Skip to main content

Full text of "Saco Valley settlements and families : historical, biographical, genealogical, traditional, and legendary"

See other formats



Cornell University Library 
F 27S13 R54 

Saco Valley settlements and families : h 


3 1924 028 809 619 

All books are subject to recall after two weeks 
Olin/Kroch Library 












Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

:/, (aP^ 






The Most Important Events in the Towns on the Saco River, 

FROM Their Plantation to the Present, with Memorials of 

THE Families and Individuals Instrumental in Their 

Settlement, Advancement and Prosperity. 


By G. T. KiDLON, Sr., 

Author of " Eakly Settlers of Hakrison, Me," " B urban k Genealogy," "History 
OF Ancient Ryedales," and "Rambles in Scotland," 

Beautifully Embellished with Portraits, Views of Family Seats and 

Other Illustrations. 

* How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood, 
When fond recollection presents them to view; 
The orchard, the meadow, the deep tangled wild-wood, 
And every loved spot which my infancy knew." 





Copyright, by G. T. Ridlon, Sr., 1894. 
All rights reserved. 

Printed at the Lakeside Press, 
Portland, Maine. 

Jnlrijiurl^rg (l|0m^^itiium. 


I ORE than a quarter of a century has passed away since the author 
began to assemble notes containing the documentary data now 
embraced in this book ; the traditional, incidental, and legendary 
materials represent the gathering of a life-time. An inherent taste 
for local history and reminiscent narrative of pioneer experience was im- 
mensely stimulated in early years by association with persons whose birth 
occurred before the settlement of the township, and by occasional contact 
with relatives whose mothers' slumbers had been disturbed by the red man's 
startling war-whoop. Those who are unfamiliar with historic chronology can 
scarcely comprehend the fact that it has required but three generations to 
transmit an account, orally, of events that occurred more than two centuries 
ago. The compiler of this work has conversed with men who had a distinct 
recollection of the French war and the fall of Louisburg ; and his grandfather, 
with whom he lived contemporary thirty-five years, was personally acquainted 
with men who served as scouts against the Pequawket Indians, and often 
related an account of their adventures as received from their own lips. It will 
thus be seen that our traditionary history has not traveled so far down the 
stream of time that its truthfulness need be lost. 

When midwinter storms were howling around the high gabled old farm-house, 
causing its great timbers to quake and creak in every joint ; when the snowy 
wreaths were being woven about the narrow casement, and sharp sleet rattled 
against the window pane; when King Frost had fringed the door jambs with his 
royal ermine, and the wind gusts roared in the chimney flue; when the great 
sheets of flame swayed about the "back-log" and the bank of coals between 
the fire-dogs glowed like a sunset baptized in liquid gold; when the social tea- 
kettle sang sweet, simmering songs upon the crane and the gray cat purred in 
the corner, then the family patriarch and his good dame would beguile the 
evening hours by relating, in quaint and rustic phrase, incidents of "ye olden 
time " ; some tragic, weird, and serious, others so well seasoned with humor 
that the mellow old beams overhead became responsive with the echoes of 
hilarious laughter. From such fountains of inspiration, the author, then a 
frowzy headed boy upon his lowly "cricket," drank until the impulse for 
writing chronicles became too strong to be resisted. 

At the time research^ were instituted for collecting data for this book, there 
were many venerable perpjns living, who had passed the whole period of their 


existence in the Saco valley, and their vigorous memories were well stored 
with incidents savoring of their early years. Such were visited, interviewed, 
and the notes taken down from their recitations were tied in bundles and 
packed away. The publishers of county history offered tempting sums for 
this collection of documents, but they were retained to be verified, as far as 
possible, with the more reliable public records. A general acquaintance with 
numerous sources of information, acquired when compiling a " History of the 
AncientRyedales," greatly facilitated the search for data to be used in this work. 
While in Great Britain, during the summer of 1886, the author was favored 
with the longed-for privilege of examining many ancient records and time- 
stained documents found in the National Register House, Edinburgh, Scot- 
land, and in the British Museum and Somerset House, London. The rich and 
venerable odors of vellum and ripe parchment, that have conserved the quaint, 
cramped chirography of scribes who drove the crow-quill six centuries ago, to 
the genuine, mousing antiquary, are as "savory meat that his soul loveth " ; 
and only such as belong to this class of literati can appreciate the mental e.x- 
hilaration experienced when engaged with such pastime. The covers of the 
old registers, bound in skins dressed into velvet softness that is tickling to the 
fingers, are warped and corner-worn ; the parchment and paper within is stained, 
and marked by hands that have long been dust. The old characters used 
when these records were made puzzle those who have not become familiar 
with them. Here is a pample : 


To give the reader a faint idea of the pleasure derived during a ten days' 
search among old documents, relating to the early generations of the Scottish 
and Shetlandic families, we quote from our note book what was written at the 

" If I read the name of one who had lived three centuries ago, it instantly became 
associated with the personality of him who had borne it; while the invisible hand of 
fancy, with the most delicate facility, drew aside the mystic vail between me and the 
vanished years, and vividly exhibited for my enraptured contemplation the most realis- 
tic pictures of the faces and forms of the departed. My spirit seemed to be carried back- 
ward on the swift pinions of imagination, over the dead eras of time, to the period in 
which these individuals had lived; they were mentally resurrected for my accommoda- 
tion, and invested with life for my entertainment; they did not come forward to meet 
me in transformed adaptation to the active present; but my own capacity for discern- 
ment and comprehension seemed infinitely enlarged and nicely adjusted to the time 
in which these beings had walked the earth. Their primitive abodes, even, emerged 
from the misty obscurity of the past for my inspection and were re-inhabited for the 
administration of hospitality to him who had journeyed so far over the barren wastes 
of time to visit them." 

More than one hundred pages quarto were filled with closely written notes, 
copied from the ancient registers of conveyances, "hornings," and births, 
deaths and marriages, which were brought home to enrich the introductory 
sections of the family history of those of Scottish and Scotch-Irish extraction, 
who settled in the Saco valley. 

When the compiler began the classification and composition of the mass of 
indigested matter he had accumulated, there were stupendous chasms to bridge, 
and many disconnected family chains to be linked together. To procure the 
addenda necessary for this purpose, the author has traveled hundreds of miles 
with hi« team, to copy from probate, town, church, and family records; he 
journeyed to old homesteads in the Saco valley towns, where documents relat- 
ing to the early land grants might be found, and there, bureaus, meal-chests, 
boxes, and birch buckets, containing musty old papers, were overhauled, and 
wills, deeds, inventories, agreements, petitions, commissions, muster-rolls, 
and letters examined. We traversed the fields and pastures along the way and 
crawled on hands and knees through the tangled shrubbery and briars of neg- 
lected burial-lots, to cut the moss from the leaning and sunken slate head-stones 
to ascertain the ages of those who had long reposed below. Many interest- 
ing and mirth provoking adventures occurred during these visitations, and a 
description of the ignorance and stupidity encountered would not be the least 
entertaining feature of this book. We cannot refrain from mentioning one 
old yeoman to whom we applied for family records. He was full of demon- 
strative unction, but not burdened with "book-larning." Said he: "Now 
look a-here stranger, there's not a name, date, nor scratch of pen in my house, 
but if my old Aunt Bets was alive she'd tell ye all about our ge-nology, for she 
had all the chronicles and proclamations clear back to Adam. But there, 


she's dead and lies up yender, so ye cant git a word out of her an' I dunno 
what ye'll do." Some were suspicious that we had found a "rich dowry" in 
England, and would not allow us to copy records, lest they should be defrauded 
out of their share of the treasure. To others we had the infinite pleasure of 
furnishing the names of grandparents, of whom they had no knowlege. Some 
were interviewed whose genealogical store was so limited that they could not 
recall their father's name — if, indeed, they ever had one. 

Since taking our seat at the desk-side three years ago, three thousand letters 
of inquiry have been written, containing from one to eight pages. All of the 
matter filling three thousand quarto pages of manuscript was written three 
several times ; first, in note books, then arranged on a slate, and finally trans- 
ferred to paper in form for printing. Considerable was copied by a careful 
amanuensis in the libraries of Boston, and from probate, town, and church regis- 
ters, in distant towns and states, by clerks who had custody of such records. 

From the first inception of the plan upon which this book was formed, it has 
been the object of the compiler to produce a reliable and entertaining result, 
but the attempt has been attended, all along, with almost insuperable obstacles 
of a character scarcely thought of by the general reader. There is a vast 
difference between this class of books made from data gathered from innumer- 
able sources, disconnected and often contradictory in character, and some 
fictitious work which represents the fruit of a vivid imagination. The material 
for the former must be searched for as "with a lighted candle"; that for the 
latter is made to order. The author has had too much experience in this kind 
of work to even hope that the book will be free from errors; such are abso- 
lutely unavoidable. When the doctors do not agree, the patient is exposed to 
danger from their prescriptions. Family records preserved in old liibles and 
framed registers do not harmonize with the births, deaths, and marriages 
recorded in town and church books, while the dates chiseled on the old grave- 
stones do not correspond with either. Living men and women solemnly 
declare, upon exclusive opportunity of knowing — being the only surviving wit- 
nesses who were present at the event — that they were born several months 
later than their more honest parents, who made record of their adx'ent, sup- 
posed they were. To dispel the shadows from wedlock, such " set the clock 
forward " and confuse the data. Another prolific cause for errors is the illegible 
and often insufferable chironraphy the compiler finds in the letters written by 
those who cannot convey their thoughts to paper. One can sometimes trans- 
form "pot-hooks" and "trammels" into figures and letters, but what of rams' 
horns and crookshanks ? Those who allow such brain-wearing writing to leave 
their hands must bear the responsibility of errors resulting from the same. 

In the arrangement of the materials incorporated into the topical sections 
of this work, an effort was made to weave historic incident, tradition, and 
legend, by a pleasing descriptive style, into a literary fabric, that might, by 


perusal, be equally entertaining to old and young. We have written for the 
common people with the design of producing a real fireside companion. In 
illustrating the customs that prevailed among the pioneers, and the manners of 
the sturdy yeomen and their helpful dames, we have put old wine into old bot- 
tles; have purposely employed old-fashioned and obsolete words with a two- 
fold object. First, such belonged to the period of which we wrote, and were 
significantly suited for our descriptive treatment; second, they were part of a 
dialect peculiar to the early settlers, now fast passing away, which we wished 
to permanently preserve on the printed page. In many instances we have 
permitted the old fathers and mothers to speak for themselves in their own 
favorite parlance. The style of composition, to the extent of ability, has been 
adapted to the character of the various subjects written upon. Dry, hard 
facts have been recorded in a concrete form ; when the subject was pathetic 
or picturesque, the resources of the imagination were drawn upon for scenic 

We shall be disappointed if a perusal of the first part of the book does not 
amuse as well as instruct those who can appreciate lively incident. From long- 
faced old Pharisees we may look for criticism, because of a light vein running 
through things ecclesiastic and rehgious; let them come. We have cordially 
adopted the sentiment expressed by the saintly and sainted Dean Ramsey, in 
his popular book on "Scottish Life and Character," in which he writes: "It 
must be a source of satisfaction to an author to think that he has in any degree, 
even the lowest and most humble, contributed to the innocent recreation of a 
world, where care and sorrow so generally prevail." The author's own tem- 
perament was such that from his youth he saw the humorous side of every 
event — if such side there was — and his picturesque fancy invested many oc- 
currences with a lively color, when others saw only the practical, serious, or 
lamentable. While depicting some amusing episodes, of which he was cogni- 
zant in early life, he has beguiled many an hour of its sadness, and fondly 
hopes his readers may find something, formulated by his pen, to divert their 
minds from the cares and worry of a burden-bearing and rushing age. 

Without wishing to offend any one we have written of men and events as 
they appeared to us without fear or favor. There are plenty of living wit- 
nesses who can corroborate our descriptive narratives, and we adopt the old 
adage that "a good story should never be spoiled for relation's sake." 

We anticipate expressions of disappointment from such as do not find a his- 
tory of their famiUes in this book, but there are good reasons for any seeming 
partiality. First, books devoted to the history of many of the old families 
have already been compiled and published, among them the genealogy of the 
Wentworths, Woodmans, Bradburys, Hazeltines, Jordans, Harmons, Cutts, 
and Scammons. Incidental mention of many members of these old families 
will be found, but no extended notices. Second, many of the pioneer fami- 


lies did not long remain in the Saco river townships, and only meagre records 
could be found of them. Third, we have by urgent letters of inquiry sought 
to compile the history of certain families, but because representatives of the 
same manifested so much indifference and declined to furnish any information, 
they were let alone. Fourth, the scope and title of the book did not propose 
to embrace all Saco valley families; to do this a book would be required as 
large as that mentioned by the sacred writers. After condensing as much as 
consistent with the plan of the book it has grown out of all expected propor- 
tions, and the author regrets that he did not use a coarser sieve when winnow- 
ing his materials. The cordial co-operation of members of many old families, 
their painstaking exertions to collect records, and the carefulness exercised in 
arranging the same for the author's use, has greatly lightened his burdens 
and enhanced the pleasure of his work. We mention with much gratitude, 
among the many who have aided us, the names that follow : Capt. Eli B. Bean, 
Brownfield, Me.; A. F. Lewis, Esq., Fryeburg, Me.; Joseph Bennett, Esq., 
Denmark, Me. ; Hon. L. A. Wadsworth, Hiram, Me. ; Thomas Shaw, Esq., Stand- 
ish. Me. ; A. H. Barnes, Sumner O. Haley, and E. E. Abbott, Esq., Hollis, Me. ; 
Capt. Horatio Hight, and Hon. Seth L. Larrabee, Portland, Me. ; Charles H. 
Boothby, and Wm. B. Trask, Esqs., Boston, Mass.; Hon. James Larrabee, 
Gardiner, Me.; Hon. Jesse Larrabee, New York City; Hon. Wm. F. Larra- 
bee, Phoebus, Va. ; Hon. William Larrabee, Clermont, Iowa : Prof. John A. 
Larrabee, M. D., Louisville, Ky. ; Prof. William H. Larrabee, LL. D., New 
York City; Dominicus Milliken, Esq., St. George, X. B. ; Hon. James Milli- 
ken, Bellefont, Pa.; Hon. Seth L. Milliken, M. C, \\'ashington, D. C; Hon. 
Daniel Milliken, Maiden, Mass.; Emery A. Milliken, Esq., Lexington, Mass.; 
Daniel Milliken, M. D., Hamilton, Ohio; S. E. Milliken, M. D., Shade Valley, 
' Pa. ; Charles J. Milliken, M. D., Cherryfield, Me., and Cyril P. Harmon, Esq., 
West Buxton, Me. 

As an extra precaution against typographical errors, R. Fult: Wormwood, of 
the Evening Express editorial staff, Portland, has with great faithfulness read 
one set of proof sheets while this book was passing the press, and to him we 
are under obligations. 

We also make grateful mention of Mrs. Nellie E. (Ridlon) French, of Cam- 
bridge, Mass., who has with much patience and tidy execution made copy for 
this work in the libraries of Boston. 

To the Hon. Charles E. Boothby, of Brighton, England, we are indebted 
for valuable MSS. and photographic views. 

This work contains i,:!oo pages composed of more than 600,000 words and 
in which are the names of rising 15,000 persons. The book comprises 200 
topical sections and genealogies of 105 families. It contains 56 portraits and 
12 plate views. For the common edition of 1,200 copies, more than two tons 
of paper were required. 


With the hope that this book may prove the conservatory of such valuable 
data, rescued from scattered and frail documents and vanishing traditions of 
the Saco valley, as may entertain the descendants of the early pioneers and 
aid the future historian in compiling more exhaustive works, we now commit 
to the public the result of our many years of patient and pleasurable toil, ask- 
ing the forbearance of all for any errors that were overlooked in editing. 

G. T. RiDLON, Sr. 

Kezar Falls, Me., Jan. 30, 1895. 












Traditions and Legends, ... 10 

The Crystal Cascade, . . . . u 

The Lost Maiden, 11 

The Pale-Face Captive, ... 12 


An Indian Burial Ground, . . 17 

Indian Weapons and Implements, . 20 

Hostilities on the Sago, . . . 21 




The Farm-House, . 
Food and Cooking, 
Domestic Employment, 

Flax-Dressing, . 
Paying Visits, . 
Medicine Chest, 
Quaint Devices, 

The Farm-House Attic, 

The Meal Chest, 

Trundle-Bedstead, . 



Tin Kitchen, 

The Barn Lantern, . 

The Iron Toaster, 

The Pillion, 


The Shingle-Mould, 

Jingle-Wright, . 

Chebobbin Sled, 

Sloven Cart, 

Wooden Plow, . 

The Axle-Tree, 





The Brick-Mould 

Natural Forms, 






Founders of, 


Founders of, 


Founders of, 


Founders of, 


Founders of, 


Founders of, 


Founders of, . ■ 



Three Hills of Rock 

The Hancock Ponds, . . . , 

Founders op,- 

Brief Mention, 


Founders op, 


Founders op, 


Founders of 


Founders of, 


Founders of 

Hart's Location 

Founders of 













KiLLicK Mill Settlement, 



Dalton Right Settlement, 


WARD, .... 


Desekted Homes in Hikam, 








Dedication ok a Saw Mill, 



» 361 

Mills in Saio and lijiiiiKKiiiui, 


A Pair of Whiskkrs, 


Mills in Buxton, .... 


Farmers' .Toys and Sokkows. 


Mills in Hollis, .... 






Jeremiah Tarbox. . . 




The Lost Boy, 



Angry Neighbors, . . 


Churches of SAf o and Blddefokd, 


The Bkar and Sheep, . 


Churches of Buxton, . 


Freewill Baptist Church, 


Pearl Fishing 


Second Freewill Baptist Church, 


Crimes and Trial of Bill Roi^ers 


First Baptist Church, 


"A Game o' Ke\rds," . 


Methodist Church, .... 


"Exercising Marcy. " 


Churches in Hollis, 


A Grist to Grind 


Freewill Baptist Church, 


Methodist Church, .... 


The Old Sheep Died. . 


Churches in Limington, 


Remarkat.le OCCrRREVC E. 


Freewill Baptist Church, 


Body Stealing, ... 


Churches in Standish, 


Gentle Treatment, 


Congregational Church, 


Heaven or Heli 


Destruction of the old Meeting-House 


Old Maid in a Trap, 


Churches in Baldwin, 


Hung on a Fenoe-.Stake. 


Congregational Church, 


WooDCHTCii's Den 


Churches in Cornish, . 


BuRNHAM's Hens 


Churches in Hiram, 


Political Rivalry, 


Churches in Denmark, 


Thornton's Dog 


Churches in Brownfield, . 


Thomas Todd, the Reaper, 


Churches in Fryeburg, 


A Cold Bath 


Churches in Conway, . 


Baptist Church 


A Desperate Character, 


Freewill Baptist Church, 


Deerwander Bear Hint. 


Churches in Bartlett, 


A Crowded Gkave-Yard, . 


Freewill Baptist Church, 


A Decapitated Max. 


Methodist Church, .... 


Running Bonnie Eagle Falls, 



■24 f. 

A Catamoi-nt Chase, 


The Primitive Preacher, . 


A SiNC.i'i.AK Mrsic-Box. 




Fowl— Fur-Fish 




Best Kind op Bait, 


Bean-Blossoms, .... 





The Bell of JIosoow. . 


Uncle Daniel Decker's Savings, 








Loaded with Crockery, . 


A Stiff Upper Lip 



A Human Hound 




Strip of a Sliingle 



To Suit Himself 




What He Would Do, . . . 






Speechless Pigs, 413 

Wished to Keep His Hair, . . .417 

From Jerusalem, 


The Begging Minister, . 



Hair of His Head, . . 


Hauling up Com, 


A Smooth Stick, 


The New Cow-Bell, . 


A Four-Year-Old Boy, . 


Without Shedding a Tear, 


No Outside Rows, . 


Carried the Cat to Mill, . 


A Fall Colt. . . . 




Raised on a Burn, 
All in One Tune, . . 
Aunt Martha's Dress, 
The Yellow Dog, 
Another Kind of Tracks, 


George MacDonald, 
Squire Yates Rogers, 
Uncle David Martin, 
The Basket-Maker, 




My Little Brother Joe, . 




Cold as a Dead Man, 




In a Pillow-Case to Dry, 
A Rabbit Hunt, 




Couldn't Bear Everything, 



Darned Good Grit, . 







Appleton Family 445 

DuNNELL Family 632 

Atkinson Family, . 


Edgbcomb Family, 


Aykk Family, . 


Elliott Family, 




Emery Family, . 


Bean Family, 


Fessenden Family, 


Benton Family, 


Field Family, . 


Berry Family. . 


Flanders Family, 


Black Family, . 


Foss Family, 


Boothby Family, . 


Frye Family, 


Boston Family, 


Gibson Family, . 


Boulter Family, 


Goodenow Family, 


Boynton Family, . 


GooKiN and Googin 


Braokett Family, . 


Graffam Family, 


Bradstreet Family, 


Grant Family, . 


Bbagdon Family, . 


Gray Family, . 


Bryant and Bbyent, 


Goedon Family, 


Buck Family, . 


Haines Family, 


Bullock Family, . 


Haley Family, . 


Came and Kame, 


Hamlin Family, 


Carle and Cabll, . 


Hancock Family, 


Chadboubne Family, 


Hastie and Hasty, 


Clay Family, . 


Higgtns and Hagen. 



Clemons Family, 


Hobson Family, 


CooLBROTH Family, 


Howard Family, 


Cousins Family, 




Davis Family, . 


Huntress Family, 


Dearborn Family, . 


Hutchinson Family 


Decker Jamily, 


INGALLS Family, 


Deebing Family, 


Jameson Family, 


Dresser 1'amily, 


Jenkins and Junkin 






Jose Family 765 

Larkabee Family, . 


Lane Family, 


Leavitt Family, 


Lewis Family, . 


Lord Family, 


MacArthur Family, 


MacDonald Family, 


Mansfield Family, 


Manson Family, 


Marr Family, . 


Martin Family, 


McKenney Family, 


Means Family, . 


Meeds and Meads, . 


Meserve Family, 


Merrill Family, 


Merrifield Family, 


Milliken Family, . 


Mitchell Family, . 


Moses Family, . 


Mulvey Family, 


Nason Family, . 


Newbegin Family, . 


Norton Family, 


O'Brien Family, 


Osgood Family, 


Parker Family, 


Patterson Family, 


Pease Family, . 


Pknnbll Family, 


Pendexter Family, 


Pike Family, 


PiNGREE Family, 
Plaisted Family, 
Rankin Family, 
Kendall Family, 
Redland Family, 
ItLMKRY Family, 
.Sands Family, . 
Sawyer Family, 
Shirley Family, 
Smith Family, . 
Spring Family, 
Staikpole Family, 
Stanley Family, 
Staples Family, 
Steele Family, 
Swan Family, . 
Symonds Family, 
Saunders Family, 
Tibbetts Family, 
TowNSEND Family, 
T<>MPs<'N Family-, 
TowLE Family, . 
True Family, 
Tyler Family, . 
Usher Family, . 
Vaighan Family-, 
^yakefield family 
Walker Family, 
Warren Family. 
Watts Fa:iiily, . 
Wkxtworth Family 
WiHipsuM Family, 
Young Family, . 



I iMnMi a 

Jist 4 Jllttslralion^. 

Memorials of the Sokokis Indians. 

Saco Fort (1696) 


Clock-Reel and Spinney, 

Fine Old Dishes, .... 

A Busy Family, ...... 

Carding and Spinning, . 
Colonial Relics 





Plan op Fryeburg 

The Home of Brother Hunchcome, 
Sal Singleton's Quilting Party, 

Boothby Hall, 


Mount Edgcumbe 

Larrabee Homestead, 
MiLLiKEN House, .... 



G. T. RiDLON, Sk. (Frontispiece) 

Lancaster Hodges 

Gen. Daniel Bean and Wife 

Rev. Samuel Boothby, 

Capt. Charles W. Boothby 

George H. Boothby, . 

Alonzo Boothby, M.D., . 

Charles H. Boothby, Esq., 

Col. Stephen Boothby, . 

Hon. Roswbll C. Boothby, 

Eugene L. Boothby, M.D., 

Warben C. Bullock, 

Lieut. John H, Came, 

George Carll, 

Peletiah Carll, 

Hon. William G. Davis, . 

Capt. James Edgecome and Wife, 

Edwin F. Edgecome, . 

Capt. Noah Haley, . 

Hon. Isaac T. Hobson, 

Hon. Samuel D. Hobson, 

Phineas H. Ingalls, M.D., 

Capt. Adam Larrabee, . 

Hon. William Larrabee, 

George H. Larrabee, M.D., 

Ephraim Larrabee, . 

Hon. Charles H. Larrabee, 

Hon. William F. Larrabee, 

Prof. John A. Larrabee, M.D., 

John H. Larrabee, M.D., 


Hon. Jesse Larrabee, 

Prop. William C. Larrabee, LL. D., 

Prof. William H. Larrabee, LL. D., 

Hon. James M. Larrabee, 

Philip J. Larrabee, Esq., 

Seth L. Larrabee, Esq., 

Manson G. Larrabee, 

William P. Merrill, 

John B. Merrill, 

Edward F. Milliken, 

Charles H. Mulliken, 

Samuel E. Milliken, M.D., 

Hon. Daniel L. Milliken, 

Joseph L. Milliken, . 

Hon. James A. Milliken. 

Hon. Seth L. Milliken, 

Weston F. Milliken, 

William H. Milliken, 

Charles R. Milliken, 

George Milliken, 

Seth M. Milliken, 

Hon. Dennis L. Milliken, 

Fred E. Milliken, 

Hon. Elias Milliken, 

George H. Milliken, 

Hon. JopN D. Milliken, 

Rev. Thomas G. Moses, 

Flanders Newbegin, 

Elias H. Newbegin, . 

Eugene S. Pendextbr, 





TT I I iM I >; in J n I 




^uro |Um\ 

I ^ {' i W' I WM WM Wt tV M l\TTT 





Forth from New Hampshire's granite steeps 

Fair Saco rolls in chainless pride, 
Eejoicing as it laughs and leaps 

Down the gray mountain's rugged side ; 
The stern, rent crags and tall, dark pines 

Watch that young pilgrim passing by, 
While calm above them frowns or shines 

The black, torn cloud, or deep blue sky. 

Soon, gathering strength, it swiftly takes 

Through Bartlett's vales its tuneful way, 
Or hides in Conway's fragrant brakes, 

Retreating from the glare of day; 
Now, full of vigorous life, it springs 

From the strong mountain's circling arms. 
And roams in wide and lucid rings 

Among green Fryehurg's woods and farms. 

Here with low voice it comes and calls 

For tribute from some hermit lake; 
And here it wildly foams and falls. 

Bidding the forest echoes wake ; 
Now sweeping on, it runs its race 

By mound and mill in playful glee ; 
Now welcomes with its pure embrace 

The vestal waves of Ossipee. 

— James Q. Lyons. 

EATHEN NATIONS have worshiped rivers as divine and with 
offerings of wealth have sought to propitiate their seeming wrath. 
Along these mighty water-ways, which are the life-giving arteries 
of Nature's system, the most remarkable events in the world's 
history have transpired. Guided by the course of rivers the early explorers 
found their way, and along their borders the tide of immigration has been 
directed. From the mountains through which, with the unyielding axe of 
ages, they have cut a highway, deposits are conveyed to enrich the valleys 
below; they bring man food from the resources of the hills, and by com- 
merce, from lands afar. By their unceasing flow they have leveled the land 
where the skill of human engineers would prove unavailing. 

How unequally puny man, with all his art, contends with the mighty 
force of rivers ! Increasing in volume, they upheave and bear away the most 
solid masonry; being diminished, they obstinately refuse to carry the burdens 
imposed upon them. Although man has harnessed the untamed waters to 
the chariot wheels of industry, and has made them, like an enslaved Samson, 


"grind at the mill," yet, when detained too long in artificial channels, they 
break down all barriers and rush with impetuous fury to the lower levels of 
their natural pathway. 

With what various changes of aspect great rivers proceed on their way ! 
Now tremblin^^ foaming, and roaring in mad haste over the uneven pavement 
of the rajj;<;c(l defiles from which they emerge to pass with grand and meas- 
ured sweep between the alluvial intervales below. We observe the tortuous 
rapids, the clinging curves with which the passing waters embrace each jutting 
boulder, and the gentle transition to calm repose as they reach the unob- 
structed channel, and, like heated coursers flecked with foam, pass into the 
cooling eddies for rest. 

To the beholder of natural phenomena there is a common propensity to 
invest moving water with the conscious power of feeling, while, to the thought- 
ful observer, it is impressively suggestive of lessons which involve the issues 
of human life. There is the natural effect of impending ruin, desperate 
resolution, and fearful agony. When nearing the falls the waters become 
visibly agitated and seem to struggle backward in the extremity of fear before 
being hurled into the abyss below. Approaching the narrow gorge with its 
towering walls of granite upon which the sentinel pines lean forward to watch 
the coming conflict, the contracted stream, like a column of armed men, closes 
ranks for the final charge against the opposing bulwark. And the rocks mid- 
stream, that rise above the surface, seem to be tortured with supernatural dread 
and fling back with giant force the menacing waters. 

Should the venturesome observer find a foothold upon the shelving ledge, 
and gaze downward upon the dark and impenetrable waters, he will be 
oppressed with a sense of profound gloom; an unexplainable dread seizes upon 
him, an unearthly shudder passes o\er him. At a distance the river has the 
appearance of a corrugated band of silver laid down in die rocky chasm. 

There are few rivers in New England that present a greater variety of 
formation along their borders, few environed by natural scenery more pictur- 
esque and beautiful, than the Saco. Its course downward from the mountains 
to the sea is marked by a succession of rapids of remarkable violence which 
alternate between the cataract, the whirlpool, and the deep, dark eddy. 

How often, when sitting upon the mossy bank under the whispering pines, 
watching the ceaseless, unwearied flmv of this stream, ha\e we asked, "Ancient 
and majestic river, when and where hadst thou birth?" If invested with the 
power of articulate speech we might ha\'e heard thee respond in the language 
of sacred story, "Before Abraham was I am." 

What mean those writers of European history who designate our continent 
as the "New World," and who boast that 7iv have no antiquity! Had they 
perused the records cut in our tables of stone, they would have learned that 
we have foundations as ancient as their own. What is the age of ivy-grown 


cathedral, or crumbling stones of feudal fortress, when compared with the 
awful pillared structures reared by the architect of the eternal hills, or when 
measured by the vast chronology of creation! Storied Saco! Long before 
the yellow, moccasin of the stealthy red man had pressed thy banks, or ever 
Naaman had bathed in the healing waters of Jordan; antecedent to the day 
when the bullrush basket containing the infant law-giver of Israel had been 
laid beside the sacred Nile, or the pyramids were founded; ere Noah had laid 
the keel of his ark, or Abel had offered sacrifice; aye, when the streams of 
Eden flowed through a sinless world and watered the gardens of Paradise, this 
unknown river of the Western hemisphere was cradled in the cloud-curtained 
security of the templed hills, baptized by the rain-giving heavens, and kissed 
by the benignant sunshine; yea, had marshalled its forces behind the embat- 
tled terraces of the north, forced a passage through the granite gateway of the 
mountains, and in the majesty of its strength had swept down from the table- 
lands on its hastening march to the ocean, demanding tribute from a hundred 
subordinate streams, unchallenged and unhindered. Upon these passing 
waters the leaves of unnumbered centuries had fallen, and the giant oak, 
conservatory of its own unquestioned chronology, had reached forth its wide- 
spreading arms and dropped its annual acorns into these uncrediting waters. 

Across the placid coves the swimming otter wove his chevroned wake 
and reached his subterranean cell unharmed. .Upon the untitled meadows the 
beaver, guided by nature's unerring law, summoned his industrious artisans 
and built the dome-like huts of his populous hamlet undisturbed. Into the 
miniature harbors the decorous wild goose convoyed his feather-plated fleet, and 
cast anchor for the night under the shelter of the woodland bank. Unheard 
by human ear, the clatter of the wandering kingfisher reverberated above the 
roaring waterfall, while the red-deer dipped his antlers, and cooled his flanks, 
in the shadowy coves. When darkness fell, the ambling bear came down the 
bank to drink; the lonely serenade of the loon mingled with the plaintive note 
of wakeful night bird, and the alternating scream of panther and howl of wolf 
passed as a challenge across the unhumanized solitudes from mountain to 
valley. While the graceful foliage of the overhanging hemlock was reflected 
upon the unruffled waters from above, the opulent cowlily launched her golden 
boat below. Upon the mossy log by the riverside the male grouse beat his 
rumbling reveille, while his mottled consort brooded her young upon the nest 
of pine boughs near at hand. Here, the graceful squirrel chattered as glee- 
fully to his mate as now; here, upon the spruce limb, he arranged his morning 
toilet and dropped his nutshell into the passing current; here, unheard by man, 
the multitude of birds sang the same measures carolled on creation's morn, 
and skimmed, on shining wing, the glimmering waters of the restless river. 

In these vast solitudes nature's grand cathedral, whose terraced walls 
were the created masonry of the granite hills, whose lofty towers were the 


ii-splintercd pinnacles that pierced the clouds, whose pillared aisles were 
;iled and architraved with foliage work more exquisitely beautiful than 
)le touched by (Trecian sculptor's chisel, whose organ notes were the voice 
any waters that rose and swelled like the chorus of some mighty orchestra, 
ned and subdued by the mingling music of the chanting pines in the 
real galleries abr)ve, had been erected. 

Here, in the deep primeval forest, the brave aboriginal inhabitants searched 
hose medicinal treasures stored in the pharmacy of nature, and from these 
sounded the curative preparations for which the tribe has long been 
wned. Here, upon the river bank, the Sokokis built his bark wigwam, 

1 these waters he propelled his beaded canoe of birch with noiseless pad. 
if ash, and in the pellucid depths saw the reflection of his dusky form. 
The adventuresome Vikings, reared in a land indented with intersecting 
, when they discovered our rivers upon which the tide ebbed and flowed^ 
osed them to be channels leading through the continent to some western 
and with the contempt of danger and ambition for exploration charac- 
;ic of their race, boldly entered some of these broad estuaries in their 

narrow galleys and were soon astonished to find themselves confronted 
frowning waterfall. So the early mariners, who felt their way around 
"^ew England coast, and entered the mouths of our streams, sailed not far 
■e having encountered impassable barriers. How true was this of the 
! The topography of the country traversed by this river seemed designed 
institute it a chain of water powers nearly its entire length, and some of 
nost valuable of these are close to the seashore, linked with navigation. 
The voices of the inland waterfalls were invitations to the enterprising 
lists to arise and build; they told of latent power that might be used for 
;ood of the inhabitants, and they were not long allowed to remain unim- 
ed. But for these mill privileges what might have been the condition of 
jaco valley to-day! To them the thrixing villages, the broad farms, and 
populous towns, owe their existence. Along the banks bv the trail of 
man the millwright penetrated the timber-abounding forest; upon some 

2 above the wasted waters he stood and formed his ideal of the initiatory 
dation from which the mills and hamlets arose; and soon the workman's 
t, the mallet stroke, and the ringing saw were heard about the falls, 
ses were erected for the mill-men and a mansion for the owner; fields 
5 the rich intervales expanded into broad and smiling farms, and thus our 
' settlements grew. Great boats were built with which to float the wares 
1 the river, and noble oxen, tugging at the bow, moved the odorous lum- 
:rom the mill-house to the landings. 

Gradually, but firmly, the materialized wave of settlement moved inland, 
tream, and spread itself along the Ossipees, tributaries of the Saco, and 

vallpv tn vnllf^v. nntil rosv hnnips. surrounded bv fniitfnl farmn nf^tifl^rl 


Science has found no golden key by which the phenomenal mystery 
involved in the movement of water within and upon the surface of the earth 
can be unlocked; this is one of Nature's secrets which she declines to unfold. 
Regulated by its own peculiar law, the floods of water obey their Creator's 
behest with as much regularity as do the bodies of the planetary system. But 
we are often led to inquire how the grtat reservoirs, elevated upon mountains, 
from which the rivers rise, are supplied with water. Some of these are 
supported at such altitudes that the law of gravity has no discovered part in 
filling them, and no season's rainfall could replenish them. Somewhere under 
the earth's crust, unheard by mortal ear, some potent enginery is forcing the 
water uphill into these mountain ponds, from whence they are thrown down 
into the river and carried to the exhaustless ocean. 

In our Saco river we find a remarkable example of this action of water. 
Taking its rise from Saco pond, which is nearly 2,000 feet above the sea level, 
it drains the southwestern district of the White Mountains. The small stream 
passes through the Notch, falling 600 feet in the first three miles, and nearly 
as much more in the next nine miles. Along this distance it flows between 
lofty mountains, walled in by solid granite. At the west line of Bartlett the 
Saco is 745 feet above the ocean. In the next eight miles, to the mouth of 
Ellis river, its descent is abouty thirty feet to the mile. At the line between 
Maine and New Hampshire, the water of the Saco is elevated 400 feet above 
the high tide level. 

The course of the Saco spans a distance of about 140 miles; it is a rapid 
and remarkably clear stream. Its head is in the western pass of the White 
Hills, while the Ellis river, which forms a considerable tributary of the Saco, 
rises in the eastern pass. After flowing in a southeast course for about thirty 
miles, receiving several streams on its way, it enters Maine across the line 
between Conway and Fryeburg; then, as if something had been forgotten and 
left behind, turns north and runs in that direction about fifteen miles, when 
Cold river pours its crystal and refreshing tribute into the wandering stream. 
The Saco then turns in a southerly direction, forming a great bend, and sepa- 
rates the towns of Brownfield and Denmark. In Fryeburg the river runs thirty 
miles and has formed, where once there was evidently a great lake, extensive 
and very productive intervales. In all this distance it progresses but four miles 
on an air line, thus forming a natural curiosity that has excited the wonder of 
many a visitor. In 18 17 and 18 18 a canal three miles in length was cut across 
about four miles below the extremity of the curve, which laid the river bed 
above entirely dry. Lovewell's pond, through which the Indians used to pass 
when journeying up and down the Saco, lies three miles below the canal. This 
whole district was early known as the Pequawket country. From this point, 
the river runs sixty miles in a southeasterly direction before its waters mingle 
with the tide. At the Great Falls in Hiram the stream plunges down seventy- 
two feet. 


Thirty miles from its mouth, the CIreat Ossipee contributes one-third 
:he Saco's water; this stream issues from Ossipee pond, eighteen miles 
tward. Between this point at Cornish, and the incoming of the Little 
ipec at Limington, Sleep Falls, twenty feet in descent, are formed. Passing 
'ard to Ikinnie Eagle Falls it then rushes madly down through a rock-walled 
nnel to Moderation Falls, liar MiWs, and Salmon Falls, where it plunges 
'n, boiling, roaring through a narrow defile cut deep in the solid rock. 
Dw are Union Falls; thence the river descends to the head of -Saco Falls, 
;re it is divided by Indian Island, and on either side falls over a precipice 
y-two feet and mingles with the salt water of the bay. The view of the 
iract on the Saco side is majestic and grand. 
Saco river is greatly disturbed by freshets. The water frequently rises 
feet, and has reached the height of twenty-five feet, resulting in a great 
:ruction of property along its entire course. In 1775 a stream called New 
r broke out of the_White Mountains and discharged into the Ellis river; 
ice into the Saco, which was so enormously swollen by this avalanche 
waters that mills, bridges, large quantities of lumber, and many domes- 
inimals were swept away. Very destructive freshets occurred in 1S14, 
n saw-mills and bridges were taken bodily from their foundations and 
ied down the mighty current. Again in 1843 there was a memorable rise 
he river which nearly cleared its banks of mills, houses, and lumber, 
le of the saw-mills, chained to sturdy old oaks upon the bank, were car- 
away, the heavy chains being torn in pieces by the resistless flood. 
Although the lands adjacent to the river have been nearly denuded of the 
id old pines that once grew there, the lumbermen land their logs upon the 
ks, and the stream is the great highway, or rather water-way, over which 
brawny, blue-shirted river-men "drive" them to the mills below. 
Who that spent their early years on the Saco, that has fished along its 
ks, sailed upon its surface, bathed in its eddies, or listened to its murmur 
cease to look back with pleasure to those careless, happy days ? 

" Hail ! hail at;aiii, my native streaut. 
Scfiie of my lioyhooil's caiiii'st ilroaui! 
Witli solitary step once more 
1 trenail thy wild ami sylvan slioro. 
And pausi> at t^vory turn to fj:a/.e 
I'j'on thy dark, mcaudci-int^ maze. 
Wliat tliouuli ohsoure the wociily .source, 
What thouijh nnsmiB thy hnmlilc^ course ; 
Wliat if no lort> , elassie name 
(lives to tliy peace I'ul watei-s fanu\ 
Still can tliy rural haunts impart 
A sohn'(^ to this chastened lu^art." 

WSmjtil P-ii^acI I5I^S^I Pr^S51l P-f^c«7i;l IJ^C^J P^H? 


®hi{ Whili{ llounlains. 

Itej ^ ; 

'• ■■» t^HTtw.t"-»Hi isseisMff'-^ isi^sss^''^ ^t^^sss;'^ ^CTfc'f-;f^'n=i s*^*'ifi''^:i sstss***^ s^K^t'iWf^ 

HE "White Hills" are the birthplace of the infant Saco, and 
through their narrow gateway the tiny stream emerges into the 
warming sunshine and the "open ground." We have only sacred 
chronology by which to estimate the age of these North American 
pyramids, and no means of knowing when they were first seen by white men. 
In 163 1 Thomas Eyre, one of the New Hampshire patentees, forwarded a 
letter to Ambrose Gibbons containing the following statement: "By the bark 
Warwick we send you a factor to take charge of the trade goods ; also a sol- 
dier for discovery." Some of the early writers assumed that this "soldier" 
was one Darby Field, an Irishman, who discovered the White Mountains in 
1632. This view is now discredited. The first successful attempt to ascend 
the mountains was made in 1642. 

In his history of New England, Winthrop says, " One Darby Field, an Irish- 
man, living about Piscataquack, being accompanied by two Indians, went to the 
top of the White hill. He made the journey in eighteen days. " Here we find 
ourselves on solid ground where tradition and history are in agreement. Darby 
Field was a real explorer, and left numerous descendants who settled on the 
bank of the river along whose course he made his way from Saco to the base 
of the mountains ; and these related again and again the story of their ances- 
tor's adventures at their fireside. He lived at Oyster river, or Dover, and on 
his return from his journey to these "crystal hills," he related that the 
distance from Saco was about one hundred miles, and we assume that he 
followed the river valley from that place. After forty miles' travel they found 
the ground to be ascending nearly all the way ; and when twelve miles from 
the summit, found no tree nor herbage, but "low savins," which in places 
they were enabled to walk upon. Their course up the steep ascent was along 
a ridge, between two valleys filled with snow, out of which two branches of 
the Saco issued, meeting at the foot of the hill, where they found an Indian 
town with about two hundred souls therein. 

Another party, conducted by Richard Vines and Thomas Georges ascended 
the mountain. These also reported the existence of the Indian village on the 
bank of the Saco. From this settlement they ascended in wooded lands some 
thirty miles ; then upon shattered rocks without trees or grass about seven miles. 
These explorers reported a plain at the top of the mountain with an area of three 


our miles, covered with stones; upon this plateau rose a pinnacle about a 
; in height, with a nearly level plain upon its summit from which "four great 
IS took their rise," I'hese men seem to ha\e been bewildered by the 
ideur of the spectacle and their vision became perxerted. 

In a book published in 1672, entitled "New England Rarities Discovered, " 
n account of the discovery of the White Mountains in which exaggeration 
wild, (blowing descriptions of precious stones found there were given, and 
)ngthe wonderful things enumerated that had been discovered were "sheets 
iusco\a glass" forty feet long. The mountains were said to cover one 
dred leagues in extent. 

A party of explorers ascended the highest peak in 1725, and another in 
5. The last party was alarmed by what appeared to be the constant report 
luskets ; but by investigation they learned that the noises were produced by 
les falling over a precipice. 

The "Notch" was discovered by a hunter named Timothy Xash, in 1771. 
s pioneer had retired from the settlements and made him a habitation in 
wilderness. As the tradition runs, he climbed a tree upon one of the mount- 
sides to look for large game when he saw this defile south of him. He 
;ended at once and turned his steps in that direction, passing through the 
lite gateway on his way to Portsmouth. In an interview with Gov. Went- 
th he described to him what he had discovered, but His Excellency discred- 

the report. As Nash constantly and seriously aflirmed that his statement 

strictly true, the curiosity of the Governor was excited, and to test the 
icity of his visitor he promised that, if he would bring him a horse through 

mountain pass from Lancaster, he should be rewarded with a grant of 
i. He was assured by Nash that this feat could and would be accom- 
hed ; then he turned his steps northward. Securing the services of another 
1 spirit, Benjamin Sawyer, the two lowered the horse down o\-er a precipice 
1 rope, and delivered him safe and sound at Portsmouth. 

The grant of land was given according to promise, and was named " Xash 

Sawyer's Location. " 

In 1803, a road costing #40,000, extending through the Notch, was built 

became the thoroughfare by which the fanners of northern New Hampshire 

Vermont, carried their produce to the Portland market. A hundred teams 
e been known to go through the mountain pass on a winter day. 

One of the earliest to establish a home in the White Mountain region was 
azer Rosebrook, a former resident of Groton, Mass., who settled in Lan- 
ier in 1772, removing hence, in a short time, to Monadnock, where he built 
ouse more than thirty miles from any white man, and reached by spotted 
;s. During the Revolution he removed to \'ermont and served in the war. 
1792, he returned to the wilderness, reaching Nash and Sawyer's Location 
nidwinter. Here he Iseijan to cut timber for a homestead and soon erected 


a log-house near the "Giant's Grave," not far from the site of the Fabyan 
House. He built a saw-mill, grist-mill, and large barns, stables and sheds for 
the accommodation of travelers. Rosebrook was one of nature's noblemen, 
" renowned for his heroism in war and his enterprise in time of peace. " * 

Here, under the grim shadows of the templed hills, he gathered around 
his hospitable fireside the sturdy farmers who, when on their market trip, 
tarried with him for a night, and thus he extended his acquaintance and friend- 
ship until his name became the synonym of good-fellowship and generosity. 
He died in 1817. 

