7 Main Street
postcard photo 1909
Benjamin E. Cousins was born in Limington on April 17, 1854. He was a blacksmith, a carriage maker, and a farmer by trade and played an active role in town affairs. In 1880 he married Sadie Witham of Denmark. His farm, said to be on the Shaving Hill Road, burned in 1905 at which time he relocated to Steep Falls.
September 26, 1905 - Cousins' first record of property ownership in Steep Falls is when he purchased a house and lot on Main Street from the heirs of George Bragdon. The lot extended back to the brook and continued for a short distance on the other side.
This lot was the home of Eliza Marr 1n 1870 (census and 1871 map). By 1880 it had become the home of the Pingree family. The house was known as the Pingree house when Cousins purchased it.
January 10, 1908 - Cousins purchased a vacant lot from the Mayo / Larrabee family (also known as the Mayo lot) which was a back lot adjacent to his property and was located behind the Mayo house.
The home Cousins purchased was an older, Cape style house. Soon after his purchase he moved this entire house to the back of his lot, keeping the driveway onto Main Street. He then started construction (1905/1906) on the 2 & 1/2 story house & barn pictured above (obit).
March 2, 1908 - Cousins sold the portion of his lot that was on the far side of the brook to Gideon Tucker.
A view of the Cousins house, water tank and windmill dated between 1910 - 1915
In 1909, Benjamin's wife Sadie died. He married Mrs. Alice White of Steep Falls in 1910.
Benjamin Cousins' obituary notes that he started The Steep Falls Water Company from his home in appr. 1907/8. The water was supplied from 'a boiling spring' and was pumped up to the water tank behind the house using power from the windmill.
By 1920, the year of his death, he was supplying water to two thirds of the families in Steep Falls. The pipes reached as far as the library on Pequawket Trail. The water pipes were quite small, and adequate water pressure was always a problem, particularly on Monday washday. At one time he had 26 subscribers who paid $1.42 per month for the service (Baxter History).
He died on February 14, 1920 leaving his wife Alice, a daughter Mrs. Elmer Dresser and a granddaughter Eleanor Dresser.
The Dresser family continued to live here for some time after.