Why You Need to Visit the Historic Woodlawn Museum

History buffs, nature enthusiasts, and curious travelers encounter a diverse selection of community treasures during their Downeast vacations. The Woodlawn Museum presents itself as one of these local gems that sheds light on the region’s rich history. This historic, 180-acre estate served as the home to three generations of the town’s prestigious Black Family. Now, visitors will discover year-round walking trails, gorgeous gardens, period furniture and decor, and a tournament-sized croquet court! Continue reading for a glimpse of what’s in store for you at this museum and access our free Vacation Guide for even more ideas to include in your Downeast, ME, itinerary!

What You Need to Know About Woodlawn Museum

Visiting the Museum

Visitors can choose from a variety of activities at the stately Woodlawn Museum. With 180 acres to explore, there is a lot of ground to cover and a lot of history to discover. A tour of the historic Black House will take 45 minutes to an hour, so plan accordingly. Afterward, the gift shop is a great follow up. Guests can also stroll the extensive gardens, come for afternoon tea, view a collection of historic carriages and sleighs, or play croquet. This charming attraction is one of the best things to do in Ellsworth!

It’s a great place to enjoy a picnic on the grounds followed by a walk around the expansive property and trails. Visitors might also like to attend one of the antique shows or special workshops held here throughout the year.

The History of the Black Family

Colonel John Black constructed the Woodlawn Estate between 1824 and 1827. The estate’s rich history began on this prominent site, which the Black Family occupied in Ellsworth, ME. George Nixon Black, Jr. was the last member of three generations to live at Woodlawn, willing the estate and grounds to the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations back in 1928.


Black took pride in his grandfather’s achievements and enjoyed Woodlawn as his ancestral summer home for half a century. His summer visits offered him the chance to pursue his interests in horses, dogs, parties, and antiquing trips. You can still see his personal touches to the estate today. The Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations began maintenance on the grounds after his death in 1928, and they continue to do so to this day.

Tour & Dine in Downtown Ellsworth

In addition to visiting this museum, travelers will encounter so many amazing sights to see and things to do in Downtown Ellsworth. We suggest checking out:

Stay on Quaint Deer Isle at Historic Pilgrim’s Inn

Guest Room 1 double bedsComplete your journey through Downeast’s interesting history and stay at Pilgrim’s Inn. You can find our bed and breakfast listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This premier Deer Isle destination allows guests to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life. Immerse yourself in a serene setting, surrounded by Maine’s beautiful rocky coast, unique local artwork, and more! Fall in love with our cozy accommodations and treat yourself to the vacation of your dreams! Travelers adore our Room One. It overlooks the lawn, gardens, and mill pond as well as captures the natural light that dances through the windows each morning. We look forward to your visit! 

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