PHOTOGRAPH & TEXT BY JULIE SENK
In the late 19th century, American architecture was in the midst of a love affair with elaborate ornamentation typified by the Queen Anne style. Details once painstakingly produced by hand were now readily made by machine and exhibited in popular pattern books. For Congressman Charles E. Littlefield, the exuberant genre proved worthy of his 1892 home on Rockland’s Limerock Street. Designed by architect E. E. Lewis, the place captures the defining features of the style in its asymmetrical form, shingled embellishments, wraparound porch with spindled frieze, and round corner tower.
Described in a 1902 Brooklyn Daily Eagle profile as “a splendid specimen of the Maine product — tall and erect as one of her native pines,” Littlefield savored time with his family in the Rockland area, where he was spotted “almost dragging them afoot” up Camden’s Mount Battie, “grasping the mane of the waves as they dash off picturesque Owls Head,” gardening in jeans and “a ten-cent straw hat,” and riding his prized horses, kept in a former two-story octagonal barn at the rear of the house. Littlefield achieved notoriety as a shrewd politician after being elected to Congress in 1899, but resigned less than a decade later to focus on his New York law firm. His home became a doctor’s office in the mid-1900s and Rockland’s first B&B in 1994. Today, it’s the LimeRock Inn, where guests can experience intact Victorian splendor and the rugged pursuits the humble Littlefield claimed were the reason “I have not an ounce of superfluous flesh upon me.”