Our Story

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Vaughan Woods & Historic Homestead is a nature preserve and non-traditional house museum. Built in 1794, it was home to the same family for over 200 years.

Diana Vaughan Gibson and her husband George created the Vaughan Homestead Foundation, now Vaughan Woods & Historic Homestead, to oversee both Diana’s ancestral home, the 1794 Vaughan Homestead, and the adjacent 197-acre nature preserve, Vaughan Woods, which was created by her grandfather at the turn of the 20th century. Their vision was to preserve and interpret the property for its historical, educational and environmental values. The 501(c) (3) non-profit organization became operational upon Diana and George’s deaths in 2002, and seeks to make both the Homestead and Woods useful and accessible to the people of Hallowell and the surrounding area. 

Today, year-round programming for the public and area schools and groups takes place in and around the Homestead. While it functions as a house museum, the Homestead also continues to be lived in, with the intention of maintaining it as a living, working, dwelling.

Vaughan Woods is open to the public daily from dawn to dusk, programs are offered at the Homestead throughout the year, and an effort to catalogue the organization’s collection of historical papers and artifacts is ongoing.