Reading Rural Landscapes: A Field Guide to New England's Past (Paperback)

Reading Rural Landscapes: A Field Guide to New England's Past By Robert Stanford, Michael Shaughnessy (Illustrator), Mark Lapping (Foreword by) Cover Image

Reading Rural Landscapes: A Field Guide to New England's Past (Paperback)

By Robert Stanford, Michael Shaughnessy (Illustrator), Mark Lapping (Foreword by)

$19.95


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William Faulkner once said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Nowhere can you see the truth behind his comment more plainly than in rural New England, especially Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and western Massachusetts.


Everywhere we go in rural New England, the past surrounds us. In the woods and fields and along country roads, the traces are everywhere if we know what to look for and how to interpret what we see. A patch of neglected daylilies marks a long-abandoned homestead. A grown-over cellar hole with nearby stumps and remnants of stone wall and orchard shows us where a farm has been reclaimed by forest. And a piece of a stone dam and wooden sluice mark the site of a long-gone mill. Although slumping back into the landscape, these features speak to us if we can hear them and they can guide us to ancestral homesteads and famous sites.



  • Lavishly illustrated with drawings and color photos.

  • Provides the keys to interpret human artifacts in fields, woods, and roadsides and to reconstruct the past from surviving clues.

  • Perfect to carry in a backpack or glove box.

  • A unique and valuable resource for road trips, genealogical research, naturalists, and historians.



A former Registered Professional Archaeologist and environmental regulator, Robert Sanford is a professor of environmental science and policy and the chair of the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Southern Maine.

A sculptor who works primarily in hay, he is a professor of art at the University of Southern Maine. He once drove across the USA and back with a giant hay ball on the top of his car -- he brought his landscape with him.

Mark Lapping is Distinguished Professor, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine
Product Details ISBN: 9780884483663
ISBN-10: 0884483665
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Publication Date: July 30th, 2015
Pages: 256
Language: English