Abel Crawford, descended from an ancient Scottish family, was another 
noted pioneer of the mountain country. He came from Guildhall, Vt., only a 
few)'ears after Mr. Rosebrook, who was his father-in-law, and settled twelve 
miles south, near where the famous house named for the family now stands. 
In 1819, he opened a path to Mt. Washington. In 1822, his son, Ethan Allen 
Crawford, opened a new path to the hills by another course. When seventy- 
five years of age, Abel Crawford made his first journey on horseback to the top 
of Mt. Washington. Previous to this time visitors to the mountains, attended 
by experienced guides, ascended on foot. For more than sixty years this noble 
man had entertained strangers at his fireside and guided them along the danger- 
ous paths cut through the forests to view the scenes of wild grandeur nature had 
hidden away here, and when venerable years had made it unsafe for him longer 
to attempt such services, he would cast longing looks upward and sigh for the 
privilege of standing once more on Mt. Washington's summit, where, like Moses 
on Nebo, he could "view the landscape o'er." It is said of him that in the 
spring months during his last years, he would watch for the coming of visitors 
with the same eagerness with which boys look for the return of the birds. He 
would sit in his armchair during the mild weather, supported by his dutiful 
daughter, his snowy hair falling on his shoulders, and watch and wait for the 
first traveler who might enter the wild mountain pass. Soon after the stage 
coaches began to pass his door with their numerous passengers, having accom- 
plished his important mission, he sank down to rest at the age of 85 years. 

Ethan Allen Crawford succeeded to the estate of Capt. Rosebrook, but the 
extensive buildings were soon destroyed by fire. He was known as the "giant 
of the mountains," and was nearly seven feet in stature. He kept a journal of 

*Mrs. Rosebrook was a large, resolute and powerful woman, well qualifled to meet the 
experiences incident to pioneer life. On one occasion, when her husband was absent, a party of 
drunken Indians came to her house at night and aslced to be admitted. She kindly allowed 
them to enter, and for a time they were civil ; hut from the effects of the liquor they continued 
to drink, became insolent. She determined to be rid of their company and with a voice of 
authority ordered them out-of-doors. Reluctantly they withdrew save one great squaw who 
turned upon Mrs. Rosebrook to resist her mandate; but the latter seized her by the hair, 
dragged her to the threshhold, and thrust her out. In an instant the squaw sent a tomahawk 
whizzing at her which cut the wooden latch, upon which she held her hand, from the door. 
On the following day this squaw returned and asked pardon. 


dventures which contain many a quaint entry. Some of the most eminent 
of his day weru cntertair^ed under his roof. It was not uncommon for him 
ime in from a bear hunt, or fishing excursion, attired in his rough hunting 
, to find a college president, learned judge, or a member of congress at his 
thstone. He once assisted Daniel Webster to the top of Mt. \\'ashington, 
'ecorded the following in his book : " We went up without meeting anything 
)te more than was common for me to find, but to him things appeared 
esting ; and when we arrived there, Mr. Webster said, ' Mount Washington ! 
ve come a long distance, have toiled hard to reach your summit and now 
give me a cold reception. I am extremely sorry I cannot stay to view the 
d prospect that lies before me, and nothing prevents but this cold, uncom. 
ble atmosphere in which you reside.' " When descending a storm of snow 
n to fall and the cold became so intensified that their blood nearly curdled. 
ster was much pleased with his stalwart guide and host, and Ethan adds : 
e following morning after paying his bill, he made me a handsome present 
wenty dollars." Ethan Allen Crawford was a noble specimen of manhood, 
e, and of good moral character. 

For many years the Crawford family alone entertained all strangers who 
ed the White Mountains, and all the bridle paths on the west side were 
■ed by them. They were bold, fearless men, strong as lions, and their 
:ular arms have been the support of many an ambitious pilgrim to the 
ntains when attempting to reach higher altitudes. 


Nancy Barton is supposed to have been the first white woman who passed 
ugh the Notch of the White Hills voluntarily. She was employed to keep 
arding-house for lumbermen in Jefferson ; was industrious, faithful, and 
d early and late for small wages. Her employer taken captive by the 
ans and she served them liquor until they were all helpless ; then cut the 
gs with which he was bound and secured his liberty. She carefully bus- 
ied her earnings, and in time had laid down a handsome sum. She was 
iged to be married to one of the workmen and arrangements were made for 
1 to proceed to Portsmouth, her native place, where they were to be united 
make a home. She trustingly, but unwisely, placed her money in the hands 
;r affianced, and began making preparations for her journey. This having 
ime known to her employer, he determined not to lose so \aluable a house- 
ler, and to circumvent the marriage he sent her away on errands to Lancaster. 
1 was meanness beyond description, and the result was tragic. During her 
nee her professed lover left the locality with a party going south, taking 
money away with him. She somehow heard of this affair on the same day, 
quickly matured plans for pursuit. With a bundle of clothing she hastened 


down the snow-covered trail, guided by the trees spotted for that purpose, and 
after a weary journey of thirty miles, having traveled all night through a dark 
forest, she reached the spot where the party had camped. The fire had gone 
out. Benumbed with cold, she knelt about the charred brands and tried in 
vain to blow from them a flame. Again she took up her weary march, fording 
the icy waters of the Saco several times, until exhausted nature succumbed to 
cold and fatigue and she sank down to rise no more. Her clothes were coated 
with ice and loaded with the falling snow ; her curdled blood ceased to flow 
and death released her from her distress. A relief party had been hurried for- 
ward after the storm of snow came on, but they were too far behind to save 
her life; her rigid body was found buried under the drifting snow upon the 
south side of the stream in Bartlett, since known as "Nancy's brook." Her 
faithless lover learned of her sad fate, and being seized with keen remorse for 
his crime, became hopelessly insane and ended his days by a miserable death. 
All the particulars of this affair were related in my presence when a boy, and 
every recurrence of the sad story has oppressed my mind as I thought of the hell- 
ish spirit that prompted men to such desperate deeds of wickedness. Grim Justice 
could find no doom too dark as a penalty for such crime. The early inhabitants 
believed the ghost of Nancy Barton's betrayer and robber lingered about the 
brookside where she perished, and that his terrible wailing lamentations were 
often heard there at night. 

The " Crystal Cascade." — On the Ellis river, one of the tributaries of 
the Saco, among the mountains, there is a beautiful waterfall with which a 
pathetic legend is connected. When that region was inhabited only by the 
red men, a chief, according to the custom of his people, had made choice of 
a brave and stalwart Indian to become the husband of his daughter. Learning 
that the affections of the maiden had been given to one of a neighboring tribe 
who was quite worthy of her, the old chief could not fully disregard her 
wishes. A council was called and the old men decided that the girl should 
be given to the one most skillful with the bow and arrow. A target was put 
up and the two young warriors prepared for the contest. When all was ready, 
the twang of the bow-string rang out on the air, the feathered arrows sped on 
their errand, and he of her father's choice was declared to be the champion. 
Before the shouts of his friends had died away, the two loyal-hearted lovers 
had joined hands and were fleeing through the forest. Swift -footed pursuers 
were instantly on their trail, and it became a race for life or death. Finding 
the pursuers likely to overtake them, when the lovers reached the edge of the 
precipice down which the cataract plunges, clasped in each other's arms they 
threw themselves into the rushing waters ; and now, as sentimental visitors watch 
the shining mists arise before the falls, fancy pictures two graceful and etherial 
forms, hand in hand, standing there. This is the legend. 

The Lost Maiden. — An Indian family living on the head waters of the 


3, had a daughter more beautiful than any maiden of their tribe, and who 
accomplished in all the arts known to her people. When she had reached 
urity, her parents sought in vain to find a young brave suitable for her 
Dand, but none could be found worthy of so peerless a creature. Suddenly 
wild flower of the mountains disappeared. Diligent was the search, and 
I the mourning when no trace of her light moccasin could be found in forest 
lade. Ily her tribe she was given up as lost. But some hunters who had 
jtrated far into the mountain fastnesses, discovered the missing maiden in 
pany with a beautiful youth whose hair, like her own, flowed down to his 
;t. They were on the border of a limpid stream. On the approach of the 
adersi, the pair vanished out of sight. The parents of the maiden knew her 
panion to be one of the pure spirits of the mountains, and henceforth con- 
red him to be their son. To him they called when f^ame was scarce, and 
n by the streamside they signified their wishes, lo ! the creatures came 
timing toward them. So runs our legend, which we have taken, in part, 
1 an early author. 

The Pale-Face Captive. — A wandering hunter of the Sokokis tribe had 
ck the trail of a party of Mohawk warriors who were returning from battle, 
learned by occasional footprints found in the brookside sands that a white 
:ive was being carried away. Following at a distance during the day the 
okis watched the Mohawks camp behind a lofty boulder, and after they 
eaten saw them bind the white girl to a tree in a sitting posture and then 
lown in their blankets to sleep. Waiting until their fire had burned out, 
(?oung hunter cautiously crept behind the tree where the poor maiden was 
, and whispering assurance of safety he quickly cut the thongs from her 
lien wrists and led her away. Before the morning dawned, they had covered 
reat a distance, and had so hidden their trail by wading in the shallow water 
treams, that their pursuers did not overtake them and they reached the 
an village at the mouth of the Ossipee unharmed. Here the maiden, then 
e a little girl, was treated with kindness and adopted the Indian mode of 
But tradition claims that the Mohawks knew by the broken trail of the 
okis to what tribe he belonged, and ever after watched for opportunity to 
ik vengeance upon them. This pale-faced exile never left the wigwam of 
young brave who had rescued her from the bloody Mohawks, and when old 
bent with the weight of years, was often seen in company with the " up-river 
ans" when going down the Saco in their canoes. She reported that she 
an only child and that her parents had both been slain at the time she 
taken captive. 



' ' J ' i " t I ^M n J 





3Hti[ ^Aolii^ Jitiiaits. 








HE best authorities now attribute to our North American aborig- 
ines an Asiatic origin. In physical appearance, language, and 
traditions, the western tribes resemble the northeastern Asiatics, 
while the Eskimo and his cousin on the Asiatic side understand 
each other perfectly. The Mongolian cast of features is much more marked 
in the tribes on the Pacific than in those on the Atlantic coast, while the 
earliest traditions handed down from time immemorial by the ancient fathers, 
and held by the chiefs of the eastern tribes, indicate that they came by 
stages from the westward; and those of the western tribes, that their remote 
ancestors came from regions farther west. 

When the early explorers came to the mouth of the Saco, they found the 
valley inhabited by these free-born denizens of our western hemisphere. How 
long these lords of the soil had held their vast inheritance when the white man 
came, no writer on the origin of nations, or of the prehistoric period, 
has attempted to state in terms with any claim to definiteness. A modern 
author, who has given this subject much attention, believes that the era of their 
existence as a distinct and insulated race should be dated back to the time 
when, as related in sacred history, the inhabitants of the world were separated 
into nations and each branch of the human family received its language and 

One of the most eloquent and statesman-like of the Saco valley chiefs 
once said in council: "We received our lands from the Great Father of Life ; 
we hold only from Him." Their right to the soil bequeathed by the Creator 
none could justly challenge, and in defending their claims against the encroach- 
ments of the insulting settlers they doubtless felt that they had the sanction 
of the Great Spirit. It certainly was a remarkable condescension that allowed 
the intrusive white man, without the shadow of a title, to find a foot-rest upon 
these shores, and greater wonder, that they were permitted to plant their homes 
upon the soil. 

But they were, in many respects, a noble people who evinced unmistak- 
able evidence of having descended from a higher state, and still retained a 
fine sense of honor and great personal dignity. Of majestic form and gracefu'^ 
carriage, the typical son of the forest was an object of interest who challenged 
the attention of every considerate beholder. 


The Sokokis family was one of the most ancient in what is now the State 
!aine, and were quite distinct from those living on the Salmon Falls and 
itaqua rivers farther westward. Just where the territorial line of division 
:annot be determined with certainty. There is evidence to show that those 
al tribes recognized a code of laws by which they were governed in their 
ons to each other. There were, anciently, according to the relations of 
hiefs, great councils held in the wilderness in which each family, or tribe, 
epresented by its delegated head and here the boundary of their territorial 
issions and hunting grounds were prescribed, and any disputes arising 
questions relating to trespass amicably adjusted. 

From the Saco river eastward all the branches of the great tribal family 

the same language with slight variations peculiar to certain localities. 

iho inhabited this wide expanse of territory between the Saco valley and 

Brunswick could readily understand each other ; and yet, with one excep- 

not a word of their language could be found in Eliot's Indian Bible 
ed in 1664. Captain Francis, an Indian of the Penobscot tribe, who was 
inly intelligent but well-informed in all matters relating to the history of 
Maine Indians, said the Saco tribe was the parent of all the eastern 
lies; "they are all one brother," the old man used to say. Each tribe 
younger as we proceed eastward from Saco river, and those at Passama- 
.dy the youngest of all. Francis once said, " Always I could understand 
i brothers when they speak, but when the Mickmacks, Algonquins, and 
idian Indians speak I cannot tell all what they say." Governor Neptune 
members of the Newell family confirmed this statement. 
The Sokokis were once so numerous that they could call nine hundred 
iors to arms, but wars and pestilence reduced their numbers to a mere 
Iful. Their original principal settlement and the headquarters of their 
irtant chiefs was about the lower waters of the river. 
The residence of the sagamores was on Indian Island above the lower 
Among the names of the chiefs who dwelt hereabout were those of Capt. 
lay, the two Heagons, and Squando who succeeded Fluellen. For some 
3 these Indians lived with the white settlers in peace and quietness, some 
lem acquiring a fair knowledge of the English language by their inter- 
se. When the increasing nunilier of colonists encroached upon their lands 
hatred and discontent had been engendered by the ill-treatment of the 
es, these Indians gradually moved up river and joined their brethren who 
1 in the villages at Pequawket and on the Ossipee. 

We have found no evidence of hostility on the Indians' part until they had 
I provoked to retaliate by sonic of the most inexcusable insults that could 
been thought of. According to the early historians a party of rude sailors 

one of the vessels lying in the harbor hailed the wife of Squando, who, 
her infant child, was passing down the river in a canoe. Taking no notice 


of this she would have peacefully proceeded on her way, but they approached 
her and maliciously overturned the canoe to see, as afterwards stated, if young 
Indians could swim naturally like wild animals. The child instantly sank but 
the mother by diving brought it up alive. This babe soon after died and the 
parents attributed the fatality to an injury caused by the white men. 

This insult and injury so exasperated Squando that he thirsted for revenge, 
and he determined to exert himself to the uttermost to arouse his followers and 
the neighboring tribes to arm themselves for a war of extermination against 
the whites. But this was not the only reason why the savages should hate the 
English settlers. Some of the early speculators who conducted a private busi- 
ness with the Indians, or had charge of the regular truck-houses along the 
coast, influenced more by their greed than any principle of honor, just as modern 
white men have been, by misrepresenting goods bartered for the red man's 
valuable furs, and by defrauding them when under the influence of liquor, had 
driven them to desperation. These acts of injustice were not forgotten, and 
some of the aggressors were made to suffer for their wrongs at the hands of 
the Indians, when the knife was drawn, as will hereafter appear. 

As early as 1615, there were two branches of the Sokokis tribe under the 
government of two subordinate chiefs. One of these communities was settled 
on the great bend of the Saco at Pequawket, now in Fryeburg, and the other 
at the mouth of the Great Ossipee, where, before King Philip's war, they 
employed English carpenters from the settlements down river to build them a 
strong timber fort, having stockaded walls fourteen feet in height, to protect 
them against the blood-thirsty Mohawks whose coming these Indians antici- 
pated and dreaded. (See the particulars in article on garrisons, etc.) 

When the Sokokis removed from the locality of their early home on the 
lower waters of the river to the interior, their names were changed to Pequawkets 
and Ossipees ; the former word, meaning the crooked place, expresses exactly 
the character of the locality where their village stood. 

A terribly fatal pestilence, thought to have been the small-pox, which 
prevailed in 1617 and 16 18 among the Indians of this and other tribes, swept 
them away by thousands, some of the tribes having become extinct from its 
effects. The dead by hundreds remained unburied, and their bones, scattered 
through the forest, were found long afterwards by the white men. At a treaty 
assembled at Sagadahoc in 1702, there were delegates from the Winnesaukes, 
Ossipees, and Pequawkets. Among those present belonging to this tribe were 
Watorota-Menton, Heagon, and Adeawando. When the treaty was holden in 
Portsmouth in 17 13, the Pequawket chiefs were present. Adeawando and 
Scawesco signed the articles of agreement with a cross at the treaty held at 
Arowsic on the Kennebec in 17 17. The ranks of the Pequawkets became 
so thinned out at the time of Lovewell's fight that they could muster but 
twenty-four warriors. Capt. John Giles, who commanded the fort at the 


1 of the Saco river, and who was well acquainted with the Indian tribes 
ine, took a census of those over sixteen years of age, able to bear arms, 
'.6, and reports only twenty-four fighting men. At this time Adeawando 

dany of the tribe had removed to Canada at this time, and had united 
;hc St. Francis Indians there. Adeawando was a man of great intelli- 
, and eloquence as a public speaker, and became very influential in the 
ils. He became a leading spirit after removing to Canada, where he 
. favorite with the Governor General. When Capt. Phiaeas Stevens 
i Quebec in 1752, to redeem captives from the St. Francis Indians, 
vando was chief speaker at the conference held there and made strong 
2S against the English planters on the Saco for their trespass upon the 

of his people. In his address he said: "We acknowledge no other 

as yours but your settlements wherever you have built ; and we will 
nder any pretext, consent that you pass beyond them. The lands we 
nr own have been given us by the Great Master of Life; we hold only 
n the beginning of the war with France, the remnant of the Pequawket 

who had lingered about the home-place of their ancestors on the Saco, 
to some fort occupied by the white men and expressed a desire to live 
hem. These, with the women and children, were permitted to remain 
considerable time in the fort ; but when war had been declared against 
astern Indians these families were removed to Boston where they were 
led for by the government. A suitable place was found for them some 
liles from the city where was good fishing and fowling. The state fur- 
i them blankets, clothing, and other necessary provisions. Smith writes 

journal : "About twenty Saco Indians are at Boston pretending to live 


Vhen the Eastern Indians sued for peace, and promised to summon all 
;ads of tribes concerned in the war, these Sokokis or Pequawket Indians - 
present at the treaty (1749) held at Falmouth; but as it was proved that 
:ribe had not been involved, it was deemed unnecessary for them to sign 
eaty. In 1750, a year later, Douglas wrote : "The Pequawket Indians 
two towns and have only about a dozen fighting men. These often travel 
nada by way of the Connecticut river." 

^fter the fall of Quebec, and white men had pushed their settlements up 
ico valley, a few members of the tribe remained about the head waters 
i Connecticut until the beginning of the Revolution. The last mention 
; tribe living at Pequawket was in a petition to the General Court dated 
yeburg, in which the able-bodied men asked for guns, ammunition, and 
ets, for fourteen warriors, and these became soldiers on the patriot side; 
lerved faithfully under their commander and were liberally rewarded by 


the government. After the war they came back to Fryeburg and Hngered with 
their famihes in the vicinity of their old homes where tliey were well remem- 
bered by the venerable people of the last generation. Among these were Tom 
Heagon, Old Philip, and Swanson. Philip, the last known chief of the Pequaw- 
kets, signed a deed in 1796, conveying northern New Hampshire, and a part 
of Maine, to Thomas Eames and others. 

The curtain of history falls before a sad scene. A popular author has 
written: "Long and valiantly did they contend for the inheritance received 
from their ancestors, but fate had decided against them. With unavailing regret 
these children of the forest looked upon the ruins of their once pleasant homes 
for the last time, and turned their faces away." From time immemorial the 
tribe had held undisputed possession of the Saco valley where, upon the rich 
and mellow intervales, they had harvested their ripened corn. They were 
brave, great hunters, and ready for war. Before the battle with Lovewell they 
had been prosperous, and might have survived to multiply their numbers and 
perpetuate their name, but this conflict convinced them that nothing less than 
absolute extermination, and the possession of the last acre of their land, would 
satisfy the avarice of the whites, and, broken in spirit, they scattered the smoking 
brands of their camp-fire and sadly, silently vanished away. 


On the west side of Ossipee lake and south of Lovewell's river, situated 
upon a beautiful intervale, may be seen a remarkable prehistoric mound which 
was filled with the skeletons of many thousands of Indians. This elevation 
was, when first discovered by white men, about twenty-five feet in height 
seventy-five in length, and fifty in width. As the mound had been protected 
by a wall at the base to prevent washing, the circumference remains about the 
same. Soon after the Revolution, Daniel Smith, Esq., commenced to clear a 
farm here, and was probably the first white man who saw the singular mound. 
When its existence became known great curiosity was excited and hundreds 
went to view the place. At length two physicians went there for the purpose 
of procuring some skeletons, if any could be found sufficiently preserved to 
be of any value. But they found the proprietor of the land averse to this, 
and he positively refused to have anything removed. After much persuasion 
he consented to have an excavation made sufficiently large to ascertain the 
character of the internal structure of the mound ; a work he watchfully superin- 
tended. It had been supposed that each warrior's pipe, tomahawk, and wampum, 
had been buried at his side, but so far as has been revealed, only one tomahawk 
was found. All the bodies were found to be in a sitting position, reclining 
around a common centre, facing outward. From the appearance of the remains 
it seemed evident that the bodies were packed hard against each other, leaving 


little space between them to be filled with earth. Having begun at the 
lie, when one circle had been filled another was started on the outside of 
id so on until the base tier had reached a sufficient circumference ; then 
:ond tier was begun above it. There is no means of ascertaining how long 
mound had been used as a place of interment by the tribe inhabiting that 
)n. Either the tribe must have numbered many thousand at an early day, 
leir dead had been buried here for thousands of years. Judging from the 
e occupied by each skeleton, those present when the excavation was made 
lated that no less than eight or ten thousand bodies must have been deposited 
in the mound. The outer covering of the elevation was of coarse sand taken 
, the plains about one hundred rods distant on the west side of Lovewell's 
, and seems to have been about two feet in thickness originally. The stones 
about the base to prevent the mound from being washed down by rains, 
round, smooth, and water-worn ; these were carried from the bed of the 
; and their exact counterpart may be seen there to-day. Here we find a 
istoric problem suggestive of much thought. About it the contemplative 
1 finds much obscurity. Unanswerable questions will arise. Had the scat- 
i families of the great tribe inhabiting the territory adjacent carried their 
1 through the deep, dark forest pathways for many a weary league to this 
t tribal tomb ? What tradition of ancestors, superstition, or religious senti- 
t, could have impelled these sons of the wilderness to do this.'' What 
mn burial ceremonies attended the mounding of these bodies of their 
irted kindred as they were deposited in this thickly populated chamber of 
tality ? What must have been the emotions of these dusky warriors as they 
'ed the sepulcher of their fathers ; the place where they, too, must take 
r position in the silent circle of the dead! 

To us there is a weird fascination about this singular burial mound, this 
eless monument of antiquity, and we can only wish some record of its 
in, and the number of years it had been used, as definite as that found in 
sacred volume concerning the cave of Machpelah purchased by Abraham 
I place of burial, had been left. But all our speculations must be unavail- 
and we allow the curtain to fall and hide from the mental view that which 
t remain a mystery "until the day dawns and the shadows flee away." 


The American aborigines were fine students of nature and were familiar 
natural phenomena. When they built their houses they displayed more 
lom than the white man who boasted of superior skill. These wigwams 
; never erected on land that would be reached by the swelling streams in 
ig-flood. Some have assumed that the whole community of the Pequawkets 
1 together in a compact village on the intervale at Fryeburg, but this was 


not true ; these keen warriors had their outposts some distance above and below 
to guard against surprise. Had Lovewell known the habits of these Indians 
better, he would not have been drawn into the trap as he was. While the larger 
body of the Indians lived on the great water-loop, there were clusters of houses 
in various places down the Saco valley. One of these hamlets was situated 
just south of Indian Hill in North Conway, and consisted of about twenty 
lodges. In what is now the town of Hiram, not far from the mouth of the 
Great Ossipee river, there is a high bluff upon the top of which there is a nearly 
level plateau of about two acres in extent where several families- of the Sokokis 
Indians once lived, and there the elevated circles, covered annually with rank 
grass, long marked the places where their wigwams stood. 

From the number of stone weapons and implements found in other local- 
ities on the river, it is evident that there were at some time either villages or 
solitary lodges there. At the falls where the West Buxton village now stands 
the Indians of this tribe came at stated seasons to spear salmon with which 
the Saco then abounded ; and when the first settlers in the upper section of 
the Little Falls Plantation came there to hew down the forest and populate 
the town, they found a well-worn trail that followed the river bank to a point 
near the well-known Decker Landing, and thence turned abruptly westward 
over the ridge near the present highway, and down across the Thornton lot, 
so called, thence near the farm afterwards owned by Cyrus Bean to the foot 
of the Killick pond, and so on across the plains to the Little Ossipee. On 
the line of this old trail, and on the Joseph Decker farm, there were many 
indications of a settlement of Indians when the land was cleared ; subsequently 
some remarkably fine stone axes, tomahawks, pestles, and arrow-heads were 
ploughed up. These were accidentally lost by a gentleman to whom they had 
been presented. Not far from the site of this Indian village one or two bodies 
were found one hundred years ago. 

The Indians constructed their houses with a light frame of poles con- 
verging at the top, and covered these with bark and skins. Within this circular 
enclosure men, women, children, dogs, and some small cattle domiciled pro- 
miscuously. The fires were kindled in the centre against a flat stone that 
leaned against the middle pole, and the smoke, carried by the draft from 
the door, emerged at the top of the hut and floated away. Here the cooking 
was done by the squaws, and here the men, when not on the war-path, or 
engaged in the chase, dressed the skins of animals for their clothing and 
packed their peltry for the trading post. Lodges owned and occupied by the 
chiefs and medicine men were usually larger, more pretentious, and ornamented 
without with rude figures of wild animals. These were the red man's council 
rooms and here the wise and grave old fathers sat in a circle and smoked their 
carved stone pipes and determined the action to be taken by the braves when 
menaced by the insolent pale-face. 



Many of these were made from materials that have not decayed, and we 
have a fair collection of local discovery to aid us in our description. Their 
stone axes were of various forms and sizes. Nearly all, however, had a deep 
groove cut below the poll for the handle. It has been supposed, by the farmers 
along the river who have found these, that the Indians twisted strong withes 
around them which served for a handle, but this is not the fact. The axes 
were driven through a small sapling of some firm wood and allowed to remain 
until it had grown so closely into the groove cut for the purpose that the stone 
was immovable; then the tree was cut down, and a section worked to the 
proper size for the handle. If the handle was split, the axe must be driven 
through another sapling, or was laid aside. A few such have been found, 
almost overgrown by the wood of large forest trees in which they had been 
left by the Indians, and for some reason were never afterwards put to use. 
These axes and hatchets were usually made from a very hard and greenish 
colored stone, now seldom found in the Saco valley. W'e have examined 
specimens that were eight inches in length and nearly four in width at the 
edge. These had at the top a nearly round poll ; weight about four pounds. 
We have no means of knowing how these stone axes were dressed into such 
symmetrical form, save by the tradition related by Captain Francis of the 
Oldtown tribe. A farmer at whose home he had dined, when returninc; from 
a hunting excursion, handed him one of these large stone axes and asked 
him how it was reduced from the rough piece to its perfect form. The old 
fellow shrugged his shoulders, laughed, and said: "Dunno; mighty big rub." 
We could fancy the patient red man slowly hewing this with the still harder 
flint tool, but when we ask how that was moulded into regular form, we are 
lost in wonder. The result is good evidence of the possibility, but the process 
must be catalogued with the "lost arts." 

We have seen stone pestles as round and symmetrical as if turned in the 
cabinet-maker's lathe, three inches in diameter at the larger end and a foot in 
length; gouges, two inches broad, concaved and convexed, with the edo-e a 
perfect segment of the circle, armed with a formidable handle from the same 
piece of stone. War clubs, spears, and arrows were pointed with scales of 
flint and bits of hard sea-shell; some of them were wrought into ingenious 
forms, having a shank, or start, that was driven into the wood of spear shaft 
or arrow. We take pleasure in illustrating this chapter with plate views hav- 
ing fac-similes of a collection of these Indian weapons and tools that were 
found on the banks of the Saco river. 












At the breaking out of hostilities, the principal settlement was at the 
mouth of the river. Mills had been put up at the lower falls and a few dwell- 
ings, and a large house for the mill men employed there. Half a mile below 
the falls, on the eastern side of the river, stood the fortified dwelling-house of 
John Bonython. At this time Major William Phillips, a wealthy mill and 
land owner, had built a more substantial and defensible dwelling, called a 
garrison-house, upon the opposite side of the Saco, near where the present 
bridge crosses. 

A friendly Indian of the Sokokis tribe came to the home of John Bonython 
one day and informed him that a party of hostiles had visited his wigwam 
and were trying to induce his tribe to raise the hatchet against the white set- 
tlers; that these warriors had gone eastward, but would return in a few days 
with a large force. This warning prompted about fifty, then in the settlement, 
to take refuge in the garrison of Major Phillips. Almost as soon as they had 
taken this wise step, flames were seen arising from the house of John Bony- 
thon. As Phillips approached a window, to get a view of the burning building, 
he received a bullet in his shoulder from a savage in ambush near his house. 
As he quickly withdrew, to avoid a second shot, a large number of Indians 
who had secreted themselves near, supposing the commander of the garrison 
had been killed, instantly exposed themselves and with demoniac yells made 
a determined attack. At the same instant they were fired upon through loop- 
holes, and by men stationed within the flankers, with such precision of aim 
that several were wounded, the leader of the party so badly that he died. 
They continued the siege till nearly morning, but failing to take the garrison 
by assault they secured a large cart, loaded it with brush, and, shielding them- 
selves behind the head boards, pushed it toward the house, all aflame. This 
scheme proved worse than a failure, as will appear. The cart had received 
a considerable momentum when one of the wheels suddenly fell into a ditch 
which they attempted to cross, causing it to turn to one side, thus exposing 
the Indians to the range of those within the stockades. The opportunity was 
instantly made available and a fatal fire poured into their ranks. Six were 
killed and fifteen wounded in this engagement, and the remainder became so 
disheartened by their defeat that they soon withdrew. Finding his supplies 
of provisions and ammunition nearly gone. Major Phillips and those who had 
taken shelter in his garrison removed to Winter Harbor. His house, being 
left unoccupied, was soon reduced to ashes by the Indians. They also 
destroyed all the houses about the Harbor and carried a Mrs. Hitchcock 
away captive. She did not return, and the savages reported that she had 
died from eating poisonous roots which she had supposed to be ground 


nuts. About this time five men were killed by Indians on the river bank. 
Hearing of the defenseless condition of the settlers at Saco, Captain Win- 
coll of Newichawanock, with a company of sixteen men, proceeded by 
water around the to their assistance. On landing at Winter Harbor 
they were instantly fired upon by ambushed savages, and several of the party 
were killed. These Indians then gave the alarm to a larger number, who had 
tarried in the rear, and Wincoll and his handful of brave men were immedi- 
ately confronted by a hundred and fifty well-armed warriors. Finding himself 
overpowered by numbers, he took refuge behind a pile of shingle bolts, and 
from this extemporized breastwork he and his men fought with such despera- 
tion that the dusky foe was forced to retire with considerable loss. Again in 
1689 the savages menaced the settlements at Saco, but no lives are known to 
have been lost. A short time afterwards, however, four young men, looking 
for their horses for the purpose of joining some scouts under Captain Wincoll, 
were killed. A company, consisting of twenty-four men, was raised to search 
for their bodies, and having discovered the Indians, pursued them into the 
great heath, but were forced to retire with the loss of six of their number. 

Scouting parties employed to range the woods between the Piscataqua 
and Casco during the summer, restrained the savages from committing serious 
depredations. Colonel Church had put to death a number of defenseless 
women and children, and held captive the wives of two chiefs, hoping thereby 
to effect the release of several white captives. He came by vessel into ^^'inter 
Harbor. On the following morning smoke was seen arising in the direction 
of Scamman's garrison. Church sent forward sixty men at once, and pres- 
ently followed with his whole force. This garrison was about three miles 
below the falls, on the eastern side of the Saco. \\'hen the soldiers approached 
the burning house they saw the Indians upon the bank on the other side of 
the river. Three of the number had crossed over, and having discovered the 
detachment of whites ran to their canoes; but in their haste to recross one of 
them, who stood up to use his paddle, was shot down and, falling forward, so 
injured the canoe that it almost instantly sank, and all who were within it 
perished. The report of muskets so alarmed the remaining savages that they 
retreated, leaving their canoes upon the river bank. Old Doney, a noted 
Indian belonging to the Sokokis tribe, was at the falls with a prisoner, Thomas 
Baker from Scarborough, at the time, and hearing the firing of guns hastened 
down the river in a canoe; but on disciix'cring the soldiers put ashore and 
springing over Baker's head, joined the other Indians, thus leaving his canoe 
in possession of him who had been, only a moment before, his prisoner. 

Such extensive preparations were made for war in 1693 that the Indians 
became alarmed and sued for peace; and at the treaty held at Pemaquid the 
sagamores from nearly every tribe in Maine were present, ready to sign the 
articles. Robin Doney, and three other leaders who had showed a hostile 


attitude the following summer, were seized when visiting the fort at Saco. 
On the following March two soldiers belonging to the fort fell into the hands 
of the Indians. One was put to death and the other carried into captivity. 
These savages were constantly lurking about the settlements, watching from 
their places of ambush for any opportunity to do mischief. Sargeant Haley 
carelessly ventured from the fort and was cut off. The following year five 
soldiers lost their lives in the same way. These discovered the enemy in time 
to have escaped, but a hurried consultation respecting the best course to take 
resulted in a disagreement, and being a considerable distance from the fort, 
their delay proved fatal. They fell into an ambush and were all killed. 

In 1697, Lieut. Fletcher and his two sons were captured at Saco. They 
had gone to Cow Island to guard three soldiers while cutting firewood for the 
fort, but thinking there were no savages about, wandered away after wild fowl, 
and fell into a snare. As the Indians were taking these captives down the 
river in their canoes they were waylaid by Lieut. Larrabee, who was out on a 
scouting expedition. These scouts opened fire upon the foremost canoe, 
which- contained three Indians, and all were killed. Several were killed in 
the other canoe and the remainder put ashore on the other side. One of the 
Fletchers, when all the Indians who were with him had been killed, made his 

About this time Humphrey Scamman and his family were carried into 
captivity. An aged lady, descended from the family, described the occurrence 
as follows : When Samuel Scamman was about ten years old, as I have often 
heard him relate, he was sent one day by his mother with a mug of beer to 
his father and brother who were at work on a piece of marsh near the lower 
ferry. He had not proceeded far when he saw a number of Indians at a dis- 
tance and immediately ran back to inform his mother. He regained the house 
and wished to fasten the doors and windows, but his mother prevented him, 
telling him that the Indians would certainly kill them if he did. The savages 
soon entered the house and asked Mrs. Scamman where her "sanup" was, 
meaning her husband. At first she refused to tell them, and they threatened 
to carry her off alone, but promised if she would discover where he was to 
take them together without harm. She then told them. After destroying 
much of the furniture, breaking many articles on the door-stone, and empty- 
ing all the feather-beds to secure the sacks, they went away with the prisoners 
toward the marsh, where they took Mr. Scamman and the other son. 

A lad named Robinson had been out after a team and as he was returning 
discovered the Indians in season to make his escape. Quickly taking off his 
garters he made a pair of reins and mounting a horse rode to Gray's Point, 
swam the beast to Cow Island where he left him, and swimming to the oppo- 
site side of the river, reached the fort in safety. At the time there were only a 
few old men and women in the fort. The guns were immediately fired to warn 


the soldiers belonging there, who were at work some distance away. In the 
meantime the women dressed themselves in men's clothing and were exposed 
where they could be seen by the Indians, who had come up to the island 
opposite. This stratai;;em proved successful. Supposing the fort to be well 
armed, as they afterwards acknowledged, they did not make the attack which 
they had meditated, but withdrew with several prisoners besides the Scamman 
family. I'hese were all restored after being in captivity about one year. On 
the return of Mr. Scamman he found his house just as it had been left; even 
the beer mug, which little Samuel had placed on the dresser, was found there, 
and is still preserved in the family at .Saco as a memorial of the dangers and 
sufferings to which their ancestors were exposed. This is a handsome article 
of brown ware with the figure and name of King William stamped upon it. 
The mug is now more than two hundred years old, and we hope it may be 
preserved with sacred care for many generations to come. 

In our resume of the subject we have briefly treated we are led to ask why 
the inhabitants in the settlements during those times of danger permitted them- 
selves to be so often ensnared by the savages. Surely the pioneers were not 
ignorant of their devices. One would readily assume that the cunning of the 
Indian could have been circumvented, and all his peculiar arts of warfare 
countervailed, by the fine intelligence and trained judgment of the English 
planters. Why, then, when it might be reasonably supposed that the foe was 
patiently waiting in his ambush for an opportunity to send the whizzing bullet 
on its errand of death, such foolhardy contempt of danger, and resultant expos- 
ure, upon the part of the young men who were so much needed for the protection 
of the aged and infirm ? Shall we conclude that the mind had become so used 
to the anticipation of the contingency of warfare that the settlers valued life 
less than it was worth ? Whatever the causes that obtained, the results were 
too often fatal. 

From a more considerate view of the times when these scenes were wit- 
nessed, we shall take into account the wearing restraint of confinement for 
those robust men, who had been enured to acti\e exercise and pure air, when 
shut up within the narrow walls of the block-house or garrisoned dwelling; 
where a dozen families, consisting of men, women, and children, were herded 
together in close quarters, breathing vitiated air and chafing for their freedom 
And this condition of affairs was not limited to a da)- or week, but often extended 
to several months. It should also be remembered that pro\'isions must be pro- 
cured for the maintenance of these scores of persons, and ammunition for their 
defense. And sometimes, after weary watching for days and weeks, with no 
sign of an Indian in the neighborhood, hope would rise triumphant in these 
human breasts and they would emerge from their confinement to procure food 
and fuel. We suppose these early settlers did the best they could. 


Sh^ |cquiutikl dfxp^iili^n. 

NTRODUCTORY.— Our grandfathers have related this old fireside 
story with much animation and circumstantiality. It has been 
handed down to us upon the historic page attended with many 
inconsistent, and some contradictory, statements. We have not 
found one published account of the march, battle, and retreat that would 
stand the first shock of intelligent criticism. Successive authors have fol- 
lowed the beaten track; if they discovered inharmonies, and encountered 
insuperable difficulties, they have been content to repeat the same unreason- 
able statements formulated by their predecessors without criticism or com- 
ment. Some writers have ignored geography; others, the cardinal points. 

The tradition about John Chamberlain and Chief Paugus is unfounded 
and was not invented for half a century after the battle; But it has been 
repeated in song and story. I have personally examined four long muskets 
of French make said to have been the identical guns with which Chamberlain 
bored the savage's head. Each of these guns had a history, and their owner- 
ship could be traced to the original Indian-killer. It was Seth Wyman who 
shot Paugus, and the Chamberlain tradition, formulated when there were 
no survivors of the battle to contradict it, may as well be exploded. In 
my treatment of this subject I shall follow the same beaten track of those 
who have produced the most comprehensive account of the adventure, and 
present such criticism and comment as may seem pertinent, as I proceed, in 

The following petition was copied from the original document in the 
office of the Secretary of State in Boston, and speaks for itself : 

"The humble memorial of John Lovewell, Josiah Farwell, and Jonathan 
Robbins, all of Dunstable, sheweth : 

That your petitioners, with near forty or fifty others, are inclined to range 
and keep out in the woods for several months together, in order to kill and 
destroy their enemy Indians, provided they can meet incouragement suitable. 
And your petitioners are Imployed and desired by many others Humbly to 
propose and submit to your Honors consideration, that if such soldiers may 
be allowed five shillings per day, in case they kill any enemy Indian, and pos- 
sess his scalp, they will Imploy themselves in Indian hunting one whole year; 


and if within tliat time they do not kill any, they are content to be allowed 
nothing for their wa<;cs, time, and trouble. John Lovewell, 

JosiAH Farwell, 
DuNSTAiiij.;, Nov., 1724. Jonathan Robbins." 

This petition was granted, but the compensation was changed to a 
bounty of one hundred pounds for every Indian scalp. It was a cold-blooded 
preparation for the commission of wholesale murder, but with such financial 
inducements held out by the government Lovewell found plenty of volunteers 
ready to rally about his standard and to embark in the hazardous undertaking. 
After two successful initiatory experiments at Indian killing, "just to get his 
hand in," which were rewarded with eleven hundred pounds for scalps, he 
and his comrades in arms found the business "paid," and enlarged the scope 
of their operations. Having heard that the Sokokis had a settlement at 
Pequawket, on the upper reaches of the Saco ri\'er, Captain Lovewell devised 
the scheme of an attack upon them in their village. Undoubtedly he under- 
estimated the dangers and hardships of the expedition. It was one hundred 
and thirty miles to the Pequawket settlement, through a pathless wilderness, 
in a section of the country with which the party was unfamiliar.'* 

On April i6th the company bade farewell to their friends and kindred, 
left Salmon brook, and took up their line of march for Pequawket. The 
company, led by Captain Lovewell, consisted of forty-six men. When they 
had reached Contoocook, William Cummings became disabled from an old 
wound and was permitted to return, with a kinsman to assist him. They then 
proceeded to the west shore of Ossipee lake, where Benjamin Kidder fell 
sick. Here Captain Lovewell called a halt and built a fort, having the lake 

* From Lovewell's journal we learn that he had made a journey to the Pequawket country 
the year previous (1724), and going from the easterly part of the White Mountains had encamped 
upon a branch of the Saco river. On the 18th February he traveled twenty miles and encamped 
at a great pond upon Saco river. (Walkers pond?) If Lo\cvvell reached Pequawket in the fol- 
lowing year (1725), in wliich the battle occurred, by this route on the ^^ est side of Wiunepiseogee, 
thi;nce to Ossipee pond, he went by a circuitous much farther than was necessary. It 
is only about eighty miles on an air line from Dunstable to Fryebui-g on a N. by N. E. course. 

Note.— Did he actually build any fort hcMo'.' Some time between 1650 and 16C0 the Sokokis 
Indians apprehended an invasion by the Mohawks, and I'uiployed English ^^•orknlen to build 
two extensive stockaded forts, fourteen feet in height. One of these was for the protection of 
that branch of the tribe scuttled on Ossipee lake, and the otlier at the junction of the Great Ossi- 
pee river with the Saco, below thi' present village of Cornish. The first-mentioned was on the 
south side of T^ovc^weH's river, near Ossipee lake. It was said to have enclosed nearly an acre 
c>[ ground. The Indians occupied this structure until hostilities between them and the wliites 
commenced. In 1C70 this was ileniolisluMl by English soldiers under Oaptain Hawthorn. The 
site was subscciiic.iitly occ^ipied by Massacliusetts and New Itainpshire troops. Tradition makes 
tbi^ fort built by Lovewell's party, in 1725, stand on the same plot. In an extensive meadow of 
about two huiidn'd acres may still he sch'ii the remains of a stockade of considerable dimen- 
sions. It frontcMl the lake. The trench in which the stockades were set may still be traced 
around the whole enclosure. This ruin is situated upon a ridge that extends from Lovewell's 
river souMierly. At tlie north and south ends of the fort considerable excavations are visible. 
They may have been cellars for storing food. That on the north is nuuii the larger and extends 
nearly to the river, and by it water was probably procured for those within the fort. 


shore in front to the east and the river on the north side. This was designed 
for a place of refuge and a base of supplies. Leaving a sick man, the surgeon, 
and a guard of eight, Lovewell boldly took up his march with the remaining 
thirty-four from Ossipee lake to Pequawket, a distance of nearly forty miles. 

On Tuesday, two days before the battle, the party were suspicious that 
the enemy had discovered them, and on Friday night the guard heard them 
creeping through the under-brush about their encampment. At an early hour 
Saturday morning, the 8th of May, while they were at their devotions, the 
report of a gun was heard, and soon after an Indian was discovered standing 
upon a point of land extending into Saco pond. Those acquainted with the 
stratagems of the savages supposed this lone Indian was a decoy stationed 
there to draw them into an ambush. This was a mistaken inference and re- 
sulted in a terrible fatality to Lovewell's men. A conference was immedi- 
ately called to determine what course to pursue. Should they take the risk 
of an engagement or beat a hasty retreat? The men answered that they had 
prayed all the way that they might find the enemy and they had rather trust 
Providence with their lives than return without meeting them and be called 
cowards for their conduct. 

Captain Lovewell seems to have advised to the contrary, but assented 
to the wishes of his men. Assuming that the foe was still in front, he ordered 
the men to lay down their packs that they might advance with greater caution 
and act with unimpeded readiness. When the party had proceeded slowly 
for about one mile they discovered an Indian approaching amongst the trees, 
and as he drew near where they had concealed themselves, several discharged 
their pieces at him. He returned the fire and seriously wounded Captain 
Lovewell with a load of buckshot. Ensign Wyman then shot the Indian 
dead and Chaplain Frye scalped him. 

During all this time the crafty Paugus and his eighty braves had been 
in the rear watching every movement of Lovewell's men ; he had discovered 
the hidden packs and by counting them learned the whites were outnumbered 
by his own warriors two to one. When Lovewell's company returned to secure 
their provisions and had reached a tract of land covered with pines a little 
way back from the pond, the Indians rose from their ambush in their front 
and rear in two parties with guns aimed; the whites also presented their guns 
and advanced to meet the foe. 

Approaching within twenty yards of each other both parties fired. The 
Indians were badly cut to pieces and took shelter in a clump of low-growing 
pines where they could scarcely be seen ; this was the Indian's method of war- 
fare and placed the whites at a disadvantage ; their shots made terrible havoc 
among them. Already nine of their number, nearly one-third of their party, 
had fallen dead, and three were fatally wounded. Numbered among the dead 
were Captain Lovewell and Ensign Harwood, while Lieutenants Farwell and 


Robbins were wounded beyond hope of recovery. Ensign Wyman ordered 
the remaining soldiers to retreat to the pond, where, being protected in the 
rear, they were saved from utter annihilation. 

Until the going down of the sun the battle went on with desperation. 
The savai;e.s behind trees howled, yelled, and barked like dogs, while the 
whites made the woods ring with their lusty huzzahs. Some of the Indians 
held up ropes and asked Lovewell's soldiers if they would have quarter, but 
they bravely replied "only at the muzzle of your guns." 

About the middle of the afternoon C'haplain Frye fell, seriously wounded. 
He had fought bravely through the hottest of the battle. After falling, he 
was heard to pray for the preservation of his comrades. For eight hours the 
fight had continued and at times was vehement. The whites were obliged to 
adopt the Indian mode of warfare ; they kept near together but each selected 
such a position as would best secure his own safety and admit of reaching 
any of the enemy who might be exposed within range. There were intervals 
of a half hour when scarcely a shot was fired; during such lulls in the battle 
the savages took advantage of the time to seek for better positions by crawl- 
ing and skulking about under cover of the thick under-brush. At the same 
time the soldiers were vigilant to seize upon any chance to send a bullet on 
its errand of death. While the savages seemed to be holding a council, 
Ensign Wyman crept up behind some bushes, and by careful aim shot their 
leader. Thus died Paugus without washing his gun by the pond-side. 

