BELFAST— The gardens of Oak Hall, the historic century-old estate in Northport, will be open to the public Friday, July 8, as part of the Belfast Garden Club’s summer event series, Open Garden Days.
The gardens at 459 Bluff Road near Bayside will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. Admission is $5. It is the second of 10 private gardens the club is showcasing this summer on most Fridays through August 26.
Built from 1912 to 1914 for Chicago financier Ira M. Cobe, Oak Hall is the largest Colonial Revival mansion in Maine. The 30,000-square-foot house, high on a hill overlooking Penobscot Bay, has been called home by five families.
It was purchased in 2020 by technology executive Brady Brim-Deforest, whose family has a passion for preserving historical properties. Oak Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
Its grounds were designed by Boston landscape architect Warren H. Manning, who trained under Frederick Law Olmsted.
Warren laid out roads, trails, and gardens to emphasize the natural character of the environment. His distinctive style was inspired by 18th-century English romanticism and adapted to American landscape. Manning used massed plantings of native trees and shrubs—spruce, firs, arbor vitae, rhododendron, viburnum, spiraea, and honeysuckle—to provide definition and privacy. Formal gardens close to the house provide beautiful detail and color.
For more information on the estate, visit oakhallestate.org. To check out the Open Garden Days schedule, visit belfastgardenclub.org. A season pass may be purchased for $35. Proceeds support the garden club’s school programs, camp scholarships, library donations, and Belfast’s public gardens.