HARPSWELL – “Stover,” one of this oceanfront town’s prominent and historic names, is recalled in Stover’s Cove and the Stover’s Point Preserve. Both attractions are an easy walk from this splendid, 3,396-square-foot Federal-period home, the Captain Abijah Stover House.

The property enjoys a right of way to the cove, and a rich maritime heritage. In spring 1852, Mercy Ellen, the captain’s bride, came along on a voyage to Sicily. On the return trip their ship, the Harpswell, was becalmed in the doldrums for three weeks, during which time all on board had only oranges to eat. Eventually rescued, and back in Maine, Mercy Ellen vowed never to go to sea again, and Abijah promised to build her “the prettiest house in town.”

Here it is, elegant and stately; providing partial water views to the east; and beautifully preserved with countless original features, and a completely charming, later touch: a second-floor bedroom whose walls are papered in vintage maps and charts. (“Monhegan to Cape Elizabeth” sits directly above “Arabian Sea.”)

Fascinating details are everywhere: bubbles in the 19th-century glass of the 12-over-12-pane windows; curved-wall corners in the dining room; twin benches in the box bay window of the huge kitchen (whose wainscoting is repurposed from a Bowdoin College building); bright, avian-themed wallpaper, imported from France, in the first-floor study; gorgeous built-in cabinets with scrollwork and inverted oyster shell tops in each front parlor.

The 10-room home comes with the further advantage of extensive systems updates in recent years, including roof, furnace, hot water heater, septic and electricity. There is a full bath, one up, one down, in the center of each level. On the east side, an open porch below, and an enclosed sun porch above, look towards the water. There’s a paneled bonus room in the second-floor ell, and workshop/storage above the direct-entry garage.

The 6.29-acre-total lot is nicely landscaped in the acre-plus around the house, with stone walls, gardens, and heirloom shrubs including a magnificent stand of lilacs. Beyond the rail fence, the other five acres are open field, and invite the possibility of subdividing to build another home, or a barn for horses. With some modifications, the home could also serve as a bed and breakfast.

The Captain Abijah Stover House at 1691 Harpswell Neck Road (U.S. Route 123) is listed for sale by Jane Millett of RE/MAX Riverside in Topsham. The property is being shown by appointment.

For more information or to arrange a private viewing, please contact Jane at 319-7824, 729-2446, or [email protected]

Price: $469,000
Built: 1853
Rooms/bedrooms: 10/5
Baths: Two full
Square footage: 3,396
Lot size: 6.29 acres
Garage: One-vehicle, direct entry
Taxes: $2,376

Produced by the Marketing Department of the Maine Sunday Telegram, the Home of the Week is provided at no cost.

Historical information courtesy of the Pejepscot Historical Society and “Flotsam and Jetsam” by Miriam Stover Thomas.

Staff photos by Derek Davis.

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