There won’t be another Camelot: Portland’s largest residential property for sale

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PORTLAND — Camelot Farm, the closest thing to home on the range inside city limits, is for sale.

The 45-acre farm at 1700 Westbrook St., which has been in the Rogers family for 55 years, is the largest tract of residential land in Portland. It’s expected to have a family friendly future, with housing instead of business development.

“The house was loaded with love and respect for decades,” Kevin Rogers, the ninth of Peter J. and Mary Kerrins Cavanaugh Rogers’ 11 children, said Monday.

Rogers was a year old when the family moved to the 4,400-square-foot home his parents built in the style of a ranch house they saw on a California vacation.

“When we used to play cowboys and Indians, we used real horses and ponies,” Craig Young said Nov. 6. Young, now a broker and partner at CBRE-The Boulos Co., grew up across Westbrook Street from the farm and is handling the sale for the family.

The asking price for the property is $2.4 million. The accumulated memories are worth far more to the Rogers family and Young.

“It was never supposed to be quiet. If you had a friend over, they could always join you at the dinner table. My mom would say, ‘Just pull up another chair,'” Connie Rogers Bashian said Sunday.

Mary Rogers died at 89 in January and Peter J. Rogers no longer lives on the property. The final vestiges of farm life are some black Angus cattle, owned by a neighbor, which graze on a pasture behind the house.

Peter J. Rogers was a Portland attorney who stocked the farm with dozens of beef cattle, horses and Irish wolfhounds, basketball and tennis courts, and an outdoor skating rink in the winter.

“The Irish wolfhounds were the size of ponies,” Young said.

Rogers said his mother worked even harder, as adept at birthing farm animals as she was at running a household.

“My mother taught so many of us in so many different manners,” he said. “It was her ability to focus on the task at hand. I’m still learning from her.”

Bashian said she marveled at her mother’s organizational skills.

“My mom did five loads of laundry a day, (and) she totally had it under control,” she recalled. “The laundry was never backed up.”

The house has six bedrooms, five bathrooms, and informal and formal living rooms. Its land extends along Westbrook Street, and to the Maine Turnpike and Stroudwater River.

There is a stone fountain in the front hallway and underneath it all is a basement so large Young said they rode bicycles around it in the winter.

“When I was a kid, this was as close to a mansion as I ever saw,” he said.

The children from the family and the neighborhood were as abundant as the space the property encompassed.

“I came from a family with four children,” Young said. “That was small.”

Even on weekdays before school, Bashian said there was always a crowd at the house.

“The bus couldn’t leave because we were a good portion of the bus,” she said. “If it came and no one was there, he would beep his horn.”

As much as Bashian and Rogers remember playing with friends, there was also hard work.

“To get our allowance, we had a certain job we had to take care of,” Bashian said. “It might be the hay, or feeding the pigs. I would ask my mom to make sure there was no hay in my hair before I went to school.”

Bashian and Rogers said Camelot Farm and the woods and trails nearby imbued them with a love of the outdoors. Rogers used to saddle up and ride to see the woman he eventually married.

“I found my solace in the fields and woods of Camelot,” he said. “I’d climb trees and ride horses.”

The property is zoned for rural and residential use and linked to municipal utilities. Young said there has been interest from buyers interested in keeping it in its current use, or subdividing for more homes.

“I think home lots would do very well here,” he said. “I would be surprised to see it become a commercial business.”

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

The 45-acre Camelot Farm at 1700 Westbrook St., Portland, includes a 4,400-square-foot ranch-style home. The property is for sale for $2.4 million.

Peter J. and Mary Rogers bought Camelot Farm in Portland in 1960.

A Christmas photo from the late 1960s captures all 11 Rogers children at home at Camelot Farm in Portland.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.
  • bsprings

    It’s unfortunate that the family isn’t going to place a permanent conservation easement on this beautiful farm. It would be nice to keep at least one farm in Portland.