In 1940, the 1780-farmhouse that noted Maine essayist and curmudgeon John Gould’s great-grandfather built burned to the ground. To honor the generations that came before him, Gould there and then decided to rebuild the house in Lisbon Falls. Like his great-grandfather, Gould cut the timbers from the same woodlot, and the new house rose so smoothly, it seemed as if Great-Grandfather Jacob was building it himself. Memories clung to every beam and rafter and this host of recollections form the substance of this memoir. Woven in are stories of how Gould’s Grandfather Thomas started the Battle of Gettysburg and all the rich associations of a family whose roots dug deep over five generations.
Born and bred in Maine, John Gould (1908-2003) is well known for his acerbic Yankee wit. Over his life he wrote dozens of books and for an astounding sixty-two years was a regular columnist for the Christian Science Monitor. Despite his literary fame, he would always claim that he was, first, last, and always, a farmer.