The original part of Kinsley House was built in 1794 by Reuben Newcomb and about 1800 was purchased by Martin Kinsley who added the front portion of the house.
Martin Kinsley was born in 1754 in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and attended Harvard College where he studied medicine. He served in the Revolutionary War and became known as Major Kinsley. Subsequently, he became a Circuit Court Judge, Justice of the Peace, Postmaster and U.S. Senator, and was serving in the Senate in 1820 when the Missouri Compromise, which also brought Maine into statehood, was enacted. In 1834, Martin Kinsley moved to Roxbury, Massachusetts, where he died in June 1835.
After 1900, Kinsley House was used as a wayside stop for travelers and as a birthing home. Visitors to Kinsley House will find the original fan window, pumpkin pine flooring, chair rails, Christian doors and fireplaces.
Kinsley House was purchased by the Hampden Historical Society in 1981 for its headquarters and museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The Society received a national award from the American Association of State and Local History in 1992 for its contribution to local history by volunteer organizations.
The Hampden Historical Society welcomes groups for tours of the Museum, Barn, Blacksmith Shop and the Law Office of Hannibal Hamlin, President Lincoln's first vice president. Membership in the Hampden Historical Society is open to all who are interested in preserving, researching or learning about the history of Hampden. This is accomplished by volunteers who work in the Katherine Trickey Archives Room, filing and recording genealogical and historical documents. Other volunteers plan and arrange exhibits, repair and catalog our ever-growing collection of historical pictures and furnishings, and maintain a large collection of vintage clothing.