Chesterville’s Morrill Homestead has been entered into the National Register of Historic Places. The homestead was first built by David Morrill in 1810. It’s currently inhabited by David’s great, great, great granddaughter, Anstiss Morrill. Michael W. Goebel-Bain, a Maine Historic Preservation Coordinator, described the farmstead as a “noticeable architectural type in New England” that can inform passersby of the region’s history. Submitted photo

CHESTERVILLE — The Morrill Homestead in Chesterville has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, marking it as one “of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation.”

The entry efforts were led by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission (MHPC) with the help of current owner Anstiss Morrill.

The Morrill Homestead was first built in Chesterville in 1810 by David Morrill, “an early settler,” according to Michael W. Goebel-Bain, a Historic Preservation Coordinator who oversees the National Register of Historic Places in Maine.

Morrill built a Federal-style house and barn, or a “connected farmstead,” that Goebel-Bain describes as a “noticeable architectural type in New England.”

“If you drive around Maine and New England, you will often see those connected buildings in a way that you really don’t see in other areas of the country,” he said.

Goebel-Bain said often times, people associate the kinds of homes listed on the National Register as “a very high-style house that spent a lot of money on the details.”


“We want to not just [highlight] high-style, expensive buildings,” he said. “We also want to represent the other types that are out there.”

The homestead first came on MHPC’s radar when the Department of Transportation was doing roadwork. With all work of that kind, Goebel-Bain said the DOT had to do a survey of any possible historic sites.

Though the roadwork in question was able to move forward without impacting a preserved site, it piqued the interest of the current homeowner, Anstiss Morrill about the Morrill Homestead’s eligibility for the register.

In doing so, Anstiss said she has learned a lot more about the home passed through her family for generations as well as the nineteenth-century family members who built it.

She learned about how her family would deliver milk from the farm’s cows around town.

She also learned about how the home had no running water or electricity in its first 100 years until her great aunt moved in in the 1920s – highlighting the way society is now “so used to modern conveniences.”


The other side to the home’s importance, Goebel-Bain said, is “the long family history there.”

Alongside farming on the property, David Morill also “operated a mill near the homestead on the Sandy River, preached, and worked as a carpenter … [while] serving as a Justice of the Peace, selectman, and State Representative,” according to a release about the National Register entry.

For her part, Anstiss associates the Morrill Homestead with many memories from her childhood and as an adult.

Anstiss, who grew up in the Boston area, remembers visiting the homestead during the summers as a child, when the home was owned and inhabited by her great aunt.

She remembers ringing the bells in the upstairs bedrooms with her brother and visiting friends across the road.

She’s also held onto a notebook with information on the milk that was sold on the farm.


In retirement, Anstiss feels lucky that she’s “ended up being in the house that I always wanted to be in.”

Now, her grandchildren come to visit, which Anstiss said “makes me happy to think that the [Morrill] family is still here.”

“I love having my sons come with their families, since I can imagine that my grandchildren may have childhood memories later, as I do now of my own childhood here,” she said.

Anstiss said she is excited that the National Register is “preserving the history” of the home first built by her great, great, great grandfather, David.

“Whether residents of Chesterville, surrounding areas or greater Maine – [people] can get a sense of their history as well, looking at this building,” said Goebel-Bain. “[The Morrill Homestead’s entry] helps them to better understand the specific areas of agricultural history in Maine.”

Anstiss’s ultimate hope is that in 100 years the Morrill Homestead is still standing for people, kids to “see what a farm looks like,” admire the fields and woodlot.

“I wanted to protect the house and this location from greed so it wouldn’t be just something easily, ‘Oh, well, let’s tear this down and put in a trailer,'” Anstiss said. “That’s why [the house’s entry into the National Register of Historic Places] is important to me.”

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