Abner Dunton's Home Across From the Hope Historical Society House
Built in 1837

Comparison with 2007

Another young man who was to play an ever-increasing role in Hope's future was Abner Dunton, Jr., born in Hope in 1807 when Maine was still a part of Massachusetts. Abner learned the shoemaking trade of his father and after reaching his majority, moved first to Bradford in Penobscot County where he worked at his trade as a shoemaker and taught school. His career as a teacher consisted of fourteen terms in the towns of Bradford, Lincolnville, Hope, Vinalhaven, North Haven and Bucksport. While teaching in his hometown he had a school of 125 pupils! This was the day of large families before the lure of the city had begun to deplete so many of our country towns.

Abner returned to Hope to settle permanently in 1837 and that year bought a piece of land of his father opposite the Moses Dakin home, and built the house in which he lived the rest of his life. His shoe shop, a two story building, stands a small distance from the home. Downstairs was the shoe shop and upstairs a room where the Hope musicians could practice to their heart's content! It is one of the few buildings of early Hope that looks much as it did in those early days. The home and nearby shoe shop now belong to James and Barbara Carver. Abner married Susannah Harwood of Hope in 1832 and they had five children, three of whom predeceased him. (From History of Hope Maine by Anna Simpson Hardy Page 83)

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