Tingley House: the essence of Island Falls

13 years ago

ImageHoulton Pioneer Times Photo/Elna Seabrooks
HISTORICAL — A formal dining room is set up in the Tingley House located in Island Falls. The residence has many historical artifacts, period furniture, clothing and more. Volunteers have been working on the exterior of the home and donations for the renovations can be sent to Rebecca Drew, secretary historical society, Nina Sawyer Lane, Island Falls, Maine 04747.

    When Katahdin Federal Credit Union planned on building on the corner of Route 159 in Island Falls, across from Bishop’s Market, a Victorian Revival was left “homeless.”
    But, Jim Odgers noticed something very unique about the 1900 home where the Tingleys resided … it had never been remodeled.
    Facing demolition, Odgers petitioned the town of Island Falls and the Katahdin Federal Credit Union to see if the house could be saved.
    All parties agreed to preserving the home, with one stipulation — Odgers would dedicate five years to the restoration of the home — which was moved to its current location on Nina Sawyer Lane.
    The historical-styled home, known as the Tingley House, is filled with period furniture and appointments and is open for touring. Beside the Tingley House, a restored potato house owned by Bev Rand and a unique Jail House Museum complete with iron jail cells sit on the Island Falls Historical Museum land.
ImageContributed photograph
COOK STOVE — An old cook stove sits in the kitchen of the Tingley House.

    After 10 years, Reneva Smith, volunteer at the Tingley House, said it is still a work in progress.
    “Most of the rooms inside the house have been restored,” she said. “Many wonderful pieces of furniture, dishes and memorabilia have been donated. The house is a work of love for the community to be proud of and to share as a history of the town.”
    With the onset of autumn, the Tingley House needs the exterior work on the backside of the house completed.
    For the last three years, Smith and her husband Art, along with Peter and Carol Blood, Lewis Conrad, Becky Joy and John Fowler have scraped and painted, making their way around the home.
    The exterior house work continues to be done by the Smiths, the Bloods and David and Therese Stevens.
    “We are putting clapboards on after removing old Masonite,” Smith explained. It is part of the town and volunteers are welcome to become part of the process.”
    The Tingley House is in essence Island Falls itself.
    “People who tour the building are surprised and pleased with the restoration,” Smith said. “It is a credit to the Historical Society and it is a very positive restoration for the community.”
    Donations can be made in memory of loved ones or simply  donations to help continue the work would be welcome, said Smith.
    The donations can be sent to Rebecca Drew, secretary historical society, Nina Sawyer Lane, Island Falls, Maine 04747.
ImageContributed photograph
SITTING ROOM — One of the rooms in the Tingley House is dedicated to the William Sewell family. There is extensive history throughout the Tingley House.

    An addition was made to the Tingley House on the back — the Emerson Store — a consignment shop operated by volunteers. The store sells handmade local crafts, along with local history books and art with proceeds from sales helping to pay for electricity and water to operate the Tingley House.
    Lynda Bourgoine and Rebecca Drew manage Emerson Store.
    “It takes a lot of community volunteers to have this whole project come together,” Smith said.
    Emerson Store, Tingley House and the Potato House are open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from June 1 through December. The Jail House on Burleigh Street is open Tuesday 12:30-3 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day.