Worthing House History
The Worthing house was built in 1915 after the original homestead was destroyed by the 1913 fire that swept through Branch Mills.
Clarence Worthing was raised just 1 ½ miles “up the road”. His father, Frank, was a hard working farmer while his mother, Sarah, was a well known teacher. Clarence was a blacksmith whose shop used to stand next door and was a well known land mark in Branch Mills. Clarence was also a postmaster and rural mail carrier. He would drive a Model T on his route in summer months and a horse and buggy during other months.
In 1897, Clarence married Caroline Parmenter who was raised on the very top of Parmenter Hill which was named for her family. Caroline’s parents, Chandler and Althea Parmenter had 13 children. Clarence and Caroline had 3 daughters, Beatrice (Glidden), Barbara (Nelson) and Freda (Bradstreet). When Clarence died in 1942, Freda returned from living out of state back to the farm to help her mother.
In 1948, Freda married Clair Bradstreet from Albion and he moved into the Worthing House as well. Clair, a potato and corn farmer loved politics and served as Palermo Selectman for over 40 years. Until the completion of Palermo Town Office in 1985 selectmen meetings were held for years on Thursday nights at the Worthing House’s kitchen table. Caroline continued to live at the farm with Clair and Freda and their five children, Paul, Harley, Miriam (and her 50 pet sheep), Chip and Eben. Caroline lived to be almost 100 and was the proud holder of the Boston Post gold headed cane for being Palermo’s oldest citizen.
Clair died in 2000. Freda, like her mother and oldest sister Beatrice, was the holder of the gold headed cane. Before her passing in 2007, it was Freda’s desire that the homestead be given to her beloved Palermo for historic preservation.