Haunted by my past…and loving it

I think I’ve gone over the edge now. I find that I’m dreaming of living in a house, a different house, that looks for all the world like my present house. Just look at this place:

House in Maine

If you click on that photo above, it will take you to the page where this house is advertised “For Sale” in Columbia Falls, Maine.

But just quickly, when you first saw this picture, did you think it was OUR HOUSE?

Our House not long after we bought it:

and a more current view:

I know, I know, the addition is on the right-hand side instead of the left. And the garden area is more rough looking with a tree out in the front yard and that big bush. But both of those items were, indeed, in our garden when we bought this house. This almost looks like our house 26 years ago.

Anyway, I was playing around online in Columbia Falls, Maine, because my Nana (who was the only grandparent I ever knew, all the rest having died before I was born), was born and raised there. Her mother was a Bucknam from Columbia Falls who married an Ingersoll, and it is through that Ingersoll family that I am related to Nathaniel Hawthorne and his cousin Capt. Ingersoll and his daughter Susannah Ingersoll, who owned the House of the Seven Gables. So I have, for a long time now, been fantasizing about going there and having a look-round to see where I came from.

Old Postcard of Columbia Falls, Maine

Ok, so that’s not completely nuts. But when I typed in to the search box “Homes for Sale Columbia Falls, ME” – this house popped up and at first I thought – “that’s MY house!”

You will see that this house has a price tag of only $34,900. Can that be right? There are almost two acres of land with it. Well, that night I did have a real dream about living there. The house was built in 1790. Yikes…a real antique. I love older houses. My house here is only 66 years old but I mean much older houses. I live in a very historic area in New England where homes can be as old as almost 400 years. Nothing compared to those in England, mind you, but old for this country. I’ve always wished we had bought one of the historic homes we looked at when we were house-hunting. But we didn’t.

This house (above) only requires $6,980. as a downpayment!

But I degress. Paul would never in a million years go for it.

So, in order to get my mind off this house once and for all, I decided to look into Columbia Falls a little more closely, just to see if I would be happy there.

I did that for most of the afternoon yesterday. I found out that there is (or was) a Samuel Bucknam House located on Main Street at one time, but I could not find a photo of it and I think I read that it may have been “moved” from its location by private owners. Rats. I would love to have seen that place. Surely, Samuel Bucknam must be a relative of some sort to me. My great grandmother, Lucy Ella Bucknam Ingersoll’s father was Benjamin Franklin Bucknam and I found some stuff about him online but not too much.

The thing is that I have a couple of really old accounting books, all done by hand in ink, by a “Nathan Bucknam” who was a local businessman in Columbia Falls, Maine. The book shows each sale he made, to whom, the price, and notes about that customer. It goes back a couple of hundred years, too. My mother gave me that and another old old book from that period and family, before she died. I had never seen them before in my life.

This is a sample page in that book. My friend Mary says that I should see that when I die, those books go to a historical society for safekeeping. I agree with her. So I plan to contact the Columbia Falls historial society in the near future to tell them about these books.

But the whole point of this was that after I moseyed around in the web sites about Columbia Falls, and I felt almost like I had attended some of their get-togethers thanks to the internet and the publishing of pictures of many of the townspeople… I have concluded that I might not fit in up there. They are really “down there” in Maine, about 7 hours by car from here. Not too far from Canada along the Maine coastline actually. New Brunswick is not far from Columbia Falls I think.

Here is a page of the Local News from Columbia Falls.

They all seem like super nice people, there is no doubt about that. But coming from my background, I need edgier people to be around… people with more worldly experiences, so to speak. I am very far from a goody-two-shoes, and I would be afraid of scaring some of them with my habits. My neighbors around here are used to me… if they hear screams coming from the open windows around 5 p.m., they know I am (trying to) cook dinner in the kitchen.

Anyway, again I degress. I don’t think that type of society would be right for me. Maybe Paul but not me.

As if I had a choice in the first place!

Nope. Paul made it very clear a long time ago that we are staying put here on The Hill at Crow Cottage.

But I still say that home above could be a mirror image of this place!

Oh, one more thing I learned from a very long web page I was reading about Columbia Falls, there are three buildings on the National Historic Register in that town, and one of them is located at “515 Station Road, Columbia Falls, Maine.” Ha! This one above! Built in 1790.

It was a good dream while it lasted.




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5 Responses to Haunted by my past…and loving it

  1. TopsyTurvy says:

    Honestly, I’m glad that the Columbia Falls house is an unlikely one for you and Paul, Bex. You’ve put so much into Crow Cottage and it would be a great deal of trouble to start all over again to make the place into your home. It’d be like you going back in time – what? Twenty-five years?

    When I lived in MA in my teen years we had a house right next door that had a big white medallion on its turret. The medallion said 1907, which was obviously the year it was built. It was quite a handsome house, and very well maintained.


  2. mz. em says:

    What a good entry. I have never been to Columbia Falls but from the photos, I can tell they are vintage Maine.
    And, the two houses do look similar. It is fun to dream even if that particular dream doesn’t come true. Who knows, it might lead you to something else. Anyway, I love Crow Cottage.


  3. Bex says:

    Also, I found this old photo online:

    And the caption under it says:

    “Pullman car passenger service for the Washington County Railroad was initiated in June of 1899. This photo is believed to have been taken of the whole town turning out at the Columbia Falls train station for the first passenger train on June 27th, 1899.”

    My grandmother was born I believe in 1891. That would mean she was only 8 and her sister, Margaret, would have been 5 or 6 when this picture was taken, so there is a good chance that they are two of the children in the front row here.


  4. Bex says:

    OMG,Betty Lou! For a minute I got all excited. You KNOW how I keep saying Michael and I were twins separated at birth! Anyway, yes it was Bucknam, but back in the old days they used to spell names differently, so Buckman could very well have been a relative of the Bucknams of Maine. If we are related in the end, I will jump for joy!


  5. Betty Lou says:

    Dear Bex, I nearly fell off my chair when I read that you are related to a “Bucknam”. I thought you may have transposed the N & M because my maternal grandfather was a “Buckman”. But after I continued to read, I realized that you were spelling your ancestor’s name correctly, and that we weren’t related at all. Too bad ! Anyway, my grandfather’s family came from Missouri. But I read a lot about Columbia Falls & found it pretty interesting. Thanks for a quiet morning.


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