The Hill House
Home to the Bangor Historical Society, the Thomas A. Hill House is the heart of the organization’s collection–and certainly its largest object! A Greek Revival style home commissioned by Thomas A. Hill who was a lawyer, amateur architect (Hill was responsible for the design of the 1831 Penobscot County Jail) and speculator, the house was built and completed in 1836 by famous architect Richard Upjohn (see below). Other residents of the home include Samuel and Matilda Dale, who purchased the home in 1846. Mr. Dale served as Mayor of Bangor from 1863-1866 and again in 1871.
The Thomas A. Hill House prior to 1918. The Colonial Hotel is seen almost surrounding the house. The Union Street side of the Colonial burned in 1918. Part of the structure remains today.
The Sons of Union Veterans bought the house in 1942 and named it the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial. During 1952 the Bangor Historical Society was allowed to use the house, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. In 1974 the house was deeded to the Bangor Historical Society.
This Greek Revival style home has several unique features. It is a five-bay central hall house with its original brick ell on the side and is encircled on three sides by an Ionic portico paved with granite slabs. The transition to the second story is made by pent roofs. During 1846, Samuel H. Dale combined the two rooms to the right of the front hallway into an elaborate double parlor separated by an archway supported by Corinthian columns. Dale replaced the original Greek Revival stairway about 1860 with a straight-run Italianate stairway. Another Italianate change Dale made from 1855-1860 consisted of double front doors with etched glass panels (originally there was a single paneled door with sidelights and transom). These doors have solid silver finials on the hinges. Dormers were added around the turn of the century.
The house originally had a cast-iron picket fence complete with iron gate, atop the granite wall around the house. There was also a gazebo on the property and flower gardens. During the age of the lumber barons, wood became an extremely popular building material. Brick houses such as this one were painted a light color in the hopes of making the bricks take on the appearance of wooden clapboards.
The cannon on the lawn is a Civil War Dahlgren 12 lb. boat howitzer, made in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Its gun carriage mysteriously vanished during the night more than 20 years ago. The two large trees are linden or basswood trees.
We welcome you to visit us during these hours of operation:
Currently closed for Holidays at the Hill House event. Standard hours (10 am to 4 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays) will resume January 7, 2020
Other times may be available by appointment.