Isaac Collins crossed the ocean in a small sailing ship in 1690 and landed in Frenchman Bay. He eventually found a small harbor nearby and started building what would become the town of Collinsport. The town prospered throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, but suffered greatly during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Only the influx of summer visitors and artists during the 1950s and 1960s kept the town from going under completely. Recently the local fishing fleet has been hurt badly by the over-fishing of the Grand Banks.
Collinwood is a gloomy forty-room mansion located near Widows' Hill. The house was built in 1796 by Jeremiah Collins. The east wing of Collinwood was closed off around 1916 and most of the house fell into disuse. Elizabeth Collins Stoddard successfully petitioned to have the property tax reduced due to most of the house being closed. The house was more of a liability than an asset and by 1967 it was only Collins-owned property without a mortgage. The road leading up to Collinwood from town is steep with a lot of turns. Several people have died going down the hill in bad weather. Collinwood is reputed to be haunted by Josette Collins as well as several other members of the ancient Collins Family.
The seaport town of Essex was used for the backdrop of Collinsport in all on-location filming. And for the Collins Family Home, the mansion of Collinwood, Dan Curtis went to Seaview Terrace in Newport, Rhode Island.
Seaview Terrace (originally the Carey Mansion) is a 65-room building which was built in 1928 at a cost of $2 million. It sits on Ruggles Avenue (between Westmore and Marine Avenues) on seven acres, and is located within a few hundred yards from the Atlantic Ocean. It was built by Edson Bradley (distiller of Old Crow Whiskey) for his wife.
The building is made of tile and concrete. The floors are made of marble, mosaic and oak. There are statues, imported fireplaces, stained-glass windows, chandeliers, oil-painted ceilings and a collection of antiques.
In 1951, Seaview Terrace became Burnham-By-The-Sea, a summer school for girls. It was later leased by Salve Regina University to be used for boys dorms.
Built in 1795 by Joshua Collins, Collinwood has been home to the Collins family and other, sometimes unwelcome supernatural visitors since its inception. The house is located near the town of Collinsport, Maine atop Widow's Hill, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Almost every resident of the town is too scared to even drive by the house due to rumors and superstitious legends.
The house has more than 40 rooms, most of which are closed off due to lack of inhabitants and financial reasons, and more than a few strange secret passageways, including a stairway through time, and one room that appears to be a play room to some, and nothing more than a linen closet to others. Most of the household activity is centered around the drawing room and Foyer, and sometimes the kitchen, dining room, and study.
Collinwood has, throughout its history, seemed to upset and anger its inhabitants and anyone else who is unfortunate enough to step over the threshold and through the enormous oak front doors. It has been the scene of much death, random violence, and other such misfortune. Most local people find it easier to just avoid it and the Collins Family all together.
One of the plots of the series is when Dr. Julia Hoffman and Barnabas Collins travel through the previously mentioned staircase in time to escape from 1970 and wind up in 1995. They find the house dirty, desolate, and otherwise dilapidated. The front doors are almost inaccessible through the overgrown shrubs. The drawing room ceiling has mostly caved in, and most of the house is charred. They return to 1970 to try and prevent the house's fate.
The rooms at Collinwood, include: 10 bedrooms, 2 studies, Drawing room, Basement, Card room, Dining room, Foyer, Gallery room, Greenhouse, House office, Kitchen, Library, Organ room and Stables.
(Barnabas Collins, 1967)
Barnabas' home, of course, was the Old House -- also located on the Collins Estate. At first covered in cobwebs, it became truly glorious with its heavy-hanging drapes, magnificient portico and the famed portrait of Josette.
The Old House was once the provincial mansion of the Collins family up until 1796. Located on the Collins estate near Widows' Hill, it was formally known as Collinwood. Joshua Collins was the patriarch of the last generation of Collins family members to be raised there. In 1796, construction was completed on a larger family home on the same property and this was first known as the Great House. Later, it would come to be known as Collinwood. When it was first built, the original family mansion began to be referred to as the Old House.
For this, the Spratt Mansion (located on the Lyndhurst property in Terrytown, New York) was used. This home burned to the ground in 1969.
The Collinsport Inn is a three-story inn located on the main street in downtown Collinsport. It is well liked and used by both tourists and locals alike. There is also a small cafe downstairs off the lobby.
One of the larger graveyards to be found in the town. For the past two centuries, the esteemed Collins family had virtually all of their loved ones laid to rest at Eagle Hill. The cemetery’s most infamous landmark, was the Collins family mausoleum. It is here that the vampire Barnabas Collins was entombed in a secret room at the rear of the mausoleum. The room is accessible by pulling the ring in the lion's mouth over the center grave plaque, which opens the panel to enter the room. This room was originally used to covertly store weapons and ammunition during the Revolutionary War.