When darkness fell the Indians withdrew, and, contrary to their custom, 
left their dead upon the battle ground. According to the census of the 
Indians taken by Captain Giles, the next year, only twenty-four fighting men 
were left of the Pequawket tribe after this battle. Some of these survivors 
carried serious wounds received in the fight.* 

When the moon arose about midnight, the survivors of Lovewell's party 
assembled, faint, exhausted, and wounded, and considered their situation. 
Jacob Farrar was found to be dying; Lieutenants Robbins and Robert Usher 
unable to rise ; four others dangerously wounded ; seven seriously wounded 
and but nine unhurt. Not knowing the number of the Indians who might 
come to renew the battle in the morning, the soldiers decided to start for the 
fort. Being unable to leave the spot where he had fallen. Lieutenant Robbins 
requested his companions to load his gun, saying "the Indians will come to 
scalp me in the morning and I will kill one more if I can." Solomon Keyes 
could not be found. When he became so weak from three wounds that he 
could no longer stand, he crawled to Ensign Wyman and said : " I am a dead 
man, but if possible I will get out of the way so the Indians shall not have 

*In Walter Bryant'.s .journal keirt wlnm runniiier the line between Maine and New Hamp- 
shire, in 1741, he nimtions an old Pequawket Indian, named Sentur, who i-'ame to his camp; he 
had been wounded and lost an nyu. in the Lovewell tight. 


my scalp." Creeping down to the lake shore where grew some rushes, he 
found a canoe into which he managed to climb, and was wafted by a gentle 
north wind three miles southward and stranded on the beach nearest the fort* 

Recovering strength, he worked his way to the fort and joined his com- 
panions. The dead were left where they fell and the weary, exhausted, and 
nearly famished men started on their return to their fort before the dawn of 
day. In all the annals of war we can scarcely find the record of a trans- 
action attended with such distressing circumstances as we find here. The 
prospect of the able-bodied survivors was prophetic of danger and terrible 
suffering from fatigue and hunger, but what can we say of those wounded, 
bleeding, dying comrades who had fallen in the battle ? Weak and faint from 
fasting and loss of blood, they must be forsaken and left in the midst of the 
wilderness, exposed to dire vengeance from the Indians or to die alone far 
from any of their kindred. We can scarcely bring our minds to realize that 
this is no picture of the imagination, or that such things actually occurred. 
What must have been their thoughts when facing the grim messenger alone 
in the solitudes of the deep, dark forest ! There was no medicinal cordial for 
their painful wounds, no soothing draught for their parched lips. With antici- 
pation of the mutilating scalping knife, and feasting wild beasts, they closed 
their eyes and gave up the ghost. 

When the returning survivors had gone something more than a mile, four 
of the wounded — Lieutenant Farwell, Chaplain Frye, and Privates Jones and 
Davis — could no longer move forward, and importuned their comrades to push 
toward their stockade and secure a rescuing party to carry them in. Thus 
these four were left to their fate, and when the men hastened to the fort, 
where they had expected to find the eight who had been left as a guard, to 
their consternation they found the place deserted and nearly all of the pro- 
vision gone. It was subsequently learned that a cowardly soldier, in the early 
part of the battle at Pequawket, frightened at the slaughter, had deserted his 
company and hastened back to the fort where he gave such a discouraging 
account of the fight that all joined him in his flight. Here was another try- 
ing experience for the nine soldiers. They had left their wounded comrades 
cheered in their distress by the expectation of succor, and now to abandon 
them to suspense and starvation was a most cruel and melancholy action. 
But there was no other alternative. To go back was to meet death without 
saving their comrades by the sacrifice, and they decided to press forward. 
Their sufferings from hunger and fatigue were terrible. For four days they 
did not taste food ; after that some partridges and squirrels were brought down 

* After an examination ol tlie maps to find tlie air-line between Ossipee pond and the spot 
designated as the Pequawliet battle ground, the story of Solomon Keyes appears irreconcilable 
with statements about the location of the fort. How could Keyes be carried by a northerly 
wind some miles (Goodale) southward toward a fort at Ossipee pond? Some writers have sup- 
posed that Keyes made his way to the Indian fort on the Saco at the mouth of the Great Ossipee. 


and roasted, which greatly sustained them during the remainder of their jour- 
ney. They succeeded in reaching Dunstable, the major part, on May 13th, the 
others two days afterwards. 

Two of the wounded who had been left near the scene of the battle, Eleazer 
Davis and Josiah Jones, survived, and by almost superhuman efforts reached 
Berwick.* They reported that after waiting for several days (how did they 
obtain sustenance?), hoping for relief from the fort at Ossipee, they all pro- 
ceeded slowly several miles. Then poor (Jhaplain Frye laid down and probably 
survived Init a few hours. Lieutenant Farwell held out until they had almost 
reached the fort, but sank down and was not afterwards heard from. 

The news of the disastrous termination of this expedition was productive 
of wide-spread grief at Dunstable, and other localities from which the volun- 
teers had come to join Lovewell's company. A party was immediately dis- 
patched to the battle ground and the bodies of the captain and ten of his men 
were buried at the foot of an ancient pine. A monument has since been 
erected to mark the spot. The General Court appropriated fifteen hundred 
pounds to the widows and orphans, and a liberal bounty of lands to the sur- 

This may be properly called "Lovewell's Defeat." He and his company 
had been impelled to their hazardous undertaking by a mercenary, rather 
than a patriotic, motive. They hated the Indians for their cruelty and yet 
proposed to practice the same atrocities. Scalps were the prizes sought for, 
and the religious and prayerful Chaplain Frye vied with his comrades in 
scalping the first of the savages who had fallen. They found " Indian hunt- 
ing " was dangerous business, and also the statement true, that " they who take 
the sword shall perish by the sword." Their campaign plan was to surprise 
Paugus in his village at Pequawket and to butcher defenseless women and 
children for their scalps. In this they were disappointed. Providence, in 
whom Lovewell's brave men trusted, did not protect them in their murderous 
designs when attempting to disposses and exterminate those to whom the soil 
had been given. Paugus is said to have been down the Saco with eighty of 
his warriors, and when returning by the old Indian trail struck the tracks 
of the invading party. Hon. John H. Goodale says, in the history of Nashua: 
" For forty hours they stealthily followed t and saw the soldiers dispose of 

•Tliere was a tradition lield by the (^aiiy settlers on the Saco that l-^vewell's party came 
tliiough Berwick, Sanfonl, Waterliorough, and Hollis to the Killiok brook, back of the William 
West place, wliere thiiy crossed .and encamped by a cool fountain of water, afterwards pointed 
out by the pionciirs ami called " Lovewell's spring." By this route he would have struck the 
Saco somewlierc about Bonnie Eagle F;ills, and rauu'us on his return to Pequawket would have 
found thctir tracks. I do not think this theory can be correct, as there are official documents 
that prove, beyond reasonable iloiibt, that Lovowell built a stockade at Ossipee lake, to which 
a part of the survivors made- their way after the battle. 

t How could Paugus and his eighty warriors stealthily follow Lovewell's party for " forty 
hours " when returning from a trip down the Saco, unless that party struck the old Indian trail 


their packs, so that all the provisions and blankets fell into their hands, with 
the knowledge of their small force." 

' Thus ended the Pequawket expedition. It was a source of rejoicing that 
the courage of the brave Sokokis had been crushed; that their numbers had 
been so reduced that there would be little trouble in dispossessing the remnant 
of their lands. The spot where this wilderness battle was fought, one hun- 
dred and seventy years ago, has been visited by thousands, and the tragic 
event has been commemorated in story and song at the firesides of the Saco 
valley from the mountains to the sea. 

In the earth's verdant hosom, still, crumbling, and cold, 
Sleep the soldiers who mingled in battle of old ; 
They rushed to the slaughter, they struggled and fell. 
And the clarion of glory was heard as their knell. 

Those brave men have long been unconscious and dead; 

The pines murmur sadly above their green bed, 

And the owl and the raven chant loudly and drear, 

When the moonbeams o'er Lovewell's pond shine on their bier. 

The light of the sun has just sunk in the wave. 
Oh ! in billows of blood sat the sun of the brave ; 
The waters complain as they roll o'er the stones. 
And the rank grass encircles a few scattered bones. 

The eye that was sparkling no longer is bright. 
The arm of the mighty, death conquered its might ; 
The bosoms that once for their country beat high, 
To those bosoms the sods of the valley are nigh. 

The shout of the hunter is loud on the hills, 

And sounds softly echo o'er forest and rill, 

But the jangling of arms shall be heard of no more 

Where the heroes of Lovewell's pond slumber in gore. 

that followed the course of that river as far south as the outlet of Great Ossipee at Cornish? If 
Lovewell's party went by the direct route from Ofsipae pond to Peguawket, Paugus would not 
have touched his trail until near the spot where the battle was fought. It seems probable that 
Lovewell's company followed down the valley of the Great Ossipee on the old Indian trail to 
the fording place near the junction of that river with the Saco, and from that point went due 
north to Pequawket. In coming up the Saco from below, Paugus and his men would cross the 
Great Ossipee at the same place and thus strike the tracks of Lovewell's party. 



rt i n ) ' I I ) '-n+ [ i i M m ) 1 i .' ' ■ > ' i .. ! ' , . ; 1 i , ) ' ii ! I i T , ) ! i 1 i . ■H-rH-rr)- 1 ' ■ ) ' ; ' , , 1 1 I i , ) J 


(finrriBOUJi, iHoxIi-^^iaiiJiCJi, cf'orifi. 


URING the Indian wars various kinds of fortifications were built 
by the settlers along the Saco river. Some of these w ere put up 
by individuals for the better protection of their own families, and 
others were built by authority of the Provincial Government and 
paid for from appropriations voted "for the defense of the frontier." When 
the Indians threatened the settlement along the coast the people importuned 
the Great and General Court for funds to erect forts and block-houses.* These 
were to be built of stockades, or square timber, in such places as would best 
accommodate the inhabitants in each settlement, and at such distances from 
each other as would' be most convenient for accommodation of such scouts as 
might be employed in ranging the woods, and such forces as, in case of war, 
might be sent out for the annoyance of the enemy in any of their settlements. 
The commissioners appointed in 1747 by Go\'ernor Shirley to have charge of 
establishing these frontier defenses, "must take care to purchase the materials 
and agree with the workmen in the best and clearest manner." 

In 1693, a very strong stone fort was built on the river bank at Saco Falls, 
where the Waterpower Machine Company's works now stand, and remains of 
the structure were removed when the grading for this plant was in proe;ress in 
1840. This fortification was built by Captain Hill and Major Hook, under 
direction of Major Converse, the noted Indian fighter. The existence of so 
strong a place of refuge was a great guarantee for the safety of the inhabitants, 
but from imprudence and reckless exposure outside the walls several were cut 
off. The soldiers stationed at the stone fort were under the command of 
Capt. George Turfrey and Lieut. Pendleton Fletcher. We ha\e a record of 
fourteen persons who lost their li\'es, or were captured, while venturino- away 
from the fort. The Indians could not subdue the forces kept stationed there 
by direct attack, but lurked about in the adjacent woodlands, watching every 
movement of the soldiers and settlers who lived there, ready to intercept them 
or shoot them down when they ventured outside. Soldiers were stationed in 

' Blook-housks woni not thus iianii'il because built of timbers, but from bloclis of wood 
fittnfl to the tray shaiicil loop-liolcs in the .stockailos and rtanlcers for the use of muskets. One 
such block w:iM supplied for earh oi>i)nlng in the timber walls; had a long wooden handle 
and was connected with the stockaiU^ by a piece o[ cord. Wliile the men within were loading 
their pieces the block was thrust into the loophole; when ready to fire, it was removed and 
allowed to hang within easy reach. 




the stone fort until 1708, when they were removed down river to the new fort 
built at Winter Harbor, the remains of which are visible on the point at the 
entrance to the Pool, called Fort Hill. The General Court voted an appro- 
priation of three hundred pounds for the erection of this structure which was 
built under the supervision of Capt. Lewis Bane and Maj. Joseph Hammond. 
This sum was found insufficient, and in 17 10 an additional ;^ioo was granted 
for its completion. It was named Fort Mary, and became a noted landmark 
on the coast. A garrison had been built at the Harbor long before this, but 
had been taken by the Indians, an event which, no doubt, stimulated the inhab- 
itants to ask assistance from the government to build Fort Mary, which was 
evidently a place of considerable strength for the times. A supply of snow-shoes 
and moccasins were voted for the use of those stationed there. 

In 1723, when hostilities were again threatened, the forts and garrisons 
were supplied with men, ammunition, and provisions. At this time Captain 
Ward was in command at Fort Mary. There were fourteen garrisons between 
Saco Falls and the mouth of the river, many of them dwelling-houses protected 
by stockades. The localities where some of these stood are still pointed out. 
Scamman's garrison was about three miles below the falls; Captain Sharp's 
garrison was at Rendezvous Point; here four men were stationed. Hill's garri- 
son on Ferry Lane was allowed three men. The garrisons of Dyer and Tarbox 
were at the Pool ; here three and four men, respectively, were stationed. Five 
men were placed in Richard Stimpson's garrison, four at Stackpole's, and four 
at Saco Falls in the garrison of John Brown. The same year a sergeant and 
fifteen men were stationed in garrisons about the falls. Major Phillips had a 
strong fortified house below the falls, where he was wounded in the shoulder 
as he exposed himself at a window in the loft. Magnus Redland did not settle 
in Saco until 1729-30, but his house on Rendezvous Point was garrisoned. 

Some of the structures called forts were simple stockades built of hewed 
timber entrenched in the ground and rising from ten to fourteen feet. These 
enclosed an area of sufficient extent for the erection of a strong interior building, 
called a block-house, with over-jutting second story, for the soldiers' quarters 
and the stores. Sometimes the settlers who owned land in the immediate 
vicinity erected small cabins within the stockade for occupancy when compelled 
to resort thither in time of danger. Others built their dwellings near at hand 
on the outside so they could, in case of attack, quickly remove th^ir families 
within the fort. 

Great suffering was often occasioned during the Indian troubles to the 
inhabitants on the Saco river by being crowded into these enclosures promis- 
cuously, on scanty food, where they were obliged to remain for weeks together 
before they could safely venture back to their own houses or were conveyed by 
vessels to settlements westward. 

During the summer and autumn it became necessary for the settlers to go 


forth for the cultivation of their ground, and at times they were scattered about 
the plantation and in the woodland borders thereof ; always with musket slung 
to their shoulder by leathern strap, or standing near their place of employment. 
When no s:\vaj;cs were known to be in the neighborhood, the women went down 
to the river-side to wash their clothing, while their daughters strayed about the 
clearings, gathering berries and wild flowers. 

When an alarm was given by the firing of a gun, all ran for the garrison 
or fort. At one time two girls at Saco ferry had been down the river bank, 
and had wandered a considerable distance from the garrison, when noises 
were heard about the woods sounding like blue jays; but the quick ears of 
the vigilant planters detected in these sounds the signals of the Indians, and 
they hastened toward the block-house, where a gun was fired and the gate 
held ajar for the absent daughters, who were seen in the distance, running 
with desperation toward the place. What was their horror when one, looking 
from a flanker, reported that two Indians were running across the clearing to 
cut off the two girls ! They were beyond musket range, and those at the 
garrison seemed helpless when they would have rendered assistance to their 
children. But the girls had the advantage, and when the savages saw that 
they could not capture them they sent their leaden missiles after them. 
Although neither was harmed, one of the bullets went through the skirt of 
one's gown, and a piece of the fabric, handed down through the generations 
that have succeeded, pierced by the red man's lead, has been seen by the 

One of the most extensive and substantial fortresses built on the Saco 
river, and which became a place of considerable note, was the truck-house 
originally so called, established in the Plantation of Little Falls, now in 
Dayton, which was built — so says history — for a trading post from which to 
supply the Indians with such English goods as they required, at a reasonable 
price, in exchange for their peltry, in time of peace. The house was built by 
direction of the General Court in 1730. When danger was imminent the 
establishment was enlarged and fortified. The principal building was sur- 
rounded by a high timber wall, with flankers at the corners which commanded 
all sides of the stockading. Sufficient space was left within for a parade 
ground and a building for the stores. This stood on the river bank, on the old 
Bane farm, below Union Falls and near an ancient burial ground. It was at 
first garrisoned with ten men. In 1744, thirteen men were stationed here and 
after the declaration of war between France and England the force was 
increased to twenty. In the upper story of the block-house within the stock- 
ade, which was the wooden castle's "dungeon keep," several small cannon were 
mounted. These were sufficiently elevated to sweep the surrounding country 
over the walls of the palisading, and the waters of the river eastward. There 
is no recorded account of an attempt upon the part of the savages to take this 


primitive stronghold of the Saco valley. They were frequently seen in the 
vicinity, and when the neighboring planters, nearly all of whom had settled 
near the fort, were safe within the walls, one of the cannon was fired off and 
the lurking red men would betake themselves to their distant retreats. After 
the peace, some of the Indians going down the river in a canoe visited a 
shingle camp on the bank and asked the workmen about the "thunder-guns" 
down the stream. 

This fortification was built under the supervision of Capt. Thomas Smith, 
father of Rev. Thomas Smith, the first minister of Falmouth, now Portland, 
who was the first commander. The following account, rendered to the Gen- 
eral Court for building and repairing the "truck-house" on Saco river is so 
curious that, although long, we give space to it. It speaks for itself. 

Province of Massachusetts to Thomas Smith Dr. 

Built a ^ For sundry men he employed in working ana cash he expended in 
Parade 19 >• building or finishing the Truck-house by order of the Honab'* 
foot & 25 ) General Court, on Saco river, as follows: 

£ — s — d. 
To cash pd Wm Tyler for nails locks bolts & Co. as pr particular accot "I 

there of 1 29 : 2 : o. 

To ditto pd Wm Wheeler for lime as pr said accot . . . . 5:3:6. 

To Ditto pd Wm Peek for casements glazing & Co. as per his accot 8 : 15 : 2. 

To Ditto pd John Anthony & Elisha Snow for work by them don as per \ , 

their accot j- 15 : o : o. 

To cash pd Samuel Rounds for work don there as per his accot . 13 : 8 : 6. 

To cash pd Thomas Killpatrick for his son Josephs working there as per \ 

his accot | i : 12 : o. 

To cash pd John Bryant for 8 M of shingles dd at the Truck house 8 : o : o. 

To cash pd Wm Dyer for his son John's working there as pr his accot i : 12:0. 

To Ditto pd Daniel Smith himself and team drawing timber & Co. as \ 

per his accot j- 4 : o : o. 

To Ditto pd Joseph Favor for working ten days as per his accot @ 6 | - \ 

per day | 3 ■ o • 3- 

To cash pd Nathanl Dairell for 14 days work in making brick @ 7 | - 1 , . . r 

per day |5-i-- 

To Daniel Chevers for working 64 days as per his accot (n\ 6 | - per day \ 

& subsistance ". . . / ^9 : 7 ■ o- 

To Nathl Favor for working 71^^ days at 6 | - per day & his subsistance \ 

as per accot |2i. 9. o. 

To John Robbins for working there & Co as per his accot . . 21 : 17 : 8. 

To cash pd Abial Goodwin and man for carrying up the chimneys, mak- 1 . . 

ing a new one & Co. as per his accot j- 5 . o . o. 

To 6 men, soldiers working as follows — 

Joseph Lewis 46 days 

William Gibbs 56 days 

Jno. Barrows 36 days 

William Brown 32 days 

William Hughes 14 days 

John Morin 46 days 

in the whole 231 f«) 2 | - per day 23 : 

To cash pd Benj Joy as per his accot for enlarging of hinges and making ■! . o . „ 

nails . . . J ° ■ ■ ■ 

To Benj Haley as per his accot for boards & work himself and others &Co. 72: 18: 3. 
To cash pd John Snow for hay for the cattle while drawing ye timber, "1 

Bricks & Co j. I : 10 . o. 


r,M I!i;iS(>NS, liL<)(^K-IIOVSKS, Foirr.s. 

To John Howard for i gall Linseed Oyle, lo of ground priming & i fb ) 
red Led i 

To 4'/4 galls Rum at 5 | - 

To 10 111 sugar ('(. II d per 11> 

To ig'/i Mis cheese ('(} 12 d per Hi 

To I bushl Indian meal '" 7 | - 

To horse hire to Arundel, Wells 2 times, Winter Harbor 5 times, Scar- 
borough and Falmouth about getting workmen and expences travel 
ling & Co ... 

To sundry hinges, nails, axes locks latches, priming & Co, as per perticu 
lar accot 

I : 

17 : 


10 : 










5: 6. 

32 : 12 : 5. 

Boston Septr 28th 1730 /^3t^3 '■ 10 : 5. 

Errors Excepd per Thomas Smith, 

Middlesex SS Camb — Sept. 29, 1730. 

The above named Capt. Thomas Smith personally appeared and made oath that 
the within and above accompt is just and true. 

Before Samuel Danforth Jus. Pasis. 


Province Massachusetts Bay to charges in Building a house for the 
Indians* of 32 feet long & 16 wide, adjacent to the Truck House 
on Saco River — viz : — 

1735 To 2 M Boards at ^3 per M . ■ £6 
To 6)4 M shingles at 25 | - . . 8 : 

To2Miod&7M4d nails by Sher- 

borns accept 7 : 

To Benjamin Healey 7 days and ^4 work 

done at 8 I - 3 : 

To Benjamin Nicholas 3 days work at 3 | - : 
To William Buzzell 8 days work and ;4 

at 3 1 - 

To Abram Johnson 8 }4 days work 

at 3 I - 

To Uriah Gates 6 )4 days work at 3 | - 

2 : 6 

7 -4 



5 :6 

19 : 6 

By cash received of 
Jere Allen Esq Treasurer 
& Co ^30: Ballance due 
to Thomas Smith carried 
to ye Dr. of ye new 

/i : 14 : 4 

/31 : 14 : 4. 


River November 1736. 

/'/y)7'//uY of Massachusetts Bay to Thomas Smith Dr. 

To 1563 feet of boards for a floor for the corn and meal room, a shed to 
cover the smiths bellows and cole house, and a shed for washing in, 

at ^3 : 10 : o per thousand zf 6 : 

To 2000 Shingles used in covering ye foresaid sheds (" 25 | - per M. ^ 2 : 
To cash pd Caleb Young for working about ye chimneys, hearths and 

ovens, pointing ,\Co. 5 days at 10 | - per day . . . . ^ 2 : 
To Caleb Young at my table 18 meals and drink between meals . .^ i : 
To several men in doing the carpenters work on above floor and sheds 
and assisting & tending the mason in his work — altogether 57 days 

work at 3 I - per day iT 8 : 11 ; o. 

To sundry charges for wooding ye Garrison from Oct 1735, to Septr 1736 — ^24 : 16:4! 

lo : 

Sworn to by Capt. Thomas Smith and allowed. 

/50 : 11:6. 

*Thia buildiiin was probably erected for the accommodation ol the "remnant of the 
Pequawkcts," who went to some fort occupied by white men and expressed a desire to live 
witli them. They wt-re afterwards sent to Boston. 

^i ,l!!i .ilhflS 




I — I 







Notwithstanding the short interval between the building of the truck-house 
and the extensive repairs or additions made by Captain Smith, yet as early as 
1748 Capt. Thomas Bradbury petitioned the General Court for liberty to repair 
the establishment. He describes the condition of the structure and its appur- 
tenances as follows: "The side of s'' Blockhouse fronting on the River is in 
great danger of being undermined by s'^ River without a wharf to prevent the 
same. And the side of the Blockhouse wants to be new Pallasaded. The roof 
of ye house wants shingling and other repairs to keep the men dry in their 
lodgings, as also to secure the Provissions & Amunition. Likewise newsilling. 
There also wants a new boat, as also one to be repaired, to carry up the pro- 
vissions and other stores." The General Court allowed ten shillings to build 
a wharf, twenty pounds for palisading, shingling, and repairing the house, and 
seventeen pounds ten shillings to build a bQat for the purpose mentioned. 

The first commander. Captain Smith, seems to have held the position 
until his death, in 1742. In the memoir of the minister it is said : " My father 
died at Saco, Feb. 19, 1742. He was engaged there as Indian agent, or truck- 
master, and had been in the service of the government in connection with Indian 
affairs in the state." He probably died, like the "faithful sentinel," at his 
post in the block-house, where he had lived for about twelve years. The 
Rev. Ammi R. Cutter succeeded to the command in 1743. He was fol- 
lowed by Capt. Daniel Smith, of Biddeford, who soon transferred the place 
to Capt. Thomas Bradbury, who is said to have been in command during the 
last Indian war. He was there in 1748, and must have been succeeded by 
Capt. Jonathan Bane, of York, soon after, for it is related that the soldiers 
were disbanded in 1759, and the cannon removed to Fort Castle William in 
Boston Harbor. A son of Captain Bane was lieutenant of a company sta- 
tioned here. The Bane family settled on the land about the block-house and 
held custody of the enormous iron key, which was in the hands of a descend- 
ant not many years ago. This impressive symbol of authority was wrought 
by some early smith, probably by Joseph Tyler, for he it was who furnished 
the locks for the truck-house. 

This frontier fortress long remained upon the river bank to remind the 
passing traveler of the times when safety was only secured by vigilance, and 
of the trying experiences through which the early settlers passed to hold pos- 
session of the lands on which their descendants, in peace and quietness, but 
with much complaining, have lived and gathered their harvests. The building 
gradually fell into decay, its heavy timbers were separated by the intervale 
frosts of many winters, and at length the ruins were removed and nothing left 
to mark the spot but the cellar and some old graves near by. 

The evidence at hand goes to prove that there were no less than three 
garrisons or forts in what is now Buxton. Governor Shirley ordered the com- 
missioners appointed by the General Court for that purpose, Nov. 30, 1743, 


forthwith to repair to the ( 'ounty of York and take effectual care that a garrison 
be erected in "Newbury Narragansett." Under this order the first fortifica- 
tion in the township was built that year. In 1744, a meeting of the proprietors 
was called to see if they would "clear round the garrison" according to the 
order of the General Court's committee. This was a log block-house, sur- 
rounded by a timber stockade like nearly all of the frontier defenses. It was 
built at Salmon Falls, upon land reserved for public use, near the log meeting- 
house and probably because the settlers at the time were living near. 

At a meeting of the proprietors of Narragansett, No. i, held in 1750, a 
committee was chosen to petition the General Court for liberty to remove the 
fort in consequence of inability to get water where it then stood. Upon the 
high ground at Salmon Falls, where this fort stood, wells could not be sunk 
without blasting through the granite ledge there, and the inhabitants were 
unwilling to assume the expense of such an uncertain experiment. But a well 
of good water was an important requirement within the walls of such a place of 
refuge, in case the settlers should be compelled to remain there during an Indian 

The proprietors requested their clerk to call a meeting in 175 4, to see if 
a vote would be taken to build a fort at or near the " Broad Turn." Also, to 
see if the proprietors would find men to help keep the same in case of war 
which was then much looked for. In the petition it was stated that the 
Province fort was "very ill convenient" for the settlers on the northeasterly 
side of Martin's Swamp, and that there were not accommodations for all the 
inhabitants in said fort. In closing, they stated that unless they could have 
a place of defense according to the petition they must of necessity leave the 
township. In compliance with the request, a meeting was held and a vote 
was passed to raise money and build a fort forthwith. At a later meeting, it 
was voted to pay William Hancock eight pounds upon his building a fort or 
garrison to be forty feet square with palisades or stockades three feet and one- 
half in the ground and ten feet, above the ground, said stockades to be set 
double, and a good flanker, or watch-box, to be built at two opposite corners. 
This was to be located where the inhabitants living on the northeasterly side 
of the swamp could be accommodated, finished within twenty days from date 
and paid for by the proprietors. There are reasons for the belief that this 
garrison was connected with the dwelling-house of William Hancock, and not 
at Pleasant Point; as in the will of Mr. Hancock he mentions "My Flanker 
House." The garrison, or fort, connected with the house of Joseph Woodman 
at Pleasant Point, was not the original Province fort which the proprietors 
wished to have removed to some locality where a supply of water could be 

During the French and Indian war all the settlers in Narragansett, No. i 
left the plantation and none returned for resettlement before 1750. The dangers 


from wandering Indians were not then over and tiie garrisons were kept in 
repair. At one time the settlers found the door of their block-house, which 
they had left closed, wide open. These had been forewarned by an old, 
experienced scout that they should never go and return by the same path when 
visiting their clearings, and being suspicious that all was not right, they heeded 
the advice. When the wars were over a party of Indians who came to the 
settlement to trade informed the men there that some of their tribe were 
secreted in the fort at the time the door was found open, and that, on the 
following day, they ambushed the path by which the settlers came and missed 

Capt. John Elden seems to have held command of the Province fort, so 
called, in Narragansett, No. i. It is related that while the families of the early 
inhabitants were living in the garrison for security while the men were absent 
for a day and night, a runner brought news that the enemy was in the neighbor- 
hood. But Mrs. Elden, the captain's wife, a woman who showed heroism on 
more than one occasion, became master, or mistress, of the situation. She 
donned her absent husband's uniform, seized a sword, and with voice changed 
to a masculine tone, marshaled the other women, also arrayed in male attire 
and armed with muskets, about the fort as if preparing to resist an attack_ 
This was kept up during the night and part of the succeeding day until the 
"relief guard" returned and the male persuasion took charge of the garrison. 
Some of the first children born in the plantations on the Saco had their advent 
within these primitive forts, and the stirring events with which they were 
associated in childhood were related to their grandchildren at the fireside on 
many a winter evening. 

The General Court authorized the erection of a fort in Pearsontown, now 
Standish, to be of hewed timber, one hundred feet square, with extensive 
flankers at opposite corners, as the custom then was. The actual building, 
called a "house," was only eighty feet square. After being nearly completed, 
it was partly destroyed by fire, but rebuilt, and fortified with two swivel guns. 
This was built about the time the French and Indian war came on in 1754-5. 
It stood on the high ground at Standish Corner, where the open square now 
is. For particulars the reader is referred to the Standish town history in this 

The next fort to be mentioned was for the protection of the Indians 
themselves. Of this we have little more than vague tradition to inform us. 
No petition from the projectors of the undertaking, nor recorded action of the 
Indian council, has been found to aid our description. Historians have stated, 
without giving their authority, that the Sokokis Indians, fearing an invasion 
by Mohawks, employed English carpenters from Saco to build them a fort at 
the mouth of the Great Ossipee river. The exact location where the fort 
stood is not now known, but tradition has marked the site between the present 


village of Cornish and the outlet of the river, near where the old Pequawket 
trail crossed at the fording place. This fortification has been represented 
as of great strength. A determined search, and suitable excavations, would 
undoubtedly discover the remains of the stockading where the timbers were 
entrenched. Some have supposed this to have been the fort in which Capt. 
John Lovewell left some stores and part of his men in 1724, when he went 
through the wilderness to fight the Sokokis at Pequawket. If the company 
crossed the stream at the head of the Killick pond, in what is now the north 
part of Hollis, not far from the old William West homestead, directing their 
steps toward Saco river, they may have followed the Indians' trail to the 
mouth of the Great Ossipee, at Cornish, where the fort of the Sokokis stood. 
As Quebec had fallen and the wars with the Indians had ceased before 
the other Saco valley towns were settled by the white men, there was no need 
of garrisons, block-houses, or forts for the protection of the inhabitants, and 
here our chapter ends. 


Id ®tmes oil 


IRST CLEARINGS. — The pioneers who contemplated permanent 
settlement were sometimes squatters on the soil for several years 
before a title to their claim could be secured, as old letters relating 
to such transactions, now at hand, clearly prove. When the new- 
comer "pitched" upon a lot some distance from the cabins of those who had 
preceded him in settlement, a rude puncheon-and-bark camp was built. The 
woodman felled a goodly number of straight spruces, or chestnut trees, and 
cut them into sections, some eight feet in length. These were split into halves 
and set in a narrow trench, two feet in depth, excavated in the ground. On 
the inside, ribs were treenailed to the upright puncheons, which constituted 
the wall, to hold them in place. The roof was usually constructed of light 
poles covered with broad squares of chestnut bark; sometimes "shingled" 
with bark peeled from the white birch. At one side a light frame or platform 
was raised two feet above the ground and covered with cedar or hemlock 
boughs for a couch. This rude hut served as a shelter from the storms by 
day and a place of rest at night. We may designate this class the first 
generation of Saco valley houses. 

To this remote habitation a quantity of provision sufficient to last a few 
weeks was carried; then, pushing up his sleeves and his coon-skin cap from 
his bronzed brow, the pioneer began to hew the forest down and lay the foun- 
dation for his future home. From the dewy morning until the deep shadows 
fell over the wilderness, the metallic ring of the axe could be heard, inter- 
rupted only by the echo-raising crash of some forest monarch, or the short 
intermission of the noon-time meal. Thus, day succeeded day, while the old 
primeval forest that had withstood the tempest shock of centuries, yielded to 
the ruthless axe. The "cut-down" expanded into an "opening," and the 
opening into a "clearing," the whole being an overture to the warming sun- 
shine and refreshing dew. 

The work of felling trees was greatly facilitated by the somewhat dan- 
gerous method called "driving." This was accomplished by under-cutting 
the trees upon a considerable area, on one and the same side, until a number 
sufficient for a "drove" were ready to be driven down; then a heavy tree, 
which stood in the rear of this "wounded army," was selected for a "driver" 

42 OLD TIM lis ON THE tiACO. 

and felled upon the nearest neighboring tree, which fell in turn, carrying 
others down in its descent, like tenpins in the bowling alley, until an acre 
was covered with "fallen heroes." 

When several acres had been cut, it was necessary to wait for the wood 
to season before the torch was put in. It was during this interval that the 
loy-house was put up. Many of these, which we denominate the second gen- 
n-atinii of houses, were constructed of round logs cut from saplings; but the 
better class, designed for a more permanent domicile, were built of hewed 
timber prepared with much labor. On the occasion of "rolling up the log- 
house," as the process was called, it became necessary to call for the assistance 
of the neighboring settlers, for, when the walls of the house had been raised 
to a considerable height, the combined strength of several men was required 
in placing the heavy timbers. One by one the tiers were laid on, neatly dove- 
tailed at the corners and firmly treenailed together. The openings between 
the logs were sometimes filled on the inside with triangular shaped ribs hewed 
out with the narrow axe and pinned in place. On the outside, after being 
thoroughly "chinked" with meadow or tree moss, the openings were plastered 
with clay mortar. 

The chimneys were laid up of rude stones upon the outside of the walls 
of the house at one end, and sometimes "topped out" with sticks or an empty 
cask. The fireplaces were so enormously wide, and high withal, that the 
person of studious proclivity could sit upon the hearthstone and, looking 
upward through the "flue" which opened to the outer world, read the heav- 
enly runes that marked the "great dipper," the "yard-ell," and consider the 
sweet influences of the Pleiades and the bands of Orion. 

In the front walls of these cabins two or three openings were left for the 
door and windows. Rude frames were attached to the squared ends of the 
timbers and filled with oiled paper, which was sufficiently translucent to admit 
the light, and too dense to satisfy the inquisitive stranger from without when 
passing; a sort of window and curtain combined, you see; probably the sug- 
gestive precursor of ground glass. When a heavy plank door had been 
attached by long wooden hinges, a puncheoned floor laid, and some pins 
driven into the wall within for the family wardrobe, the log-house was ready 
for occupancy. 

The furnishing of these priniiti\'e dwellings was of the most simple and- 
inexpensive character. At the fireside was a high-backed settle, sometimes 
called the "resting chair," for iieads of the family, while the young folks sat 
on saw-blocks, usually called by the pioneers "on-marchantable shingle-bolts." 
The eating-table was made from a single plank, hewed into form with an axe 
and supported upon legs driven into augur holes. A few shelves laid on 
long treenails driven into the wall timbers served for the dishes, and a cleat 
with slots of various sizes constituted a rack for table cutlery and spoons. 


Water for culinary purposes was brought from a woodland spring in a home- 
made bucket which reposed upon a block in a corner. 

We have now reached a point in our descriptive summary where a 
problem of intricate character must be solved. It has been laid down as a 
philosophical fact that no two bodies of equal proportions can occupy the 
same space at the same time. Now, then, here about this fireside there are 
ten robust children to be disposed of for the night, to be provided with places 
of rest. "Where on airth," as old folks would say, can room be found for 
them all ? The growing boys and girls were much too heavy for suspending 
upon pegs in the wall, and baskets for stowage seemed to be wanting. Of 
course there was a great high bed in one corner, well supplied with warm 
blankets in winter, but this was the parental couch. However, we shall see 
that the inventive faculties of the pioneer fathers and mothers were exercised 
to economize and utilize space; every square inch of the small house was put 
to some practical use. Hidden away from the eye of the curious visitor, and 
hovered by the great bed, was a primitive article of furniture with a capacity 
as elastic as the conscience of a congressman. Let us pull this semi-vehicle 
from its day-time seclusion ; it ran on wheels and was appropriately called a 
"trundle-bed," otherwise, "truckle-bed." It was of humble stature, but as 
broad and long as the space assigned for it under the big bed would admit 
of. We must now fancy an experiment in the art of packing rawhide. Ned 
has become drowsy and calls for his share of the trundle-bed; he is well 
tucked in at one side. Soon Bill was in correct feather for rest and he was 
laid alongside his snoring brother. Now Zeke demands attention, as his 
head drops forward in his chair, and his father assigns him a portion of 
space in the gang-bed. Sam has gone to sleep upon the hearth-rug beside 
the dog and Bob is snoozing on his father's knee; these are also stowed away 
in the head tier. Was that bed full then? Why, bless your stars, no. There 
are three curly-headed lassies still to be disposed of. Molly, Sally, and 
Charity must find a place in the same accommodating couch, in the end 
opposite to that occupied by their brothers, who, packed hard together, "spoon 
fashion," were now wallowing over the shady moors of dreamland. All are 
in the embrace of nature's sweet restorer. By the father's side little Mercy 
shall find repose, while baby Jim nestles upon his mother's protecting arm. 
Such old-time beds were saturated with sleep. Now we breathe easier. 

These log-houses were warm and comfortable when well built and served 
the settler's purpose until facilities for preparing better building materials 
were available. To just such dwellings hundreds of the pioneers of the Saco 
valley led their young wives, and in such some of the noblest spirits whose 
names have graced the pages of American history first saw the light. More- 
over, the members of these early families extracted as much comfort out of 
existence while living in these humble abodes as when, subsequently, they 


were settled in their more capacious farm-houses and supplied with more 
pretentious furnishing. However, wc have fancied that some of the young 
wives, who had been bred in homes westward, where the more refined asso- 
ciations of an older settlement had been enjoyed, must have keenly felt the 
sacrifices submitted to when they began life in the wilderness. This is illus- 
trated by an old manuscript, now at hand, written by a man when rising 
eighty, who was one of the first pioneers of the plantation in early life. In 
this document he has described, with great fullness of detail, the many 
deprivations to which he and his brother submitted when they established 
themselves in the backwoods. 

The winter following their first summer's work at making a clearing on 
their claim was passed in a small cabin without the cheering companionship 
of woman. Eight bushels of corn had been purchased in the autumn; this 
was reduced to meal and carried on their shoulders eight miles to their cabin. 
The same number of bushels of potatoes were stored in a rude cellar under 
the floor, for which boards were drawn by the brothers on a hand-sled sixteen 
miles through the woods over the early snows. 

During winter their vegetables were all frozen but were boiled, mixed 
with meal, and baked into "potato-bread," in a Dutch oven buried in coals. 
Without sauce or sweetening, and with no meat with the exception of an 
occasional rabbit, partridge, or fish, these isolated men passed the long New 
England winter, surrounded by a wilderness, remote from other human beings, 
their low hut almost buried under the accumulated snow — but quite contented 
and comfortable. 

The following spring, the elder brother went to Portsmouth, where he was 
married, and brought his young wife by shallop to the mouth of Saco river. 
Here he found his brother in waiting and the three carried by footpath the 
meagre stock of household goods and belongings to their prospective home in 
the interior. He writes: "My dear wife was cheerful and right well pleased 
on our journey until we reached the borders of our clearing, where she saw 
amid the fallen timber the house in which she was to li\e ; then she remem- 
bered the good home she had left behind, and sat down upon a log and wept. 
She soon recovered her composure, however, and went bravely forward. For 
more than a year from the day when she left the settlement at Saco, she did 
not see the face of one of her sex." 

During the second winter the anticipated appearance of an additional 
member to the household made it necessary to procure the services of a nurse 
The unmarried brother mounted a horse, and, leading another with an un- 
occupied lady's saddle, started through the deep snow on his urgent 
errand. On reaching the nearest settlement he found a woman who con- 
sented to undertake the journey and who accompanied him back to his home. 
Their progress through the drifts was slow, and when they arrived at their 


destination the little stranger had opened his eyes in the cabin and was lustily 
experimenting with his new-found voice. From that glad hour the uprising 
of maternal affection was manifested in many a lullaby sung soft and sweet 
to the time of the cradle rock, while the father's heart grew warmer, and his 
arms stronger for toil, as his willing ears were saluted by the prattling voice 
of his offspring. 

When the enormous burden of timber and brushwood had been burned 
off, and the rain had carried the strength of the fertilizing ashes into the 
virgin soil, a thousand hitherto latent seeds, deposited there by the Creator 
in the beginning, were developed by sunshine and moisture and sprang forth 
in luxuriant abundance to cover the black and unsightly ground with pleasing 

Before the plow could be used, corn was planted, and rye sowed, upon 
the "burn." The former was "dug in" with a heavy hoe and the latter 
"hacked in" with the same implement. This was sometimes done before the 
settler found time to pile up the charred logs ; nevertheless, it grew rank and 
tall, even to the stature of the tallest man, and reached forth its broad green 
leaves in great extent. On one of these "ricks" an aged man told me he 
raised one hundred and fifty bushels of beautiful, fully ripe, shelled corn, 
before the logs were piled, and which, having been harvested before he had 
a family, was turned over to pay for his land. 

In one of the new clearings of a Saco valley township about forty miles 
from the mouth of the river, two boys were left at a camp to care for the 
growing corn, and drive the bears away, from June until September. One of 
these sons informed me, when he was nearing the century line, that he and 
his brother became very lonesome at times and used to climb a mountain-side 
and look down river with the hope of seeing their father coming. They 
obeyed the orders given them in the spring, saw the growing corn mature, 
enjoyed excellent health, and survived to relate to their puny, degenerate 
descendants, who had been reaping the fruits of their father's toil, earned by 
many an aching back and sweating brow, their experiences of vicissitude 
and hardship. 

The Farm-House. — This was the third genaation of New England dwell- 
ings. As soon as the land had become sufficiently productive to supply the 
family with food, and to support a pair of oxen and two or three cows, a new 
and more commodious dwelling was talked of. A mother's delicate ideas of 
propriety suggested more privacy for her daughters, whose fair cheeks were 
becoming tinted, like the sky of the orient at day dawn, with the blushing 
harbingers of womanhood. There must be room for more beds, a wider table, 
and more expansive fireside. The surplus crops could now be carried to 
market and exchanged for such furniture and conveniences as were required 
in a house of several compartments. 


The principal materials for a new dwelling were near at hand. A cluster 
of tall, straight pines was left on the border of the clearing for this purpose, 
and toward them, with contemplative gaze, the toiling pioneer had often 
turned his eyes when forming his ideal of the house that was to be. Cheer- 
fully and right lustily did the sturdy yeoman wield the shining axe when 
cutting the timber for farm-house, and, meanwhile, the rumbling saw-mill in 
the distance was ready to cut out the boards for covering the frame. 

The wide, low-posted farm-house that succeeded the New England log- 
cabin must have been an invention of those who settled the eastern colonies. 
No models existed in England like them ; there were none in the colonies 
south that resembled them. They were more like the houses of the well-to-do 
"bonders" in Norway (Europe) than any dwellings we have ever seen — in 
capaciousness, comfort, and the large timber of which they were constructed. 
A few of these remain quite unchanged to remind the sixth generation of men 
and women how their ancestors built. In such a farm-house the author spent 
his early years and he can vouch for the accuracy of his description. They 
were nearly forty feet square on the foundation, the posts not more than 
eight feet in height, and the gables very high. Framed of enormous timbers 
and braced with white oak, no tempest known to New England was ever power- 
ful enough to blow them down, although they were usually located with defiant 
aspect upon a high hill. But they would sometimes creak and groan under 
the force of a strong wind like an old timber ship in a storm at sea. 

The original plan for one of these wide houses was marked out on the 
ground with the "ten-foot pole"; hence the origin, we assume, of the "ground 
plan " for a building. Husband and wife visited the spot selected for the new 
dwelling, and when making estimates for dimensions considered their present 
and prospective needs. Housewives of that period who had lived for a series 
of years in the narrow-walled log-house wanted "elbow-room," room to "turn 
round in," plenty of room, if you please. And so they marked out the number 
and size of the apartments required. There must be, to employ the parlance 
of the old people, the kitchen, backroom, foreroom, bedrooms, dresser-room 
cellar-way, scullery, stair-way, entry-way and clothes-press. When the space 
to be covered by such rooms had been outlined upon the ground, the farmer 
knew the length of his beams, sills, and plates ; there is not a doubt about 
that. He was just to wall in said space and then, as the primitive ioiner 
would say, "ruff it over"; that's all there was to it; no estimating for swell 
fronts or alcove windows. "Raising-day" came at length and with it the 
planters and their robust sons. There were but few tools in these settlements 
and those were of rude and ungainly pattern. To borrow pod-augurs, cross- 
cut saws, framing-chisels, scratch-awls, and snap-lines, boys were sent in all 
directions. But little attention had been paid to squares and plumb-lines. 
Those quaint old fellows who had been trained to look along gun-barrels, said 


they could " squint straight," and measure near enough with outspread palm 
or ball of thumb. The timber was "skewing," tenons were sure to "slant 
'nunder," the whole had been framed by "scribe-rule" and would go together 
somehow ; most anyhow. 

When the broadsides had been laid out and pinned together ; when the 
shores, consisting of long poles, had been attached to the plates with oxchains, 
man and boys, and sometimes women, were called to a post of duty and 
orders given them by the master-workman. 

Shirt sleeves were rolled up, collars unbuttoned, gallowses tightened, 
hands spit upon to give a firmer grip, and the "boss" shouted in stentorian 
voice : 

"Are you all ready?" 

"All ready," responded the stalwart men. 

"Then pick him up," cried the commander, and the heavy broadside 
began to rise. 

" Steady ! Steady, there ! Steady, men ! Now put him up, ti:J>, up ! Hold 
your shores there ! All together ! S-t-e-a-d-y ! There he goes. Hold ! hold ! Put 
on the stays ! There 1 Well done, men I well done !" repeated the master-work- 
man appreciatively, as the red-faced, panting men straightened their aching 
backs and chafed shoulders. 

