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Sky Lodge History

Sky Lodge

Unity College Sky Lodge sits on historic land, as the original 1819 settlement location of Captain Samuel Holden before being purchased by Richard Sutro, a prominent financier from Port Chester, NY. Mr. Sutro commissioned one of Maine’s most popular architects, Felix Arnold Burton to design and build Maine’s largest and most famous home of logs, the “Maw Paw Lodge.”

The lodge stands high on the hillside overlooking Big Wood Lake and the entire Jackman bowl with spruce and firs in the background. It has been said, it is “truly one of the most gorgeous views in the State of Maine.” The lodge is comprised of choice spruce logs from Burnt Jacket Mountain and sits on a foundation of fieldstone spanning 125 feet long by 75 feet wide. Completed in 1929, with 24 rooms and 10 fireplaces, the lodge reflects Burton’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology architectural training with a rustic approach to the Beaux-Arts tradition.

In 1946 Jerome Bulfinch “Romey” Bates of Massachusetts renamed the property Sky Lodge and managed it until 1956 when Ed and Ruth Landgraf took over as proprietors. After changing hands a few times in the 1980s, John and Elaine Couri purchased the property in 1989 as a destination for students of all ages to connect with nature. Then, in 2018, the Couri Foundation gifted the Sky Lodge campus to Unity College. Unity College continues to build upon the foundation of environmental education established by the Couri Foundation.