2021 Lake Association Annual Meetings
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THREE MILE POND
Saturday, July 31 • 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.
China Middle School
SAT., AUGUST 14, 9 a.m.
Vassalboro Community School
ANNABESSACOOK LAKE ASSN.
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To be included in this list, contact The Town Line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the June 10 issue of The Town Line, readers learned about three of the four Augusta church buildings that have gained recognition on the National Register of Historic Places. The fourth, and an associated building, are described herein.
The building that used to be St. Mark’s Church, at 9 Summer Street, in Augusta, was built in 1886 and, Kingsbury wrote in his Kennebec County history, consecrated Feb. 2, 1887. It was the second home for an Episcopal congregation organized in 1840; the first was a small wooden church Wikipedia says was a little north of Lithgow Library. Kingsbury said the first building was consecrated July 20, 1842, and “greatly enlarged” in 1858.
The 1886 Summer Street church cost $40,000, according to Kingsbury. The old one was sold to John W. Fogler, who in turn sold it to Dr. George W. Martin, who built “a fine residence” on the lot in 1891.
Rev. Walker Gwynne was St. Mark’s rector from Jan. 17, 1884, to at least 1892, when Kingsbury’s history was published. He was the author of a Manual of Christian Instruction, According to the Church Catechism, Adapted to the Christian Year, and in Four Uniform Grades. The Manual was published in London and reprinted in New York. It has an introduction by the Very Rev. R. W. Church, M.A., D.C.L., Dean of St. Paul’s, London; and an endorsement by John Fredericton, Metropolitan of Canada.
Architect Richard Michell Upjohn designed St. Mark’s granite Gothic Revival building with its slate roofs. The main section, with a steep gable roof topped with crosses, has a large window, in 10 sections, under a pointed arch in the east end.
Near the east end, an almost-square lower annex with another steeply-pitched roof has a round window above three arched ones in its south face. A brick chimney rising well above the roofline marks its western junction with the center of the main building, by the main entrance.
Near the west end, a tall square tower with what look like louvers in its upper level rises to a four-sided roof with a cross atop its peak. Wikipedia says the belfry is in the tower.
Richard Michell Upjohn (1828-1903) was the son of a British emigree architect, Richard Upjohn. The son joined his father’s firm in New York in 1853 and later became his father’s partner.
Wikipedia says his earliest commission was probably New York City’s 1853-1854 Madison Square Presbyterian Church. He designed many other churches, working mostly on the east coast but doing an Episcopal church in La Grange, Texas, in 1855. Other buildings he designed included the First National Bank, in Salt Lake City, Utah (1871), and the Connecticut State Capitol, in Hartford, Connecticut (1871-1878).
Maine Historic Preservation Commission architects Frank A. Beard (who also did the South Parish application in 1980; see the June 10 issue of The Town Line) and Roger G. Reed wrote the May 1984 application for National Register status for St. Mark’s. They wrote that as of that spring, the church interior was “unaltered since its construction.”
With evident pleasure, they described particularly striking aspects. “Large marble columns with stone palm leaf capitals support lancet arched arcading flanking the nave. …The pulpit is panelled wood with a hand-wrought copper railing shaped in a floral motif. The ceiling of the chancel is painted with original stenciling.”
They also mentioned the “screens carved with openwork Gothic tracery” and the stained-glass window brought from the earlier church and placed above the choir.
The building deserved historic listing because it was an outstanding example of Gothic architecture, the two historians wrote. “No other church in the area conveys a similar rusticity and none has a more carefully worked interior.”
Wikipedia says the Saint Mark’s congregation supported community services, like groups supplying food and clothing, and musical events. The latter included an annual organ concert that from 2010 was named the Marilyn Tedesco Memorial Concert, to honor a former organist and music director.
In January 2015, the St. Mark’s congregation began worshiping in Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, because they could no longer afford to maintain their own building. They put St. Mark’s church on the market in 2016. Social services continued to operate from the 1908 parish house, according to a Dec. 22, 2014, Central Maine newspapers story by Craig Crosby.
The former St. Mark’s Church was added to the National Register on July 19, 1984. The parish house was not included in the application.
However, the building at 11 Summer Street that served as the rectory for St. Mark’s Church has a separate listing as the Fuller-Weston House. Historians Beard and Reed filled out its application in January 1984 and it was added to the National Register on March 22, 1984.
The two-story wooden house with a Federal-style door in the center of its south-facing, five-bay front is just west of the former church. Built in 1818, it is recognized not only for its architecture, but also for three early owners.
The first owner was Connecticut-born lawyer and judge Henry Weld Fuller (1784-1841) who, Wikipedia says, bought most of the land that is now downtown Augusta. He married Esther Gould (1785-1866) in 1806, and they had nine children, including Henry Weld Fuller, Jr. (1810-1889), who in turn begat Henry Weld Fuller III (1839-1863).
The senior Fuller became a wealthy man as the value of his land increased. Beard and Reed wrote that he represented the Plymouth Proprietors (the British-chartered landholders who owned part of Maine) as a lawyer, served in “the General Court” (presumably the Massachusetts General Court before 1820) and was a Maine Militia Colonel and “eventually” a Kennebec County judge of probate.
In 1826 or 1827, Fuller sold the house to Nathan Weston, Jr. (1782-1872). Weston was one of the original (1820) associate justices on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and in 1834 became Chief Justice, serving until 1841.
Weston and his wife, Paulina Bass (Cony) (1787-1857) had four sons and four daughters. Fuller’s son Frederic married Weston’s daughter Catherine, and in 1833 Catherine bore a son, Melville Weston Fuller (1833-1910).
Frederic and Catherine divorced shortly afterwards, and Melville Fuller lived with his grandfather Weston in the Fuller-Weston house until he left for Bowdoin College, from which he graduated in 1853. Two years later he graduated from Harvard Law School; in 1888, President Grover Cleveland appointed him Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
The controversy over Fuller’s statue, 2013-2021
In their application for inclusion of the Fuller-Weston house on the National Register of Historic Places, historians Frank A. Beard and Roger G. Reed wrote that Supreme Court Chief Justice Melville Weston Fuller was “highly respected as a jurist.” They mentioned several important issues that came to the Supreme Court during Fuller’s tenure, including income taxes and immigration.