"Bear a hand here," shouted the master after a brief rest, and all 
moved to the other broadside. 

" Say when you are ready." 

"All ready." 

"Then put him up, men; put him up, /say. H-e-a-v-e him up, up, up. 
Steady now I There ! All r-i-g-h-t. Squint and say when it is plumb. A-1-1 
r-i-g-h-t. Put on the stays." 

Now for the cross-beams. Level-headed men were now called upon and 
they climbed upon the plates. Those upon the ground raised the heavy 
timbers up with in hand-grasp, and shouted, "Give beam ! give beam !" as they 
moved the tenon into the mortise. "There you are; throw up a pin." Now 
the crack of a mallet rang out as the pins and keys were driven home. 

When all the beams, braces, and "studdin'" were in place, the work of 
raising the "ruff" was attended to. This was the most difficult and dan- 
gerous part of the laborious undertaking. Men of composure and prudence 
were required at this juncture, and those of experience "went aloft." Two 
by two the huge rafters were raised into position ; one by one were the purlines 
dropped into the "gains " cut for them, and the crowning feat, the putting on 
of the ridge-pole, was consummated. When the last pin had been driven, 
the rustic poet announced that the " raisin' would be concluded by naming the 
new frame." He then recited slowly, measuredly, solemnly, something like 
the following, improvised for the occasion : 


"Ili-ii''s a m-i-K-h-t-y f-i-n-c f-r-a-m-e, 
Wliich fl-i!-.s-:i-r-v-i--s a gita-iX n-a-ui-f; 
Say, wliat sliall we i-all it'.' 
Tlie t-i-m-b-r r 's all N-t i-a-i-g-h-t, 
Anil \\ ;i s h-e-\v c;-cl l-u-H-t r-a-t-f, ; 
Thr r-raiii-o is w-c-1-1 put t-o-fi-et-li-c r. 
May tlie man and — his wife, 
Who iii;iy li(!re spend their life, 
lie sheltered fi-iiiij heat and cold wealher; 
May their hearts be united, 
As when they were plighted, 
And at last dwell in h-e-a-v-e-n together. 
Yes, 'tis a good frame, that desujves a good name, 
Say! What shall we nanie it?" 

When this primitive ceremony had been performed, the master-workman 
congratulated the owner, thanked the neighbors in his behalf for their gen- 
erous services, and pronounced the raisin' done. 

Months passed and the "jiners" were busily engaged in finishing ofl the 
new house. If the farmer was well-to-do he had the rooms "ceiled up" with 
matched boards of clear pumpkin pine ; possibly, some wainscot and panel- 
work under the windows and about the mantel-shelf. Everything would be 
plain, substantial, and workman-like, but one seldom saw any filigree about 
this class of houses ; sometimes, however, a few small mouldings and a narrow 
"bead " at the joints of matched boards. The doors might be of panel-work, 
more likely "cleat" doors, which were adjusted with wrought-iron hinges and 
latches, the former in shape like the carpenter's square, windows small, 
twelve-lighted, with seven-by-nine glass set in sliding sashes.* 

These houses were warmed by broad fireplaces ; sometimes there were 
three of these in one great chimney facing as many rooms ; they were built 
of brick. The hearth was made of a hewed slab of granite, long, wide, and 
warm for toasting your feet, sir. Hinged to one "jamb" of the fireplace was 
the long, iron "crane," resting upon iron sockets; this was well supplied with 
various sizes of pot-hooks, trammels, and a few chain-links, peradventure. 
From one of these the tea-kettle sang many a soft, low, and soothing song of 
"family glee." At the fireside stood the shovel and tongs, " which together 

•Window-glass being i^xpensivi^ was often carried a loni; distance with great care. The story 
w;is told of a Saco valley settler wlio liail I milt a log-house and after moving his family in, went 
to Gorhaiiitdwii to twelve lights of seven liy-niiie glass for the two small windows. 
This was wcill tied in a laiw handkerchief and he started on his return. Selecting even places 
for his feet at every slc|i, and avoiding all obstacles, he moved slowly homeward. All went well 
until he liad reached bis door-yard. Ashe approached his bi he saw his wife standing in the 
door, and sliouted, " Well, Sally, I have got my glass home without any accident " ; and at that 
moment, having his atteiilion diverted, he oaiiKbt his foot in a small bush by the path and fell 
headlong. I.iiiiek of thought, he raised his band high to sliield his glass, but it came down with 
full swing upon aflat .stono and every light was broken into "splitherins." It was reported 
that liislant'niit'e, following this awra^ating incident, was too highly seasoned with brimstone 
foreveiy-day use, and that he registered a vow then andtherethat be would never look through 
glass in that lioiisc and kept his w ord. He said : " If I'd fell half-way to Gorhamtown, I wouldn't 
a keered, but 'twas too tarnation bad to go down right off agin my own door'n smash it." 


belong," well-worn and shining in the glimmering firelight. Upon pegs, hung 
"quilted holders," hand hooks, candle snuffers, shears, and the bellows for 
putting spirit into a smothered spark. Upon the long mantel, which nearly 
spanned one side of the room, were the iron and brass candle-sticks, a pair 
of great, high-handled smoothing-irons, and the small tin trunk for the tinder- 
box, in later years, for lucifer matches. Above the hearth-stone in every 
house built at the time of which I write, were two or three long, neatly peeled, 
spruce poles, suspended from the beams by strings or straps, upon which 
pumpkins, bellpeppers, apples, and gourd-shells were drying at one end ; at 
the other, skeins of domestic yarn, stockings just dyed, or a pair of new "fox- 
and-geese mittens." Hanging upon a pair of buck horns, or wooden hooks 
cut from a crippled tree, was the long, clumsy, clamped musket that had been 
a " Revolutioner," or, possibly, was one of the ma/iv with which Chamberlain 
killed Paugus. From the same supports were suspended, by leathern string, 
the curiously carved powder-horn and " cutryments " thereunto belonging. 

The farm-house furniture was heavy and substantial, but a great improve- 
ment on that in the log-house. High-posted, tall, red, basket-bottomed chairs 
stood in military order about the wall. A two-leaved table, with a drawer at 
one end for the spread and cutlery, and a rail about the legs to rest one's feet 
upon ; a small "light-stand" between windows for the family Bible and work- 
basket; the canopied, constantly patronized cradle, and when "fore-handed," 
a tall, solemn-ticking clock in the corner. In the back room a " chist o' draws," 
in the foreroom a bureau over which hung a "mournin '-piece," in brindled 
pine frame, headed " Sacred to the Memory," over the picture of a disconsolate 
woman wiping her weeping eyes with a voluminous handkerchief, supported 
all this time by leaning upon a two-handled urn under the shade of a " weepin' 
wilier." By the side of this, the appropriate "Family Register," filled out by 
Nathaniel Fox, "from Oxford county amongst the rocks," and containing the 
names of a whole baker's dozen of sons and "darters." The transient articles 
of furniture were the great spinning-wheel, flax-wheel, and loom ; occasionally, 
also, the warping-bars and swifts. 

We must not forget the great, hard-wood, framed bedsteads always found 
in the wide farm-house ; these were of sufficient stability to hold up Goliath 
of Gath, and his wife, too, if he had one. No patent springs to crease your 
back or give you a boost in the morning, but ropes, ropes, if you please, cross- 
ing each other at right angles, that would snap and creak like a rickety wagon. 
These were well guarded with thick beds of straw or dried corn husks, above 
which was the billowy bed of "live-geese feathers." Over all were heavy, 
warm, homespun blankets, patch-work quilts of woolen, surmounted by a blue 
and white coverlid. Let the winds howl, the snow drift, the ice rip on the 
river, the sled shoes groan on the road, the sash rattle in the window-frame 
or nails snap in the wall, but he or she who was enveloped in such a bed could 


bid defiance to the elements and wander undisturbed in the province of delight- 
ful dreams. Into such beds many a lad or lassie was tucked with a hot blanket 
about their feet, while the blessed benediction of a loving mother's good-night 
kiss was a summons for the guardian angels to come down and touch the 
drooping eyelids. 

There was one "annex " of the farm-house kitchen in the olden time that 
demands careful descriptive treatment; this was called by the grandmothers 
"a dresser," or "dresser-room." In the first houses, they were built against 
the wall at one side, and exposed to view in the common living room; latterly, 
they have been in side room or pantry. This was the housewife's most sacred 
precinct, and no mistake. Here she exercised woman's rights, and from her 
arbitrary decree there was no appeal that could avail for the intruder. Upon 
the "lower shelf," which was elevated four inches above the floor of the room, 
were arranged with precision the articles of wooden ware, consisting of pails, 
piggins, noggins, keelers, runlets, trenchers, puncheons, and pudding-sticks. 
At one end was a small, low cupboard, where the groceries and spices were 
stored; this cuddy was protected by a door fastened with a wooden button. 
About two feet higher up was the "broad shelf," so called, whereon reposed 
the large bowls, platters, porringers, pewter plates, and japanned trays, all 
marshaled in single file. Still higher, raised tier upon tier, were the " narrow 
shelves," in the back of which deep grooves were ploughed to keep the plates, 
set on edge, from falling. Higher yet, yea, the third heaven of the dresser, 
was a shelf containing the blue and white, figured tea-set presented by the 
mother of our good dame on her wedding-day. The occasions were rare, 
and the company very "select," when this treasure was placed upon the table 
within reach of careless hands. At one end of the "dresser" was a rack for 
spoons and meat-knives, and a peg for the polished tin pepper-box. This is 
the way it was all arranged, true's you live, and he who has had line upon 
line, and warning upon warning, when seen only looking toward such a crockery 
case, to say nothing of the corporeal emphasis applied when caught upon 
the "broad shelf" thereof, cannot well forget how every part appeared in his 
youthful days. Ah, never! 

Food and Cookins?. — We omitted mention, purposely, of the great 
brick oven which was absolutely indispensable in the home of the early settlers 
of Maine. This was built into the back of the chimney and opened into the 
fireplace in the earlier houses; latterly, the o\'en opened at one side, and under 
it was the "ash-hole," otherwise "stock-hole." This was heated once a week 
on Saturday morning, and on important occasions, as elsewhere mentioned 
at other times. It was heated with small, light wood prepared for that purpose 
and called "oven-wood." After a fire had been kept burning in the oven 
until the brick floor thereof and the walls and arched roof were thoroughly 
heated, the coals were mostly drawn out with the long-handled fire-shovel 


and the capacious vault filled with such good things as were toothsome in 
those days. As a rule, the beans, puddings, and brown bread were baked 
in earthen ware, while the spare-rib, or chicken, was cooked in an iron pan. 
When there was a deficiency of dishes for this purpose, the housewife would 
go to the garden, or cellar, and select a few large cabbage leaves for a sub- 
stitute. These were washed and placed upon the hot floor of the oven with 
the unbaked bread upon them; this, in its plastic state, would conform to 
every indented vein of the leaf, which, when the loaf was withdrawn, would 
crumble in pieces. No better bread was ever eaten than that baked on a 
cabbage leaf in a brick oven. Hungry boys have been known to remove 
a few bricks from the back side of these ovens, and when a well-browned loaf 
had been removed, to be feasted on in a shady grove, and the bricks carefully 
replaced, the superstitious old mothers would insist that their oven had been 

Sliced meat and pancakes were fried in an iron spider over coals raked 
upon the hearth. Cooking in this way was hot work for the face and hands. 
If a goose or turkey was to be roasted outside of the brick oven or tin kitchen, 
it was suspended by a stout string before the open fire and a "dripping-pan" 
placed under it. By twisting the string between the thumb and finger the 
housewife would start the fowl upon a rotary movement, and in this way all 
sides were equally exposed to the heat. Betimes the savory meat was basted 
from the pan below. Nothing could be richer than the flesh of a fowl thus 
roasted, as many an old farmer, who sniffed its rich aroma when hunting for 
the "lucky-bone," can testify. 

But bannocks, gentlemen, bannocks were, of all the treat, the most 
delicious, when made and baked in the most primitive fashion. As the even- 
ing meal drew near the well-aproned housewife began her preparations by 
brushing the hearth with a turkey's wing taken from its place on a nail at 
the chimney-side. Then a bank of live hard-wood coals was raked forward 
between the andirons, and the broad bannock was placed before the fire to 
bake, the bake-pan leaning against a sad-iron. How beautifully the yellow 
batter grew darker, shade by shade! Occasionally the busy housewife 
shielded her face with her hands and glanced at the steaming bread, and 
her practised eye saw the exact surface tint which indicated that the time 
had come when the analogy between this cake and Ephraim should no longer 
exist. She seized the bake-tin and, by that dexterity acquired by all the 
early cooks, quickly turned the bread upside down and in a twinkling had 
the unbaked side exposed to the glowing heat. We were in no haste to say 
farewell to that sweet-smelling bannock; it was excellent company, and 
favored was he whose knife hung low on the edge when cutting his slice. 
Let us linger awhile. 

The white cloth of Simon pure linen, homespun and homewoven, was 


now spread daintily upon the low table; great flaring bowls, bearing many a 
fantastic figure and crinkled stripe, were placed in order upon the spread, 
each having a spoon laid by its side. Next came the great, high-handled 
pitcher that was opulent and weighty with cool milk, well becreamed — not 
the blue, consumptive-looking liquid peddled out by modern dealers, who 
have the habit of pouring milk into water — from the udders of "Pink" and 
"Buttercup." Then the bannock, done to a turn, appeared upon the great 
platter, smoking hot, and was placed in the centre of the table. 

The wistful, mouth-watering company was now invited to "gather round 
the board," and it was done without a tear. Table manners had not, thank the 
Lord, according to the popular code, been formulated at the period we are 
writing about. But what was wanting in ceremonial polish and mock polite- 
ness was more than made good by a right royal welcome and something fit 
to eat. "Help yourselves," meant something then, and hungry folks knew 
the definition. 

The bannock, like the Irishman's good resolutions, was made to be 
broken, and soon lay separated in squares from which the savory incense was 
rising. Now's your time, my friend; it will never be quite as good again, so 
tumble it into your bowl. How the milk seemed to jump for joy as it claimed 
its own, as piece after piece of the golden bannock, crusty and crispy, fell 
into the creamy liquid, where it sank for a moment only to rise again, ready 
for your capering spoon! And yet, how elusive were these pieces when one 
began to eat! They would dive, like so many yellow ducks, beneath the sur- 
face of the white pond and hide under each other to tantalize the appetite 
and prolong the delicious feast. When once upon the tongue, how one's 
thoughts went down into their mouth to be entertained there with the delio^ht- 
ful flavor, and lingered about the enamored palate until the last delicious 
morsel had disappeared! 

" Meagre repast," says the fastidious reader. " Princely feast! " exclaims 
the man who kiunms the ecstatic pleasure experienced while engaged with such 
a luxury. Why, my nostrils inflate and tingle now, as I remember the inde- 
scribable sweetness of the milk-moistened bannock that nourished me in my 
boyhood home. Nothing more wholesome, brain-making, or bone-hardening 
was ever served to a family of growing children, and having acquired a taste 
for it, the delicious flavor cannot be forgotten. Nothing comparable to the 
old-fashioned bannock can be produced by any modern method or appliance 
used for cooking. Somehow there was an affinity between this kind of bread 
and the open fire; there was a combination of conditions and circumstances 
that renders it now impossible to reproduce such food. There must be the 
new, well-ripened corn, containing the peculiar nutritious ingredients pro- 
duced by virgin soil; there must be the cunning art of mixing and baking- 
there must be the bank of glowing coals, the rich, cool milk flavored with 


honeysuckle, and the crazy, vehement appetite known only to those who lived 
in the open air and in well-ventilated houses. Our relish has been perverted 
and led astray by the fancy viands of a later day, and we may never again 
experience the pleasure of eating bannock and milk with the same intensity 
realized when, as hungry boys and girls, it was served to us by the hand of 
the best cook the world has ever known — our mother. 

Another article of food prepared by our early housewives was called the 
Indian pudding. The art of making them, that is, one worthy of the name, 
has passed away with the generation that knew how to produce them. In 
every family they were a standard food that appeared as regularly as the 
"pudding-time" morning. These were baked in a deep earthen dish without 
cover and could only be brought to the highest degree of excellence by being 
subjected to a moderate degree of heat for at least eighteen hours in a closed 
brick oven. How they were prepared before going there, the Lord only knows 
— if, indeed. He is concerned about puddings — for no living woman, given all 
the ingredients and the oven, can produce anything approaching the wonder- 
fully delicious article pulled out with the great fire-shovel, on a Sunday morn- 
ing, by some old mother, say fifty years ago. Some say they can do it, but 
the "proof of a pudding" is in eating it; they cannot duplicate the old-style 
Indian pudding. These puddings had backbone; when turned out upon the 
big plate in the middle of the table they stood alone and kept their form till 
cut in s/tces for your eating. Ah ! but how they did shine ! They were 
permeated with a jelly-like substance that was as nectar to the palate. The 
whole mass would tremble and vibrate like a springy meadow, but never sank. 
When your slice was laid in your plate, and a lump of golden, June-made but- 
ter was dropped upon it, how nicely it was dissolved and distributed through 
the light, open-hearted pudding! Indeed, it looked too good to eat; the sight 
of it was fascinating, bewitching. Sometimes it was walloped in cream, which 
greatly enhanced the flavor. On special occasions, like a wedding-feast, a 
ministerial visit, or quarterly-meeting time, the good woman would drop in 
a handful of plums to tickle the palates of her company. Compared with 
the pale, sloppy, degenerate imitation baked in a range, and falsely called an 
Indian pudding, the genuine, old-time article was kingly, almost good enough 
for "angels' food." But we may exhaust hyperbole and strain superlatives 
to the bursting point in vainly trying to elucidate the mar\elous beauty and 
exquisite deliciousness of an old-fashioned, mother-made Indian pudding ; it 
cannot be done. 

"Must-go-down" was the name applied to one of the old-fashioned dishes. 
"And what'n the name o' common sense was musgodown?" asks Aunt Pru- 
dence. Hard to describe. We may as well attempt to explain colors to a blind 
man, or the sound of a trumpet to one devoid of hearing, as to write with 
any claim to accuracy about the flavors of food never tasted by the reader. 


VVf have enjoyed the honor of sitting at the farmer's table graced with a plate 
of "must-gi)-c!(i\vn," and know whereof we write. The food was made of 
the crusts from loaves of "rye-and-injun " bread, boiled until dissolved into 
grains like hominy, swcttened with molasses, and served up with cream. 

The methods and appliances for cooking were simple, and the food of our 
ancestors was correspondingly plain. This was well. There was the "minute- 
pudding," boiled in a bag; to eat the latter was said to be the proof of this 
kind. Then, there was a kind of fried pancakes quite unlike a modern doughnut 
or slapjack ; they were dropped from a spoon into boiling lard, and came out 
nicely browned, but as ragged as a Texas rat. These puffy, round-bodied 
cakes were very good eating. 

Bean soup, meat broth, dandelion greens, and "biled dinners" were 
fashionable in the early homes. Various kinds of food were considered to 
be, not only wholesome, but medicinal and curative. The old folks said they 
partook of such, not because they relished them very much, but from a sense 
of /^utv; because they oi^^i^'/if to do so for the body's sake. Their religion had 
to do with the physical as well as the spiritual ; it was a good sort. 

Bear steak, venison, and various kinds of fish, with which the ponds and 
streams then abounded, constituted a substantial share of the early settler's 
table supply. The Saco river was so full of salmon when the first clearings 
were made on its banks, that they were caught with trap, spear, and hook in 
such quantities that barrels of them were cured and kept for winter use. 

Every variety of wild berry grew in great abundance on the newly cleared 
land, and served not only an important, but also a most delightful and whole- 
some, part in the pioneer family's daily provision for the table. 

With such nutritious and delicious food as we have mentioned, supple- 
mented by a considerable list of other kinds, served in a variety of ino-enious 
forms, we may be assured that the family of the Saco valley farmer, whose 
acreage was sufficient for the number of his household, fared pretty well. Of 
course there were times before much land was in crop, or when frost or drought 
cut down the harvest, that the early settlers were pinched for food • but these 
were the rare exceptions, not the rule. We ha\e found neither record nor tra- 
dition of famine or starvation in the settlements of which we now write • for 
the unfastidious there was always a fair supply of food. 

While writing of the food and cooking of the pioneers it may be proper 
to mention some old-time neighborly customs that prevailed in those days 
The inhabitants of a community were much more dependent upon each 
other at this early time than now, hence, were reciprocal and generous. If a 
family had some table luxury, a quantity was reserved and carried to their 
neighbors to give them a "taste of the dinner." This custom was universally 
practised when the author was a child, and he was many times sent out to some 
family a half-mile from home with a saucer neatly folded in a napkin, and con- 




taining a small quantity of some rare delicacy, with instructions like these : " Say 
to Aunt Sally that Aunt Molly has sent her a taste of her dinner." Such was 
always considered to be a high compliment, and was sure to be reciprocated 
before the season ended ; but never with the same article of food. 

If one of a neighborhood had killed the favorite porker, or "beef-critter," 
the boys were dispatched with a generous piece of the meat to the outlying 
families. Later, when said neighbors had laid in their store of meat, pieces 
were reserved for those who lived adjoining. When one had been a-fishing 
and came home with a liberal "string" of trout or pickerel he always — unless 
a man with a mustard-seed soul — divided with his neighbors. This was a 
very pleasant way to live. Would that such customs prevailed to-day ! How 
refreshing it would prove for such as never go a-fishing ! 


Wool-Dressing. — The sheep of the Saco valley farmers were mercifully 
allowed to wear their warm fleece until the chilling spring storms were over and 
the mild weather necessitated shearing and lamb-marking. During those days 
there were professional sheep-shearers who went round the settlements with 
their shears, and neatly clipped the fleece. Some held the docile sheep upon 
the barn floor ; others laid them on a raised platform, which was a more com- 
fortable arrangement for both shearer and sheep. 

Every man who owned a flock had a registered "ear-mark" ; these, in the 
early town records, are often mixed in with the births of children. When the 
sheep had been shorn, the lambs' tails were "docked," and their ears split or 
"cropped," with a sharp knife; a somewhat cruel practice, considered to be 
necessary when the several flocks ran together on the plains and were some- 
times scattered by wild animals or dogs before they came to the barns in the 
late fall. 

The wool was usually washed in the fleece after shearing, and spread upon 
the grass to dry. The methods employed for dressing domestic wool by hand 
were simple and practical. It was first carefully "picked" with the fingers; 
then carded with hand cards into long, fluffy rolls which were handled deli- 
cately and carefully laid away in bundles. These were principally white, but 
nearly every farmer, according to the adage, had one black sheep in his flock. 
This black, or brown, wool was sometimes mixed with white in carding to 
produce gray; at other times the two colors were spun separately and woven 
together in the web. 

In the homes of the early settlers on the Saco, the wool was spun on the 
Quaker wheel, which, by reason of the difference between its diameter and 
that of the spool on the spindle, was capable of great speed. When all was 
in readiness, a turn was given to the wheel and the end of the roll, held between 


the thumb and fini^cr of the left hand, was attached to the spiral point of the 
swiftly-revolving spindle ; then the spinner stepped quickly backward to "draw 
out " her thread, which, when sufficiently twisted, was wound against a shoulder 
or guard that answered for a spool or bobbin. This operation was repeated. 
When a roll had nearly run out, another was deftly spliced to the remaining 
end, and so the work went on, the wheel, meanwhile, humming like a giant 
bumble-bee. These nimble old spinners could boast of their six skeins spun 
in a day, besides doing the housework. What do you think o' that? 

As soon as the spindle had been filled, the yarn was wound off upon a 
hand reel. How clearly fancy draws a picture of this pleasant scene ! Some 
stately old dame, capped and beruffled, whose morning housework had been 
finished, comes armed with a bundle of rolls wrapped in a soft woolen cloth 
which she places upon the beam of her wheel near the open fire to warm ; to 
"start the ile," she says, so they will "run " without snapping. 

See her tune her instrument. Sometimes these obdurate old engines, like 
old men who were troubled with rheumatism, were affected by the weather, 
and wouldn't, or couldn't, go. They had been stowed away in a chamber, or 
unused room down-stairs, had taken cold, were stiff in their joints, and required 
warming and lubricating. They would "cast-band," as their trainers said. 
She puts on the harness and gives the old critter a smart turn, ^^'hew ' \\'hat's 
to pay now? The old lady walks about her machine and examines every part; 
squints along the band and "surmises" that its "head" isn't straight. She 
gives its neck a twist, thumps its head with the heel of her hand to settle it 
in place, and goes back to try her wheel-pin again. Snap! and awav o'oes 
the band. Too loose. She goes back and gives the tail of the critter a twist; 
that is, turns up the screw and tightens the wheel-band. Once more she gives 
the wheel a turn. Buz-z-z-z. All right now; she is gittin' condescendin'. The 
roll is now put upon the humming spindle, and the tireless wheel beo-ins its 
day's work; the almost equally enduring spinner her sprightly march across 
the kitchen floor. 

To spin six skeins of yarn on the Quaker wheel required a journe\' of 
more than hvivity mill's a day. This was not all; she must stop occasionally 
to reel the yarn off and tie the skein in "knots." Moreover, as elsewhere 
intimated, these women had house and dairy work to attend to; their cookin" 
and a score of small chores. She repeats the performance day after day, sings 
to the music of her wheel, and never complains. 

The music of the spinning-wheel may not ha\e been considered as artistic 
as that of the modern piano — and yet it required about as much skill and 
facility of fingers to manipulate it — but it was popular, to say the least and 
was the accompaniment to something useful. The movement of the performer 
was a thousaiul times more graceful, and a million times less excruciatino- 
than that of the professional pianist of to-day, who thinks her auditors are 


delighted with her music when they are ready to explode with amusement 
while witnessing her agonizing contortions of face and form. At any rate, 
give us the musical, mellow drone of the old Quaker wheel in preference to the 
head-straining, nerve-breaking jargon of the beginner on the modern machine. 
^^'e feel relieved. 

When a number of skeins had been taken from the wheel, they were put 
upon the revolving "swifts," two threads laid together, returned to the spindle, 
and by turning the wheel backward they were "doubled and twisted." From 
the spindle the yarn was wound upon a ball, and was then ready for the 
" warping-bars " or "knitting- work." 

If the yarn was to be used single, the skein was held upon the extended 
hands of a man, while the mother or daughter wound the yarn therefrom upon 
a ball. If the two were young and marketable, he purposely allowed the 
travelling yarn to become entangled, and while the patient winder was employ- 
ing both hands to dissolve the perplexing snarl, he would steal a random kiss 
from her velvet cheek, which was the appropriate reward for his condescending 
services. This was recognized as an interesting factor of yarn winding in 
"ye olden time." Those utilitarian old Puritans always did manage to mingle 
pleasure with toil ; this obviated friction and added a never-wearying charm to 
existence. To this, all readers should respond. Amen. 

At stated seasons of each year the great, hard-wood frame of the hand 
loom was set up in the kitchen of the early settler's home. This was a bulky, 
lumbering affair, but very useful in its "day and generation." I seem to hear 
again the rattle of the ratchet and latch when the beam was wound up, and 
the compound echo of the lathe and shuttle when sprung by the busy weaver. 
It was laborious exercise. The average quality of "full-cloth," woven in the 
farmers' homes, contained about thirty "picks" to the inch, and the weaver 
would be required to spring her treadles, swing the lathe, and shoot her 
shuttle three thousand, two hundred and forty times in a day to weave her 
three yards. 

Much taste and skill were displayed by the good weavers in the figured 
and plaided fabrics produced in the hand loom. When several colors were 
used in weaving plaid shawls, or counterpanes, additional harnesses were put 
in and the manipulation of the treadles and handling of shuttles became more 
complicated. Some of the small-checked dress goods, bright-colored shawls, 
and cloaking woven by the old experts resembled the fabrics produced in 
Scottish hand looms. 

When the web of gray full cloth was taken from the beam, the time of 
garment-making for the male persuasion was at hand. The "linsey-woolsey" 
was for "wimmin's wear." Some of the most beautiful table-linen and tow- 
elling, wrought with raised figures and now preserved, evinces the marvelous 
skill of some of the early weavers. 


Under this head we call attention to the great variety of warm, substantial 
hosiery manufactured by hand, at home, from domestic wool ; indeed, all the 
stockings, footings, gloves, and mittens for the large family were thus provided, 
every moment of time being employed, when not otherwise engaged, with the 
knittin;;-work; and one pair of such homespun, home-knitted stockings would 
outwear about a dozen pairs of the best sale kinds. "Double," "hooked," 
and "pegged" mittens would last for a decade. 

Flax-Dressing. — Every planter in the colonial settlements had his flax- 
yard, and a season was set apart to dress the harvest. The flax bloomed in 
June, and in speaking of any transaction which occurred about this season, 
the pioneers spoke of it as "flax-bloom time." A field of flax in the "blow," 
as they used to call it, was a beautiful sight. When the crop had been pulled 
it was spread upon the grass-ground to rot ; and as soon as the bark, or husk, 
became sufficiently tender from exposure to the weather, it was carried to the 
barn and the work of "flax-breaking" commenced. 

The flax-break was a singular and very radical wooden machine, difficult 
to describe with the pen. It was constructed of the best quality of hard wood 
with the working parts elevated about two and a half feet from the floor and 
supported on four sturdy legs. The bed and break proper consisted of a series 
of slats so hinged together that the interstices of the lower tier recei\ed those 
above, that were connected with the break-head, when they came down upon 
the flax. This heavy head-block, to which the handle was attached, gave the 
necessary momentum when in operation. The workman stood at one side, 
holding the flax in his left hand crosswise upon the bed slats ; the break-head 
was raised with the right hand and brought down smartly upon the straw until 
the hull was fully crushed. Woe betide the careless man who, by being absent- 
minded, allowed his fingers to get between the bed and upper tier of slats : his 
hand would have fared about as well between a shark's jaws. 

The secondary process was called "swingling." The fla.x-swingle was 
formed much like a double-edged knife ; it was made of hard-grained wood, 
with a short handle at one end. This instrument was about eighteen inches 
long and four inches in width. When used, the crushed flax was laid hori- 
zontally upon an elevated plank having a convex surface, and by a swino-intr, 
dipping stroke of the wooden blade the shives were disengaged and fell off. 

The third instrument employed in dressing flax was called the flax-comb 
or "hatchel." Its base was a square block of some solid wood filled with a 
thickly-set cluster of pointed, upright spines. This was fastened upon a 
bench and whisps of flax pulled through it until the coarser parts, called tow 
were combed out. The real "lint," as the Scotch call it, when thus refined 
was ready for the "distaff" and hands of the linen spinner. The "swingle- 
tow" was spun on the Qviaker wheel from rolls carded by hand. 

An inexperienced observer would be surprised to see how small a quan- 







Q I 


tity of the fine fibre was obtained from a large mass of the raw material ; 
more astonished to see the quantity of thread yielded by such small wisp 
when treated with the wheel. 

The linen wheel was introduced into New England in 17 18, by the Scotch- 
Irish emigrants, who were skilled in all the arts of dressing flax, and in weaving 
linen fabrics on the hand loom. During the colonial period, the spinning of 
flax was considered to be so useful, that in Boston spinning schools were 
established to which the most aristocratic families sent their daughters. The 
art was so popular, and when acquired regarded as such an accomplishment, 
that these young ladies, reared in homes of wealth, applied themselves as assid- 
uously to become proficient as do our modern women to become expert in 
touching the keys of the piano and organ. At this time, the present of a well- 
made "little wheel," on a wedding-day, was highly appreciated; and the new 
instrument was exhibited with great manifestations of delight to the assembled 

The "little wheel" was a lowly affair compared with the Quaker-made in- 
strument, and did not require as great speed. It was driven by a treadle. The 
spindle was supplied with "flyers" in which were small wire hooks, and by 
drawing the thread through a series of these, the requisite size and twist were 
secured. In passing from the distaff to the spindle, the deft manipulation of 
the spinner's fingers regulated the quantity of fibre necessary for the size of 
the thread, and nicely reduced all entanglements. From the spindle, the thread 
was reeled as was the woolen yarn from the Quaker wheel. These linen spin- 
ners not only spun for the loom, but manufactured their own sewing thread, 
and fishing lines and nets for those who followed the craft. 

The outfit for married life consisted largely of the abundance of linen 
the young lady had neatly bleached and folded away for her table and toilet ; 
if this had been spun and woven by her own hands, to her the more honor 
was due. 

At the time of which we write, the most rigid economy was practised ; 
nothing that could in any way be made to serve a useful end was allowed to 
waste. Time for spinning the swingle-tow was somehow found amid the multi- 
tude of household duties which daily demanded attention. The coarse yarn 
produced from this was woven into a cotton warp and made into rough cloth 
used for workmen's frocks and shirts ; these last mentioned were a radical sur- 
face irritant, and he who wore one had no use for a flesh-brush. The old folk 
used to relate how, when a certain young man was enduring the torments of 
his first tow shirt, he dreamed of all the anguish supposed to be peculiar to 
the regions of despair ; but when this had been exchanged for a garment of 
softer texture, his slumbers were soothed with transporting visions of the 
heavenly world. Wonderful transition ; remarkable cause for the same ! 

Primitive Grarments. — Materials for clothing the pioneer family were 


of the most durable quality. Men wore leather breeches made of the best of 
calf-skin and tanned sheep-skin; on state occasions such made from soft yellow 
buck-skin. I have conversed with men of reliability who said their fathers 
made for them, when lads, coats from undressed sheep-skins to wear when 
clearing new land, and these were not laid aside for good until they had 
reached the size and stature supposed to mark man's estate. Homespun cloth 
was of the best material, substantial and warm; garments made from such 
would wear until the wearer, and everybody besides, was weary of them. 
Scores of young men went to college in a "full-cloth" suit and were not 
ashamed. Ministers of the gospel wore such in the pulpit and were respected 
for so doing; they seldom saw anything finer in their congregations, and what 
was suitable for their parishioners was good enough for the preacher. Why 
not? As a matter of course, "men of the cloth" must have their garments 
black; but those in the pews — more likely sitting on a rough plank — wore 
"sheep's-gray." The materials for home wear were sometimes dyed in the 
wool, sometimes the yarn was colored, but latterly the cloth was woven white 
and dyed in the piece. 

But how were the garments cut out and made up ? Well, it came to pass 
in those days that in every community there was an elderly maiden who 
claimed to be a tailoress; that was, she said, her '■'trach'." She was usually a 
thin, straight-spined, spectacled, and dignified person, fully conscious of the 
importance of her position and the indispensability of her art. By making 
"'lowances," and using numerous "gussets" and "gores," she could formulate 
a coat, waistcoat, or pair of pantaloons, from the smallest pattern of anv 
woman living, or man either. She had made the science a subject of profound 
study, and, like Dorcas of old, had spent her best days "making coats and 
garments." She was confident in the excellence and practicability of her 
designs, and modeled everything with which she had to do according to the 
strictest principles of economy, utility, and comfort ; so she claimed, and it is 
doubtful if any improvements have been discovered since her peaceful domin- 
ion ended. i'his functionary was an itinerant; a sort of nomadic character 
who went from house to house with her shears, tape-measure, and needle-and- 
thread case to assist in clothing the men folk when the web of cloth was 
finished. How prim she was, to be sure! Several rank hair moles on her 
cheek gave her a somewhat masculine aspect. Her features were sharp 
and her expression mingled with dignity and wisdom; neck, small, very long 
and bejeweled with a string of gold beads; in her ears were "drops." Her 

fashions were invested with many virtues, not the least of which was this 

they were never known to change. 

The pantaloons, more properly breeches, were the embodiment of all o-ood 
features from the hatches to the bulk-head. The body parts were calculated 
to facilitate unimpeded circulation, being liberally endowed with cloth and 


generously capacious ; this section extended well upwards withal, and left 
no vulnerable joints in the yeoman's harness. What was wanting in length 
of leg was sure to be found in the chair-cushion. Moreover, convenience and 
adaptability had been considered in making the diagrams by which the 
various parts were cut out; nothing to be desired, compatible with good 
order and utility, seemed to have been overlooked. Certainly they admitted 
of unobstructed exercise and a flexible articulation of the limbs ; they were 
well provided with great pockets, ample for storage ; the waistbands, far 
above the waist of the wearer, were embattled with big bone buttons behind 
and before, and th§ suspenders worn with them were so short that they 
should have been designated as "shoulder-straps." But why weary ourselves 
vainly striving to describe that which was practically indescribable, inimit- 
able, and incomprehensible ? Such were the old-fashioned articles of wear- 
ing apparel cut and made by the now defunct professional, once known as a 

A finer class of clothing, made for wedding occasions and for dignitaries, 
such as members of the "Great and General Court," magistrates, and judges, 
were cut and made by travelling tailors, nearly all of whom were Scotchmen 
and Irishmen. The appearance of these knights of the thimble and shears 
was hailed with gladness in the primitive settlements, not only for the work 
they came to perform, but for the news they brought and the stories they 
told ; they were the oracles and venders of the latest intelligence, and many 
pleasant evenings were passed with Donald or Pat at the fireside, telling in 
their broad Scotch, or inimitable Irish brogue, narratives relating to their 
native land. Even when there was no demand for the wares or the skill of 
these wandering tradesmen they found a warm welcome at the settler's hearth- 
stone and table, and their mirthful spirit and hilarious laughter stimulated 
good-fellowship and lightened the burdens of toil and care. 

These travelling tailors sometimes carried along in their pack a few pat- 
terns of English or German broadcloth, and the suitable trimmings for making 
them up. By the sale of these, Pat and Donald turned an honest shilling and 
secured, as a perquisite, the contract to cut and make the dress-coat from the 
materials disposed of. 

The under-coat for holiday wear was of the snug-bodied, swallow-tailed 
style, ornamented behind and in front with gilt buttons; the longer the tails, 
and larger the buttons, the greater the dignity of the wearer. So they were 
rated in some communities. 

The top-coat, or "surtout," was very long but short at the waist, with 
great fullness of cloth in the skirt. It was surmounted by an enormous, high- 
backed, buckram-lined collar. Two rows of white bone buttons at the foreside, 
and a dangling bandanna handkerchief half out of pocket behind, were the 
finishing appurtenances of such a garment. Whoever was so fortunate as 

62 0L/> riMKS ON THE SACO. 

to possess one, barring accident, had it as long as he lived — if he was not 
over-patriarchal in age at his dissolution. About once in ten years these great 
coats were in the height of fashion, and that was as often, ordinarily, as the 
yeoman went abroad; however, his going forth and the rising wave of fashion 
were not always simultaneous, and then the coat would appear several years 
out of date. 

Waistcoats worn by gentlemen of importance were broad, long, and often 
elaborately embroidered in front. Silk stockings, secured above with knee- 
buckles, and held in place below by shoe-buckles, were worn by the more 

When laboring, the necks of the men were exposed to a free circulation 
of air ; when dressed for church, or leaving home for a visit to distant relatives, 
the broad, plaited neck-stock or black silk neck-handkerchief was worn, over 
which the wide, unstarched collar was smoothly turned down. Allow me to 
linger a moment to describe with more fullness this adjunct of a well-dressed, 
old-style gentleman. Much attention was paid to it by the good dame who 
assisted her husband when dressing; especially, when putting on the "finishing 
touches." This shirt-collar had much, very much, to do with the public esti- 
mation of the wearer's importance, — same as the coat-tails. The wider the 
collar, that is, the more exposed to view when turned down, the greater the 
supposed dignity. Starch was ignored, repudiated, out of the question. To 
say a man was "starched-up," in those days, was to use the strongest synon^-m 
of the dandy ; to "take the starch out" of one was equivalent to a humiliation 
or the bringing of them to their proper level. 

The head-gear of the early settler was of simple, and often ungraceful, 
kind. Sometimes, when for winter-wear, it was made from the pelt of a coon 
or fisher-cat, the tail of the animal left on to hang down behind. Some, like 
the Scottish night-cap, were knitted of coarse wool by the wife. \Miat cared 
the pioneer so long's it was warm and easily adjusted? There was, however, 
somewhere about nearly every house, a hat, sir ; a generously broad-brimmed 
bell-crowned hat, covered with rough fur from the cunning beaver. This was 
seldom seen outside the yeoman's house, or even the clothes-chest, where 
close to Molly's great churn bonnet, it safely reposed. When it did emero-e 
from its dark seclusion, something "on-usual" had happened, or was about to 
take place ; no mistake about it. When seated on the head according to the 
custom of the time, it was set well back, and the rim, turned slightly upward 
behind, was made conformable to the towering coat-collar, before mentioned. 
Sometimes, when the occasion required haste, the unthinking yeoman's hat 
was put on "hind part before," and the result of such unfortunate mistake 
supplemented by a stray lock of hair hanging carelessly over the forehead 
gave the wearer a somewhat fierce and combative aspect likely to detract from 
his moral prestige. 


Our authority for the following account of the apparel worn by females 
during the colonial regime, is unquestionably accurate ; the description will be 
prudently brief and vouchsafed for as correct. For the gown, good, old, honest 
name, of the settler's wife, six yards of " linsey-woolsey " was an ample pat- 
tern. This was cut, fitted, and made by the same hands that spun the yarn 
and wove the fabric, while the joints of her harness were toward the face of 
her foes — if she had any. On the shoulders, a comely cape was worn about 
the house ; when in company, a neat, white handkerchief was pinned about the 
neck. Old ladies wore a large, white cap — in Scotland, called appropriately 
a "mutch " — surrounded by a voluminous frill, and held in place with a wide, 
black ribbon. The younger matrons wore, when visiting, a more fragile and 
ornamental head-dress. The wardrobes of the early settlers' wives and daugh- 
ters would, to-day, be called meagre ; but they wore their neat, prudent attire 
so much like a queen, while there was such genuine modesty and unaffected 
grace in the deportment of the wearer, that the "ornament of a meek and quiet 
spirit" became a thousand times more attractive than the gaudy flummery of 
this artificial age when the standard of beauty takes cognizance more of dress 
than good breeding. If any jewelry was worn, it consisted of a modest pair 
of "ear-drops," a brooch, or a pretty ring that had been an heir-loom in the 
family for generations. When travelling, the women were protected by a heavy, 
well-lined "riding-cloak"; if in cold weather, this was supplemented by the 
double shawl and a fur tippet about the neck. Grand-dames affected "pumpkin 
hoods," quilted and padded. The younger women considered the tidy, laun- 
dried sun-bonnet good enough. I am writing of the common people in the 
new settlements, and don't care a fig what the "wimmin" wore in Boston. If 
at home, attending to domestic duties, the females were shod with a preparation 
of the gospel of — calfskin. When entertaining their friends, visiting, or going 
to meeting on the Sabbath, they wore a neat, low-cut, morocco shoe, laced with 
a bit of black ribbon, called a "village-tie." These were treated with such 
care, that a well-made pair would last for many years. 

Children's clothing was plain and simple to an extreme. Their comfort 
was consulted first of all. When at play about house, a loose "slip" was the 
conventional outer garment for childhood. Shoes they did not have for a 
long time. Among the poorer classes, the feet were sewed up in coarse woolen 
rags in cold weather. When boys were old enough to wear trousers, the 
mothers sewed an eyed-button upon the knees thereof to keep the wearers 
upon their feet and preserve their garments from unnecessary wear and tear. 
See? An aged man, who was reared in an early Saco valley plantation, 
informed the author that when a child he and his brothers were all wearers of 
the primitive "slip." On one occasion his had been removed for washing, 
and he, meanwhile, was left in a condition approaching simple nature. All 
at once a loud rap was heard at the door without, and he made haste to 


crawl behind the chimney of the unfinished log-house. The stranger proved 
to be :i much-respected uncle who had recently returned from a voyage at 
sea and had come some distance through the wilderness to visit them. Well, 
he came inlci the kitchen, and while the conversation was going cheerfully on 
between tlie mother and her company the poor secreted' boy, in a painfully 
cramped' position, kept us still as a listening mouse. His mother had not 
forgotten him, however, and when his "slip" had been dried before the open 
fire, she attached it to the end of the broom-handle and pushed it within his 
reach. By a desperate effort he succeeded in getting inside of the garment, 
and to the astonishment of the visiting stranger emerged from his impris- 

Paying Visits. — The code of politeness observed by the inhabitants 
of the early settlements was not as complicated, restrictive, and arbitrary as 
at present, but a great deal more genuine and hearty, consisting of something 
more than the mere artificial and ceremonial deportment acquired by training 
before the mirror, and called "good manners" and "good form"; it was the 
outward expression of inward modesty and good-will, the illustration of affec- 
tionate sentiment. These Puritanical old mothers did not prostitute their 
principles of honor to affect politeness for policy, nor barter their smiles in 
the popular market, like tape, for so much a yard. They were honest, high- 
minded, and above dissimulation. 

One of the interchangeable courtesies universally recognized and prac- 
tised in the new plantation communities was that of visiting and paying visits. 
Such were not very ceremonial, however; the greatest freedom was exercised 
without umbrage. At the same time, considerate persons were careful to 
reciprocate any courtesy extended to them by their neighbors. Compliments 
were seldom sent in advance; seasonable hours were convenient ones, and 
there were no servant maid to meet the visitor at the door with the cold, con- 
ventional lie in her mouth, "Mistress is not at home." A neighborly call was 
made at any time of day; the regular visit was begun in the forenoon and 
prolonged until late in the evening in the autumn and winter, until "milking 
time" in spring and summer. 

Let us begin our narrative proper on a fine autumn morning. At the 
breakfast table the housewife announces to her goodman that she will visit 
Aunt Sally that day, and asks him to come out at the gloaming. When the 
housework was done Aunt Prudence arrays herself in plain but tidy apparel, 
puts her sewing and knittinj; work into her pretty home-made work-bag, pulls 
the puckering-string, and starts across lots to visit her neighbor; for she says 
to herself, "I allers set a i;reat store by .Aunt Sally." Her course may lead 
along field-borders, across pastures amongst the cattle and sheep that raise 
their heads as she passes, or through a woodland path ; it matters not, she 
knows the way, and cheerfully moves forward, humming bits of a sacred song. 


As she approaches her neighbor's house the barking dog announces her 
coming and with winsome expression of face, and joyovis wag of tail, bids 
her welcome before Aunt Sally has time to brush her apron and reach the 
door. As the two old friends meet they both "courtesy" and go hand in 
hand to the sitting-room. We shall now permit them to speak for themselves. 

"Come right in and lay off yer things. Aunt Prudence; there now, do 
make yerself to home. Why, I'm proper gled to see you. Aunt Prudence ; 
how do you do? " 

"There, Aunt Sally, I'm real well, thank you; real smart this fall; how 
do you do? " 

"Why, I was never more rugged in my life, Aunt Prudence ; why, I'm up 
and 'bout my work airly and late ; have been spinnin' fiax'n swingle-tow all 
the fall, 'tween whiles. Come, now. Aunt Prudence, du tell me 'bout your 
folks ; how's Jeams'n Marg'ret'n Patty'n Abrum'n Reliance'n Sabra'n John'n 
Lias'n Rastus'n Pashunce'n Aramantha ; are tAey all well ? " 

"They's all rael well. Aunt Sally; they be all gwine tu skule down to 
the old Hamlin skule-hus. Reliance was ailin' in the airly spring, but I dug 
some rutes and airbs and made her some med'cin an' she's on the mendin' 
hand ever sence. I tell vou, Aunt Sally, there's nothin' like rutes and airbs 
for these ere ailments; there aint, true's ye live." 

