Our Maine home, in the Farmington area, is situated on 3 acres overlooking the Sandy River. Our Sandy River House is a wonderful retreat from the busyness and density of city life. We come here to unwind, listen to birds, relax in the spacious house, garden in the yard, enjoy cooking and relaxing, and get some good sleep! There’s room to spread out, and separate spaces in the house for quiet or for chatting.
This historic house and barn were built in the Federalist period. It was originally a parsonage, located next door to the village church. Today, the house retains many significant original features, including the half-circle glass over the entry door, the original staircase and banisters, beautiful craft-work in the hand-planed doors, and fine large beams, some of which we have left revealed.
Our house has 4 bedrooms (1 quite small), and 2.5 baths. The largest bedroom, on the first floor, is furnished with a queen bed, reading chair, dresser and mirror, writing desk, bookshelf, closet, and a spacious en-suite bathroom, with an over-sized tub. The bedroom has 3 windows, on the south and east sides, and the bathroom has 2, facing east and north.
Upstairs are 3 additional bedrooms, and another full bath. There is also a small upstairs kitchen/sitting area that looks out over the back yard and the woods. The sitting area has a separate counter and sink, a coffee machine, tea kettle, and a table for reading/writing/snacking. A bookshelf offers magazines on Maine, and other good reading.
The larger bedroom upstairs faces east, with two windows and looks out on a large old sugar maple, and the nearby church tower. There is a queen bed, assortment of linens, reading corner with easy chair and ottoman, and bedside tables with lamps. A west-facing bedroom looks out over our standing-seam roof, the barn and the pines to the west, and gets a great amount of afternoon sun through its two windows. This room has a double bed, night stands and reading lights on both sides, a beautiful old mirror, and an ottoman. The last and smallest bedroom is under the eaves, faces west, and is furnished with two single all-cotton futon mattresses side by side on a quilt on the pine floor. It has a luggage rack, a lamp, and a small table.
On the first floor, we have a full, completely new kitchen, with a gas range, a toaster oven, and microwave, along with coffee-maker and electric tea kettle. There’s a dining table in the front parlor.
The front and back parlors connect around the raised hearth with the cast iron and soapstone wood stove. The front parlor also has a reading chair with ottoman. The back parlor has an old piano (which is still untested & untuned), and more chairs for reading or chatting. The back parlor looks out on the back yard, and is often a great place to watch birds flitting back and forth from the maples to the pines to the grass or wildflowers .
Supplies: The bathrooms have a small stock of toiletries to share- soap, shampoo, hand cream, toothpaste, etc. There are plentiful towels, and bed linens, and there is laundry detergent supplied in the laundry room. The laundry room has a small box of first-aid materials, and a few extra toothbrushes if you forgot yours. There is insect repellant, and usually some sunscreen in the house.
The kitchen has a good amount of basic staples and a range of condiments, which you are welcome to use. Usually there are some dry cereals, oatmeal, canned beans, tuna, soups, etc; cookies and crackers, corn chips and salsa, pasta and sauce, some dried fruits and nuts; a selection of teas, coffee and decaf, cocoa and maybe some chocolate bars!
Being green: We were very happy to conserve and refurbish an existing house, rather than tear down something and build new. We used locally milled wood for the new floor in the library, and the spruce siding for the house. Our kitchen and bathroom floors are Marmoleum, natural linoleum flooring. The house is well-insulated for 4 season use.
We use green cleaning products, and don’t use any fabric softeners, “air fresheners” or similar products. We care for our yards using organic practices.
Our house has town water, propane heating and cooking, completely modernized electrical, and a fine new boiler for heat and on-demand hot water in all seasons. We also have a beautiful cast-iron & soapstone woodstove, on the first floor, for additional heat, and for the pleasure of relaxing and watching a wood fire.
You can use the house phone to make calls locally. We have wifi, which is pretty reliable, and are usually able to connect. There is a DVD player and TV monitor, so please feel free to bring your DVDs or use our Netflix service (starting in August.)
Location: Although we’re in a rural area, it’s very easy to get to. We’re a half-hour from Augusta, just a couple of minutes off Route 27, a well-traveled state road. Winter access is not a concern!
Our house is minutes from the Franklin County seat, Farmington.
Living in New England, we’ve loved Maine for a long time, and are so happy to have this beautiful place in Maine to stay at, and to share. We’re coming from a city of 16,000 people per square mile, to unwind in Maine in an area that has 30 people per square mile.
