Braeside:

The Edith Marion Patch House


College Avenue, Orono, Maine

(c. 1840-1860)


Background

Edith Marion Patch purchased her home on College Avenue near the University of Maine when her scientific and literary careers had been safely launched. The property was a small farm consisting of 50 acres and stretching back from frontage on the Stillwater River to the center of Marsh Island. Built in the 1840s, the house is among the oldest homes in the area and is one of the oldest buildings on the University of Maine campus. Patch called her home “Braeside,” in honor of the "Scottish bluebells" she found growing on the property.  Contemporaries describe Braeside as havng been filled with antiques and paintings, many of natural history subjects. Outside the living room window was a bird feeding station which attracted large numbers of birds, winter and summer. She maintained a wildflower garden about her home where, to the last, milkweed grew. In time Patch built a small, screened summer house near the river which she called “Ledge House,” and it was here that she did much of her writing in fine weather. Although the land associated with the river frontage is now privately owned, “Ledge House” remains in use as a family summer house.

After Patch's death, Braeside was sold to a University of Maine faculty family.  When that family left the area, the property came into the possession of the University, and was used, first as faculty housing, and later as a student residence.

The Friends of Dr. Edith Marion Patch is working to complete a sensitive rehabilitation of Braeside, and will establish there the Dr. Edith Marion Patch Center for Entomology, the Environment, and Education.

(Adapted from K. Elizabeth Gibbs, The Maine Entomologist, 4:2-5. 2000)

 

Further Information

For information on how you can become involved with or support the rehabilitation of Braeside and the Dr. Edith Marion Patch Center for Entomology, Environment, and Education, contact: the Friends of Dr. Edith Marion Patch, 52 Penobscot St, Orono ME 04473, or e-mail Mary Dickinson Bird, Chair, Friends of Patch, at mary.bird@umit.maine.edu.