Storytelling: Meet Laurie Haines Mackaness

Mackaness Family - StorytelingSundayHome History:

My family moved to New Wilmington when I was 9 months old so I think that classifies me as a “native”.  My parents showed me from an early age, the importance of living in a small town and becoming involved in the activities that build a community. Unlike my husband, Kim, who has lived in many different states and abroad, I have never lived anywhere else. To some, that might appear boring, but to me, it has been a blessing to grow up here . Kim and I have lived in the same home for over 27 years where we raised our 2 children, Craig and Kylie.


I graduated from Westminster College with a teaching degree, and found myself working in the family business- Haines Realty established in l959 and located in the Old Hotel McCreary.  So now, 38 years later, I am running the business my parents put their hearts and souls into.  What a blessing it is to be in a business where I get to meet the new-comers to town and help them with such an important decision in their lives, while at the same time, to be a help to those long time residents giving up their treasured home!  Through this amazing business, I have made the most wonderful friends.


Kim and I are avid walkers and we enjoy several familiar loops around town, our favorite being around Britain Lake where we have become acquainted with many habits of the beloved geese! We love checking out the downtown and window shopping.  We both love gardening and riding our bikes through the beautiful countryside surrounding New Wilmington.  Traveling out Heather Heights Road into Amish country is a little piece of heaven where we have taken in our share of sunsets.  That peaceful place is a bikers’ paradise where you greet the lambs of spring and enjoy the sights of horse-drawn plows and buggies.  The summer offers a variety of local produce and flowers from the Amish greenhouses.  But those who know us, know that traveling to spend time with our grown children and 2 granddaughters in Maryland is our most favorite things to do!  Life is lots of fun on the Eastern Shore with Kate and Samantha!

What New Wilmington means to me:

When asked to describe New Wilmington I think of the events and people that have marked my own life…  When our children started school, it was the older neighborhood kids who stepped up to walk the younger ones to school.  It’s our local  police dept. that called saying that they had Rosy, our black lab, at the station because she ran away during a thunderstorm.  It’s the many volunteer firemen who showed up at our home on a frigid February night to put out our chimney fire. I think of driving home on Rt. 208  after having been away,  to be greeted at the crest of the hill,  by the view of twinkling lights of our little community.   I love that New Wilmington is just 1 mile square!  I love the fact that there are dedicated teachers and involved families in our school system! I love that the park and swimming pool is still the meeting place for so many and that we have a  community represented by different faiths and beliefs.  I love the cross section of singles, families and retirees,  and I love the fact that our town can boast a college that ranks among the top small colleges and offers everything from pre-school, sporting events, and a variety of cultural events.

New Wilmington has gone through its share of changes and growing pains, but has endured and continues to fill its storefronts with unique businesses.  There still exists today, a place where parents aren’t afraid to send their children on their bikes over town or to the park.  It’s a place where you know the local merchants by name and visa versa, and families continue to enjoy the simple joys of small time living. My “city slicker” husband thinks that New Wilmington is a mix between Brigadoon, Mayberry, and Lake Woebegon. I simply remind him that real life always trumps good fiction every time!

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