Since 1969, we have led the effort to preserve Hallowell's rich history.
The Row House, Inc. was incorporated in July 1969 by a small group of civic minded citizens who were determined to preserve Hallowell’s rich history as told through its buildings. The initial corporation’s eleven officers and trustees gave the seed money to purchase what was seen to be the most endangered historic property, the Gage Block. This structure had been built in 1846 by Isaac Gage to house Cotton Mill personnel. This wooden row house on Second Street, known as the Row House, provided the historic preservation society its corporate name. Application to the National Register of Historic Properties for designation as an historic building was filed soon after its acquisition. The building was accepted and added to the National Registry in 1970. This success awakened interest in documenting and preserving Hallowell’s fine old buildings.
Another major accomplishment in 1970 was the acceptance of Hallowell’s application to create a 207-acre historic district. The announcement was made by Senators Margaret Chase Smith and Edmund Muskie. The following year Senator Smith announced that Row House’s application for federal restoration funds under the National Preservation Act of 1966 was accepted. Row House, Inc. received the first grant awarded in the United States under that appropriation.
Row House went on to purchase and salvage the Cross Roads building on the corner of Water and Academy streets in 1971. After returning it to saleable condition, the organization purchased, repaired and sold the Gagne house at the south end of Water Street. Row House, Inc. also raised $50,000 to renovate the 1899 Hallowell City Hall.
A related project was sponsoring an architectural inventory of many of Hallowell’s historic homes. The inventory’s permanent repository is the Library of Congress. Copies are available at the Hubbard Free Library.
The Row House, Inc. has now grown to over 100 members and is involved with preserving the artifacts stored at the current fire house.
Board of Trustees
Larry Davis, President
Mark Wiesendanger, Vice President
Mary Moody, Treasurer
Bob McIntire, Secretary
Earle Shettleworth, Jr.
Jeffrey St. Pierre