This area is part of the South Berwick Village Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rising out of ancient farmland once known simply as “the Plain,” Portland Street grew along the old Boston to Portland turnpike. Following this old stagecoach route out of town, one passes the site of a town house, now marked by the 1898 Civil War monument. Originally an old Baptist meeting house built in the 1700s, the town house was used as an early seat of local government through the mid-1800s.  Some homes built near the intersection of today’s Agamenticus Road were owned by members of the Baptist congregation as well as a Quaker family.  Some once contained stores and shops. A one-room school house serving this neighborhood is today a private home. 

Jewett

 Read a Jewett story about Civil War veterans

 

Soldier's Monument 1898On this site in the late 1700s stood the Meeting House of the Plains, a Baptist church.   It still appeared on a map of about 1860 as the Town House.  In 1898, the town approved the Soldiers' Monument to be placed on the site, and annual Memorial Day gatherings recalled the sacrifices of the Civil War.    For over 100 years the monument has been the scene of tributes to South Berwick veterans of all wars.

Ben F. Davis House This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Though the owner of this house was named Benjamin Franklin Davis, he went by Ben F. Davis, and was sometimes known as Ben Frank. He lived from April 17, 1862 to February 1, 1933, and ran a drugstore on the Central Square of downtown South Berwick.

Tobey House  c. 1875This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Elizabeth W. Tobey died 9 February 1922, at 83, according to Vital Records of South Berwick. Her husband’s name and occupation and her parents’ names are unknown. According to the Independent of July 9, 1914, Melvin Tobey was a clerk in the Maddox Grocery Store.

Darville House c. 1870This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Joseph Darville was a baker, according to the 1904 South Berwick Register and census, and lived here with his wife, Ella F. Tebbetts. They may have moved here from Dover, NH. Their daughter, Rose Florence, is listed as a music teacher in the Maine Register of 1912-13, the state business directory. In 1923, Joseph married Mrs. Emily Hill of Dover at age 68. He died July 16, 1936 at age 81, and she inherited the house.

Bradeen House c. 1890This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Joshua E. L. Bradeen (1846-1907), who lived here with his wife, Lydia L. Stiles (1845-1932), was a machinist, according to the 1904 South Berwick Register and census. Other family members included Harold E. Bradeen, also a machinist, and Aaron D. Bradeen, a station agent. Harold married Mary E. Jenkins in 1912. She died in 1936.

Northend Cogswell House 1803This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Northend Cogswell (1762-1828) was a merchant and Revolutionary War veteran born in Rowley, Massachusetts. His wife Elizabeth was the sister of William Lambert, living nearby at 194 Portland Street. Among the Cogswell children who grew up here was Charles Northend Cogswell (1797-1846), an attorney who served as Maine state senator and representative in the 1830s and 1840s.

  Charles W. Murphy House c. 1870
 
Charles Murphy
 

This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1856 map seems to show a house belonging to J. Pray here. Portland Street Cemetery records show Joseph Pray (1791-1873) survived his wife, Mary Pray (1806-1861), and five children, including twin boys who died on the same day at the age of six weeks. By the 1870s, Charles W. Murphy seems to have built this house. It is unknown whether he was related to the cabinetmaker Joseph Murphy, who lived across Portland street in the early 1800s. Charles married Rosetta Durgin when they were both 21, according to vital records. He died in 1899 at age 65. Rosetta continued living here with her son, Charles E. Murphy, a carpenter, and Nellie J. Murphy, a “shoe operator.” Rosetta died in 1922 at age 89.

This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Thomas Jewett House c. 1795Thomas Jewett (1790-1864) was Sarah Orne Jewett’s great uncle. He was brother and business partner of Capt. Theodore F. Jewett, helping to lead their successful shipbuilding and commercial enterprises at Pipe Stave Landing on the river near the Hamilton House, as well as the Jewett Store at the Corner.

Thomas' wife was Betsey Lord Jewett, a sea captain’s daughter from Rollinsford, NH. The Jewetts raised seven children here. In 1860, when Thomas Jewett was the last remaining Jewett brother in his generation, he was said to be the wealthiest man in South Berwick. After his death, the house became the home of his nephew and son-in-law, Elisha Jewett. The Grant House apartments are located at this property today.

