Can You Name This Landmark Home and the Historic District to Which It Belongs?
Today, it is a well-preserved site full of original artifacts and a frequent field-trip destination for schoolkids.
Photographed by Benjamin Williamson
Visitors to this 1755 Georgian-style home, one of the state’s oldest surviving structures, can sometimes hear planes arriving and departing overhead, a reminder of the modern in this historic district, first settled in 1727. At the time it was built, it was one of the grandest houses in town, with eight fireplaces and sprawling gardens, overlooking a mast yard at an important confluence. The family that occupied it was among the area’s most respected, its patriarch a captain in the British Royal Navy. His job was to ensure the Crown a steady supply of tall timbers destined to become ship masts.
A bizarre tragedy struck in 1770 when the captain’s son rigged a trap meant for thieves, a musket attached to a trip line on the storehouse door. His mother unwittingly tripped the device and was shot and killed. The son, pardoned by King George III, eventually took over the family estate, but he fell on hard times after the Revolution. The house was seized by the courts and, for the next century-plus, largely neglected by a series of owners — and thus, never renovated or modernized.
Today, it is a well-preserved site full of original artifacts and a frequent field-trip destination for schoolkids. Where the mast yard once thrummed is now only a marshland, with waterfowl flying overhead — and the occasional jetliner.
Submit your answer below. We’ll feature our favorite letter in an upcoming issue — and send the winner a Down East wall calendar.