Ruggles House

Ruggles House Built in 1818, this historic house museum is a classic example of Federal style architecture. The fam
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The summer season begins! We though it might be fun to track where our visitors come from.Our first week open and we had...
07/09/2023

The summer season begins! We though it might be fun to track where our visitors come from.
Our first week open and we had visitors from Maine, New York and Virginia.
Can we get all 50? We shall see...

The Ice Cream Social Returns!
07/02/2023

The Ice Cream Social Returns!

A sure sign of Summer... The Ruggles House will be opening soon!
06/16/2023

A sure sign of Summer... The Ruggles House will be opening soon!

This sidelight looks VERY familiar. In fact there are a lot of things in this restoration that remind us of the Ruggles ...
11/02/2022

This sidelight looks VERY familiar. In fact there are a lot of things in this restoration that remind us of the Ruggles House. There may be research needed...

Side lites installed today.Love seeing the tracery shadow again!

We make this post with incredible sadness. Ellen Tenan, the long-time board member, secretary/historian, head docent, an...
12/29/2021

We make this post with incredible sadness. Ellen Tenan, the long-time board member, secretary/historian, head docent, and general driving force of the Ruggles House Society passed away, suddenly, just before Christmas.
Before Ellen, the board of the society had focused on the physical restoration and maintenance of the house itself. Ellen's love of history and genealogy added the personal details of the Ruggles family that turned the historic house into a historic home. So much so, that quite often we spoke of the former residents, Judge Thomas, Lizzie, Aunt May, as if we had just seen them at the grocery store.
To say she will be missed is a gross understatement. But we on the board will do our best to continue the work she was so passionate about.

Nominate your favorite non-profit (hint...hint...hint)
12/01/2021

Nominate your favorite non-profit (hint...hint...hint)

It's GIVING TUESDAY! Let's do a little giving back, together.

In the comments below, nominate your favorite nonprofit!

🔸Tag their page
🔸Tell us why you love them

We will randomly select 4 winners on December 1st. The winning nonprofits will receive a $500 donation!

Rules here ➡️https://www.machiassavings.bank/CustomContent.aspx?Name=Social+Media

06/21/2021

The history of down east Maine is so fascinating. Many of these stories are published in the newsletters of the historical societies.
I love reading all of them. A small amount of money to support them will get you this history. The first newsletter of the 2021 from the Machiasport Historical Society, The Tide, is just such a publication. Machiasport is a coastal town with a history centered on the sea and what stories these folks tell is such fun. What remarkable people lived in those early days along our coast! This is a good read and deserves a thank you for bringing it to life again.

06/14/2021

There's not a nicer place to have lunch than the back porch at the Ruggles House. It's on the shady side of the house, shade from large maple trees , lovely breeze off Pleasant River, eagle circling in lazy ovals over the river, just enough traffic and folks to make it interesting and friendly and peaceful and quiet. I have been wanting pizza so a visit to Elmer's Store got me two slices of a tasty pizza. One was plenty but I ate both, enjoying the day. This was cleaning day at he House. We have work to be done before we open. Cleaning lady Pam was busy but I was trying to put things in order otherwise. When at the House you will often find me on the porch when no guests are there. Feel free to join me anytime you are passing by. Porches are open invitations to sit a spell and chat. I'm sorry that that tradition has gone out of style. Little towns in Maine are perfect places for them. It's sad in some ways for many towns to be bypassed by faster travel, but the Main Streets of those towns are such quiet, peaceful and homey places to be. Columbia Falls is one of many. It was a simple lunch but so nice.

06/10/2021

Watch for the Spring Ruggles House newsletter in the mail shortly. If you don't get one and would like one, please leave address here or on our website. We open July 6th, 11 am to 3 pm, Tuesday through Friday. Come visit with us. We miss seeing our friends. Residents of Columbia Falls have free admission any time. This is your museum and we want you to see what you have. It's a treasure!!!!!! Ellen Tenan, Historian

05/24/2021

It is with much sadness that we report the passing of the wife of our President Larry D. Smith Sr. Jeanette Fickett Smith will be greatly missed by her family and many friends, including those of us at the Board of the Ruggles House Society. Our hearts are heavy today.

