I love finding old photos of beautiful houses like this and being able to compare what they looked like then to today. The historic McGilvery House in Searsport, Maine, is described in its listing as a “Gothic Italianate Mansard Sea Captain’s home” built in 1863. The Second Empire Victorian mansion is on the market right now, so let’s take a look…
The Captain William McGilvery House Today
I would love to know what colors it was painted originally. The house is now pale gray and white with red trim around the windows and doors, but it still has many of its distinctive original details.
The listing says:
The McGilvery House is a classic sea captain’s mansion north of Belfast in the small town of Searsport. McGilvery is an impeccable Gothic Italianate Mansard mansion surrounded by lovely maintained grounds. Views of Penobscot Bay from the second and third floor windows. Mature gardens throughout the property.
The Entry Hall and Staircase
With three stories and tall ceilings, there are a lot of stairs to climb!
The house has 9 bedrooms, 6 baths, and 6,717 square feet.
A lot of the bedrooms have painted floors.
The sunny second and third-story landings:
The island is unusual and looks like it was built by cobbling together two or three old pieces of furniture and adding a wood countertop.
The kitchen looks like a sunny spot to cook in with all those windows.
The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
It sits on 1.68 acres
Also on the property: a “Carriage Barn”
The Tale of Two McGilvery Houses:
Photo by Brian Bartlett
When I was researching the house, I kept coming across photos of this one (above).
That was a real head-scratcher because, although Google kept telling me they were the same house, they’re clearly different. I also came across a lot of stories online about how The Carriage House Inn, as it’s known, is considered “one of the most haunted hotels in Maine.” (Haunted Rooms has all the spooky details if you want them!)
Finally, I came across a site that explained that there are two McGilvery Houses on the same street:
- The (haunted) one belonged to Capt. John McGilvery, and it was built in 1874 on 120 E. Main Street.
- The (white) one was built by Capt. William McGilvery in 1863 on 134 E. Main.
They were brothers from a local family that was prominent in the shipping business. In fact, there were 5 brothers in the McGilvery family, all of whom became sea captains. (Their poor mother!)
This photo of the William McGilvery House was taken in 1975:
Credit: Roger Wollstadt
The front door’s wood has since been (thankfully) restored:
The House in the 1800s and Today:
The house could use some updating, of course, but they’re only asking $375,000. For more information, check the listing. You can see more of his brother John’s house, the haunted Carriage House Inn, here. It was famous for being the home of the artist Waldo Peirce, among other things!