Save This Place

fixer-upper home

With a bit of elbow grease, you can return this stately home — rendered in one of Maine’s earliest architectural styles — to its former glory

By Julie Senk
Photographs by Greta Rybus


The English settlers who came to the Machias area in the late 1700s were impressed with its natural beauty and the possibilities its rivers and bay presented — the name “Machias” is Passamaquoddy for “bad little falls,” a reference to the rapids that settlers would harness to power their sawmills. This elegantly detailed, circa 1800 Federal-style house — previously owned by a ship joiner and a blacksmith, among others — is a testament to that industrious time.


The National Register of Historic Places identifies the house as a contributing resource to the East Machias Historic District. This charming 19th-century village includes Washington Academy, a quasi-public school that serves as the local high school and attracts tuition students from around the world. An exceptional example of an early Federal home, the building retains many original features, including working fireplaces in most rooms, built-ins, wainscoting, and hardwood floors. Plus, there’s a sun porch, garage, and a nice front lawn with gardens that have been maintained over the years. The Down East Sunrise Trail runs along the East Machias River nearby.

old set of stairs
antique lamp
old fireplace


The building is in good shape overall, but is ready for updates throughout, including new appliances, cabinetry, and countertops in the spacious kitchen. The floors, staircase, built-ins, and mantels need refinishing. The new owners may want to remove sections of carpeting and laminate flooring and strip wallpaper to reveal period plaster walls. Some fresh paint and fixes to the clapboard siding, window trim, shutters, and entryway will do wonders to restore the house’s historic exterior. Prior renovations include a new boiler, newly capped chimneys, and repairs to the fieldstone foundation.

Location: East Machias

Asking Price: $78,000

Agent: Heather Cline; [email protected]

More Down East Fixer-Uppers

By Julie Senk and Virginia M. Wright
Photo courtesy of The Christopher Group

WHAT’S TO LOVE 1847 Italianate former high school, decorative brackets under the eaves, wide wooden quoins, barrel-vaulted ceiling on the second floor. Many allowed uses include single-family home, two-unit apartment building, artists’ studios. 4,608 square feet, 2 baths. .32 acre

WHAT IT NEEDS Depends on use. Most recently employed as city offices, the building has first-floor walls that are easily removable; the second floor is one large room.

AGENT: Samra Kuseybi; [email protected]

fixer-upper home
Photo courtesy of Due East Real Estate

WHAT’S TO LOVE Sweet, roomy in-town Victorian partially refreshed by previous owner. 1,912 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 2 baths. .16 acre

WHAT IT NEEDS Repainting of exterior and interior cosmetic updates, such as new wallpaper or paint and carpets, especially upstairs.

AGENT: Emily Lee; emilyjolee@gmail .com

Photo courtesy of Drop Anchor Realty

WHAT’S TO LOVE 1850 Colonial with original millwork, wide- plank wood floors, kitchen/dining pass-through, servants’ quarters, double parlors, fireplace, hand-hewn beams, attached barn, and 400 feet of frontage on the Pleasant River. 2,900 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 1 bath. 2 acres

WHAT IT NEEDS A new roof, heating system, minor foundation work, interior cosmetic work.

AGENT: Ronald Gallant; [email protected]