The popular Mount Pisgah conservation area soon will have even more to offer those who love the outdoors.

The Kennebec Land Trust is expected to close on a deal next month that will add more than 70 acres to the conservation area, which includes parts of Wayne and Winthrop. The addition will push the total protected land in the area to about 950 acres, said Theresa Kerchner, executive director of the Kennebec Land Trust. The land trust has agreed to pay $39,500 for the rectangular lot off Turkey Lane in Winthrop. The property, owned by the Lachmayr family for about 40 years, is valued at $62,000.

“Conserving land around Mount Pisgah has been a high priority for the board of directors since the time we were founded,” Kerchner said.

Jim Connors, a volunteer on the trust’s land committee who negotiated the purchase agreement, said the deal began when members of the Lachmayr family approached the organization with a proposal to donate a 34-acre section of the property. Connors said the land trust and family were able to negotiate a bargain sale that included the 34 acres plus another 38.5 acres. Getting the additional land helped meet the land trust’s goal of adding land to the conservation area.

“It’s been an enjoyable, successful deal that we’ve struck,” Connors said.

The property picks up sections of three brooks and incorporates established snowmobile trails, which will remain open at the family’s request. The land also includes scenic views.


“It adds up to a scenic area with a lot of diversity,” Connors said.

Timber has been harvested carefully from the land on occasion, Connors said.

“There’s a nice stand of trees there even today,” he said.

Kerchner said funding for the land purchase will come from a $1 million capital campaign that was launched in 2013 as part of the land trust’s 25th anniversary. The trust launched the campaign to buy land throughout its service area as it become available, as well as fund trail construction and maintenance. Kerchner said the campaign has generated about $920,000 thus far.

“We’re still looking for $80,000,” Kerchner said.

She said campaign funds will be used to purchase land around Mount Pisgah and other high priority land in the area.


The trust also has launched a separate $1.2 million campaign to purchase land on Howard Hill, a 164-acre wooded lot in Augusta.

“Our members have been incredibly supportive,” she said.

Alex Lachmayr, the oldest of Horst and Hella Lachmayr’s four children, said his parents bought the land as an investment property in the 1970s after his father moved to Winthrop to work in the shoe industry. The Lachmayrs bought the land from the Webb family, which continues to have a strong presence on Turkey Lane, Lachmayr said.

“He really enjoyed working on the land,” Alex Lachmayr said of his father. “He aimed to improve it. He didn’t really want to live there.”

The land is the setting of many happy family memories. Lachmayr recalled as a child the orchard where the family picked apples and spent time fixing up a house on the property. Lachmayr said his brother had a pony the family kept in a barn on the land. The family spent a lot of time pulling up fences and clearing brush with a goal of improving the land.

Horst and Hella Lachmayr both have died within the past seven years. Their children, who live out of state, returned to the property last year. Alex Lachmayr said he and his brother walked up Mount Pisgah Road and down the south side.


“It was a really fun walk,” he said. “We were really impressed with the Mount Pisgah Kennebec Land Trust property and how well they had managed it.”

Lachmayr said he and his siblings had been thinking of donating a section of property to the land trust. The hike helped give that plan momentum. Lachmayr said his father would approve of the plan.

“We’ve always been big proponents of having the land remain open for recreation,” Lachmayr said. “We’re really doing this in honor of my dad’s wishes. His intention was to maintain these open areas.”

The Lachmayr family retained ownership of 20 acres that they plan to sell as a single house lot. They initially had planned to sell the entire lot.

“We thought this was a better use to make sure it’s in the right hands,” Lachmayr said. “Kennebec Land Trust was just a really good fit.”

Connor said the value of the parcel preserved by the family will increase because it now abuts a conservation area.


“We’re getting out of it what we needed for the conservation area,” Connors said. “They’re getting out of it from liquidating.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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