NEWCASTLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Neighbors in the village of Damariscotta Mills are fighting a plan to tear down what they think may be the oldest house in Lincoln County.
The house is said to date back to 1730. It was vacant for the past two years. A man from Massachusetts bought the house last fall, and wants to demolish it and start over.
Neighbors are trying to stop him from doing that.
Real estate agent Bob Whear, a friend of the owner, says the house is rotted underneath and in bad shape. Whear says the new owner wants to use the old beams and boards to make the new house.
Neighbor Mic Lebel says the house is an important part of their local history and should be saved. Lebel says he wants the house to stay where it is, but also says some other neighbors are talking about raising money to move the house and restore it on another site.
The owner of the house has worked out an agreement with archaeologist Tim Dinsmore to do a historical survey of the house, inside and out, to determine how old it really is and provide an idea of the historical significance. Dinsmore says if the house really does date to 1730, it would be the oldest house in the county and possibly in the midcoast region.
There's also concern being raised about an eagle's nest not far from the house.
Town officials in Newcastle are talking with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to find out if demolition or construction would pose a problem for eagles raising a chick on the nest. A town committee will ultimately decide whether to allow the house to be demolished.
The chairman of the committee says he doesn't expect a decision for several months at least.