After a succession of owners in the 19th century, the house was purchased in 1900 by Mrs. Virgil Kline, a descendant of Mrs. Parker’s sister Edith Wood Hinckley. Mrs. Kline, married to the chief attorney for the Rockefeller interests in Cleveland, had had an interesting career as the manager and owner of the Boston Ideal Opera Company, a travelling light opera company that was instrumental in bringing Gilbert and Sullivan performance to America. Mrs. Kline’s own turreted and shingled summer house, ‘Ideal Lodge’, was just up the road from Parker House. (For the story of that house, which should be read in conjunction with this post, click HERE:)
|Parker House as it appears today|
|Parker House as it appeared before the renovations of 1900 (Photograph courtesy of Maine Historic Preservation Commission)|
|After the 1900 renovations, Parker House was almost an ideal of the Colonial Revival movement|
|The Parlor as it appeared in the early 1900’s, with an 1830 Boston made piano and one of a group of family portraits painted by J. Harvey Young|
|The interior was little altered in the Clough renovations. In the hall, the robustly paneled front door and wide sidelights added by Clough give more light and presence to the hall, but the simple Federal moldings and newel post were retained.|
|The parlor as it appears today, with more of the family portraits by Young. Dr. Frederick A. Merrill is over the fireplace|
|The modern chinoiserie wallpaper is a licensed Winterthur design|
|The wide pine board dado under the chair rail was boldly faux grained, probably in the 1830’s or 40’s,, to look like Honduran mahogany.|
|French doors were added in 1900 to access the new side proticos flanking the parlor and library, giving a more expansive air to the square rooms|
|In true Colonial Revival fashion, with its strong sentiment for the past, the original kitchen, with its huge cooking fireplace and bake oven, became the dining room in the 1900 renovations. A new kitchen was installed in the service wing at rear.|
|Looking through to the front room|
|The ell kitchen was redesigned by the current owner, with a new window over the vintage stove opening up space.|
|The upper hall|
|A tester bed and printed cotton curtains and hangings, with a William Morris inspired paper, give this room proper Colonial Revival street cred.|
Most of the contemporary pictures in this post were taken during a benefit house tour. Despite the fact that there were 30-50 people wandering through the house at any time, only once did a person get in the photos (followed by so many others that I gave up—never have I seen so many people emerge from one bedroom).
The owner has created this video showing the evolution of the house from 1812-2012.
The vintage photographs are from the collection of the owner, and from other local collections. Thanks to the owner for permission to post about his fascinating house.