Thomaston house is on list of most endangered historic places

Sep 12, 2019
Source: Maine Preservation The Fales Homestead in Thomaston in 1870.

Yarmouth — Maine Preservation has announced its 2019 list of Maine's Most Endangered Historic Places. The statewide historic preservation organization publishes the list each year to identify and rais public awareness about preserving threatened historic properties.

This year's list includes nine properties, one of which is the Fales Homestead in Thomaston, one of the earliest houses in the town, and one of the last remaining 18th-century houses. Likely built in 1786, the home was occupied by the Fales family until the mid-19th century. By the early 20th century, the home was owned by the Fernald sisters, who resided there for more than 70 years. (The home also has been known as the Fernald House.) Despite several changes in appearance over the last two centuries, the home remains an excellent example of a Colonial low-posted Cape, with its central chimney, fireplace and steep roof. The home also showcases an innovative use of graduated clapboards; narrow at the bottom and increasing in width as the boards march to the roofline. These graduated clapboards were intended to help to decrease exposure to harsh Maine winters.

The Fales Homestead has been vacant since the passing of its last in-state owner in 2007. The house now suffers from extensive deferred maintenance. Without intervention, according to Maine Preservation, the house may become damaged beyond repair and succumb to the elements, as the formerly attached shed and barn already have.

The Fales Homestead has withstood more than 233 years of Maine winters. The property could last for generations to come, Maine Preservation says in its press release, if prompt care is provided. Maine Preservation hopes to work with the current owner of the house and the community to transition the property to a new steward who can ensure that the Fales Homestead is restored and maintained.

Other properties on this year's Most Endangered Historic Places list are: the Charles A. Jordan House, Auburn; the Callendar House, Bar Harbor; the Old Town House, Belgrade; the Readfield Union Meetinghouse, Readfield; the Chaloner House, Lubec;the Tallman House, Bath; Fort Gorges, Portland; and the Camps and Cottages of Maine.


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