Joseph Weston and his family settled in present-day Skowhegan in 1772. In 1786, Joseph’s son, Deacon Benjamin Weston, settled nearby along the Kennebec River in Madison. In 1817, Deacon’s family constructed the large Federal-style home that stands today. Throughout the centuries, the property has remained in the Weston family, and a corporation of ten Weston family members now owns and manages the Homestead including 300 acres of fertile farmland and forests.
Over two centuries, the Weston Homestead has seen few major alterations. The house retains its original floors and Federal-style woodwork; mantels, fireplaces and hearths; plaster walls including 1840s wallpaper in the parlor and many of its original twelve-over-eight windows.
The house also contains an extensive collection of family furnishings. The survival and preservation of all of these features is particularly remarkable because in the Flood of 1987, the house was inundated with 5 feet of water. Family members subsequently carefully restored the house and its contents.
The last full-time family occupant of the house departed in 1986—the same year that the Westons celebrated 200 years of ownership. In the 28 years since, the family has carefully maintained the house and surrounding land. This past year, the Weston Corporation made the decision to sell the property, including the house with its historic furnishings and the crop and forestland. The Weston family reached out to Maine Preservation and the Maine Farmland Trust before placing the property on the market.
By working with the two nonprofits, the Weston family is ensuring that the house and surrounding property will be protected in perpetuity. Maine Farmland Trust is working to place conservation easements on the farm and timberlands. Maine Preservation is working to place preservation easements on the house, while also seeking a new owner for the house who will respect its historic character.
For their outstanding service and commitment to preserving the Weston Homestead for more than two centuries, Maine Preservation is pleased to present the Weston Family with a 2014 Honor Award for Stewardship.