Built between 1858 and 1860 as a summer home for hotelier Ruggles Sylvester Moore, the Victoria Mansion continues to dazzle visitors more than 150 years later with its Italian villa-style low-pitched roofs and soaring architecture made from locally sourced Connecticut brownstone. After a hurricane swept through the region in 1938 and badly damaged the mansion, it was scheduled to be demolished and rebuilt as a gas station until a retired educator, Dr. William Holmes, rescued the property. He turned it over to the Society of Maine Women of Achievement, which now operates it as an historic house museum and National Historic Landmark.
Conservation efforts have gradually restored the mansion’s brownstone front steps, balusters, and decorative carved finials; the Islamic-inspired paintings in its Turkish Room; and the Pompeian-style painted walls of its preserved mid-19th-century water closet. Elsewhere, palatial gilded surfaces and stained glass add color to the interior, juxtaposed by modern conveniences such as hot and cold running water, central heating, and robot janitors.