Logo   Tate House Museum, Portland, Maine
Portland's only surviving 18th-century house open to the public was built by the man who controlled the trade in giant white pines for masts for the British navy.




The Maine forest was for a long time the prime source of ship masts for the British navy.

All white pine trees over 24 inches (61 cm) in diameter were, by law, the property of the British king, and must be sent to the great shipyards of England.

The man who managed the whole trade in white pine for masts was Portland's George Tate, Senior Mast Agent.

Tate grew rich in the mast trade. In 1755, George and Mary Tate and their family moved into their grand new Georgian-style townhouse on a hilltop in the Stroudwater Village section of Portland, overlooking the mast yard in the Fore River.

The house's architecture is unusual in that it has a windowed third story above its gambrel roof.

The American Revolution brought an end to Tate's control of the white pines—and to his prosperity—but his house survived the perils of war and fire, and is now the only pre-Revolutionary house in Portland that's open to the public.

Tate House is not the only historic house here. Sharing the hilltop location, facing it across the street is the Means House (1797), part of the Tate House Museum complex which now holds the Museum Shop, ticket office, and administrative offices.

Along with visits to Portland's other notable houses, such as Victoria House and the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Tate House gives you a good view of several centuries of American domestic architecture.

Tate House, maintained by the Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Maine, is west of the center of Portland, across the Fore River and very year the Portland International Jetport. Here's a mapto take you from the Portland Museum of Art in the center of Portland to the Tate House near the airport.

Tate House Museum & Gardens
1267 Westbrook Street
Portland ME 04102
Tel: 207-774-6177

—by Tom Brosnahan

Portland Museum of Art

Victoria (Morse-Libby) Mansion

Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Wadsworth-Longfellow House

What to See & Do in Portland

Portland Hotels

Tourist Information

About Portland

Freeport ME

Southern Maine Coast


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Tate House, Portland ME

Above, Tate House, Portland ME.

Below, Means House, where you buy your admission ticket.

Means House, Portland ME



FTP on Facebook    
Pinterest    Twitter