Old South First Congregational Church in Farmington is selling the Holman House, seen here. Purchased by the church in 2002, proceeds will be used for community betterment. Submitted photo

FARMINGTON — Originally built for Joseph C. Holman in 1895, for three generations the three-story Victorian-era structure has been known as the Holman House.

This month, Old South First Congregational Church has made the tough decision to sell Holman Parish House. It was listed on the market April 13.

Some people think Holman House was given to the church, moderator Robin Beck said April 14.

“We bought it in 2002,” she noted. “It is getting to the point where we don’t have the people to be able to keep (Holman House) up,” Beck said. What volunteers the church does have are getting up in age, and aren’t able to do the physical work needed, she added.

In the past, the church has used the Holman House as a space for church offices and rented parts of the house to area nonprofits including Sexual Assault Prevention And Response Services.

The pandemic wasn’t the time to try to rent, and church members felt this is the next best step, Beck said.


“It was a tough decision to make and the entire congregation went through several discussions and then a vote on whether or not to sell the house,” she noted.

Coat & Cupboard, a church youth mission project that re-homes coats and is open the first Sunday of the month during the winter, will continue, Beck said. Annie’s Bean Pole, the medical equipment lending library will still be available as well, she noted.

There are two potential buyers — one a business, the other private, Beck said. “We don’t know what is going to happen, we will wait and see,” she noted.

“After (Holman House) is sold, the congregation will decide on how to use the money in order to continue our mission to the community,” Beck said.

Three generations of Holmans and their home, a brief history

Joseph C. Holman grew up in Dixfield, attended school at what is now known as Kents Hill, and was admitted to the law bar in Oxford County in 1866 at the age of 21. He established a successful law practice in Phillips. Seven years after he became a lawyer, he was elected clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court in Franklin County.

It was then he moved to Farmington, and in 1877 he married Mittie Currier, a daughter of Alvin Currier, longtime register of probate for Franklin County. Mittie and Joseph lived on Anson Street and had three children: daughters Josephine Holman Martin and Dr. Marguerite Holman, and son, Currier C. Holman.


About 12 years after Currier was born, in 1895, Joseph Holman had the namesake house built on Main Street in Farmington.

Currier attended Bowdoin College and Harvard Law School before becoming the second Holman to practice law in Farmington. He married Rosa Skillings in 1915, the year she graduated from Farmington Normal School, now known as the University of Maine at Farmington. They had three children: Carleton, who died at age 39; Loraine, who became a medical doctor like her aunt; and Joseph F. Holman. When Currier and Rosa were married, they lived on South Street but moved to the house around 1917 to live with Mittie after Joseph C. Holman died. Mittie died in 1922.

Joseph F. Holman also attended Bowdoin College, and then Boston University School of Law. Like his father and grandfather, he practiced law in Farmington. He and his wife resided on Orchard Street in Farmington. Joseph F. retired in 2002 after 50 years as a lawyer.

These three generations of Holmans (Joseph C., Currier, and Joseph F.) were each at one time in their careers a Franklin County attorney, Maine State senator, and president of the Maine State Bar Association. Each generation of the Holman family has been an active member of the congregational church next door.

Currier Holman died in 1981 and Rosa continued to live in the stately house on Main Street until her death in 1992.

Between 1992 and 2002, two different families rented and lived in the house.


In 1998, Joseph Holman approached the church about buying the house but church officials narrowly voted not to do so. The property was sold that year to The Pierce House Assisted Living, but four years later The Pierce House decided the property didn’t meet its expansion goals and approached the church about buying it.

In June 2002, the church voted to purchase the facility for $250,000. From 2002 to 2004 several renovations and repairs were completed through donations from the Holmans and church loans. In 2004, the church approved a mortgage of up to $500,000 to construct the Newman wing.

Holman died in 2008 and left the church $250,000 for maintenance, improvements and alterations at the house.

History of the Holman House was provided by Old South First Congregational Church moderator Robin Beck.


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