Reuben Lowell's Homestead in Farmington Falls, Maine
On October 3, 1965, Ben and Natalie Butler led a "Pilgrimage" for the Farmington Historical Society, to visit some of the homes located in Sandy River Township that were built in the 1790s. Participants on this daylong educational tour received a hard-copy pamphlet that contained pictures of the houses that they would be visiting, along with a narrative that described the history of the home. The Butlers wrote the following, regarding the Reuben Lowell House:
"Reuben Lowell came to the Sandy River township in 1783. He took up a farm on the western side of the river, river-lot No. 15. In the early 1800's, Mr. Lowell, becoming interested in the settlement of Chesterville, moved there and made that town his home. Reuben's son, Samuel, succeeded to the homestead farm. Another of Reuben's sons, Reuben, Jr., purchased part of river-lot No. 13 from his brother-in-law, Samuel Eames, and spent many years on that farm. Lot No. 15 then passed to Timothy B. Lowell, son of Samuel, then to Hervey, Timothy's son. It has since become the property of Albert Lowell, Hervey's nephew. This is one of the few lots, if not the only one, that has remained in the same family since the time of settlement."
In the winter of 1992, Mitchell and I made a visit to the Farmington area. A library staff member of the Farmington Public Library magically retrieved the Pilgrimage pamphlet for us. We then located the property, knocked on the door, but no one was home. Upon returning to our motel, we updated the owner of the motel with our latest progress report. She indicated that new owners had purchased the property sometime during the last few years and had done extensive restoration work on the property, which was quite timely according to the motel owner, given that the house was close to collapse. We made another visit in the evening, and the current owners, Beth and Doug Allen, greeted us warmly and gave us a tour of the home and with justified pride, showed us the restoration investments that they had made to the home.
In later correspondence, Beth wrote, in August 3, 1992, the following update to the Butlers original historical description for the Reuben Lowell home:
"I believe that in 1965, Albert Lowell and his wife were going to live in this house for the winter when she became quite ill and died. After that he chose to stay in West Farmington where they had another home. The house was passed on to Howard Lowell after Albert died (Albert's son). Howard lived in Texas and he and his second wife (Wanda Lowell) would come up for the summer and stay here. In the fall of 1988 they split off the land--36 acres were purchased by our neighbor's son and 6 acres stayed with the house. In April 1989, Howard Lowell died and in May, Wanda made the decision to sell the house as she didn't feel that she and her children could continue to come to Maine for the summer. There was actually an intermediate buyer, someone who bought the house as an investment, who then sold it to us." In this letter, Beth enclosed two pictures of the house as it looked in 1965 and an interior picture of the living room, taken in 1909.