Every summer we get nervous as we drive through Searsport, wondering if our favorite ruined Victorian is still standing or if it's been razed, with maybe another flea market taking its place.
This year I'm happy to say the house is still with us, if just barely:
Compare this year's photo with one I took last year:
And here's another from about five years ago:
Clearly, that "skylight addition" that recently appeared in the roof of the wing was bad luck:
I could peer inside the opening but there wasn't much to see, just some sort of cabinet, I think. You can see that many planks — lumber or flooring? — have spilled outside.
I have to stay several feet from the house because the weeds are tall, my legs are bare, and I fear ticks and poison ivy. I'm always in a hurry to take these pictures as my husband is parked on the other side of the highway, worrying that I'll get flattened by a car when I dash across.
I love this house. It's interesting to study its warping, caving, weathering, and other decay. But it's so sad to see it growing ever more tilted and decrepit. I used to hope someone would rescue it but I think even the most foolhardy optimist would agree that it's beyond help now.
It must have been elegant and well-kept once upon a time. Along Route 1 in Searsport, there are several outstanding, beautifully maintained 19th-century houses. This one was probably a similar jewel, more modest but perhaps more charming, too.
When we first discovered it, I considered it a "haunted house." It haunted me, anyway. But upon reflection, I don't see why ghosts would lurk around there on a regular basis; what would be the point? Ghosts seem to like company and signs of life. This house is too lonely for more than a passing visit, the kind we make on our way to Southwest Harbor.