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Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Humble Home in Maine

Yet again, I've missed the deadline for the Carnival of Genealogy. An idea for the current topic—"Shelter from the storm, stories of the home and hearth"—didn't come until a few minutes ago.

This morning my 94-year-old grandmother left her home in Locke Mills, Maine, perhaps (I've just learned) for the last time. Her late husband bought the house from his sister in August of 1936. My father was born in the back bedroom four years later. Every Saturday evening of my childhood was spent at the dinner table there over a plate of baked beans. (My mother tells me this was my first solid food as an infant.) Before dinner, while the grownups talked in the kitchen, I would play in the living room on a floor so uneven that all my marbles and Matchbox cars would roll to the northeast corner.

The house is one story with low ceilings, small but not cramped. It was built according to no particular style in about 1853, the year the house lot was first sold. The land was sold "reserving the building on the same," but whether the present house is referred to is difficult to tell. It was sold to a young widow in 1854, who, after remarrying, sold it to another young widow in 1865. It was probably after her tenure that a second, larger house was built immediately next to the first. That house was still standing in the 1970s, and was home to my great-grandparents after they moved off their farm in 1941. There was scarcely room for a driveway between the two buildings, and in many instances the two were conveyed by the same deed. The larger house was demolished in about 1977, and my aunt now owns both properties.

Even if my grandmother doesn't return, the house will stay in the family. My aunt still lives there and has no intention of leaving. If she ever did leave, I would find a way to buy it. And I wouldn't fix the floor.

Apple

I hope your grandmother is allowed to return home if that is where she wants to be. I wish we had been able to hang onto my grandparents house, I'm glad yours will remain in the family. Memories are easier to recover when you can visit a place.

Chris

Thanks, Apple.

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