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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Gordon Fox Ranch
Reference Number 15000769
State Maine
County Penobscot
Town Lincoln
Street Address 680 West Broadway
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 11/9/2015
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Between 1924 and 1926 the Penobscot County town of Lincoln, Maine experienced a rapid and extensive growth of industrial fur farming. During the:se years Dr. Frank F. Gordon a dentist in Bangor, and his brother Dr. Fred E. Gordon, an optometrist in Lincoln, developed numerous fox farms - or ranches as they were called - in Lincoln , and to a lesser extent in other parts of Maine and New Hampshire. Each ranch contained as many as 200 fox in outdoor pens surrounded by a wooden palisade, a house for the caretaker, and an observation tower. Other facilities, including skinning and scalding rooms and food storage buildings, were shared among groups of ranches. The Gordons went bankrupt in 1926 and all their ranches were sold. Over the next decade and a half there continued to be at least two and as many as fifteen fox farming operations or companies in Lincoln. The subject of this nomination, the Gordon Fox Ranch on West Broadway (South Lincoln Road), is a rare surviving example of a fox ranch which contains a ranch house , observation tower, small office building , and the earthworks which supported the palisade. The property is eligible for listing in the National Register under Criterion A, in the area of agriculture, for its direct association with the shortlived fox farming industry. The distinct form and massing of the observation tower and ranch house also make the property eligible under Criterion C, as exhibiting the specific characteristics of a type of company-built architecture. Finally, the resources may yield additional information about ranching activities, specifically the spatial organization and patterning of the animal pens and enclosures that give the property significance under Criterion D. The period of significance begins in 1924 and ends in 1940, the year the property was most likely sold out of farming.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria