The modest red house next to the Trenton Baptist Church on Route 3, which has stood on that spot for a century and a half, will be taking a short journey and taking on a new life if the current owners and local history buffs have their way.
The Trenton Historical Society and Trenton Cemetery and Keeping Society want to move the house about a quarter of a mile to the north and turn it into a Trenton history museum. The proposed site is a town-owned lot beside the entrance road to Trenton Elementary School.
Brent Hutchins and Vicki Salsbury, the couple who own the house and rents it out, would like to see it moved because they want to build a new rental unit on its current site. If no one takes the house off their hands, Mr. Hutchins said, they would have to decide whether to renovate it or demolish it.
Patti Leland of the Trenton Cemetery and Keeping Society said the house probably was built nearby in the 1840s or 1850s and moved to its present location when her great-great-uncle, Daniel Leland, bought the property in 1859. It has been known ever since as the Leland House.
Peter Lazas, a member of the Trenton Historical Society board and Trenton’s representative on the Acadia All-American Road corridor management committee, recently received that committee’s approval to seek a National Scenic Byways grant to help relocate the Leland House and convert it into a museum.
Jim Fisher, senior planner with the Hancock County Planning Commission, prepared the application and sent it to the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) on behalf of the corridor management committee on March 22, which was the submission deadline.
The request is for $204,500 to cover most of the estimated cost of planning and engineering, site preparation, building relocation and remodeling and the creation of historical displays. The grant application proposes a $171,000 local match, all but $10,000 of which would be the value of the house and land.
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