Research & Collections
Harrington House today serves as the central hub for the Freeport Historical Society. It holds staff offices, exhibition, and programmatic space, in addition to housing the organization’s archive, library, and collections. Here, staff, scholars, volunteers, educators, students, and the public come together, whether it’s to learn about Freeport, interact with our exhibitions, participate in a program, conduct research, or celebrate our shared history. We welcome anyone with an interest in our community to 45 Main Street.
Built around 1830, the house is named after Freeport merchant and trader Enoch and Eliza (Nye) Harrington. The property once included 14 acres of gardens, orchards, and other open spaces. The main house, ell, shed, and barn form a courtyard that has become a wonderful perennial garden, tended by FHS volunteers, and green space for Freeport visitors.
The house was constructed with locally made brick and granite in a transitional Greek Revival style, with a wooden fan over the main entrance that harkens back to the earlier popular Federal style. The property is designated as a contributing building in the Freeport Main Street National Register Historic District and is one of the only buildings in downtown Freeport to retain much of its exterior and interior historic features.
Owners of the house have often rented it or spare rooms to boarders. Upon Enoch’s death in 1848, Eliza eventually moved in with family and rented the house. Lydia and Isaac Fogg owned the property in the late 1800s and rented several rooms to boarders. The Patterson family, including state legislator Levi Patterson and his wife, Nettie, rented some of the second floor and attic rooms to shoe factory workers. Miss Helen Randall, a local artist who died in 1976, was the last individual to own the property, which the Freeport Historical Society acquired in 1977 through the generosity of Eleanor Houston Smith.
There are many ways you can support FHS – become a member, donate, or volunteer. Your support makes our work possible.