Built ca 1888 by James Polk Jordan.
Perched on a rise at the corner of Munjoy and Eastern Promenade our subject commands a major viewpoint on the Fore Street end of the Prom. It’s a mix of Italianate and Queen Anne styles with a rather odd treatment of the center second-floor bay. More on that later…
There isn’t much solid history for Mr. Jordan. He purchased the land from Lucy Heseltine in 1887. Beckett listed a James P Jordan who was a salesman and lived on High Street in 1872. This may be the same person but I have not found any deeds for our James Jordan referencing property on High Street. Beckett does list a John Jordan living on Portland Street and a partner in Jordan Brothers Carpentry. I can connect James P to the Portland Street property and an early deed for him states he was a ‘house builder’.
Things get more interesting. Beckett lists a Charles Heseltine living at 16 Eastern Promenade in 1873. He was a joiner or carpenter. It could be asked if perhaps Mr. Heseltine built the house. Perhaps. Stylistically, the house is more Italianate than Queen Anne which would lean towards Heseltine as the builder. Countering this is the wording of the deed from Lucy to James speaking of land only. This could just be a clerical issue but I try to take deeds at face value and as such, I am inclined to go with Jordan.
When James died in 1917 he left no heirs. In early 1919 the property was sold to William S Linnell. Linnell was a native of Saco where he was born in 1886. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1907 and a law degree from George Washington University. He sold the property to Ethel Howard on the same day he bought it. Ethel transferred it to her husband Frank 3 months later.
The house sprawls over its lot in a connected farmhouse manner and sports a rather nice ‘barn’ if you will. More like a stable and carriage house in nature but having a classic barn look. The main block also has a farmhouse quality, especially when viewed from Munjoy Street.
The front porch and projecting third story gable with applied details is pure Queen Anne in nature although, when taken as a whole, the facade is quite reserved. About the bay window. It’s an odd feature that in some ways mimics the bay below and right but there is the door. I suspect it is not original. Perhaps added to give access to the porch roof. The lack of a balustrade seems to negate that use. Either way, it seems out of place along with the square windows in the band above. The tax photo does not show the house from the front precluding determining the bay arrangement at that time.
Frank Howard took a mortgage on 22 Eastern Promenade in late 1924. The bank foreclosed on this mortgage in 1933. They retained ownership until 1938. I think as it foreclosed in the heart of the Great Depression, the bank held the property and maybe rented it until the market rebounded.
After the bank sold the home in 1938, it changed hands every three years or so for a decade. In 1948 it was purchased by Thomas Schoolar. He was in born 1892. In June of 1948, Thomas married a Davina Fox of Yonkers, New York. The info for Thomas and Davina beyond that is scarce. I do know he died in 1979 and Davina in 1991. Both in Portland. They had sold 22 Eastern Promenade to Mary Mancini in 1963.
Mary was born in 1905 to Italian immigrants. She grew up in Portland and lived in the city, and our subject house, until she died in 1999. Her estate sold the property to Crandall Toothaker. Toothaker is a well-known developer and landlord who has a long, mostly good, history in Portland. As a final note, the property was transferred to a newly created LLC in July of 2017. Are condominiums soon to follow?
My great-great-grandmother Fannie Jacobson owned this house in 1924. You’ll find it in the tax photos if you search for her name.
Thank You for this information. I have updated the post. Can I ask how you found my blog?
A google image search for “greek revival side gable” led to your post on 320 Spring Street. Maybe you can help me find what I was looking for. I wanted to know how to describe the ubiquitous Victorian New England side-gabled houses like these:
Specifically, what is this style of front door canopy? And is there a name for side gabled houses with bay windows like this?
Thanx for the reply. Always helps to know how readers got here.
I would call both of them ‘Italianate’. The form of front gable with door on one, usually left, side is definitely ‘Greek’ but the pediment of the gable is almost always closed whereas these are open. Also, the Greek Revival is itself was relatively short lived here in the Portland area. With strong economy of the 1840’s and 50’s, Portland quickly moved onto the newer, more romantic styles. The tax photo seems to hint at pilastered corners which was a common item on ‘greeks’ but it is seen on later styles. That home may be a Greek Revival that was later ‘modernised’
The canopy is definitely Italianate with it’s hipped form and ornate brackets. As are the bays.
I was looking around again and I saw that Frank Howard deeded 22 E Prom to Fannie Jacobson in 1925. Fannie and eight of her kids lived there as of the 1930 census. Maybe she was paying Frank’s mortgage?
It’s certainly possible. May have been paying rent.
Someone has a whole tumblr page dedicated to the hundreds of Portland houses with Italianate door canopies! http://bracketsandhoods.tumblr.com/
Fascinating stuff! Thanx for the link!
You’re welcome. I wasn’t sure how else to contact you, but I just read that there is at least one authenticated Sears kit house in Portland– a Maplewood at 126 Bradley St. built in 1932.
i am familiar with it. There is a copy of the ‘Avalon’ on Kesiwick Street in SoPo.
Would you be interested in profiling 1795 Congress St? I have been fascinated by the tiny house built in 1797 on the Stroudwater River.
You can see it behind the trees in the tax photo, but in person it’s much more visible.
I can certainly do some research and see if there is a story there. I am curious where you’re getting the date of 1797 from.
On its tax page under “Building 2” the date built is listed as 1797. The large house at the street in front was built in 1806.
Hmmm.. A couple of notes
The Portland tax records are not, in my experience, reliable when it comes to build dates. I have encountered far too many erroneous dates to use them for this purpose. As my latest blog post shows, even with some pretty thorough digging, it can be very difficult to pin those dates down unless the building is of historical significance. It is even harder with secondary structures.
The date of 1797 is awfully close to the street address of 1795 to be coincidence in my mind. If this was/is being used as a residence, I think 1797 would be the street address but that is just supposition.
Lovejoy’s “This Was Stroudwater” says Joseph Chesley bought the land, and built the house, from William Slemons in 1806. This date does in fact match the cities date for the primary structure. The deed for this sale does not mention any buildings.
I have not yet gone and looked at the buildings so will reserve a ‘final judgement’ but I do have some suspicíons.
The tiny Stroudwater house is for sale! They use both 1797 and 1910 for its age, but you can see 1797 is the address.
500 sq/ft and $200k. Nothing to be concerned about. Perfectly normal.
My grandmother, Mary Mancini, owned this house from sometime in the 1960s until her death in 1999. Her children sold the house that same year. My grandmother purchased it from Tom Schooler.
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