05/21/2021

Watch for the Spring newsletter from Ruggles House in your mail boxes. Our new item in the gift shop is about ready to offer for sale. The Ruggles Sisters paper dolls are being printed. We hope the little girls will love them. Open this year on July 6th for Tuesday to Friday, from 11 am to 3 pm. We'll be happy to see everyone. Drop by to say Hello and see our House.

04/25/2021

Notice from Ruggles Society Board:

At our meeting on 4-24 we voted to set the following schedule for this summer to offer tours, we will open July 6th and close Oct. 1st. Tours will be offered weekdays Tuesday through Friday, no weekends. Doors will open at 11 am and close at 3 pm. Masks are required indoors and no blended tours unless the people are traveling together. This schedule is subject to change, if State of Maine guidelines are changed.

No events are planned unless there is improvement to allow the Christmas Tea. That decision will be made later in the summer.

Hope you will be able to visit with us and thank you for respecting our limited schedule. We've missed you.

04/15/2021

Look for any 2021 plans for opening. We are trying to decide on the right action for the summer. This is a difficult decision because so much depends on the decisions of others. We'll post our plans here for our friends. Thank you for your likes on our page. We miss you and hope to return in some form soon.

All of  us at the Ruggles House Society are wishing for a healthier and more prosperous 2021 for everyone.  We miss our ...
01/01/2021

All of us at the Ruggles House Society are wishing for a healthier and more prosperous 2021 for everyone. We miss our friends at our front door and want to be open to welcome them to our front hall and that glorious staircase. We want it to be safe for them to come and chat with us and enjoy our museum. Thank you to all who have continued to support us. Our friends and neighbors are important to us and to all non-profit museums and societies. It's been sad to see the shuttered buildings. We've missed the special events which have been canceled in all our little towns. Warmest regards from all here at the Thomas Ruggles House. Be safe!!
Ellen Tenan, secretary and docent

Merry Christmas from the Ruggles House Society.  In the spirit of the season, artist Maeve Perry has designed paper doll...
12/24/2020

Merry Christmas from the Ruggles House Society. In the spirit of the season, artist Maeve Perry has designed paper dolls of Emily and Lizzie Ruggles who grew up in the Ruggles House. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

We have a very long serving member of our Board of Directors, who was elected in 1975.  Over the years he has volunteere...
12/15/2020

We have a very long serving member of our Board of Directors, who was elected in 1975. Over the years he has volunteered many hours of restoration and preservation work for the House. He and his late wife Patti have donated many items to our collection. He has served two different terms as President of the Board. He is now 93 and resides at the Veterans Home in Machias. He is a World War II veteran. Like all folks who are no longer in their homes with family, he could use some friendly contact with his acquaintances, including other Board Members. Let's not forget these folks need some cheering up more than most. A shower of Christmas cards to Richard Grant, 23 Veterans Way Rm. E-23, Machias, ME 04654 would be a joy to him. Thank you to all who respond.
Ellen Tenan, Secretary

Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings from Ruggles House Society.  We are really sad to not be welcoming guests to our ...
12/09/2020

Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings from Ruggles House Society. We are really sad to not be welcoming guests to our House this year for our Christmas Tea. This is a most enjoyable event for everyone. It's our chance to especially enjoy the local people, along with out of town visitors, because we can just visit and enjoy a spectacular house dressed for the occasion in its most elegant 1800's fashion. The photo below was taken last year at the Tea by a guest, Anne Sloan, who was visiting from Pennsylvania. Our very best to all our friends and thank you for supporting us so well. We are grateful for your donations and kind words. This photo shows the Sheraton desk on the back wall of the dining room. The charcoal drawing is one of Lizzie's collection. It was presumably done on Mt. Desert Island between 1895 and 1915 approximately. She used to go over some summers and stay for a visit with her cousin Maude. Maude knew Lizzie struggled financially and helped her very much. We have another of these drawings which is very similar. May you enjoy your holidays in whatever way you observe them. The Ruggles House Society Board of Directors