They did not mention “Plessy v. Ferguson”, the 1896 case that created what became known as the “separate but equal” doctrine for United States white and colored citizens. In 1954, the “Brown v. Board of Education” ruling overturned “Plessy”.
Fuller was part of the seven-man Court majority. (Justice John Marshall Harlan’s dissent contained the statement that “the Constitution is color-blind.”)
In Augusta 2013, a bronze statue of Fuller was erected in front of the historic Kennebec County Courthouse, on State Street, in Augusta.
Commissioned and funded by Robert Fuller, Jr., an indirect descendant of the former Chief Justice, and approved by the Kennebec County Commissioners a year and a half earlier, the statue was sculpted by Forest Hart, of Monroe. Tony Masciadri of S. Masciadri & Sons, in Hallowell, provided the granite base.
Kennebec Journal reporter Betty Adams attended the installation. The statue shows Fuller “seated and robed and looking much like Mark Twain” on the “front lawn of the Kennebec County Courthouse, welcoming all,” she wrote for the Aug. 14 issue of the newspaper.
Among those at the ceremony were Maine Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Leigh Saufley (who retired in 2020) and Daniel Wathen, Chief Justice before Saufley. Adams quoted from Saufley’s speech, which did refer to “Plessy”.
After calling Fuller ” ‘an Augusta boy [who] made good,’ ” Saufley “praised his administrative skills and emphasis on collegiality” among his Supreme Court colleagues. She then called “Plessy” “one of the [Supreme Court’s] most reviled decisions.”
Fuller’s joining the majority in the case “is a good reminder that respected, capable people can do something that is so flatly wrong,” Adams quoted Saufley as saying.
By the summer of 2020, the statue became controversial. A series of Kennebec Journal reports by Rob Montana and Jessica Lowell followed developments.
The Maine Judicial Branch, in an Aug. 5 letter signed by Maine Supreme Judicial Court Acting Chief Justice Andrew Mead (Saufley’s interim successor), asked Kennebec County Commissioners to consider removing the statue. Mead wrote that the “Plessy” decision was not consistent with state values, and that it was inappropriate for the Fuller statue to be “the monument that members of the public see as they approach the courthouse.”
Kennebec County Commissioners held a hearing on the future of the statue in December 2020. In February 2021, they voted to have it removed, and created an advisory commission to suggest where it might go.
On April 20, the Commissioners made the advisory commission’s role superfluous by voting unanimously to accept Robert Fuller’s offer to take back his gift. Commissioners “sold” it to him for $1 and gave him 12 months to remove and rehome it, at his expense.
Reporter Lowell wrote that advisory committee members hoped the statue would be placed where its “educational value” would be preserved. They had suggested giving it to the Maine State Museum, but Lowell said Museum Director Bernard Fishman said the museum had no money to buy it or to store it while renovations to the museum building are finished.
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Augusta South Parish Congo, All Souls UU, St. Mary’s Catholic
Having finished summary histories of Grange organizations in the central Kennebec Valley in The Town Line issues beginning April 8, and a two-part description of aspects of the Goodwill-Hinckley School, in Fairfield, this writer now turns to a different type of organization, the church. The focus will be not on the organizations, but on the buildings they acquired or constructed that have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Why not the organizations? For three reasons: there are too many of them; many have complicated histories of relocations, schisms and mergers; and most have been covered in other histories, of religion, of specific religions and of Maine towns and cities.
According to randomly selected local histories, 19th and 20th century denominations in central Kennebec Valley towns and cities, most with at least one church building sometime somewhere, included Adventists (First Adventists and Second Adventists), Baptists, Catholics or Roman Catholics, Christians, Christian Unionists, Church of Christ, Church of the Nazarene, Church of World Brotherhood, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Free or Free Will or Freewill Baptists, Full Gospel, Mennonites, Methodists, Society of Friends or Quakers, Spiritualists, Unitarians and Universalists (the last two separately or merged).
Church buildings in the Central Kennebec Valley that have qualified for the National Register number fewer than a dozen. Four are in Augusta: South Parish (Congregational), 9 Church Street; All Souls (Unitarian), 70 State Street; St. Mary’s (Roman Catholic), 41 Western Avenue; and St. Mark’s (Episcopal), 9 Summer Street.
The South Parish Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, was built in 1865, as the new home of a congregation established in 1773. The church and its Parish House were added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 22, 1980.
Kingsbury, in his 1892 Kennebec County history, wrote that Congregational Church members started their first meeting house in 1782 in Augusta’s future Market Square, while Augusta was part of Hallowell. The building was used beginning in 1783, though it was not finished until 1785.
When the towns separated in 1797, the meeting house was included in Augusta’s south parish. The original meeting house was used for 26 years. When Kingsbury wrote, it had been moved repeatedly and was then on Winthrop Street and had become the Friends’ chapel.
A second meeting house was started in July 1807 and dedicated December 20, 1809. Kingsbury quoted a description of its location: on Judge North’s land, near a grammar school, “on the east side of the street leading to the Court House.” This church was struck by lightning July 11, 1864, and burned down.
An on-line site says the Sunday after the fire the congregation, led by minister Alexander McKenzie (1830-1914), decided to rebuild, with non-flammable materials. McKenzie graduated from Harvard College and Andover Theological Seminary; he was ordained in Augusta and served at South Parish from 1861 until he transferred to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1867 for the rest of his life.
The church hired Portland architect Francis H. Fassett (1823-1908), who also designed the Williams Block and the Whitehouse Block in the Water Street Historic District (see the Feb. 4 and Feb. 18 issues of The Town Line). His plan was approved within three months, and the new church was dedicated on July 5, 1866.
The Gothic Revival building is of granite with a slate roof. The south-facing front is in three sections.
On the west end, a tall tower of three vertical sections, with large windows set in Gothic arches, houses the belfry. The tower is topped by an octagonal steeple. On the east end is a shorter three-story tower with no steeple.
Between the two towers, the main section features a front entrance with recessed doors set in another Gothic arch. Above the entrance is a tall stained-glass window; and above that, as the building rises to a point, a small round window.
Frank A. Beard and Robert Bradley, who wrote the Maine Historic Preservation Commission’s 1980 application for historic register listing, said the building’s side walls each have six bays. On the ground floor, they are separated by buttresses and contain stained-glass windows.
