>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.
>Since there is a rather unwelcome visitor headed to town this weekend, we are battening down the hatches here at The Ruggles House and will be closed Sunday and Monday.
Look for an update on Tuesday.
Be safe everyone
We all scream for Ice Cream!
Visit the Ruggles House this Sunday from 1-3 for an old fashioned Ice Cream Social. Free house tours and ice cream under the tent on the lawn. What could be better on a summer day? Check out the herb garden, or just sit on the porch and watch the world go by.
Even if it doesn’t feel like Spring here in downeast Maine, you can pretend this Saturday at the annual plant sale. There will be vegetables seedlings, annuals and perennials. See you there.
>The Ruggles House is lucky to have so many generous members and twice a year we like to let them know what has been going on. One of the less than glamorous jobs is getting the newsletters folded and mailed. Thanks so much to Ellen Tenan, Mike McSorley, Dick Grant and Bill Brundage for matching, folding, stuffing and stapling almost 700 newsletters.
The spring newsletter should be in member’s mailboxes shortly. It will also available soon on our website The Ruggles House
>Here at the Ruggles House things are getting ready for the season. Early this spring there was some plaster repair work done and the entire front hall was repainted. It looks spectacular.
The ceiling in the dining room was also repainted
If the room looks a bit bare, thats because everything was somewhere else…
So last week was spring cleaning day. Floors were washed, walls were wiped, pictures re-hung and everything was dusted. The House is just about back to normal and spruced up ready for opening day June 1st.
>That’s the way guests are greeted as they enter this amazing historic house museum in the quiet town of Columbia Falls in beautiful downeast Maine.
The house was built in 1818 for a local merchant and has endured through many challenges. As of today it is entering the 21st century with this blog and a facebook page.
There are lots of new things planned for the house this year, so check back from time to time, or subscribe to this blog to keep up to date on events, happenings and history as this great house heads into the future.