11/18/2020

A large amount of linens have been given to Ruggles House. I found a sampler in the lot. I'm quite sure it is a Columbia Falls area original piece. It looks to be 1920 or 1930 and is not finely done, obviously the work of a young girl. It's cross-stitch on cotton. No date on it but the bottom has the name of Charlotte E. Allen in cross-stitch like the rest of the work. Does this name sound familiar to anyone? If I could find a family, I would give it to them.

Finally the Board of Directors of Ruggles House Society got in the Annual Meeting for 2020 on September 26th.  A meeting...
10/01/2020

Finally the Board of Directors of Ruggles House Society got in the Annual Meeting for 2020 on September 26th. A meeting was held at the House with masks and social distancing so that we could elect our Board for the year and also officers. The following Board was elected for the coming year: Susie Beal, Robert Brown, Allison Chu-Ouellet, Sargent Collier, Sue Dalton, Stacey Dorr, Richard Grant, Richard Bradford Hill, Roberta Hammond, Charles Herr, Betty Jordan, Eleanor McLaughlin, Leslie McSorley, Elizabeth Moore Mills, Tony Santiago, Larry D. Smith Sr., Ellen Tenan, and Bernard Ward. Officers to serve for next year are President Larry D. Smith Sr., 1st. Vice President Bernard Ward, 2nd. Vice President Eleanor McLaughlin, Secretary/Historian Ellen Tenan, Treasurer Leslie McSorley and Clerk Allison Chu-Ouellet.

Sadly we voted not to have the Christmas Tea this year or hold a fall meeting of the Board. The current guidelines for public gatherings in Maine will not allow us to hold the Tea. We did decide to do some Christmas decorations on the front of the House and put our electric candles in the windows. We wanted the little town of Columbia Falls to see some cheer and warmth for the holidays from our House. We hope they enjoy it. Everyone is hoping the next year will make it possible to have our usual events and our House to have an open front door to welcome guests. Happy Holidays to everyone, as best you can. Stay safe and be kind to all. The Ruggles House Board

Photo credit Emily Tenan Lilienthal

Washington County Historical & Genealogical Society sends out a very nice newsletter called Weirs & Woods. The recent is...
07/11/2020

Washington County Historical & Genealogical Society sends out a very nice newsletter called Weirs & Woods. The recent issue has an article by John Dudley on the effects of the War of 1812 on Washington County. It reinforces my assumptions on the difficulties for Thomas Ruggles and the other men of the Columbia area.
War was declared by Congress on June 18, 1812 and did not really end for our area until the British vacated Eastport on June 30, 1818. A treaty had been signed in Ghent, Belgium on December 24, 1814 but that news traveled very slowly across the Atlantic and the British were in no hurry to observe it.
In the meantime both navies (with what few ships the U.S. had available in our area) and a host of privateers, operating for both sides, preyed on all shipping. It caused most commercial shipping to cease almost completely. The lumber and other products no longer had a market and the eastern part of Maine suffered greatly from our close proximity to British held Canada.
Massachusetts ignored our pleas for help. This undoubtedly played a part in the statehood decision to separate from Massachusetts in 1820.
In researching the early businesses of Thomas Ruggles, it is clear he was a major player in the lumber and shipping trade. He owned large tracts of land, mills and a fleet of schooners was at his disposal. He had ownership in about a dozen with outright ownership of one. His family in Massachusetts and Rhode Island were highly involved in his business ventures. He clearly was running the entire business.
Yet his death in 1820 showed his estate inventory with much diminished holdings. He still owned one schooner, The Spruce, which was berthed in Columbia. This would certainly explain the difficulties of the Ruggles family in the following years to maintain their early lifestyle.
To add to their difficulties, the winter of 1816-1817 was brutal and must have added to the hardships of the residents.
When the earlier histories of the Ruggles House were written and published, the facts concerning this family were very inaccurate, to say the least. Frederick Ruggles, who remained in the Ruggles House to care for his mother, Ruth, was especially maligned. Getting the true story told is proving very difficult. Once something is in print it is so hard to change the story. We are trying, along with others like Mr. Dudley, to bring the facts to the front.