" So I mind. Aunt Prudence, but you allers was a great hand to make 

At this stage of the conversation a light step was heard and a bright-eyed 
lassie enters the room. Aunt Sally rises and leads the modest, somewhat 
timid girl forward and says, by way of introduction : 

"This is my darter Darkis, Aunt Prudence; my darter Darkis; she's 
been drefful slim all the fall and we've been awful worried 'bout Darkis, but 
she's recov'rin' now. This is Aunt Prudence, Darkis ; Aunt Prudence Ben- 
field, dear." 

The girl courtesied gracefully, came and gave her hand to Aunt Prudence, 
who playfully taps her under the chin, gives her a blush-raising compliment in 
a whisper, and she is seated. 

Aunt Sally spreads her knitting work on her lap, looks at it considerately; 
then raises her head, looks from under her glasses, and says: "Darkis, dear, 
I wish you'd run down the road'h tell Aunt Nabby Marstin, an' Ruthy Rankins, 
an' Susie Sands an' old Granmarm Benson that Aunt Prudence, she's come 
out here a-visitin' and we'd all be rael gled tu hev 'em all come up arter din- 
ner, and come so's tu stay tu tea. Run right along, dear ; thet's a good gal." 

The two industrious old dames now hitch their chairs close together, sit 
facing each other, take up their knitting and keep time to their conversation 
by the snapping of their wires. 

Darkis returns in season to assist her mother in preparing dinner. Aunt 

66 0/./> TIMKS ON rilK HA CO. 

Prudence insists ihat nothing extra shall be cooked and Aunt Sally fibs when 
she says : " Now don't you fret, Aunt Prudence ; I sha'n't lay out eny more'n 
if you wa'n't here." Still she does put a little more cream in the bread, a bit 
more spice in her cakes, and takes great pains to have all things on this 
occasion in "apple-pie order." 

The forenoon passes quickly and the robust men come in from the wood- 
lot begrimed with the dust of labor ; they wash at a bench under an apple 
tree near the door and hasten in to extend greetings to Aunt Prudence. How 
heartily they shake hands ! Harmless jokes are exchanged to spice conver- 
sation until all were summoned to the dinner table. Aunt Sally gently leads 
her much-respected guest to the table-side and with great cordiality says : 

"Here, Aunt Prudence, you jist sit right down here by mc\ There, now! 
Come, Aunt Prudence, won't you take right holt and be to home ? Du now. 
I wish you would. John, you cut her a nice tender piece o' that spare-rib ; a 
good generous slice, John." He did. 

Thus spake our hostess as she waited upon her guest. With pleasant 
conversation the hearty dinner was eaten. There was no haste, no want of 
attention, no needless ceremony, no sham persuasion. The various kinds of 
food were proffered, but there was no annoying falsehoods about Aunt Pru- 
dence ; she had not been abstemious, and her entertainers did not say : " ^^'hy, 
Aunt Prudence, you haven't eaten scarcely anything." When all sufficed, their 
heads were reverentially bowed and the head of the family did "return thanks." 

When Aunt Prudence and the men had retired to the sitting room, Uncle 
Eben asked if Uncle Obadiah would be out to tea. "Oh, sartin ; I told him 
I was comin' out to see Aunt Sally, and he sed he'd be out airly. Obadiah 
he's drefful put tu it with his fall's work; howsomever, he'll be out." 

As soon as the table had been cleared and the father and sons had 
returned to their labor. Aunt Prudence seized a cloth and essayed to assist 
Aunt Sally in washing — not "doing" — the dishes. The latter caught hold 
of the dishcloth and declared that Aunt Prudence should not touch a dish. 
And the two pulled and tugged in playful scuffle, while Darkis giggled. 

" Now you go an' sit right down, Aunt Prudence ; you aint e;wyne to tetch 
one o' these cups'n sarcers. Darkis'n I can ' tend to this business ' thout eny 
o' your help. Go right away now." 

"Now I shant du eny sich a thing, Aunt Salh-. I shall wipe them ere 
dishes, true's ye live. Stand over there." 

Aunt Sally gently pushes Aunt Prudence; then the two old cronies o-q 
laughing to their work. Of course Aunt Sally wanted the company of Aunt 
Prudence, and it was all understood between them that they should do the 
work together, but this parley was a way the old-fashioned women had. It 
was just the proper thing in those days for the female guest to assist in wash- 
ing the dishes to keep her entertainer company; it was also customary for the 


hostess to appear imperative in her refusal to permit such assistance, and the 
struggle for the mastery was sometimes vehement. 

Looking from the kitchen window, Darkis espies Granmarm Benson and 
Nabby Marstin slowly approaching, with pumpkin hoods on their heads and 
calico work-bags on their arms. 

"There's Granmarm Benson'n Nabby Marstin, marm," said Darkis. 
"Wunner why Susie Sands'n Ruthy Rankins don't come tu." 

" Now Darkis, don't you take on," answered Aunt Sally. " Ruthy'n Susie 
they'll be up ter rights, Darkis. Did they say they'd come?" 

"Why, yes, marm — if nothin' happened." 

Aunts Sally and Prudence both hasten to the door to meet the new arrivals. 
All courtesy, and all talk at once. 

"Why, Granmarm Benson! I'm terrible gled to see ye, I am. Now, how 
du you do, granmarm ?" 

The old lady was hard o' hearin', and Aunt Prudence shouted into her 
ear; then the venerable old grandmother smiled and said: 

"How do I do? Why, Aunt Prudence, I'm es well's could be 'xpected 
for sech an old critter; I'm gwine on ninety, ye know." 

Before the two neighbors had fairly been seated, Darkis, who had been 
out to feed the fowls, came running in and told her mother she had seen Susie 
Sands and Ruthy Rankins coming up the "back-nipping road." 

Aunt Sally now excused herself and retired from the room and left Aunt 
Prudence, Granmarm Benson, and Nabby Marstin to gossip together. In her 
absence the other visitors were ushered in by Darkis who assured them, while 
taking off their "duds," that her mother would be in ter rights ; that she was 
about the houzen, but had stepped out a minit. 

When all the assembled old ladies had been seated, they smoothed their 
broad aprons, adjusted the ruffles of their caps, and glowered at each other 
in silence. 

A side door opens. Aunt Sally enters, courtesies, and her guests all arise 
and courtesy in return. The beautiful hostess had on a newly "done up" cap 
of fine lace, ornamented with a few bits of purple ribbon ; the long strings of 
the same color remaining untied, — as was the custom when at home — falling 
upon the tidy, white handkerchief that had been pinned about her shoulders. 
A long gingham apron nearly reached the morocco "village ties" that peeped 
from under her full skirted "best gown." Aunt Sally was an attractive woman 
rising iive-and-sixty, whose abundant silvered hair waving about her white, 
classical forehead, which was as fair and unfurrowed as the polished marble, 
enframed a face chaste and sweet of expression ; yea, as calm and serene as 
a summer morning. Her voice was low and her accent plaintive; the lan- 
guage she employed, though of the quaint old style, then considered select. 
She had passed her maiden years in a home of comparative wealth at Ipswich, 


Mass., whither her parents had removed from Winter Harbor during the Indian 
wars, and her education was superior to that of any woman in the plantation. 
Her guests were all born in a frontier settlement, and from childhood had been 
acquainted with vicissitude and toil. These women had the faculty of extract- 
ing pleasure out of all their domestic duties, and were as contented and happy 
as any generation of their sex since the settlement of New England. They 
were free from a thousand corroding cares and perplexities that obtain in this 
rushing age, which sap the very foundations of existence and wear life out 
prematurely. But we must not moralize. 

A company would open their eyes with great amazement if to-day they 
could listen to such conversation as passed between the company of dear old 
dames assembled at the home of Aunt Sally Benfield on the autumn afternoon 
of which we have written. The phonograph had not then been invented and 
their provincialisms of speech cannot be produced with all the apostrophes 
furnished in a " Pickle for the Knowing Ones " by the eccentric Sir Timothy 

How gleefully they compared the fabrics with which they were engaged ! 
These women had an interest in their work ; took an honest pride in their 
iwrk. Their precious time was not squandered with an ivory-handled crochet 
hook and spool of thread over weary yards of cobweb "insertion " and "trim- 
ming." The lambrequins made by their busy fingers were to be worn on feet 
and hands ; they were all useful to protect from cold. 

One had dyed her yarn with bark from the yellow oak : another with that 
of the maple ; a third had produced her purple with berries of the elder and 
sumac ; while the fourth had recourse to the more expensive india;o and log- 
wood. Aunt Prudence held up her ball of "back-banded yarn " and Granmarm 
Benson one of the " double-and-twisted sort." Ruthy Rankins spread out upon 
her aproned knee the stocking clouded with husks, while Susie Sands declared 
that hers was "dyed in the wool" upon the old brown sheep's back. Some 
were knitting "plain," others were doing theirs "seamed." The half-finished 
mitten in the hands of Aunt Sally was in " fox-and-geese " figures, and Aunt 
Prudence pulled one from her work-bag knitted in "scent-bottle patterns." 
One was knitting "tight," another "slack." Some there were "widening at 
the heel," others, "narrowing at the toe." Theirs could truthfully be called 
a woolen Tocabiilary. All were as busy as a colony of honey-bees and merrv- 
hearted as a bevy of joyous maidens. Dear old darlings ! 

Into whatever channal the current of conversation turned, it savored 
always of something practical ; something inseparably associated with every- 
day industries and the duties of domestic life. Was there any insprinkling of 
spicy witticism; any humorous expressions used by these dignified dames? 
Very likely; but their discourse was never frivolous or questionable. They 
used the descriptive phrase in vogue at that time. Things /zart' names and were 


called l>y their names. When discussing the affairs of the dairy, appropriate 
terms for the designation of every part were used. Under this head one might 
expect to hear them speak in the language of the :/a/rv vocabulary, such as 
the following: "Milk-room," "milk-dresser," " butter-tray," "cheese-hoop," 
"cheese-press," "cheese-cloth," "churn," "skimming-shells," "bonny-clap- 
per," "bland," and "curd." All of these were clean things and would "bear 
to be talked about." 

Even their cows and domestic fowls had names, some single, some double, 
by which they were designated and distinguished. If such dumb brutes did 
not know their various names, their owners did and found it convenient to 
use them. " Crumple-horn was a wonderful buttermaker." "Buttercup gave 
out more milk but not so rich." " Brottle-f ace would kick when being milked 
like blazes." "Old Cherry came out awful poor in the spring." "Pink and 
Brindle were as fat and sleek as otters." The "buffalo cow" had gone dry, 
and the "line-backed heifer" would "come in" next spring. 

Of the fowls they would be heard to say: " Cropple-crown has stolen 
her nest," which every hen had a perfect right to do. "Gray-cape has laid her 
litter out." "Muffle-chop persists in roosting on the collar-beam, and the 
Creeper on the bulk-head." "Yellow-saddle was sheddin' her feathers, and 
Striped-tail crowed like a rooster." Besides these yi^ze// surnames every woman 
talked about her "speckled hin," "white hin," "black hin," "partridge-colored" 
and "wheelbarrow-colored hin," especially when visiting and paying visits. 

We must now take leave of our old gossiping dames and turn our atten- 
tion to their husbands, who have entered the door-yard on a brief visit to 
Uncle Eben, who had come in from his work early to enjoy the company of 
these good neighbors. They were a sociable group. The autumn day was 
not done and they took a turn about the fields and down the pasture lane to 
view Uncle Eben's stock. There were ten "horn-ed cattle," a mare, colt, and 
divers swine-beasts. With arms under their coat-tails — a habit common with 
old yeomen — and a bit of chip, or twig from an apple tree, between their 
teeth, they walked about the great high-horned oxen, cows, and sparked young 
"critters." They canted their heads first to one side, then to the other; 
they closed one eye and squinted over the broad backs of old "Line" and 
"Golden," rubbed their supple hide over their ribs as a woman does the wet 
blanket over her washboard, gave their tails a twist to see if their spinal cord 
was elastic, pinched their hips and flanks, and declared them to be a " well- 
made pair." 

To the cows they went with many a soothing "so-mollie," as they stooped 
to see if they were "easy milkers" and if they had a "yarler hide." They 
studied cow-chronology by counting the wrinkles on the horns of the vener- 
able buttermakers, "Spark" and "Tansey"; inquired how much they gave 
in the pail and how long they went dry and "farrer." 


As they approached Uncle Eben's old mare, she exhibited pronounced 
objections against inspection by showing the depravity of her eyes, and ivory 
of her grazers; by the vehement switching of her sprig tail, and snorting 
angrily, "take kear there." They didn't pinch her hips nor feel of he?- flanks; 
no, no ; discretion, in this instance, certainly, loas the better part of valor. 
Uncle Eben said she was an on-easy, techy critter, that had a wicked habit 
of "liftin' behind" when approached in the "parster." 

Uncle ¥htn led his company to the pigs' parlor, where each guessed the 
weight of the fatted porkers; thence, down to the well-filled hay-barn and 
showed them his mows of timothy and clover, oat-straw and corn-fodder, bins 
of beans and grain; thence, clown into cellar and showed them his well-filled 
potato-pens, his stores of "garden-sarce," and a pork-barrel that hadn't been 
empty for four-and-twenty years. 

But they are summoned to the supper-table by a blast from the tin horn 
in the hands of Darkis, and go gabbling in-doors. The company had increased 
to such an extent that by "counting noses" Aunt Sally had found it expedient 
to extend her table with an annex formed with a second table which did not 
tally in height with the principal family board. The whole was covered with 
a snow-white spread of Aunt Sally's own weaving, and "set out" with the 
dainty, figured tea set purchased "at the westward," and presented to her on 
her wedding-day. The occasions were rare when this precious treasure was 
placed upon the table. When all had been seated, Uncle Eben suggested to 
Abram Rankins that it was his "oppertunity," and the venerable brother said 
the grace. The company being composed of persons of robust attributes, 
they honored the excellent culinary provision upon the tea-table, and the cheer- 
ful spirit that prevailed wonderfully enhanced the enjoyment of the meal, and 
also, by facilitating digestion, contributed to the health and comfort of the 
partakers afterwards. 

As the evenings were now cool. Uncle Eben removed the fire-board from 
the hearth, adjusted the andiron, and kindled a flame there to "take off the 
chill" and add a cheerful light to the room. The genial warmth and bright- 
ness of the capering flame drew all around the hearth-stone as millers are drawn 
by candle-light, and the men with their pipes and stories, the women with their 
sewing and gossip, passed the evening in great communion. At a late hour 
the usual old-time compliments, "Come out and see us," were exchanged, and 
all wended homeward. Verily, visitin- and paying visits had a salutary and 
helpful influence. 

The Medicine-Chest.- 'I'he professional doctor was seldom called to 
the home of the pioneer. Medicinal treatment was rarely resorted to. The 
natural conditions of every-day life were conducive to robust health. Women 
did not then, as sentimental women do now-a-days, talk about "my physician " 
and "my doctor" ; had they indulged in such nonsense they would have been 


regarded as witches, persons possessed of the devil, or, more properly, as 
"deficient in the upper story." 

Were they never indisposed or very sick? Of course they were; the old 
burial-places are a sufficient witness to their mortality. But the old mothers 
anticipated the hour of illness and made due preparation to ward off disease 
and to heal any malady that might steal into the household. These watchful 
and prudent guardians of the home, did not depend solely upon the curative 
properties conserved in the great pharmacy of the vegetable kingdom, but 
became herbalists in a small way and cultivated such plants as were known to 
possess medicinal virtues. Who that was reared on a Saco valley farm does 
not remember the old garden and its beds of aromatic herbs. There were 
chamomile, tansy, southernwood, sage, .yellow-dock, horse-radish, catnip, pep- 
permint, spearmint, wormwood, rhubarb, blossoming marigold, and poppies 
enough to put the whole family to sleep. 

Such useful herbs were cultivated with much care from year to year, were 
not suffered to die out, and were gathered, tied in bundles or packed in birch- 
bark boxes, and stored in the unfinished attic. 

Before the dog-days came — after that, herbs were supposed to lose their 
virtue — the wives of farmers, and the farmers too, gathered such roots, wild 
herbs, and berries, as grew in field-sides, pastures, and woodlands ; they stored 
away thoroughwort, pennyroyal, horsemint, yarrow, ragweed, burdock, mouse- 
ear, plantain, cure-all leaves, gold-thread, Jones'-root, sumac, and elderberries. 

From such simple, harmless, medicinal herbs, teas, syrups, and healing 
salves were made by boiling and simmering, and administered to any member 
of the family who had taken cold or who had a wound to mollify. Such rem- 
edies, when faithfully taken and well rubbed in, usually proved effectual; 
when the list had been gone through with, and had proved unavailing, the sick 
were doomed for the winding-sheet and narrow house — a miracle excepted. 

In some of the early communities there were decayed maidens who had 
studied "rutes and airbs," and were called "doctress women." We suppose 
they ranked, in the professional calendar, with the tailoress and female ex- 
horter. They graduated in the herb-garden and garret, but were, so far as we 
know, deficient of any honorary degrees. But they were profound and filled 
with wisdom as their appearance indicated. When called to the bedside of 
some afflicted neighbor they would take a seat, hold their long, bony fingers 
upon the pulse, elevate their crescent-shaped eyebrows, look away to the other 
side of the room and — consider. After some inquiry anent the symptoms 
developed, these old frauds, or primitive quacks, would unroll .their batch of 
"rutes and airbs" and "conjure up" some horrible-tasting decoction and 
prescribe, with great precision, a course of treatment for the invalid. 

These " wimmin doctors " compounded ointments for human unfortunates 
who had a contagious sort of itches and scratches that sometimes went through 


the settlements ; they made salves for sore heads and hearts, for wens on the 
scalp and wolves on the jaw, for "biles" and barnacles, carbuncles and can- 
cers. Of plasters they had great store ; plasters to stick and plasters to c?-awl. 
This latter sort were supposed to possess supernatural powers and were said 
to follow the pain wherever it went when romping through one's body; in 
consequence of this quality, they sometimes caused great inconvenience to 
the wearers by halting on unlooked-for parts of their anatomy. 

The old rogues used to relate how one of these "doctress wimmen" was 
made the subject of much humor by a rather serious piece of imposition prac- 
tised upon her by one of the queer old fellows who lived in a primitive com- 
munity. It seems that he had been assisted by some evil spirit while awake on 
his bed, and his wife at his side was startled from her slumbers by a terrible 
groan. She immediately inquired with great solicitude and pitifulness of 
voice what ailed her distressed husband, then writhing like a martyr in the 
flames. He gave utterance in scattering syllables to a few nearly inarticulate 
words that indicated awful agony of body. Springing from her warm nest 
she hastened to light the candle, and holding the pale flame over Archibald's 
face it appeared to have an ashen color and exhibited unmistakable evidence 
of the keenest anguish. Now it came to pass that not an herb could t)e found 
about the house, although Dorothy knew she had put away divers kinds. 
This seeming misfortune was fully understood, and, to let out the truth, had 
been provided for by the groaning Archibald. "What shall we do; what shall 
we do?" cried Dorothy, who was now at her wits' ends. "Do? why send for 
old Judy Elecompain, the doctress; send quick, too," answered Archibald. 

Sallymantha was called down from the chamber, and being afraid in the 
dark, remained with her father while the anxious mother made haste across 
the dew-laden field to the dwelling of Judy Elecompain. Now Judy was 
entangled in the mysterious labyrinths of a dissolving dream when Dorothy- 
pounded on the window-sash and screamed : "Judy! Judy! come quick, come 
quick and see my Archible ; he's dying sartin." Being so far out upon the 
sea of slumber, Judy only heard a faint, indistinct sound like a wind-wafted 
hail from a distant strand, and found it, as she supposed, to be a part of the 
drama that was being acted in her mental auditorium. She sighed audibly, 
which sigh Dorothy heard witliout and supposed the doctress was awake. 
Seeing no light of candle, she looked in and the slanting moonbeams, shoot- 
ing across the pillow where Judy reposed, re\caled her with an expression of 
rapture beaming upon her bilious face as the pleasing footlights illuminated 
the pictures of delectable hills and vallc)s that were passiing before her in- 
toxicated spirit. 

"Say, yon old numb-head," shouted Dorothy with an exceeding great 
noise, "wake up! wake up! my old man's a-dying." This agonizing scream 
broke the spell of Judy's entanglement, and springing up in her bed, she 


clutched the coverlid nervously, and with a voice that left a crack in the 
atmosphere, shrieked: "What — what — what on airth's the matter; what's 
the matter ? " Dazed by such sudden transition from the transports of her 
blissful dream to the world of reality, and by a salutation involving such sol- 
emn issues, the old professional scarcely knew whether she was still asleep. 
But Dorothy was watching her through the window, and fearing that Morpheus 
would again carry her captive to his misty dominion, she kept calling, "Judy ! 
Judy ! O Judy ! du git out o' bed, and come quickly, for I te// ye Archibald's 
a-dying." "Who's there?" shouted the doctress. "Why, I'm Dorothy, wife 
of Archible Hussey ; my old man's a-dying an' we haint a sprig o' penny- 
rial nor lady's-delight in the house. Du, Judy, you hurry and find your rutes 
and airbs and come follow me." The old rickety bedstead now began to 
creak, a chair was heard to rattle, and a tall, spectral-looking form in flum- 
meried cap and etherial robe might have been seen darting about the room. 

At last the doctress was dressed, found her rutes-and-airbs basket and, 
with a pair of old stocking-feet pulled over her shoes, she followed Dorothy 
Hussey home. Archibald had his ear bent and heard the ground jar near 
the house with the pronounced tread of Dorothy and Judy. As they entered 
the door-yard they heard a terrible groan and Dorothy sighed with a degree of 
relief as she exclaimed, "Archible's a-livin." Softly the two women entered 
the room of the sick and dying — bed. Archibald was lying with his face to 
the wall ; the place dying people are said to look at last. Such agony as 
racked his frame ! Bending over him his sweating consort inquired in tones 
soaked in pity: "Archi-ble, Archi-ble, be you a-dying.'" "I d-d-do-n-t 
k-n-o-w, I'm in an aw-ful con-dit-ion. Where's the doc-tress?" "Judy, she's 
right here ; she cum's quick's she cleverly could." 

One of Archibald's arms lay limp upon the outside of the bed and the 
doctress lifted the heavy hand and touched the pulse. Archibald held his 
breath and the anatomical machinery seemed to stop, as the "clock stopped 
short when the old man died." Judy shook her head, laid down the hand, and 
tiptoed out of the room, beckoning Dorothy to follow. Going to a corner of the 
great kitchen, and looking toward the door through which they had emerged, 
with a terrible expression upon her long visage, Judy Elecompain, in a loud 
whisper, said : " Dorothy, I'm sorry to say enything to hurt ye, but stern duty 
compels me to tell ye to prepare for the wust. Archi-ble's a-sinkin' awful 
fast. Skeircely eny pult left. There's a mor-tal in-tarnal diffi-kilty that's 
consumin' his vi-tal-ity." "But can nothin' be dun for poor Archible?" piti- 
fully asked Dorothy. 

"Wall, we ken bathe his stumick with a little sparit, an' 'minister sum 
soothin' tea ; that's all /ken du; it's tu late, Dorothy." Terrible groans and 
incoherent ejaculations were escaping from the lips of Archibald. The two 
women re-entered the room of the sick and dying man, and asked Archibald 


if he could be turned upon his back so that Judy might bathe his stumick 
with sparit. "I'll t-r-y," faintly replied Archibald. With slow and labored 
movement, that had the appearance of being almost superhuman, — Archibald 
was a hefty man when in health — the groaning man tried to turn himself, but 
sank backward with a despairinj; sigh. "Let I)orothy'n I 'sist ye, Archible," 
suggested the old doctress. 'i'hey drew tlie heavy bedstead from the wall, 
and by lifting on both sides they succeeded in turning the apparently helpless 
man. They unbuttoned his shirt-front and sopped on the alcohol. His com- 
monly healthy face appeared shrunken and marked with great evidence of 
distress ; his pulse was weak and his breathing intermittent, alternating with 
sighs and groans. 

Dorothy was wringing her hands, wiping her red eyes with her bomba- 
zine apron, and walking about the room on tiptoe. For a moment Archibald 
opened his eyes a little, and noticing his poor wife's disconsolate appearance 
felt assured that she hadn't lost her first love, and faintly said, " Dor-o-thy, 
my de-a-h do-n-'t w-e-e-p for m-e-e-e." 

After some bumble-bee-berry-bark tea had been administered with the 
teaspoon, Archibald seemed to grow easier, and for a few moments the two 
women retired to the kitchen for conference. Judy declared that nothing 
more could be done for Archibald ; that he was now sinking into a lethargy- 
condition from which he would have an easy transit across the mystical river, 
and she had better go home and on her way rouse some of the neighbors, 
and send them out "agin the hour o' need." But the moist importunity of 
Dorothy overcome the compasionate heart of the old doctress, and she con- 
sented to stand by until the last. Going back to where Archibald lay in a 
lethargy, Judy took a seat by his side to watch the flickering taper as the 
attenuated wick burnt out, in the socket. Looking toward the small stand at 
the head of Archibald's bed, she noticed that the spirit bottle was emptv. 
Beckoning Dorothy to her side, she pointed to the bottle and whispered : 
"He's out of his head." The first gray beams of the morning were now 
bursting over the hills and objects in the room could be distinctly seen. 

Turning quickly o\ cr with Ills face toward the watchers, Archibald said •' 
"Why, Aunt Judy, how came you out here?" ISefore he could finish his 
speech Judy exclaimed : " Poor Archible ! he's wanderin' now." "Wanderin' 
you tarnal old fool ; not I," replied Archibald in a strong voice. " \ou take 
your old chip basket of rutes and airbs and run right out on Swanson's lane. 
Dorothy, my good wife, get my breakfast; I must get up." The old doctress 
seized her medicine liasket just as Archibald bounded upon the floor and 
rushed from the room screaming: "Poor Archible ! Poor Archible! he's gone 
crazy, gone crazy ! " She was seen no more on that morning, and when> 
during the following afternoon, she saw him from her window, walking by 
his great brown oxen, "Duke" and "Turk," as he had done aforetime, she 


declared that he was as one raised from the brink o' the grave, and that 
Archibald Hussey might bless his stars all the remainder of his earthly sojourn 
that on that doleful night when the pale horse was sweeping over the hill 
his speed was arrested by the burable-bee-berry-bark tea, administered by an 
"exper'anced doctress named Judy Elecompain," who had left her own peace- 
ful slumbers when filled with on-airthly felici-ty in the middle part of a blissful 
dream, and waded across wet medders to 'leviate his sufErin's and suthe his 
distressed body while bein' wracked with pain." 

Archibald Hussey lived many years and was never weary of telling all 
who came of his adventure with the old doctress. Dorothy, his faithful wife, 
lived also and ever after that mysterious sickness would find cause to retire 
from the room when Archibald came to the point in his narrative where she 
"took on so." Judy Elecompain survived many years and always insisted that 
" Archible Hussey would have been dead and buried this twenty years gone 
passed had sAe not, at jist the right moment when he was hoverin' on the pint 
o' death, given him bumble-bee-berry-bark tea." Then Archibald would 

This story is not without its moral, but as there is a variety of tastes I 
will give each reader liberty to point such an one as suits him best. 


The Farm-Hoiise Attic. — Sometimes the best furnished room in the 
house. It was the lumber-room, store-room, and conservatory of such articles 
of furniture as had "seen their best days," or were out of fashion and use. 
Filled with silent memorials of the past, yet eloquent with reminders that some- 
times touched the visitor's heart. A dusty place, with odors suggestive of 
pennyroyal and motherwort; the undisturbed retreat of hornets and spiders. 
Let us see what we can find here worthy of inspection and description. 

The Meal Chest. — Here is a long affair on swallow-tailed legs, arranged 
with several compartments within, in which the old housewives kept their yel- 
low corn meal, the wheat, rye, and barley flour, the middlings, and shorts. It 
was made of wide boards of "pumpkin pine," dovetailed at the corners, and 
covered by a lid extending the whole length and attached to the back with 
leathern hinges. When this capacious receptacle was well filled there was 
contentment in the household and hope sang her cheering song ; when the 
housewife's "skimming-shell" scraped the bottom, she shuddered with mis- 
givings and anxiety. 

"Chist o' Draws." — Here it is, standing against the wall, festooned 
with cobwebs. It is a quaint, cumbersome article of furniture, made from 
solid mahogany or cherry, and so faithfully put together that it stood the 
wear and tear of several generations. Front posts carved into spiral form ; 


swell-front drawers; handles of ornamental pattern made of brass and cov- 
ered with paper. Empty now. Within this great receptacle was laid the bridal 
robe when the younf; mother assumed the duties of domestic life and mother- 
hood. Here she placed the carefully folded and delicately made little gar- 
ments that awaited the advent of the first-born, and when a little one had been 
snatched from the cradle and laid down in its narrow, cold house beside the 
wood-lot, the dainty gowns and tiny shoes were sprinkled with the mother's 
tears, and with fragrant rose leaves put away from sight in the lower drawer. 
In another compartment were preserved such valuable articles as had been 
presented to the wife at her marriage; and in others, the family linen and 
light apparel. Here was kept the great leather pocketbook containing the 
saved dollars and notes of hand. In the "chist" at the top were deposited 
the yeoman's bell-crowned fur hat and Molly's great churn bonnet. How 
many times these drop handles have rattled at the touch of mother's hands; 
how many times these heavy drawers revealed their treasures to her wistful 
eyes ! All empty now, for mother is away. 

Trundle-Bedstead. — Here we have a phenomenally accommodating 
and once useful article in which, like the traditional "bus," there was always 
"room for one more." The capacity of the trundle-bed or truckle-bed was 
never exhausted ; it was often crowded, but never quite full. What a tangle 
of curly heads, fat arms, and dumpling feet there used to be in this juvenile 
couch ! For twenty years in constant use and never vacant at night. But the 
boys and girls have long ago outgrown the old childhood nest, and that much 
coveted household necessity, which ran on wheels and had supported so manv 
precious lives, was relegated to the dusty attic. l!y its low side many little 
ones with clasped hands had knelt while a loving mother taught them to say, 
"Our Heavenly Father," or, "Now I lay me down to sleep." 

Garter-Loom. — There are few living to-day who could name this article. 
It was made from a thin piece of board in which openings were cut longitud- 
inally, leaving eight or ten slender bars, each of which was pierced with a 
hot wire. The whole was about eighteen inches long and ten inches in width. 
With this simple instrument the old mothers wove worsted suspenders for 
their husbands and sons, which were broad, elastic, and comfortable. These 
were called "gallowses." It is doubtful if any one now living could properly 
"draw in the web" for weaving on the gartev-loom. 

Foot-Stove. — Tucked away under the oa\es we find this curious affair; 
whether lantern, grain-sieve, or niouse-eage, who can tell? Part of wood part 
of tin; sides perforated like a giant nutmeg-grater; square, or ne.arly so; has 
a "kiver," bail, and handle. .And what's the "consarn" for? Well beloved 
when there were no stoves or furnaces to warm the meeting-houses ■ no fire 
with the exception of that in the pulpil, and that a long way from the congre- 
gation ; when sermons were two hours long and human beings were susceptible 






to cold the same as now, these tin foot-warmers, used before soap-stones and 
mince pies were thought of for the purpose, were filled with hard-wood coals 
alive from the hearth, and carried into the pews on the Sabbath to prevent 
the blood from freezing. 

Till Kitchen. — Indeed! Ah, yes! not for a family to domicile in, how- 
ever, but for the goose or turkey to roast in. A large cylinder of tin-plate, 
thickly perforated and geared to a crank, to which a line and weight were 
attached and wound up like an eight-day clock. A door opened from one side 
through which the fowl was thrust and fastened upon a "spit" within. This 
revolving machine was placed before the farmer's open fire, a kitchen within 
a kitchen, the weight hooked on and set a-going. It turned about the same 
as an old-time overshot water-wheel. The polished tin "drew the heat" — so 
the old women said — and the revolving oven exposed all sides of the roasting 
fowl equally to the fire. Underneath was placed the great, broad " dripping- 
pan" from which, at intervals, the housewife "basted" the goose or turkey 
with her long-handled spoon. This invention was well adapted to the times, 
and suited to the wide, open fireplace. A goose, "done to a turn" in the tin 
kitchen, for toothsome flavor has never been excelled. 

The Barn Lantern was calculated to disseminate light — in feeble, un- 
certain rays. A tin cylinder, with a cone-like top, eighteen inches in height, 
eight in diameter; full of holes as a skimmer — ye.s, fuller — cut in figures, 
through which the light from the tallow-dip within struggled out. Not as 
brilliant as the modern lantern, but more safe and quickly set a-going. It 
was called a "barn lantern" because used by farmers when going to fodder 
their cattle in the evening ; because hung upon the handle of a pitchfork stuck 
into the hay-mow, suspended over the pile of corn in the barn floor, where the 
husking was done. For these purposes the tin lantern stood in good stead ; 
was especially favorable, negatively, to the bashful young ladies of whom 
tribute was exacted for each red ear of corn found when husking. What 
weird, dancing figures the light, radiating from the rotary perforation, cast 
upon the ground or snow when swinging in the farmer's hand ! By a few con- 
servative old grandfathers the "barn lantern" is still used. May their light 
never grow less. 

The Iron Toaster. — Here was another very useful culinary article 
adapted to the open fire and primitive methods of cooking. The instrument 
was all of iron, hand-made by the blacksmith. How shall it be described ? 
The principal part reminds me of a swinging bridge. The bed piece was an 
iron plate, fourteen inches long and three in width. On both sides were 
railings made from twisted, slender rods answering to the railing of the rustic 
bridge. This bridge piece of the toaster was connected by a pivotal rivet to 
a stand elevated some three inches upon legs ; this had a long, flat handle 
with a ring at the end. Between the railings of the "bridge" slices of bread 


were stood on edi^e, the toaster placed before the coals in the fireplace, and 
the work of toasting begun. When one side had been sufficiently browned a 
turn was given to the brid^^fe, and in an instant the opposite side was exposed 
to the lire. Upon a clean wint^ed hearth, before a bright bed of coals, a 
quantity of bread sufficient for a large family could be nicely toasted in a few 
minutes while the housewife attended to her other duties. This bread, when 
walloped in a bowl of creamy milk from the udder of Crumple-horn, was 
sweeter than anything belonging to the bread family ever tasted since our 
boyhood days; wholesome, too, sir. How my mouth waters as I write! 

The Pillion. — What.' A pillion, sir. ".Vnd what on airth's that for?" 
asked one of our old mothers who had never seen one. "Well," said I, 
"when Rastus kept the old mare he and Ruthy used to go down to Parson 
Coffin's meeting-house horseback ; in those days folks rode double, and Ruthy 
she sat on the pillion ahint her husband and carried little Rob in her arms at 
that." The old lady elevated her brows, glowered under her spectacles, held 
up both hands, and in great amazement exclaimed, " Shoah ! " "It was won- 
nerful how these wimmin held on; howsomever, they seldom fell off." The 
pillion was invented before the roads admitted of traveling in a two-wheeled 
chaise ; when only bridle-paths had been cut through the woods from settle- 
ment to settlement and to distant towns. The simple contrivance consisted 
of a large, square, leather cushion that was attached to the man's saddle 
behind, and had a foot-rest, suspended by two straps, backed by the nigh side 
of the horse. "But if the mare fell into a canter, what then?" inquired my 
old lady friend. I replied with great gravity, " \\'hy, she clung to her hus- 
band, as all good women should." "Du tell," said she. Long journeys were 
made on the pillion, and the wealthy and genteel rode on them when visiting 
the city. 

Saddle-BagS. "Pray tell what these were for," asked Aunt Patience, 
as I took them down from the collar-beams. These, like the pillion, were use- 
ful when going on a journey. They were strapped to the saddle behind and 
rested against the sides of the horse. In these commodious, leather receptacles 
the doctor of physic carried drugs for his patients, and in them the doctor of 
divinity carried medicine for his parishioners; I mean their Bibles, hymn books 
religious tracts, and written sermons. When not otherwise occupied, a baiting 
of grain was carried therein for the horse. Very useful in their day, were the 

The Shingle-Mould. — This instrument was found about every pioneer's 
wood-house. It was the constant companion of the shingle- weaver. Some- 
times called a "bundling-mould." Ifsed for bundling shaved shingles in earlv' 
days. A light, low frame supported upon short, upright standards which 
extended a foot above the main frame ; between these the assorted shingles 
were laid in stacks containing a quarter of a thousand. Bundling-sticks were 

OLD TIMES ON THE .^.If^'O. 79 

put on, twisted withes used for binders, and the work was done. Bundling- 
moulds must be standard size, and were "sealed" the same as weights and 
measures. The shingle-weaver caught with a mould narrower than required 
by law was branded as a fraud and scamp by the lumber dealer and usually 
lost the market for his wares. 

Jingle-Wright. — This was an ingenious device used by teamsters. It 
was constructed with a sliding link, so adjusted that when attached to the yoke 
ring between the chains by which the two yoke of oxen were attached to the 
plow, the draft was perfectly equalized without any loss of energy. No asso- 
ciation of the best words in our generous vocabulary is adequate to elucidate 
to the mind of the reader the form and combination of this useful invention. 
It was carried in the teamster's pocket when not in use. 

Chebobbin Sled. — This was a sort of cross between a tree and bob-sled. 
The runners were formed from the crooked trunk of birch, beech, or maple. 
It had but one bunk or cross-bar which was connected loosely to the runners 
by oak treenails that fell into grooves in said bunk. Above was a crescent-shaped 
beam, also held in place by the treenails. Between the forward ends a heavy 
roller was fixed and the great, mongrel instrument was ready for use. It was 
strong and sufficiently loose-jointed and flexible to crawl over the uneven sur- 
face of the woodland road. Hundreds of these abandoned "chebobbins" 
are rotting in the logging swamps of Maine to-day. 

Sloven Cart. — This was a sort of rack for hauling hay, straw, and corn- 
fodder. There were tall stakes or standards rising fromi the bed pieces but 
not protected by top rails. They were dangerous, unwieldy vehicles and many 
injuries were caused by falling upon the tapering stakes. The modern railed 
hay-rack is a great improvement and may be called elegant in comparison with 
the old-fashioned " sloven " cart. 

Wooden Plow. — This "grew " like Topsy. Who would think of finding 
the mould-board of a farmer's plow in the forest.' This was where they were 
found. The plow-maker had his twisted ideal and carved his plow to the same 
twist, if he could. Opinions differed as to the best curves for the mould-board 
of the wooden plow ; that is, in order to secure easy draft and good work. 
When the principal part of the plow had been worked into the proper form, 
it was plated with narrow strips of steel to obviate wear, facilitate cleavage, 
and strengthen the wood. A steel point was then attached which held the 
foot of the coulter or sward-cutter. The beam and handles were heavy, clumsy, 
and rudely made. When well formed, the wooden plow did fairly good work 
on mellow soil, but if interwoven with small roots or interlarded with stones 
the old thing just rooted along, tearing up patches of earth here and there. 
Compared with these coarse turf-manglers the modern steel plow is a luxury 
to the farmer. 

The Axle-Tree. — A name applied to the wooden axles used in all kinds 


of team carts and wagons in early days. Probably called a.xlt-free, because 
the tree from which it was made had changed but little in the transformation. 
They were usually hewed from the trunk of rock-maple or a curly birch. The 
tapering' ends were worked into proper form with drawing knife and rasp. 
Iron "dogs " were driven into the wood on the under side to obviate wear and 
friction where the short iron wheel-boxes came into contact with the axle-tree. 
Through each end, to hold the wheels in place, "linch pins" were inserted. 
Mortises were made in the body of the axle for the forks of the cart-tongue, 
which were dovetailed in and secured by long keys. After a generous appli- 
cation of lard the wheels were made to turn, and by constant use wore the 
axle smooth. 

Pod-Augurs. — These tools were the product of the common blacksmith, 
I suppose. They were heavy, unfinished, and exceedingly annoying to a 
nervous man. Concave and convex, destitute of any " wor-rum" to give them 
draft, but supplied with a "lip" turned down at the end. They were encour- 
aged to enter the wood by making little hens' nests with a gouge for them. 
Then, before starting on their slow, reluctant journey, much muscular force 
must be applied to the broad and long cross-handle above. After much lubri- 
cating to reduce friction to a minimum, away the squealing old thing went, 
liable to emerge anywhere, and at any time of day. The holes left by these 
"boriers," as they were named in old documents, were neither round nor octa- 
gon, but rough as a mouse-hole. Moderate swearing would probably have 
been a relief to one who was compelled to bore holes for harrow teeth with a 

Bow-Moulds. — The heavy bows for working oxen were made in early 
times, as now, from the best walnut or hickory, with the rind or inside bark 
left on to prevent breakage when bending. Upon the side of a large log a 
" form " was cut in relief or made from a plank and treenailed on. Around 
this, at intervals, were holes and adjustable pins to hold the bow in place when 
bent around the "form." The bow-rods were dressed into suitable form, 
thoroughly steamed to make them pliable, and after securing one end to the 
mould with a hand-pin, the other end was bent around the form with a lever 
and piece of rope. When a bow had remained in place until seasoned it was 
removed and another put upon the mould. If tie-bows were wanted for the 
barn, they were turned into form in the same way. 

The Brick-Mould. — We allude to the primitive pattern havino- three 
cells or compartments. Much the same as a modern brick-mould but ttsed 
differently. In the early days, the man who built, or was to build, a chimney 
hunted for a clay pit and made his own bricks. The clay, sand and water 
were mixed and incorporated by driving oxen about upon the mass. The clay 
was taken from the vat and beaten into the mould by hand, then leveled with 
a scraper and carried to the drying-yard. This process was slow and laborious 


but bricks thus made, if well burnt, were of excellent quality. These moulds 
were made of any light wood, dovetailed at the corners and furnished with cleat 
handles at the ends ; they were slightly larger on one side to facilitate the 
removal of the moulded bricks. 

Natural Forms. — When there were but few tools in the settlements, 
Nature did much, very much, for the new-comer. If the farmer's scythe 
required a new "snead," why he went to the woods with his axe and cut some 
deformed sapling that had grown from under a log, or about a round stone, 
dressed it down somewhat with draw-shave, fastened the " nebs" on with an 
iron "neb-wedge," hung the scythe with heavy iron ring and "heel-wedge," 
and away he went for his "blue-jint medder." These serpentine "sneads" 
were well adapted to boulders, stumps, and cradle-knolls; why, they'd wind 
around and weave in and out with wonderful facility. If a sled-runner was 
wanted it was hewed from a tree having a bend or large, crooked root. Har- 
rows were cut from the forks of birch or maple, the dentistry attended to, the 
clevis-pin hole bored, the team hitched on, and away she went, jumping and 
scratching among the roots and rocks. When Siah wanted a "thill" for 
his cart or wagon, he "sarched the wood lot for an artificial one" as he said 
to a neighbor. Crooked yokes for oxen that had lost a mate, or hames for the 
horses, were shaped from such trees, or limbs from trees, as had grown, by 
reason of some accident or obstruction, into abnormal and irregular forms. 
Gambrels, long-handled pot-hooks for the brick oven, hay-hooks, tool-hooks, 
and canes for lame men were all cut in the forest. If they were not very 
symmetrical or handsome, they were strong and formidable. 

For bowls, gourd shells were used; for spoons, small clam shells; for 
skimming shells, the shells of a hen clam ; for buckets, bark peeled from the 
birch tree ; for feed-boxes, rings cut from a hollow hemlock or pine ; for sheep- 
yokes and geese-yokes, forks cut from a tree limb. Mallets were formed from 
an oak knurl with the handle of the same piece. Pins for bundles and coarse 
cloth were spines from the thorn tree ; pens for writing made from crow quill 
or goose quill. Brooms for the house were of green hemlock; every house- 
wife could "pick a broom," hold it between her knees to tie the string on, and 
drive the pointed handle in by hard thumping on the hearth-stone. Brushes 
for the fireside were made of a turkey's wing; for the fur hat and velvet cape, 
of a fox's tail. Chairs were bottomed with elm rind, and corn fields strung to 
keep off crows with the same material. Door mats were braided from flags; 
cushions were filled with moss gathered from decaying spruces. Traps for 
animals were made from a small log supported by the "figury-four." 

Corn-Husking. — The crop of Indian corn was usually the first harvest 
gathered by the settler from the black-faced ground ; it was of great value to 
the increasing household. The growing maize was guarded and defended 
from marauding bears and other "varmints" with vigilance and heroism, 


and when the ripened ear burst from the husk the family was sure of bread. 
Before capacious barns were built the corn was brought from the rick on 
a "sloven cart" and piled in long heaps upon the green sward near the 
house. Great preparations were made for the corn-huskings without and 
withindoors. Along the heaps saw-blocks were placed; upon these boards 
laid for the huskers' seat. While the "wimmin folks" were busy making 
puddings, pies, jumbles, and cakes besprinkled with caraway seeds, the men 
were forwarding the invitation, "Come to our husking," to every home in 
the plantation. These announcements were hailed with gladness by old 
and young, and due care taken to be on the husking floor in season. The 
farmers round about came in from their fields at an earlier hour to do the 
milking; their wives and daughters were dressed in tidy gowns ready for a 
twilight walk across lots. 

These occasions were made remarkably enjoyable. Activities and festiv- 
ities were united. Labor was invested with recreative pleasure and toil light- 
ened by social intercourse. The husking became a beneficent institution. No 
modern jollification would bear comparison with these old-time meetings. 
All hands came together in exuberant spirits and engaged in the labor and 
amusement of the hour with hearty good-will. The crusty, suspicious old pre- 
cisionist had not then emerged from unknown obscurity: the fussy old maid 
was not present unless born in the house. Modern restraints, under the sham 
name of "good form," belonged to undiscovered regions. They told well- 
seasoned stories, they ejected side-splitting jokes, they sang rollicking songs, 
they gave voice to robust mirth and shouted lustily in their honest glee. 

