Leighton House | The 1860 Project

In 2022, we bought an 1860 farmhouse in down east Maine that the previous owners had partially restored from a state of almost complete disrepair.

Earlier owners sold the house in 2019, and it sat on the market for two years due to its poor condition. Finally, some brave buyers purchased the home in 2021 and started renovating. After a year of additional surprise issues and repairs, the owners put it back on the market in 2022. As with any old home, the second you dig under the surface, you’ll find more issues, especially if the house has been neglected for decades.

With additional hard work and continued investment, we completed a full historic renovation of the interior of this classic Maine farmhouse in 2023, preserving its charm while updating it to modern standards. I currently use the house as my office, design studio, and display space for my extensive pottery collection.

Join me on the Leighton farmhouse journey. You’ll find a complete history of the home, photos of the different projects, and information on interior design details.

QwkDog Leighton Exterior
House as shown in the 2022 real estate listing, cleverly hiding a roof badly in need of replacement and a huge dead pine tree overhanging the corner of the house.

Steuben, Maine

QwkDog House Steuben Sunset

Steuben is a town located in Washington County, Maine, United States. The town was settled in the late 18th century and was incorporated in 1803. The Passamaquoddy people, who had lived in the region for thousands of years, initially inhabited the area.

Steuben was named after Baron von Steuben, a Prussian military officer who served in the American Revolutionary War. The town was originally a shipbuilding and fishing center, home to several shipyards and small fishing villages.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Steuben was also home to several mills and factories, including a paper mill and a gristmill.

The history of the house

qdd-steuben-me-1861-detail

Finding out your house’s history can be challenging and fun! Using various free and paid online sources, I created a full genealogy for the house. Learn more about what I uncovered on the property, its inhabitants, and the town. I’ll also share the research process, findings, and roadblocks I uncovered along the way.

Learn more about the history

Reconstruction & design

QwkDog House Interior

Ground-up renovation of a 160-year-old home is not for the faint of heart, especially after decades of neglect. Every project revealed more and more issues – serious and cosmetic – that needed to be addressed. But the time, money, and effort were well worth the investment. Follow the room-by-room reconstruction.

See the renovation