See second photo for description.

06/17/2020

We have no date yet for opening the Ruggles House. All historic museums are closed, most for the season. It is still not safe for staff. Be patient, it may be next year. Thanks for all the inquiries.

05/03/2020

Sadly the Ruggles House in Columbia Falls, Maine will not open on June 16th, Tuesday, as planned. If the situation in Maine improves, we may open later. The Ice Cream Social/200th Birthday celebration planned for July has also been canceled. We will celebrate our 201 years in 2021.

This is the first time in 70 years, that the museum has been open, that we have not welcomed visitors in June. We will miss seeing travelers. We think, even if we were not shut down at the State level, there would be few travelers in our part of the State. Watch this page for further notice. Be safe.

This posting is a follow-up to the posting on kitchen shelves in the post 1850 style replicated kitchen.These two photos...
04/09/2020

This posting is a follow-up to the posting on kitchen shelves in the post 1850 style replicated kitchen.
These two photos show more of the shelving on the other wall and a better photo of the first wall but showing the kitchen sink.
This is a slate sink, made in Monson, Maine, given to the Society by Chris Merritt. It is in excellent condition with attached soap dish and included the downspout. The sink is hooked to the septic system so we use it. No leaking from this beauty. When the Ruggles family moved the kitchen from the basement floor up into a space taken from the large dining room, they installed a sink of either soapstone or slate. It disappeared when the old ell was taken down in the 1930’s. The basement kitchen did not have a sink.
Open shelves were common in early kitchens. Closed cupboards mostly came later.
Click on the photos to bring them up and you will have a description of the items.

Photos credit Ellen Tenan

The Story of a Little MouseOn the desk in the dining room at Ruggles House resides a little cloth mouse.  He was made by...
04/02/2020

The Story of a Little Mouse
On the desk in the dining room at Ruggles House resides a little cloth mouse. He was made by Lizzie Ruggles sometime during her lifetime (1852-1920) living in this house. Lizzie was an expert seamstress and also an artist. This mouse is so lifelike with tail and whiskers. It sits on several layers of the same soft fine wool cloth as his body, dark gray in color. This was used as a pen wiper, hence on the desk.
If this little mouse could talk, it would make a fascinating book but it is mute. It is one of our most prized items from the Ruggles family. Not too many personal items survived the deterioration of the house and the restoration process. In the almost 70 years of it being open as a museum this little mouse has amused visitors on its pad of wipes. But it survived an almost tragedy several years ago.
Jeanine Schneider was the docent in the House that day and welcomed a couple as visitors in late morning of an early summer day. As with many couples, the wife was more interested in the story of the House than her husband. He kept trying to wander off by himself. We have strict rules that dictate that all members of a party must stay with the docent for the guided tour. Visitors are not allowed to go off, on their own, to browse.
The man kept trying to leave and was asked to stay with the guide. While in the front parlor, he left again. Jeanine went to find him. He was not in the next room. He was found in the kitchen sitting in a chair by the table which has the gift shop. He joined her again. The couple soon left.
We also have another rule that says, “When setting up the House in the spring, nothing is to be moved from that place for the year.” This is so we docents can memorize each room and can tell in a glance if something is out of place or missing. Later in the afternoon, Jeanine noticed the mouse was missing. She searched and could not find it. I got a frantic call to report the news. She had seen it that morning but it was now missing.
We continued to search for several months. We had to presume that it had been taken. She recalled the couple that had visited. A check of the name and address on the guest book allowed us to go on line and trace that name to the same city and state. It showed ownership of an antique store with that name. We thought that was interesting but of course not proof.
We resigned ourselves to its loss. Jeanine was heartbroken but it could happen to any docent. You can’t observe everything at all times.
Several months later, our regular cleaning lady, on a Sunday morning, opened the cupboard in the kitchen that holds cleaning tools and picked up a plastic bin by its handle. It is used to hold cleaning supplies but she rarely used it. She noticed something inside, it should be empty. It was the little mouse.
We were overjoyed to have it back. That cupboard door is about three feet from where that man was sitting on that day earlier in the year. We had to assume that he opened the door and dropped it in the bin. Second thoughts? We don’t know. We wish that mouse could talk.

