Counting House Museum
Located at 2 Liberty Street, South Berwick, Maine 03908
The Counting House Museum is open June-Oct on Saturday from 1pm-4pm, and by appointment. Admission is free, donations are gratefully accepted.
The Counting House Museum, built circa 1830, is located on the banks of the Salmon Falls River, beside a mill dam that powered the looms of a nineteenth-century cotton textile factory.
The last remaining building of the Portsmouth Manufacturing Company textile mill, the Counting House once provided office space for the company's agent and paymaster and their staffs. Samuel Hale was mill agent until 1869, when he was succeeded by his son Frances. Grandson Samuel Hale ran the corporation through the 1880s until the mill's closure in 1893. The Counting House has been owned and maintained as the Counting House Museum by the Old Berwick Historical Society since 1964.
The first floor, that once provided office space for the Company's Agent and Paymaster, now contains changing exhibits as well as about 10,000 historic records and photos of South Berwick and the surrounding area. Upstairs is one of northern New England's last textile mill ballrooms, now used for the permanent exhibit, Village Voices, as well as for meetings and programs. Years ago, the mill entertained dancers each autumn when gas lamps were illuminated for a "Lighting Up Ball." The Counting House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of South Berwick Historic District.