AUGUSTA — The former St. Mark’s Home property was cleared for giveaway last month after a judge signed off on an agreement settling claims of the heirs of the man who originally donated the property.

The settlement agreement at the Capital Judicial Center resolves a court case filed in late 2014 to clear the title to the property.

The home, once known as St. Mark’s Home for Women, sits on the corner of Winthrop and Pleasant streets in Augusta, not far from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

The home is to be given away by church officials, along with a roughly $340,000 endowment if an organization comes forward with a plan to take over the facility and continue the mission of helping people in need.

The home was deeded by Allen Lambard in August 1870 to the church leaders to be used forever as a home for poor and destitute women. The corporate entity was created by a special act of the Legislature in 1871, and the same body approved changes over the years, most recently making the corporate name St. Mark’s Home as well as indicating it was a home for women and men.

Lambard was a grandson of Augusta resident Martha Ballard, whose 1785-1812 diary inspired Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s nonfiction book “A Midwife’s Tale,” according to a history of the home published on the home’s website.


Immediately prior to its closing in October 2014, the two-story, 17-bedroom home was occupied by five women who could live independently and who gathered in the home’s dining room for their meals.

Phillip E. Johnson, an attorney representing St. Mark’s Home, had filed the lawsuit to quiet the title on the property, saying in part, “uncertainty exists over whether the real estate has automatically reverted to the heirs of Allen Lambard under the reverter clause in the deed” and asking whether that is too late or unenforceable.

In the settlement which was reached through mediation, the heirs of Allan Lambard receive $90,277.77, described as “one-third of the fair market value of the real estate.”

Half the money from the separate endowment used to operate the home goes to Charlotte Catoni of Eagle Island, Michigan, and Frederick “Richard” Catoni of Park City, Utah, who originally sought to have the property revert to Lambard’s heirs. The other half goes to the remaining heirs who still had an interest in the settlement.

Justice Michaela Murphy wrote in the order, “After due consideration, the Court finds that the settlement is fair and reasonable to resolve the residuary interest claim of all heirs in the subject real estate.”

The settlement was negotiated among St. Mark’s Home, the Rector, Wardens and Vestry of St. Mark’s Protestant Episcopal Church, the Attorney General and the Catonis as well as other heirs represented by court-appointed guardian ad litem Joseph O’Donnell.


St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and other related church-owned properties are being offered for sale.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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