The Knox Hotel has been in Thomaston since first constructed in 1828 by Joseph Berry for Charles Sampson “to be used for public entertainment.” Originally, it was called the Knox House. At one time it was rented as a Baptist Seminary under the name of the Thomaston Theological Institution but was discontinued after a few years.

It was managed and owned by several individuals, including Israel Dinsmore, Silas Masters, Mr. Bickford, Edward E. Post, William Catland, James Vose, and Alexander McAllister. In 1892 the management bought the house and lot to the west, removed the house to a location on Georges Street, and built a three-story annex. Business was booming as Maine enjoyed the presence of summer rusticators to the area. Thomaston’s attractive Greek Revival and Italianate captains’ houses along elm-lined streets made the former shipbuilding mecca a nostalgic destination.

In 1915, the hotel was completely destroyed by the devastating fire, which burned a livery stable in the rear and every building between the hotel and the Knox Street corner. At the time, the loss of the hotel was estimated at $10,000. The land was immediately cleared by Edward Winslow, who rebuilt the hotel with added architectural features that included a portico supported by columns with balustrades lining the colonnade.

Following a few more changes of ownership, the hotel doors were closed in 1966 for lack of proprietorship. In 1965 the hotel was completely renovated and reopened under new owner, Joseph DelTorto, USCG.

In 1978 the Maine State Housing Authority with developers David Twombly and the architectural firm of Gaudreau and Company of Providence, RI renovated the hotel and attached a 29-unit apartment house. The Camden National Bank became a tenant and continues to occupy a portion of the building at the present time.

The building was again renovated and brought up to current code standards in 2011. lderServe Inc., a subsidiary of the Methodist Conference Home continues to provide a Congregate Housing Services Program called the Knox Hotel Apartments.

Margaret McCrea
Thomaston Historical Society

Catalog Number LB2007.1.102742