PLAY 22 / visitportland.com / #visitportland / @visitportland
Photos, top to bottom: Corey Templeton, Maine Historical Society, Victoria Mansion Inhabiting HISTORY Ever wonder what life was like for our predecessors? Museum homes invite visitors to step back in time and gain a greater perspective and respect for the historic forces that continue to influence our lives.
VICTORIA MANSION One of the greatest 19th century houses in the country, Victoria Mansion was built between 1858 and 1860 as a summer home for Ruggles Sylvester Morse, a Maine native who amassed a fortune as a NewOrleans hotel proprietor. The sumptuous interiors of the brownstone Italianate villa are the creation of Gustave Herter, the first interior decorator of note in America. 2016 marks Victoria Mansion’s 75th anniversary as a public museum. Today the Mansion boasts over 90% of its original furnishings as well as fabulous fresco-style wall paintings that date to 1860. Unlike anything else in Portland, and of recognized national importance, Victoria Mansion’s brilliant stained glass, colorful wall and ceiling paintings, and original carpets, sculpture and gas lighting fixtures are a virtual time capsule of pre-Civil War grandeur. Open seven days a week, May through
October, and during the Holiday season, when it is lavishly decorated.
TATE HOUSE When it was built in 1755, the Tate House was the largest and most elegant home situated in the Stroudwater section of what later became the city of Portland. Constructed for Captain George Tate and his family, it is the only pre-Revolu- tionary home in Greater Portland open to the public. George Tate arrived in the Colonies around 1751 to act as Senior Mast Agent, overseeing the cutting and shipping of white pines to be sent back to England for use by the British Navy. Tate built an impressive home on a hill overlooking the mast yard on the banks of the Fore River. With its period details, including 18th century furnishings and herb gardens, The Tate House reflects what a merchant class family might have owned in colo- nial Maine. Open June through October