A Couple Leaves Their Mark on a West Bath Cape

Sharon Eblacker and James Haibach have been rehabbing their 1760 place since 2018.

Samuel Lombard house in West Bath, maine
By Sarah Stebbins
Photos by Erin Little
From our May 2024 issue

Samuel Lombard might never have built his 1760 Cape in West Bath had it not been for his skating prowess. According to local lore, Lombard and six other local farmers were abducted by Norridgewock Indians in 1751 and brought to Canada. While attending an “ice carnival” with his captors, Lombard was given a pair of skates, which he used to flee down the Saint Lawrence River, taking a bullet to the thigh in the process. Eventually, he turned up back in Maine. “I don’t know if there’s any truth to it, but I’m also like, How do you make that up?” says Sharon Eblacker, who purchased the Lombard House with her partner, James Haibach, in 2018. They’ve been rehabbing the place ever since, while adding to its story. Worrying that future renovators might look askance at their DIY handiwork in the primary bath, they left a note on the framing beneath the tub: “Sorry, we did our best.”

The mudroom incorporates a flower-arranging station with a vintage refriger- ator, sink, and Hoosier cabinet.

Mudroom

The Lombard property was originally a 125-acre farm, overseen by Samuel. (His wife, Sarah, was a doctor and midwife who made house calls on horseback.) Today, Eblacker, a floral designer, and Haibach, a chef, raise chickens and grow flowers and vegetables on 1.4 acres, and they sell eggs, bouquets, jam, and crafts at a farm stand in the front yard. The mudroom incorporates a flower-arranging station with a vintage refrigerator, sink, and Hoosier cabinet Eblacker painted.

in the living room, the woodwork is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Setting Plaster — a nod to the colorful trim often seen in Colonial interiors. The furnishings, meantime, skew mid-century and Scandinavian

Living Room

Lombard built the Cape of bricks, hand-made with clay from the property. Later, his great-grandson layered on wood clapboards, and subsequent owners added aluminum siding, which Eblacker and Haibach removed. The home’s thick brick core necessitated 10-inch-wide window casings. In the living room, Eblacker painted those and the rest of the woodwork in Farrow & Ball’s Setting Plaster — a nod to the colorful trim often seen in Colonial interiors. The furnishings, meantime, skew mid-century and Scandinavian. “I love a lot of styles, and I try to make them cohesive with color,” she says.

 A gilded claw-foot tub crowned with
a canopy of vintage lace is worthy of its pedestal in the primary bath.

Bath

A gilded claw-foot tub crowned with
a canopy of vintage lace is worthy of its pedestal in the primary bath. Eblacker and Haibach built the platform to align the tub with the windowsill and house its plumbing. An antique mahogany sideboard they retrofitted as a vanity plays up the room’s old-world vibe, while a glass shower and an IKEA pendant shaped like a giant dandelion puff provide modern counterpoints. On the walls, Black Chiffon by Clark + Kensington lends den-like coziness.

Sunroom

On warm days, the couple can often be found in the sunroom, whose gray-and-white checkerboard floor Eblacker repainted with larger squares in colors that conjure a field of daisies. The hammock is a good spot to read and listen for predators that lurk around their chickens. (Among the flock: Foxy, who narrowly escaped a run-in with a wild canine.) Right now, though, the room is filled with furniture the couple is collecting for the circa 1800s Norway schoolhouse they’re renovating and plan to rent out. “I want to save all the old houses,” Eblacker says.

Sharon Eblacker lounging in a hammock in the white-and-yellow checkerboard floored sunroom
in the kitchen Sharon Eblacker and James Haibach the couple installed butcher-block countertops on existing cabinets and on a florist’s workbench that serves as an island, a 1950s Facebook Marketplace stove, and open shelving edged with fabric

Kitchen

To create an English Country vibe on a budget, the couple installed butcher-block countertops on existing cabinets and on a florist’s workbench that serves as an island, a 1950s Facebook Marketplace stove, and open shelving edged with fabric trim Eblacker steeped in tea to impart an aged look. Ceiling medallions and cherry-red spray paint dress up Amazon light fixtures and a red-checked curtain conceals a clashing black dishwasher. “It’s not the most practical thing,” Eblacker says, “but it looks good.”

an earthy palette in the dining room

Dining Room

A Christina’s World poster, which Eblacker coated in Mod Podge to take the sheen off and placed in an antique frame, reads like a painting and distills the room’s earthy palette. The table was another project: the couple assembled it with planks from Gardiner’s Barn Boards & More and vintage legs found on eBay.

May 2024, Down East Magazine

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