Cabot's Historic Buildings

from the Cabot Town Plan

Settlement for the first few decades centered around the "Yellow House" Tavern on the Military Road, but rapidly spread throughout the Town. In the early 19th century, the focus of activity shifted, down from the hilltops into the valleys, where the pattern connection in the developing network of Town roads, and the presence of adequate water power, caused villages for trade and industry to develop. By the middle of the 19th century, the original settlement area of cabot Plains had declined to scattered farms, the old "center" halfway down the hill had been abandoned, and the community focus points for church, school, trade and manufacturing activity established in "Cabot Upper" and "Cabot Lower" villages. Although, there were several small outlying mill-villages: West Hill, Hookersville (or South Cabot), East cabot and Peterville, which is now under Molly's Falls Reservoir.

This pattern has changed little to the present day, save for the further decline in settlement of the more remote areas; that has only lately reversed, and the further concentration of services in cabot Upper Village.

Population grew rapidly in the early years, up to a peak of about 1400 around the time of the Civil War. During the later half of the 19th century, population slowly declined, due to the out migration of people to the west and the cities, and the abandonment of many small and/or remote farms. With the decline of numerous small sawmills, and other various local woodworking, processing and manufacturing concerns after 1920, population loss was rapid, reaching a low point in the 1960's.

Significant Buildings

Oldest House: Due to the population change and fire, there are relatively few early buildings left in Cabot. One prime contender for "oldest house" is the so called "Max Ducharme" place at the crest of the Southwest Hill Road. Due the early settlement pattern, however, it seems worthwhile that buildings nearer the Bayley-Hazen Road be thoroughly researched.

Notable Homes; Other homes in Town of note which should be preserved include the "Wiswell-Wells-Coyle" house in cabot Village, which has an uncommonly fine and intact Victorian interior and exterior (1886-1889); the "Judge Lamson" home on Elm Street, which is a stately and well situated home of 1869; and the "Town-Currier-Thompson- Spencer" house in Lower Cabot, which is a regionally rare and classic example of "carpenter gothic" Victorian style, with fine exterior detail built about 1875.

Notable Public Buildings: The Lower cabot Schoolhouse, now used as a home, is a handsome building. Built in 1880, it was altered to include a kitchen, library and theater, and served for many years as the focus for frequent and varied Lower cabot community events. Its preservation and maintenance should be encouraged due to its visual beauty and historic significance.

The West Hill Schoolhouse is owned by the cabot Historical Society and is currently undergoing restoration. It should be kept in good repair as an example of its type.

The Walbridge Schoolhouse has recently been purchased, moved from the Walden Heights Road to the old settlement area on cabot Plains, and extensively renovated into a most attractive vacation home without any compromise of its proper appearance. It should be commended as a fine example of adaptive re-use of a good building that otherwise would have been lost.

The older and newer South cabot Schoolhouses are both historic sites now in private hands. Their maintenance and restoration should be encouraged.

The Old Village School or Brimblecombe Shop is the first major cabot Village School, and was built in 1845 on land which is now behind the United Church of Cabot. The building was bought by the Independent Order of Good Templars who converted it from a tenement into a meeting hall, with a paneled auditorium and stage upstairs. On the ground floor was a kitchen, cloak room and dining hall. Later, the Morrill Women's Relief Corps and the Modern Woodmen had their meetings here. Then it was converted into a plumbing shop. It has recently been purchased from the Brimblecombs by the cabot Historical Society, which has restored the building as a meeting hall and museum. it is recommended that the Town promote the preservation and restoration of the property in any practical manner.

The United Church of cabot was originally organized as the Congregational Church in 1801. The present church house was built in 1849. The Congregationalists and Methodists formed the United Church in 1928. The church building has a handsome late Victorian interior, a fine Greek Revival exterior and forms the visual centerpiece for the Village Common area. Its preservation should be encouraged.

Willey memorial Hall, the Town Hall, was built in 1921, the money for it being raised by solicitation. Mr. C.W. Willey gave matching funds. It was built of lumber cut and milled in Cabot. It was owned and maintained for many years by the Judith Lyford Women's Club, but was given to the Town of cabot in 1974. It contains a stage and auditorium, a kitchen, dining room, club room and lounge, the public library, the Town Clerk's office, and the museum of the cabot Historical Society. The Hall should be kept available for community service.

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