Walter Burleigh (d. 1930), textile mill operator, and Charles H. Burleigh (d. 1921), inventor

Burleigh Apartment House

c. 1870s – Burleigh Apartment House - 12 Academy Street

This house does not appear on maps of the 1870s, but deed research shows the original owner was John Holmes Burleigh, former sea captain, owner of the woolen mill at Great Works, and a United States Congressman from South Berwick.  The Burleigh Mansion stood up the hill directly across the street, as does the later Burleigh-Davidson House, now part of Berwick Academy.  Descendants of the Burleighs state that in the late 1800s, this house was home to two of Capt. Burleigh's sons, Charles and Walter.

Capt. Burleigh had three sons followed by two daughters.  Charles H. Burleigh was the oldest, and attended Dartmouth and may have spent time in Colorado.  Walter A. Burleigh, the youngest son, went to Bowdoin. He married Lena L. Dube on October 10, 1914, according to vital records.

Lennie Ogden, a descendant of Capt. Burleigh, writes: "Charles Burleigh would marry, but have no children. He probably put some time in at the mill, but his real interest was apparently inventing. Censuses list his occupation as: miner, electrician, foreman, and mechanical (own shop).  He worked on an airplane at the same time as the Wrights, but his design didn't fly. The youngest brother Walter Burleigh is always listed as involved with the mill. He would marry late and have no children."

Walter and Lena Burleigh lived in one half of the house at 12 Academy Street, and Charles H. Burleigh in the other half. Charles died November 22, 1921, at age 68, and Walter on March 1, 1930, at 73.

During February, 1941, the house on one memorable occasion was host to champion sled dog trainer Perry Greene, his stepson, Johnny Gephart, and seven Chinooks hauling 800 pounds of equipment via dog sled from Fort Kent to Kittery, Maine. "They traveled 502 miles in ninety hours, the longest sled dog trek ever made entirely within the United States at the time," according to the Chinook Dog Club of America in their History of the Chinook Breed at www.chinook-dogs.org. Neighbor Joyce Borkowski, who lived next door, recalls, "They used our garage for the dogs, who howled ALL night." There is still a Perry Greene Kennel at Greene's former home in Waldoboro, ME, and descendants bred Chinooks in Vermont.

Summary by Wendy Pirsig, updated 2020, from records in the Counting House Museum archives.