Joseph C. Noyes/Mabee House - 34 Washington

Mabee House, c.1900
Mabee House, c.1900
Mabee House, 2012
Mabee House, 2012
Mabee House Interior, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO#: Washington-34_Eastport(July2013)034(72).jpg
Mabee House Interior, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO#: Washington-34_Eastport(July2013)034(72).jpg
Mabee House Interior, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO#: Washington-34_Eastport(July2013)041(72).jpg
Mabee House Interior, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO#: Washington-34_Eastport(July2013)041(72).jpg
Mabee House Interior, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO#:  Washington-34_Eastport(July2013)042(72).jpg
Mabee House Interior, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO#: Washington-34_Eastport(July2013)042(72).jpg
Mabee House, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO#: Washington-34_Eastport(July2013)048(72).jpg
Mabee House, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO#: Washington-34_Eastport(July2013)048(72).jpg
Mabee House Interior, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO #: Washington-34_Eastport Aug118(72).jpg
Mabee House Interior, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO #: Washington-34_Eastport Aug118(72).jpg
Mabee House Interior, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO #: Washington-34_Eastport Aug119(72).jpg
Mabee House Interior, 2013. Photograph by Thaddeus Holownia. PHOTO #: Washington-34_Eastport Aug119(72).jpg
Address:
34 Washington Street
Eastport, Maine

( ) From Eastport Sentinel, March 29, 1882, p.2, c.5-6:
Some old Eastport Houses,

AND THEIR OCCUPANTS.—A FAMILIAR RETROSPECT.

PAPER NO. 2&
WASHINGTON STREET HOUSES
... On the other side above Kilby street is the house built in 1820 by John Bowman and Ira Foster, and whikh was for a long time the home of Joseph C. Noyes, who was a prgminent merchant, and as the successful candidate of the Whig party represented the Hancock and Washington district in the Congrmss of the United States in 1837-8, and in 1841 was appointed collector of custom for the District of Passamaquoddy. He subsequeftly removed to his native place Portland, and at the time of hi{ decease was Secretary of the Portland Savings Bank, the largest institution of the kind in the State. In this responsible position he was succeeded by his son Frank, who also died, and now afother son Edward A. Noyes, born in this house fills the same po{ition with marked ability. The oldest son, Capt. George F. Noyce, a graduate of Bowdoins College tendered honorable service in(the war of the rebellion, and a book published by him, “The Bivguac and the Battlefield,” is among the most interesting of the eany sketches of army life produced by the war. When the house passed into the hands of Smith Tinkham the entrance in front was closed, and a new door inserted at the western end.

( ) From Eastport Sentinel, January 6, 1897, p.1,c.6-7: “Washington Street Baptist Church and other Eastport Churches. —
....After a few years the society began to find its accommodations crowded, and during the prosperous pastorate of Rev. J.B. Hague plans were made for building a new church. Hayden’s Field, as the vacant lot on Washington street between the houses of J.C. Noyes and S.B. Wadsworth was called ...\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"

•From the Quoddy Tides, July 22, 1983, p.9:

In Eastport
The Mabee House
By Susan Esposito

Sixty years ago the Mabee House was a pretty lively place—sixty years ago Eastport was a pretty lively place too. It’s been a long time since the roomers at Mabee’s boarding house used to sit out on the front verandah and watch the activity on Washington Street, but evidence and memories of their presence still pervade the interior of the home now occupied by Sarah Mabee and her son, John.
“Sixteen rooms were filled all the time,” recalls Sarah of her home’s history as Mabee’s Boarding House. “The girls who worked in the telephone and Western Union offices would board here, and a lot of salesmen would spend the night.”
Back in 1922 and 1923 it cost $12 a week to board at Mabee’s. You might sleep in one of the odd low-ceilinged rooms on the third floor or in one of the numerous bedrooms that lined the narrow second floor corridor. The second floor rooms were fitted with stateroom doors from the steamship Winthrop and these doors can still be seen today, complete with room numbers.
The house’s star attraction then and now is its front staircase. The handsome wide set of steps and bannister leading up to the second floor were also salvaged from the Winthrop when it was scuttled years ago by Sarah’s uncle, Peter Doyle. Boasting brass ornamentation, the steps show little wear from the thousands of boots and shoes that must have mounted them throughout the decades.
The building came into the possession of the Mabee family back in 1903, when Mrs. Frank (Carrie) Mabee purchased it from George Grady for an undisclosed sum of money. It had previously been known as the Woodworth House and then became the Chapman rooming house but no ones knows who built the house or when.
“I had someone here working in the cellar,” said Sarah, “and he thought, by looking at the timbers, that this house is between 150 and 200 years old.”
Carrie Mabee refurbished the house a bit, installed a furnace and soon the building was once again lodging boarders. Many guests were arrived by buckboard from the train station each night around 9 P.M. and Carrie Mabee would still be up at 5 A.M. to cook for them.
Sarah Tooze married Carrie’s son, Ashton Mabee and spent many years working at the boarding house.
“We didn’t have the conveniences that you have today,” she points out. “I worked awfully hard.”
“One chambermaid used to do all the washing, and we had three long lines of clothes out in the yard all the time.”
Guests would enjoy their meals in the “little” dining room (a misnomer, if there ever was one). It was filled with four square tables that could sit four people apiece and two sittings were often necessary. A very large china closet dominated one end of the room and still does. It once sat in the Water Street liquor store owned by Ashton’s father, Freddie, and his uncle, Tom Mabee, and became a repository for a lovely collection of dishes.
“Carrie received pitchers from all over the world”, explained Sarah as she examined one from Italy that still hangs in the china cabinet.
In the fact, the room contains so many pitchers that an assortment of them are also hung along the top of one dining room wall.
“Each year when we clean them we have to remember the exact order in which they were hanging,” smiled John. “If we don’t, they won’t fit back up there.”
The sitting room to the right of the front door is still used to enjoy a chat but the office on the left is now Sarah and John’s living room.
“It used to have a tavern table in the center and the guests would play cards there,” remembered Sarah. “Freddie Mabee would often come in to play cribbage with the salesmen.”
Much of the Mabee’s house history could be told in little-known facts or anecdotes: that the tin ceilings downstairs came from Ned Cherry’s Hardware Store; that the third floor bedroom nicknamed the “Pilot House” was originated by the sea travels of Ashton Mabee’s grandfather; that the Quoddy Hotel fire was a coup for the Mabees because all its boarders moved up the street to Carrie’s boarding house; that the last time the walls were papered they took 52 rolls; that one long-time guest was so frightened of fire that he always had a homemade rope attached to his bed on the third floor.
The Mabee House stopped offering meals to guests in 1937, but continued to operate as a rooming house until after World War II had ended and the last of the C.B. [Seabee?] who stayed there went home.
Former boarders still write to the Mabees and past visitors to the house occasionally drop in to see if it looks the same as it did when they were younger, but the Mabee House is a lot quieter than it used to be. Then again—so is Eastport.

View full list of buildings