Pratt Farm, Maine

Pratt Farm is a private park with numerous sculpted forms composed primarily of mounded earth and arranged rocks, all of which are overgrown and disintegrating. Around 20 distinct pieces were constructed on the 17 acre property by James Pierce, an art historian and photographer (now retired), who created them during the summers between 1970 and 1982. He calls the site a garden of history, and the subjects referenced in the forms range from prehistoric, such as tombs and burial mounds, to more recent historical representations, including a piece called Quebec Expedition, depicting Benedict Arnold's ship in an earthen outline (the ship sailed past the site on the Kennebec River in 1775, on its way to the siege of Quebec). The large Earthwoman sculpture, pictured above, was inspired by the famous Venus of Willendorf, a small prehistoric carving of a woman, which is estimated to be 30,000 years old. Perhaps due to the ancient themes and mythic forms at Pratt Farm, local folklore has recently formed about the place, with stories of satanic rituals performed there. Campsites and beer cans can be found in the wooded fringe, and the more fragile balanced stone and wood pieces have long since been destroyed. Mr. Pierce still owns the property, and it is occasionally, but only partially, mowed. He lives some distance away and rarely visits it now, and expects to sell the property in the future. Depending on the season, the general shape of the Turf Maze is sometimes visible (partially visible in photo above). The triangular labyrinth form was constructed between 1972 and 1974 and is 120 feet long on each side, made by cutting one foot deep ruts in the earth. It is based on the plan of a 17th Century topiary maze.