The Farmington Historical Society is hosting a Sun Porch Soirée Saturday, July 30, to raise money for the restoration of the Octagon House’s Sun Porch in Farmington. Pictured, historical society secretary Theresa Forster, left and trustee Marion Scharoun flip through a book of vintage wallpaper samples on the sun porch Friday, July 22. Kay Neufeld/Franklin Journal

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Historical Society is hosting a fundraising Sun Porch Soirée Saturday, July 30. The event will raise money for the restoration of the Sun Porch in the town’s historic Octagon House.

Marion “Toosie” Scharoun, a historical society trustee chairing the event, said the wooden porch is settling and supports are rotting. The porch needs to be lifted, among other renovations, Scharoun said.

The historical society is trying to raise $4,000 at the soirée and by donations in order to match a grant from the Maine Historical Preservation Society.

While the initial goal is to raise $8,000 in total, Scharoun expects that figure could very well go up with rising costs.

The historical society is hoping to begin renovations in August and complete them by the end of the summer.

There will be “finger food,” a Sun Porch Punch (perhaps with champagne), live music and a silent auction. There will also be outdoor seating for COVID-19 safety concerns.


While the main goal is fundraising, Scharoun said the event also offers attendees “an opportunity to come and experience the porch” as it was originally intended — “to entertain guests.”

The Sun Porch was built in 1915 by then owner W.G. Mallett, an addition to the 1858 house now owned by the historical society.

“People have been in Farmington their whole lives and haven’t yet come here,” Scharoun said. “It’s important to see how people lived in the past.”

Scharoun described the porch as a “unique and visible” element in the Octagon House.

“It’s everybody’s favorite room in the house,” she added.

Scharoun also feels it’s important to “preserve what we can” in Farmington, keep the “aesthetics” of the town alive – especially as many historical buildings have gone to the wayside.


The Octagon House was originally built in 1858 by Cyrus Ramsdell. After it was sold in 1912 to W.G. Mallett, a Farmington Normal School Principal, it was passed down through his family. W.G.’s granddaughter, Deborah Mallett Cressal was the last to own the house until she passed away in 2012.

The Farmington Historical Society then purchased the home in 2012 and began restorations. Most of the restorations are invisible – insulation, a new furnace, etc.

As the house was passed down through the Mallett family, Scharoun said it’s “been through many different eras.” Some rooms, yet to be restored by the society, have shag carpets and wallpaper reminiscent of the 1970s.

But, Scharoun said, “the sun porch is frozen in time.”

The Sun Porch Soirée will be held 6-9 p.m. Saturday, July 30. Tickets are $25 and can be reserved by calling 207-778-2932. Tickets will also be available at the door first come, first serve.

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