FAYETTE – The Joseph H. Underwood House has been entered in the National Register of Historic Places, according to Earle G. Shettleworth Jr., director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, whose staff prepared the nomination.

The designation indicates that the property has been documented, evaluated and considered worthy of preservation and protection as part of the nation’s cultural heritage.

The Underwood House, located in the Fayette Mills section, is a building that reflects the achievements and status of one of the town’s most successful merchants, farmers and politicians.

Constructed in 1837, the large brick house and integral ell was Underwood’s third residence in the town to which he had moved 30 years earlier. During the three decades, Underwood established a successful store, invested in numerous local industries and served as an elected official in a variety of local and state offices.

Over the next 30 years he was to expand his interests to include establishing one of the earliest and best blooded herds of Hereford cattle in the state.

“Mr. Underwood,” as described by his contemporaries, was “in his time, the foremost citizen of Fayette,” a statement that is reflected in this his last residence, a building which remains the largest and most architecturally prominent house in the town.

The Underwood House was placed in the National Register of Historic Places for its association with Joseph H. Underwood, an outstanding and influential politician, merchant and early breeder of Hereford cattle.


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