TEXT BY JULIE SENK
PHOTOGRAPHED BY KEVIN BENNETT
From our Spring 2022 issue
Since it was incorporated in 1787, Penobscot has been a quiet, pastoral place. Despite a historian’s 1875 claim that “there was very little of what might be deemed of local interest” here, the small town on the eastern side of Penobscot Bay was contributing to numerous midcoast industries in the 1800s. This twin-gabled, mid-19th-century home was built when fishing and shipbuilding dominated the Maine way of life. Records show that smaller enterprises, like brickmaking, coopering, and subsistence farming, were also pursued by townspeople at that time, including the families that once called this place home.
According to local lore, this one-and-a-half-story house is one of three similar residences constructed by the same builder. Today, it retains an engaging blend of architectural flourishes that were popular in his lifetime. Subtle Greek Revival elements, seen in the wide trim and gable-facing front facade, lay the stylistic foundation. Victorian details, such as the bay window, entry porch, and ornate brackets, likely came later, as did the enclosed Colonial Revival-influenced porch. Inside, you’ll find a variety of molded door and window casings, an elegantly carved staircase, built-ins, and wood floors.
Some major items have been checked off by previous owners, including foundation repairs and plumbing upgrades in the kitchen. The roof is in decent shape, but the home’s wood siding needs a good scrape and fresh coats of paint. The porches require attention as well, including structural repairs. Inside, the wood floors need refinishing and the plaster walls and ceilings must be restored and painted. The bath and kitchen should be overhauled (save for the charming mid-century kitchen cabinets, which will shine up with cleaning and paint). Those looking to get creative will love the unfinished attic, which would make a cozy office or living space.