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On occasion, Norman adds some historical fun to the Standish House experience by dressing in a full puritan costume that would have been considered a Sunday church outfit in its day.

Later, Norman’s great-grandfather, Samuel, migrated from Maine to the Midwest in 1840 and worked not only as a ship builder but also as a blacksmith and conductor and signal man on the railroad.

Sometime later, in the early 1980s, Norman found himself once again back in his boyhood home making new choices. Norman crafted much of the interior trim along the ceilings in several rooms and built individual washbowl stands for a couple of the guest bedrooms.

Each guest room has been named after ancestors or men closely associated with the Standish family.

“Not all the antiques throughout the house are family heirlooms since some were sold earlier,” Norman said.

But some remain, including a cabinet built by ancestor James Standish, a shipbuilder in Warren, Maine, that displays their collection of Native American artistry and other conversation pieces.

For many years, the Standish’s employed full-time inn-keepers as they were still living out-of-state and making trips home to keep up on things. “We didn’t want drop-in traffic, but did have a couple of people (unexpectedly) stay one night that were snowbound and a teacher that stayed over one night.” “We have had many guests from the Chicago suburbs and in a 10-year period have had people visit from 39 states and 19 countries.

In 2000, they decided to sell their Ohio home and make the Standish House their permanent residence. Before we came, there were weddings here, and we still have luncheons for groups of people,” she said.

It was quite large for their family of four though, and previously had housed a family with a dozen children.