On the upper level, “each bay is a pair of recessed lancets below labelled lintels.” Wikipedia defines a lancet, in architecture, as “a type of pointed arch,” and says lancet windows were common in 13th-century Gothic architecture in England. A lintel is the beam that covers the top of a window or door and bears the weight of the wall above the opening.
There is a large rose window in the end of the sanctuary, and “a large pipe organ, beautifully decorated, which was installed when the church was built.” E. and G. G. Hook, of Boston, built the organ.
(The Hook company, formed by brothers Elias Hook and George Greenleaf Hook, built more than 2,000 pipe organs between 1827 and 1935. The Hooks retired in 1881; their partner, Frank Hastings, continued the business.)
The Parish House was added in 1889 and dedicated in 1890. It is a story and a half wooden building designed by Augusta architect James H. Cochrane in the Stick Style, which Beard and Bradley wrote is “comparatively rare in Maine.”
In 1963 a single-story addition and passage connected the parish house to the church. Its slender windows in pointed arches match the church windows. Beard and Bradley wrote that although the addition was comparatively new, “its low profile and simple design are no detraction” from architectural significance of the buildings.
The South Parish Congregational Church hosts the Amy Buxton Pet Pantry, which provides cat and dog food to area residents and useful information about pet care on its Facebook page (and welcomes donations). Summer hours start June 12; the pantry will be open from 9 to 10 a.m. the second Saturday of each month.
The former All Souls Church, at 70 State Street, in the northwest corner of the intersection with Oak Street, is the next oldest of the four Augusta church buildings on the National Register. It was built in 1879, Wikipedia says, as the third place of worship for a Unitarian congregation that started in 1825.
Kingsbury wrote that the first Unitarian church building, dedicated Oct. 18, 1827, was Bethlehem Church, on the east side of the Kennebec River, where the Cony Flatiron Building (formerly Cony High School) now stands. The second, on Oak Street, was dedicated Oct. 17, 1833.
The third All Souls building is another example of Stick Style architecture. The architect was Thomas William Silloway (1828-1910) of Massachusetts, who was also, from 1862 to 1867, a Universalist minister.
Silloway’s architectural specialty was church buildings; he is said to have designed more than 400, “more church buildings than any other individual in America.” An on-line source says he was commissioned to supervise restoring six churches in Charleston, South Carolina, after an 1886 earthquake.
He also designed school and college buildings; libraries; asylums; the Vermont State House, in Montpelier; town halls and other public buildings; and private homes. Wikipedia credits him with designing Memorial Hall, in Oakland, Maine, built in 1870.
The Brighton Allston (Massachusetts) Historical Society published on line an article about Silloway by historian Dr. William P. Marchione. Marchione wrote that Silloway was only 29 when he was hired to rebuild the Vermont State House after a fire. He quotes later and more famous architect Stanford White (1853-1906) as calling the building “the finest example of Greek Revival architecture in the country.”
However, Marchione wrote, Silloway’s insistence on using the most expensive materials led to his being fired from the project before it was finished. The University of Vermont’s giving him an honorary M. A. in 1862 might have been intended as compensation, Marchione suggested.
The All Souls building is no longer used as a church. The web page of Augusta’s Unitarian Universalist Community Church says that “the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church (traditionally Unitarian) and the Winthrop Street Unitarian Universalist Church (traditionally Universalist) consolidated to form the Unitarian Universalist Community Church in 1992.”
The UUCC’s main building is at 69 Winthrop Street. In the fellowship hall, the website says, are paintings by local artist David Sillsby, including one of “All Souls Unitarian Church building on State Street. (The building is still standing without the steeple.)”
Cally Stevens, “a long-time member of UUCC from All Souls Church (deceased)” donated the painting, the web page says.
All Souls Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Jan. 31, 1978.
The newest of the four Augusta churches on the National Register is St. Mary of the Assumption, a Roman Catholic Church at 41 Western Avenue (almost across from the Augusta post office). The church was built in 1926 and granted historic status on June 12, 1987.
In nominating St. Mary’s for recognition, historian Kirk F. Mohney (now Director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission) said “the handsome and richly decorated Gothic building” was “among the most architecturally significant religious edifices in Augusta.”
St. Mary’s was designed by O’Connell and Shaw of Boston, whose partner Timothy G. O’Connell (1868-1965) designed many other Catholic school and church buildings in Maine, including St. Augustine, on Northern Avenue, in Augusta, and Sacred Heart, on Pleasant Street, in Waterville. The Louis Milo Company, of Lewiston, built the church.
The St. Mary’s congregation had two earlier wooden churches. When they first organized in 1836, they bought the Unitarians’ former Bethlehem Church, supplanted three years earlier.
In 1845, Thomas B. Lynch wrote in Kingsbury’s history, Rev. Patrick Carraher bought land and built a new church on State Street, dedicated September 8, 1846. The Bethlehem building was sold to Cony Female Academy.
Ground-breaking for the present gray granite building was May 26, 1926, and the building was dedicated May 30, 1927, by the Right Reverend Bishop John Gregory Murray (1877-1956), of Portland. Its cornerstone has two dates, 1836 and 1926.
Mohney wrote that the long nave has space for 850 people. He described many of the building’s features – the bell tower on the southeast with its “richly detailed louvered belfry” and its “image of Mary Queen of Peace” below eight pinnacles at the base of an octagonal spire; the memorial windows on both sides of the nave; the coffered ceilings and the octagonal pulpit.
Other on-line sources join Mohney in praising the elaborate entrance, with the wooden doors inset from “an ornate buttressed porch with corner spirelets and an image of the Immaculate Conception.”
St. Mary of the Assumption remains in use as a house of worship, part of St. Michael’s Parish.
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
New Dimensions FCU awarded a Cony High School student and a Lawrence High School student each with a $2,500 scholarship for their first year in college.
Each year, New Dimensions FCU awards scholarships to deserving high school seniors that demonstrate strong character, community involvement, and academic success.
This year we received many applications from students; therefore, making it a difficult task to determine which of the students would walk away with a scholarship. After much deliberation, the New Dimensions Scholarship Committee selected two students who stood out so profoundly because of their dedication and perseverance during the pandemic while maintaining academic success and forward-moving achievements. New Dimensions has announced that Jack Begin, from Cony High School, in Augusta, and Alyssa Bourque, from Lawrence High School, in Fairfield, have been selected as the 2021 New Dimensions Federal Credit Union College $2,500 Scholarship winners.
