Narramissic, The Peabody-Fitch Farm (1797)

Visit "Narramissic," the Peabody-Fitch farm, for a glimpse of New England on the eve of the Civil War. Have a fun learning experience at one of  our programs, take a hike to the quarry that was the source of the granite for the foundations, visit the restored blacksmith shop, and tour the house, furnished largely with items original to the property. Or simply enjoy the view of the spectacular Maine & NH mountain range and explore the grounds, which are being restored to reflect a mid 19th-century Maine farm.

The property, which consists of 25 acres of fields with spectacular mountain views, remains remarkably isolated from the intrusions of modern life. Visit the house for an experience of unsurpassed authenticity, as you move through the historic space and learn the story of the families that occupied it. The memoirs of Edwin Fitch, who grew up here in the 1840s and ‘50s (published by Bridgton Historical Society as Ninety Years of Living), preserves an intimate view of his family’s life in the house on the eve of the Civil War, and a remarkable number of the furnishings and objects would have been familiar to him.

The house was built in 1797 by William Peabody, and the barn, approximately 40 x 60 feet, was built in the 1830s by his son-in-law George Fitch. Mr. Fitch also added the ells to the house and built the blacksmith shop, which contains a restored functioning forge. Descendants of the Peabody-Fitch families lived here until 1938, when Mrs. Margaret Monroe, from Providence, Rhode Island acquired it for use as a summer home. She passed away in 1986 and bequeathed the property to the Bridgton Historical Society to be used as a museum, a site for demonstrating early American crafts, or similar purposes.

The house was built in a simplified version of the Georgian style in 1797 by one of Bridgton's first settlers, William Peabody. In the 1830s his daughter, Mary, and her husband, George Fitch, purchased the property. They added a rear ell, renovated much of the house to reflect the more fashionable Federal style, and constructed the blacksmith shop and "Temperance Barn" (raised without the traditional barrel of rum!).

Over a century later, in 1938, Mrs. Margaret M. Monroe from Providence, Rhode Island, purchased the property to use as a summer home. When she passed away in 1986, she left the farm to the Bridgton Historical Society.

The house today reflects life in the mid-19th century. In part this is because of George Fitch's many renovations, and in part it is due to one of George's sons, Edwin Peabody Fitch (1840-1930),  who wrote his memoirs, "Ninety Years of Living,” about growing up in this house during the 1840s and 1850s.  This short work, which has been published along with his exciting Civil War diary and is available for purchase from Bridgton Historical Society, provides a wealth of information about life in the house during this period. Combined with the furnishings in the house, many of which are also original Peabody and Fitch family items, a visit to Narramissic provides an unparalleled authentic experience.

The house is open for tours Saturday from 10-2 through August 15. After that, it will be open by appointment. The Society holds programs and events from large festivals to small workshops on the grounds, which are also available for weddings and other private functions.