Larry Davis presents Barbara Rohrbaugh with a copy of an 1860s view of Hallowell. Bob McIntire photo

Barbara Rohrbaugh, a retired Hallowell librarian, won the Row House 2022 raffle. The prize was a full-sized copy of a painting of Hallowell that sold in 2020 for over $250,000 in a Sotheby’s auction.

Row House, Hallowell’s historical society, raises funds to present programs about the city’s history and to support maintaining historical collections such as those at the Hubbard Free Library. Larry Davis, president of the organization, announced the raffle winner.

“This was a very successful project, and we’re thrilled that this copy of the painting will be staying in town,” said Davis, according to a news release from Bob McIntire, Row House secretary.

Quality Copy produced the print from a high-resolution file provided by Sotheby’s Auction House. The print was mounted and framed by Renaissance Gallery.

The painting shows a view from the Chelsea highlands across to Maine’s smallest city. It features many recognizable buildings along the riverfront and hillside. Prominent is a bridge that was built in 1860 and washed away in the spring freshets of 1869 and 1870.

According to Maine State Historian Earle Shettleworth Jr., “the bridge, and a church building that burned about the same time, makes it easy to date when the painting was created, but we have no idea who the artist was. Painters often traveled from town to town capturing landscapes and other familiar scenes and then would have a showing in hopes of selling a painting.”

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He perused the historical newspaper collection at the library hoping to find mention of the painting or a showing around the estimated time the painting was created, but to no avail.

Rohrbaugh said she purchased just five tickets out of the hundreds that were sold, and was delighted to have won the prize.

“I’ve spent considerable time deciding just where to hang the picture. It is a lovely view,” said Rohrbaugh.

 

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