Glimpses. 21 Gray Street

Built in 1847 by Sumner Fogg


The Portland Historic Resources Inventory of 1976 list calls it ‘house and store’. This may explain the granite running the full width of the building at the first-floor lintel line. The inventory also lists the style as Greek Revival. I would be inclined to call it transitional in that the period is right for Greek, the actual details harken way back to the Federal style.


The bay and bracketed entry overhang were added well after the home was built.

Ownership changed several times in the next 30 odd years. In July of 1881, the City of Portland sold the property to Samuel Rolfe for an unpaid tax bill of $70.00. Beckett lists Samuel as a wholesale druggist living at 92 State Street in 1877. In the late 1880s & early 1890s, Rolfe transferred a large number of properties, our subject included, to the Maine Savings Bank.20161126_142431.jpg

The deeds, there are many, do not speak of mortgages or the like so it’s hard to tell exactly why this was done. Rolfe was the president of the bank in 1890. He died in 1899. With the transfer, the deed trail goes cold until 1924 when Elias Thomas is listed as owning the home. Thomas, you may recall, owned the house at the corner of Gray & Winter Streets.

The current tax photo is below. I am not certain of its date but it sure is different from today. The current owner is an LLC that is somehow connected to 75 State Street.

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1 thought on “Glimpses. 21 Gray Street

  1. Deake Street LLC

    My company is the owner of this building. The deeds that I have dates back to the 1820s. Maine memory network shows the wrong picture at this location that must be another frame property elsewhere in the city. I attempted to bring the building back to life 10 years ago by replacing the 1960s vintage windows and doors to replicate that last published picture dated in the1920s. It now has historically accurate windows and a custom made mahogany front door. It now looks the way that it did100 years ago. The original house did not have the front bay windows or portico, otherwise it is over 200 years old as it stands today.



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