Nickels-Sortwell House

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Nickels-Sortwell House
Nickels Sortwell House, Wiscasset, Maine, USA 2012.jpg
Front of the house
Nickels-Sortwell House is located in Maine
Nickels-Sortwell House
Location NE corner of Main and Federal streets
Wiscasset, Maine
Coordinates 44°00′11″N 69°39′56″W / 44.00295°N 69.66565°W / 44.00295; -69.66565Coordinates: 44°00′11″N 69°39′56″W / 44.00295°N 69.66565°W / 44.00295; -69.66565
Built 1807
Architectural style Federal
NRHP Reference # 70000078[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 30, 1970
Designated NHL December 30, 1970[2]

The Nickels-Sortwell House, located on the main street of Wiscasset, Maine, USA, was built in 1807 by Captain William Nickels, a ship owner and trader. The style and age of the building reflect "a period when shipbuilding and the maritime trade brought prosperity and sophisticated tastes to this riverside community."[3]

Early in the house's history the "Embargo Act of 1807, followed by the War of 1812, crippled the shipping industry, and many coastal families lost their fortunes. Around 1830, the house was transformed into a hotel. Towards the end of the century, when the Maine coast had become fashionable as a summer resort, Alvin Sortwell purchased the building as a summer residence."[3]

Eventually, "Sortwell and his daughter, Frances, a leader in the local preservation movement, refurbished it in the Colonial Revival manner. The grounds, landscaped in 1926 with period gardens and an elaborate classical fence, are currently being restored. The building is owned and operated as a historic house museum by Historic New England and is a National Historic Landmark."[2][3]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Nickels-Sortwell House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  3. ^ a b c Historic New England website information (accessed on June 21, 2008)

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