Historic Highlight

The History of Cherryfield Flows Through This Handsome Federal

Its 19th-century owner was a doer, if not “the most pious man in town.”

The Archibald-Adams House in Cherryfield Maine

From our Winter 2021 issue

Before Cherryfield was Cherryfield and Maine was Maine, Thomas Archibald built his 1790s hipped-roof Federal on the bank of the Narraguagus River. In the ensuing years, the house, distinguished by symmetrical, lintel-capped windows and a pedimented entrance, became closely associated with the growth of the fledgling town. Archibald established a lumber mill nearby, and became a town clerk, surveyor of roads and lumber, constable, and tax collector. After his daughter, Elizabeth, and son-in-law, Joseph Adams, made their home here, Adams reportedly set up the town’s first post office in a river-facing wing, and served as postmaster. Historical accounts also list the house as the location of the inaugural town meeting after Cherryfield was incorporated in 1816. When he wasn’t commuting to Boston by horseback for his job as a state representative, Adams served as the town’s justice of the peace, as well as a selectman and colonel in the local militia. He married three times — an 1893 magazine article called him a “man of fine personal presence,” if not “the most pious man in town” — and remained in the residence, known as the Archibald-Adams House, until his death in 1872. It passed out of the family’s hands in the mid-1900s, but Adams’s influence can still be felt: renovations conducted by new owners in the 1990s revealed one of his court log books hidden beneath the attic floor.