NEW Thing To Do: Read the Spring 2020 issue of The Dash online. Articles include a history of Freeport’s First Parish Church, Jack Montgomery’s reflections on photographing Pettengill Farm, and a fascinating history of the Nordica Theatre.
“Freeport Historical Society encourages the sharing and enjoyment of the long history of Freeport, Maine. The Society actively preserves buildings, archival materials and artifacts of historical importance while encouraging similar efforts within the community; undertakes research and develops educational programs and exhibits which explore and interpret Freeport’s history; and encourages related community activities which keep our rich past present.” (from the FHS website)
Freeport Historical Society connects us to our history and heritage with exhibits and events at their headquarters in Harrington House and at Pettengill Farm, and their collections provide a valuable resource for researchers interested in Freeport and its people.
Headquarters: Harrington House, 45 Main Street, Freeport, 207.865.3170, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Harrington House
The historical society is headquartered at Harrington House, a lovely brick home on Main Street. One of two historic properties owned and maintained by the historical society, Harrington House t was built ca. 1830 by Freeport merchant Enoch Harrington on a 14-acre parcel of land given to him by his business partner and father-in-law, Nathan Nye. Enoch Harrington died in 1848, and by 1876 his widow Eliza was living in Massachusetts with their son John and renting Harrington House out. The Harringtons sold the house to Lydia Fogg in 1886. Lydia, her husband Isaac, son Norman, daughter-in-law Addie, grandson Harry, and two boarders occupied the house until the early 1900s. In 1909 Levi T. Patterson purchased the property, and he and his wife lived there for over five decades. Patterson was a prominent Freeport citizen, who served a number of terms in the State Legislature. Like the Foggs, the Pattersons rented some of the second floor and attic rooms to boarders, in the Pattersons case the boarders were workers in Freeport’s shoe factories.
About Pettengill Farm
The second property owned and maintained by Freeport Historical Society is Pettengill Farm, a 19th-century salt-water farm on the estuary of the Harraseeket River. This beautiful property includes a saltbox house (ca. 1800) on 140 acres of fields, woods, antique apple orchards and salt marsh. Except when there is a special event at the farm (such as Pettengill Farm Day in October), there is no vehicle access to the property. A 0.6-mile walk on the tree-canopied dirt road takes you to the tranquil fields of the farm. A trail system around the property provides access to the woods and marshes for those interested in a bit of hiking. The farmhouse remains without plumbing, central heat and electricity and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Mildred Pettengill was its last resident and lived in the house until 1970. She loved the natural world, transplanting wild roses, lilacs, cedar trees, and other plants from area fields, shores, and islands into the gardens and grounds about the house. The garden was recently endowed in memory of Eleanor Houston and Lawrence M. C. Smith, who donated the house and property to Freeport Historical Society in 1975.