History of the House 

Click on photograph to enlarge

Welcome to the historic house that was the inspiration for the miniature  you are about to visit. The original house was built in 1838 for the family of a Maine sea captain, George W. Robinson.  The house is a one and a half storey Greek Revival Cape of magnificent quality. Because we are only the fourth owners in 170 years, the house is basically unspoiled. The rooms are well proportioned and the detail of woodwork is very well defined. The house has a matching pair of formal living rooms, each with its own black marble fireplace, the marble having been quarried here in town, a formal dining room, a library, a full bath and a very large kitchen, with its own fireplace and pantry, on the first floor. There is also a three season porch in the back overlooking an extensive garden and a hugh silver maple  tree  that is more than 125 years old.

 The second floor has three large bedrooms, one of which we use as a second storey sitting room, a large full  bath and a small birthing room that we use as a computer room. The proportions of the rooms are generous and, for a cape, the second floor ceiling height of 8 feet and 6 inches is quite impressive.  Ceiling height on the first floor is 8 feet 10 inches.

According to a book about the houses of Thomaston, Maine, this house is described as "...the pretty little house on Main Street." And, indeed, it is little compared with the mansions of the other sea captains, some having in excess of sixteen  rooms. When it was built, there was no effort made to use lesser quality materials even if the house was on a smaller scale than others. Quality of both the materials and the workmanship is excellent throughout the house.

 

The house is basically a square of 40 feet on each side, not counting the three season porch. The windows are very large and still have their original glass, some of it already having changed color due to the effects of sunlight on  imperfections in very old glass. At one time, before central heating was installed in 1920, the upstairs rooms had small candle stoves that burned one log which was put in upright and lighted with some hot coals that were brought upstairs from the first floor fireplaces. It was just enough heat to take the chill out of the bedrooms for a more comfortable night's sleep. That is why you will notice that there are mantle pieces in rooms that no longer have stoves.

 

The house is in the process of being historically restored, removing many layers of paint and beginning all over again once the bare wood is exposed. That process has made us aware of the excellent workmanship and quality of the materials used when the house was built. The wood is of extremely tight grain (very old growth). Many boards are over two feet in width with several, the kitchen counters for example, exceeding a yard in width.

The house has huge six over six windows with deep mullions and handsome framing. On the first floor, the living room windows have interior shutters called Indian Shutters, which fold into the thick framing walls that measure as much as ten inches in depth. The windows have no sash cords but they do have side pins that can be pushed in at various heights to keep a window open.  In places where these are missing, we use the simple "stick in the window" method of keeping a window open.  It is both easy and historically correct.

The resulting miniature, which was made as a dollhouse for our youngest granddaughter, is an exact 1/12 th scale model of our home.

 



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