Group Tours at Nickels-Sortwell House (1807)

Discover nineteenth-century Wiscasset

A National Historic Landmark

Shipping magnate Captain William Nickels built Nickels-Sortwell House in 1807 as his trophy house when Wiscasset was booming with international maritime wealth. After his death, the house became a hotel for working and professional people and travelers.  In 1899, industrialist Alvin Sortwell purchased the house as a summer home for his family. The Sortwells lovingly restored the house over the years, decorating and furnishing it in the Colonial Revival style.

Visit this stunning Federal-style mansion and hear stories of the many fascinating people who lived and worked here.

121 Main Street, Wiscasset, Maine

Hours of Operation:

Specialty Tours

We are happy to work with you to customize your experience.

  • Guided House Tour: Enjoy an approximately one-hour guided tour; please allow one and a half hours for your visit.
  • The Nickels’ Wiscasset:Enjoy more stories of Wiscasset’ heyday when the village was filled with merchants, sailors and ship captains, when wealthy maritime families like the Nickels lived in elegant and sophisticated style. Hear stories of the early years of the American republic and the region’s connections to the international slave trade.
  • Welcome to the Belle Haven:Enjoy more stories of Turners’ Inn and the Belle Haven, when guests from as far away as Europe and California with occupations ranging from merchants and fishermen, lawyers and carpenters, theater troupe, pleasure travelers and clairvoyants came to stay. See former guest rooms and spaces not included on the general tour.

  • The Sortwells’ Wiscasset: Enjoy more stories and historic photos of the Sortwell family on a tour that focuses on the family’s enjoyment of the house and area during those charmed summers of the late 19th and early 20th Hear about steamboat and train travel that enabled Wiscasset’s revival as a fashionable destination for tourists and its rebirth as a mecca for Colonial Revival enthusiasts.
  • Servant Stories: Tour the house from the perspective of the people who worked here and kept the house running, from the Nickels’ staff of nanny, seamstresses, maid and man-of-all work to Mary Turner who managed the running of the inn for forty-four years, and Sortwell servants Irish immigrant waitress Margaret O’Hanlon, cook Josephine Dodge and native Mainer butler Ross Elwell. See rooms and servant spaces not included on the general tour.

Tour Details


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