The House that Thomas Lord Built

This 1847 Greek Revival home on Union Street is a showcase of skills by local architect Thomas Lord (1805 – 1880), who is credited with bringing classical motifs seen in Ancient Greece architecture to Blue Hill houses. Specifically, Thomas Lord is often credited with being the reason that his neighborhood, so named “The Five Houses” all follow the Greek Revival Style. The six houses, all built within a 20 year period, have template-fronted facades and are painted white to resemble white marble. This style had been likely seen by Thomas Lord in Asher Benjamin’s design plates, as seen in Benjamin’s 1833 “The Carpenter’s Assistant” among many others. Ann Hinckley, once a librarian at the Blue Hill Library noted of the house, “The lintels of the doors are carved, the eaves, the windows, and within, the molding, the base-board, doors and corner posts are lovely with design. The staircase is a masterpiece.”

Thomas Lord (1805-1880), was the son of Rev. Benjamin Lord (1778-1841) and Mary Means (1784-1864). He worked on boat figureheads, drawing influence from his travels through the Mediterranean. Lord designed and constructed approximately 83 vessels, 84 houses, 12 schools, and 14 meeting houses. He designed both the First Congregational and Baptist Churches in Blue Hill as well as other surrounding town’s churches such as Surry, Sedgwick, Brooksville, and Brooklin. Just before building the house Thomas married Matilda Carlton (1811-1898) and the couple had three children while living in Thomas’ masterpiece, Roscoe Granville Lord (1834-1914), Ellen Matilda Lord (1840-1886), and Sarah Cole Lord Morse (1849-1934).

When Thomas died in 1880, Thomas Lord’s elder son, Roscoe Granville Lord took up residence here, where the 1900 census lists him as a Painter, which was likely as a House Painter or maybe even as a house stenciler – although this art really saw its height just before the Civil War. Incidentally Roscoe was drafted for the American Civil, although it’s unclear if he ultimately served. In 1868, Roscoe married Carrie J. McFarland (1845-1910) in Ellsworth and together the two had a child, Willie A. Lord (1869-1870), who sadly only lived for one year before passing away. Not much is known about the couple after that, but it appears by 1910, his sister Sarah took ownership of the home.

Sarah married James Henry Morse (1844-1918) at the age of 21 and had two children, Henry Everett Morse(1872-1873) and Florence Sherman Morse (1876-1962). James worked as a carpenter for many years until he began to work as a janitor at the school building – likely George Stevens Academy. Florence never married and worked at the Post Office for many years, likely starting in the Blue Hill Town Hall where the post office once was located. Later she worked as a “teamster” or driver for the Blue Hill Hospital and even later on as a secretary. The house was willed to Florence as the sole heir of the family home and she lived in the home until her death in 1962. The house was, for the first time since it’s construction, sold to a non-Lord or Morse and was passed subsequently onto the Park, Rowland and Kuhns families.

If you have any stories or pictures that you want to share about this building or its inhabitants don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section. Over the next couple of Sundays we’re going to focus on the “Joseph P. Thomas House” otherwise known as the “Asa Littlefield House”

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