Frances Perkins homestead open for visitor tours

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The family homestead of U.S. Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins will be open to visitors on Sunday, August 11. This 57-acre property in Newcastle on the Damariscotta River is a private residence maintained by the Perkins family and is rarely open to tourists.

Guided tours will provide a glimpse of the site’s history as a working farm and brickyard and home to many generations of the Perkins family since the mid-eighteenth century, including Frances Perkins, its most notable member. The interior of the 1837 Brick House remains largely unchanged from the time Secretary Perkins lived there. The Perkins Homestead is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is currently under consideration for National Historic Landmark status.

Thanks to Country Coach Charters, a trolley will be used to shuttle visitors to the site from downtown Damariscotta. Tours will be led by Frances Perkins Center board members and Perkins’ grandson, Tomlin Perkins Coggeshall. The property is not handicapped-accessible. However, if you have mobility issues please call the Center in advance and we will discuss how we can adapt the tour to meet your needs.

Tours begin at the Frances Perkins Center at 170A Main St. in Damariscotta. The first tour starts at 8 a.m. with a second tour beginning at 10:30. Each tour will last 2.5 hours and include guided visits through the house and extensive grounds. Bottled water and light refreshments will be provided. Sturdy walking shoes and a hat are recommended.

Tickets cost $15 for general entry and $12 for AARP members. Tickets may be purchased online here, by calling 207-563-3374, or at our downtown Damariscotta office. Space is limited, so visitors should purchase tickets as soon as possible. An additional tour will be held on Sunday, September 15. For more information, email the Center at

Shining a light on Frances Perkins' legacyFinally getting her due