Monday, May 08, 2006

Governor Bodwell?....Norman Bates?

Joseph Bodwell was a tycoon in Hallowells granite industry. He was so successful in his business pursuits, that he was elected Governor of Maine in 1887. Bodwell didn't have much interest in running for Governor and ran the office like a business. He never got to do much while elected as he died on December 15 of that same year.
Bodwell's home in Hallowell was built in 1875. In pictures that I've seen, the house looks a bit rundown, but is still a beautiful piece of architecture. It's all the extra little features that todays houses don't have that makes it such a treat to view.
I suspect it would look very creepy after dark, as if something sinister was going on behind the darkened windows which are so very good at hiding the dirty little secrets that occur within. In fact the more I think about it, Bodwell's house looks a little too much like this for me to be comfortable.

10 comments:

Jim said...

Wow! It does have an eerie resemblance to "that other scary house" from the movie.

Don't despair about it being rundown, however. Some well-heeled out-of-stater will buy it once the current owner dies, or decides to sell because 1) they can't afford the taxes, 2) oil at current prices make it prohibitive to heat, 3) he loses his employment because the company he works for just off-shored jobs to India.

Chris said...

The Library of Congress has a survey of the Bodwell house done about 35 years ago, with pictures inside and out, and a description of the floor plan.

Chris Jart said...

Wow!! Thanks for the Library of Congress info! It doesn't look so spooky in the photos, except for the empty third floor room and the tower. The paint isn't peeling either like in the more recent photos.

Sweetland Retreat said...

Do you know anything about the story of this house being haunted? I just heard some great ghost stories about this house and want to find out more info.

By the way-- I'm the co-leader of the Etsy Maine Team that you're on and you have the best blog ever! :)

-Jamie
jamieribisi.etsy.com

Michelle said...

Hey Jamie! I haven't been able to find anything besides comments that it LOOKS haunted. It does have a strange recent history in which the most recent owner was kicked out of the house by the local government, so who knows... maybe it'll wind up haunted by him someday in the future, since I'm sure he had unfinished business of all sorts when he was removed. Last fall the new owner started renovating it after buying it from the city for around $42K (source).

Dana said...

The Bodwell house for quite a while was in disrepair. The owner had failed to pay taxes, was found guilty of a crime and was spending time in jail. The City of Hallowell took the home for back taxes and sold it at auction. It was bought by someone who has restored other homes in Hallowell and who has plans on turning it into a bed & breakfast. Work is ongoing to restore the house and a bit of progress has been made, but it is going very slowly. Don't know if the issue is money or priorities, but if they finish it, it should be a gem.

Dana said...

Some clarification-the owner wasn't kicked out, he lost the house for failure to pay taxes for a number of years, plus, he was under a protection from abuse order and ordered to stay away from the house while his family was still living in it. The pictures look to be from about the time that he bought the house and the survey lists the person to whom I've been referring as the owner. He was an antiques dealer and a wheeler-dealer (Hallowell used to be known for its antiuqes shops), Civil War reenactor and at one time, IIRC, a history teacher. The larger over-mantle mirrors has been removed from the house about the time of the tax auction, but were located and returned to the house as they were original to the house.

les_bodwell2003 said...

Glad to see so much interest in this property. It does look to be a gem in the rough. This home was my great uncles home. For anyone interested in his geneology we have a family website:home.earthlink.net/~bbodwell/treepg/tree.htm.

patty said...

I lived in this house from 1957 to 1968. Would love the link to the Libray of Congress survey!

Michelle said...

Hi Patty! In case the link above didn't work for you, here is the web address: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/me0050/