About the Brewster Family

Jarvis Adelbert Brewster and his wife, Fanny, built the house in about 1888 (some records indicate a slightly earlier date). Dell, as Brewster was known, was born in Lincolnville, Maine October 30, 1861, the second of five sons of Lorenzo Brewster, a farmer and ship carpenter at Camden, Maine.

Brewster married Fannie Adams at Lincolnville, November 16, 1887. Fannie was the daughter of U.S. Captain Israel Adams, also of Lincolnville. Their only child, a daughter, Mabel, was born in 1889 and died in 1896. It appears that the Brewsters purchased a cemetery plot in Wood Lawn cemetery on West Street in Freeport upon Mabel's death. Brewster's body was shipped to Freeport upon his death in 1943 at the age of 81, and Fannie was also buried there upon her death.

J.A. Brewster General Merchandise, circa 1889After relocating to Freeport, in about 1888, Brewster owned and operated a store, "J.A. Brewster, dealer in Hardware, Stoves, Crockery, groceries, lime, cement, paints, oils, etc." From late 1887 Brewster was assisted in the store, located on the block where L.L. Bean's flagship store stands today, by his younger brother, James H. Brewster. James later took a position as bookkeeper in Lisbon Falls, Maine, about 10 miles from Freeport, and later bought a store similar to the one he had worked in with his brother in Freeport. Dell became a town selectman and the town's treasurer.

In 1894 there was a fire in the Congregational Church, next door to Brewster's Freeport store (and also on the site of today's L.L. Bean flagship store), which caught the store on fire, destroying it. Brewster sold the house in 1914. It remained a family residence until the middle part of the 1900's, when it became three apartments, one on each floor. In the early 1990's Matt and Amy Cartmell bought the property and began renovating the B&B, opening for guests July 2, 1994.

Brewster's ancestry includes William Brewster, known also as Elder William Brewster, who came to the New World on the Mayflower in 1620. This history is, of course, well-documented. However, William Brewster was the son of William Brewster, who had been bailiff (a kind of manager) of Scrooby Manor, a castle of the Archbishop of York, in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England, and later Master of the King's Poste (meaning he collected tolls for passage along the road, which ran from London to Edinburgh). Some time after the father's death, William became bailiff and Master of the King's Poste.

Scrooby Manor, Scrooby, EnglandIn the early 1600's William Brewster became a Separatist (devout Christians who did not support the fundamental principles of the Church of England), and secretly organized a Separatist Church which met at Scrooby Manor. Fearing punishment, some of these Separatists fled to Holland, but later returned to Scrooby. In 1620, Brewster and other Separatists left Scrooby and boarded Mayflower for America. Since the church had no ordained minister, Brewster, an Elder, was the spiritual leader of the band.

In 2008 Ruth and Scott traveled to England, and were able to stop at Scrooby, in hopes of taking photos of Scrooby Manor. We met the owners of the house, who permitted us to photograph the house, and villagers, who are very proud of their association with the Mayflower, gave us literature on Brewster and the Mayflower, a tour of the town hall, and pen and ink sketches of Scrooby Manor and of the church which grew from the little Separatist Church that began by meeting at the manor. These drawings are displayed proudly on the mantel in the guest living room at Brewster House.