Seated on a hill overlooking the Penobscot River in Bucksport, Linwood Cottage has a reputation as one of Maine’s most unusual residences. Built in circa 1850 for local jeweler and clockmaker James Emery, the home is a melding of architectural styles, such as Gothic, Greek Revival, and Italianate. Emery’s eclectic taste generated a buzz back in the day, with several publications attempting to make sense of the building’s design. One speculated that the hodgepodge of styles was a nod to the changing Maine seasons: steeply pitched Gothic roofs help shed snow, after all, while the porch and Italianate tower suggest summer days. Whatever Emery’s motivation, the home seems a fitting reflection of a man whose varied interests included “jewelry, books, and fancy goods,” which town records indicate were sold at his downtown shop.
Portland-based writer Julie Senk holds degrees in history and historic preservation and provides property surveys and architectural analyses to homeowners and businesses. To learn more about her work, visit northernvernacular.com.