Photo credit Ellen Tenan

Flipping the PailWhen we were accepting items for our 1850 kitchen, we were given a rather strange object.  I had never ...
03/24/2020

Flipping the Pail
When we were accepting items for our 1850 kitchen, we were given a rather strange object. I had never seen one before. When its purpose was explained, I wished I had had one when I was growing up. It was called a Well Hook.

During my childhood very few homes had running water unless you had a spring with gravity feed. Possibly you had a hand pump; if the well was close enough to the house. Otherwise it was lug water; a job usually left to the children in the family. If you had access to a spring, it was usually shallow and a pail could be dipped into it quite easily. But hand-dug wells were often many feet deep (at least 12 feet, usually more) and then add a curb of three feet or so, which made it a long way down to the water level. Water was lugged in a metal pail with a rope tied to the bail. That pail had to be lowered into the well and filled. Of course the pail just floated in the water. You soon learned to “flip the pail”.

Just above the water a snap of the rope would turn the pail partly over so it would land in the water on its side. It would quickly fill and you could draw it up. Now this takes some practice because if you snapped the rope with the pail too high from the water, it would right itself before it hit the water. If you got too close to the water, it just hit the water bottom down and floated. But you might have another problem. If you didn’t tie the rope just right, it loosened and you had a pail floating in the well and a piece of rope in your hands. This is the purpose of the “well hook”.

A well hook was made by a blacksmith of iron, consisting of a five inch or so round ½ inch piece of rod with four hooks attached to one end, the other end has a stationary ring attached. It looked like a giant fish hook. Attach the rope to the ring and lower the hook into the well so one of the hooks could grab the bail of the pail. Problem solved!! I guess I wasn’t the only one who lost a pail in the well.

The first photo shows the well hook. The second is of a galvanized metal water pail, a type used for many decades. Lying beside it is a water dipper found in most old homes and one room schoolhouses beside a pail of water. It was available for anyone to get a drink; all using the same dipper. No wonder so many diseases spread fast!

Creating an 1850’s kitchen was so much fun!  When the Ruggles House was built in 1818 it had a basement kitchen with a h...
03/20/2020

Creating an 1850’s kitchen was so much fun! When the Ruggles House was built in 1818 it had a basement kitchen with a huge fireplace and bake oven; not much else - no sink, no windows and certainly no running water. In fact, the house the family occupied for 100 years never had water or electricity in it. By 1850 or so kitchen wood stoves came into use. The family moved the kitchen onto the first floor by dividing a large dining room into two rooms and making a kitchen that was much more convenient. A slate or soapstone sink was added. This ell gradually deteriorated and was not being used by Lizzie in the last years that she lived there.
During the restoration period it continued to decay. By the mid 1930’s the family, who was trying to save the house, decided that it could not be saved. It was pulling the main house down and was in danger of collapsing. It was torn down and the cellar filled. The Society reconstructed the ell in the 1990’s after archeology digs to find any artifacts that might help us with the ell history. There were no interior photos. The ell today shows it as it would have been after 1850 with the kitchen on the first floor. It appears as we think a kitchen of that period might have looked. We show some of our kitchen shelves with implements of that day. Many people were very generous with family items or things found in flea markets or yard sales. Our guests enjoy this room as much as any. Many of the items bring back memories of a grandparent’s home or a neighbor’s home of childhood.
Identity of many of the items will be made with each picture. Enjoy this trip back in time.

