Chapter 1 - Hillside Farm

I have so much to share and hope to start getting you caught up in the next couple weeks!

So Hillside Farm resides in Boothbay, Maine and is a 6 bedroom, 2 bath 1880s farmhouse on 13 acres at the end of a quiet road. It sits perched just across the street from the Damariscotta River, which is famous for its oysters! We do not get to enjoy any river views directly from the house, but we can see the river clearly from our driveway and we do have access to the river and cove because of a good-neighbor easement which gives us permission to walk or tractor down through the neighbor’s land to the water.

In addition to the 13 acres, we chose to purchase the adjoining two forested lots the seller had for sale; one parcel is 20 acres and the other is 30 acres. This tipped the scale a bit for our budget but we decided it was really important to own the other parcels for two reasons. One, since we are the last house on the road, we have secured our quiet status by ensuring that no new neighbor goes driving past us all the time. Secondly, it’s always been very important to have the option to build another home on the property for either rental/vacation/in-law care. But for now, the land will just sit there waiting patiently.

Back to the house! We have lots of plans for the inside and out and will be sharing all of the progress when we begin! One of the first changes we will be tackling is to change the house to a 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath configuration. We will use one of the oddly placed bedrooms for our master bathroom and the main downstairs bathroom will be converted into a private en-suite for the guest bedroom and a powder room will be added. Even though 5 bedrooms makes it sound huge, the house really feels comfortable and cozy for all the times it will just be me and Mike.

Another fun tidbit, apparently it’s a thing in New England to have the barn attached to the house so that big chunk on the left of the house is actually a two story barn. Rustic and totally charming! It will be our project/shop/catchall room for awhile, but I look forward to eventually having a big old farm table in there with the doors open and friends gathered around.

As far as the nearby towns, we’re only 10-15 minutes to a couple of great harbor towns, full of lobster boats, oyster shacks and a hippie Community Market that I’ve already fallen in love with. And it’s an easy one hour drive to Portland which is an amazing small city! (and it was just voted best food scene in the whole country)

A few more details…

In 1880:

  • The devastating Civil War ended just 15 years earlier.

  • There were only 32 states in the Union.

  • President Rutherford Hayes finished off his term and on November 2nd, James Garfield was sworn-in as the 20th president.

  • The construction of the Panama Canal began under French auspices, although it would eventually fail in 1893, and would be bought out by the United States twenty-four years later under President Theodore Roosevelt.

  • Thomas Edison established Edison Illuminating Company on December 17, 1880.

  • The first pay telephone service in the United States was installed in New Haven, Connecticut.

  • The 6th Kentucky Derby was cheered on.

The above historical highlights are quite fascinating, but one more fact that is remarkable to us, is that we are only the 2nd owners of Hillside Farm! Our historical knowledge of the house and property are minimal, but it’s our hope to learn more, while also honoring the last remaining elderly family member by paying him a visit in North Carolina in early spring.

I know you still have many questions and I’ll get to all of them soon. There will be lots of updates and progress photos in the coming weeks and months. Including, the first which you may have already noticed - our subtle renaming change made this week. As much as we are in the depths of reinventing ourselves right now, we felt eventually that term would be less accurate as we settled in with our new lives.

We’re so glad you’re part of The Clouse Chronicles! It’s going to be an epic journey!