Cole House, Thomaston, Maine


To tell the story of this house, I have to start with the house next door.

That's because its next door neighbor is Montpelier, the home of Revolutionary War General Henry Knox. (Fort Knox was named for him.) Knox retired to Thomaston when he decided to become a gentleman farmer. Once established there, however, Knox wasn't exactly popular among the locals. In real estate he was known as a "grasping tyrant" and became the model for the villain in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables.  

All that aside, today Montpelier is the Knox Museum, and our featured house, Cole House (which is in the background next to the flag in the picture below), has served as its administrative offices and Center for the Study of Early American History since 2007. 


The ironic thing is, Montpelier wasn't there when the Coles were building their farmhouse in 1824. This Montpelier is a replica. 1824 was coincidentally the year Knox's widow Lucy died, leaving the already bankrupt Montpelier estate to their "wastrel" son Henry Jackson Knox. The house fell into disrepair and was eventually demolished to make way for the Thomaston Railroad in 1871. (The site has been home to a thriving boat building business ever since.)

The original Montpelier was further south, on the St. George River. The building that we see is a 1929 re-creation of the original.

While Montpelier was definitely dressed to impress, Cole House is decidedly more cozy:

The stenciling and murals were done by a local artist I tried to track down, to no avail. I do know that I will be so happy if the wall mural in the parlor is actually of Thomaston and the surrounding area.

Because this room can be cozy and not museum-worthy, it would look lovely with put-your-feet-up furniture:

The kitchen already has that cozy factor:

The sink is antique soapstone. 

The downstairs bathroom is a nice decorating extension of the kitchen:

Continuing the color scheme upstairs...

...are 4 bedrooms and another bathroom. The bedrooms are currently being used as offices...

...but it wouldn't take much to turn them into cozy bedrooms again:


I would suggest keeping one of the bedrooms as an office/library, but the house already has one, right off the foyer, downstairs:

The house also has a third floor attic space that I just want to dig around in and find treasures:

No doubt about it, Cole House is a treasure in and of itself. The Old House Dreams listing is here.

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