Hallowell viewed from Butternut Park, Chelsea, ca. 1890
Item Contributed by
Hubbard Free Library
In 1909, Emma Huntington Nason, poet, author and composer wrote in Old Hallowell on the Kennebec:
A stranger visiting Hallowell, to-day, cannot fail to be impressed by the picturesque beauty of its location, and by the characteristic old-time New England atmosphere of the place. As he passes through its long, parallel streets or up and down its sloping hillsides, he will still see the handsome, spacious houses of the early settlers of old Hallowell, with their ever hospitable doors still open to the guest.
The same holds true today.
A walk through Hallowell reveals America's architectural history on display. Impressive homes and a stellar hotel fill the city. In the 1960s an urban renewal proposal and a highway construction plan threatened to demolish many historic buildings in the downtown area. The City then applied to the National Park Service for recognition of a 205 acre parcel as a National Historic District. The application was accepted, the buildings were saved, and the Hallowell National Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 1970. Today, a walk along Hallowell's mansion-studded streets, through the vibrant business district and along the restored waterfront, provides clues to America's past, and to a world all but vanished.