North Castine Post Office
On Saturday, December 2, board members Dick Hanson, Dick Stockford, Ron Sucy and volunteer Nate Coe disassembled the North Castine Post Office in Penobscot, Maine and brought it by trailer back to Curran Homestead Village at Fields Pond. The building was located on the property of Jean Devereux who generously donated it to the museum. Mrs. Devereux donated the Kerrihard Power Hammer that presently resides in our blacksmithing shop back in 2010; the hammer belonged to her late husband Ralph Devereux who had a smithy and at one time taught an adult education blacksmithing class at the Mary Snow School in Bangor. The building had served as a post office until the 1950s and then as a workshop for the Mr. Devereux.
The building had once been positioned right in front of the 18th century farmhouse that still stands across Devereux Lane. It was moved when town lines were re-configured and what was known as North Castine became Penobscot. The building is of 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 construction. Since Mr. Devereux’s death more than twenty years ago the building has set idle with the hard winters taking its toll on portions of the building. A characteristic that likely saved the building was its 24 inch overhanging roof which protected the clapboard siding.
In disassembling the structure we had to cut the sides and half as well as the gables in order to fit the structure in sections on a flatbed trailer. The ends of the vertical studs that connected to the sill were decayed, and a plan for re-assembly will be to sister up these studs to connect them will new sill work. The structure will be a free floating one constructed on floating concrete pads. There will a wooden, tongue and groove floor. We will insulate the structure and sheath the interior with bead board.
The structure will our new history of communications building with a working collection of telegraphs, magneto telephones and crystal radios for hands-on learning experiences. The idea is to connect this building to other buildings by wire so that there will be an opportunity to communicate between buildings using historical technology. This was accomplished at Willowbrook with the HMS Titanic and Carpathia in the Hands On History Building; this telegraph exhibit continues to be a feature of our school field trip programming.