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Remembering the Greenlaw house

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Oct 08, 2020
Source: Copy of photo courtesy of Phyllis Gould Prints of this photo were advertised for sale in The Republican Journal in 1986. The original was taken by Ken Ramsey.

Northport — In November 1986, an advertisement for a photo of the old Greenlaw house appeared in The Republican Journal, according to a story by Isabel Morse Maresh that appeared in the Journal in March 2010.

Wilbert P. Greenlaw, a well-known carpenter of the day, built the house for his family shortly before 1900, according to Maresh's account. The spot where it stood, at the intersection of Route 52 and Prescott Hill Road in Northport, became known as Greenlaw Corner.

Maresh tells how the original builder died young, his family moved to Belfast, and his brother bought the house, eventually passing it down to his daughter, Vera, who farmed the land.

"At some point, Vera put pigs into the house," Maresh says. "The windows were broken, and for some years the tattered curtains fluttered in the breeze. The house sank deeper into disrepair. It sagged in the middle. The house, which was on what was then Route 137, was photographed by many people, including, in 1977, the National Geographic magazine, which reported that the house was in Penobscot County.

"Vera passed away in 1981, aged 81 years. The old house was a beloved fixture on the corner to those in the neighborhood. There were rumors which became more elaborate around Halloween that the house was haunted."

In August 1986 the house was destroyed in a controlled burn by the Northport Fire Department. Such was its fame that the ad for the photo of it appeared in the Journal that November.

We recently received a copy of the photo, and a photocopy of the ad, from Phyllis Gould, who thought readers might enjoy seeing the longtime landmark again.

The photo as it appeared in a 1986 advertisement in The Republican Journal. (Courtesy of: Phyllis Gould)
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