Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Beston, Henry

Publications

A Volunteer Poilu (1916)
Full Speed Ahead
(1919)
Firelight Fairy Book
(1919)
Starlight Wonder Book (1921)
The Living Age (Editor, 1921)
Book of Gallant Vagabonds
(1925)
The Sons of Kai
(1926)The Outermost House (1928)
Herbs and the Earth
(1935)
American Memory
(1937)
Five Bears and Miranda
(1939)
The Tree that Ran Away
(1941)
Chimney Farm Bedtime Stories
(1941)
The St. Lawrence (1942)
Northern Farm: A Chronicle of Maine
(1949)
White Pine and Blue Water
(1950)
Henry Beston’s Fairy Tales
(1952)
Especially Maine: The Natural World of Henry Beston (1972)

Grave Markers for Elizabeth, left, and Henry, right (2008)

Grave Markers for Elizabeth, left, and Henry, right (2008)

The plaque on the stone reads:

HENRY BESTON

JUNE 1 1888 – APRIL 15, 1968

Creation is still going on the creative forces are as great and as active to-day as they have ever been and to-morrow’s morning will be as heroic as any of the world THE OUTERMOST HOUSE

(1888-1968) born in Quincy, Massachusetts as Henry Beston Sheahan, moved to Maine in the 1930’s and for the following thirty years wrote fiction and nonfiction with an emphasis on the natural world under the name Henry Beston. He had graduated from Harvard in 1909, taught at the University of Lyon, served in the French army during World War I, and had completed several works, including his classic, The Outermost House.

Chimney Farm from the Cemetery (2008)

Chimney Farm from the Cemetery (2008)

One day while on Damariscotta Lake in a boat with his friend, Henry spotted the Nobleboro property that he would fall in love with. He soon convinced his wife, Elizabeth Coatsworth, that they should purchase it and resettle there. They did so in 1931, located on the East Neck Road, and they called it Chimney Farm. The name remains the same today.

Elizabeth and Henry would each do almost all of the rest of their writing at the farm, and it was also where they raised their two daughters, Margaret and Katharine. In recent years, several concerned individuals and organizations have undertaken efforts to preserve Chimney Farm in perpetuity as a National Literary Landmark.

Additional resources

Waldron, Nan Turner. Journey to Outermost House. Bethlehem, CT. Butterfly & Wheel Publications. c1991.

“Elizabeth Coatsworth Papers,” University of Delaware, Special Collections. See http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/findaids/coats.htm (accessed 11/25/2010)

“Henry Beston: Writer, Naturalist.” at http://www.henrybeston.com/ (accessed 11/25/2010)

With substantial material contributed by Hope Cruser, Edgecomb, Maine, 2008.

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