HOLA – Highlands Overlook Landowners' Association

HOLA History of HOLA Land

rangeley-highlands-winter2From 1833 to 1836 John, James, and Luther Hoar II purchased various properties from Squire James Rangeley to create a single large block. The resulting property is located at the spot where every local governmental unit comes together, Dallas, Rangeley and Sandy River Plantations and the Town of Rangeley. In 1899 it was acquired by Nathan Ellis who purchased it from the heirs of Luther (who changed his name from Hoar) Nile. It was named Lake View Farm, but it is usually referred to in the recent past as the Ellis Farm.

From 1899 until 1917 Nathan Ellis operated Lakeview as a major sheep farm; at its zenith, the farm had 3000 sheep. During that time, Nate added to the fields and barns until there were a total of 12 or 13 barns and outbuildings on the property. The Big House, which was originally a barn, became finished in 1903 much as things appeared in the circa 1930 photo. Nate had eight sons and one daughter. His #7 son, Lynwood purchased the Farm from the estate and the brothers and sister about 1917. Lynwood and Marion (Oakes) had 6 sons and 6 daughters. He continued the farm as a sheep farm and in the late 1920’s he had fourteen single room tourist cottages built near the lake for the tourist trade. He also established a central dining room in the Big House. In the early 1940’s Lynwood purchased four other competing dairy units in the area and went into the dairy business on a large scale, supplying Rangeley, Stratton, Eustis and Kingfield with dairy products. With the move was from sheep and into dairy products the farm grew to a high point of nearly 300 head of cattle, 100 hogs, 200 chickens and 10-12 horses. Walter (#4 son) purchased a quarter interest in the Farm and modernized the operation and produced homogenized and pasteurized dairy products for the surrounding towns. He operated it jointly with his father until 1959. Eventually the family dairy business could not survive and the entire dairy, equipment, animals and business, was sold to a mid-Maine concern. Walter and family moved to Massachusetts and sold his interest in the farm to Lynwood.

From 1961 to 1973, Lynwood raised 30 beef cattle as a retirement enterprise. Lynwood and Marion sold their first house lot on the high hill for $400 per acre. Roads were started and subdividing the land was begun. Paul (son #5) and Barbara bought the Farm in 1973, totally rebuilt both the “little” and the “Big House”, creating an attractive Inn. Subdividing the land continued with more roads and underground power and water rights going with each piece of property. In 1986, the Inn and 10 acres of land were sold to Richard and Anne Walker. In 1986, The Inn and 10 acres of land were sold to Richard and Anne Walker. They managed The Farmhouse Inn for two years and then sold it to Rick and Meg Godaire (1988). During the years that the Godaires have owned The Farmhouse Inn, they have sold some of the land and removed the last of the barns. Presently, there are over 100 homes on the original farm land. The beautiful homes with fantastic views are enjoyed by full-time and seasonal residents. Early in 2007, the Godaires finalized the sale of the Farmhouse Inn to a young couple who have opened a full service restaurant and have been doing major renovations.  The new owners, Mike Flewelling and TinaMarie Falasco, have been visitors to the Rangeley region for many years and now their dream of living here and owning the historic Farmhouse Inn came true. After a few years, Mike and TinaMarie decided to move onto other adventures.

In 2013, the property was sold to Shane & Stacey Vorous. This energetic couple along with their 4 children, continue the century-long tradition of hospitality at The Farmhouse. The renovations continued. “We are reviving it with new infrastructure while preserving and recreating the ambiance of this historic property.”

In 2017, they expanded the property with the addition of an event facility and created The Mountain Star Estate. (www.mountainstarestate.com) The structure has been built with reclaimed beams that are rich in color and character. The Mountain Star Estate is an upcycler’s dream.  ​This will be a big asset in the community of Rangeley.

In 2020, Shane and Stacey Vorous sold the beautifully restored property to Nathaniel and Rebecca Picard (Aisling Farm LLC).  Nate and Rebecca are expanding the property and look forward to many wonderful wedding seasons in the future.

Aisling Farm LLC, sold the property to Farmhouse Suites, LLC (Trav and Sharon Fournier) on January 30, 2023.  Trav and Sharon have been visiting Rangeley for over 25 years. They love all that this area has to offer. Sharon was born and raised in Madawaska, Maine and Trav was born and raised in Auburn, Maine. After meeting at the University of Maine and getting married, they both knew they wanted to stay in our beautiful state to live and raise a family. They have two children, Soleil and Quinn who you will see helping out at the estate.

The association continues to care for and improve the roads and the waterfront property which is owned by the group for the enjoyment of all the HOLA membership.

Prepared by Millie Hoekstra**

** It should be noted that Millie is the granddaughter of Lynwood and Marion Ellis and the last “Ellis” to be born in The Farmhouse.