Wiscasset’s Clock Tower House, now a private residence, showcases the owner’s extensive collections. By the end of Wiscasset Homes on Tour day, July 8, some visitors had signed up to return and put those pool tables to use. Bob Bond photo

A Homes on Tour Day was held in Wiscasset July 8.

About 200 people wandered Wiscasset’s historic district, strolling from site to site to take in the spectacle of this eclectic mix. The Customs House on Water Street, now a private residence, was a big draw.

Visitors enjoyed seeing the historical blueprints for the building when it was offices and the town’s post office, but it was the modern adaptations by homeowners Stacy and Jack Nelson that they came to see — the luxurious renovation that transformed the 14 foot-high ceilings and other architectural challenges into an enviable home, the combining of the new with the handsome period details still intact, according to a news release from Lucia Droby, Wiscasset Village resident and tour docent.

At Rose Cottage, owner Terry Heller shares her porch with longtime Wiscasset resident Sherry Pinkham and family members April Irons and Jen Irons during Wiscasset Homes on Tour, held July 8. Sherry Pinkham is seated. Back from left are Heller and April and Jen Irons. Lucia Droby photo

In contrast, Rose Cottage, with its add-on porch facing Federal Street, was originally part of a manufacturing plant, the C.M. Ames Wagons and Carriage Shop, and now presents to the world as a small and modest home. But inside, the cottage features a music room with a grand piano, multiple fireplaces, hand-painted furniture by David Marsh, and a cozy den.

Each home on the tour had a “house captain” directing flow and checking in with homeowners, and a fleet of docents helping to interpret the sites, refilling water and lemonade pitchers, and answering questions.

The west entrance to the former Customs House in Wiscasset, now a private residence, suggests the home’s luxurious renovations with soaring ceilings, stunning woodwork, and other gracious details. About 200 visitors stepped through these 10-foot tall doors during Wiscasset Homes on Tour July 8. Bob Bond photo

At the Emerson-Blagdon House, it was the owners’ art collection and old-house details that wowed people. The floors were made of wide boards. The late 18th century home displayed objects made by indigenous people from the Northwest, antique furniture, jugs, and traditional quilts and coverlets.


A new feature of this year’s Homes on Tour was a picnic lunch option. Tour organizer Ann Light worked with Wiscasset’s Back River Bistro to plan the menu, delivery and many other details, including Dave Lawlor’s gig on jazz guitar. A perfect picnic spot, offered to Homes on Tour by Historic New England, was the lawn and garden of the historic Nickels-Sortwell House.

Each home had an assortment of cookies and tea cakes, made by Lisa and Will Truesdell.

Wiscasset Homes on Tour is a fundraiser for Wiscasset Creative Alliance to support its community programs. Initial estimates indicate that the daylong event raised around $4,500.

According to Alissa Eason, president of the alliance’s Board of Directors and chair of the tour planning team, “We were able to build on the success of last year’s inaugural home tour with another slate of uniquely lovely homes. And the homeowners themselves were once again gracious and generous, as were the many volunteers who made the event possible.”

Wiscasset Homes on Tour 2023 sponsors were BIRCH Home Furnishings & Gifts, Bradbury Art & Antiques, J&A Construction, Joseph Zoellers Interiors, Sherri Dunbar/Tim Dunham Realty, and Water Street Kitchen & Bar. Additional support came from Carriage House Gardens and Screen Thoughts.


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