By the turn of the 20th century, Lewiston architect William R. Miller had a demonstrated flair for the dramatic, having designed buildings such as Fairfield’s Renaissance Revival Gerald Hotel with a trio of towers adorned with terra-cotta panels bearing cherubs and swags. But in 1905, Miller conceived a structure that was uncharacteristically restrained. The Classical Revival Rangeley Trust Company Building on Main Street is just one brick story, with a flat roof and simple corner pilasters that rise to meet a wide entablature. Its most notable flourish is a small dentil-adorned pediment supported by corbels above the main entrance. Now owned by the Rangeley Lakes Region Historical Society, the building was commissioned by Harry A. Furbish, a Lewiston native who quickly became involved in local trades after arriving in Rangeley alone at age 13. Furbish’s prospects grew alongside the town’s popularity as a premier sporting destination in the late 19th century. He held stock in several resorts, while also amassing a fortune in commercial lumbering and banking. Furbish’s Rangeley Trust Company was the town’s first bank. It’s likely that the structure’s minute massing and unassuming air were intended to complement the modest downtown. Or perhaps Miller simply did not see the point in competing with the natural beauty of the pristine wilderness region.
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