Photo credits Emily Tenan Llienthal

03/06/2020

We're celebrating at the Ruggles House this summer. We're two hundred years old and looking beautiful. The State of Maine is also celebrating a birthday this year, so look for much merriment all over the state. Sadly we will also honor two members of the Ruggles family at their deaths; Thomas died two hundred years ago in December of 1820 and Lizzie, the last member of the family to live in the house, died in 1920 one hundred years ago.

Look for a big event at our Ice Cream Social on July 12th. We'll post more details as we plan for a party.

When we started searching on our property for evidence of Ruggles family artifacts prior to rebuilding the ell, we did p...
03/05/2020

When we started searching on our property for evidence of Ruggles family artifacts prior to rebuilding the ell, we did professional archaeology digs. We also watched for other items as the gardens were developed and lawns were mowed or extended. If you dig anywhere on our property you may find some of that evidence of family habitation. One such item is pictured here in this post. On one of the digs, just outside the perimeter of the selected area, there appeared to be something solid in the ground under a few inches of soil. Some time later Charlie Herr, board member and groundskeeper, investigated the item. He uncovered an iron disk of about 16 or 18 inches in diameter, rimmed with a lip around the outside, fairly thin with protrusions on the bottom and an ear on two sides with a hole in each. It looked like a griddle for cooking. Consultation with Archaeologist Pamela Crane proved us to be right. It would have had a bail attached to those ears for hanging on a crane or hook over the fire in a cooking fireplace. It would have been used by the Ruggles Family over the fireplace in the basement kitchen of this house before the kitchen was moved upstairs in the mid-1800’s.
Those digs in the area of the old basement uncovered the remnants of that fireplace. We secured the area and build a short wall around it, using old bricks found in the rubble. The original ell was removed in the early 1930’s because in was in danger of falling down and taking the back wall of the main house with it. It was beyond repair. We replicated that ell in the late 1990’s. We show the later kitchen, after 1850 or so, in the ell today. There were no pictures of the interior of the old ell so this is a replica of a kitchen of that era.
The photos show the griddle and a view of the fireplace area. The items displayed on the foundation stones of the original fireplace are an iron teakettle, very simple andirons that would have been in a kitchen fireplace and a footed iron skillet for fireplace use. I can’t imagine how anyone, especially a woman, lifting that teakettle when it was full of water. It is very heavy when it is empty.

Photo credits to Emily Tenan Lilienthal

02/28/2020

The Ruggles House is looking for a person interested in history for an opening on our docent staff. The House is open in season from June 15 to Oct 1, 2020. The opening is for Wednesday and Saturday, 9:45 am to 4:15 pm, bring lunch and be available for entire day. Training will be available because you will be the only one on site. Pay is minimum wage with some flexibility in days. If interested respond by mail to Ellen Tenan, Sec., 298 Tenan Lane, Cherryfield, ME 04622 or call 207-546-7903. Do not call Ruggles House as no one is there to answer phone. Do not respond by email or facebook. Thank you.

If we could visit on Monday in any home 100 to 200 years ago, we would find our homemaker in the wash tub.  If she had a...
02/14/2020

If we could visit on Monday in any home 100 to 200 years ago, we would find our homemaker in the wash tub. If she had a kitchen fireplace, she would have heated her water in a large, usually copper, kettle which had hung from a hook over the fire. It would have been filled the night before, by her sons probably, from the family well. After woodstoves came into use the container would have been a copper wash boiler, with lid, placed on the back of the stove the night before. That chore was still the duty of younger sons. In the morning water would have been carefully transferred to the first of two wash tubs. The second tub was filled the night before with cold water and allowed to warm to room temperature for rinsing clothes. Clothes were sorted, with light colors first. No color fast fabrics then!

