WAYNE — Androscoggin Lake boaters: Have you always wanted to take a look inside the three-story, turret-topped stone boathouse near shore?

The 1905 boathouse and attached cottage, formally known as The Stone Cottage, is one of nine sites on the “Homes of Wayne Tour: Classic Camps and Village Homes” set for Saturday in the town about 15 miles west of Augusta.

Thomas Mellon and Sara Webster of Doylestown, Pa., who bought the property in June 2009, agreed to allow the public to tour the home and boathouse.

Mellon and Webster say the buildings are works in progress, but much of the original trappings remain, including knob-and-tube wiring, rustic wooden floors and walls, and the unique boathouse, where a hoist was used to raise boats to the second floor for easy entry by women in fancy dresses a century ago.

The camp was built as a summer home by John Lufkin, who invented and patented a button-hole maker for sewing machines.

A poem framed on the wall is dated Aug. 8, 1917, and dedicated to Lufkin’s wife, Imogene — as is the entire cottage. The camp also has a unique desk that he designed.

It has a wide porch shaded by a tall cypress, making it perfect for chatting and lake watching. Across the lake, a wide sandy beach marks the site of Camp Androscoggin Boys Camp, which is also on the tour.

A small sailboat is anchored near the boathouse entrance.

On a recent afternoon, Webster’s mother, Marie Fox, sat outside polishing the brass door fixtures. She and her new husband, Stuart Fox, were using the top floor of the boathouse – a former game room – as a honeymoon suite.

With a wooden pagoda-style ceiling, a deer mount with lighted rack, a stone fireplace, comfy chairs, a porcelain kitchen sink on the back wall and a large, quilt-covered bed on one side, the room seemed caught in another era.

“We have no problem getting homeowners to sign up because Jann (Haynes Gilmour) does a painting of their house,” said Dee Richardson, co-chair of the tour with Ann Fossett.

“It is our most ambitious endeavor yet,” Fossett said. “It’s a wonderful community event and a major fundraiser.”

Another classic home on the tour is The Oaks, owned by Jim and Beth Breazeale of Germantown, Tenn. It’s a short walk down Miriam’s Path, newly trimmed for the occasion. This cabin was erected in 1906 by Bill Rathburn, who made it big in patent leather.

The Breazeales, who have spent summers here since 1968, tore down an old boathouse and built a bunkhouse. It helps them accommodate all 17 members of their family, Jim Breazeale said.

The Breazeales frequently host artistic friends as well, many of them presenting the homeowners with watercolors of lake and cabin scenes.

The oldest house on the tour is The Long House on Pocasset Lake, built in the 1780s.

The tour includes fall gardens and an exhibit of vintage wooden boats by Androscoggin Wooden Boat Works.

 

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at: [email protected]