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Pittsfield Historical Society's

History of Pittsfield

UU Parsonage to be torn down (1956)

Submitted by Tom Brown.

Waterville Morning Sentinel, Friday, May 25, 1956

Pittsfield Local News

Mrs. Willard W. Lehr, Jr., Correspondent, Tel. HU2-2411
Florence Ames, Social News Correspondent. Tel. xxx-5154

DAYS NUMBERED FOR PITTSFIELD LANDMARK ---Pictured above is the parsonage of the First Universalist Church, one of the town's oldest residential buildings, which is slated to be replaced by a filling station. This prominent Main Street building was the original Lancey House, and has served as a home for the church's pastors and their families since 1928. (Photo by Lehr)

Old Pittsfield Landmark To Be Razed
As Site For Modern Service Station

One of Pittsfield's oldest landmarks will be razed to make way for a modern filling station.

The First Universalist Church parsonage, once the Lancey Tavern and forerunner of one of Maine's better-known small hotels, the Lancey House, will be sold in accordance with a vote of the parish.

At a special meeting Tuesday evening, John B. Furbush, parish president, and Harry R. Coolidge, treasurer, both local attorneys, were authorized to execute a deed for the sale of the property for not less than $20,000.

The Sun Oil Company has offered to buy the property for $22,300. The Cities Service Company's $20,000 bid included a 90-day option.

Trustee Joseph R. Cianchette, who has been in charge of negotiations, has been instructed to contact the latter firm to see if it wishes to raise its bid. No action was taken at the meeting regarding an option agreement.

Rev. Robert D. Fiske, in serving as spokesman, said it would probably be three months before final arrangements are completed.

He stated that the money received from the sale of this church property, located at the corner of Main and Easy Streets, will be divided into two funds -- $10,000 for the purchase of a new parsonage, with the remainder to be applied to church building repairs and improvements.

The trustees of the church have been named as a committee to determine what repairs are necessary and what improvements are desirable, after which Cianchette will seek an estimate on the work.

The same group will be responsible for locating another building suitable for a parsonage.

Although the history of the building is undoubtedly colorful--it is said to have been a lively "night spot" once--early records are obscure, and little is known except that it was built by Isaac Lancey as a tavern.

Local hotel records claim that the "original Lancey House" was founded in 1829. Mrs. George A. Moore, a relative of the Lancey family, stated that there was another Lancey Tavern in Palmyra on the corner of the Palmyra--St. Albans Road, where stage coaches changed horses on their run to Bangor. Whether the 1829 date applied to this establishment or to the building of which we are writing is not known, but older residents of the town figure that the latter must be well over a hundred years old.

After the present Lancey House was built, the property was used solely as a residence for the Lancey family. A Dr. Cyrus J. Spring occupied the house during part of the first quarter-century, but one friend of the family remembers that Tom Lancey, Issac's son, was living there in 1926.

About that time, the property was sold to one of the town's most prominent benefactors, the late George M. Parks, who presented it to the Universalist Church as a gift. The building was officially accepted by the church "from a friend" on Jan. 1, 1928. The donor remained anonymous until after his death.

The original church parsonage, built by the Ladies's Aid Society, was located at the present home of Mrs. Beulah Lyon MacDonald on Forest Street.

The Rev. and Mrs. Milo G. Folsom were the first to occupy the new parsonage. Since their death, it has been the home of the Rev. Donald Hinckley family and the current pastor and his family, Rev. and Mrs. Fisk.

A 1907 view of the Thomas G. Lancey residence.

Original Version: 10-Jan-2007.

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