Old Houses

Old houses always need work. Right now my husband is on our side porch replacing a ceiling falling apart in chunks of paint and masonite.  But one thing in our colonial on Main Street that has remained in great shape is the mural in the library.  The colorful images are still full of vibrancy and remain a beautiful tribute to the history of the area.  Putting those images on the cover of my book was a natural.

The mural was painted in 1939 by Portland artist Roger Deering on commission from then-owner Evelyn Butler Ennis. The work takes up an entire wall of our room and depicts several scenes from early Farmington history.  The section we used as the cover illustration centers around a rider in cocked hat and knee breeches, a wooden sign that reads “Ye Trail to Hallowell” in the foreground.  This scene was designed to commemorate the beginning of a weekly mail run in 1793, a year before the town was incorporated.  The red carriage in the background takes us ahead in time to 1808 when the first stage coach line to Hallowell was established.  In the background is Mt. Blue, the silhouette that has forever been familiar to anyone living here.

I have a 1939 newspaper story from the Press Herald reporting on the new mural.  The writer notes that “Critics have called it the finest mural in Franklin County.”  It was probably just about the only mural in Franklin County, but nevertheless, it was a fine one.  And it remains so today.  If only our ceilings were in such good shape…

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About Luann Yetter

Luann Yetter is the author of Bar Habor in the Roaring Twenties, Portland's Past and Remembering Franklin County, all published by the History Press. She is a writing instructor at the University of Maine at Farmington. She has had a life-long interest in social history beginning with a steady diet of Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a little girl in the Midwest. She now lives in an 18th century house in a small town in Maine and loves to "time travel" when she writes.
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2 Responses to Old Houses

  1. Hi Luann, I enjoyed your Eagle Lake entry because Howard Sturges was my gg grandfather. I am trying to find out anything I can about where his summer house was, what it looked like, how long they lived there (I know he actually died there), any possible stories…and is the house still there? To think I was actually in Bar Harbor once before I knew of this! Any help of whee/how I could find out anything would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Debbie

    • Luann Yetter says:

      Thanks, Debbie. My next book project is probably going to be about Bar Harbor, so I will keep an eye out for more material about your ancestor Howard Sturges. I’ll let you know if I find anything!

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