Built on the top of a hill overlooking the Sheepscot River, Castle Tucker presents a vivid record of Wiscasset history. Judge Silas Lee built this Federal-style mansion at the peak of prosperity, when the town was the busiest port east of Boston. Lee's death in 1814, combined with the stunning effect of the Jefferson Embargo, forced his widow to sell. The house passed through a succession of hands until 1858, when Captain Richard Tucker, scion of a Wiscasset shipping family, bought the property, updated the interiors, and added a dramatic two-story porch to the front. Shortly after, he brought a shipload of fashionable furnishings from Boston and moved in with his young bride. The couple raised five children here, while Captain Tucker oversaw various business ventures including the wharves and iron foundry just below the house. In 1871, however, his fortunes collapsed. Renovations and lighthearted family entertainments gave way to subsistence farming and taking in paying guests. After Tucker's death, his daughter Jane returned from New York, bringing with her a passion for Japanese and exotic decoration. Fortunately, she, and later her niece, took an avid interest in preserving the house and contents, making few changes to the decorating schemes. Their dedication preserved Castle Tucker much as it appeared in the late 19th century.
The house offers tours and educational and recreational programs.