Piano Acres

The pups and I walked down to Piano Acres this afternoon for exercise and to snap some photos. Piano Acres is a defunct hippy commune up the road from my cabin. Since all the old newspapers I found around the property are dated 1985, I assume this is the approximate time that the hippy folks departed. The land is now owned by a fellow from CT, and it’s falling into ruin slowly. I’ve been going out there for about 10 years now for walks. The main cabin was built using slip forms, which Helen & Scott Nearing talked about in The Good Life. I made a slideshow of the afternoon photos, which you can see by clicking on the picture below. Enjoy!

A cabin at Piano Acres Hippy Commune In Fayette, ME

This entry was posted in B's Blog.


  1. Elaine Malkin February 21, 2007 at 8:36 pm #

    I enjoyed living on Piano Acres for many years, and the peace and almost magic stillness remains a part of me.

  2. Cynthia October 31, 2006 at 9:35 am #

    I used to work for CMP, the electric power company. And there used to be a meter in there. It was disconnected, but it was still in there (You can see the box where it was in one of the photos, since it has apparently since been completely removed). Since the electricity was turned off anyway, we didn’t really have to go in and read it every month – just often enough to be sure everthing was in order.

    I didn’t know anything about the people who lived there, but I liked to go in there and read the meter every month because there was just something that felt really good and special about the place. So I would park my power company truck up on the road and step over the cordon and walk down in to the meter every time I was reading that route – no matter the season.

    One time when I went in, there was a man picking up sticks and stuff outside the stone house. He told me he had just purchased the property and we chatted briefly. I never saw him again. That was sometime in the mid to late 1990’s.

    What fun to discover, in 1998 when I met Paul Wilson, that I knew people who had once lived on that property and built some of the houses. I had known Ellen and Doug as members of the “Maine Country Dance Orchestra” and had many times danced to their music of at the Bowdoinham Town Hall. In recent years, I’ve become friends with both of them, and Elaine too.

    I saw Ellen yesterday. I had sent her the link to the slide show. She said she wrote a comment about living in Elmer’s little house – but I guess it must have gone into cyberspace instead of getting actually posted!

  3. greg October 30, 2006 at 8:22 am #

    I love the people who built that place and extended their love and hospitality to me in an amazing chapter of my life. Hard to articulate what those good and intense times mean to me. Nice job on the photos. And illuminating to see how well everything is holding up despite the neglect!

  4. Paul October 23, 2006 at 10:36 pm #

    Liana Has checked it out. I will invite her to leave a comment.
    Have a nice flight.

  5. Megan October 23, 2006 at 2:35 pm #

    Cool photos, B! I definitely never went there with you – I would have remembered. I love the little stone house. Very cute!

  6. Doug Protsik October 23, 2006 at 9:02 am #

    I’m the guy who built Piano Acres and played the piano. My wife (at that time) and I, bought the property in in 1971 and friends helped build all the buildings, which was done with enormous amounts of manual labor. We lived in the first cabin for 15 years, it cost $500 to build, and we used a two man cross-cut saw to cut the logs. The land came with a Fench-Canadian logger/hermit, it was right in the deed that he could live there all his life, Emile Duguay. His was the small shack at the entrance off the town road, which was later expanded vertically after he passed away. We were fans of Helen and Scott Nearing, and we loved playing old-time music and calling dances at the Starling Grange. Many friends came and went through, mostly attracted by the music and the life style. We had three horses, two dogs, a cat, chickens, solar electricity, and a big garden We hauled our water from a hidden spring Emile showed us, best water I ever tasted. The stone house was built from rocks, sand, and gravel from an old gravel pit on the property. It was a good life and I have many pleasant memories. I could happily return to such a life style at any time, and the way the world is going these days, I might have to! Thank you for sharing your impressions and photos.

  7. Muttie October 22, 2006 at 5:53 pm #

    Piano Acres is one of my favorite places… the stories about the people are the best part 🙂

  8. Paul October 22, 2006 at 5:32 pm #

    The cabin with the pianio was Liania’s. She was about your age when she built it.

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