It was customary for the lassies to have a seat on the corn pile; why not? 
the laddies were there. When a red ear of corn was found somebody's plump 
cheek must pay tribute to the choice of the gallant. This was in\-olved in 
the doctrine of foreordination, so heartily believed in by the young people 
at that time — and now. No wonder that farmers' daughters shelled red corn 
into their fathers' seed basket on the sly. The more bright-colored corn at the 
old-fashioned husking, the more ruddy cheeks and primitive sweetness. See ' 
What shouting round the corn heap when some one announced, "Another red 
ear found ! " Then there was a disturbance among the husks, and the non- 
reluctant maiden received the salutation predestinated to be given 

There was no hurry about husking and the baskets w^ere not all carried 
to the chamber until midnight; that was not a late hour on such an occasion. 
When the husking floor had been cleared the party gathered about the long, 
groaning tables. The white-capped old dames and beruffled dowagers were 
in the kitchen pouring the coffee and "dishing out" the food, while winsome 
damsels with sparkling eyes and sly winks— why, a wink was more significant 
then than a whole evening of gush is now — were busily " waitin' on the table " 
Compliments of superlative degree anent the excellence of the food and the 


attractiveness of the waitresses were in vogue and were sent forth in great 

Supper finished, the extemporized tables, having served their " day and 
gineration," were quickly pitched out the door, and the floor cleared for a 
dance. The squeak of a fiddle was heard and the sets formed. The figures 
were of the old geometrical sort, and the evolutions were performed with mus- 
cular demonstration if not with gracefulness. One thing is certain; the music 
did not monopolize the noise. The tripping in those days was not done by 
"the light fantastic toe," for the clatter of heavy shoes was heard as some 
nimble-footed rustic made the floor smoke with the friction between sole 
leather and "norroway pine" while going through the double shuffle. The 
robust arm cordially encircled the pliable waist without a "corset bone" 
between and was tangible enough to make an impression; sometimes a depres- 
sion. These old-time dancers put some buckram into the exercise and made 
their feet tingle with the rush of a rejuvenating circulation. 

While the young folk were "honing down the floor" within, the old men 
about the door-yard were bragging about the courage and prowess of their 
prime, and rubbed in the stories with the half-challenge, "If you don't believe 
it, sir, just take a holt here and see." To the elderly people it was "gittin' 
late," and they wended drowsily homeward; to the frolicking lads and lassies 
it was "airly," and they kept their feet a-going; yea, before the "sparks" 
had convoyed their sweethearts home the feathered heralds of the morning, 
with clarion cry from the collar-beam, were proclaiming the coming dawn. 

We believe these occasions were, as a rule, beneficial. Such assembling 
of the isolated settlers stimulated fresh tributaries of thought and lifted the 
toiling people from the ruts of a struggling existence. Under the exhilerating 
effect of such prudent pastimes cares flew away like a flock of frightened 
birds. The festivities invested farm life with a charm that bound the sons and 
daughters to the generous soil, and these became the noble yeomanry who 
have sent forth our ablest statesmen and scholars. All the modern sociables, 
suppers, whist parties, and evening waltzes boiled down to a jelly would be 
but a drop in the bucket or the dust of the balance compared to one of these 
old-fashioned "rincktums" or "frolics" enjoyed a hundred years ago. And 
there was utility in the recreation, for they husked out the corn. 

Grrain-Threshing. — This lively employment might properly be called 
the "reveille of flails." The threshing of grain was early mentioned in sacred 
history. Threshing floors were made by beating down circular plots of ground; 
these were enclosed, were permanent, and became known as landmarks. In 
early times the grain was separated from the straw by driving oxen about upon 
it in the threshing floor. Thus it was written: "Thou shalt not muzzle the 
mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn." The " sharp, threshing instrument 
having teeth," mentioned in scripture, was a kind of drag containing corrugated 


rollers, which was drawn over the grain in the threshing floor by oxen, the 
driver, meanwhile, sitting upon it. 

The use of the flail was known to the eastern nations at a very remote 
period as proven by sculptured threshers found in Egyptian ruins. The pro- 
phetic writer, Isaiah, saith : " For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing 
instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin ; but fitches 
are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod." Rattle of the flails! 
It was inspiration to the ears of many a farmer's boy who is now far from the 
old homestead and feeble with the weight of years. Rap, rap, rap ! From early 
morning until the dinner hour ; from the nooning until sundown, the barn floor 
resounded with the noise of alternating flail strokes. 

The great barn doors were open, and a small one in the rear. It would 
be an October day. The bundles of ripened wheat and rye had been brought 
to the scaffold, and were now ready for the flails ; flails of white oak or hickory; 
handle called the " staff," and " swingle " lashed together by an eel skin passed 
through an eyelet and swivel. In the hay-mows, fragrant with clover and honey- 
suckle, mellow apples have been hid away for the threshing time. The noisy 
hens are cackling upon a beam overhead. The bundles of wheat are laid in 
order across the barn floor, the heads in the middle ; two tiers, each having 
six bundles. On either side the two threshers take their stations, and swing 
the humming flails upon the bounding bundles. At first there is a rebound of 
the springy straw, a stubborn resistance against the invading flagellation, and 
the sound is like that of the muffled drum beat ; but after a little time, the 
whole mass becomes broken, and the responsive barn floor is made vocal with 
noisy clatter. Round and round go the threshers ; rap, rap, rap, ^o the flails, 
and the kernels of grain fly up from the increasing heap. 

When one side has been thoroughly beaten, the bundles are turned over 
and the same process repeated. As one of the threshers retreats down the 
barn floor the other advances ; then he retreats and is promptly followed by 
the first. As one flail swingle comes down the other goes up, and the rap, rap 
rap, is as regular as the ''cooper's march" played upon the truss-hoop. 

But flails were dangerous things in careless hands ; radical things to hold 
a discussion with. Look out for broken flail strings ! \A'oe betide the thresher 
who himself gets threshed. When a swingle is broken from the staff and sails 
aloft, beware of the downward stroke. Accidents rarely occur when old hands 
are on the threshing floor ; such swing their flails with nice precision and the 
alternating blows, falling without a break in their time, indicate the skill of the 

The cheerful farmers intersperse the music of the rattling instruments 
with conversation ; they sing and whistle to the tune of the flails. 

When a "flooring" has been well beaten and the grain is all separated 
from the straw, it is shaken out with forks and raked away. The wheat or 


rye is then pushed against the bulk-head at the bay side, and another flooring 
thrown down. And so the lively exercise goes on. It is very wholesome 
withal ; it throws the shoulders back, expands the lungs, and causes the blood 
to dance. 

When there was a "rick" covered with four acres of burnt-ground rye, a 
generous wheat field, several tons of barley and oats, buckwheat, beans and 
peas, one might hear the rattle of flails for weeks together in the barns all 
about the neighborhood. When the wind was " favorable " the sound of flails 
could be heard distinctly more than a mile. Two farmers living near, if they 
were not "agin one tother" would often "change work" and assist each other 
in grain-threshing. 

The winnowing was done by hand with a shovel or half-bushel measure. 
Barn doors wide open, and a brisk wind sweeping through ; then the farmer 
by dexterity shakes the grain upon the floor and the chaff is blown away. 

Men now living, who were children on a Saco valley farm when threshing 
time came, will remember the rattle of the flail almost as well as the "patter 
of the shingle." 

HiiiioiiUwii:jFiiaisi|iiin Mm m\ iiril w 

^^V?W'f?F^^ ^ 

rn>li iM M>' 1 1 




mk\ 3i);uior ^t^ttlemi^itl. p 




ICHARD VINES may be properly called the founder of Saco valley 
settlements. He visited the coast of Maine as early as 1609, and 
was an inhabitant here almost constantly for thirty years thereafter. 
He was the trusted agent of Sir Ferdinando Georges, who failed 
to induce the English people to come over to New England and establish 
permanent homes because of the exaggerated reports that had reached them 
regarding the severity of the long winters. To prove the possibility of living 
comfortably on the coast of Maine, Georges sent Vines over in 1616, with 
instructions to remain with his companions and test the rigor of the climate. 
The winter was passed in the sheltered basin now known as Biddeford Pool.' 
From that time the locality was called Winter Harbor. That Vines estab- 
lished a settlement here prior to 1623 is proved by a statement made by 
Georges that year relating to Agamenticus. He said they had more hope of 
establishing a permanent plantation there from the fact that "there had been 
settled some years before, not far away, Mr. Richard Vines, a servant of whose 
care and diligence he had formerly made much trial." In his voyages to our 
coast subsequent to 16 16, Vines made Winter Harbor his headquarters. He 
probably erected houses here and kept up the settlement until he had secured 
his patent, which embraced the locality. 

One of the conditions of the grant was that Vines and his associate, John 
Oldham, should transport fifty persons to the colony within seven years "to 
plant and inhabit there." The first settlements were along the borders of the 
sea, at Goosefair, Winter Harbor, the Lower Ferry, and on the lands now trav- 
ersed by the ferry road, where rnany indications of pioneer homes long re- 
mained to mark the spots where the emigrants to the new world built their 
first cabins. 

Let us look backward two hundred and fifty years, and from that early 
period of the Saco valley history take a mental survey of the settlement the 
domestic conditions of those who composed the primitive community and 
note the march of improvement that followed the deprivations, hardships 
and toil of the pioneers. 

Clustered about the rim of the little harbor were a few rude low-walled 
clay-plastered, dingy log huts, inhabited by families whose speech smacked of 
Cornwall and Devonsliire in the mother country. The names of some of these 
have been found and will appear with all we know about them in their appro- 


priate place. The men were busily employed clearing the land for husbandry 
or engaged in fishing upon the adjacent sea. Along the shore were boats and 
fish-flakes. Upon the sea-wall the forms of stately pines and venerable oaks 
were reflected upon the green-glazed surface of the incoming'tide, and the 
constant roar of surging ocean filled the ears of women busy at the wheel 
and loom. 

The early morning found thin wreaths of smoke rising through the over- 
hanging trees from a dozen wooden-muzzled chimneys indicating the existence 
of human habitations. Under the wide-spreading hemlock close at hand the 
red man's wigwam stood neighbor to the white man's cabin. Here he curried 
his tanned moose-skin with tool of stone, while his beauty-admiring squaw, 
with stained quills of the bristling porcupine, ornamented her buff moccasins 
with many a strange device. 

At the settler's fireside Squando smoked his pipe of stone or hailed the 
white fishermen from his swift-gliding canoe upon the river, while his ashen 
paddle kept time with the stroke of the boatman's rattling oar. Mugg Heagon 
was no stranger in the settlement and learned his broken English at the 
hearth-stone of the hardy pale face. Squaws planted corn on the sandy 
uplands with their clam-shell hoes, within hail of the white man's door, unmo- 
lested and unmolesting. 

At Goosefair, Thomas Rogers cultivated his mellow garden, where grew 
the apple and the grape. Waddock and his successors, Haley and Patterson, 
conveyed travelers across the Saco at the lower ferry, and the latter kept an 
ordinary for entertaining strangers. Magnus Redland, who had sp^nt his 
early years upon the turbulent waters of the wild North sea, was now shaving 
shingles and clapboards upon the river bank near his stockaded dwelling at 
Rendezvous Point, while his capable sons were wielding the mallet and axe 
in the ship-yard near at hand. 

Paths wound along the riverside and through the woodlands from house 
to hamlet. A stranger approaching on horseback from the westward would be 
surrounded by a group of curious spectators when he drew rein at some cabin 
door. When a strange vessel was espied in the harbor all ages and sexes 
hastened down to the place of landing to learn from whence the voyagers came 
and the character of their mission. Communication was kept up between the 
settlement and the towns westward, and in passing from place to place nearly 
all went over the more safe "sea-road." With the arrival of vessels came 
intelligence from friends and kindred at Marblehead and Ipswich, from Ports- 
mouth and Kittery, from Agamenticus and Arundel; sometimes from loved ones 
across the wide Atlantic. What joyous excitement prevailed when a ship 
came to anchor in the harbor having on board emigrants who had come from 
Old England to establish homes alongside of those who were already domi- 
ciled at Saco ! 


The furnishing of the early settlers' homes was meagre and practical. A 
heavy plank settle at the fireside, heavy oaken chests brought across the sea, 
a deal table on the puncheoned floor, some pewter plates and earthen bowls 
in a rack at t!ie wall-side, fishing lines and nets hanging about the chimney, a 
pair of heavy, oars overhead, — this was about all that the visitor would have 
seen there. 

Until the white man's fire-water had been used as a medium for defraud- 
ing the red hunter of the spoils of the chase, and imprudent seamen had 
angered Squando by the unwarranted overturn of a canoe containing his wife 
and child, all went well in the settlement on the Saco; but once the hatchet 
had been raised, all the horrors and sufferings incident to savage warfare were 

The stranger passing over the well-graded, farm-bordered Ferry road 
today views historic ground at every turn. The stately mansions, fronted by 
broad, green yards and shaded by the graceful foliage of enormous elms, indi- 
cate a period of agricultural prosperity, and these records of the past are true 
to fact; but the gaze of him whose mind has become excited by perusing the 
historic page touches an era more remote, and his conjuring imagination broods 
over the early settlement with all the lights and shadows of its startling life, 
its dangers and heart aches. He sees the unmerciful savages approaching the 
humble home of Humphrey Scamman ; sees them driving the mother and son 
before them, and compelling the father to join them in captivity ; thinks of 
the weary, famished, and footsore prisoners making their way through tangled 
swamps, along the water-courses and over flinty pathways toward Canada, and 
imagines the forebodings that possessed them as they contemplated the slavery 
that awaited them among the French. With mental vision the considerate 
traveler beholds the boy fleeing for his life on horseback, guiding the running 
beast by reins extemporized from his garters, and the commotion of the occu- 
pants of the fort as he makes known the startling intelligence that the Indians 
were in the neighborhood. 

If it be night one may be transported to the time when the lurid flames 
from the settlers' burning dwellings drove back the darkness and threw a weird 
light over the adjacent field and forest, while the blood-curdling yells of the 
demoniac heathen rend the air. 

If familiar with the annals of the settlement, he beholds the disheartened 
planters and fishermen packing up their most valuable household belongings 
and hurrying away from the only homes they had known in New England to 
become exiles among strangers, or to seek shelter in the dwellings of their 
kindred farther westward along the coast. 

The ominous clouds of war are dispelled for a season, and the venture- 
some settler emerges from his place of retirement and wanders back to the 
scattered hamlet on the Saco to find his fields overgrown with weeds and 


bushes and the grass flourishing between the openings in his cabin floor. No 
voice of husbandman is heard ; no hail of fisherman from the lonesome sea. 
He goes from house to house, peers in for a moment at the open door, then 
proceeds on his melancholy errand of inspection. Here and there he pauses 
to view the half-burned timbers of a settler's dwelling that had been marked 
for destruction before the evacuation of the place, and at Goosefair picks an 
apple from the forsaken orchard that became historic. 

Passing downward in his survey, the pensive reader of history finds a 
community fast increasing in numbers and in a flourishing condition ; a com- 
munity composed of men and women representing various nationalities where 
the Englishman's half-spelled words are exchanged for the broad speech of the 
man from Caledonia, and the Irishman's rich brogue mingles with the Aca- 
dian's plaintive accent. Mills have been rebuilt and busy workmen are load- 
ing vessels at the river-mouth with the newly sawed lumber. The keels have 
been laid in the ship-yard and the ringing voice of mallet and hammer may 
be heard at the river-side. 


:llk |:b|:N fa 






: SM 

|IIant;ition and 3;^u:n<sMj^ S^ttkmenlH. 


lalMIMlaala ii 


WACKADOCK. — The I'lymouth Council granted, Feb. 12, 1629, a 
tract of land on the east side of Swackadock river, which extended 
four miles on the sea-shore and eight miles back into the country, 
the patentees being Thomas Lewis and Richard Bonython, who 
took formal possession of this territory, in the presence of five witnesses, 
June 28, 1 63 1, but for unexplained causes no entry of the grant was made on 
the province records until April 5, 173 1, a hundred years after taking seizin 
of the patent. Saco was organized by Massachusetts commissioners about 
the time of submission to the jurisdiction of that province, in 1653, and the 
boundaries remained as designated in the original patent until commissioners 
appointed by the General Court reported, Oct. 18, 1659, "that the dividing 
line between Cape Porpoise and Saco shall be that stream called Little river, 
next unto William Scadlock's new dwelling-house unto the first fall of said 
river; thence upon a northwest line into the country until eight miles be 
expired. The dividing line between Saco and Scarborough shall be that river 
commonly called Little river next unto Scarborough, and from the mouth of 
said river shall run upon a due northwest line into the country unto the extent 
of eight miles." 

These boundaries have not been legally changed, but in consequence of 
variations in the course of Little river near its mouth by lapse of time, it is 
now uncertain where the original line touched the sea. Unfortunately the 
commissioners who were authorized to establish the boundary of the town 
did not follow the patent line on that side, and, consequently, more than 
i/iree thoustvid aars that were included within the original grant are now in 
Scarborough, and many estates that had been bounded by the patent line, as 
designated by the Plymouth grant, have been cut in two, resulting in much 
inconvenience to the owners. 

From the time Richard Vines and his companions passed the winter of 
16 1 6-1 7 at the mouth of the river the settlement on both sides of the Saco 
was known as Winter Harbor. In 1653 this plantation was organized as 
Saco; in the year 1718 incorporated as Biddeford, and so remained until 1762, 
when the territory and population on the east side of the river were incor- 
porated as Pepperiilborough, for Sir William Pepperill, who was an owner of 
extensive lands and other property there. This unwieldy name was exchanged 
for that of Saco, Feb. 23, 1805. 


We shall never know the names of all the early settlers on the Lewis and 
Bonython patent; some of them, however, appear on the ministerial rate-book 
for 1636, as follows: Thomas Lewis, Capt. Richard Bonython, Henry War- 
wick, Clement Greenway, Henry Watts, and Richard Foxwell. The two latter 
were left on the Scarborough side when the town line was established; but 
Foxwell, who was son-in-law of one of the patentees, stated before the General 
Court in 1640 that he had for four years or thereabouts lived in the right of 
Capt. Richard Bonython, who settled him there and gave him as " much free- 
dome and privilege as by virtue of his Patent he could, either for plant, 
ing, fishing, fowling, or the like, which was the main cause of his settling 

As a condition of the patent to Lewis and Bonython required them to 
settle fifty persons in the plantation within seven years, it is probable that in 
1636, when the six names of inhabitants above mentioned were recorded, there 
were many others domiciled there whose names we do not find. We know 
that the number of settlers was augmented from time to time by descendants 
of English families down to about 17 18, when a number of Scotch-Irish came 
and contributed much strength to the colony. 


The name was derived from a market town and seaport in Devonshire, 
England, from whence some of the early settlers are said to have emigrated. 
Old Biddeford (by the ford) is situated on both sides of the Torridge, and 
united by a stone bridge of twenty-four arches, 677 feet long. Principal 
industries, manufacture of ropes, sails, leather, and earthenware. 

The territory from which Biddeford was formed was granted by the Coun- 
cil of Plymouth to Richard Vines and John Oldham, Feb. i, 1630. It was 
of the same area as that on the easterly side of Saco river, namely, beginning 
at the mouth of said river it extended on the sea-coast westerly four miles, 
and eight miles back into the wilderness. Formal possession was taken by 
Vines, before nine witnesses, June 23, 1630. 

We have no means of ascertaining how many inhabitants were present 
when Mr. Vines took seizin of his land. He had made several voyages from 
Old England to Winter Harbor since he spent the winter there in 1616-17, 
and as he had obligated himself to transport fifty persons into the colony 
within seven years "to plant and inhabit there," we may believe that he had 
a considerable number of settlers with him when his patent was granted. The 
following names of inhabitants on the ministerial rate-book represent a few 
of the early settlers, but some of these lived on the east side of the river : 
Richard Vines, Henry Board, Thomas Williams, Samuel Andrews, William 
Scadlock, John Wadlaw, Robert Sankey, Theophilus Davis, George Frost, 


John Parker, John Smith, Robert Morgan, Richard Hitchcock, Thomas Page, 
and Ambrose Berry. 

The colonists took up loo acres each on which Vines gave them leases, 
copies of which may be found in full on the records of York county. Vines 
gave a lease to John West, in 1638, of an estate that had been improved and 
on which there was a dwelling-house, for the long term of one thousand years ; 
the annual rent to be two shillings and one capon. Rent payment on another 
lease was to be "five shillings, two days' work, and one fat goose" annually. 

The patent was transferred by Mr. Vines in 1645, as the following certifi- 
cate of the sale will show : 

"I Richard Vines of Saco, Gentleman, have bargained and sold the 
patent unto Robert Childs, Esq., Dr. of Phisick, and given him livery and 
seizin upon the 20th day of October, 1645, ^" presence of Mr. Adam W'inthrop 
and Mr. Benjamin Gillman." 

Childs was an Englishman, returned to the old country and evidently sold 
in turn to John Beex & Co., London merchants, who were interested in saw- 
milling on the coast and owned considerable timber here. From these gentle- 
men William Phillips of Boston, purchased the patent in 165S-59 for ninety 
pounds, and took formal possession in 1659, in presence of two witnesses. 
Immediately after this, to obviate any question that might arise respecting 
titles and claims, the inhabitants made an agreement with Phillips by which 
those who had received leases of land from Vines should "freelv, forever here- 
after enjoy the same, with all the privileges contained in such their leases 
and possessions, both they and their heirs and assigns forever, for and in 
consideration of paying one day's work for each lease, if it be demanded 
within the year, and yearly." Phillips bound himself in the sum of six pounds 
sterling to each man in case his title to the patent should prove invahd. 

A controversy arose between the town and Mr. Phillips, which being car- 
ried to the General Court that body authorized a committee composed of three 
gentlemen to settle the same. After due consideration of issues involved 
the committee made the following award : " That the town of Saco shall have 
belonging to it all the land lying within the bounds hereafter mentioned, viz., 
from Winter Harbor to Saco river mouth, and from thence up along the river 
toward the falls as far as the house of Ambrose Berry, and from thence a line 
to run on a square toward Cape Porpoise so far as the bounds of said Saco 
go that way, and so unto the sea, and so along the sea unto Winter Harbor 
receiving out of this tract the sea-wall, beginning at a pond half a mile south- 
ward from the mill, commonly called Duck pond, and running from the said 
pond to the mill, and from thence to the rock of land on which Roger Spencer 
liveth, with the marshes adjoining the sea-wall, not exceeding forty rods broad 
from said wall; and also a neck of land commonly called Parker's Neck- also 
sixty acres of woodland adjoining to an allotment late in possession of Wood- 


man Leighton, now in possession of Lieut. Phillips ; also sixty acres of land 
lying between Mr. Hitchcock's house and Saco river mouth, where Lieut. 
Phillips shall make choice of it in any land not in lease, which aforesaid tract 
of land so bounded shall be disposed of by the townsmen of Saco, either for 
commons or otherwise, as they shall see cause, unto which disposal of the 
aforesaid tract Lieut. Phillips doth consent. And all contracts made by any 
other possessor of any land within the limits of the patent of Saco, which 
did belong unto Mr. Richard Vines, with Lieut. Phillips are to stand good. 
And such possessors of land within the said limits as have not yet contracted 
for their land that they do possess are to pay the like proportion of rent which 
those do who have already contracted. And all other lands laid out within 
the limits of the patent of Mr. Vines, excepting that neck of land where R. 
Spencer dwelleth, which said neck is bounded by the sea-wall next it adjoin- 
ing, to belong unto Mr. Phillips." 

To make his title more secure Lieut. Phillips purchased an extensive area 
of land of the Indian, Mugg Heagon, deeded in 1664; and the original set- 
tlers received confirmation of their titles from the patentee and the town 

We have devoted considerable space to this subject to show with what 
difficulties the pioneers secured any permanent title to their lands and how 
they were menaced by the conflicting claims of rival owners. In all their 
embarrassments, however, they had one source of refuge by appeal to the 
General Court, and here they could look for justice. 


"Massachusetts, the mother of Maine," is a phrase that might long ago 
have been relegated to the repository of unfounded error, but for the inexcus- 
able ignorance or wilful disregard of truth exhibited by modern writers of 
our colonial history (?) who seem to find infinite pleasure in misleading the 
average reader by the use of this and kindred forms of expression. Indeed, 
the impression extensively prevails that the founders of our plantations on the 
coast of Maine were families of Massachusetts birth who had, perforce, like 
bees, swarmed from an over-crowded hive to find a "pitching place" to the 
eastward. Admitting this to be a "half-truth" it must be characterized as 
worse than absolute falsehood. 

Confining ourselves to the settlements on the Saco river we shall find an 
example that will abundantly sustain our position. Of John Oldham, one of 
the original patentees, it was said : " He hath, at his own charges, transported 
thither and planted there divers jiersons a.nd had, for the effecting of so good 
a work, undergone great danger and labor." In addition to this settlement 
of "divers persons" in the plantation previous to 1630, Oldham and Vines 


had undertaken to transport at their own cost fifty additional persons within 
seven years "to plant and inhabit there." We naturally inquire where in 
Massachusetts such a company could be found. A mental census of the 
colony at Plymouth, then only ten years inhabitants of the country, will show 
that they had none to spare. The fact is that Vines owned a vessel and 
made voyages to England, where he induced many of his own countrymen to 
come to New England to settle on his patent. To Massachusetts we are under 
no obligations for the ancestry of our early Saco valley families. In writing 
the biography of the first settlers, which will follow, we shall introduce them 
as Englishmen unless otherwise designated. Many whose names will presently 
appear are not known to have any descendants here, while the blood of others 
has been fused with that of nearly all of our old families. For the genealogy 
of some of these the reader is referred to more extended articles that will 
appear in the department of family history. 

Thomas Lewis, one of the original patentees of the present town of 
Saco, was probably descended from an ancient family in Wales. His house 
was a short distance above the lower ferry on Saco river. He was evidently 
a man of superior ability and of high standing in the colony. He was attor- 
ney for the Plymouth Council in giving possession of the Piscataqua patent 
in 1631. His death occurred between 1637 and 1640. His daughter yiidith^ 
who was the wife of James Gibbins, has had her name perpetuated among 
her descendants in various old families who have inhabited the valley of the 
Saco, and has been found by the author in households transplanted early to 
the Ohio prairies. Another daughter, who was the wife of Robert Haywood, 
lived in Barbadoes. 

Capt. Richard Bonython, the other proprietor of the Saco patent, 
probably settled on his land as early as Mr. Lewis, although his name appears 
on the records first in 1636. He must have been a man of great enterprise 
and liberal education. He was a councilor in 1640, and present at the last 
court held under the authority of Georges, in 1646. His house was noted as 
the place where the firsf court in Maine was held, March 25, 1636. He was 
a faithful and impartial official, who spared not his own son, but entered 
complaint against him for using insulting language against Mr. Richard Mnes. 
Captain Bonython was held in high respect by the community and his asso- 
ciates in the council. His name does not appear in the list of inhabitants in 
1653, and he had probably died before that year. His descendants are now 
numerous and respectable. Children: John, Thomas, Gabriel, Thomas Win- 
nefred, and Eleanor. 

John BonytllOll, son of the preceding, was a somewhat eccentric and 
conspicuous character in the settlement at Winter Harbor; a man of violent 
temper, inclined to insubordination. Being defiant of law, and heedless of 
the consequences of its violation, he was twice outlawed and at one time a 


price was set on his head. He was fined £4. for refusing to serve as constable 
in 1665. We believe, if the truth concerning this man was known today, we 
might justify what, as matter of principle, historians have condemned in his 
conduct. He was evidently a warm friend to Ferdinando Georges, and in 
resisting the administration of Massachusetts may have acted conscientiously. 
He certainly held the confidence of some of his contemporaries or he would 
not have been selected to fill important positions of trust. His grant of land 
to the town for the minister, in 1683, shows him to be capable of generosity. 
At the division of the patent he was invested with a large estate. The fol- 
lowing, tradition says, was inscribed upon his tombstone : 

"Here lies Bonython, Sagamore of Saco; 
He lived a rogue and died a knave and went to Hobomoko." 

James Gibbins was a man of wealth and much influence among the 
Saco pioneers. His name is of frequent occurrence on the records until 1683, 
in which year he gave the town sixteen acres of land for the minister. He mar- 
ried Judith, daughter of Thomas Lewis, purchased the shares of his brother- 
in-law in the patent and, jointly with his wife, became possessed of extensive 
lands. He removed to Kittery latterly, but is heard from in 1690, when he 
conveyed to his daughter one hundred acres of land in that town. Children 
as follows : 

1. James, b. May 19, 1648; m. Dorcas Gilley, December, 1668. 

2. Elizabeth, b. April 23, 1652; m. John Sharp, 1667. 

3. Thomas, b. Nov. 23, 1654. 

4. Charity, b. Jan. 5, 1656. 

5. Rebecca, b. Jan. 30, 1658; d. Jan. 3, 1659. 

6. Rachel, b, Oct. 23, 1660; m. Robert Edgecomb. 

7. Hester, b. Aug. 16, 1664. 

8. Anthony, b. Oct. 14, 1666. 

Bichard Foxwell married Winnefred, a daughter of Captain Bonython. 
He says (1640) that his father-in-law settled him on a part of his estate and 
gave him as much freedom "for planting, fishing, fowling, and the like" as by 
virtue of his patent he could. But he was left on the Scarborough side of the 
town line. He was only once known to have been disturbed about his lands. 
John Bonython, his brother-in-law, pretended to have a claim on the estate 
and pulled down one of Foxwell's buildings. The latter appealed to the 
court, and the judges sustained his title and threw costs upon the aggressor. 
Mr. Foxwell was an enthusiastic and successful farmer, who had one of the 
most valuable plantations in the colony. Though not aspiring to worldly 
honors he served as a member of the "General Assembly of Lygonia" in 
1648; also as a commissioner and "clerk of the writs." He visited England 
before 1633, but came back that year. He died in 1676, aged 76. Children 
named as followeth : 


1. John, m. Elizabeth Cummings and had issue. 

2. Richard, d. in 1664. 

3. Philip, selectman in Scarborough, 1681; d. in Kittery in 1690. 

4. Esther, wife of Thomas Rogers, m. 1657. 

5. LuuRETiA, m. James Robinson; settled in Newcastle, N. H., about 


6. Susanna, m. John Ashton of Marblehead. 

7. Sarah, m. Joseph Curtis, Esq., of Kittery. 

8. Mary, m. George Norton of York. 

Thomas Rogers was an inhabitant as early as 1638. He married Esther 
Foxwell in 1657. His house and plantation were at Goosefair, near the sea 
and the middle line of the patent. The early explorers of the coast mention 
his cultivated land as the " Rogers Garden." He planted fruit trees and grape 
vines and was probably "a gardener bred." From the remains of his orchard 
the new town and famous watering place derived its name. Some of the trees 
were standing in 1770. The Indians made an attack on his house and after 
a severe struggle, in which some of them were slain, they withdrew. Mr. 
Rogers immediately moved to Kittery with his family, and having left some 
goods in his house at Goosefair his son and others went to remove them, when 
they were all killed by Indians, who then proceeded to burn the dwelling. 
The bodies of the slain were found upon the seashore and buried near the 
house lot. Thomas Rogers did not return to his plantation, but died in Kit- 
tery, leaving two sons. The inventory of his estate as found in York county 
records, taken by Richard Foxwell and John West, follows : 

Item — One trunk and small lumber . 
" — One small skine of beaver 
' ' — One house and land belonging to it 
" — One cow ...... 

" —One heffer calf 

" — 12 Swyne great and small 

" — One stear spoiled by ye woolfe 

£ S. D. 
00 — 05 — 00 

00 — 10 — 00 

05 — DC — 00 

05 — 00 — 00 

05 — 00 — 00 

12 — 00 — 00 

10 — 15 — 00 

44 — 19 — 06 
Richard Rogers, son of Thomas, purchased a tract of land about half a 
mile square, lying between Goosefair brook and middle line of the patent, in 
1687, of James Gibbins; this he claimed, along with twehe acres of meadow 
given him by the town, lying on " the northeast side of Richard Cumming's" 
in 1 7 14, being then of Kittery. In the court records I find the following: 
"Richard Rogers upon hue and cry out against him for felony, fled this 
Province, there having been a special warrant to Saco constable to seize him." 
He made his will in Kittery, Jan. 11, 1770, and mentions wife Sarah and 
children Rebecca, John, Hannah m. to John Tydie, and Thomas Hanson 


Richard Rogers, son of the preceding, made his will in Kittery, July lo, 
1737, in which he names wife Eleanor, and children Thomas, Esther, Dorothy, 
Lydia, Richard, Sarah, and Mary, wife of Patrick Googins, to whom he con- 
firms the land already deeded to them at Saco which his father had purchased 
of James Gibbins. 

John Rogers, probably son of the first Richard, made his will in Kittery, 
Mar. 9, 1746. May have been son of Thomas. Mentions wife Hannah, and 
children named George, John, Hannah, Mary, Margaret and Keziah. Inven- 
tory ;^2,436: 16: o. 

John Rogers, born Sept. 15, 1756, m. Mary , b. Jan. 28, 1759, and 

had nine children b. in Kittery. He removed to Parsonsfield, Me., where the 
tenth child was born. Issue as follows : 
Nathaniel, b. July 30, 1782. 
Polly, b. Sept. 3, 1784; d. Feb. 11, 1786. 

3. Abigail, b. Dec. 7, 1785; d. Nov. 18, 1786. 

4. George, b. Sept. 3, 1787. 

5. John, b. May 28, 1790. 

6. Polly, b. Sept. 2, 1792. 
Sally, b. Nov. to, 1794; d. Nov. 22, 1794. 
Joseph, b. Dec. 28, 1796. 

g. Samuel, b. July 23, 1799. 

10. Hannah, b. Nov. 7, 1801. 

Richard Cuinming was an early settler in Biddeford. He married 
Eleanor, daughter of Capt. Richard Bonython, before 1647, ^^^d after the death 
of her father moved over to Saco and settled near Little River. He was 
probably a Scotchman. His name appears on the records until 1674. He 
died in 1665. Left son Thomas, one of the administrators of his estate, and a 
daughter Elizabeth, who became the wife of her cousin, John Foxwell, and 
afterwards of John Harmon. Thomas did not live long. 

Nicholas Edgecomb was a native of Plymouth, England, who, with his 
brother John, came to Kittery as early as 1636-7. The name of his wife was 
Wilmot. He settled on the Lewis and Bonython patent, but was left on the 
Scarborough side when the town line was established. He had fifty acres of 
land rented of Richard Bonython in 163^. Southgate remarks that he was 
a man of good sense and fair abilities, but had not enjoyed, or at least had 
not improved, the common advantages of education. His failing in this respect 
accounts in a good degree for the small part he shared in the early government 
of the Province. For full particulars see genealogy of the Edgecomb family 
in following pages. 

Henry Waddock was one of the early settlers, and long a public-spirited 
and useful citizen. His house was at the lower ferry, on the Wells and Casco 
road. His son John was a leading townsman in 1674. 


Humphrey Sciliimiiin is said to have been a native of Portsmouth. He 

married Elizabeth , whose family name has not been found. He came to 

Saco as early as 1679, where he received a grant of land and purchased 200 
acres of the widow of Henry Waddock. He was accepted into the town as a 
regular citizen, June 12, 1680. He had a garrison house in which he lived on 
the cast side of Saco river, where he kept the ferry and entertained strangers. 
During the Indian troubles he alternated between Saco and Kittery ; was in 
the latter town in 1693, but four years later was captured, together with his 
family, and carried to C'anada where he remained until the close of King 
Philip's war, about the first of 1699, when they returned to Saco. At time of 
making his will (17 14) was " of Kittery." He died in Biddeford, formerly and 
now Saco, Jan. i, 1727. He was a useful citizen who had been in town office. 
His posterity very numerous and allied with many families of respectability. 
(See Scamman family history in following pages. ) 

Lieut. William Phillips was settled on the Saco as early as 1660, and 
was extensively engaged in lumbering and became the owner of much timber 
land. In 1667, he sold half of Factory Island to Capt. John Bonython for 
800 pine trees, suitable for merchantable boards. His name is found in manv 
of the early conveyances. He was a citizen of much influence, and won the 
esteem of the inhabitants. Tradition claims that a man was made to smart 
for saying that the horse of Phillips was "as lean as an Indian's dog." He 
purchased an extensive territory of Captain Sunday, the Indian chief, and in 
conveying a sixteenth part to his son Nathaniel, mentions a "mine being 
accounted a silver mine" about forty miles above Saco Falls of which he had 
sold sundry parts to gentlemen in Boston. He purchased of the Sas;amore 
Fluellen, in 1661, a tract of land eight miles square, comprising nearly all of 
the towns of Sanford, Alfred and Waterborough. His house was below Saco 
Falls, on Biddeford side, which was garrisoned during the first Indian war, 
and in it, at a chamber window, he was wounded in the shoulder by an Indian 
during an attack there. He made hea\y contracts with English merchants for 
the lumber sawed at his mills ; these were burned down by the savages but 
evidently rebuilt, for he mentions his saw-mill in his will, and bequeaths the 
same to his wife and sons. He removed to Boston in 1675, ^^^ died there 
in 1683. Among his children were Nathaniel, Samuel, and \\'illiam. He 
had no less than three daughters, whose husbands' names were John Alden 
Zachary Gillam, and Ephraim Turner. The mother's name was Bridget. 

Col. Tristram Jordan, son of Capt. Samuel, married Hannah, daughter 
of Capt. Ichabod Goodwin, of South Berwick, in 1749 ; lived in the old Pepperill 
house, and engaged in merchandising. He was remarkably successful in busi- 
ness, and paid the heavies't tax of any man in town in 1755; was captain of 
first company of foot raised on the east side of the river; represented countv 
in General Court of Massachusetts in 1787. He had an estate at Deep brook 


to which he removed and where he died in 182 1, aged 90. He was a man of 
great public spirit and reliability. Served as selectman twenty-one years, and 
town clerk twenty-six years. Timber for the frame of the first meeting-house 
in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was cut on his land, and carried by him on ship to 
that place. He was married three times, and had, with other issue, the 
following children : 

1. Elizabeth, m. William Vaughan of Scarborough. 

2. Sarah, m. Nathaniel Scamman of Saco. 

3. Hannah, m. Capt. Solomon Coit and James Perkins. 

4. Olive, m. Capt. Seth Storer of Saco. 

5. ■ Mary, m. Daniel Granger, Esq. 

Col. Thomas Cutts was a native of Kittery in which town he served as 
clerk for William Pepperill. He early engaged in business there but failed 
of success. With one hundred dollars received from his father, he went down 
to Saco and opened a small shop in the room of a dwelling-house, and to 
husband his earnings cooked Iris own food. Possessing excellent business 
capacities he continued to extend his enterprises as his capital increased. In 
1759, he purchased a share of Indian Island, and built there a small house 
in one end of which he fitted up a small store in which he lived and did busi- 
ness twenty years. He extended his investments to timber lands, milling, 
ship-building, and navigation, and for many years had an extensive lumber 
trade with the West Indies. At his store he became acquainted with the early 
settlers and business men in many townships round-about, and his dealings 
with them were so fair, and his favors to the needy so liberal, that the name 
of "Colonel Cutts" became household property for many miles away. He 
built a large and elegant mansion on the Island and retired to its cool and 
opulent rooms in 1782, and here passed the remainder of his active and useful 
life. His death occurred Jan. 10, 182 1. His estate was estimated to be 
^100,000. His wife, to whom he was married Aug. 24, 1762, was Elizabeth, 
daughter of Dominicus Scamman, by whom there were eight children, all 
born in the small dwelling first built by Mr. Cutts. 

1. Mary, b. July 19, 1763; m. June 24, 1788, Samuel Abbott, Esq., 
and had two sons. She d. Mar. 21, 1796. 

2. FoxwELL, b. April 7, 1765; m. first, Aug. 2, 1789, Sarah, daughter 
of Col. James Scamman, who d. Aug. i, 1806, issueless. He m. secondly, 
June 24, 1807, Hannah D., daughter of Daniel Page of Concord, N. H., b. 
April 24, 1784 ; d. Aug. 14, 1847. These had four children. 

3. Elizabeth, b. Dec 30, 1766; m. Jan. 9, 1785, to her cousin, Richard 
Foxwell Cutts, of Berwick. Ten children. 

4. Thomas, b. June 8, 1769; m. first, Jan. 31, 1802, Elizabeth Hight, 
of Berwick; secondly, June 2, 1807, Mary A. Cook, of Wiscasset. He had 
four children. 


5. RuHARD, b. June 21, 1771 ; m. Mar. 31, 1804, to Anna Paine, sister 
of I'lcsident Madison's wife-, by whom he had six children. He graduated at 
Harvard College, 1792. 

6. Sakah, b. Mar. 24, 1774; m. Nov. 26, 1793, to Dr. Thomas G. 
Thornton, U. S. Marshal. Twelve children. Died Nov. 7, 1845. 

7. DdMiNicus, b. May 4, 1778; m. April 23, 1832, Polly Chadbourne, 
who d. Dec. 16, 1853, aged 73, odd. No issue. 

8. KuNiCK, b. May 30, 1782; m. Sept. 20, 1803, to Maj. Samuel Nye, 
of Harwich, Mass., an officer in the war of 18 12, who d. at Saco, Mar. 4, 
1826. She d. Oct. 26, 1853. Ten children. 

Col. William Moody was a son of William P. and Elizabeth, daughter 
of Samuel Scammon, b. in 1770. He had only the advantages of the com- 
mon school instruction. Like his father and grandfather, he was a practical 
joiner; was thrown upon his own resources when young. From 1804 to 
1812 he represented Saco in the Assembly at Boston, and from 1812 to 1820, 
was an active and prominent member of the Senate; was delegate to the 
convention that formed the Constitution of Maine, in 1819 ; also made sheriflf 
of the county that year; was president of the first Senate of Maine; was a 
man of great usefulness, who was held in almost universal esteem. He d. 
Mar. 15, 1822. 

Henry Board, whose name appeared in the book of rates, remained in 
Biddeford but a few years, having removed to Wells where he became associ- 
ated with Wheelright in the allotment of that town, in 1643. He sold out his 
estate to James Gibbins before mentioned. 

Thomas Williams was a man of prominence for many years, and was 
called to fill important official positions in town. He was not successful in 
business and late in life was assisted by the town. He had a wife but no 
names of children appear. 

Richard Williams, brother of the preceding, was an early lumber- 
man who was locally styled "Williams, the clapboard weaver." \\hen he 
died, in 1635, he had in stock clapboards valued at more than one hundred 
and sixty-four pounds, at the time considered to be an enormous quantity. 
Peyton Cook was engaged in business with him. I find no mention of 

Robert Sankey, whose name was on the rate book in 1636, was 
appointed provost-marshal in 1640. He died at \\'inter Harbor soon after 
and his lands were possessed by Joseph Bowles, of Wells, who transferred 
them, in 1659, to John Boaden. 

Theophilus Davis was styled, on the records, an "officer for this 
place," in 1636, which was probably equivalent to that of constable. Was he 
ancestor of any of the Davis families early at Saco and Biddeford ? 

John Smith, mentioned as another pioneer, received one hundred acres 


of land by lease from Vines, granted in 1642, which, in turn, he assigned to 
Nicholas Bulley, Gent, in 1650, who was to take possession in 1652, and per- 
mit Smith to occupy a room in the' dwelling for two years. He was marshal 
under Cleave, and was living in 1685, at an advanced age. 

Samuel Andrews settled on the west side of Saco river, near William 
Scadlock, where he cleared and fenced a four-acre field and built a house. He 
died before 1638, and Richard Vines confirmed to his widow, Jane Andrews, 
1 00 acres of land, with privilege of cutting hay on the marshes near adjoin- 
ing, an acknowledgment of twelve pence to be paid at the feast of " St. 
Michaell the arkangell." This was confirmed by the selectmen in 1654. 

William Scadlock was one of the early planters. He was active in 
colonial affairs until 1659. When the town lines were established his house 
was left on the Cape Porpoise side. 

Richard Hitchcock was a settler at Winter Harbor. He was sergeant 
and commander of the train band. A point at the north side of the Pool long 
bore his name. He died in 1671, leaving a widow and children. 

Ambrose Berry came to the plantation early and his name is of fre- 
quent occurrence on record. A boundary line mentioned in York records 
passed near his house in 1659, but we now have no means of knowing where 
said dwelling-house stood. The numerous families of the name in Saco, Bux- 
ton, and Limington were probably descended from this man. Persons of the 
name early in Kittery. 

John West was a man of some importance in the settlement. His name 
appears first in 1638, when Vines gave him a lease of land and house, some 
time occupied by Thomas Cole, for the long term of one thousand years. The 
rent charge was "two shillings and one capon" annually. He is said to have 
moved to Wells, where he died in 1663. His daughter was wife of Thomas 
Haley, and to her children he left his estate to be divided between them three 
years after his decease, with the condition that their father "shall have nothing 
to do with it." Mr. West's name appears on record as selectman and in other 
positions of trust. The Wests now living in York county may be his descend- 
ants, or of the same origin. 

Morgan Howell came over with Richard Vines among the earliest 
planters, and from, the association of his name with lawsuits, as found in the 
court records, it appears that he was a man who proposed to defend what he 
considered to be his rights. His seat was near that of Scadlock. He became 
prominent in town affairs of Cape Porpoise, where he was living in 1653. 
There was a John Howell at Blue Point who was probably in some way related 
to Morgan. 

Peter Hill was a member of the Assembly of Lygonia in 1648. His 
son Roger was a freeman as early as 1653, and was identified with many 
important transactions. One of his eight children was Dea. Eben Hill, who 


was for many years a business man well and widely known. Soon after his 
marriage, in 1705, he and his wife were carried captive to Canada, where 
they remained three years, and in consequence of the birth of their eldest son, 
Ebenezer, while there, he was afterwards called "the Frenchman" by those 
facetiously inclined. Mr. Hill's house was at the head of Ferry lane. He 
died in 1748, aged 69 years. His son Jeremiah married Mary, daughter of 
Capt. Daniel Smith, in 1746. He was long justice of the peace, and his name 
is found on many old documents and old discolored letters now in my hands. 
He also served in the General Court several years. During the Revolution 
he enlisted a company and as captain led it to Boston. This company was 
at the surrender of Burgoyne, in 1777. After a year's service he resigned 
and came home; was at one time adjutant-general of forces sent to Penobscot 
river. He died Aug. 12, 1779. The descendants of this early family have 
been highly respectable and many of them conspicuous in various relations of 
life. (See Genealogy, farther on.) 

Roger Spencer was a prominent business man among the early under- 
takers. In 1653 he received grant of a mill privilege and is known to have 
been a resident in 1658. He obligated himself to build a mill within a year 
from the date of his grant and no doubt fulfilled his agreement. This was 
supposed to be the first mill in town. He gave security on one-half of the 
mill to Robert Jordan in 1658, and disposed of his other shares to Thomas 
Spencer and Thomas Savage of Boston. 

Brian Pendleton was an active man in the settlement, who was iden- 
tified with real estate transactions at Winter Harbor, where, in company with 
Roger Spencer, he purchased of Robert Jordan a tract of land consisting of 
two hundred acres, since known as Fletcher's Neck. He bought Spencer's 
share in 1660, settled on the estate in 1665, and gave to the locality the name 
of "Pendleton's Neck." He was cordially in favor of Massachusetts juris- 
diction and received appointments from the commissions, both ci\il and mili- 
tary. He died in 1680, and left a valuable property to his wife, son, and 
grandchildren. A daughter married Rev. Seth Fletcher and had a son 
Pendleton brought up by his grandfather; to him he gave the Neck as far as 
Booth's mill and Wood and Gibbin's Islands. 

