|Pleasant View Farm|
28 Sargent Hill Drive in Milo, Maine
When my Aunt Sadie remembered her Aunt Sarah Thomas' house where she spent so many of her childhood years (see Aunt Sadie: Separated from the Family), she made us all want to find that house so that we could see what it looked like.
She said: Auntie...lived on a beautiful estate in Milo, Maine called "Pleasant View Farm." You could sit on the veranda and see the lakes around Mt. Kahtahdin. The house was so vast I would get lost exploring.
One person took her desire to see the house a step further--she went exploring in Milo, Maine. From the Town Offices, to the Registry of Deeds, to an exploration of the roads of Milo, Pentecostal historian, Patricia Pickard and her husband, Carroll, spent a day talking to officials and record keepers and possible neighbors. Of course she found the house, she's a family history detective!
Along the way, she also found the real estate deed from when William Thomas bought the property, as well as his will, leaving it to his wife for her lifetime.
Pat said, in an email to me:
I have a copy of a real estate deed drafted on the 12th day of February, 1910, conveying to William G. Thomas the homestead farm....situated on "Sargent Hill" so called, containing 127 acres; also another parcel of land....excepting and reserving from this deed a certain parcel of land, measuring 100 feet by 105 feet, by 100 feet by 105 feet.
I have a copy of a portion of William G. Thomas' will, probated on the 17th of August 1923. This portion covers fourth and fifth parts of the will:
Fourth, I give....my said beloved wife, Sarah E. Thomas, for and during the term of her natural life, the homestead farm in Milo, being the same conveyed to me by Sarah A. Bradeen, and known as the "Sargent place,".....I also give and devise to my said wife for and during the term of her natural life, the eleven acre bog or muck lot.
Fifth, At the decease of my said wife, I dispose of my said estate as follows, viz: After the payment of the legacies named in paragraphs second and third, then all the rest, residue and remainder of said estate I give, bequeath and devise to my five children, their heirs and assigns forever, in the following proportions: To Hayward S. Thomas and John P. Thomas, one fourth part of said estate or residue to be divided equally between them. To Annie M. Thomas Kinney, William E. Thomas and Bernice C. Thomas, the remaining three-fourths of said residue and remainder, share and share alike. By the term estate meaning to include real, personal and mixed, wherever situated and however and whenever acquired.
Recorded 18 August 1923.
With all this information in hand, Pat and Carroll drove to Sargent Hill Road in Milo. There they found and photographed two houses that were possibilities.
Both of these places could easily be called "Pleasant View," because they do offer a very pleasant view (one, east; and the other, south). On one of the locations, I was told by the neighbor lady, that in the early years, one could see clear to the town of Milo from Sargent's Hill, but now the trees have grown too tall for this to be done. Sargent Hill is just one mile away from town.
I really feel that the last place I took a picture of would be the place. It is a large, large old home. Today, it is very well kept, and the architecture is beautiful. I don't think they could have raised 5 kids in the other house picture that I took.
On the following day, the rest of the mystery was solved. In Pat's words:
I just got a call from a lady (Gwen Bradeen; husband is Paul Bradeen) that lives on Sargent Hill. She confirmed to me that the house that I hoped was the Thomas place IS in fact the Thomas place.
She has been in touch with a lady whose family bought this house in 1940. The father's name was Earl Ingerson. His daughter, Dearle Ingerson Flint, still lives in the general area, and she has pictures of the place. Her husband is just getting out of the hospital, but she will bring the pix over to Gwen and Gwen will be in touch with me.
Dearle states that the barn was across the street. It burned in 1958. The black that you see up in the peak on the left are slate pieces that came from the nearby quarry.
By the way, the Ingersons paid $3,000 for this homestead! I need to get a copy of the deed where it was sold so as to see how the description reads in 1940. Without a doubt, not all 127 acres were sold with the house.
Gwen told me that, in later years (1970s), one of the owners used to have Pentecostal revivals out back on this property. Gwen asked me if Mr. Thomas was a Pentecostal minister and I told her that I did not know that he was.
I do not know either if William Thomas was a Pentecostal minister, but we already know from Sadie that Sarah Thomas was a strong supporter of the Pentecostal movement, and at least one of their sons, Hayward, was a clergyman. Sadie wrote about Sarah:
Now I will go into [Sarah's] religious affiliations. This was in the heyday of the famous evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. Pap was converted to Pentecost under her and Auntie followed suit wholeheartedly. She decided there must be a Pentecostal church in Milo. She bought a schoolhouse and refurbished it. She imported young ministers from the Glad Tidings Institute in California. She fixed beautiful apartments for them. Her motto was "If someone said 'Praise the Lord' it was hang up your hat and make yourself at home."
It would be no surprise that, after Sarah Thomas' death in 1938, the house would be sold to others of the Pentecostal church, and that revivals would continue to be held there.
I owe the energetic Patricia Pickard (did I mention that she is 82 years old?) and her patient husband, Carroll, a great debt of gratitude for their successful search to find Pleasant View Farm.