The Maine real estate market is hot right now, with property values soaring all across the state, and houses selling mere days after they hit the market. But you can still find that unique, one-of-a-kind property amid this tight seller’s market — even one that can comfortably sleep 40 people.
Anna Boucher and Nathan Tuttle are selling their family’s 50-acre property in the town of Pittston, across the Kennebec River from Gardiner, complete with 25 total buildings, including four single-family homes, a duplex, three other apartments, an early 19th-century church and multiple garages, shops and barns. It’s presently on the market for $5.5 million.
The property, dubbed Tut Hill by Tuttle’s late father, antiques dealer Ken Tuttle, was a multi-decade labor of love for the family, said Boucher, who is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Rizzo Mattson. Ken Tuttle bought the early 1800s Greek Revival house where Boucher and her husband now live in 1969 for $11,000, and spent the next several years restoring it. Not long after, he bought the 1820 church next door for just $1,500, and opened his first antique store inside it.
“Over the years he bought more surrounding properties and the 50 or so acres, and then he had this crazy idea that he would build his own antique village,” Boucher said.
In the 1980s, Ken Tuttle purchased three old houses located elsewhere in the Gardiner area that were slated for demolition, and had them hauled onto the property and fully restored. He also began building garages — three in total — to hold his collection of antique cars, and built several other houses in the mid-1800s period style to fit with the rest of the buildings.
By the 2010s, there were 25 buildings in total on the property, including Tuttle’s antique store, where he specialized in buying and selling 18th- and 19th-century American furniture and which his son continued to operate after Tuttle’s death in 2002. Surrounded by gardens and bucolic farmland and not far from the Kennebec River, Tut Hill is a slice of 19th-century Maine only a few miles from interstates 95 and 295.
“He just loved it,” Boucher said. “It was his lifelong project and dream.”
In the 1990s, Tut Hill was featured in several magazines, including People, Downeast and Art & Antiques. The family has hosted weddings there, as well as photo shoots for clothing catalogues.
Boucher said that when she was first dating her husband, he brought her to visit his family’s homestead for the first time, and she was blown away.
“I thought we were just going to look at one house, like a normal person. But no, they have a whole village,” she said. “I’ve always worked in real estate, so it was incredible to explore them all. It’s pretty unique.”
Despite how much she and her husband love the property and the family history associated with it, Boucher said 25 buildings and 50 acres are a lot to maintain — and it’s never been a better time to sell a house, or houses, in Maine.
“We’re at a point where we don’t want to be landlords, and if you’re going to try to sell, now’s the time,” she said.
They put the property on the market in May, and while they have had a few people inquire, there have been no serious offers. Boucher acknowledged that it’s far from a typical home purchase, and would require a buyer with a vision for it — possibly as a corporate retreat, an artist’s colony or simply as an income-generating collection of rentals.