by Chris Chase
Coastal Journal staff
ROCKPORT — One half of a small house located in Rockport is free for the taking. A bit of a fixer-upper, the house is a historic 1880 duplex that was once a bit larger, until it had been cut in half. Now the odd little house can be anyone’s, as long as they are willing to move it off of the property.
Douglas Day, a resident of Camden, owns the house, and is looking to use the land for something else. Until that house is removed, however, he can’t.
“My plan is to demolish it,” said Day. “But being ecologically minded, I decided, ‘Hey, why not give it away?’ It’s similar to a garage sale, but in this case I’m not emptying the garage, I’m giving the garage.”
That giveaway started with a Facebook post on a Camden community board, and eventually led to an article in the Penobscot Bay Pilot by Kay Stephens.
According to Day, the story behind the house being cut in half is a simple case of familial difficulties escalating past the point of reasonability.
The house, at one time, was owned jointly by two brothers. One brother wanted to sell the property to a neighbor, so that neighbor could “build a driveway or something along those lines,” said Day. The other brother didn’t relent, and refused to sell the property. As a sort of compromise, they cut the entire building right in half and sent the other half of the building somewhere else.
No one seems to know where the other half of the building is. According to the Pen-Bay Pilot, Rockland resident Melissa Rhodes Byer claimed the house belonged to her grandmother, and was cut in half after a dispute, with one half moving across town.
Now the only bit left is a crumbling heap waiting for the next stage of its life, which will more than likely be demolition by Day.
“It’s not really worth it, unless there’s somebody, for some reason, that thinks it’s worth $20,000,” said Day. “I don’t think it’s really that charming a story any more.”
In order to move the house, according to Day, a significant amount of work would need to be done just to get it on a platform and out of the lot, let alone move it away from the property. In addition, only serious inquiries will be entertained, as Day has already fielded dozens of inquiries that went nowhere fast.
“You have to have a house mover, have already contacted that mover, and have gotten a quote,” said Day. “The house is still there, and the offer still stands.”
That offer won’t last much longer, however. Day is only waiting for better weather before he does the demolition. As soon as it warms up and he has the time, it’s coming down.
“The offer will probably be happy through February and perhaps half of March,” said Day.