This house was so appealing to us because of its fine structure and details, the generous amount of land, the wonderful crabapples, sugar maples and white pines, and of course the Sandy River! We’ve tried hard to acknowledge the character of the house, and refurbish it with respect and affection. The land also is a big focus, and we’ve brought in many great native shrubs, plants, and young trees, working to keep things healthy for the pollinators, and the birds, and the people who enjoy the Maine environment.
We enjoy Maine as much as we can, and one of our great pleasures is sharing this wonderful old home with others who enjoy the same things.
This corner of Maine is full of rural beauty, farming life, and small-town enjoyments. Some of our favorite things include observing birds and pollinators all around, walking around the land under the tall trees, looking closely at the great range of terrain and flora here, taking in a movie at the great local NarrowGauge Cinema, stopping to pick up fresh produce, ice cream or baked goods at the Sandy River Farm Market, admiring the Sandy River as it wends its way through 73 miles of Maine, making pies with the backyard rhubarb, or pancakes with Maine wild blueberries, watching the fireflies in the summer nights, having delicious soup in the nearby Soup for You.
If you want to get out and mingle, there are always many choices listed in the eent pages of the local online newspaper, The DailyBulldog. On a recent week, these included: parades, festivals, bake-offs, hootenannies, road races, readings, exhibits, concerts, book sales, contradancing, horseshoe tournaments, craft sales, farmers markets, hikes, historical society meetings, book talks, classes!
Maine has many agricultural fairs from June to October, and an active farmers market program, pick-your-own farms, and local corn mazes and hayrides.
Our house is well-stocked with books, magazines, and some puzzles & games; wifi and Netflix.
For outdoor activities, on our property you can enjoy:
• star-gazing: check out the night sky
• the beginnings of some veggie gardens: planting rhubarb, chives, blueberries, garlic, raspberries
• bird-watching: we’re planting the property to attract and support songbird life.
• Weber grill & natural charcoal
There are many good places to buy groceries or prepared foods or farmers markets:
• Sandy River Farm Market - baked goods, beans, ice cream, meats, pies, vegs. on road into Farmington, on left
• White Water - organic local meats; on the corner of Cape Cod Hill Road and Rt 2/27 in New Sharon
• Farmers markets: in New Sharon, in Farmington
• Front and Pleasant - gourmet and interesting choices , tasty local pound cakes. Pleasant St, Farmington Trantens - local independent grocer in Farmington.
• Barn Sale – Main St, New Sharon. On Saturdays, on the corner of RT 134 and Water St in New Sharon. An eclectic bunch of offerings –lots of interesting and practical things.
• Reny’s In Farmington, on Broadway St. A Maine chain; clothes, practical winter gear; miscellany.
• Eddie Bauer Outlet In Augusta; durable outdoor wear at a discount
• Farmers Union – grain, seed, tools, etc. Front St, Farmington
Groceries: besides the local stores above, there is a Hannafords in Farmington. If you drive to Maine on 95 & 295, and pass through Portland, right off of exit 7 on 295 North, are both Trader Joe and Whole Foods. So it’s easy to stock up on the way up. Our house is about 1.5 hours after that, so pack your cold stuff in one bag, etc.
Outdoor activities: There is so much incredible hiking in Maine.
Some good hikes are
• Avery Mountain – near Stratton
• Tumbledown Mountain – Weld area
• Mount Blue – near Weld
• Bald Mountain - Weld area
• Mt Abraham – near Kingfield
• Bigelow Ridge – Avery is a part of this (?)
• Saddleback – near Rangeley
Maine has a very large number of public parks and trails – we have more links on our Sandy River House web pages.
Maine Wildlife Park with wildlife, trails, picnic areas, and gardens, is located in Gray, ME
Kayaking, canoeing, tubing, swimming:
• Close by, there are several local put-in/take-out spots on the Sandy River near Farmington, for swimming, tubing, kayaking. Please write us for specific details.
• The “State Parks” page of the Maine.gov website has a page for canoeing, kayaking, paddling activities etc.
• snowshoe around the property
• cross-country/Nordic skiing, or snowshoe trekking on local trails
• skiing at local, family-friendly, and budget-friendly Titcomb mountain
• top ski areas nearby include Sugarloaf, Saddleback ski areas