Thomaston History 

Home for the Holidays in Thomaston 2017


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The Morton Lermond House, circa 1847

About the House

Morton Lermond House, circa 1847

Doric columns at exterior corners Doric columns
The 2017 Home for the Holidays house may have been built by either Albert Morton or his brother-in-law, Charles Lermond.

This classic home is an outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture so popular with builders in 19th century Thomaston.

Gable and flush board siding
Gable and flush board siding
Doric pilasters (square columns) at the exterior corners, a bold entablature and the use of carvel king or flush board siding (style used on ship hulls) create attractive broad planes designed to resemble the temples of Greece.

With gable-end-to-street positioning, the use of identical porches on either side allow for two distinct entrances.
South porch entrance
South porch entrance
North porch entrance
North Porch Entrance

Door trim and moulding
Door trim and moulding
The interior is replete with cornices and mouldings throughout, a style that repeats the heavy exterior effect.

Armed with Asher Benjamin‘s Carpentry and Architectural Designs Handbook, a Thomaston shipbuilder had the plans, materials, and the necessary labor along with several streets leading to his waterfront shipyard on which to build.
South stairway
South stairway

It is believed the house was constructed as a duplex since, divided through the middle, the floor plan is as close as possible to an exact mirror image - including a double parlor separated by pocket doors and back-to-back stairways.

The two families of Lermond and Morton may have lived here together at one time, and in the early 20th century, the two Lermond sisters could have kept separate quarters.

Joshua A. Morton moved from Friendship to Thomaston in 1826 and purchased a large tract of land bordering the east side of Green Street, extending to Water Street. It is believed he built a house on the southern half of the lot at 48 Green Street that was later replaced by this present house. Joshua (1789-1857) married 1st Jerusha Cobb and 2nd Mary Davis and between the two wives, Joshua had 15 children, most of whom are buried in the Thomaston Village Cemetery.

Joshua and his son, Charles C. Morton, purchased waterfront land and established the shipbuilding firm of J. and C. C. Morton on the site later occupied by Morse Boatbuilding Company at 70 Water Street.

Albert Morton, another son of Joshua, also a ship carpenter, worked at the Lermond and Gilchrest shipyard. In 1855 Albert sold two small lots, including the small house built by his father, to Charles Lermond, shipbuilder/carpenter, married to Albert?s sister, Rebecca Morton. Either Albert or Charles - both ship carpenters - are credited with building the impressive Greek Revival style dwelling on the site of Joshua Morton?s original house.

Charles Lermond and his wife, Rebecca, had eight children, five of whom died young. Charles built ships with Lermond, Morton and Gilchrest. His eldest child, Aroline, a dressmaker, married John Gorwaiz in 1886 and moved to Newburyport, MA. Aroline and her sister, Lauretta Tobie, retained the property at 48 Green Street after their father died in 1890.

Aroline returned to live in the house with her sister and niece, Lauretta and Elizabeth Tobie, after her husband died in 1912. Lauretta died in 1929 and Aroline in 1936. Elizabeth and her husband, Sidney B. Lermond, master builder in a Bath shipyard, next lived in the house, which passed to neighbor Dorothy Brennan in 1950 upon Elizabeth?s death. At that point, the property had remained in the family for 124 years.

The Lermond family graves are located in Elm Grove Cemetery.

Antique door bell with original brass bell affixed to pull chain
Antique door bell
with original brass bell
affixed to pull chain
One of two idential newelposts on the mirror image staircases
One of two identical
newelposts on the
mirror image staircases
Sources: Land deeds, Census Reports, Eaton, FLS Morse, Town that Went to Sea, Early Newspapers; article by Samuel Green, Journal of the Soc of Architectural Historians, X, 4, who claims 1847 construction date. Research by Margaret McCrea


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