- The General Henry Knox Museum
PO Box 326
Thomaston, Maine 04861
OPEN THURSDAYS & FRIDAYS
May 25–October 14: 10am–4pm
Adults: $10; Seniors & AAA: $8
Children 5–13 yrs: $4
Children under 5 Free
Flat Family Rate $20
Active Military Free
Built by General Henry Knox, George Washington’s Secretary of War, in 1794 on the St. George River in what is now Thomaston. Montpelier shows the transition from orthodox Georgian to a new era of more adventurous forms. Knox was what we would call a developer, buying acreage along the sparsely settled coast and inviting, among others, German immigrants to settle the frontier.
Clearly intended to be a showplace, Montpelier’s principal feature is the large oval drawing room that swells the front of the house into a grand bowed extension.This oval room gives the house a vitality that rigorously rectangular plans never had before.
The other dramatic feature is the double flying staircase which also accesses a walkway with a view down the river. The house is unusual among Maine houses because its prinicipal rooms are on the second floor, in the manner of English and some southern houses where the ground floor was used by servants. After the Revolution this was considered undemocratic.
The development of the railroad led to the demolition of the house in 1871 and only one outbuilding remained which now serves as the Thomaston Historical Society’s museum. In 1929, the Daughters of the American Revolution inspired magazine publisher and Portland native Cyrus H. K. Curtis to build a replica of the house. It is not on the original site where the railroad still runs and a boatbuilding plant is located, but nearby where it is prominently placed to be seen not from the river, but from northbound U.S. Route 1.
In 1965, The DAR gave the house to the state and it was later acquired by the Friends of Montpelier and is currently in good shape with a very active support group.
- Map Location
Historic Maine HomesArchitectural historian Christopher Glass and renowned architectural photographer Brian Vanden Brink bring their well-honed skills to bear on celebrating historic Maine homes, both public and private.
The General Henry Knox Museum
Historic Maine Homes
Architectural historian Christopher Glass and renowned architectural photographer Brian Vanden Brink bring their well-honed skills to bear on celebrating historic Maine homes, both public and private.Buy
Back to Historical Back to home