Jack Begin tells us that he is to report to the United States Naval Academy on June 30, 2021, where he begins his first year in his engineering degree. Alyssa Bourque will be attending the University of Vermont, where she will study biomedical engineering.
Ryan Poulin, chief executive officer, states, “At New Dimensions, we understand the power of education, and we promote the financial success and aspirations of our younger generations. We encourage all students who graduate high school and plan on attending school in the fall to participate in our scholarship program. Making this one of the many ways we contribute to the communities we serve.”
For more information, contact NDFCU at (800) 326-6190 or visit www.newdimensionsfcu.com.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the annual St. Michael School and Travis Mills Walk-A-Thon, originally scheduled for May 5, will now be held on Wednesday, May 19. Pledges and donations will continue to be accepted through May 19. For more information about the event, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the running, walking and activities, students will be collecting items to donate to military service members stationed away from their families, writing thank you notes to our service members, and creating flags to hang up for the day of the event.”
Mills, a retired United States Army Staff Sergeant of the 82nd Airborne, is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was wounded by an improvised explosive device during his third tour in Afghanistan in 2012.
All proceeds from the walk-a-thon benefit the school and the Travis Mills Foundation.
The Augusta historic district not yet discussed is the Capitol Complex Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. This district includes several individually listed buildings: the State House, the Blaine House (official residence of Maine’s governors; see the Jan. 21 The Town Line) and the Gannett House, home of the First Amendment Museum (see the Nov. 12, 2020, The Town Line). Other buildings are the Burton Cross Office Building, the Nash School and several 19th-century residences that now house state offices.
Capitol Park, on the east side of State Street in front of the State House, has been listed individually as a historic property since 1989, and is in the Historic District.
After Maine separated from Massachusetts on March 15, 1820, the state capital was in Portland, the largest city. An on-line story by Don Carrigan, of News Center Maine, quotes historians Earle Shettleworth, Jr., and Herb Adams as they explain why and how Augusta succeeded Portland.
Portland had two disadvantages: it was not central, and would become less central as population expanded inland and north; and it was vulnerable to attack from the sea, important when residents still remembered the War of 1812 with Great Britain.
In 1822, Shettleworth said, the legislature established a committee to find a new capital site. Augusta and Hallowell both applied, as did Portland and two other coastal municipalities, Belfast and Wiscasset.
Augusta offered the current site, called Weston or Weston’s Hill; added the land running east to the Kennebec River for a park, for a total of about 34 acres; and offered to contribute toward expenses. After often fierce debates, the legislature voted on Feb. 24, 1827, to make the move, to be effective by Jan. 1, 1832, and on June 6, 1827, the state bought the land.
Legislators also gave Governor Enoch Lincoln and his Council $500 to improve the lot, including planting trees.
Despite the vote and the follow-up actions, the two historians said, every year until 1907 some legislator introduced a bill to return the capital to Portland. On Sept. 11, 1911, voters approved an amendment to the Maine Constitution stating that “Augusta is Hereby Declared to be the Seat of Government of This State.” The vote was 59,678 in favor to 41,294 opposed. The wording is now in Art. IX, Section 16, of the Constitution.
Capitol Park is the earliest of the historic district components. The park is a 20-acre rectangle bounded by State Street on the west, Union Street on the south, the Kennebec River on the east and Capitol Street on the north.
In October 1827 the Council chose General Joel Wellington to design a park plan. In a little over a month, he spent $373.13 of the $500 to create a path from State Street to the Kennebec River. The Maine Historic Preservation Commission’s 1989 application for national recognition (written by historian Shettleworth) describes an 80-foot-wide avenue, with two 30-foot-wide tree-bordered sidewalks.
Shettleworth says Edward Williams, one of Governor Lincoln’s staff, recommended a fence to keep wandering cattle from damaging the new trees.
In 1842, a granite mausoleum was erected near the river for the body of Governor Lincoln (Dec. 28, 1788 – Oct. 8, 1829), who served from Jan. 3, 1827, until his death. The on-line Maine encyclopedia says the tomb has been empty for years, and there is no record of when, why or how its contents disappeared. (See The Town Line, July 9, 2020, for more information on Governor Lincoln.)
By 1851, more trees and paths had been added. The Kennebec and Portland Railroad crossed the east end of the park along the river.
The park’s amenities disappeared during the Civil War. Shettleworth quotes a May 22, 1862, editorial in The Maine Farmer, an Augusta weekly newspaper, listing “tents and stables and barracks” spread through the park and its grounds used for “drills and evolutions.”
After the soldiers went south, the park was leased for farmland, a use The Maine Farmer writer hailed as much more useful than a military encampment. Shettleworth suggests patriotism as the motive.
By 1878, the park was again a park, similar to the 1850s version. In 1920, after James G. Blaine’s daughter donated the Blaine House as the governors’ house, Governor Carl Milliken had the Massachusetts-based Olmsted Brothers do a complete re-landscaping of the State House, the Blaine House and Capitol Park.
Portland landscape architect Carl Rust Parker was in charge of the project. His ambitious multi-year plan included adding three more tennis courts to the existing two; building a “rostrum” in the southwest as the center of an area for concerts and speeches; building a river overlook and nearby pools and a zoo to house Maine fish and land animals; and adding a Maine shrub garden in the northwest.
Shettleworth wrote that legislators were reluctant to appropriate funds for the changes. The fish pools and zoo were never built, and the tennis courts were removed by the 1960s.
The elm trees Parker carefully preserved died of Dutch Elm Disease and were replaced in 1983 with red oaks. The Vietnam War Memorial in the northwest was added in 1985.
The State House, designed by Boston architect Charles Bulfinch and deliberately imitating the Massachusetts State House, is the second early component of the Historic District. It, like Capitol Park, has a separate listing on the National Register of Historic Places, as of April 24, 1973.
The State House was deliberately sited on a high point on the northwest side of the lot donated by Augusta, rather than in the center. Its cornerstone was laid July 4, 1829. Kingsbury says dignitaries at the Masonic-led ceremony included President Andrew Jackson, Vice-President John C. Calhoun and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall.
Construction was supervised by the Commissioner of State Buildings, William King, who had been Maine’s first Governor in 1820. The four-story building was near enough complete for the legislature to meet there January 4, 1832.
