A Virtual Visit to Our Longest Standing Home

November 25, 2020

Thanks to the generosity of the Camden Real Estate Company, you can now experience the 1770’s Homestead like never before in a virtual tour that will make you feel like you’re right inside the house. Visit this link to experience the region’s most historic home.

Inside of the 1770's homestead

Explore the homestead like never before.

History: This homestead is one of the earliest homes in the Camden–Rockport area. Originally it was a one room cabin with an open sleeping loft above allegedly built in 1769 by Robert Thorndike, first settler of Rockport. His son was the first white child born in the area in 1773. There were two additions to the house in 1806 and 1826. The first addition in 1806 consisted of the front door entry way and the front parlor, a birthing room and a chamber and loft above.. The 1826 addition in the back of the home provided a kitchen area that was later divided to provide a small parlor. In 1826, Frederick Conway bought the property, which remained in the family until 1916. William Conway, a brother of Frederick, is remembered for his refusal to haul down the American flag in Pensacola, Florida at the outbreak of the Civil War.

Construction: The house is a fine example of Cape Cod–style construction. Roof timbers are fastened with treenails and many cellar beams are covered in bark. Laths are hand–split hemlock and beams are hand–hewn by broad–axe and adze. When plaster was added later it was made of sea shells as no lime was available. During its renovation by the Historical Society the plaster ceiling was removed to expose the beams and show the original lathes. The windows may have been added later. Often openings were covered with wood or hides as glass was very expensive as they were imported from England and heavily taxed. Some early hand–blown window panes remain in the home The floor and cupboard are of pumpkin pine (white pine that grows in deep fertile soil). It has not been stained, instead it turns orange with age. Any pine trees over 23 in. in diameter were reserved for masts for the Royal Navy, thus the name “King‘s Pines.”