Date listed: 6/26/2017
Criterion A: Education Local Significance
Keen Hall in Freedom, Waldo County, Maine is the last extant building associated with Freedom Academy which was authorized by a special act of the state legislature in1836 and continued to operate until destroyed by fire in 1957. The small rural village is proud of their educational heritage which included the only secondary academy in the county for many years. As a result of fires or deterioration, all other school and support buildings associated with the academy are gone as are one room and later elementary schools. Keen Hall is significant under Criterion A for its association with educational history in the local area. The existing home was purchased for the academy in 1927 to serve as the principalís house. It alleviated the problem of finding local housing and helped attract well qualified principals to administer and teach at the school. The house sits on a sloping lot at the corner of Route 137 and Main Street less than a quarter mile from the former academy. Also known locally as the Principalís House, this building is locally significant as the last physical reminder of the areaís early and long lasting commitment to secondary education. The building was moved forward on its original lot in 1930 to accommodate the construction of State Route 137. Criteria consideration B for a moved property applies since the period of significance includes three years prior to the house being moved. The property retains eligibility for the stated period of significance as the single surviving property most closely associated with education in Freedom.