Pettengill Farm, a nineteenth century salt-water farm on the estuary of the Harraseeket River, is owned by Freeport Historical Society(FHS).It includes a saltbox house (ca. 1800) on 140 acres of fields, woods, antique apple orchards and salt marsh. Most interesting are the etchings (sgraffitti) found on the plaster walls in the upper chambers of ships, sea monsters, longboats and animals. The farmhouse remains without plumbing, central heat and electricity and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Mildred Pettengill was its last resident and lived in the house until 1970. She loved the natural world, transplanting 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.” FHS volunteers have added a delightful variety of historic perennials such as dahlias, hollyhocks, iris, and phlox. The garden was recently endowed in memory of Eleanor Houston and Lawrence M. C. Smith, who donated the house and property to FHS in 1975. The small milk shed was re-built in 2006 by local Boys Scout Tropp #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 chambers. Most depict ships, boats, and sea animals. A date and name add to the intrigue of these illustrations.
Directions to Pettengill Farm
The grounds, including gardens, fields, and four forest trails are open to the public, dawn to dusk, year-round. We open the farmhouse by appointment and on Pettengill Farm Day, the first Sunday in October. From Main Street in Freeport, turn east on Bow Street (across from L. L. Bean, Inc. main entrance). Go 1.5 miles; turn right onto Pettengill Road. Park at the gate. Walk the dirt road for about 15 minutes to the farmhouse. In support of Pettengill Farm, we welcome your donation in the metal house-shaped box at the gate. Please note, dogs are not permitted on the grounds of historic Pettengill Farm. Download a trail map here.
You’ll find a virtual tour of Pettengill Farm here
For information concerning Pettengill Farm or to make special arrangements to visit the property please contact us at 207-865-3170 or E-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read excerpts of Mildred Pettengill’s diary from the year 1921 here!