of nails. It is not surprising that his buildings have stood the test of time. We aren’t sure where our father obtained the wood to build the cottage. However, according to “Richard Remembers Dutch Neck − Memories of Richard Wallace as told to Jean Lawrence 2002-2005,” the lumber for the original house, on the other side of the road, came from a boarding house built for workers who were employed at the granite quarry on what is now Quarry Hill just off Depot Street. You’ll notice a man’s boot print in black tar on the living room ceiling. This is no accident. When building, our father used to leave his construction autograph in the form of his boot on a board.

Black and white photo of Finch Preserve cottageWe spent our summers and weekends at the cottage starting with Memorial Day and ending with the cooler, fall weather. The cottage had two rustic bed-rooms. Carmen was and is an avid Red Sox fan. Once, she wrote on our bedroom wall with a crayon the team the Red Sox played, the date of the game, the score and her name. This information is still on the cottage wall in the bedroom. A tiny cast iron wood stove in the living room kept us warm when it was cold outside as well as functioning as the cottage cooking stove. A few years later, about 1950, our father added a porch to the west side of the cottage. The porch contained a shelf for the Coleman gas stove where the main meals were cooked when the wood stove was not needed. The ‘dining room table,’ a large plank, was located between the shelf the stove rested on and the end of the porch. There was room for the 4 of us to sit together and eat our meals at the cottage.