In the center of town is the Evans Cottage, home and studio/gallery of artist Sam Evans and his daughter Maggie (Collinwood governess to young David Collins).
The Blue Whale is a tavern in Collinsport. It was a very popular hang-out for most of the locals. It also has a reputation for some of the very best seafood in the area, and is located right on the water.
Other places around the Town of Collinsport include ...
Braithwaite & Sons
Braithwaite & Sons are the local jewelers and silversmiths. They have been in business for well over 100 years, and have done many custom orders for the Collins family during that time. One of the more notable family members was Ezra Braithwaite. Ezra began working in the family business as a young man sometime shortly before 1897. Ezra actually died in the Collinwood drawing room in 1969 on a business visit.
Brewster's is an area department store. Another long-standing name in the community, the Brewster surname has been mentioned as far back as the 1840s, no doubt an ancestor of the current family.
Collins General Store
Nestled in the heart of the village, the cool, high-ceilinged store is recessed from the street with an office on one end, and warehouses tacked on beyond that point. The Collins General Store is known for its wide variety of wares – notably its bulk supply of pickles and cheeses.
While not as large as say a major New York City hospital, Collinsport can certainly hold its own as far as patient care and medical technology with the generous donations of the Collins family and, shall we say, "out of the box" thinking doctors such as David Woodard and Eric Lang (not forgetting Cyrus Longworth in parallel time).
This was a large, gothic estate built upon the beach near Widow's Hill. It is located a very short distance away from the equally impressive Collinwood estate and a small footpath existed connecting the two properties together.
The Eagle (1795)
A tavern in the village of Collinsport in the late 18th century.
The Beach Road
The Beach Road is a small highway that passes through the village. It is thought to be the local part of US 1.
A beach located between Collinwood and the Collinsport Cannery. A little too rocky for sunbathing, it is usually used for a relaxing stroll along the water's edge, or a short-cut on foot to the cannery. In 1966, tragedy struck when the body of Bill Malloy, the well-liked manager of the Collins' fishing fleet, was found here.
Loomis House (P/T) The Loomis House is what the Old House is called in the alternate reality world of Parallel Time. In P/T, writer William H. Loomis is married to Carolyn Stoddard. They were given the Old House on the Collins estate, and the residence has since become known as "Loomis House".
The Todd's Antique Shop
It was the dream of Philip and Megan Todd to one day open their own antique shop. In December of 1969 they did just that and opened their business here in Collinsport. Carolyn Stoddard discovered the store and took an interest in it early on and voluntarily worked part time at the shop for a while. Finding and buying their treasures from area estates and auctions was a short-lived endeavor for the Todd's however. The antique shop burned to the ground in mid-February of 1970. One of a string of "unfortunate events", that also took the lives of Philip and Megan shortly thereafter.
A property bordering the Collinwood estate to the south, owned by Mordecai Grimes in the early 19th century (circa 1840). The Collins' had been trying to acquire this property for quite some time, but Mordecai always declined to sell. He didn't want to give up the land his father had left to him. One day his cattle broke through the fencing between the farm and the Collins property. A week later, all his cattle were dead. Mordecai accused Quentin Collins of killing them with witchcraft.
Widows' Hill is a high elevation point outside of the village and the location of the Collinwood estate. It was one hundred feet - thirty metres - from the edge of the cliff to the water below, and on a cloudless day, one could see twenty miles - thirty kilometres - out to sea from the cliff along the water. Widows' Hill acquired its name because women used to wait on the cliff and look out to sea, watching for their ill-fated husbands' ships to return. When Jeremiah Collins decided to build Collinwood on the hill in the 1796, he turned the widows away and told them to go home and keep their grief to themselves.
Some people in Collinsport claimed that the widows still walked the hill 150 years later as ghosts. The wailing sounds coming from the hill were believed to be the sobbing widows, rather than the wind, and some old timers in town claimed to have seen them walking the hill from a distance.
By 1967, three people had thrown themselves off the cliff. Josette Collins jumped to her death because she was being pursued by her "lover" and would rather die than welcome his attentions, and the two others were Collinwood governesses. Legend told of a third governess who would one day be found dead at the bottom of the cliff.
Although not located in Collinsport, the Windcliff Sanitarium should be mentioned here due to its ties to the community. Windcliff is actually located about 100 miles away. Dr. Julia Hoffman, a psychiatrist and blood specialist, is Chief of Staff. Several of the Collins' family and friends have spent some time here after experiencing various "traumatic events".