Thanks to Brad Fuller, Edge of Maine Gallery, Brownfield, for bringing this to our attention. A selection of Maine's bicentennial homes features the John Watson House, built in 1785 in Hiram. When it was built it was in Brownfield. The area was ceded to Hiram in 1807 in a collaborative attempt to distribute population in Brownfield, Hiram and Porter to incorporate as towns. The petition succeeded in Brownfield and Porter, but Hiram fell short and was legalized only as a Plantation or District.
This photo of Watsons in front of their house was unknown to us. Thanks again, Brad.
John Watson House, Hiram, 1785
After a flood destroyed John Watson’s first house on the Saco River, the Revolutionary War vet built this residence in what was then a little-settled wilderness. A simple frame construction covered in clapboards, Hiram’s oldest intact home is a typical example of utilitarian late-Georgian architecture, with five-bay symmetry and a hipped roof (and a large central chimney — rare on a hipped roof from this period, when double chimneys were more common). The Federal-style doorway probably dates to an early-19th-century renovation. Watson’s descendants still occupied the house when this photograph was taken around 1890 — they finally sold it in the early 1930s.