Pendleton Fletcher received valuable lands from his grandfather, as 
before intimated, and took possession about 1680. He was taken with his 
two sons, by the Indians in 1698, and died while in captivity. Of the two 
daughters, one married Matthew Robinson, of Winter Harbor, and the other 
Samuel Hatch, of Wells. The son, Pendleton, was made captive by the 
Indians four times. His son, Pendleton, lived on the old homestead on 
Fletcher's Neck, and died there, April 17, 1807, aged 100 years. In the 
town and church records we have found the following genealogical fragments : 



Hannah, b. July 30, 1730. 
Pendleton, b. Jan. 12, 1732. 
Abigail, b. Dec. 20, 1736. 
Thomas, b. Oct. 24, 1739, 
Briant, b. Nov. 6, 1744. 


1. Ro(;er, b. April 7, 1739. 

2. Stephen, b. Aug. 15, 1741. 

3. Hannah, b. May 2, 1744. 


1. John, b. Sept. 10, 1819,. 

2. Sarah, b. May 29, 1823. 

3. Diana, b. Feb. 8, 1825. 

4. Mary, b. July 8, 1828. 

Bryant Fletcher to Anna Young (pub.) Mar. 15, 1748. 
Sarah Fletcher to Andrew Stackpole (pub.) May i, 1779. 
Samuel Fletcher to Mary Carr (pub.) Jan. 17, 1743. 
Joseph Fletcher to Mary Smith (pub.) Aug. 18, 1743. 
Pendleton Fletcher to Lydia Joy (pub.) July 28, 1781. 
Olive Fletcher to Robert Shepard (pub.) Oct. 26, 1782. 
George Fletcher to Sarah Savage (pub.) June 16, 1784. 
Jonathan Fletcher to Abigail Joy (pub. Aug. 8, 1789. 
Stephen Fletcher to Sarah Shepard (pub.) Aug. 24, 1793. 
Abigail Fletcher to Jonathan Noles (pub.) June 27, 1794. 
Miranda Fletcher to Daniel Smith (m.) April 30, 1817. 

Ralph Tristram was freeman in 1655, and may have been an inhabi- 
tant of the settlement at an earlier date. He was a useful member of society. 
His daughter Hannah became the wife of Dominicus Jordan, and from this 
union the name Tristram came into the Jordan family. Mr. Tristram died 
in 1678, leaving several children. 

Abraham Townsend, descended from an old titled English family, was 
a man of more than ordinary intelligence and ability who took an active part 
in town affairs. He was one of the selectmen in 1721, and held the office 

Bev. Seth Fletcher, ancestor of these families, preached for several years in Wells and 
one year in Saco. He removed to Southampton, Long Island, where he officiated two or three 
years; thence to Elizabethtown, N. J., 1679, where he preached until his death in 1682. He is 
said to have left a veiT large and valuable library. 


for many years, the last time in 1743. Mr. Townsend filled other positions 
of trust and his name appears many times in town and county records. He 
was ancestor of all the Townsend families in the Saco valley, as well as 
branches in Ohio. (See Genealogy.) 

Bachelor Hussey purchased of Pendleton Fletcher, in 1737, half of 
the Neck, Wood Island, and other proverty, for ^1,400. He was descended 
from Christopher Hussey, who came to Lynn, Mass., in 1634, from England. 
Nearly all of the name have been members of the Society of Friends. He 
built a house on his land which his grandson, Christopher, subsequently 
occupied. Descendants remain in the vicinity. 

Thomas Killpatrick, the ancestor of nearly if not quite all of the 
name, now spelled Gilpatrick and Gilpatric, came from the city of Colerain, 
in the north of Ireland, with wife, Margaret, and six children, about 17 18, 
and sat down in Wells, where other children were born. He moved to Bid- 
deford about 1735, and the records show that the family were rigid Presby- 
terians. (See family history.) 


The land embraced within the present boundaries of this town was part 
of a grant by the General Court in 1728, to redeem a promise made to the 
soldiers who participated in the war with the Narragansett Indians in 1675, 
that if they " played the man, took the Fort, and drove the enemy out of the 
Narragansett Country, which was their great seat, they should have a gratuity 
in Land besides their wages." The conditions of the grant were as follows: 
The grantees must meet within two months from the date of this act of the 
Court for the purpose of organization. They were to settle sixty families in 
the township within seven years, build a meeting-house, settle a learned Ortho- 
dox minister, for whose support a portion of the lands should be reserved. 
A certain number of acres must be cleared within the time prescribed. 

The proprietors held a meeting on Boston Common, June 6, 17 ^s, where 
committees were chosen to make out lists of grantees and assign the townships. 
The " I'irst Narragansett Township" was assigned to Philemon Dane and 119 
others. The first proprietors' meeting was held at the dwelling-house of Capt. 
John Hale, Newbury Falls, Mass., Aug. i, 1733. A committee consisting 
of Joseph Gerrish, Esq., John Hobson, and John Gains was chosen to select 
from the unappropriated lands of the Province a tract for a township. The 
township survey was made in 1733, and reported in 1734. The lots were laid 
out and a plan of the same submitted to a proprietors' meeting, Nov. 8, 1738. 
These twenty-acre lots were drawn by the proprietors in the following Novem- 
ber. The sixty-acre lots were drawn Nov. 8, 1738. 

Appropriations were voted, bounties offered, and every possible induce- 
ment held out to encourage settlement and fulfill the requirements of the grant. 


Clearings were opened and houses built as early as 174T-2. A petition to 
the General Court in 1742, and signed by eleven inhabitants of the township, 
stated that the proprietors had not, with the exception of the petitioners, 
complied with their obligation, and in consequence of being so few in number 
they were bearing burdens and suffering privations which they would not 
have submitted to by settlement had they not supposed the others would do 
as they had promised. These petitioners were at heavy expense, deprived of 
the public worship of God, without schools for their children, public building 
or needed fortifications, and were constantly exposed to danger for their lives 
and substance. A notice was served on the delinquent proprietors, which 
stimulated them to renewed exertions. Measures were at once enacted for 
building a meeting-house and mills according to original agreement. The 
reason assigned for the delay was "talk of a French war." 

At the proprietors' meeting held in 1744, an agent was chosen to look 
after trespassers. Why.' Because the inhabitants for fear of an Indian 
outbreak decided to abandon their homes and seek refuge in a more populous 
and better fortified locality. There is no record of another proprietors' meet- 
ing until 1749. Only two of the original settlers are known to have returned. 

The long-dreaded war between England and France began in 1755, but 
the inhabitants of the town had become so numerous and well fortified that 
they decided to stick to the soil and meet the worst. They afterwards related 
in an address to the General Court that "we were under continual fears of 
the Indian enemy, and were obliged to keep watch and ward till the reduction 
of Quebec in 1759." From this time forward the settlement did rapidly 
increase, and in 1772, the town was incorporated by the name of Buxton.* 
This name, for Buxton in England, was suggested by Paul Coffin, but nof, as 
has been stated, because his ancestors lived there. 

In 1790 there were 335 men in town who had 91 dwellings and 156 
barns. There were ten shops, two tanneries, three potash manufactories, 
three grist-mills, and seven saw-mills. At this time the farmers cut 1,546 tons 
of hay. They raised 5,432 bushels of corn, 1,357 of wheat, 1,349 of rye, 
521 of oats, 482 of peas and beans, and 45 of barley. There were 1,084 
oxen, cows, and neat cattle, 138 horses, and 307 swine. The town contained 
16,224 acres of land. The first public school was opened in 1761-2, by Mr. 
Silas Moody. 


Dea. Amos Chase was a native of Newbury, Mass., and came to Saco 
about 1734. Soon after the division of the Humphrey Scamman property in 
1736, he purchased a part of the estate at the lower ferry and built a house 

*BuxTON, derived from Ijuck-stein or buck-stand— the place where the huck chased by 
hounds came to bay— is noted for its warm mineral springs and is a fashionable watering-place. 


there called an "ordinary." He kept the ferry several years. He attempted 
a settlement in Narragansett, No. i, in 1 741-2, but in consequence of the 
war in 1744, returned to Newbury. In 1753 he came back to Saco, and 
settled at the lower ferry. In 1763 he removed to the estate two miles above, 
where the great elms now bestow their generous shade, and there, according 
to the statement in the History of York County, "spent the remainder of his 
useful life." He was a petitioner as proprietor of Narragansett, No. i, in 
1742. He certainly had built a house there, as he sold a house lot with 
dwelling thereon to Capt. Thomas Bradbury in that township in 1746 ; was 
chosen deacon of the first Congregational church in Saco in 1763; was mod- 
erator of proprietors' meeting in Narragansett, No. i, in 1772; on Committee 
of Correspondence and Safety for Saco in 1774 and 1776. In the history 
of Limington (History York County) it is stated that "in 1773 Dea. Amos 
Chase, from Newbury, Mass., a previous settler of Buxton," settled near the 
mouth of the Little Ossipee, where he commenced to build a mill that year. 
He cleared a farm, camping alone until after the war of the Revolution, when 
he moved his family and remained. He issued a warrant in Limington for 
the first town meeting in 1792; was chosen deacon of the Congregational 
church there in 1795. Woodman says he lived to be nearly one hundred 
years of age. He married Sarah, daughter of Samuel Cole, of Biddeford. 
Dea. Amos Chase died in Limington, Mar. 22, 1825; wife Olive died there 
Mar. 31, 1825. 

I suppose the Lord buried this good man, as the place of his sepulchre 
seems not to have been known to any man. In the presence of such con- 
flicting statements as we have mentioned, and the uncertain traditions that 
have survived, one is left in the fog. There may have been two of the name 
who held the office of deacon. 

Capt. Thomas Bradbury, son of Jacob Bradbury, of Salisbury, Mass., 
was born in 1699; married Sarah Merrill in 1724, and came to Biddeford 
about 1744- He was commander of the block-house on Saco river durino- 
1748 and 1749- At the close of the Indian war, in 1759, he removed from 
Biddeford to Narragansett, No. i, where he had purchased two lots of land of 
Amos Chase for ;^6oo old tenor. He was a man of sterling integrity, who 
became prominent in township affairs and was high!)' esteemed as a citizen. 
He died in 1775. 

Lieut. Thomas Bradbury, son of preceding, was born in 1735, in 
Salisbury, Mass., and married Ruth I'age of that town (intention June c, 1762) 
and settled in Buxton. He was a man of ability and prominence who held 
office nearly all of his active life. He was a lieutenant in the Revolution 
being in the expedition to Ticonderoga and Crown Point. He kept a journal 
during this service from Nov. i, 1776, to Jan., 1777. He died Nov. 9, 1803. 

Jacob Bradbury, Esq., son of Jacob and wife Abigail Eaton, was born 


in Biddeford, Apr. 22, 1744. He married Mary Goodwin and Catherine Flint; 
lived on his father's homestead on Beech Plain road in Buxton; was a man of 
strong mind, good judgment, and great candor; was of majestic and dignified 
presence. He was constantly in public office for more than thirty years and 
held the esteem of all who knew him. He was the first representative sent 
from Buxton to the General Court, and served with honor for several years. 
His last words were: "When I awake again I shall wing my way to immortal 
bliss to receive my crown of rejoicing." He then fell into a sound sleep from 
which he never awoke. 

Ephraim Sands was born in Ipswich, Mass., Jan. 25, 1720, and was an 
inhabitant of Narragansett, No. i, as early as 1754. He was an expert hewer 
with the broad axe and was almost constantly employed at this occupation 
until an old man. It has been said of him that he could hew a long beam with 
a line straight and square. He was much in demand in building mills. At 
one time lived in the rear of the Brice Boothby house ; united with the Con- 
gregational church in 1803, at the age of 84; spent last days with son James, 
where he died of old age while sitting on a stick of wood near the door, July 
8, 181 7. This was in the Spruce Swamp district. He was in his 98th year. 

Lieut. Robert Brooks, then of Biddeford, purchased land' in Narra- 
gansett, No. I, as early as 1738, but sold it in 1741 to Job Roberts, his wife's 
son by a former marriage. He had settled in the township as early as 1742. 
He was a soldier in the Louisburg expedition and was commissioned as 
"Robert Brooks, Gentleman," by Gov. William Shirley in 1744, to be lieu- 
tenant in the company of Capt. Ammi Rahamah Cutter. He became a mem- 
ber of the church in Biddeford, July 10, 1743. He was dead in 1746. 
His residence in Saco was a mile below the meeting-house (old) on the 
Ferry road, which was sold to Dea. Amos Chase and is now known by the 
great elms there. 

Samuel Rolfe was born in 17 19 and came to Narragansett, No. i, as 
early as 1 75 1. He purchased and sold land in town. His residence for many 
years was on the island in Saco river, below the old Smith bridge, since known 
as "Rolfe's Island." He was said to be the first town pauper. I think he, 
and others in town of the name, came from Falmouth. 

Jolb Roberts was born in 1720, and was a child when his father died. 
His mother was married to Robert Brooks. He had land conveyed to him in 
Narragansett, No. i, in 17 41, by his step-father, and was settled there in 1751. 
He probably married Sarah Tarbox, of Biddeford, in 1745. 

Lieut. Samuel Merrill was born in Salisbury, Mass., Aug. 4, 1728, and 
married Elizabeth, a daughter of Capt. Thomas Bradbury. He settled at 
Salmon Falls, on land conveyed to him by his father-in-law, in 1753, and 
remained there during the remainder of his days. He was of a respectable 
family, was frequently selectman of the town, and filled many important posi- 


tions. He was an officer at the battle of Bunker Hill ; probably saw his first 
military service as soldier under Captain Bradbury at the Saco river block- 
house. He commanded a militia company in Buxton. Many descendants 
have been men of mark, some of eminence. He died May 4, 1822, and his 
wife Jan. 18, 1820, aged about 93. He was buried in the churchyard at the 
Old C'orner, but the grave-place is unknown. 

Capt. John Eldeil was a son of John and Martha (Knight) Elden, and 
settled in Narragansett, No. i, as early as 1750. He lived on the right-hand 
side of the road leading from Salmon Falls to Union Falls, where his children 
were probably all born. The cellar was to be seen not long ago. He was 
represented as "an active and enterprising man." His commission as captain 
is in the State House archives at Boston. He commanded a company at 
Bunker Hill. His company raised in 1776, for a short term of service, assisted 
in the fortification of Dorchester Heights on the night of March 4th of that 
year. He was prominent in town affairs, as the records show; was an owner 
in saw-mills. The place of his grave is not known by his descendants, but 
he and wife were probably buried in the old Pleasant Point burying-ground. 
He died in 1793. 

Capt. Gibeoil Elden, son of the preceding, was born June, 1750. He 
held a captain's commission in the militia, and served in the army of the 
Revolution ; was long justice of the peace ; represented Buxton in the Gen- 
eral Court of Massachusetts; member of the convention that formed the 
constitution of Maine. He was a man of excellent executive ability and 
comprehensive judgment, who was called to many positions of trust by his 
fellow-citizens and acquitted himself with honor to himself and the satisfac- 
tion of those he served. He died Oct. 7, 1841. 

Nathan Elden, Esq., brother of the preceding, was born March 21, 
1752 ; is said to have been the first white child who saw the light in town. 
He married Elizabeth Roberts and had issue; was a man of affairs, widely 
known for his business enterprise and probity. He built saw-mills at Moder- 
ation, and kept a general store there; was known as "Squire Elden," beino- a 
popular justice; represented his town and county in the Maine leo-islature ■ 
latterly engaged in business at Buxton Centre, called Elden's Corner at that 
and after time. He died Nov. 14, 181 1, and was deeply lamented. 

Capt. Joseph Woodman, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Longfellow) 
Woodman, was born May 31, 17 15, and was married three, if not four, times. 
He was an inhabitant of Narragansett, No. 1, as early as 1750, and became 
one of the most enterprising men in the plantation. He was a mill-builder and 
lumberman, prominent in town affairs and captain of the militia. He lived 
at Pleasant Point and was buried there, but his grave is not distinguishable 
He hauled some of his lumber to Pleasant Point and rafted it to Saco. He 
built the first dwelling-house on HoUis side at Salmon Falls, and when the 


saw-mill was built on that side by Isaac Lane he boarded the men. He left 
the township with others at the time of the Indian troubles and settled for a 
while at Saco or Biddeford, where he was owner in a saw-mill. He probably 
did as much for the advancement of Buxton as any one of the earliest pro- 
prietors. He died in Hollis, leaving many descendants. 

liieut. Joshua Woodman, brother of the preceding, was born in New- 
bury, Mass., Jan. 22, 1720, and married Alice Stimpson, of Biddeford, in 
1749. He came to Biddeford as early as 1747, and was owner in a saw-mill 
there with his brother on Jordan's creek. He settled at Pleasant Point, in 
Narragansett, No. 1, in 1750, and was at one time the owner of about one- 
seventh of the township. He built a large, two-storied house, which was 
taken from him by execution and afterwards removed to Salmon Falls, where 
it was burned down in 1866; was a tanner by trade. His head was nearly 
crushed between a cart-wheel and a tree and his face permanently disfigured. 
He and wife were buried in the old churchyard at the Lower Corner, and their 
graves marked by rough stones which were lettered by their son Ephraim with 
the initials of their names. These are near the church. Lieutenant Wood- 
man was a citizen of some prominence, who was too much engaged in specu- 
lation and lost his property. 

Nathan Woodman, brother of the two preceding, was born in Newbury, 
Mass., June 26, 1726. He married Olive, daughter of John Gray, Esq., who 
was the commander of Fort Mary in 1720. He resided on the paternal home- 
stead in Newbury until 1756, when he followed his brothers to Narragansett, 
No. I, settling at the location known as Pleasant Point, where he had a tan- 
yard. When the "Factory Company" cleared the ground for a brick-yard 
below the great spring, his tan-pits were found. He served a long term in 
the Revolution and was a corporal in Capt. Daniel Lane's company from 1777 
to 1780. He was a man of quiet, unobtrusive habits and never as much in 
office as his two brothers. He died at the home of his son Shubael, in Hollis, 
about 18 1 2, and was buried in a graveyard near the river Saco, not far above 
"the bar." No stone marks his place of rest. 

Dea. Timothy Hazeltine, son of Jonathan and Ruth Dow, was born 
in Haverhill, Mass., Oct. 9, 1720, and married, first, Ann Hancock; second, 
1762, Mrs. Ruth ( Wilson )»Stickney. He was chosen deacon of the Congre- 
gational church at its organization, March 16, 1763. He came to Narragan- 
sett, No. I, as early as 1752, and settled near the old meeting-house at the 
Lower Corner, where he lived many years, and it is supposed that the ordi- 
nation feast of Paul Coffin was served in his house. By many he was called 
"the good deacon Hazeltine." The town voted him an appropriation of ;^2o 
" more than had been voted " for his part in preparing the wedding feast. He 
seems to have been a man of sound mind, good executive parts, entirely trust- 
worthy. He spent his last days with his son at Shadagee, and was buried 


just west of the Isaac Eaton house, but his grave has been "plowed under." 
Great Heavens ! 

Dea. John NsiSOn was probably born in Berwick, but was an early 
settler in Saco or Biddcford. He married Mary, dauf;hter of Robert Edge- 
comb, of Saco, June 6, 175 i, and moved to Narragansett, \o. i, about 1758 
or 1760, purchasing land of Samuel Rolfe. He was on many committees 
chosen for town business; was town clerk many years until 1780, when he 
removed to Limington. He was chosen one of the first deacons of the 
Congregational church of which Paul Coffin was pastor, on the day of its 
organization, and assisted Timothy Hazeltine in preparing the ordination 
feast. I do not know when he died. He was remembered for " his integ- 
rity, respectable abilities, and unsullied christian character." He has left 
numerous descendants. 

James Emery was probably born in Kittery, but came, when a young 
man, with others of the family, early to Biddeford. He was a soldier at the 
Saco river block-house as early as 1748, under Capt. Thomas Bradbury, and 
in 1750 under Capt. Jonathan Bane, whose daughter, Mercy, he married Aug. 
24, 1751. In the record of this marriage she was designated "of the block- 
house," and here, as a soldier boy, he courted the merciful Mercy Bane. He 
purchased two lots, of his father-in-law, in Narragansett, No. i, in 1757 and 
1759, where he probably lived until 1765, when he sold both lots to James 
Gray. His grandson said he took up land and lived near Gorham line ; that 
he died at the age of 90. He removed to Hollis, with his son Joshua, where 
he was probably buried. The house, built on this farm, was about two miles 
above Bar Mills, and was afterwards owned by ^^'inthrop Pease. He was a 
famous hunter and killed the moose for the ordination feast of Paul Coffin. 
He used to say : " Everything was ready for the occasion but the meat ; they 
had no meat and I took my dog and gun, went into the woods and caught a 
7>/iwse and & mmister." He would walk three miles to God's house on Sab- 
baths when an aged man. 

Ebenezer Redloil, son of Magnus Redland, the Acadian, was born in 
"old York" in 1723; married Sarah Young, his cousin, and settled in Narra- 
gansett, No. I, about 1751, on the right side of the road leading from the 
Haines' meadow to Shadagec, near where the g»aceful elm now stands on 
the rising ground above the site of the Goodwin house. In an old document 
it was stated that his house, in 1798, was not half finished; had six windows 
containing eighteen square feet of glass, and co\ered 890 feet of ground. 
The foundation of the chimney could be seen in 1882, and the ancient apple 
tree, once known as "Redlon's orchard," was then bearing fruit ; since hewed 
down. Mr. Redlon entered the army of the Revolution and died in the ser- 
vice. May 5, 1777. His son Jeremiah and two maiden daughters lived on the 
place until old age. Jeremiah was a quaint, surly old fellow, who wore a 


coon-skin cap with the tail hanging beliind, and made buttons for his home- 
spun clothing from pieces of sole leather. 

Ebeiiezer Redlon, son of preceding of same name, born in 1757, mar- 
ried Sarah Hancock and settled at the Duck pond. He was a farmer and 
shoemaker; served in the Revolution under Capt. Jabez Lane in the 6th 
Massachusetts Foot regiment. He was once "taken to do " by Parson Cofitin 
because he did not attend upon his preaching, demanding his reasons. The 
quaint old fellow looked out from under his rugged brows with serious expres- 
sion and replied : " I haven't any sixpence to get me a Sabba-day hock at 
Marm Garland's tavern." It was reported that some of the members of Cof- 
fin's church visited this public house for a glass of grog between the services, 
and Uncle Ned wished the minister to know it. His widow reached the great 
age of one hundred years and at the time of her decease, in 1856, her descend- 
ants numbered two hundred and seventy-three. The numerous branches of 
this family have universally retained the early form, Redlon. 

Capt. John Lane, son of Capt. John and wife, Mary Nowell, was born 
in York, Me., July 4, 1734. He remained in his native town until maturity. 
At the age of twenty he was commissioned as a lieutenant under his father, 
and was in command of Fort Halifax, on the Kennebec, during the old French 
war, after 1756. He was an active patriot during the Revolution. He was 
appointed captain of a company of foot he had raised in 1775; was a com- 
missioner to treat with the Penobscot Indians and arranged the preliminaries 
of a treaty in the face of British opposition, and induced the Chief Orono and 
some of his tribe to accompany him to Cambridge, where the articles were 
ratified and have been strictly adhered to. He was then placed in command 
of Cape Ann Harbor. He was strong minded, possessed of true military 
genius and its important accompaniment, invincible courage. It was his glory 
to defend his country against every form of oppression. He lived in Brown- 
field after the war, near Ten Mile brook, and one or more of his children are 
buried in the woods there, near where he owned a mill. The evening before 
his death, which occurred July 14, 1822, in Buxton, he called his children 
around his bed and admonished them faithfully, charging them to live in peace 
with each other and their fellow-men, begging them not to mourn excessively 
for him. He had two brothers, Capt. Daniel Lane and Capt. Jabez Lane, 
who were in the army of the Revolution; all three were early settlers in Nar- 
ragansett, No. i, now Buxton. (See Genealogy.) 


The original plantation of Little Falls included what is now Hollis, 
Dayton, and that part of Limington south of Little Ossipee river. The ter- 
ritory of which the plantation was formed was embraced by purchases made 


by Maj. William Phillips of the Indians. The land purchased of Mugg 
Heagon, son of Walter Heagon, sagamore of the Saco river Indians, in May, 
1664 — the deed witnessed by John and Mary Wakefield and recorded in 1669 
— is now nearly all embraced in the present town of Dayton; that bought of 
Fkiellen, Hobinowil, and Sunday, chiefs of Saco and Newichawannock, em- 
braces ths northern part of HoUis and part of Limington.. Of the southern 
tract fifteen hundred acres were purchased by Edward Tyng; north of this 
Richard Russell of Charlestown, Mass., purchased two thousand acres, and 
adjoining this last mentioned, a tract three miles square was purchased by 
Maj. John Leverett. There was a tract lying on Saco river above Moderation 
Falls known as the College Grant, between which and the Dalton Right there 
was a "twenty-rod strip" that had been sold to pay taxes. The original 
deed by which eleven hundred and sixty-six acres, or one-half of the Dalton 
Right, was gonveyed to seven of the early settlers, namely, Thomas Redlon, 
James Redlon, Ichabod Cousins, Daniel Field, Caleb Kimball, and John 
Bryant, is in the author's possession. 

An attempt was made to establish a settlement near the fort in the 
southern part of the plantation as early as 1753 by John and Andrew Gordon, 
of Biddeford. These clearings were soon abandoned in consequence of trouble 
with the Indians. However, it is highly probable that some small patches of 
land around the fort stockades were cultivated annually for many years before 
a permanent settlement was effected. The Gordons served in the Canada 
expedition, and after the fall of Quebec returned to their claims and made 
some of the most valuable farms in town. These brothers should be called 
the iirst settlers of the plantation. John and Edward Smith were inhabitants 
near the fort in 1760. 

The first plantation meeting of which any record has been found was 
held at the house of Capt. John Smith, Mar. 27, 1781. Measures were enacted 
for building of roads and the opening of schools. It was voted that a day's 
wages for a man and yoke of oxen on the highway should be four shillings, 
silver currency. Prices were set on shingles, clapboards, and staves. The 
collector was allowed nine pence for each pound collected. 

For many years the settlement of the township was retarded in conse- 
quence of the uncertainty of titles, the boundaries of the original grants beino- 
a matter of dispute. In January, 1782, it was voted to defend all persons 
living within the supposed limits of Little Falls plantation against the oppres- 
sion of the constable of Coxhall, who had evidently undertaken to enforce 
collection of taxes from some who lived on the "debatable land." 

After the incorporation of the Little Ossipee plantation by the name of 
Limington, in 1792, commissioners were appointed by the court to adjust the 
question of boundary but they failed to agree, and the line between these two 
towns was established by the General Court in 1803. Before the incorporation 


the plantation taxes were paid in corn, and a store-house was opened by the 
collector to store the " kind " brought in by the inhabitants. Hopkinson's Mill 
was the seat of government for the town until roads were built. Goodwin's 
Mills was the early business centre. 

In 1790 the population had increased to about 600 souls. The town was 
incorporated Jan. 27, 1798, by the name of Phillipsburgh, in honor of the 
firgt white proprietor. At this time 2,000 acres of plains south of the Little 
Ossipee were annexed to Limington. In 1799 an appropriation was voted to 
John Young of one dollar each, annually, for making and keeping in repair 
two road gates for fifteen years. Eben Cleaves was elected sealer of "wates 
and masuers." 

The name of the new town soon became a source of trouble, and a com- 
mittee of seven wise men was appointed to find a more appropriate designation. 
Of the name Phillipsburgh it was said: "It is too long to write, and too hard 
for the younger ones to pronounce." Grave charges these. In 181 1 the 
unwieldy name was exchanged for Hollis. The town was often called the 
"Ropewalk" because of being long and narrow. 

The early government seems to have been rather arbitrary, as persons 
not used to authority are apt to be when in office. In 1804, John Lane, of 
Fryeburg, entered the town with intention of abiding there, but was warned 
by the constable to leave with his children and all under his care within fifteen 
days, he having come within the precinct without consent of the town. 

In 18 1 4 it was voted that Elliot G. Vaughan, Esq., "may have the privilege 
of building a ferry-boat to ferry across by his house." Vaughan had lived for 
some time in a long, narrow house near the old " Smith's Bridge," and as that 
bridge was carried away by the great freshet of 18 14, I suppose the ferry-boat 
was to be used as a substitute for the accommodation of travelers on their 
way to Portland. Here Vaughan kept a store in one end of his dwelling, 
where the women bartered a dozen eggs for a nip of tea ; so says one old dame 
now living, who was then a little girl. 

Until 18 1 6, when the town-house was built at Salmon Falls, the town- 
meetings were for many years held alternately in the lower and upper meet- 
ing-houses. The following will show the orthography of some early officials: 

1801. " Voted Mr. Elishar Hight to gow to the county Register of deeds and git 
a Copy of John Wood Esq Deed for to see if there be any resarve of roads in said 
Wood Deed." 

"Voted that the selectmen shall agree with somebody to fetch Obadiah Tibbetts 
into Hollis and they have liberty to ty him." 

"Voted to see if the town will agree with the school class above Salmon Falls 
bridge to build a school-house or town-house. Also to see if they will res^ the powder 
house in the raff of the same." 

" Voted to build a town-house and school -house /o geather." 

"Voted to build the house down by Samuel T. Edgecombs." 

" \7'r>ti=H tn KnilH a nnwHpr hoimp a*; tVlPv hnilH nnw/rlpr Vinn<;ps: in nfVipr tn-Hrnc " 



Andrew Gordon, descended from a distinguished Scottish ancestry 
through a branch of the family early settled in Newbury, Mass., was living 
with his parents in Biddeford when the plantation of Little Falls was opened 
for settlement, and was probably the first person who attempted to cut down 
the forest and clear land. He was at work there, near the boiling spring, as 
early as 175 i, but was moved to leave his improvement on account of the 
threatened Indian war, and went in the Louisburg expedition. After the peace 
he returned and made one of the best of farmers. He was a large, powerful 
man, as fearless as a lion but prudent in time of danger. In old age he became 
dependent, and the town took measures to see if his children were possessed 
of means for his support. His brother John was also a very early inhabitant of 
the plantation. 

Col. John Smith, one of the settlers who came into the plantation in 
1760, was born in the northern section of Biddeford, of parents who came 
from England. When he came into Little Falls it was an almost unbroken 
wilderness, his cabin being fourteen miles from any settlement where sup- 
plies could be obtained and carried on the shoulder or horseback, the only 
guide being spotted trees. He cleared extensive fields along the river bank, 
and to get rid of the trees cut from the soil threw them into the stream. He 
married, first, Betsey Banks, and they commenced life in a log-house. At one 
tirrie, when her husband was absent from home, Mrs. Smith went in search 
of the cow with her boy, Aaron, in her arms. While she followed the sound of 
the cow-bell it became dark and she lost her way. She found an old, deserted 
camp in which she passed the night with her babe, while the wolves howled 
outside. In the morning she found her way home, guided by the sun. His 
second wife was Anna Banks, sister of Betsey. He served in the Revolution 
and was paid in Continental money. He walked home when discharged, beg- 
ging his food on the way. He was for se\eral years a member of the General 
Court at Boston. He was justice of the peace, and for many years one of the 
most public-spirited and useful men in town. He was possessed of keen wit 
was a pleasing conversationalist, and every way attractive in society. He had 
issue by both marriages and his descendants have been highly respectable 
and useful citizens. 

Capt. Jonathan Bane was a son of Capt. Lewis Bane, of \'ork, born 
iri 1693. This family was from Scotland originally, probably descended from 
the Highland clan of MacBane. Capt. Jonathan, ist, who was commander 
of the fort on Saco river, had probably seen service against the Indians on 
the frontier before being placed in charge of this important post ■ but I have 
found but little concerning him in the early records. His father died in York 
June 25, 1721, in the sist year of his age; and his wife, Mary, died Mar. 2c;, 


1723, in the 58th year of her age. Capt. Jonathan had a son, Lieut. Jona- 
than, born about 17 19, who served under his father at the block-house, and 
he had a son Jonathan, born Oct. 9, 1758, who married Phebe Broolcs, of 
Narragansett, No. i, in 1783. 

Hon. Joseph Leland was born in Massachusetts, Dec. 30, 1756; served 
in the Revolution from 1774 to 1778 as ensign and lieutenant. He was in 
Little Falls plantation as early as 1791, when he served as one of the assess- 
ors. He had been in trade for a few years at Sanford. I do not know how 
many years he resided in the new plantation. He removed to Saco, where he 
was many years a merchant. His wife was a daughter of Richard King, of 
Scarborough, and sister to the distinguished brothers, William, Cyrus, and 
Rufus. Mr. Leland was a senator under Massachusetts in 1805 and 1808. 
His son, Joseph W. Leland, was a graduate of Bowdoin College and lawyer 
at Saco; county attorney many years. His daughters were united in marriage 
with members of very respectable families. 

Daniel Granger was an early inhabitant of Little Falls plantation, but 
I have no knowledge of his antecedents. He was evidently a man of consid- 
erable ability; was town clerk in 1794, and one of the assessors in 1793-4. 
He probably removed to Saco, as a man of this name was director of the bank 
there in 1812-25 ; was treasurer in 1822 and 1824. He and wife, Mary, said 
to have been a daughter of Col. Tristram Jordan, had children as follows : 
Daniel T., b. Feb. 9, 1789, who became a lawyer of some note. Elijah G., b. 
Dec. 20, 1790. ' Saily F., b. Aug. 16, 1795; m. Andrew Scammon, Oct. 21, 
1817. Harriet J., b. Nov. 26, 1798. George F., d. Oct. 15, 1794. A Daniel 
T. Granger, b. in Saco, July 18, 1807, graduated at Harvard College in 1826, 
and practised law in Newfield from 1829 to 1833. He removed to Eastport; 
was appointed judge of the Supreme Court in 1854, but declined to serve. 
The late Charles Granger, of Saco, was of this family and a man of many 
remarkable acquirements. 

James Redlon, son of Matthias, was born in Saco, Dec. 10, 1753; 
married Hannah Cousins of Wells, and was one of the first seven settlers on 
the Dalton Right, in the north part of Little Falls plantation, now HoUis. 
He served in the Revolutionary army in the 30th Massachusetts Foot-Guards; 
was in the expedition to Quebec with Arnold, at West Point under Col. Joseph 
Vose, and at the surrender of Burgoyne. His log-house was built in 1780, 
midway between Moderation and Bonnie Eagle, on the hill where the Robert 
Redlon house now stands. He was a large and powerful man. It used to be 
said in the half Scotch phrase of his father; "Give Thamas the goad-stick and 

Note.— Granger, sometimes spelled Grainger, is an English surname. Tlie earliest who 
came to New England were : Thomas, hung lor a capital crime in 1642 ; John, who died in 
Mansfield, Oct. 4, 1655, buried at Scituate; John, of Marshfleld, died Nov. 24, 1656; Lancelot, of 
Ipswich, 1648, thence of Newbury, Mass., where he died; from him descended Hon. Gideon 
Granger, United States Postmaster General. 


Jeames the hand-speeke, and the team will never get stuck." The home of 
"Uncle Jim" was a great place for "huskings," "quiltings," "candy-pulls," 
and neighborhood "frolics." It was here the competitive dance between Ralph 
Bryant and Patience, wife of Abraham Redlon, occurred. They were the two 
champion dancers of the settlement, and Ralph had challenged Patience to a 
trial for the mastery. Amid roaring laughter by old and young they galloped 
over the kitchen floor until three fiddlers' elbows gave out, and Ralph lay 
sprawling. "Pashunce she kick-ed up her heels." Mr. Redlon died Sept. 
12, 1812. 

Thomas Redlon, brother of the preceding, was born in Saco, Dec. 28, 
lySS; married Martha, daughter of Lieutenant Merrill, of Buxton, and settled 
in Little Falls Plantation in 1 780-1. His house was on the south bank of 
Redlon's brook, where he and his brothers built the first grist-mill and saw-mill 
in the township. "Uncle Thomas" was a man of enormous frame with a 
"back like a whale." He was a genuine pioneer, foremost in all improve- 
ments ; a great woodsman and bear hunter ; was killed by his team under a 
sled-load of wood at his own door. 

Daniel Field, a son of Lieut. Daniel, was a descendant of Darby Field, 
the Irishman, who first ascended the White Mountains. He had served with 
his father in the army of the Revolution ; married Rachael, daughter of 
Matthias Redlon, and lived awhile in the lower part of Buxton. He was one 
of the original purchasers of the Dalton Right in Little Falls plantation, and 
part owner in the Redlon mills, so-called. His house was on the knoll near 
the brick house built by "Uncle David Martin"; the site now in the Hobson 
field. He was a short, heavy built man, of dark complexion, with small, 
squinting eyes; was buried near the Guideboard hill; but few descendants 
living. (See Field Genealogy.) 

Ichabod Cousins was a son of Ichabod, of \\'ells, and descended from 
John Cousins, who lived in Yarmouth, for whom Cousins' Island was named. 
Ichabod and wife settled on the 1 >alton Right near the old Redlon burying- 
ground on Guideboard hill, and was buried there. He was a shareholder in 
the saw-mill on the brook below ; made a clearing and built a barn on the 
west end of his lot near the Kimball field, but abandoned it and built near 
James Redlon, his brother-in-law. His second wife was the mother of the late 
Tobias Lord, lumberman, of Steep Falls. Mr. Cousins was a carpenter and 
millwright, a quiet, honorable townsman; left descendants now living in Hollis 
Standish, and Baldwin. (See Genealogy.) 

Thomas Lewis, son of Abijah, of Buxton, was an early settler who 
came in with the Redlons about 1780. His cabin was on the hill where the 
"Uncle Joe" Ridlon house now stands; the latter bought him out when he 
Lewis, moved to the " Kennebec Country." The wife of Thomas was a Boston 
from York; indeed, the families of Lewis and Boston became tano-lpH pqvI,. 


and the snarl has continued for generations. The Lewis family could "sing 
like angils ; " so the old folks said, and I half believe it. "Uncle Thomas" 
was not an exception; he used to make the woods ring upon the hill; so 
said Aunt Sara Field. He was a sort of second-rate preacher, too, and could 
be heard praying, "when the wind's right," a mile. He died in Clinton, or 
thereabouts, on the "Kinnybeck." 

Caleb Kimball was one of the "Dalton Righters " ; came from Scar- 
borough, and was a "kuss" to the farmers round-about by reason of the mis- 
erable, immortal white-weed he brought into town with the bundle of hay for 
his cattle when he was clearing land. Let sentimental women quote poetry 
about "white daisies" while the back-aching farmers hate the name of the 
man who brought the obnoxious grass-killer into the settlement. Well, Caleb 
had a foot as big as a small anvil, and all the neighbors knew Ais track. He 
was black as a thunder-cloud; tall, loose-jointed, and hungry-looking. His 
house, " burnt down in blueberry time," was on the " Kimble lot," known later 
as the " old Kimball place " ; it was on the now discontinued road that led from 
the Redlon neighborhood to South Limington by way of Killick mill. One 
of the sons inherited his iaXhei' s foot — with a "vingunce." He drove a poor 
old " rack-o'-bones " horse all his days. Charles Bean, looking for him, once 
asked: "Have ye seen anything of Elezer and his dromedary?" He had a 
tall, over-grown son who was long locally known as "Leazer's colt." Another 
son of Caleb stood six feet four in his stockings, and they said he "cried" 
when Samuel Tarbox, who was an inch taller, came into town. A son, Rufus, 
known as "Bole," had a family, but long lived a hermit life on a knoll near 
Moderation. A daughter, Rebecca, was tall enough to look out over the top 
of the window curtains. But few descendants are living. 

Daniel Smith, who settled in the " Smith neighborhood," so-called, near 
where the old Smith's bridge crossed the Saco, was the first of the tAree 
Daniel Smiths who have lived there. He was an early settler in town, and 
the "next door neighbor" of the Redlons, two miles above; was a man pos- 
sessed of an eagle-bill nose, by some called a "hook-nose." His face was 
florid; his speech peculiar; his wit of the keenest sort. His sons, Daniel 2d, 
called by everybody, "Uncle Dan," and Samuel, known as "Uncle Sam," were 
"chips of the old block"; had the same ruddy complexion and eagle-nose; 
just the same kind as nearly all their descendants have. They are all noted 
for dry humor and cranky sayings such as none but Smiths and Beans — all 
of one blood — could be capable of. When "Uncle Dan," 2d, went out and 
rapped on the board fence and screamed " stur-boy here " to the crows. Ran. 
Bean said the "black sarpints only laughed at the old man's squealing voice." 
There were "Mason Sam," "Young Dan," Joe, Jr., and Ivory; what queer 
things they did say, to be sure ! 

"Squire" Noah Haley was a recruiting officer during the war of 18 12 ; 


a trial justice and a captain of militia; sometime owned a share of a saw- 
mill and did considerable lumber business. He had a good farm on the old 
Saco and Limerick road, near where the Wood. Haley brick-yard was made. 
Squire Haley married a Woodman and had sons and daughters. He was a 
large, portly, dignified-appearing, old-school gentleman, who lived to a great 
age, respected and honored. (See Genealogy.) 

Shubael Woodman, son of Nathan, of Buxton, was born Aug. 31, 1772. 
He was "bound out" by his father, then of Standish, to an older cousin, 
James, for the term of four years, one month, and twenty-four days, at the end 
of which term he was twenty-one years of age. At the majority of Shubael 
he was to receive twenty-six pounds, thirteen shillings, and four pence to be 
paid in stock at market price; was to be taught to "read, rite, and cifer to 
the single rule of three"; was to be dismissed at the end of his term with 
two good suits of clothes, one for the Lord's day and one for working days, 
"as is customary." His first wife was Shuah Tarbox; second, Susanna Tar- 
box, sister of first; third, Nabby (Burnham) Scammon, of Scarborough. He 
lived between the house of Robert Edgecomb and Bar Mills, on the river 
road, where his son Nathan afterwards settled; had an excellent intervale 
farm. By his contemporaries he was called "Uncle Shube Woodman." He 
was a fine, honest, and respected townsman. 

Joshua Warren, probably born in Berwick, removed from Biddeford 
and was one of the original planters of the Deerwander settlement in the mid- 
dle part of the township. He had seen service in the army of the Revolution, 
having enlisted when only eighteen years of age. His father was a recruiting 
officer in the French war and also came to Little Falls plantation. Joshua was 
a soldier in the command known as the "Sixteenth Massachusetts Continen- 
tals." He and a brother, Benjamin, who settled in the same neighborhood, 
were the two heads of the Warren families prominent!)- known and highly 
respected in Hollis. (See Genealogy.) 

John Haley, bom in Kittery, June 20, 1737. was an early settler in the 
western part of the Little Falls township. His wife was Mary Malcomb. He 
died in Hollis, Jan. 26, 1816; was four years in the French and Indian war, 
and four years in the Revolution ; a blacksmith by trade, and with his son 
Capt. William, who was a recruiting officer for the war of 18 u, and captain 
of militia, did all the iron work for the settlers for many years. Many descend- 
ants wore the leather apron and had a smutty nose. (See Genealogy.) 

Col. Abijali Usher, who came from Massachusetts with his brother 
Ellis B., settled on the road leading from Bonnie Eagle by the Cyrus Bean 
place, where James Madison Usher afterwards lived. He was engaged in 
milling and lumber business at the Killick Mill settlement, and afterwards at 
Bonnie Eagle, in company with John Lane. He was colonel of militia and 
postmaster; had a small store, where his grandson, Fred. Usher, built his 


house, in which he sold black molasses, salt fish, and New England rum. 
Colonel Usher was prominent in town affairs and for many years had a wide 
influence. (See Genealogy.) 

John Lane, descended from the military family noted for services in the 
Revolution, and early settled in Buxton, cleared land on the same lot taken 
up by Abraham Redlon, who afterwards removed to Ohio. He built the stately 
mansion on the hill above the Saco, near his mills at Bonnie Eagle. For many 
years he was extensively engaged in business with Colonel Usher, but retired 
and spent his last days on his farm. There was a large family of children, 
among them the late Judge Mark Lane, and John Lane, Esq., of Portland, who 
owned the United States Hotel. 

Nathaniel Dunn, son of Nathaniel, was born in Gorham, near Scar- 
borough line. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Dea. Joseph Atkinson. 
In 1796 he settled at Salmon Falls and engaged in trade there. About 1800 
he moved to Bar Mills, in Hollis, and united with Joseph Atkinson in the 
milling business. He built a mill and house at Union Falls, and lived there for 
several years. He died in 1855, aged 90. His son Moses was in business at 
Salmon Falls many years ; was prominent in town affairs and was many years 
widely known. Hon. Joshua, another son and a soldier of the 18 12 war, was 
a resident of Portland. 

Stephen Hopkinson was a person of considerable prominence in the 
south part of the town, where Hopkinson's Mills had been a business centre 
and early seat of the town government. He filled town offices and served 
several terms in the Legislature. He married Martha Garland; died at Union 
Falls, Aug. 17, 1855. (See Genealogy.) 

We subjoin the names of the more prominent early townsmen who were 
settled before the beginning of the present century: 

Joseph Chadbourne, Capt. Joseph Dyer, 

Phineas Downs, Benjamin Haley, 

Robert Haley, William Deering, 

John Poak, Caleb Lock, 

Enoch Parker, Humphrey Dyer, 

Thomas Rogers, Isaac Robinson, 

Isaac Drew, Christopher Gilpatrick, 

Richard Palmer, Joseph Googins, 

Lieut. Moses Atkinson, Gibbins Edgecomb, 

Robert Edgecomb, William Wadlin, 

John Harvey, Elisha Hight, 

Joseph Weller, Thomas Young, 

Thomas Cluff, Moses Watkins, 

Jacob Hooper, Eben Cleaves, 

James Berry, Nathaniel Whittier, 

Joseph Leland, Joseph Jordan, 

Elisha Smith, Daniel Stone, 

Robert Nason, Joseph Patterson, 

Jonathan Drew, Joshua Heard, 

Joseph Nason, Thomas Witson. 



Moses Pearsons had commanded a company at the siege and capture of 
Louisburg. He was a capable business man, who was the leading spirit in 
soliciting the Great and General Court for a landed bounty as reward for 
military services. These grants from the Colonial Government, although 
gratifying to the personal ambition of those seeking and obtaining them, were 
of small substantial value to those who received them. Very few of the 
original grantees ever settled on their lands. The majority allowed their 
claims to lapse by neglecting to pay the taxes levied for expenses of settle- 
ment. These claims were usually "bidden in" by speculators, who in turn 
sold them to actual settlers for a nominal sum, five shillings being the usual 
price paid by the pioneer for a lot comprising a one hundred and twenty- 
third part of the township; but each settler obligated himself to clear five 
acres and build a house within five years. 

