Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Blaine House

Blaine House from State Street (2001)

Blaine House from State Street (2001)

Blaine House from State House (2001)

Blaine House from State House (2001)

The Blaine House interior c. 1955, from the Maine State Archives

The Blaine House interior c. 1955, Maine State Archives

The Blaine House Dining Room interior c. 1955, from the Maine State Archives

Blaine House Dining Room, c. 1955, Maine State Archives

The Blaine House is the official residence of Maine’s governors since 1919 and a National Historic Landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Located on the corner of State and Capitol streets in Augusta, it was built in the Federalist style in 1833, just a year after the State House, across the street, was completed.

In 1872 the motif was changed to Victorian and Italian style, and in 1919, noted Maine architect, John Calvin Stevens, remodeled the mansion to a semi-Colonial structure.

Once the home of James G. Blaine, who purchased it in 1826, it was a gift to the state from Mrs. Harriet Blaine Beal.

Governor Carl Milliken was the first to occupy it as the official residence in January of 1920.

The many famous people who have been guests of governors at the Blaine House have included President Ulysses S. Grant, advocate for the blind Helen Keller, actors Bette Davis and Gary Merrill, comedians Fred Allen, Ed Wynn and Groucho Marx, aviators Amelia Earhart and Wiley Post, and former heavyweight boxing champ Jack Dempsey, among others.

For Governor Louis J. Brann, entertaining at the Blaine House revolved around his “prodigious efforts to advertise Maine recreational resources,” according to H. Draper Hunt. “Each summer, a vast crowd would gather in front of the State House for the annual ‘Maine Summer Visitors’ Day.'”

The Blaine House is still used for promotional events and award ceremonies, and it is open to the public for tours.

Additional resources

The Blaine House: A Brief History and Guide. Augusta, Me. Maine Historic Preservation Commission. 1994.

Maine. Historic Preservation Commission. Augusta, Me.   See additional text and photos from National Register of Historic Places: http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/text/66000024.PDF and http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/photos/66000024.PDF

Hunt, H. Draper. The Blaine House – Home of Maine Governors, 1994. Somersworth, NH New Hampshire Pub. Co. 1974.

Siebert, Phyllis. Recipes and Reminiscences: A Blaine House Cookbook. Augusta, Me.  The Blaine House Commission in cooperation with The Friends of the Blaine House. c1997.

The State House and the Blaine House: A Report to the State Government Committee of the 110th Maine Legislature. Augusta, Me. The Commission., 1981.

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This entry was last modified: August 29, 2017 06:52 PM

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