Al Morris of Turner, Maine moved his dairy operation to Wiscassett in 1839 to be closer to the Turner Creamery, which was located on the waterfront on what is still locally referred to as Creamery Pier.
At that time, Wiscasset Harbor was a busy commercial port, as Wiscasset’s scenic protected harbor and location at the crossroads of several frequently traveled land routes made it appealing for the dairy farmer, the merchant and the traveler alike, much as it is today.
He married Wiscasset born Mildred Dunning, and they bought the parcel of land known today as The Morris Farm from the Albee family, which still farms Albee Farm here in Wiscasset today. Together Al and Mildred raised four children who all went on to be a part of the growth of the town. Son Forrest continued to farm the land on Rt. 27/Gardiner Road, and passed it to his children, who allowed the community to preserve it in Trust for future generations through the Maine Land Trust Forever Farm conservation efforts after Forrest passed on.
Today the farm is open to the public from dawn till dusk, and locals and visitors are welcome to enjoy a self-guided tour of the barn and gardens, hiking trails, educational programs, a summer farm camp for children and many events open to the community. The farm also features the Morris Farm Store, which carries products from local farmers and craftspeople, local produce, eggs and dairy, and participates in the Farm Fresh Rewards program to help families use food security benefits to buy fresh, healthy from local farmers.
The other Morris children who went on to help shape the Wiscasset we know today were, Stanley, who ran the Wiscasset Oil Company, Dorothea, who became the telephone switchboard operator for the town, and daughter Millie married Red Delano and they established another longtime family business and Wiscasset visitor favorite, Red’s Eats.
The children weren’t the only offspring of the farm to thrive in the community after the farm became community owned. The herd from the Morris Farm dairy operation were sold to farmer Lee Straw of nearby Newcastle. To this day, Straw’s Farm heifers and sheep graze the pastures of the Morris Farm in summer, and Straw’s Farm fresh raw milk is available at the Morris Farm Store and in the 24-hour egg and milk stand in the lobby of the Education Center, which also features local favorite Willow Hill Farm eggs.
This article is part of a series produced by Friends of Wiscasset to highlight area businesses. This article was written by Elizabeth Palmer. Other stories in this series include: