Where in Maine?
Can you identify this patriotic meetinghouse with a storied past?
Photograph by John Bald
When residents of this Casco Bay community first met at the old meetinghouse they were almost certainly discussing the tyrannies of English rule. Inside the deacon’s box, according to the local historical society, there’s a floorboard that measures twenty-nine and a half inches wide, five inches wider than the wood colonists were lawfully allowed to use — the king had decreed all pine more than two-feet wide for his navy. In August 1757, the Reverend Elisha Eaton and his sons had begun constructing this venerable house. They hewed the beams by hand, cut extra thick clapboards to keep out the winter chill, and built the rows of pumpkin-pine box pews — then auctioned them off to worshipers for $150 a piece. As this salty burg grew, a push was made for a larger gathering space and the building was abandoned in 1842. The town took it over fifteen years later and used it for meetings, voting, and municipal offices. This graceful structure stands as one of the oldest buildings in Maine and was deemed a National Historic Landmark in 1968.
Send us a note at P.O. Box 679, Camden, ME 04843; whip off an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or post a comment below if you can identify it. Our favorite response wins a Down East wall calendar.