The History of Mansions in The Greater Portland Area!
Do you fantasize about living in a gorgeous vintage mansion? Do you ever think about the history of these old mansions from back in the day? This blog will inspire your wildest dreams and more…
I am going to blog about two of the most known mansions of The Greater Portland Area, which are the Victorian Mansion and the Goddard Mansion.
1. Victorian Mansion
The Victorian Mansion is also known as, the Morse-Libby House, it was built between 1858 and 1860 as a summer home for Ruggles Sylvester Morse, a Maine native who made his fortune in New Orleans as the proprietor of luxury hotels. The quality and preservation of its interiors makes the Victoria Mansion an unparalleled example of pre-Civil War history.
Ruggles Sylvester Morse died in 1893 and the following year his widow sold the house with most of its furnishings to J.R. Libby, a prominent dry goods merchant. The Libby family preserved the original decor and made few changes to the property. They occupied it until about 1929. After a hurricane damaged it in 1938. The future of the Victorian Mansion was endangered. In 1940 it was scheduled to be demolished and replaced by a gas station.
At this crucial moment, retired educator Dr. William H. Holmes purchased the property to save it. So help by his sister, Clara Holmes, he opened the building to the public in 1941 as a museum in honor of Queen Victoria. In 1943, the Society of Maine Women of Achievement was incorporated to assume control of the site. Now, known as Victoria Mansion, Inc. this non-profit organization owns and operates the building as a historic house museum. Victoria Mansion was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
109 Danforth Street Portland, ME 04101
Christmas Season Hours- November 25, 2016 – January 8, 2017 Tuesday-Sunday 11A.M.-4:30P.M.; Mondays 11A.M.-6:30P.M.
(Closed: Christmas Day& New Year’s Day)
Adults: $15.00 Senior Citizens (62 and over): $13.50 AAA Members: $13.50 Students (age 6-17): $5.00 Under 6: Free Family Rate*: $35.00 College Students (with valid ID): $7.00 Active Military (with valid ID): Free Victorian Mansion Members: Free (*Family Rate applies to two adults of the same household and up to five children age 6-17 )
The Goddard Mansion was designed and built by noted New York architect Charles A. Alexander for local businessman John Goddard, he was a volunteer army colonel at the start of the Civil War in 1861. Acquired by the army in 1900, the mansion was used as NCO Quarters (non-commissioned officers/sergeants), and later included an NCO Club. It deteriorated by the time of the town’s acquisition in 1962, the interior debris was burned in a controlled fire in the 1980’s, and the walls were fenced off in 2009 to keep the public safe from entering.
1000 Shore Road Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
Fort Williams Park is open year round from sunrise to sunset.
There is no admission fee although donations are appreciated.
I should say both of these historical mansions are gorgeous from the inside and out no matter the condition they are in today. It’s all about the history and value in these mansions that are so precious and amazing. I recommend both of these historical mansions as bucket list items.