Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 140 Issue 30

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home : letters : letters to the editor July 28, 2015

4/24/2013 2:00:00 PM
The Oldest House In Newcastle

To the Editor:

Several years ago I relocated to Maine, having fallen in love with Midcoast Maine, more specifically with our Twin Villages, and eventually purchased a home here in Newcastle.

From the very first time that I drove through this charming community of Damariscotta Mills, I couldn't help but to notice a particularly quaint little house. Ever since that initial encounter, whether I drove past it or walked past it, I found that I was getting more and more curious about it. Believe it or not, I often felt a bit of a tug when I went by, almost as if it were "talking" to me. By the way at last check I was assured that I did, in fact, still have all of my marbles.

I didn't think all that more about it until several months ago when I started to see several articles and letters to the editor in The Lincoln County News. I became interested and a bit more curious about this historic home that people seemed to be concerned about.

Then when I finally saw an article, which included a photo of this property at 21 Pond Road, that was like one of those "Aha" moments for me. With my life-long love for historic homes, I now understood why this little home had been tugging at me, and talking to me.

Quite obviously there are many people, organizations, communities, etc. with varying degrees of interest and/or concern pertaining to what will eventually happen to this historic home. Among these are: the state of Maine, Lincoln County, the town of Newcastle, the Lincoln County and Newcastle historical associations, the Twin Villages community, friends and neighbors within Damariscotta Mills, certainly the new owners, John and Mary Harmon, as well as other interested and concerned parties.

Wouldn't it be nice to think that whatever the final outcome and resolution will be, it will be a decision with which each and every one of the interested and/or concerned parties are in complete agreement? I most assuredly am hoping for that.

Regarding a bit of a perspective from my standpoint, the historic homes, and more specifically the oldest homes in towns within Massachusetts with which I am most familiar would include the following:

• Ipswich - John Whipple home, built in 1677 (more period homes in Ipswich than any other town in the country)

• Lynnfield - James Noyes house and Hart house, both built in 1695

• Dedham - Fairbanks house, built in 1637 (oldest wooden frame house in Massachusetts)

• Nantucket - Jethro Coffin house, built in 1686

• Marblehead - Ambrose Gale house, built in 1663

The purpose of mentioning these homes, as well as the significance of these homes relating to our 21 Pond Rd. home, is that it is my understanding that each of these homes still remain exactly where they were initially constructed, precisely where each of them was born, if you will.

In addition, since our town of Newcastle is one of the Twin Villages, will we likewise be successful in accomplishing what Damariscotta accomplished, namely preserving and restoring its oldest home, the 1754 Chapman-Hall House, with its several national historical significances?

In that case, a number of people came together to save that home from being torn down to make way for a gas station. I don't think that I need to comment on that decision and outcome. However, of great importance and significance is whether we, together, will be successful in accomplishing what our sister community was able to do, namely, to save the oldest homes within each of our Twin Villages.

These are a few of my thoughts, I think that you can readily sense from whence I come, as well as what I am personally hoping for. Together, can we find a way for an amicable solution whereby all concerned will be pleased?

I, very deeply personally, shall look forward to the day when I shall walk past this little gem at 21 Pond Rd. and "hear" it talk to me and say, simply "thank you."

Only time and togetherness will tell.

Walt Silva
Newcastle




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