Hello ~ Happy December! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving was even more meaningful for us. After searching for a few years, we are grateful to have finally closed on a family vacation home. I have to say the search was exciting but quite challenging and frustrating as many of the properties we loved were out of our budget or had higher offers. Our focus had been on older homes that needed work and a bit of TLC.

So where is our new place? It is located in historic Castine – a small and very special coastal town in Maine. I look forward to writing a proper post on Castine, but for now, enjoy the mini pictorial tour below.

We are thankful to Karen Koos of Saltmeadow Properties for assisting us in Castine. Her expertise, guidance and patience proved invaluable. If you need a fabulous realtor for either a purchase or rental on the Blue Hill Peninsula, please contact Karen. Many thanks, Karen, for finding us our home!

Our home, built in 1804, has certainly seen its share of ups and downs. During the Victorian Period the house was renovated, and the ceilings were raised on the top floor with a new mansard roof added. Later in the 20th century, it sat uninhabited for nearly 50 years. Then it was extensively but sympathetically renovated, expanded and modernized 15 years ago. But, alas, the house once again is in need of attention.

We intend to gently repair and attend to important issues immediately – postpone other projects until resources become available. Our goal is to spend parts of the year in Maine, and tackle a project each season.

Despite all the renovations, much of the early architecture, charm and charecter remain true. We love the exterior’s quiet beauty and lack of pretense – much like Maine itself. And once inside, there is a sense of warmth, comfort and history, but not perfection.

Here are photos of the exterior:

 We love the simple lines and symmetry. As you can see, the exterior desperately needs painting. We’ll be selecting exterior and interior paint colors soon – can’t wait to share!
 The Victorian Period French doors, windows and shutters all need repairs – those are some of our favorite features! The flanking lanterns and granite hardscaping were added about 15 years ago. Fortunately the stonework is in good condition. We hope there are perennials in there with the weeds, overgrowth and dead shrubs – a big project this spring!
 A better view of the mansard roof. The kitchen, breezeway and garage-barn additions.
 A lighting rod atop the cupola.
  An early 19th century painting of our home by an American artist. Here the house is yellow and has the original Federal hip roof.
*    *    *    *    *
Now let’s take a little stroll around historic Castine – settled around 1613.
 Part of the Down East Region, Castine is a small coastal town situated at the end of a peninsula. It is surrounded by the Penobscot and Bagaduce Rivers.
 Castine is home to the Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) – a highly disciplined and respected state-run maritime college. Above is its impressive ship: The State of Maine.
 The MMA also owns the Bowdoin, a schooner designed and used for Arctic exploration.
 A glimpse of the quaint town center. Below is the Castine Historical Society, which is housed in the charming Ca.1859 Abbott School.
 Now a museum, the John Perkins House (below) has parts dating from 1763.
 Castine is known for its many early historic homes. Here are just a few:
A tour of our home’s interiors to come. Our vision is to create a carefree and comfortable home that combines our passion for Swedish painted furniture with Americana Maine, all on a budget. Please join Tom and me on this new journey!