The Wedding

The Venue

The Merrill-Poor House is an exquisite and bright yellow (!) homestead tucked in between rolling hills, streams, and forests of Andover, Maine; the property has been home to countless generations. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be saying our vows in such a historically important and immaculately kept spot in Maine. In our visits to Andover and our online research, we have learned some very interesting things about the home and its surroundings.

Andover, Maine was first settled in 1789 by Ezekiel Merrill who, after fighting in the Revolutionary War, transported his wife and children to the western woods of the then, District of Maine. Native Americans helped guide Ezekiel and his sons through the forest and later, assisted Mrs. Sarah Merrill and the rest of the children as they paddled up the Ellis River in birch bark canoes. The Merrill house, established in 1791 and still owned by descendants of Ezekiel and Sarah Merrill, stands commandingly to the east of the Ellis River. Though the first settlers of Andover were farmers and woodsmen, farming has declined in popularity; forest products have remained a mainstay of the economy. Many local citizens work for or supply pulp wood to The Mead Corporation—a large paper manufacturer located in nearby Rumford. In 1960, Andover was selected to be the site of the Andover Earth Station becoming the location of the first live transatlantic television signal broadcast soon after. Currently, Andover is home to 864 people, 1 river (which eventually meets the Androscoggin!), and 1 quite adorable 143-year old classic covered bridge.

The Merrill-Poor House has a swimming hole complete with a rope swing, fifteen beautiful bedrooms, two kitchens (with one very old wood stove), a tree swing, a stone wall that would impress even Robert Frost, and one very sweet second floor couples photo nook. The property is lovingly looked after by caretakers Bert & Becky (& their spunky dog Buttons) who told us that the home was the location for the 1997 movie, “Myth of Fingerprints”—which, we hope to watch with our families in the days following the wedding. On one visit to Andover, we learned, anecdotally, that: Frederick Law Olmstead, the patriarch of landscape architecture (responsible for both New York’s Central Park and Chicago’s World’s Fair: Columbian Exposition), may have designed the grounds, the home may have been built with secret children’s passageways known only to the children of the family, & decades ago, the house may have been the sight of many, many high stakes poker games between wealthy visitors of the Bethel area. OOoooo! We do know for sure that we are honored to be soon hosting our wedding at the Merrill-Poor House of Andover, Maine. We think you’ll think it’s all worth the drive. [map] See you soon!

Some of this information was compiled from Wikipedia.com, Ancestry.com, and Robert A. Spidell’s website: andovermaine.com.