The State House is built of Hallowell granite. The original central section, with a cupola and two wings extending north and south, was 146 feet long by 50 feet wide, plus the 80-by-15-foot front portico with Doric columns, according to Richard D. Kelly, Jr.’s 1973 application for National Register of Historic Places listing (Kingsbury offers different dimensions). Wikipedia says it was supposed to cost $89,000; the final cost, including furnishing and landscaping, was $138,991.34, Kingsbury wrote.
As state government grew, the interior was changed in 1852 and 1860, and in 1891 a three-story wing was built on the west side. In addition to offices, it housed the state library, now in the separate Cultural Building with the state archives and museum. The Cultural Building, built in 1967-69, has been closed since late July 2020 for asbestos removal and upgrades to the heating, cooling and electrical systems.
The State House had major exterior remodeling in 1909 and 1910. The Bulfinch front and back and the rotunda were the only things left unchanged, as the building was made 300-feet long by extending the wings and the cupola was replaced by a 185-foot dome.
Massachusetts architect George Henri Desmond designed the changes; Charles S. Hichborn, of Augusta, oversaw the work. Sculptor and Gardiner native William Clark Noble (Feb. 10, 1858 – May 10, 1938) added a 15-foot gilded copper statue of Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom, on top of the dome.
Wikipedia describes and illustrates the 2014 replacement of the dome’s 1910 copper sheathing (which had been expected to last 75 years). The work took from March to October 2014 and cost $1.2 million. The Minerva statue was regilded and repaired by EverGreene Architectural Arts, a New York City historic preservation firm.
Wikipedia says legislative leaders put a time capsule in the dome with “a book of Maine laws, a legislative handbook, the September 30  issue of the Kennebec Journal, some of the old copper, and personal items from the legislators.” The dome looks exactly the same since the restoration, except that it is now a copper-brown color instead of oxidized to green.
Kelly wrote that the Maine State House is architecturally significant as Bulfinch’s only known surviving work after he completed the Capitol in Washington in 1829 and came back to the Boston area. It is also significant as the only Bulfinch building for which his original plans are extant; they were found in the lining of a safe in the building in 1941, and as of 1973 were in the Maine State Archives.
The Burton M. Cross Office Building, a multi-story grey rectangular building west of the Capitol and connected to it by a tunnel, was originally the Maine State Office Building. It is steel-framed with a granite exterior.
Portland architects Miller and Beal designed the building in collaboration with a Boston firm. Construction started in June 1954 and was finished in the fall of 1956, historian Shettleworth wrote in his application for national recognition of the Capitol Complex Historic District, making it the youngest building in the District.
The Augusta State Facilities Master Plan, prepared by SMRT Architects and Engineers in August 2001, says the State Office Building was “state-of-the-art” when it was built, and might have been Maine’s biggest office building. In 2001, according to the SMRT website, the building was renovated, resulting in what the website describes as “a contemporary, open-office environment that supports growth in information technologies and telecommunications and leading-edge mechanical, HVAC and electrical and lighting systems to keep employees comfortable and healthy.”
The renovated building was renamed in 2001 to honor Gardiner native, Maine legislator and Maine Governor Burton M. Cross (Nov. 15, 1902 – Oct. 22, 1998). Cross served from Dec. 24, 1952, to Jan. 6, 1953, as Maine’s 61st governor, because he was state Senate President when Governor Frederick Payne resigned to become a United States Senator. In 1952, he was elected Governor. But his Senate term ended 25 hours before his governorship began, so in the interim his successor as Senate President, Nathaniel Haskell, became the 62nd governor. Cross was the 63rd governor from Jan. 7, 1953, to Jan. 5, 1955.
Other buildings in the Capitol Complex Historic District are former residences, some built around the time Augusta became the capital city. Shettleworth’s application lists the Guy P. Gannett House at 184 State Street, built in 1911; the James G. Blaine House at 192 State Street, built in 1833; the Gage-McLean House at 193 State Street, built around 1837; the Arnold-Gaslin House at 189 State Street, built around 1830; the Edward Williams House at 187 State Street, also built around 1830; and the Gage-Lemont House at 55 Capitol Street, built around 1845.
Also part of the complex is the former Nash School, a two-story brick building at 103 Sewall Street, west of the main buildings, that the state bought in 1976.
According to Shettleworth, Augusta architect Arthur G. Wing designed the Nash School in the Romanesque Revival style; L. E. Bradstreet was the builder. On April 7, 1897, the city and the two men signed a contract for $8,973. The building was finished by September 1897.
About the designers of Capitol Park
Capitol Park designer General Joel Wellington was born in 1782 in Massachusetts and moved to Albion, Maine, early in the 19th century. The source of his military title is obscure; Ruby Crosby Wiggin found him listed as a captain in one of Albion’s companies in the War of 1812.
In 1814, Wellington was on the town committee to rebuild the bridge across the head of China Lake (then part of Albion). In October 1819 he was elected to the state convention that approved separating Maine from Massachusetts, and in the new state he represented Albion in the legislature. He was also a town selectman and Albion’s first postmaster, from March 1825 until 1831.
Around 1830, Wellington and George Pond co-founded the town of Monticello, originally called Wellington Township, on the north branch of the Meduxnekeag River, in Aroostook County. The Find a Grave website says Wellington built the road south to Houlton that is now Route 1, and eventually got repaid by the federal government.
Wellington died July 12, 1865, in Fort Fairfield, and is buried in the Village Cemetery, in Monticello. The website says Pond died the same day. It also says Wellington died at his son Albion’s home (and another website says Albion helped his father clear the land for their first log cabin); but on the same page, Find a Grave lists only four descendants: daughters Harriet and Clarissa (named after his wife, Clarissa Blake Wellington [1786-1868]) and sons James C. and George Blake.
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Wiggin, Ruby Crosby, Albion on the Narrow Gauge (1964).
Just south of the historic buildings at the north end of the west side of Augusta’s Water Street (described in last week’s article) is a much newer building that gained a place on the National Register of Historic Places on May 2, 1986. The D.V. Adams Co .- Bussell and Weston Building, at 190 Water Street, was built in 1909. Wikipedia calls it “one of the state’s best early examples of a department store building.”
Like its northern neighbors, it is built of brick and three stories tall, but the front has much more window space, particularly on the upper floors. The street level has five separate bays, the center one a recessed entrance.
