Capt. Isaac P. Fall (1830-1909), Civil War veteran, brick mason

Captain Isaac P. Fall House

1876 – Capt. Isaac P. Fall House - 21 Academy Street

This building is part of the South Berwick Village District on the National Register of Historic Places. Civil War veteran Capt. Isaac P. Fall (1830-1909) was recognized on his grave at Portland Street Cemetery as a member of Company B, 27th Regiment; Company F, 31st Regiment, and Company F, 32nd Regiment of the Maine Volunteers.  Later a contractor who hauled brick and sand, he is associated in local archives with the construction of the Business Block after the downtown South Berwick fire of 1870.

Capt. Fall’s place of residence before the Civil War is not known, but he served as a South Berwick “school agent,” a post perhaps similar to a school committee member today, and oversaw the Schoolhouse No. 4, then standing on what later became Sewall Road. Fall submitted evaluations that were published in the South Berwick Town Report each year. In 1860 he wrote in support of local teachers, and seemed to urge taxpayers to approve their salaries. “There can be no greater error than that which is prevalent in all communities, that anyone can teach small children,” Fall wrote. “It is only a living genious [sic] enriched by the experience of years, and modes of amusement that shall effectually enlist the child’s attention, and remove the monotony and so crushing irksomeness of the daily routine of school room exercises.”

Fall apparently also had a career trading bricks and sand.  Soon after helping build the Business Block in downtown South Berwick, following the great fire of 1870, he built this house. In the Maine Register business directories of the 1890s and 1900-01, Fall was also listed as a "Building Mover."

Other members of the Fall family are associated with brick homes and construction, though their relationship to Isaac isn’t known. The stately brick home that today overlooks the Links at Outlook golf course stands by the graves of a Fall family who all died young—infant John H. Fall in 1850, his 27-year-old mother Sarah Ann in 1853, and 29-year-old father Wilson T. Fall in 1854.

Historian Marie Donahue wrote in The Old Academy on the Hill, her history of Berwick Academy, that the academy schoolhouse preceding Fogg Memorial was built in 1853 by a contractor named Ebenezer Fall. Another member of the family, Philander H. Fall (1833-1915), is listed as a building contractor in the Maine Register business directory of 1880.

Mrs. Howard Wood stands at the Fall House after a heavy snowstorm in the early 20th century.

The Fall House is said to have remained in the family until 1924, when it was purchased by the Newichawannock Company woolen mill at Rocky Gorge.

In 1931 it became the home of Cleophas Dube, a prominent merchant in the Point area of South Berwick Village and owner of such properties as the Dube Block on Main Street.

In 1959 the Fall House was owned by Berwick Academy, through the mid 1960s, when it was a dormitory known as Flanders House in honor of Wallace Flanders, who served on the Board of Trustees.

(Written by Wendy Pirsig from archives at the Counting House Museum. Updated February 2021 with Berwick Academy information from Peter G. Arakelian.)