Alicia J Stonebreaker

Peacock Tavern, Richmond, Maine

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Pencil Sketch

Artist Alicia J. Stonebreaker, Polish born and trained at the Academy of Fine Arts, Poznan and the Kassel Art Academy in Germany, traveled to Richmond, about thirty minutes from her art studio in Brunswick, Maine, to find this historical building. This pencil sketch by Alicia was completed in October, 1973 and is the only known depiction of the famous Peacock Tavern available. Note how she signed the painting with “Peacock Tavern” in the lower left foreground. One of her great talents was sketching figures into her drawings. Note how natural the man is sitting next to what appears to be an old wooden boat. This is a building with many, many stories in it’s past. The Peacock Tavern is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Sagadahoc County, Maine. This so called “Public House” has a fascinating history which was explained by the Bowdoinham Advertiser.


Six miles above the Mustard's Tavern on present day U. S. Route 201, stands the old Peacock Tavern. The building is located in the Town of Richmond and is today preserved as an historic landmark by the State of Maine. Years ago on the eastern shore of Pleasant Pond stood a small general store which was kept by a man named Perkins. On the western side of the Pond Litchfield had already been incorporated as a Town; but on the eastern shore as yet, there was no road good enough to invite general travel. The waterway furnished the more convenient mode of transportation. But times change and the trader knew that. With the eye of the wise, he went away from the shore and up the bank to erect his new frame house. This place was the beginning of the Peacock Tavern. In 1799 Benjamin Shaw bought the store down on the shore of Pleasant Pond and the farm behind it. His family moved into the frame house in 1803, the same year the road was put through on the eastern shore. The store was conducted from the shore for a time, but eventually moved up to the house on the new road. On February 19, 1916, Benjamin Shaw died of what was termed the "numb palsey." He and his youngest daughter Christiana lie buried in the family plot on the farm (in what is believed to be the oldest burying ground in Richmond). Benjamin Shaw, Jr., was born September 30, 1785 and was married at age 22 to a Jane Wilson. Young Ben and Jane enlarged and improved the house, then opened it to the public as Shaw's Inn. The old Stage route was opened by this time and the Inn had soon attained its greatest prosperity under the management of the young Shaws.

The Inn in plain and massive, measuring 75 feet: square with two stories and three chimneys. The front door is crowned by hand-carving, and the huge windows at the front (six above and five below) still possess the small panes. The well is at the back and a driveway today forms a crescent around the rear of the building.

The front stairway in the place is central; as one enters there is a large room to the left. All rooms possess a plain dignity and fireplaces grace all but the smallest of rooms. Above is a long dance hall, again with fireplaces at both ends. The entrance hall is long and narrow, while the dining room is large with high windows. Just a step or two off the dining room is a small area from which liquors were dispensed through a latticed tender. In the barn across the way were housed odd, old-time hay scales and a bowling alley patronized by youths of the neighborhood as well as guests of the Inn.

Neighbors and Townsmen regarded Shaw as a smart man. They affectionately called him "squashaw." They recognized his seemingly natural ability and his good judgment; and when Richmond finally be came a town and chose a First Selectman, they chose Ben Shaw. For many years Town Meetings were held in the dance hall of the Shaw Inn.

Succeeding Ben Shaw as proprietor was Edward Peacock, known locally as "Uncle Ned." In his day, the coming of the railroad to the Kennebec Valley caused the discontinuance of the mail route by stage. The railroad did not come, however, until the name Peacock Tavern had become so firmly attached to the place that the varying fortunes of later years have never caused the name to change. Uncle Ned and his wife died on the old place and were buried in the cemetery on Libby Hill.

So the stage coach was lost with the coming of the railroad. Long idle years followed for the Tavern, during which it was occupied by various families as a private residence. With the coming of the automobile, the old stage path became a major State road. At the same time, and for a brief period of time, Pleasant Pond became a popular resort. Briefly the old Peacock Tavern was revived as a dining and dance road house. But that period too was of short duration.

Today the Old Shaw Tavern is a ward of the State, held under its protective custody as an historic shrine, and a registered landmark. Sadly, the tavern remains as the only remnant of that proud American tradition our forefathers called their public houses, their taverns. R. C. Bowdoinham Advertiser

About Our Prints

The giclée prints are produced on high quality archival materials: Breathing Color Elegance Velvet Platinum Fine Art Paper - A 310gsm, bright white, fine art paper with a lightly textured vellum surface; a 100% cotton fiber paper offering a better color gamut and D-Max than any other velvet surface paper on the market.

Stretched Canvas Prints

We offer 3/4" solid hardwood stretcher bars with back staple. Prints are on Breathing Color Chromata white , acid free, cotton-poly blend matte artist stretch canvas. All stretched prints are protected with a matte finish archival UV varnish. If you prefer semi gloss or gloss please let us know.

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If you prefer to have your giclée print framed and matted by our Gallery please let us know. We will provide you with a fair price and adjust the shipping charges to reflect the mat, frame, and glass. We would be pleased to perform this work for you.


The original painting is in a private collection

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