Wikipedia says Boston architects Freeman, Funk and Wilcox designed the building for Bussell and Weston. Roger Reed, writing for the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, calls the architectural firm Freeman, Frank and Wilcox – Web references do not resolve the discrepancy – and says Bussell and Weston was a dry goods company.
The original building had what Wikipedia calls a stepped parapet. On-line photos show stepped parapets having more than one level, as the name suggests. Reed wrote that the present Italianate cornice, similar to but elevated slightly above its neighbors, replaced the original sometime between 1912 and 1920.
One on-line source calls the architectural style Classical Revival, and others mention the Chicago style windows on the upper floors. Reed says Bussell and Weston intended, and their architects achieved, a building that would stand out from its neighbors.
In 1920, department store founder and owner Delbert W. Adams bought the Bussell and Weston building and contents and moved from his 1910 store on the east side of Water Street. His store closed in 1982, according to Augusta’s on-line Museum in the Streets; Reed’s report says a department store used the building until 1985. The name change from D. W. Adams to D. V. Adams is nowhere explained.
In 1985, Reed listed the building owner as G. T. G. Association. His description commented on the unchanged interior space, “complete with iron columns, wooden staircase and pressed metal ceiling.”
While on Water Street, it seems appropriate to describe the Hartford Fire Station, although at 369 Water Street it is south of the boundary of the Water Street historic district that this series has covered beginning with the Feb. 4 The Town Line piece.
The station’s alternate address is 1 Hartford Square. It is southeast of the south end of Water Street, with Gage Street on the northeast and the backs of the buildings lining Swan Street on the southwest. Built in 1920, the Hartford Fire Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2017, as a $6 million addition and renovation project was under way.
The large two-story brick building was designed by local architects Bunker and Savage, established in 1916 and still in business. An on-line Maine Preservation article calls its style Classical Revival.
The same article says the name recognizes George Huntington Hartford, whose son donated the land for the building.
George Huntington Hartford (Sept. 5, 1833 – Aug. 29, 1917) was born on an Augusta farm. By the time he was 18, he was in Boston starting a career in retail businesses. In 1861 he was in Brooklyn, New York, where he was hired as a clerk in George Gilman’s Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.
Wikipedia says Hartford moved up in the firm until he became a partner when Gilman retired in 1878 and effectively ran the company until Gilman died in 1901. After Gilman’s death, Hartford bought out his heirs and ran what was by then A & P until his own death, though two of his sons took over day-to-day management in 1907 or 1908. Hartford invented the idea of a chain of grocery stores, and before he died he and his sons made A & P the largest retailer in the United States.
The 1920 Hartford fire station was the first in Augusta to have a fire horn that could signal fire locations to everyone in the city, and the first to be designed to accommodate motorized as well as horse-drawn fire equipment.
As fire trucks became larger and heavier, the station ran out of space and the floors began to deteriorate. In 2016, work started on an addition, plus repairs and interior remodeling of the original building. The on-line Maine Preservation article lists many people responsible for the successful project, including Fire Chief Roger Audette and Sutherland Conservation and Consulting (SCC), of Augusta.
SCC was founded in 2007 by Amy Cole Ives, of Hallowell, who previously spent eight years working for the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. In May 2008, the SCC website says, Maine Historic Preservation gave her a Statewide Historic Preservation Honor Award for her role in promoting legislation that led to the state’s Tax Credit for the Rehabilitation of Historic Properties and the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC).
Ives’ specialty is analysis of historic paint and other finishes on buildings, vehicles and art works. In March 1917 she helped organize the sixth International Architectural Paint Research (APR) Conference at Columbia University in New York City. She also presented a paper there.
(The third APR conference was in January 2008, also at Columbia University. The fourth was in 2010, in Lincoln, in the United Kingdom. The fifth was in March 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden. The seventh was scheduled for Tel Aviv University, Israel, in October 2020, and was retitled, more broadly, the Architectural Finishes Research Conference. It was rescheduled to a January 2021 virtual conference.)
In October 2020, Ives announced that SCC was absorbed by MacRostie Historic Advisors (MHA), LLC, with at least one employee joining MacRostie’s Boston office. Ives planned to continue consulting on historic paint.
The statement that Augusta has four designated historic districts that opened the Feb. 4 article was an error by this writer. The city has five designated districts: the Water Street commercial district that has been described; the Capital District around the State House on State Street, to be described in the next article; and three residential districts, Bond Street, Crosby Street and Winthrop Street.
The residential historic districts contain mostly private houses that are not open to the public. Should readers care to visit them, owners’ rights and privacy are to be respected.
Bond Street is a short street that connects State and Water streets, just south of Bond Brook. The historic district includes seven one-and-a-half story wooden residential buildings, numbers 8, 9, 12, 18, 21, 22 and 25. All were built between 1878 and 1884 by Edwards Manufacturing Company to house employees in its textile mill. The company sold them to private owners in 1946.
Wikipedia says there are two four-unit buildings and a single-family house on the north side of Bond Street and four duplexes on the south side. All are similar in style. In 1900, the census found 167 people in 20 families living in the buildings.
Although other Augusta mill owners provided employee housing, Wikipedia says the Bond Street buildings are the only ones still standing in the city. The historic district was listed on April 11, 2014.
Crosby Street is a dead-end street south of and uphill from Bond Street. It runs north off Bridge Street, parallel to State Street above it and roughly parallel to Water Street below it. Crosby Lane connects the middle of Bond Street to State Street.
The Crosby Street historic district, listed Sept. 11, 1986, encompasses eight houses: one on State Street, one on Crosby Lane and six on the south end of Crosby Street. These are elegant, stylish homes, the earlier ones Federal and the later Greek Revival style, and would have been built for business and professional men.
The large two-story Federal George Crosby House at 22 Crosby Lane, with a story-and-a-half ell almost as big, is the oldest of the seven, Wikipedia says. Built around 1802 for businessman George Crosby, it was followed about 1806 by a similar house next door built for John Hartwell, described as a carpenter and auctioneer.
A Maine Historic Preservation Commission piece quoted online says the two houses have doorways designed from the1797 “Country Builder’s Assistant”, by Asher Benjamin, one of many architectural plan books that helped builders in places like Maine follow national style trends.
The Crosby house was the home of Governor Samuel Smith from 1832 to 1834. His choice led to additional generously-sized houses built by Eben Fuller and William Hunt, among others.
