Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Last Postcards from Maine: The Searsport House

I've posted photographs of this atmospheric ruin on Maine's scenic Route 1 before (see more of them here), but that was before the new "skylight" appeared in the roof of the addition:

Here's the house in 2011:

And here's the same view is in 2015:

Every time we drive to Maine, we feel anxious as we approach Searsport. Will the house still be there? Or —horrors! — will we find some crappy new building rising on its lot?

It doesn't help that we are often unsure about exactly where this house is. Every vacant, grassy field gives us a jolt. Is the house just past the Ship in a Bottle shop, or not? Isn't it right near this flea market... or is there another one? Where is it in relation to the shop that sells spiral staircases? Then we finally spot it and we are thrilled and relieved.

And we are hardly alone. Many travelers along Route 1 love and worry about this house as much as we do. And many photograph it. Here's one photographer's moody shot taken at night — something I'll never see, since we make our long drives during daylight.

Here's a moonlight photo by Michael Berry that is probably my favorite.

Another photographer, Kim Jackson, shot the house in snow and reported what she knew of its story: It was built between 1830 and 1840 for a sea captain, Joseph Loomis Park (many sea captains built fine houses in Searsport). It changed hands a few times until it was purchased by an "eccentric man" named Douglas Brown, who "has filled it with junk and left it to decay."

Keep it up, Mr. Brown. Long may you wave. Please, please, let it stay upright for as long as it can. Please never let anyone tear it down. It's one of Maine's treasures.

1 comment:

  1. I have pictures of this house from over 20 years ago and it was abandoned then. Thanks for the pictures and history!


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