Grayling Cottage // c.1900

John Bach McMaster (1852 –1932) was born in Brooklyn, New York to a rich plantation owning father and mother who ran operations in New Orleans until the outbreak of the Civil War. After this, John graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1872, worked as a civil engineer in 1873–1877. Falling in love with the field of American History, he switched careers and in 1883, became professor of American history in the University of Pennsylvania. McMaster is best known for his History of the People of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War (1883), a valuable supplement to the more purely political writings of earlier years. The book was a huge success and John was able to purchase house lots in the newly established Cape Arundel Summer Colony in Kennebunkport, Maine, a colony populated by many wealthy Philadelphians for summer homes. He first appears to have built “The Kedge”, a chunky, but beautiful cottage on a cliff. McMaster would also have this larger cottage built by the turn of the 20th century, which in design, appears to be a more eclectic Shingle style dwelling. Just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic, the house features continuous cedar shingle siding, sweeping porches to provide views of the ocean, a prominent chimney, and Colonial-inspired fanlight motifs.

2 thoughts on “Grayling Cottage // c.1900

  1. Marlin Williams May 11, 2023 / 7:29 am

    How did all these prominent people from NYC & Philadelphia get to coastal Maine in the days before the automobile? Even now that’s quite a trip. Did the RR run up that far? Were there ships steaming in from Boston?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Buildings of New England May 11, 2023 / 11:42 am

      Likely a mix of steamships, probably to Boston and train to Maine or to Portland. By the early 20th century, many of the well-to-do owned automobiles and were among the first. It was probably much easier then!


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