Homemade soap was used to rub the dirty places and scrubbed on a scrub board. Clothes were wrung out by hand until someone invented a portable hand crank wringer. Clothes went into the second tub to be rinsed and wrung again. The washing was hung outside with clothesline and clothespins if the weather was good. If not, a spare unfinished room may be used for clothes racks or lines. Sometimes a shed could serve to hang clothes which would freeze in winter and take days to dry. The girls of the family would be expected to help with wash day. Clothing was not plentiful, so was generally worn for an extended time. It was not a rinse and so forth method.

I t was not unusual for washing to take all day because houses contained large families. Perhaps three generations would reside in one household. A woman’s hands showed the work, becoming snarled from arthritis and raw knuckles with contact with scrub boards. Huge differences in water temperatures and freezing cold, wet clothes and clothes pins required bare hands, took its toll.

As soon as clothes dried, it was ironing day. Clothes were dampened and very hot irons were used. The fabrics were mostly cotton or linen. The irons of cast iron were heated on top of the stove or before that in the fireplace on whatever device could be fashioned to hold them. Daughters or any female of the family was pressed into this job.

If the family was comfortably well situated, hired help could be employed by the day to help with these duties. In the first years, when the children were small, Ruth Ruggles probably hired some help. Later this was not the case.

By 1852 Ruth was widowed and the house also held her son Frederick, his wife Caroline and two infant daughters, plus daughter Lucy Ruggles Brown (widowed) son Charles and daughter Annie. It was a large household.

One of the most prized household appliances today is probably a washer and dryer. It’s hard to imagine those earlier times.

To all you folks, who grew up in rural Maine or other northern states, who remember the times of unheated bedrooms, lets...
02/05/2020

To all you folks, who grew up in rural Maine or other northern states, who remember the times of unheated bedrooms, lets reminisce about those nights. As at the Ruggles House, you probably slept with a sibling ( or more if you were little) and many handmade quilts. If you took a glass of water to bed, it was frozen solid the next morning. You got dressed in a hurry and ran downstairs to find a fire. Your parents or older relative was already up and the day's chores started. Many had farm animals on the premises, if only chickens or a pig.

You may have a chore before school. Getting pails of water from the well or bringing in firewood were common examples. Feeding the chickens or pig was another. This photo will be recognized by those who remember.

The item on the right look familiar? It would be heated during the day in the oven of a wood stove usually. At night it was wrapped in a towel or flannel, perhaps made into a case so it could be covered. Draw string at the top of the case maybe? Tucked into the foot of a bed, it was sure warm for your feet. This is a soapstone, complete with handle for ease in carrying.

The metal jug was a kerosene jug and was beside every wood stove. It hastened the fire starting in the morning in a wood stove or fireplace. Most fireplaces could keep a bed of coals but cookstoves usually didn't.

It's a rare visitor to Ruggles House who recognizes these items.
Photo credit Emily Tenan Lilienthal

How about a what is it? Do you want to guess?  I'll tell you later.photo credit  Emily Tenan Lilienthal
01/26/2020

How about a what is it? Do you want to guess? I'll tell you later.
photo credit Emily Tenan Lilienthal

Look for Birthday celebration for  Ruggles House this summer.  We will be 200 years old and we think we look good for su...
01/23/2020

Look for Birthday celebration for Ruggles House this summer. We will be 200 years old and we think we look good for such an old LADY. Plans are in the works as we post this announcement. Plan to visit our mid-summer event and enjoy this gorgeous house.

Ruth Clapp Ruggles, the matriarch of this influencial early family and the person probably most responsible for the decoration of this family home.

photo credit Emily Tenan Lilienthal

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146 Main Street
Columbia Falls, ME
04623

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