An online auction may be your only chance to own a piece of Maine’s iconic Baxter State Park, a 209,000-acre wilderness sanctuary and forest management area in northern Maine.

Here’s how the auction website describes the dinner bell: “This is the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps, which operated as an independent sporting camp for many decades before being added to Baxter State Park. It appears to be made of cast bronze and is probably nautical or naval in origin. This bell called generations of outdoor enthusiasts to dinner – probably including Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who was a regular at Kidney Pond Camps. The bell is approximately 14.5 inches in diameter at the base, approximately 13.5 inches high, and weighs approximately 60 pounds without the clapper. The bell comes with the original clapper, which is currently removed . . . .There is a groove at the bottom of the clapper for attaching a bell rope.” Photo courtesy of Friends of Baxter State Park

The Friends of Baxter State Park and Baxter State Park are conducting an online auction featuring 15 retired trail signs as well as the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps, and a 5-mph speed limit sign.

Friends will donate 50 percent of auction proceeds to the park while the remaining 50 percent will support programs operated by the Friends of Baxter State Park.

Some of the signs being offered include the Appalachian Trail, Katahdin Lake Trail, Slaughter Pond Trail, North Peaks Trail and Saddle Trail. As of Wednesday evening, the most popular sign was Appalachian Trail. Ten bids have been received with $1,700 coming in as the highest.

Someone bid $2,000 for the Kidney Pond dinner bell.

Friends is a citizen group whose mission is to preserve, support and enhance the wilderness character of Baxter State Park in the spirit of its founder, Gov. Percival Baxter.

Bids can be entered by visiting the Friends of Baxter State Park Facebook page or going to the 32 Auctions website. The auction began Nov. 6 and will end at midnight Dec. 6.

Along with its unmistakable message, this sign seems to cry out “Christmas gift!” As a bonus it sports vintage dry rot “along the top edge,” according to the auction site description. Photo courtesy of Friends of Baxter State Park

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