The Magee House History
The Magee House

In 1831, John Magee brought his new wife, Arabella Stewart, from Maryland back to Bath and built a handsome brick house on the large corner lot where the road from Cameron joins West Morris Street. Set well back from either roadway, the house has two full floors that are elevated nearly a half-story above ground level. An old print of the residence of John Magee shows the house with a cupola and wide-bracketed eaves. In that picture, it has a delicatefront entrance porch with upturned roof corners, almost Oriental in appearance.

When you enter the house from the front, you go into a central room that opens into rooms on either side. On the right side is a large room extending to the full depth of the house. It has two fireplaces along the outside wall. The hallway which goes only about two-thirds of the way through the house is separated from this room by only two columns. Opposite this long room, across the hallway, is a room that is about the same length as the hall. Here there are leaded-glass windows between the room and the hallway. There may have been similiar windows on the other side at one time. The open and the glassed interior partitions allow light fron the side rooms into the hall that would have been very dark otherwise. The whole front part of the downstairs is light and pleasant. The house looks to have been planned for entertaining.

During some work to strengthen floors upstairs during the library's tenure in the building, two large pulleys were discovered built into a pocket space inside a partition just above the middle of the long downstairs parlor. It is speculated that these pulleys may have been used to raise a partition from between two smaller parlors to combine them into a single large room. The Magees may have wanted more open space when they had many guests. There is a smaller room in the back corner on the south side of the house that is thought to have been a dining room. Between it and the back hall, where the stairs are, is a dumb waiter. This must have been used to bring food from the kitchen in the basement to the dining table. In this room at present is a large oil painting of four of the Magee children with a smiling servant boy peering through the doorway. The door frame is recognizable as that of the door opening into the back hall.