Keywords: Early Homes
Historical Items Showing 3 of 341 View All
Contributed by: Monson Historical Society
Date: circa 1900
Contributed by: Dixfield Historical Society
Date: circa 1910
Media: black and white photograph
Tax Records Showing 1 of 1 View All
Owner in 1924: Clyde Ray
Use: Summer Dwelling
The Wadsworth-Longfellow house is the oldest building on the Portland peninsula, the first historic site in Maine, a National Historic Landmark, home to three generations of Wadsworth and Longfellow family members -- including the boyhood home of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The history of the house and its inhabitants provide a unique view of the growth and changes of Portland -- as well as of the immediate surroundings of the home.
Young men and women in the 19th century often went away from home -- sometimes for a few months, sometimes for longer periods -- to attend academies, seminaries, or schools run by individuals. While there, they wrote letters home, reporting on boarding arrangements and coursework undertaken, and inquired about the family at home.
Letters to and from Sebago soldiers who served in the Civil War show concern on both sides about farms and other issues at home as well as concern from the home front about soldiers' well-being.
When Peleg Wadsworth built his house in 1785, what is now Congress Street in Portland was on the rural outskirts of the community known as Falmouth. The house passed on to other family members and Portland changed around what remained a family home until 1901, when it became a historic house museum.
John Martin (1823-1904) of Bangor began in 1864 looking back at his life, family, business and recreational experiences and recording those events and thoughts -- with narrative and illustrations -- for his children. Martin called himself an "expert accountant," but he was interested in architecture, dance, fashion, gardening, politics, business, religion, and the world around him.
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