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DIVING INTO HISTORY (PART 1)

October 9, 2022

Last fall we were called in to tackle a project in Eastport that involved the total restoration of the front door surround in a very old Federal era cape prominently located on Washington Street. The homes current owner wished the work done as a gift to the residents of the island city.

As this was just the kind of project we love, we were eager to take it on. Work would be done through the winter in our shop (door, sidelights, semi-elliptical fan window), with the rest the following summer. However, our first order of business was a dive into the home’s history.

Known by locals as the Buxton house, a plaque on the front of the building next to its impressive door attested to that fact, adding a construction date of 1826. Papers and photos from the homeowners’ files passed down from previous residents informed us further. We learned that at one time the property was owned by Charles Moxey Buxton, mayor of Eastport, from 1901-1902. We would later discover that Charles had actually spent a portion of his childhood in the old home, inheriting the property as well as the family business, a hack, livery and boarding stable on Dana Street.

Charles was born in 1852 in Yarmouth, Maine, a town where generations of his family lived before him. Four siblings, Jerimiah, George, Frances and Edward, preceded him. His grandfather, Jerimiah Buxton, ran a tavern in Yarmouth providing respite to stagecoach passengers. The Georgian period building still stands today. His father Edward Gray Buxton joined in the family business, running a store, blacksmith shop and cooperage nearby as well has a tavern stand that catered to cattle drovers and peddlers. Edward and his wife Lydia would relocate the family (minus the two oldest brothers) from Yarmouth to Eastport in 1857, where Edward senior would take a position as a hotel keeper.

It was ten years later, in 1867, the family would take possession of the Washington Street home. Charles was 15 years old at the time. By 1870 Edward senior was working as a stable keeper along with his two youngest sons. In 1879 he purchased the stables at 9 Dana Street for 600 dollars.

In 1876 Charles married Catherine Stimpson Childs, in Boston. Formerly of Charleston, Catherine was the daughter of a prominent local merchant. While living in Boston, Charles was engaged in the retail furniture business. Two children were born in there; Horace and Edward.

Charles and family would return to Eastport about the time of his fathers passing in 1881. They would have three more children; Carrie, Florence and Helen while residing in the old family home. When he passed away in 1933 an item appeared in the Eastport Sentinel:

BUXTON RESIDENCE FOR SALE –

We are able to offer the Charles M. Buxton residence on Washington and High Streets for sale.  This is one of the fine old homes of Eastport, located on one of the best corners in town. The house is charmingly old-fashioned, with broad mantles, white wainscoting, and an original and very typical fireplace (walled in) in the kitchen, and many other features of the long ago. There are no less than six rooms and a hall downstairs, and seven upstairs, including the bathroom. In fact, the house is arranged for two tenants and can be used that way, or it would be excellent for a large household or for taking roomers. Both front rooms on Washington Street, have open fireplaces, and both are very pleasant. That on the west has a fine built-in secretary. The front hall is spacious and attractive. The front of the house is protected by a granite curbing and iron fence. The front door is one of the finest colonial designs in Eastport. At the rear are two four-room tenements, opening on high street and a sizable barn that would make a good garage, opening on Sullivan Street. This is a very desirable property, and is on the market only because of the need to settle the estate of the late owner.

Apparently, there were no immediate takers until the property was purchased by the editor of the Sentinel himself, Rosco C. Emery, in 1935. Rosco born in 1886 to Canadian immigrants. From 1907-1909 he served as the Lubec school principal and was the editor of the Sentinel from 1914- 1945. In 1919 he married Vera Leonard and had two children Walter and Joyce all of whom lived in the old home. Not unlike Charles Buxton, Roscoe also served as a mayor of Eastport from 1928- 31 and 1935-36. 

in 1946, Vera L Emery sold the property to Milroy Warren. The following item appeared in the Sentinel:

BUXTON HOUSE BEING RESTORED-

The former Buxton house on Washington Street, recently purchased by Milroy Warren of Lubec, is being rapidly restored as one of the finest examples of Colonial homes in this section. The fireplaces including that in the kitchen, are being renewed in their original design, and the rooms along with remarkably distinctive hall, are being redecorated in keeping with the style of long ago. In the process of removing the old wall paper in one of the front rooms, pine wainscoting was discovered, measuring in one section 26 inches in width and 12 feet in length, cut from a single board. The building is being painted white, emphasizing at the front door the wrought iron design which makes it one of the most beautiful home entrances in Eastern Maine.

 

 

 

 

(click photo to view larger image)

(comments = 1)

 
kathy
November 2, 2022

Patrick and Joyce,
I really enjoyed reading about the history of the house. am looking forward to future blog posts to hear about restoration progress. will be wonderful to bring the door back to its original glory. you two do great work!!!

 

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