Visitors from Far and Wide

We are three weeks into the season and attendance has been up over last year! We are thrilled to meet people from all over the country (and the world). I thought it would be fun to see where the folks who have signed the guest book are from and who has traveled the farthest.

Week 1: We had visitors from Carson City, NV. that’s 3202 miles by car.

Week 2: Our guests from Fredericksburg Texas traveled 2325 miles for the visit

Week 3: This was our international week. Visitors from Montreal Canada (a mere 354 miles by car) and the long distance winners this week from London UK traveled 3046 miles (by plane we must suppose).

Lets see where the other guest hailed from:

There are still plenty of states to go, so come visit the Ruggles House.

And don’t forget The Ice Cream Social is Sunday July 9 from 1-3. The house is open for free tours and there is free ice cream for everyone. Hope to see you there.

Back in the swing of things…

Getting back in the swing of things as the Ruggles House begins its 67th season. Yes! The house first opened its doors to visitors in 1950. And, we are rapidly approaching the 200th anniversary of the house being built. Over the years there have been some big projects undertaken by the Ruggles House Society. The largest had to be the reconstruction of the ell at the back of the house.

We are beginning another big project; the re-creation of a carriage house that once stood on the property. Archeologists found a stone foundation and we plan to erect a simple post-and-beam building on that site. The carriage house will allow us to expand our display space as well as hold events, meetings, do demonstrations.

It is moving past the “wishful thinking” stage and into the serious planning and fundraising stages. Stay tuned and keep your eyes right here to track our progress to the goal.

And of course, if you want to help raise the line on that thermometer, we would be grateful for your support. Just click on the PayPal button to donate quickly and securely.

Getting ready for the party!

Friday was a flurry of activity as the local garden club members dressed the house in holiday greenery to get ready for the Christmas Tea on Sunday. Thank you to Worcester Wreath company for their donation of wreaths and other greenery. So much was going on no one had time to get pictures… oops. You will just have to come to see their work in person. Tea will be served from 1-4pm.

Stephen Sanfilippo

And something new this year, music will be provided by Stephen and Susan Sanfilippo. They will be performing traditional Songs of the Sea, and of the Colonial, Revolutionary and Early American periods.

Hope to see lots of friends at the Ruggles House on Sunday.

Welcome to the Holidays


Formal Parlor fireplace
The Ruggles house gets dressed up for the holidays at the annual Christmas Tea

The Ruggles House invites you to the annual Christmas Tea, Sunday, Dec. 8 from 1-4 p.m. . Join us for tea, mulled cider and homemade baked goods along with live music and holiday cheer. The house, including the famous flying staircase, will be decorated in period style for the holidays. Find unique gifts for friends and family, including the “Ruggles House” book in the gift shop. Tea will be served by Teas of Cherryfield and live music will be provided by Cole Creek. Admission is $3.00


Happy Birthday Deliverance

Birthday Cake

Today we celebrate the 278th birthday of Deliverance Barrows Ruggles. Thomas Ruggles’ mother must have been quite a woman. She married Captain Nathaniel Ruggles in 1752 and had eight children, seven who lived to maturity. Her husband died in December 1776, just as the Revolutionary War broke out, leaving her with five sons and two daughters ranging in age from 21 to 4. Thomas was only six years old at the time. Her oldest son Nathaniel Jr. settled in Newport Rhode Island and became a successful merchant. Elisha remained in Rochester, Massachusetts and served in the state legislature.

Deliverance Ruggles

This portrait is believed to be Deliverance. It was the only oil painting in the house when Lizzie died and the manner of dress would be appropriate to the age and time period for Thomas’ mother. When you see the picture in person, you can’t help notice how her eyes follow you all over the room. You have to believe that no one ever gave Grandma Ruggles any guff.

She died in February 1807 at the age of 72.

>A major purchase (Sept 27)

>September 27, 1797… Thomas Ruggles’ first recorded land purchase in Maine.  He purchased 100 acres with a dwelling house, barn and outbuildings for $750.  A year later, September 1798,  Thomas and his brother Benjamin jointly purchased a dwelling house, work house and half a barn for $150. The house may have served as the first home of Thomas Ruggles.

>Happy Birthday Frederick Augustus

>Today is the 211th  birthday of Frederick Augustus Ruggles. Born January 8, 1801, Frederick was the third son and third child of Thomas and Ruth Ruggles. He was born in Columbia (now Columbia Falls) in the first house the family owned in town. He would have moved into the “new” house- the one we know as The Ruggles House– with his 6 brothers and sisters at the age of 19.

Frederick was a farmer and the agricultural census data from 1850 shows him owning 15 improved acres and 35 unimproved acres. That year he produced 23 pounds of wool, 3 bushels of peas & beans, 220 bushels of potatoes, 220 pounds of butter and 12 tons of hay.
Frederick and his brother George had jointly inherited a property called the “Patten Farm”, but he apparently lived in the Ruggles House with his mother and sister Lucy. After Ruth Ruggles’ death, in 1859, Lucy and Frederick shared ownership of the house. Each owned half of the house and had joint ownership of the front door and staircase. Eventually Frederick acquired the whole house. 

In 1847 Frederick married Caroline Stone Bucknam, a local girl 12 years his junior. They had two daughters, Emily, born in 1850 and Lizzie born in 1852.

This picture of Frederick in his militia uniform is a charcoal drawing done by one of his daughters.

He died in 1890 at the age of 89.