The Friends of Westport Island History will host a family scavenger hunt on Sunday, May 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Carl and Barbara Segerstrom Preserve at Squam Creek. The preserve is a Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) property.
The free scavenger hunt will be for all ages, and will take place along the well-marked trails of the preserve. Participants will search for both historic and natural items along the trail, while enjoying the preserve’s natural beauty. Upon entering the preserve, participants will receive a map with clues to help find 12 items. As each item is discovered, participants can either take a picture of someone in their group near the item, or check off the item on the clue list on the map. Please leave each item where it is found. Upon completion, participants will return to the Friends table for a prize. A grand prize will go to the first group to complete the hunt.
In addition to the scavenger hunt, guided tours of the four cellar holes that remain on the property will be given at 1 and 2:30 p.m. At one time, at least four Dunton family homes stood on these well-preserved foundations, originally built as early as 1765. The tours will be conducted by Dennis Dunbar of the Westport Island History Committee. Dennis will speak of the Dunton and Hodgdon families who lived in the homes and, in most cases, are buried in the cemeteries within the preserve. Other committee members will be available to answer questions.
Self-guided tours are also possible, as an interpretive sign at each cellar hole describes its history, contains a snapshot of who lived there in a particular year, and includes a sketch of what the house may have looked like when it was originally built.
The scavenger hunt trails consist of about two miles of easy walking, and should take one to two hours to complete. A portable toilet will be available. Westport Community Association is providing free water; snacks will also be available. Note that COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines are in place. There is a small parking lot at the entrance to the preserve; please park safely along the preserve side of the road, if need be. In case of rain, the event will take place on Sunday, June 6.
Learn more about the Carl and Barbara Segerstrom Preserve at Squam Creek (including directions) at www.kennebecestuary.org/segerstrom-westport-island
For more information, please email FOWIH19@gmail.com, or call Mary Ellen Barnes at 380-5926.