This large Greek Revival house on Maple Street in Rockland was built for the Reverend Samuel C. Fessenden, the first pastor of the Rockland Congregational Church. Fessenden was elected to Congress in 1860 as the Civil War began.  Sisters Bertha and Sallie Stackpole ran a boarding house here in the 1870s and 1880s.

A private donor purchased the house in 1892 for the Reverend J.S. Moody, pastor of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, to operate an orphanage. The House of the Good Shepherd Orphanage opened in 1893 with accommodations for 35 children. The orphanage was successful until Reverend Moody moved to Missouri in 1898. In 1900 the orphanage moved to Gardiner, Maine.

An association of nine physicians purchased the house in the fall of 1901 to create the Knox County General Hospital. The hospital opened in August of 1902 with seven beds. A brick section was added in 1916, and other wings were added in 1922 and 1928, raising the capacity to 75 beds.   In 1969 the doctors of the Knox County General Hospital combined with the doctors of the Camden Community Hospital to form the Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport. Today Reverend Fessenden’s house has been replaced by the modern, brick Knox Center for Long Term Care.

Diane Ihrig
Rockland Historical Society

Catalog Number LB2007.1.102201