George Crosby is listed in Captain Charles E. Nash’s chapters on Augusta in Kingbury’s Kennebec County history as the first cashier of the Augusta Bank, chartered Jan. 21, 1814.
John H. Hartwell was born in Lincoln, Massachusetts, Jan. 2, 1787. He married Eliza Brooks (1789-1864) on May 31, 1810, in Hallowell, and they had two sons and six daughters. He died March 6, 1859, in Augusta.
Nash wrote that Eben Fuller (Jan. 25, 1795 – Oct. 7, 1873) opened the Fuller drug store in 1819. The building burned in the September 1865 fire, and Eben and his only son, Henry Lucius Fuller (1827-1875), rebuilt it. Eben Fuller married Eliza Williams (1799-1883); they had one son and four daughters.
The Winthrop Street historic district is the largest of the three residential districts, covering about 100 acres. When the district was designated on Aug. 6, 2001, it included 192 buildings on Chapel, Chestnut, Court, Green, State and Winthrop streets. On Dec. 30, 2008, Wikipedia says, the district boundary was expanded to add the 1830s Federal house at 20 Spring Street.
Winthrop Street runs approximately west from Water Street to the Augusta airport. It separates Mount Hope Cemetery on the north from Forest Grove Cemetery on the south.
Some of the earliest houses in the historic district date from 1815 or before. Most were built between 1830 and 1850, after the state capital was moved to Augusta by law in 1827 and, in fact, in 1832. New houses continued to be built for residents involved in Augusta’s publishing (see The Town Line, Nov. 12, 2020) and manufacturing enterprises until around 1915.
Non-residential buildings include Lithgow Library, the Kennebec County Courthouse, at 95 State Street (see Jan. 7; the Lot Morrill house on Winthrop Street described there is also inside the historic district) and two churches. A variety of architectural styles are represented, with Federal, Victorian and Colonial Revival dominant, Wikipedia says. Some of the former residences now house professional offices.
Readers who planned to look at the Shurtleff House, on Route 201, in Winslow, (see The Town Line, Jan. 28, 2021) will not find it. Michael Fortin, owner of Fortin’s Home Furnishings, on the east side of Route 201, said when the property went up for sale, he bought it because he owned adjacent land. When he inspected the neglected house, he found it was “far beyond repair” and, with regret, had it demolished on Feb. 19, 2021.
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Next: Augusta’s Capitol Complex Historic District.
The east (river) side of Augusta’s Water Street has another individually-listed 19th-century historic building besides those described in The Town Line articles published Feb. 4 and Feb. 11. The 1899 five-story brick building at 325-331 Water Street was first known as the Gannett Building, later as the “Journal” Building and now as the University of Maine at Augusta’s (UMA’s) Handley Hall.
The Gannett Building was presumably named for Augusta publisher William Howard Gannett (1854-1948), who published magazines in Augusta beginning in the mid-1880s (see The Town Line, Nov. 12, 2020). It was designed by Arthur G. Wing, described in Wikipedia as a local architect who died in 1912; this writer found no additional on-line information about him.
Wikipedia calls the style commercial Renaissance Revival. There are three street- level store fronts and above each four stories with three windows each, the whole topped by a cornice. The windows have granite sills; the most conspicuous arches are on the fourth floor.
According to Wikipedia, this building was the first owned, as opposed to rented, home for Augusta’s Kennebec Journal newspaper. Often described as Maine’s oldest continuously published newspaper, the Kennebec Journal began in January 1825 as a four-page weekly produced by Russell Eaton and Luther Severance.
Augusta became Maine’s capital in 1827, and after state government became established in 1832 the Kennebec Journal gained importance and a new revenue source. It became a daily paper on Jan. 1, 1870.
Various people owned the newspaper in the 19th century. The Gannett family was not involved until mid-1929, when William Howard Gannett’s son Guy P. Gannett (1881-1954) added it to the Gannett Publishing Company papers.
A Jan. 8, 2015, Kennebec Journal article by Craig Crosby on the 190th anniversary of the newspaper says the younger Gannett moved headquarters to a Willow Street building his father had previously owned. Apparently the move was soon after the June 1929 purchase. Crosby fails to say where the move was from, leaving uncertain the date the Journal left what was presumably by then called the “Journal” building.
At another unstated time the University of Maine at Augusta bought the building and contracted with WBRC Architects Engineers to change it from office space into art and architecture teaching areas, with a ground-floor gallery. A WBRC web page shows the exterior, labeled Gannett Building, and says interior work included undoing earlier changes to uncover “wooden beams, punched tin ceilings, masonry walls and wooden floors.”
(According to its website, the WBRC firm was founded in Bangor in 1902 by two young University of Maine engineering graduates named John F. Thomas and C. Parker Crowell; the firm was Thomas and Crowell. Thomas soon moved to Massachusetts; Crowell stayed with the firm for the next 54 years, with its name changing as partners joined and left.
The ninth name, in 1987, was the longest: Webster/ Baldwin/ Rohman/ Day/ Czarniecki. By 1989 Day had left and Bromley and Rich had joined; the new group chose the initials WBRC, and so far no one has changed it. WBRC has branches in Portland, Maine, and in Florida, Maryland and Michigan.)
UMA gave the building its third name, Handley Hall, in honor of UMA’s first female president, Allyson Handley. She took office on March 1, 2008, at the age of 60, and held the post for six years.
A 2018 announcement of her becoming president of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association says UMA was the third college she served as president. It credits her with changing UMA’s undergraduate architecture program to “a four-year, accredited architecture degree,” giving graduates a head start in the profession.
The “Journal” building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 2, 1986, at the same time as the buildings described below and the Kresge and Doughty blocks and the Masonic Temple discussed in the Feb. 11 issue of The Town Line.
On the inland (west) side of Water Street, starting at the north end, listed buildings include a four-building block built after the 1865 fire described in the Feb. 4 The Town Line article. They are the Sturgis and Haskell Buildings, 180-182 Water Street, and the Noble Block, 186 Water Street, both built in 1867; and the Whitehouse Block at 188 Water Street, built in 1865 (since the fire was in September 1865, it must have been constructed in a hurry).
The brick buildings are three stories tall, in the commercial Italianate style, and connected by a cornice. The northern two are off-white with two different types of blue window trim, the southern two yellow with white window trim. The style of window trim varies not only from building to building but between second and third floors on each building.
