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Apples of Grand Lake Stream

October 23, 2019

If you sit on the lawn of the Grand Lake Stream Historical Society museum in late fall, you can often hear the gurgle of the ancient stream and the thump, thump, thump of the heirloom apples falling to the ground. It’s a long-time tradition of the residents of Grand Lake Stream to gather together in the fall for a harvest festival of sorts and trade the produce of the summer in preparation for the winter. This tradition is kept alive through the Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s annual Apple Harvest Day.

About a week before Apple Harvest Day, a small group of volunteers gathered around the apple trees of town harvesting bushels of Macintosh, Wolf River, Alexander, and many other apple varieties. These apples were then stored in an old wood framed barn as they awaited their fate . Each year, this apple centered event is held in conjunction with the Grand Lake Stream Historical Society’s open house. Visitors from all over, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, Maine, and beyond, gather for fall festivities linking back to the early Grand Lakers who planted the apple trees decades before.

As tradition requires, the apples were made into many wonderful desserts, including apple pie, apple crisp, apple bread braid, and apple donuts . The children played games with the apple slingshot and the men sat around discussing the winter weather approaching. The apple cider press was the star of the show, churning out sweet and tangy canning jars of cider. The apple peels and cores were thrown over the fence for the chickens to peck through. Sounds like a step back in history, doesn’t it? Yet, it was just last week at the Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s annual Apple Harvest Day.

DLLT hosts a variety of events throughout the year; a schedule with times and dates can be found through our website or Facebook page. Thanks go out to all those who participated and those who brought apples to share! We hope you will join us next year for another great Apple Harvest Day. If you have any questions about other events held by DLLT throughout the year you can contact the Education and Events Coordinator Kendall O’Connell at or 207.796.2100. We hope to see you at the Murder Mystery Potluck Supper on Oct. 31st in the Grand Lake Stream school building!