Moses Gerrish Farmer House
Now #1271 State Road, Eliot, Maine.
The historical marker is installed on the granite post at the right side of the driveway. Upon the death of Gov. Hill in 1912, Mrs. Hill donated 6 historical markers to the Town of Eliot. This was one of them.
The marker reads as follows:
Here lived Moses Gerrish Farmer The Electrical Pioneer
Born Feb. 9, 1820 – Died May 25, 1893
He Invented the Fire alarm, Telegraph
And Duplex Telegraph and was the discoverer of
the Self-Exciting Power of the Dynamo.
Moses Gerrish Farmer was born on Feb. 9, 1820 and died May 25, 1893. He was educated well and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1840. In his early years, he taught school, gave piano lessons, along with other things, to earn a living. He was very interested in science and math and accomplished many new inventions at a very young age. At the age of 26, he invented the Electric Train and built a model. At the age of 39, he invented an electric light and lit up a home in Salem, Massachusetts. This was the first home in the world to have electric lighting.
After doing much of this strenuous work, his health was failing, so he moved to Eliot and built a home here. He had married Hannah Tobey Shapleigh many years prior to this and had one daughter, Sarah.
He was known as an electrical genius and had many inventions to his credit. Many years after his death, the house burned (Feb. 28, 1904) and was rebuilt by his daughter, Sarah.
In 1940, a minister from Eliot, Rev. Mingledoff, purchased the property and restored the house. He had Mr. Farmer’s workshop moved from out in the back of the house to the main road (State Road) and remodeled it into a home. C1940/41 (now #1275 State Road)
For much more detailed information of the life and times of Moses Gerrish Farmer, see “Old Eliot” – by Dr. John L.M. Willis