Drew House c. 1870This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Herbert G. Drew (1855-1923), who built this house, was a millwright, according to the South Berwick Register and census of 1904. Perhaps the mill where he worked was the woolen mill at Great Works and he traveled to work on Academy Street. On November 24, 1905, the newspaper Independent wrote, “Herbert Drew collided with Mr. Hartford’s team, while driving on Academy St. last week, and both men were thrown from their wagons. Mr. Drew was so badly wrenched and bruised that he has been confined to his house and his wagon was injured. The horse cleared himself and ran some ways before being stopped.” After Drew, the house was owned by Lewis B. Hanson, a blacksmith who lived at 120 Portland Street.

George H. Yeaton House c. 1870This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. In the early 20 th century, this was the home of George H. Yeaton (1852-1942). He was a Rollinsford native but also attended Berwick Academy. He became a breeder of Ayreshire cattle on a beautiful farm that still stands off Route 4 in Rollinsford near the Hiram Roberts Grange, which he helped found.

Elisha and Sally Jewett House c. 1800Thought to have been built as early as the 1700s, the house at the corner of Portland Street and Agamenticus Road was in the 1850s and 1860s home to two Sarah Orne Jewetts who were relatives of the author by the same name.  Today this house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places.

Parks-Harding House c. 1808This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. It was likely built about 1808 by Jacob Heard (1771 - 1844).  From 1814 to 1833, it was the home of merchant Thomas Boylston Parks (1789-1861), who was associated with the nearby Baptist Church and the Parks Store on Main Street . The house then passed to the family of Capt. Samuel Harding (c. 1780 - 1844), a sea captain. The Hardings, also Baptists, owned the house until 1865.

This house was described by author Sarah Orne Jewett as a home that “people of refinement and cultivation had planned … and lived in … with elegance and hospitality.”

William Lambert House c. 1800This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Lawyer William Lambert was considered to be a “worthy citizen of the town” while living in the house through 1811. His granddaughter, years later, was engaged to John Wilkes Booth at the time of the Lincoln assassination. The house meanwhile belonged to Reverend Ebenezer Little Boyd, a Baptist preacher in the early 1800s. In 1852, it passed to the ownership of Dennis Ferguson, who operated a tannery across the street. By 1931 it was Purity Hospital and then South Berwick Maternity Hospital until the late 1940s. Many South Berwick residents of today were born in the tiny upstairs “birthing room.”

Israel W. Goodwin House c. 1800This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Israel W. Goodwin was a tanner living here in the mid-1800s with his wife, Sarah Joy Goodwin.  The Boston and Maine Railroad ran next to this property. Tanneries were also associated with the nearby Lambert (Ferguson) House on Portland Street and the Hodsdon House on Joshua Gilpatrick GoodwinAgamenticus Road.

The Israel W. Goodwin House today

 

Joshua Gilpatrick Goodwin (1805-1897), Israel W. Goodwin’s neighbor and older brother.

Arthur Muzzey House c. 1885This was the childhood home of George A. Muzzey, one of South Berwick’s nine servicemen killed in World War II. His father, Arthur E. Muzzey, was a downtown jeweler, and his mother, Mary L. Muzzey, taught at South Berwick Central School.

Schoolhouse No. 5 1842This house is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1842 by James Clark, Schoolhouse No. 5 was designed by a building committee that included Portland Street neighbors (and parents) Benjamin Nason and Francis Raynes.                                                                                              Map excerpt, c. 1856

When first built, the structure had two entrance doors for the boys and girls.  It is now a private home.

 Read a Jewett story with a scene from a one-room schoolhouseJewett

 

A 1789 deed transferring land from John Woodsum to the Baptist Church and Society reads:  “(the lot is) . . . bounded on the westerly  part by Libby’s Road [so-called] at a place within three feet of the southeasterly Corner of the School house now standing on a place commonly called the Yoking           place . . . .”  In 1789, Agamenticus Road was a dirt track leading to the Libby house, near Woodlawn Cemetery, and was called Libby’s Road. 

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