NEMA Museums New England

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Museum Profile

Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum and Visitor Center

5 Portland Street, South Berwick, ME 03908

Writer Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) was born in her grandparents' eighteenth-century house, where she lived with her family until 1854, when a Greek Revival House was built next door. As Sarah gained attention as an author, she and her family continued to live in the two Portland Street homes in the center of South Berwick.

Jewett and her older sister Mary inherited their grandparents' house in 1887. Decorating the house for their own use, the sisters expressed both a pride in their family's past and their own independent, sophisticated tastes. The result is an eclectic blend of eighteenth-century architecture, antiques, and old wallpapers with furnishings showing the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Jewett drew on the house for inspiration for her novel Deephaven and often wrote at the desk in the upper hall overlooking the active town center.

The newer Greek Revival house, also owned by Historic New England, is now a visitor center that features exhibitions, year-round public programs, a resource room with an interactive kiosk, and preservation staff on site.