John Perkins House — Room by Room
This staircase was removed from the house on Court Street and replaced here — in one piece. The chimney was originally plastered.
Baseboard paint continues across door and chimney moldings. Structural corner posts are covered with boards. The lintel decoration above the mantel is repeated in the room above. The wallpaper is a copy of wallpaper of the proper period. The closet shelves have the original paint and still show where a candle flame burned the wood.
The bedroom is larger than the parlor below as the chimney narrows as it rises. Floor in front of the fireplace has been patched because of a fire — machine-cut nails were used so that the repair was done between 1830 and 1880. The closet latch is from an old home in North Castine.
The furniture throughout is of the type and period which would have been used by John and Phebe Perkins. Of special interest are Perkins family heirlooms and Castine furnishings of the 18th and early 19th centuries.
This is not part of the original house but the stairs to the attic are original except for the bottom step. It was customary for a room over the kitchen, which, with the chimney, provided warmth in winter, to be used as a weaving room. The smoke chamber is similar to the original — a kettle of smoldering corn cobs was placed in the bottom of the smoke chamber which has its own flue.
At the right of the fireplace is a nice china closet, at the left a pantry with inch thick shelves. The wall between this closet and the kitchen was insulated with bricks. The wallpaper is a copy of paper from a wall (of boards, not plaster) in the first home. These boards were split and used for laths in the last home.
The big fireplace with its original crane dominates the kitchen. The bake oven has its own flue which joins the main flue; a fire would be built in this oven, heating it in an hour or two. The coals and ashes were then raked out and food placed inside to bake. The dry sink is a copy of an old one. The fine cupboard probably came from the 1763 house - the nails in it are like those in the main house, unlike those in the ell.
Here are shown items from the original house; wallpaper, nails, shutter dogs, glass pane on which Elizabeth Perkins (one of John and Phebe’s daughters) scratched her name, etc.
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