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Listing No. 29047

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c. 1840 Greek Revival

Lubec, Maine 04652

"Jeremiah Fowler House"

This 1840's Ship Chandlers Home, also known as the historic ''Jeremiah Fowler House” is full of original detail & character with an eccentric touch. Added to the “National Register of Historic Places” in 1983, this rich in history, 5- 6 bed, 2 bath home sits on a large intown double lot in the charming village of Lubec. From the moment you step through the doors, you feel the history – with little updates over the years, the home features extensive period woodwork, finishes, and detail. From the original built in features, the intricate detail in the framework & moldings, the well preserved early 20th Century bathroom (rumored to be the first in Lubec), to the marble fire place in the parlor…this home really is a breathtaking step into a time gone by. The property is well landscaped and includes an attached shed, barn, and a full guest house that includes living space, kitchen, bathroom with laundry, and upstairs sleeping quarters. Remaining within the same family since the 1850’s, this house has been a home – the quirky details, hand painted walls, and creative spaces add to the character of the home. While it has been well maintained & loved, this home is looking for the next person(s) to love it and bring it back to life.
Home is being sold “as is” and most contents will convey.
Bedrooms 5
Full Baths 2
Stories 2
Acres 0.7


  • 1st Floor Bath
  • 1st Floor Bedroom
  • Attic
  • Entry Hall
  • Barn
  • Garden
  • Guest House
  • 2 Outbuildings
  • Porch
  • Workshop
  • Built-in Bookcases
  • Built-in Cabinets
  • Carpet
  • 2 Fireplaces
  • Original wood windows
  • Shingle Roof
  • City sewer
  • City water supply
  • Claw-foot Tub(s)
  • Servant's Staircase

No Contact Information.

This listing is archived and is not for sale.

Contact information is not available for archived listings.


History of an 1800s Ship Chandler’s House

Circa 1840, Jeremiah Fowler had a Greek revival house built in a small coastal town in the eastern most area of the USA, on the Bay of Fundy, with tides up to 30 feet. There are car ferries, islands, forests (hunting and fishing), exploring unpopulated cliffs and rugged rocky shores where tidal changes make obvious differences in landscape. Long legged wharves attest to the height of the tides and the town is surrounded by these wharves.

Fowler had arranged to marry a Boston lady coming on ship with all her English antique furniture. There was a terrible storm at sea and the ship, with all aboard, sank. Nothing was ever recovered. Fowler was so distraught he didn’t want anything more to do with the house, so he sold it to Simeon Ryerson, a ship chandler with a growing family.

Simeon Ryerson added on the back wing – kitchen, dining room, sleeping room, 2 upstairs bedrooms and storage room. Later he added the first bathroom in town. He had 7 children, 2 boys who didn’t live to adulthood, and 5 girls. One, Adelaide, married a Sumner, who was a colonel in the Civil War. They inherited the house and remained there the rest of their lives, but had no children.

Another daughter, Albertina, married Dr. Charles Johnson from East Machias and moved to Illinois. They had 2 children, a boy and a girl. The boy, Simeon Johnson, became a doctor like his father and the Illinois Central Railroad Company hired him to be the doctor at a coal mining town 50 miles south of Springfield. Dr. Simeon Johnson had 4 children. Albertina brought the oldest, Walter Ryerson, back to visit her home in Lubec every summer.

When the Sumner’s died, they left the house and furnishings to Effie, Dr. Simeon Johnson’s wife, and his oldest son, Walter Ryerson. The Johnson’s returned east, leaving 3 bedroom sets, a large heavy square piano of the type used by Griege and his wife, 2 folding chairs that look like officer’s camp chairs from the Civil War, 2 etageres and a Victorian dining room set.

The house stayed empty 12 or more years until Ryerson, a freelance writer, suggested to his new wife, Lois (a package designer for the largest toiletry house in the world at that time), that they go up for their honeymoon (late 1930s). They figured if they liked it they would keep it, otherwise would sell. The Lubec house had history, elegance and style. That was satisfying enough to start on. They made repairs to the house so they could spend summers there. Over the years they collected antique furniture and sundries of the period to replace items that had been removed earlier. Now the interior presentation is museum quality (photos are available upon request).

There are unique moldings and hand crafted plaster painted in tints on the ceilings for elegance and accent. The front stairs were crafted by the same carpenter who did the stairs in the historic Ruggles House in Columbia falls, though they are done in quite a different style.

The barn contains an old carriage and sleigh, early American church benches, copper washing machine with gears and other items no longer used in the house.

After 11 years, a child was born and the free lifestyle had to change to more substantial way of living. Ryerson got a job with the Ford Foundation and the Encyclopedia Britannica, before going back to freelance writing when their daughter got out of college. Summers were always spent in Lubec no matter what they were doing. That was their first love and they finally closed out everyplace else and had that as their headquarters. Unfortunately, the house and property is now too much for Lois to maintain.

Archived in December, 2020

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