BUCKFIELD — Over two centuries after his Georgian-style home was carved out from the wilderness, town founder Abijah Buck’s homestead is for sale.

Built 14 years after Buck returned from the French-Indian war, circa 1791, Maine Preservation — the state’s sole nonprofit for historic homes — is selling the 2,400 square foot home and 30 acres for $125,000.

Situated at 202 North Buckfield Road along the west branch of the Nezinscot River, the home is considered the finest example of Georgian architecture in rural Maine, according to Maine Preservation Executive Director Greg Paxton.

“It’s unusual and unexpected,” Paxton said. “There aren’t a lot of houses like that in Maine.”

Abijah and his wife, Penelope Buck, were of the first families to settle what would become Bucktown — later Buckfield.

Buck was 34 years old and on a hunting trip when he first came across the area that would later bear his name. According to excerpts from historians Alfred Cole and Charles Whitman, when Buck returned from the war, he sold his home in New Gloucester, carrying some or all of the $1,000 in proceeds — a hefty sum — with him to start a new settlement.

In 1788, Abijah negotiated with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on behalf of other landowners, securing large tracts for first families and 900 acres of forest, field and stream himself, becoming its largest landholder. 

The property retains many of the elements of Georgian-style architecture then in vogue, including a barn, several fireplaces — including one nine feet long in the kitchen, believed to be one of the largest in Maine — a trout stream, paneled woodwork and walls stenciled by 19th-century artist Moses Eaton.

Though the roof and frame of the building are in good condition, the house needs considerable rehabilitation. It was donated by the former owner, who gutted the bathrooms and kitchen.

Renovations to the home are closely controlled. A timetable for rehabilitation is placed on the home to ensure new owners adhere to restoring and maintaining the home’s character, while a historic preservation easement on the property guides changes to the exterior, which must pay homage to its unique features.

Interior renovations also go through review but are generally open to the owner’s preference. The nonprofit’s intent, Paxton said, is to preserve the home, not restore each original feature.

“This is not to be a museum; it’s someone’s house,” Paxton said. “It’s a question of blending the new with the old.”

Maine Preservation buys historic properties through a ‘revolving fund’ where the proceeds from sales are committed to future purchases. According to a 2012 report, since 1996, the group has preserved 35 properties deemed endangered.

More information on the home, as well as other historic buildings can be found on the group’s website at mainepreservation.org.

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