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Montpelier: Then and Now

Henry and Lucy Knox broke ground on their house, Montpelier on the St. George River, in 1794. Today, that sounds like a very early date, but the first known setter in Thomaston was in 1605. Maine was still considered Massachusetts, but it was not, and perhaps never was, in spirit.

Henry was involved in every aspect of the design, build, and decor of the house. He wanted every inch to be a gift to his wife Lucy, the mother of their 13 children. She was his constant, loving companion through eight years of war and another ten of turmoil and upheaval.

Though Henry borrowed architectural details from homes he admired and referenced designs of the ancients, his home was unique and greatly admired in the colonial world.

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The house surveyed the St. George River and its heavy flow of sea traffic, traffic and trade that
contributed to Henry hitting a breakeven point on his surrounding farm and varied business interests in 1802. Sadly, he died in 1806 of peritonitis. Lucy lived another 18 years. Their 2 surviving daughters unsuccessfully managed the property until 1854 when it was sold and allowed to fall to ruin. The building was razed for a railroad in 1871.

Fast forward to 1919: Thomaston citizen Mary Watts had memories of the original house from her youth. A major contributor to all things Thomaston, she felt compelled to prompt other community members to rebuild Montpelier. They engaged Boston architect George Putnam to draw plans to recreate the Knox home, Montpelier. It took 5 years of planning and 5 years of fundraising. Thomaston broke ground on the mansion in 1929 and opened its doors in 1930. We now approach 100 years of serving General Knox’s memory and his outstanding accomplishments. We are the only museum to honor Henry Knox and his times, the military as the descendants of our shores' protectors, and related education projects.

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Come by and see this beautiful home. It sits grandly on High Street in Thomaston. Let our well informed docents lead you through: you won’t be disappointed.

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