Freeport Historical Society
45 Main Street
Freeport, Maine 04032
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, FHS and its exhibit are open Monday through Friday, 9:30-4:30.
From Labor Day through Memorial Day, FHS is open Tuesday-Friday, 9:30-4:30.
We close for all major holidays.
Because we have a small staff, it is always a good idea to call-ahead (865-3170) and make sure we are open.
To make an appointment to conduct research, call 865-3170. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visiting Pettengill Farm
This beautiful 140 acre site, including four walking trails, gardens, fields and vista down to the saltwater Harraseeket estuary is open dawn to dusk year-round. The early 1800’s saltbox farmhouse is open by appointment (207-865-3170 or via email@example.com) and for our Annual Pettengill Farm Day. Please practice Carry-In, Carry-Out (whatever you bring in….perhaps a picnic lunch…leaves with you.) If you enjoy your time at Pettengill, you are invited to donate at the rusted metal saltbox donation box near the trailhead signage. We thank you for your support.
From Main Street in Freeport, turn east on Bow Street (across from L.L. Bean) and proceed 1.5 miles; turn right onto Pettengill Road. Park at the gate and enjoy the walk the dirt road for about 15 minutes to the farmhouse. There are no bathroom facilities. Seasonally, you may want to bring bug spray and your own water.
Pettengill Farm, a nineteenth century salt-water farm on the estuary of the Harraseeket River, is owned by Freeport Historical Society. It includes a saltbox house (ca. 1810) on 140 acres of fields, woods, antique apple and cherry orchards and is surrounded by a salt marsh. Most interesting are the etchings (sgraffitti) found on the plaster walls in the upper bedrooms of ships, sea monsters, longboats and animals. Listed in the National Register, the house remains without plumbing, central heat and electricity. Mildred Pettengill, the homes last resident who lived here until 1970, lovingly transplanted wild roses, lilacs, cedar trees, and other plants from area fields, shores, and islands into the gardens and grounds about the house. Some are native American species and were among the flowers colonists found on arrival. From an undated letter by Miss Pettengill: “…In the flower garden back of the stable I have made paths with the old deformed bricks from the brickyard down on the shore, also a border of the bricks around the flower garden by the maple trees.” The garden was recently endowed in memory of Eleanor Houston and Lawrence M. C. Smith, who donated the house and property to Freeport Historical Society in 1975. The small milk shed was re-built in 2006 by local Boys Scout Troop #45 as part of an Eagle Scout leadership project.
Sgraffitti is an Italian word that means to scratch or draw by incising into the surface. These very rare drawings adorn the walls of three of the upper bedrooms. Most depict ships(some named), boats, and various sea animals.