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Blue Hill
Originally published in Compass, July 17, 2014
Jonathan Fisher House turns 200
Events planned to celebrate anniversary

by Faith DeAmbrose

Many things have been said about Blue Hill’s first minister, Jonathan Fisher. He was a husband and father, mathematician, scientist, land surveyor, writer, farmer and artist.

It has been said that he used those skills daily, putting many of them together to build the Fisher Homestead, located off the Mines Road. Built in 1814, the house will celebrate its 200th anniversary this summer. The building now serves as part memorial and part museum to the life and life’s work of Fisher.

To celebrate the bicentennial, the Jonathan Fisher House and the BTS Center (Fisher was a founding trustee of the now-closed Bangor Theological Seminary) have partnered to bring a variety of events to the area.

On July 25, a symposium titled “Nature, Art and Spirit in the Life and Work of Jonathan Fisher” will be held at the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill at 10 a.m.

On July 26, there will be a talk and demonstration at the Fisher Homestead, “The Fashioning Hand of Jonathan Fisher: An inside look at the Parson’s Furniture,” followed by a formal tea. It will begin at 1 p.m.

On July 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Blue Hill Public Library, an illustrated presentation will be offered, “Jonathan Fisher and the making of the Scripture Animals.” Fisher’s last known work, Scripture Animals, a 350-page compilation of animals in text and print will be the focus of a PowerPoint presentation by Jane Bianco, Assistant Curator of the Farnsworth Museum.

Fisher (1786-1847), a Harvard graduate, came to Blue Hill in 1796 as the first settled minister of the Congregational Church. He was given five acres of land and built the first portion of the homestead, assisted by fellow parishioners. In 1814 he designed and completed the house as it stands now. Fisher remained Blue Hill’s minister for more than four decades.

For information about the Fisher House anniversary, call 374-2459 or visit

Fisher’s Homestead is open July 2 to August 30, Wednesday-Saturday, 1-4 p.m. and September 5 to October 11, Friday-Saturday, 1-4 p.m.