Each separate building would have a single street-level entrance and triple windows on the second and third floors, except that the northernmost, and last finished, Sturgis and Haskell Building has a rounded corner as it fronts the intersection where Bridge Street comes downhill to meet Water Street. There are only two east-facing windows on the upper floors overlooking Water Street; the third windows face northeast from the rounded corner.
Architect John C. Tibbetts, of Augusta, designed the double building for Ira Sturgis and Erastus Haskell. A 1985 Maine Historic Preservation Commission inventory says the original cast-iron store fronts at sidewalk level remained, but with larger-paned windows. Arches above the windows at 180 Water Street had been filled in to make the windows square-topped. The building at 180 was then owned by Carrie Chan and 182 by Peder K. Baughman.
Tibbetts also designed the Noble Block next south, for Thomas C. Noble. Wikipedia says the first story of the Noble Block was finished in 1865 and the upper floors in 1867.
Portland-based architect Francis H. Fassett, whom readers met before as designer of the Williams Block on the east side of Water Street (see the Feb. 4, The Town Line) designed the southernmost and first-built of the four buildings for Owen C. Whitehouse. Before the fire, Whitehouse had his dry goods store on the same site. In the new building, Wikipedia says Whitehouse’s dry goods store was on the second floor; street-level tenants included “Augusta Savings Bank and the United States Pension Agency.” Fraternal organizations, unspecified, used the top floor.
Augusta 19th century businessmen Ira Sturgis, Erastus Haskell, Thomas Noble and Owen C. Whitehouse
The quantity and quality of information in readily available sources about Ira D. Sturgis, Erastus Haskell, Thomas C. Noble and Owen C. Whitehouse varies.
Ira Daggett Sturgis (1814 or 1815 -1891), oldest son of James and Nancy (Packard) Sturgis, was a Vassalboro farmer turned lumber baron whose family began operations in The Forks, farther up the Kennebec River, in the 1830s.
An on-line history called Canada Road Chronicles (hereafter Chronicles) says in 1835, Sturgis married Augusta native Rebecca Russell Goodenow (1815-1894). They had four children; the older boy was named Ira.
During the 1840s and 1850s, Sturgis and a half-brother ran water-powered sawmills in Vassalboro, and he bought large tracts of timberland in the northern Kennebec Valley. Captain Charles E. Nash, author of the chapters on Augusta in Henry D. Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history, says Sturgis’s factory on Seven Mile Brook, in Vassalboro, built wooden items, including “the first orange and lemon boxes ever exported from the state of Maine.” His nearby shipyard built ocean-going vessels.
Sturgis shifted his interest to Augusta briefly; spent the late 1850s and early 1860s in the lumber business in Aroostook County and New Brunswick; and returned to Augusta.
In 1867, Chronicles says, the younger Sturgis daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, married Josiah Manchester Haynes, of Waterville. Sturgis and Haynes promptly formed the Augusta-based Kennebec Land and Lumber Company, with Sturgis president and Haynes treasurer. A more recent on-line source, A Capital Happening (hereafter Happening) on Facebook, dates this company to 1861. Happening and Nash name Albert Daily as Sturgis’s partner.
Nash says Sturgis made production of steam power cheaper by using sawdust as fuel. A second steam-powered mill in Pittston was soon accompanied by a modern ice house. Sturgis established the connections that made Kennebec River ice familiar in major cities in the southern United States (see the May 14, 2020, The Town Line for more information on ice harvesting on the Kennebec).
In February 1870 a flood washed away a substantial part of the Augusta dam, the fourth time it had been damaged since it was first built in 1837. Sturgis oversaw its reconstruction in July 1870, supervising engineer Henry A. De Witt and the work crews.
Haynes became Land and Lumber Company president in 1875, according to Chronicles; Happening and Nash say the lumberyard burned in October of that year. Both agree Sturgis and another Augusta businessman named Thomas Lambard formed Sturgis, Lambard and Company (in 1876, according to Happening; Chronicles and Nash add Sturgis’s nephew, Ira Randall, as a third partner). That company became Augusta Lumber Company (in 1889, according to Happening); Sturgis was its president until his death. Augusta Lumber Company appears to have remained in business until it was sold in 1941.
Erastus Haskell (1815 – 1891 or 1892), was born in Winthrop. He learned the shoe trade in Waterville and worked in East Vassalboro for three years, moving to Augusta Dec. 1, 1840. Before the 1865 fire, he ran a shoe store on the east side of Water Street, in one of the buildings that burned. The New England Business Directory lists him as an Augusta boot and shoe dealer in 1883 and in 1889.
Haskell served as a City of Augusta assessor for three years, and “served three years in each of the branches of the city government,” according to Nash. He married Mary C. Williams; they had two sons and daughter. Haskell died in Augusta and is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
An on-line genealogy lists Thomas Chadbourne Noble, who was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on August 24, 1807; married Adeline Treby Johnson (1817-1901); and died Feb. 5, 1901, in Augusta. They had four boys and one girl; the second boy was Thomas Chadbourne Noble (1846-1890).
Another genealogy includes Thomas C. Noble of Augusta, born in 1845, who married Edith Goddard on Jan. 22, 1880. He died in 1889 and she remarried.
Probably the Thomas C. Noble who was eager to have a new building in 1865 was the older, who would have been 58 by then, rather than his son, barely 20.
Owen C. Whitehouse was one of nine children of Vassalboro residents Daniel Whitehouse, Jr., and Merab (Coleman) Whitehouse. With his older brother Seth he went into the dry goods business in Augusta in 1846. The S. C. and O. C. Whitehouse company “did a large and successful business,” Nash wrote.
Whitehouse had other business interests besides dry goods. A 50th anniversary history of Augusta Savings Bank, founded Aug. 10, 1848, lists him as added to its incorporators in 1852. When the 1833 Freeman’s Bank was reorganized on April 6, 1864, as Freeman’s National Bank, he was one of the directors. The 1877 Maine Register shows him as a dealer in wool and skins at an unspecified Augusta location and a seller of flour and grain on Water Street.
Whitehouse also served his city. Annual reports show he was a fence viewer and a tythingman in 1870-71, and an overseer of the poor in 1883. (Tithingman is the modern spelling, and the term, originally related to keeping order in church, by the 1870s probably referred to a local constable.)
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892)
Next: still more of Augusta’s historic buildings.
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