The Anchorage (HOM.7)
Photos and text describing the home called the Anchorage.
The Anchorage, the house across the road from the Sargentville Chapel, was built by Abel and Benjamin or Samuel Billings circa 1812.1 Daniel Peters and his wife Phebe, who was the daughter of Benjamin and Abigail Closson Billings, lived there as did their son Moses Pillsbury and his wife Salome Brown Peters. Portions have been added on to the original structure giving it a rambling, and expansive feel. In 1897 Sewell E. Peters sold the house to Judge Knapp, a member of a Scranton, Pennsylvania law firm who named it The Anchorage and then, in 1924, it was sold to Walter Hill, one of his law firm partners.2, 3 Later, ownership of the house, which by now included a comfortable “cabin” in the woods in back for the expanded family, passed to Walter Hill’s children, Rebecca Hill Peck, Anna Hill Lorenz Campbell and Walter Hill, Jr. In time the home was owned by Rebecca Hill Peck’s and Anna Hill Lorenz Campbell’s children, Julia Lorenz Eaton, Rebecca Peck Peterson, Susanna Peck Waterman and James Peck, Jr., then by James Peck Jr. and finally in 2006, by James’ children.
James’ sister, Rebecca Peck Peterson, fondly remembers spending “a lifetime of summers” with her mother in the house and has many stories to tell about those happy times. She can also point out some of the house’s unique features such as the words of Scots poet Robert Burns stenciled on one of the fireplace mantels, the leaded glass windows, the unusual hardwood floors and, perhaps whimsically, the placement of toilets, added long after the house was built, at the end of narrow hallways, that truly gives them the look of “throne rooms”.
As if the house itself were not special enough, Rebecca told me that it is said to be haunted by the ghost of “little Otie”, a child who may have died in the tiny room to the left just inside the front door. Rebecca has never seen the ghost but the story has always been a part of the house. Interestingly there is record4 of an Otis Sewall Peters, son of Moses Pillsbury Peters (1827-1903) and Salome Brown Peters (1825-1881) who was born June 21, 1863 and died July 19, 1863 at not quite one month old. The Peters family was living in the house at this time so perhaps that is the link to the story.
1 Personal communication with Sylvia Conner Wardwell.
2 Hancock County, Maine, Registry of Deeds, Book 315, Page 454.
3 Hancock County, Maine, Registry of Deeds, Book 585, Page 379.