TEXT BY JULIE SENK
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAVE DOSTIE
In the late 1800s, Franklin native Walter Blaisdell was enjoying his moment in the sun. The owner of a general store on Main Street and a profitable granite quarry whose stone was shipped to cities as far away as Philadelphia, he was proclaimed a man of “sterling character” and “one of Hancock County’s best-known businessmen” by the Ellsworth American. Blaisdell was clearly an efficient sort too, for the Second Empire–style home he built for his wife, Eva, and their family in 1883 was located right next to his store.
When the place passed out of the Blaisdells’ hands in the early 1900s, its Second Empire mansard roof was replaced with a hip roof. Today, the house is a stylistic mash-up with Italianate embellishments, seen in the brackets beneath the window crowns, a Colonial Revival–style lead-tracery window, and a shingled mansard roof atop the connected barn. Original interior elements include hardwood floors, window and door trim, and an elegantly carved wooden fireplace surround and staircase. While the general store, sadly, succumbed to a fire, the home has another nice neighbor: a charmingly diminutive, former one-room schoolhouse that was relocated in 1929 to serve as the town library.
This house needs owners with a vision and plenty of pluck. The main roof was recently replaced, but the barn roof needs repairs and the foundation requires a close inspection. The cladding should be scraped and painted, and the interior walls, woodwork, ceilings, and floors repaired and/or refinished. The kitchen and baths will benefit from new appliances, cabinetry, and fixtures, and a new furnace is a must. The barn would make a sweet studio or living space.