MOULTONBOROUGH — The Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) and the Castle Preservation Society (CPS) are jointly offering an educational walking tour of the historic Lee Settlement in the Ossipee Mountains, on land that is now conserved as part of LRCT's Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area, on Wednesday, July 31.
The lead walking tour guide, John Oliver, is a descendent of the Lee family, which was the first family to settle in this area in 1790. Over the years five other families also settled here in what became known as the Lee Settlement. John Oliver will lead participants to a number of historic homestead sites and will share some of the rich history of this area and traditions of those who lived here in the 1800s. Part of the program will include a demonstration of some of the historic tools the settlers used for their daily activities.
The approximately 3-mile easy-moderate educational walking tour on level to rolling terrain will depart promptly at 9 a.m. and return at approximately 11:30 a.m. Participants should plan to arrive by 8:45 a.m. to have time to register and prepare for the walk. This program will be limited to 30 participants; preregistration is required. Those who preregister for the excursion will be sent additional detailed information.
The Lee Settlement trails have recently been restored by LRCT's dedicated stewardship volunteers and are now a part of LRCT's official trail network at the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area, bringing the total miles of trails to 30. The Lakes Region Conservation Trust also worked this spring to develop interpretive signs for these trails which are placed at cellarholes and historic sites along the Lee Settlement trails; the signs include historic photos taken at these locations and stories of the people who lived here long ago. The July 31 walking tour will serve as the official celebration of the opening of these trails for enjoyment by all.
The over 5,000-acre Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area was acquired by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust in 2002. LRCT owns and stewards this property, its largest conservation area, and LRCT volunteers maintain two trailhead parking areas and 30 miles of trails for enjoyment by all.
The Castle Preservation Society was established in 2004 and now owns and oversees the management of the Castle in the Clouds historic buildings and 135 acres of surrounding grounds for their historic, cultural, and community values. With their complementary nonprofit missions, LRCT and CPS work in partnership in caring for this landmark property.
Oliver family photo of Lee Settlement. (Courtesy photo)