The James Place Inn is a restored Victorian style home built in 1890. It is what is called a “Mallett House” as it was built as one of the homes for the workers of a local businessman. (Freeport was once home to a number of shoe manufacturers, the largest by the name of Mallett). While there existed many of these homes in Freeport at one time, only about six now remain.
After serving as a home for the shoe workers, it belonged to the first physician here in Freeport. We have been able to trace the history through several owners and into the 1920’s. The records are a bit sketchy after that for a number of years. The home was eventually converted into a housing unit of six apartments. It became quite rundown and was scheduled for demolition when it was purchased by the James’ in 1994.
Not long out of college, the couple purchased the building with the intention of making it into a bed and breakfast. It was a labor of love! They took the existing structure down to the studs and lived in a room while they remodeled it. (You could only do this when you’re young)! The majority of the work was done by the James’. Bill is a great carpenter and Darcy has a great eye and wonderful taste, making them a perfect pair to create an inn. While all of the electrical and plumbing was redone to bring everything to code, the original hardwood flooring was preserved throughout the inn, including the square-style nails originally used. The staircase in the front hall is original, as is all of the wood trim, window casings and the exterior structure. The house is now considered historic – even the paint color of the exterior!
After about twelve years of labor, which included building our home at the back of the property, the James’ were tired and ready to try something new. We were thrilled to take over the inn, which has been operating as an inn for about twenty years now, with just two owners (including us). While we continue to make improvements to the inn, we work to maintain the original integrity of the design and structure.