Gideon Tucker House

1 Main Street

1950's sketch for a Christmas Card

The first of the Warren family to settle in Steep Falls was James Warren, a blacksmith from Buxton who arrived in 1832 and purchased the Charles Tavern near the Baldwin line. James had 10 children, 7 boys and 3 girls, many of which eventually remained in Steep Falls.

In March 1845, James' son Darling purchased from Joseph and Jeremiah Hobson and Tobias Lord, the parcel of land on the corner of what is now Route 11 and Route 113. This property was across the Fryeburg Road (County Road) from Darling Warren's blacksmith shop. This vacant land at 1 Main Street will become Warren's house lot. The lot closely matches todays property size of 115 feet wide x 660 feet long.

According to the 1850 census, Darling Warren was living with his wife Sarah and daughter Elizabeth in the Charles Tavern with his father James. In July 1854, Darling Warren transferes ownership of all his property at the junction of the Steep Falls Road and the Fryeburg Road to his wife Sally... "including the property that I purchased of Joseph Hobson, on August 9, 1851, with all buildings on these 2 lots" By these 2 deeds, Darling Warren "sold" his home and blacksmith properties to his wife.

From this information it appears that the house was built after March 1845 and most likely after the 1850 census but prior to July 1854.

The 1860 and 1870 censuses record Darling Warren, blacksmith, living here with his wife Sarah and daughter Elizabeth. Darling Warren died on September 14, 1875 and was buried in Steep Falls Cemetery. In September 1886, Darling's widow, Sally Warren "sells the property with the house she is now living in to Hattie and James Knapp of Cape Elizabeth, Maine." Sally Warren died in 1888 and was buried beside her husband in Steep Falls Cemetery.

In May 1893, the Knapp's sold the property to Gideon Tucker.

A 1930's view when the home was owned by Gideon Tucker's daughter,  Martha Tucker

Gideon Marshall Tucker was born in Buxton in 1829 and as a young man worked in Rufus Lord's tin shop in Saco.

At the age of 18, he went to sea aboard a square rigged sailing ship owned by his uncle in Salem, Massachusetts. While at sea he completed 2 voyages to South America.

He later moved to Bangor and operated a retail meat business in the towns along the Penobscot River after which he went on to the lumber camps along the West Branch. It was here that he found his calling as a lumberman.

In 1855 Tucker moved to Steep Falls from Bangor and became a purchasing agent for the Saco Water Power Company mills in Saco and Biddeford.  "Gid" Tucker was employed by this firm for many years, having oversight of the lake and river water storage basins under control of that company. It was said that with a sweep of his eyes he could tell the value of any growth within range of his vision.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Tucker enlisted and went to the front with Company F of the 16th Maine Regiment of the Union Army where he was a wagon-master for most of the war. He served the entire war and was mustered out after the Confederate surrender at Appomattox in August 1865.

He later recalled seeing Abraham Lincoln several times when the president visited the battle front.

Gideon married Ethelinda Hobson of Steep Falls and together they raised 5 children.

The 1870 Census indicates that Gideon Tucker was living with his wife and children in Steep Falls at 27 Main Street, several houses down from the Warren house.

At the time of his purchase of the home at 1 Main Street, Gideon had been living, working, and doing business in Steep Falls for 25 years.

In his later years he wintered at the Graymore Hotel in Portland while spending the other seasons at his home in Steep Falls.

Postcard photo from 1906

Postcard photo from early 1950's

Gideon Tucker continued to live here for many years with his wife Ethelinda, then his daughter Martha F. Tucker.

At the age of 96 he attended the Lincoln Club banquet in Portland on the occasion of Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Gideon could lay claim to have voted for Mr. Lincoln on two different times.

At the ripe age of 97 he still attended the Maine Republican convention and claimed to have voted for 19 different presidents in 79 years. On May 29, 1929 Tucker turned 100 years of age but was unable to participate in the celebration due to poor health. He died 3 days after his 1ooth birthday at his home with his family by his side.

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