You Could Own a Piece of Pembroke History
This 1739 property contains the former East Pembroke post office and fire station.
If you’re a New Englander, you’ve probably daydreamed about living in one of the region’s charming historical homes. Actually owning one, though? That’s a whole different story.
Maintaining an antique house is hard, careful work—from restoring it and heating it to protecting its time-honored features from the elements. In the case of this 278-year-old property for sale in Pembroke, owning it means preserving a piece of town history.
The Recompense Magoun House, built in 1739, is a gambrel-style Cape set on 3.6 acres. It has retained many of its 18th-century features, including mantels, hardware, plaster, paneling, boxed gunstock posts, and built-in cupboards. The property’s several outbuildings, however, are what make it one of a kind.
A small cottage on the lot formerly served as the East Pembroke Post Office—it still has brass P.O. boxes lining one wall.
“From the outside, you would think it’s a gussied-up shed,” says Lisa Hassler, the listing agent with Kinlin Grover. “It’s adorable, but small.”
Hassler says the building was moved to the site in the mid-1900s to accommodate Pembroke’s postmistress, who lived across the street at the time. In addition to the post office, an antique barn behind the house was once the East Pembroke Fire Station. There are a few other freestanding structures without previous municipal uses, including a workshop, a second barn, a three-season porch, and two heated buildings.
Preserving the three-bedroom house—and all of its outbuildings—is a big job, but has help thanks to Historic New England’s Preservation Easement Program. The program helps preserve privately owned properties, and works with owners to “ensure that their historic houses and landscapes are protected from insensitive alterations or neglect,” according to the organization.
The easement prevents the Pembroke buildings from being torn down and protects them from renovations that compromise their historic nature. Historic New England has also set out to preserve the Recompense Magoun property’s original paneling, plaster, floors, fireplaces, framing, and structural elements.
“Some people get nervous because they say ‘Oh, what if I want to update the kitchen?'” explains Hassler, but the easement does not protect the kitchen or the bathroom. “If someone wanted to do something different, those can be renovated,” she says. The same goes for paint colors; she says the walls and floors can be painted to the new owner’s liking.
The entire property is listed for $450,000. That’s a mere $235 per square foot—a price tag unheard of in the city.
“East Pembroke in and of itself has kind of a rural feel to it. It’s almost unchanged,” says Hassler. “The other houses right in the immediate area are historic homes. You feel like you’re going back in time when you’re there, but you’re just a few minutes away from shopping areas.”
Interested in having a post office and a fire station in your yard? Check out more photos of the property below and see the listing here.