FARMINGTON — Franklin Savings Bank’s Community Development Foundation has donated $25,000 to the Farmington Historical Society to launch its Octagon House capital campaign.

The Historical Society is buying the historic 155-year-old house with plans to restore and revive its historic character. The Octagon House is one of only 19 houses of its kind still standing in Maine, according to a news release. In its time, the octagon shape and central stairway was intended to improve heating and cooling efficiency while the lack of hard corners encouraged socialization and family time. It also features an eight-sided glass cupola that floods the central staircase with natural light. The two-story home at the corner of High and Perham streets was the home of the late Deborah Mallett Cressall. Her Mallett family heirs offered the property to the Historical Society at a reduced price, in hopes it would be open to the public.

“We are pleased to play a pivotal role in getting this project off the ground,” said Timothy J. Thompson, senior vice president and CFO of Franklin Savings Bank. “We hope other local businesses join us in supporting this worthy cause.”

“We plan for the Octagon to be a community asset that can be used for events and celebrations as well as educational programs and presentations,” said Byron “Buzz” Davis, treasurer with the Farmington Historical Society.

Franklin Savings Bank’s donation has earned it “naming rights” for a room in the house.

The Octagon House was built in 1858 by local mason Cyrus Ramsdell, who sold the house to his brother Hiram. Hirum’s widow later sold the house to Wilbert G. Mallett, who was principal of the Farmington Normal School, now the University of Maine at Farmington, and president of Franklin Savings Bank from 1931 to 1942.

The Historical Society’s capital campaign goal is $250,000, which enables purchase of the house and some restoration and repairs as well as completion of renovations to the North Church. These two buildings, along with the Titcomb House, will enable the Historical Society to serve visitors, provide educational and cultural programs and events, host community functions and celebrate the rich history of Farmington,” said Taffy Davis, president of the Farmington Historical Society.

Anyone interested in supporting this project with a donation may send it to the Farmington Historical Society, P.O. box 575, Farmington, ME 04938. For more information on this project or the Historical Society, contact Taffy Davis at 778-4275.

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