Moses Pearsons, Esq., seconded by Capt. James Milk, Capt. Isaac Illsley, 
Capt. Joshua Freeman, James Lunt, Ephraim Jones, Simon Gookin, Josiah 
Noyes, and Benjamin Titcomb, while never residents of the township, were 
owners of a large portion of its territory, and were actively moving to secure 
its settlement. 

The petition was formulated in January of 1749, signed by Moses Pear- 
sons and forty-five others, and on Friday, April 20, 1750, a township six miles 
square, on the northwest side of the line from Sebago pond to the head of 
Berwick against Gorhamtown, was granted to Capt. Humphrey Hobbs and 
company, and Capt. Moses Pearsons and company, and associates of the Cape 
Breton soldiers, so-called, to the number of one hundred and twenty. . The 
township was known as Pearson and Hobbstown until Nov. 30, 1785, when it 
was incorporated and named in honor of the hero of Plymouth, Capt. Miles 

The first meeting of the proprietors was held June g, 1752, at the house 
of Edward Ingraham, of York. Capt. Humphrey Hobbs was chosen moderator, 
Capt. Moses Pearsons, clerk, and Capt. Isaac Illsley, treasurer. A committee 
was chosen to lay out to some person or persons a tract of land including a 
stream for the purpose of building a mill. At a meeting of the proprietor? 
held at the house of Capt. Joshua Freeman, in Falmouth, Feb. 22, 1753, it 
was voted to lay out sixty-five acre lots on the plain between the pond and 
Gorhamtown for such of the proprietors as shall settle on and improve the 
same. On April 15, 1753, it was voted for the encouragement of first settlers 
that there be erected at the expense of the proprietors the walls of a house one 
hundred feet square and ten feet high, with two spurs or flankers at opposite 
corners, each twenty feet square, to be of hewed timber. And on May 28, 
1754, the cpmmittee, Moses Pearsons, Joshua Freeman, and James Lunt 


reported that they had proceeded to build said fort or block-house eighty feet 
square, a flanker at the northeast corner thirty feet square, and one at the 
southwest corner fourteen feet square ; that they had nearly finshed the same, 
but "as you have been informed the same is consumed by fire in part which 
will cost considerable to* repair the same; therefore we are of the opinion that 
the proprietors forthwith vote a sum of money sufficient for the same, and set 
a number of hands to repairing said fort." This report was accepted, and the 
committee authorized to draw on the treasurer for what they had already done 
in building said fort, and for the repairs thereof. 

The fort was undoubtedly completed that summer and occupied during 
the winter of 1754-5. This great building stood on the high ground where 
Standish Corner now is, a short distance southwest from the site of the old 
church, which was in the middle of the square where the town pump now 
stands. While the workmen were repairing the fort a guard of six men was 
employed for one month at a charge of eight pounds. This guard consisted 
of Daniel Mosure, James Gilkey, Jonathan Illsley, Thomas Morton, Benja- 
min Titcomb, and Daniel Illsley. The cost of the fort was probably ^208 
and 9^ pence. On the i6th of April, 1755, a tax of ten shillings on each 
right was voted to pay wages and subsistence for eight men in pay and on 
duty in the fort for one month from the nth of April instant. This was 
increased to twenty shillings and the time made two months. The men on 
duty under this vote were John Burnal, John Meserve, Clement Meserve, Jr., 
Elijah Durham, Wentworth Stuart, Timothy Crocker, Israel Thorn, and Joseph 
Meserve, all of whom were probably inhabitants of the town at that time. 

In 1755 Captain Pearsons was instructed to petition the General Court 
for aid, which he probably did, as a draft of a petition was found among his 
papers written by him. Another petition in the Massachusetts archives, dated 
August, 1757, received the following answer: 

"Boston, Aug. 27, 1757, Moses Pearsons Esq., Sir. By order of his 
Excellency you have sent you pr. Mr. Weeks 2 Swivel Guns, half Barrel of 
Powder and Shot proportionable for ye use of the garrison at Pearsontown and 
Hobbs Town. You are to be accountable for ye same agreeable to ye Gove- 
nors order being ye present needful, from ye Humble servant Jno. Wheelright." 

Samuel Knowles, John Walker, Thomas Morton, James Candage, Thomas 
Stevens, and probably others, built barracks within the walls of the fort, the 
last mention of which, in the records, is in 1763. One of the swivel guns 
was in use for "Fourth of July" celebrations until about 1840, when it dis- 
appeared, probably buried by some of the older inhabitants to get rid of its 

A survey of one hundred and twenty-three 30-acre lots was probably 
made before 1752; but the date upon which the grantees drew their lots does 
not appear. A second division was made in 1769 of one hundred acres each 


right, and a third division of one hundred acres in 1776. Only four persons 
who drew rights in the first division drew in the third. 

The earliest saw-mill in town was built in 1762, by Ebenezer Shaw, on 
the same privilege where the present Shaw's mill stands. The mill privilege 
and two hundred acres of land were given him as Encouragement to build 

As a condition of the grant sixty of the one hundred and twenty grantees 
were to settle in distinct families within three years, and sixty more within 
seven years. They were to give bonds to the treasurer of the Province that 
each man should build a house sixteen by eighteen feet, with a seven-foot 
shed, and clear five acres of land. 

As there was no petition for incorporation for some years after the town- 
ship had the requisite number of inhabitants for a municipal organization, a 
message was sent from the Massachusetts House of Representatives, in 1783, 
requiring the plantation to show cause why they should not be incorporated 
as a town. This was like a thunderbolt to the inhabitants and caused a 
rattling of bones. An assessment for taxes, covering the past twenty years, 
caused their hearts to quake, and they appealed so piteously to the law-makers 
that they abated ^571 i8s. from the sum ordered to be collected. 


Capt. Isaac lUsley was descended from William Illsley, born in New- 
bury, Eng., in 1608, and came to New England in 1634. Isaac, born in 
Newbury, Mass., in 1703, was a joiner who associated with Moses Pearsons; 
settled in Falmouth, now Portland, in 1735; had house garrisoned at Back 
Cove, in which he died April 15, 1781; was a bold, enterprising man and 
leader of scouting parties against the Indians; a useful and respected citizen. 
Children: Isaac, Enoch, Jonathan, Daniel, and Prudence, married to Simon 
Gookin. The Illsleys descended from Capt. Isaac ha\e been intelligent and 
prominent business men. 

Moses Pearsons was born in Newburyport, in 1697. He was a car- 
penter by trade and early associated with Isaac Illsley in business; they built 
a meeting-house in Kittery in 1726-7. He settled in Falmouth in 1728-9, 
and became a citizen of great prominence ; represented the town in the Gen 
eral Court; was first sheriff of Cumberland county and justice of the Court 
of Common Pleas. After the capture of Louisburg he was appointed agent 
for Sir William Pepperiil's command to receive and distribute the spoils of 
victory. He remained at Louisburg for some time, superintending the con- 
struction of barracks and a hospital ; was a large proprietor in Falmouth and 
Standish ; house on Fore street, Falmouth, burned in 1775 ; died in 1778 ao-ed 
81. Children: Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Eunice, Anne, and Lois. No son 


perpetuated his name, but the daughters, who inherited his property, were 
married with members of the most respectable of the old Portland families. 

Benjamin MuSSey came from Newbury, Mass., to Falmouth, now Port- 
land, a young man ; was a hatter by trade. He married Abigail, daughter of 
William Weeks, in 1750, and settled in Myrtle street, near Temple, where his 
son built a block. Willis says : "At the commencement of our difficulties 
with Great Britain he took an active part in the cause of liberty, and acted 
on several important committees." He purchased land in Pearsontown, now 
Standish, in 1758, being lot No. 116 in the first division, adjoining the farm 
now owned by Thomas Shaw, Esq., which was No. 115. It appears from the 
records that he was moderator of a meeting in town in 1761, and his name 
appears in connection with nearly every subsequent meeting for many years. 
He was buried in Standish, on his farm, and the stone that marks his grave 
has the inscription : "In memory of Benjamin Mussey, who died Sept. 13, 
1787, aged 66 years." His widow died June 4, 1815, aged 85. The old Mus- 
sey homestead was sold in 1867, and is now owned by Jacob Wadleigh. 
(See Genealogy.) 

Theodore Mussey, Esq., was the fifth child of the preceding. He was 
town clerk for sixteen years; selectman and justice of the peace many years; 
was a member of the Constitutional Convention of Maine in 18 19, and the 
first representative of the town in the first state Legislature. He died Sept. 
5, 1825, aged 68 years. 

Joseph Thorn and Joseph, Jr., were both in the company of Capt. 
Moses Pearsons at the siege of Louisburg in 1745, the latter being a waiter 
for the captain. If he was but 16 years of age at the time, his father, Joseph, 
Sr., must have been at least 37, making the date of his birth not later than 
1708. He was in Pearsontown as early as 1754, for the proprietors voted 
him ;if4o, Sept. 23, 1755, for his cow "killed at the fort last winter." He first 
settled on lot No. 38 of the first division, which he drew as his; it is on the 
old Portland road below Standish Corner, between the homesteads of Avery 
W. Marrett and the Cram place, now owned by Edwin Norton. He conveyed 
it to his son Bartholomew in 1762, and he deeded it to Benjamin Titcomb in 
1776. Joseph, Sr., was buried on the fifteen-acre lot, the southeast half of 
No. 74, and a rough stone marked the spot many years ago; this was pulled 
up by a hired man who was plowing there, and thus every indication of the 
grave was obliterated. If he died about 1800, as stated, his age was rising 
go. (See Genealogy.) 

Arthur McGill was in Pearsontown before 1760, and owned the corner 
lot eastward of the meeting-house, now the Marrett place, which was taken 
on an execution by Eben Mayo (merchant), of Falmouth, who conveyed it to 
Sargent Shaw in 1769. Parson Marrett bought it of Benjamin Titcomb about 
1796, the place where the Marrett family still resides. But little can be 


learned of this Mcdill, but the other persons in town of this name were 
probably his grandsons. 

William McGill, one of the tallest men of Pearsontown, was a tax payer 
there in 1808. He lived near I'lidding hill, where he died in September, 
1841, aged 73. His wife, whom he married Oct. 7, 1797, was Mary Jones. 
He was a great hunter and shot the last wolf killed in Standish. John McGill 
was also a tax payer in 1808. From Standish records it appears that Ann 
McGill, of Standish, and Jonathan Bean, Jr., of Bethel, Me., were married Mar. 
21, 1797. Bean was killed by an Indian in the Shadagee fight during the 
war of 1812. Mary McGill, of Standish, and Samuel Glossum, of Bethel were 
married Sept. 16, 1797. Hannah McGill married John Bean, of Bethel. 

John Pierce, one of the early settlers, was born in Ipswich, Mass., but 
removed to Hampton, N. H., where he married Betsey Johnson, and where 
all save one of his children were born. He came to Pearsontown about 1762, 
when some of his family had reached maturity. Mr. Pierce entered the 
Revolutionary army and died at Boston. His widow married John Sanborn. 
John Pierce owned, in 1762, the upper part of the Josiah Shaw place, being 
lot No. 41, next to Daniel Cram's, now owned by Enoch Blake and nearly all 
overgrown with trees. The old cellar may still be seen ; few persons know 
who lived there. The children of John and Betsey named as follows, but 
order of birth not known: 

1. John, m. Mercy Thorn and Susanna Sanborn. He contracted to 
build a meeting-house near the Hasty farm in 1804, which proved his financial 
ruin, and nearly ruined his brother-in-law, John Sanborn. He d. Sept. 2, 
1830, aged 85 years. 

2. Richard, m. Dec. 12, 1788, Sarah, daughter of Jabez Dow. His 
death was caused by the overturn of a cart when returning from Portland, 
July 17, 1810; was collector of Standish at the time. Children: Susan, b. 
Nov. 29, 1789; William, b. June 7, 1792; Samiui, b. Aug. lo, 179^; nolly, 
b. Dec. 31, 1800; Aiiniw, b. Apr. 19, 1803, m. Reuben Brown, of Baldwin. 

3. Johnson, m. a widow (somebody) and removed to Portland ; had 
one son; d. in 1841, aged 75. 

4. Betsey, m. Mr. Graffam, of Portland, and lived to old age. 

5. Hannah, m. W'aterhouse, of Portland, and lived to be aged. 

6. Molly, ra. Jonathan Lowell, of Standish, and had five sons and 
three daughters. 

7. Sarah, m. York, of llaldwin. 

8. Susanna, m. Mar. 12, 1792, Moses Sanborn, of Standish, and 
reached the age of 85 ; three sons and three daughters. 

Ebeiiezer Shaw, tenth child of Caleb, who was son of Joseph, son of 
Roger, was born in Hampton, N. H., Oct. 7, 1713; married Anna Philbrick, 
of that town, Nov. 19, 1738. His father was drowned before he was two 


years of age, and he lived until his majority with Moses Pearsons, Esq. He 
was a mechanic, being carpenter, millwright, and cooper. He came to Pear- 
sontown, now Standish, in 1762. A tract of land comprising 200 acres was 
granted him by the proprietors ; this included a mill privilege, and he built 
the first mill in the township. He also purchased of Thomas Morton, Apr. 

4, 1763, the thirty-acre lot No. 42, on the "eight-rod road," below Standish 
Corner, between the lot deeded at the same date to his son Josiah, and the 
John Pierce lot, and descended to grandson, Eli. He died Mar. 13, 1782 ; his 
wife, Anna, died Dec. 12, 1804, aged 85 years, at which time there were in 
Standish thirty-four families of her descendants. She left nine children, 
eighty-two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Children born in 
Hampton : 

1. Josiah, b. Jan. 3, 1740; m. Mary Lamper; d. Aug. 7, 1810. 

2. Abiah, b. Jan. 16, 1741; d. Apr. 10, 1762, single; 

3. Joanna, b. Apr. 4, 1743; m. Peter Moulton ; d. Jan. 16, 1834. 

4. Sargent, b. Oct. 23, 1745; m. Sarah Knight; d. Dec. 3, 1823. 

5. Ebenezer, b. Jan. 3, 1749; m. Sarah Wood and Salome Green, both 
of Gorham; d. Aug. 11, 1836. 

6. Elizabeth, b. Mar. 21, 1751; m. James Moody; d. May 27, 1816. 

7. Thomas, b. Oct. 10, 1753; m. Anna Wood; d. Oct. 20, 1838. 

8. Molly, b. Nov. 7, 1755; m. Stephen Sanborn and John Mayall; d. 
Oct. 29, 1840. 

9. Margaret, b. Jan. 7, 1758 ; m. Daniel Bean, of Bethel; d. in August, 


10. Joseph, b. May 10, 1760; m. Eunice Bean; d. Aug. 24, 1830. 
Daniel Sanborn, son of Abner and Rachel (Shaw) Sanborn, was born at 
Hampton Falls, N. H. ; married Jane, daughter of David and Sarah (Leavitt) 
Moulton, and died Jan. 14, 1786, aged 65 years. Jane, the widow, died Oct. 

5, 1805, aged 85. These came to Pearsontown in 1764, and built a house of 
hewed timber, on thirty-acre lot. No. 19. When they arrived in the plantation 
there were no roads to Portland where Mr. Sanborn was for a time employed 
as a carpenter, and he carijied his scanty stock of provisions on his back to 
his family. At one time a heavy fall of snow prevented him from going to 
his home at a time when he knew they needed food, and they were reduced 
to an allowance of three potatoes a day. Children : 

1. David, m. Miriam Elder; d. in 1824. 

2. Stephen, m. Mary Shaw; d. in 1779. 

3. Dolly, b. May 30, 1757; m. May 21, 1791, Theodore Muzzey ; d. 
in 1849. 

4. Jeremiah, d. unmarried Aug. 28, 1814. He was a Revolutionary 
soldier in the company of Captain Mabury, of Windham, Me. 

5. Eunice, d. unmarried. 


6. Molly, m. I'haddeus Richardson. 

7. SiMi'.ciN, m. Jan. 2, 1783, Hannah Ward, of Gorham ; was a soldier 
of the Revolution under ( Captain .Stuart, of Gorham. He moved to Bethel 
in 1800, and he and his wife died there. 

Daniel Hasty, son of William and grandson of Daniel Hasty, who came 
from Ireland and settled in Rye, N. H., thence removed to Scarborough in 
1735, was born in Scarborough, Mar. 18, 1749; married Martha McLaughlin, 
who died Oct. 24, 1804, aged 56. He died June i, 1818. He bought of Clem- 
ent Meserve thirty-acre lots Nos. 3 and 4, near where the old academy stood, 
in 1 77 1, where his grandson, James L. Hasty, now lives. He was selectman 
in 1786, 1790, 1801, and 1808; collector 1789, 1791, and i8o6. Issue: 

1. Sarah, b. Apr. 5, 1774; m. Thomas Cram and became the mother 
of Hon. Marshall Cram. 

2. James, b. May 3, 1776; d. unmarried in 1812. 

3. William, b. Mar. 3, 1778; d. in 1825. 

4. Daniel, b. May 3, 1780; m. Susanna Dow, daughter of Jabez; d. 
in 1863. 

5. Mary, b. Dec. 20, 1782 ; d. single. 

6. Samuel, b. Mar. 12, 1785; d. single Oct. 6, 1818. 

7. Hiram, b. Sept. 11, 1789; m. Mary, daughter of Simeon Moulton, 
and d. in 1866. 

Maj. James Hasty, brother of Daniel, preceding, was born in Scar- 
borough, May 2, 1751; married Rachel, daughter of John Dean, Esq., and 
settled on the old Portland road below the farm of Doctor Howe, and nearly 
opposite the house of Daniel Cram, now the town farm. He died July 8, 
1835, aged 85 ; was selectman in 1807; collector in 1801. Children: 

1. John D., b. Oct. 13, 1784; d. single. 

2. Joseph, b. Mar. i, 1787 ; m. Ruth McLaughlin, of Scarborough, and 
settled on Standish Neck. He had a large family; d. in 1865, aged 78. 

3. William, b. June 18, 1789; m. Fitch, of Baldwin; d. Dec -9 


4. James, b. July 24, 1791 ; was a trader at Standish Corner many 
years; selectman in 1822 ; town clerk twelve years; suicide in 1844. 

5. Miriam, b. Oct. 14, 1793; m. John Philbrick (son of Deacon) and 
was mother of Hon. John H. Philbrick; suicide about 1841. 

6. Agnes, b. Jan. 15, 1796; m, William McLaughlin and lived in Scar- 
borough ; was the mother of Hon. Charles McLaughUn, of Portland. He d 
Apr. II, 1837; she d. Jan. 12, 1884. 

7. Charles, b. June 16, 1799 ; m. and had family; moved to Ohio and 
d. there. 

8. Samuel, b. May 18, 1801; m. Abigail Broucher and had issue, three 
sons; d. in Michigan. 


John Dean, Esq., son of Samuel and Rachel (Dwight) Dean, was born 
in Dedham, Mass., about 1742, where his parents kept a public house. His 
brother was the Rev. Samuel Dean, of Portland. Squire Dean first came to 
town in 1774 and put up at Shaw's tavern. His farm was on the old Portland 
road, near Gorham, adjoining Deacon Philbrick's, and is now owned by his 
grandson, John D. Higgins. When the tax of r8o8 was assessed, he was the 
heaviest tax-payer in town, and for many years his property exceeded that of 
any other townsman. He was selectman in 1786; a justice of the peace 
many years. His wife Miriam died Aug. 25, 1791, aged 41. He married, 
second. May 18, 1793, Mary Jewett; she died Aug. 25, 1812, aged 62. He 
died May 6, 1826, aged 83 years. Children: 

1. Rachel, m. about 1783 Maj. James Hasty. 

2. John, Jr., d. unmarried in Boston, Apr. 29, 1829, aged 59; was a 
trader in Standish many years. 

3. Nancy, d. Apr. 21, 1832, aged 60, single.. 

4. Lucy, d. July 3, 185 1, aged 76, unmarried. 

5. Miriam, m. Enoch F. Higgins, brother of the centenarian, Capt. 
Saul C. Higgins, of Gorham. He died Jan. 25, 1834. She lived till about 
1885, and was 96 years of age. Her children were : 

I. Harriet, m. Horatio J. Swasey,- Esq., who was a well-known law- 
yer for many years at Standish Corner, and had five sons and a daughter. 
II. Mary, m. Daniel Tyler; no issue. 

III. jfohn D., b. 1826; m. Marcia, daughter of William Paine, and 
lives on the homestead. 

IV. Caroline, m. Lucian Hunt and lives in Gorham. 

Philip Cannell came from the Isle of Man before the Revolution, with 
his wife Jane, and settled first in Portland. They removed to Pearsontown 
about 1770, and settled on a lot now owned by the family of Marrett, near 
Sebago lake; living only a few years here they went to thirty-acre lot No. 56, 
which was conveyed to them by the proprietors ; the conditions required Can- 
nell to clear five acres and build a house, which house is now owned by L. 
W. Moulton. The place where Cannell first settled came into the possession 
of Parson Marrett, and is now marked by the cellar in the midst of a wood 
where trees more than two feet in diameter are growing. He died June 6, 1824, 
aged 81. Jane, his wife, died about 1826, aged 81. Children named as 

1. Nancy, b. on the Isle of Man; m. July 30, 1789, to Joseph West, 
of Raymond. 

2. Thomas, m. Nason, of Gorham, 

3. Philip, m. 1801, Rebecca Green; d. April, 1849, aged 77 years. 

4. Jane, d. Aug. 30, 1855, unmarried, aged 80, 
J. Joseph, went to sea and d. abroad. 


6. Ellen, m. about 1820 Daniel Ridlon, who afterwards settled in 
Porter, and had issue. 

Dea. George Freoiiian, son of Joshua Freeman, who came from Barn- 
stable, Mass., to Falmouth previous to 1740, in which year he purchased the 
lot on the corner of Kxchange and Middle streets, where he kept a store and 
tavern. George was born in 1 739 ; married Martha, daughter of Joseph Thorn, 
and settled on the road leading from Standish Corner by the Parson Weston 
place. His grave-stone says: " Dea. George Freeman died Mar. i, 1829, aged 
90 years. Martha, wife, died Sept. 11, 1807, aged 69 years." Children: 

1. Phebe, b. Jan 13, 1761. 

2. Hannah, b. Sept. 5, 1762. 

3. William, b. July 10, 1764. 

4. Edmund, b. May i, 1766. 

5. Charlotte, b. June 15, 1768; m. Elisha Hill, of Biddeford, Mar. 

14, I79S- 

6. Reuben, b. May 6, 1770. 

7. Martha, b. July 12, 1772; m. Joshua Emery, of Pownalboro, May 
8, 1797. 

8. Nancy, b. Sept. 15, 1774. 

9. George, b. July 19, 1776. 

10. Daniel, b. Feb, 16, 1779; m. Hannah Davis and had issue. 

11. Eunice, b. Feb. 15, 1782. 

I. George, b. Sept. 5, 18 13. 
II. Martha, b. Oct. 10, 1815. 

III. William D., b. Sept. 26, 1816. 

IV. Leaiuler, b. Dec. 19, 18 ig. 
V. . Lucy, b. Dec. 8, 1821. 

VI. Lorenzo, b. Dec. 3, 1823. 
VII. Isaac, b. July 28, 1826. 
VIII. Ursula, b. Jan. 28, 1830. 

IX. Hester A., b. Nov. 27, 1832. 
Clement Meserve was in the old fort on the Fort hill, in Gorham, during 
the seven years' Indian war which began in 1745. On April 16, 1755, eight 
men were hired to guard the fort in IVarsontown for two months; three of 
this number were Clement Me.serx c, Jr., John Meserve, and Joseph Meserve, 
brothers. They were probably living in town. Clement, Sr., lived on lot 3, 
near the old Standish Academy, where the Congregational church now stands 
but sold to Daniel Hasty in 177 i. John settled in the corner on the same 
side, and Clement, Jr., where the Standish town-farm now is. His son-in-law 
Timothy Crocker, lived on lot No. 42, which was a part of the Josiah Shaw 
farm. Who Crocker was, or whence he came, is not known. He and the 
Meserves all removed to Bristol, Me., in 1771. 


Joseph Butterfleld was the first settler on Standish Neck, near the out- 
let of Sebago pond, before the Revolution. He purchased of Ebenezer Shaw, 
about 1775, thirty-acre lot* No. 109, opposite where "Uncle Thomas" Shaw 
now lives. He married Mary Harding, of Gorham, and they remained on the 
home-place all their days. He died Sept. 12, 18 19, aged 78; wife died Sept. 
3, 1830, aged 80. They were buried in the pasture, on lot 109, now in the 
forest, and probably Thomas Shaw is the only person living who can point 
out the exact spot. There were ten children ; only two of the name in town 
at present. 

Moses Richardson, with brothers David, Jonathan, and Thaddeus, who 
settled in Hiram, came from Newton, Mass., and settled on the road between 
the Corners and Sebago lake, previous to 1800. He had two thirty-acre lots, 
Nos. loi and 102. His wife was Lydia Hall, of Newton. He died in 1794, 
and his widow married May 14, 1808, Ephraim Bachilor, of Baldwin; she died 
Nov. 12, 1823, aged 80. Children: 

1. Lydia, b. in Brookline, June 20, 1763. 

2. Ann, b. in Brookline, June 5, 1765. 

3. Elizabeth, b. August 23, 1767. 

4. Moses, b. in Dorchester, Mar. 13, 1770. 

5. Mehitable, b. in Newton, May 22, 1772 ; m. Oct. 20, 1792, Lemuel 
McCorrison, of Baldwin. 

6. Molly, b. June 20, 1775, in Pearsontown ; m. Aug. 7, 1796, Boaz, 
son of Lemuel Rich, and moved to Exeter, Me. 

7. Sarah, b. Dec. 6, 1776 ; m. Sept. 22, 1798, Joseph Butterfleld, Jr., 
of Standish. 

8. Aaron, b. Sept. i, 1779- 

9. Abigail, b. June 21, 1782 ; m. Dec. 12, 1802, Capt. Sylvanus Bach- 
ilor, of Baldwin, and d. May 11, 1849. 

Dayid Richardson, m. first Mary Hall, of Newton, Mass., and had 
nine children. By second wife, Hannah Mills, born in Standish, he had 
children as follows : 

H^^^^"' I- twins, b. Aug. 4, 17 79. 
Esther, ) 

Sarah, | ^^j^^^ ^ j^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ 

Thomas, ) 

N^^'^^'ltwins, b. Oct. 8, 1782. 
Lucy, ) 

William, b. Sept. 14, 1784. 

This family moved to Monmouth about 1806. In Standish they lived 

near the Corners, and their cellar may still be seen on the place owned by 

Almond Rand. 

*The thirty-acre lots, to the numher of 123, were 160 rods long and 30 rods in width. 


Joseph West, of Raymond, married Nancy Cannell, born in the Isle 
of Man, July 30, 1789; settled near Sebago Lake, and his farm was where 
the Lake House now is. He died in the Canada war about 1813 ; none of the 
name now in town. 'I'liis family was connected with V\'illiam West, who 
settled in Hollis and by a daughter of Capt. Stephen Bean had Edwin and 
Charles. The Wests of Cornish and Parsonsfield are of this family. Many 
were known by their kinky hair that resembled the wool of a negro. Children : 
Eleanor, b. Oct. 9, 1789; m, Samuel Weeks, of Standish; d. 1864. 

John, b. Dec. 9, 1790; m. Oct. 10, 1812, Abigail York, of Standish. 

Susanna, b. July 11, 1792 ; m. Chick of Limington. 

Thomas, b. Oct. 16, 1794; m. Sarah McGill. 

Jane, b. Aug. 6, 1796; m. Berry. 

Eunice, b. Mar. 12, 1799; m. Sargent Lombard; d. 1885. 

Mary, b. Apr. 26, 1801 ; m. Wiggin, of Baldwin. 

Lydia, b. Aug. 13, 1805; m. John Smith. 
All had families. 

Dr. Isaac S. Tompson, son of Daniel Tompson who was killed in 
the battle of Lexington, Apr. 19, 1775, a distant relative of the Rev. John, the 
first minister, came from Reading, Mass. He was a hard, intemperate char- 
acter ; a small man who rode horseback and carried his medicines in saddle- 
bags. It has been related that he once told his drunken companions, while 
on a spree at the tavern, that if they would hang him by the neck he "wouldn't 
kick." They forthwith procured a rope and hung him up until nearly dead. 
"Squire" Dean happened to come in, cut him down, and saved his life. As 
soon as he recovered speech he said : "Well, I didn't kick." At another time 
he and his associates told how they each wished to die ; some one way, some 
another. All died suddenly. Captain Tappan died in his sleigh at Sacca- 
rappa, on his way to Portland, in January, 1804. John Marean came home 
drunk on a cold night, and being cross his wife shut him out of doors. He 
lay down in the snow and became so chilled that death soon followed, in 
February, 1804. Marean and Tappan married sisters, Lois and Dolly Bean, 
and "lived neighbors." Doctor Tompson's death was peculiar. Being sick 
at one time he said he wished to " live one more year." A year from that time 
he roused his wife from her slumber and wished to relate a singular dream. 
She said she would wait until morning, but she found him dead at the dawn. 
The stone over his grave has the inscription: "Isaac Snow Tompson, born 
June, 1761, died June, 1799. First Physician of Standish." Some one should 
have added, as a warning to those who pass by, " Rum did it." 

Dr. Ebenezer Ho"we. In the old cemetery at Standish Corner there 
is a stone with this inscription: "In memory of Dr. Ebenezer Howe, born in 
Sturbridge, Mass., April 21, 1773, and departed this life at Standish, Me., 
June 4, 1841, in the full and firm belief in which he had ever lived of the 


universal salvation of all mankind," Doctor Howe succeeded as the second 
physician, and probably came to town about 1800. There are many stories 
about his eccentric ways and speeches. A young woman in an adjoining town, 
in a fit of laughter, dislocated her jaw. Doctor Howe was sent for and drove 
with all haste to the farm-house. As he drew rein he saw the girl standing 
on the door-stone with her mouth wide open. Climbing down from his gig he 
ran to the door and chucked her under the chin with his fist, instantly putting 
the jaw into place. He then drove away without a word. But the girl bit her 
tongue nearly off when her teeth came together and could never forgive 
the combative old doctor. He married Catherine Spring, born in Standish. 
None of this family in town. Of his children we find the following: 

1. Eliza, b. Sept. 24, 1802 ; m. Spring. 

2. Marshall S., b. Jan. 12, 1804. He was an officer in the regular 
army many years and d. in Kentucky about 1878. His son Albion was killed 
in the Modoc war in 1873. 

3. Greenleaf, b. Apr. 5, 1807 ; m. Mary Dennett and d. in Somerville 
in 1873. 

4. Mary Ann, b. Jan. 11, 1811 ; m. Simeon Clement of West Gorham; 
d. Jan, 25, 1887. 

5. Albion K. P., b. Mar. 25, 1813. He was a soldier in the Union 
army that crushed the Rebellion and is living. 

6. Leander M., b. July 18, 18 15; d. young. 


This was a part of the extensive tract purchased from Captain Sunday, 
the Indian sagamore of Newichawannock, by Francis Small, of Kittery, Nov, 
28, 1766, for two blankets, two pounds of powder, four pounds of musket balls, 
twenty strings of beads, and two gallons of rum. The original deed, lost for 
many years, is now in the possession of a descendant of Small. The validity 
of this instrument was confirmed by the Massachusetts commissioners. The 
Indian signature was a turtle. The tract, known as "Ossapee," embraced all the 
land between the Great Ossipee, the Saco, the Little Ossipee, and Newichawan- 
nock rivers, being twenty miles square, comprising about 256,000 acres. The 
section now called Limington was known as the plantation of Little Ossipee. 
The earliest settlement was begun in 1773, Dea. Amos Chase being, so far as 
known, the first pioneer. He built a cabin on the east side of the township, 
where he found a waterfall, and there put up the first mill in the town. The 
hamlet clustering about this locality has since been called " Chase's Mills." 
Jonathan Boothby, a staunch supporter of Paul Coffin's church in Buxton, is 
said to have been the second to pitch in this plantation. He camped here 
alone in 1774, and worked on his clearing at Pine hill. After the Revolution, 



he moved his family to his log-house, and commenced life in earnest. Settlers 
from Saco, Scarborough, and Buxton soon followed. John MacArthur, a native 
of Perth, Scotland, settled on Rarvel creek in 1775. Joshua Small, the prin- 
cipal proprietor, settled in the township about this time, and engaged in tanning 
on the creek just mentioned. The town of Limington was incorporated in 
1792; first lown-meeting was held in a school-house, Apr. 2, 1792, under a 
warrant issued by Amos Chase. The first selectmen were Capt. Robert Boody, 
Capt. Nicholas Edgecomb, and Samuel Sawyer. i'wo thousand acres lying 
southeast of the Little Ossipee river, mostly plains, were taken from the planta- 
tion of Little Falls and annexed to Limington, Feb. 27, 1798. The surface 
of the town was much broken and rocky, and the early settlers must have 
been inspired with a tough kind of resolution to hew out farms from such a 
forbidding wilderness. The pioneer families suffered the usual deprivations 
of new settlements, which have been described elsewhere. Persons bearing 
the following names were living in town in 1792 : 

John B. Ardway, 
John Allis, 
Joshua Adams, 
Jonathan Boothby, 
Joshua Brackett, 
Reuben Brackett, 

Richard Berry, 
Samuel Berry, 
Azariah Boody, 
William Bragdon, 
Amos Chase, 
Ebenezer Clark, 
Ephraim Chick, 
Isaac Dyer, 
Ezra Davis, 
Nicholas Davis, 
Nicholas Edgecomb, Jr., 
William Edgecomb, 
Elias Foss, 
George Foss, 
Joseph Fogg, 
George Fogg, 
Isaac Frost, 
John Greenlaw, 
Walter Hagens, 
Robert Hasty, 
Robert Jackson, 
Edward Kennard, 
I.uther Lombard, 
Isaac Larrabee, 
Abner Libby, 
Joseph Libby, 

John Andrews, 

William Anderson, 

JosiAH Black, 

David Boothby, 

Abram Brackett, 

Samuel Brackett, 

James Berry, 

Robert Boody, 

Elisha Bragdon, 

Daniel Bradbury, 

Ephraim Clark, 

Nathan Chick, 

Andrew Cobb, 

Daniel D-ver, 

John Douglas, 

Capt. Nicholas Edgecomb, 

Robert Edgecomb, 

Job Foss, 

John Foss, 

Charles Fogg, 

Daniel Fogg, 

Moses Frost, 

James Gilkev, 

Isaac Hurd, 

David Hasty, 

Daniel Hanscomb, 

William Johnson, 

Paul Lombard, 

Samuel Larrabee, 

Phineus Libby, 

Robert Libbv, 

Jesse Libby, 



Humphrey McKenney, 
James McKenney, 
Levi Merrifield, 
Nathaniel Meserve, 
Thomas Miller, 
Mark Manson, 
James Marr, 
Pelatiah Marr, 
Joseph Meserve, 
John Nason, 
Abram Parker, 
David Richardson, 
James Rendall, 
Joseph Rose, 
Samuel Sawyer, 
Eben Sawyer, 
John Stone, 
Joshua Small, Esq., 
Isaac Small, 
Joshua Small, Jr., 
Lieut. Daniel S.mall, 
Jacob Small, 
James Small, 
Samuel Strout, 
Richard Strout, 
Elisha Strout, 
Gilbert Strout, 
Robert Staples, 
Jonathan Sparrow, 
Abram Tyler, 
William Wentworth, 
John Wentworth, 
William Whittimore, 

Diminicus McKenney, 
John MacArthur, 
George Meserve, 
Ebenezer Morton, 
Joseph Morton, 
William Manson, 
Isaac Marr, 
Dennis Mallov, 
Jonathan Nason, 
David Nason, 
Thaddeus Richardson, 
Elisha Richardson, 
Daniel Ridlon, 
James Sawyer, 
Joshua Sawyerj 
John Sutton, 
George Stone, 
Daniel Small, 
John Small, 
Henry Small, 
William Small, 
Benjamin Small, 
Reuben Small, 
Simeon Strout, 
Elisha Strout, 
William Strout, 
John Strout, Jr., 
Enoch Staples, 
Joseph Tyler, 
Obadiah Irish, 
Eben Irish, 
William Whitney, 
David Young. 


Jonathan Boothby came early from Scarborough and took up a valu- 
able tract of land near Pine hill, where his descendants have since lived. 
Like nearly all of his name he was a good farmer, who was hospitable ; a 
genuine Puritan and warm communicant of Parson Coffin's church in Buxton 
many years. His descendants are numerous. (See Genealogy.) 

Ezra Davis, Jr., and wife Susanna, "owned the covenant" of the first 
church of Saco, Sept. 1 6, 1770. He resided in Biddeford, which then included 
Saco, for many years, and there six children were born. He is said to have 
removed to Little Ossipee, now the town of Limington, as early as 1774. 
A daughter was baptized in Biddeford in 1785, her parents then being of 
" Ossapy." He was a prominent and useful citizen, who was called to positions 
of trust. In 1793 he was sent to Boston as agent of the town, and was paid 


two shillings a day for twenty-one days of service. From him descended the 
family in Sebago and Porter. (See Genealogy.) 

Maj. Nicholas Davis, descended from an old family in York, married 
Charity Haley, in 1777, at Biddeford, and he and his wife "owned the cove- 
nant'' of the first church of Saco, being then of "Little ()sapa," in 1779. He 
was a soldier of the Revolution, and was major of the militia after settlement 
in Limington. He is said to have been 97 years of age at his decease, about 
1830. Hon. William G. Davis, of Portland, and the Davis families in Stan- 
dish and North Hollis are descendants. 

Samuel Larrabee, son of Samuel and Sarah Brown, was a native of 
Scarborough. He married Elizabeth Blake, of Gorham, in 1776, and imme- 
diately removed into the plantation of Little Ossipee, settling in the eastern 
section of the township, where Israel and Ezekiel Small have since lived. 
The old house taken down by Doctor Bragdon was built by Mr. Larrabee. 
He returned to the coast, being an owner of land on Richmond's Island, but 
died in Limington, aged 84, in 1836. (See Larrabee Genealogy.) 

Isaac Mitchell, Esq., son of Dominicus Mitchell, of Cape Elizabeth, 
removed from Standish to Limington, and was for many years one of the most 
public-spirited, capable, and useful of townsmen. He was justice of the peace 
and served in the municipal offices. The beautiful penmanship found in the 
town records shows that he was a master of chirography. He was postmaster 
for many years. In every position to which he was called to ser\e his fellow- 
citizens. Squire Mitchell faithfully performed the duties devolving upon him 
and held the respect and veneration of the people. (See Genealogy.) 

Humphrey McKenney, descended from John McKenna, evidently 
from Ireland (some say Scotland, but I doubt), who settled early in Scarbor- 
ough, came into the plantation of Little Ossipee with the other families from 
the coast, and with his sons, all powerful men, sat down in the north part of 
the town, where descendants now live. 

John MacArthur, descended from an ancient Highland Scotch clan, 
came to America from the county of Fife, and was an early settler in Little 
Ossipee, where he lived until Aug. 30, 18 16. His age was 71. He was a man 
possessing in full measure the traits peculiar to the Scotch character ; was 
conservative, opinionated, argumentative, and logical ; a man of sound mind 
who availed himself of every source of information. His sons, Arthur Mac- 
Arthur and James MacArthur, Esquires, were leading citizens in Limino-ton 
and extensively known in their county, being highly respected for their intel- 
ligence, probity, and public spirit. (See Genealogical Department.) 

Col. Cephus Meeds, son of Francis Meeds, of Harvard, Mass. was 
born in that town and settled in Limington, where he was one of the solid 
citizens and a man of noble character every way. He had been colonel of 
the militia, representative to the Legislature, and in town offices. He was a 


judicious farmer, and in manners a good type of the old-school gentleman. 
His personal appearance was attractive, being tall, erect, and handsome of 
face. (See Genealogical Sketch.) 

Capt. Nicholas Edgecomb was one of the first who cleared land in the 
southern part of the town. He served as one of the first board of selectmen 
and in other positions where good judgment and executive ability were 
required. From him, or his family, Edgecomb's bridge, that spans Little 
Ossipee river, took its name. His sons, Nicholas, Robert, and William, were 
early townsmen. (See Genealogy.) 

Maj. John Small, son of Dea. Samuel and wife Anna, was born in 
Scarborough, Jan. 30, 1722, and married there for his first wife Sarah Atkins; 
he married, secondly, Oct. 12, 1752, Mary McKenney. He was an officer in 
the English army. Being a land surveyor he was sent, in 1762, to run out a 
military road from the Kennebec to Canada, and was unintentionally shot by 
one of his party when in the woods, by being indistinctly seen and mistaken for 
some animal. He was instantly killed. He is represented as a "large, dark- 
complexioned, stately, courtly, and handsome man." His desk, chest, and 
commission are preserved. After his death his widow, of whom traditions, 
was married to one Haskins, but her last days were spent in the home of her 
son Henry, at Limington. Children : John, Edward, Zacheus, Francis, Henry 
Daniel, Rachel, and Dorcas. Several of the Smalls settled in town, but as 
their history has been printed we shall not trace them here. 


In consequence of the destruction of the records of the plantation, as 
well as those of the town, by fire in the store of John F. Jameson in 1865, our 
materials for a reliable historical sketch are very meagre. Some data, said 
to be of a valuable historical character in a number of letters written by one 
of the townsmen, has been preserved, but the custodian has declined to have 
them examined. 

The lands now comprised in the pleasant town of Cornish were a part of 
that extensive territory purchased by Francis Small of the Indian chief, Cap- 
tain Sunday, and after the partition, were sold by Joshua Small to Joseph Doe, 
of Newmarket, N. H., and Benjamin Conner, of Newburyport, Mass., for 
;^i,98o. The plantation was a dense wilderness when surveyed in 1772. 

Henry Pendexter came from Biddeford, and is claimed to have been the 
first settler. Some, however, say James Holmes, who came from Scarborough, 
was the first to pitch here. He moved his family to the plantation in 1774. 
Several families from Saco and Biddeford came in the next year, among them 
Henry and Asahel Cole. 

At the first plantation election, held at the house of Asahel Cole, only 
thirteen inhabitants were present, all coming on snow-shoes. It appears that 



Joshua Small, and others who lived in the Plantation of Little Ossipee, had 
petitioned the General Court for an act of incorporation to embrace the whole 
territory of Limington and Cornish, but the inhabitants forwarded a remon- 
strance in 1791, in which they endeavored to show cause "why the prayer of 
Joshua Small should not be answered concerning both Plantations coming into 
one Town." This document shows as one cause, that "the land of both Plan- 
tations is of great length, thirteen or fourteen miles at least, which will be 
very ill convenient for us to go to Town Meetings, and not only so, the land 
is very broken, costly, and hard to make good roads thereupon. W'e can't go 
to Town Meeting and come in one day to our homes"; another cause why the 
prayer should not be answered : " There is too large a tract of land for one 
Town, it is so broken"; another cause: "We cannot see that there will ever 
be a union together. This being the case, we should not be such good sub- 
jects to government." They said it would be a "hardship" for them to be 
set off to any town or plantation whatever, and prayed to be incorporated by 
themselves. Dated, " Francisborough, May the loth, 1791." Plantation 
assessors, Noah Barker, Timothy Barrens, and Asahel Cole; clerk, Simeon 
Johnson. To preserve the names of the inhabitants at that time I subjoin the 
list of those who signed the remonstrance and petition, all in one : 

Robert Cole, 
John Shute, 
Benjamin Estes, 
Bennett Pike, 
Eliab Pendexter, 
Levi Chadbourne, 
Nathaniel Barker, 
Charles Trafton, 
William Chadbourne, 
Isaac Chick, 
Samuel Sherburn, 
Thomas Pendexter, 
James Holmes, 
Edmund Pendexter, 
Richard Estes, 
Jno. Chadbourne, 
Jonathan Estes, 
Obadiah Eastman, 
Wright Graffam, 
John Jewell, 
Martress Treadwkll, 
Daniel Perkins, 
Isaac Linscott, 
Nathan Barker, 
John Whales, 

James Way.mocth, 
Theophilus Smith, 
Ebenezer Barker, 
Samuel Morrison, 
John Kissic, 
John Gilpatrick, 
Francis Kissick, 
William Sawyer, 
Ezra Barker, 
John Durgin, 
George Gray, 
William Day, 
W'lLLiAM Day, Jr., 
Joseph Coisins, 
Samuel Barrons, 
Abkam Barrons, 
John Pike, 
James Wormwood, 
David Jewell, 
Joseph Linscott, 
Obadiah Cole, 
Edmund Hammond, 
Noah Linscott, 
Andrew Sherburn, 
Joseph Allen. 

The plantation of F'rancisborough was incorporated by the name Cornish 
Feb. 26, 1794. 



The first potash factory was established by Andrew Sherburn about 1800, 
two miles south of Cornish village. Simeon Pease also had a large potash 
factory here, and opened a store. A tannery was erected here, a post-office 
was established, and the place became the business centre of the town. 

Town-meetings were held in the meeting-house on Brimstone hill until 
the town-house was built, a half-mile farther south. 

Courts were held at the house of Squire Asahel Cole, and here the old 
militia met to draw their supply of powder and rum. The learned judge came 
down on the old Pequawket trail from the north and tarried over night with 
Mr. Cole, and so he procured his host an appointment as magistrate. Old- 
fashioned patronage, you see. 

The following is a nearly complete list of the inhabitants of Cornish 
previous to the incorporation in 1794. Joshua Chadbourne and Joseph Seavey 
had removed, and Joseph Wilson had died in consequence of being frozen in 
a snow storm when on his way to Saco. 
Allen, Joseph, 

Adams, Thomas, 

Barker, Ebenezer, 

Barkbr, Simeon, 

Barker, Thomas, 

Barker, Ezra, 

BoLON, John, 

Barrons, Timothy W., (?) 

Barrons, Abram, (?) 

Brown, Clement, 

Cole, Obadiah, 

Cole, Robert, 

Cole, Asahel, 

Cole, Henry, 

CoLTON, John, 

Chadbourne, Humphrey, 

Chadbourne, William, 

Chadbourne, William, Jr., 

Chadbourne, Levi, 

Chadbourne, John, 

Chick, Isaac, 

Chick, Daniel, 

Clark, Benjamin, 

Clark, Benjamin, Jr. 

DuRGiN, John, 

Davis, Josiah, 

Day, Nathaniel, 

Day, William, 

Day, William, Jr., 

Day, Stephen, 

EsTES, Benjamin, 

EsTES, Richard, 

Hart, Aaron, 
Johnson, Simon, 
Johnson, Thomas A., 
Jewell, David, 
Jewell, John, 
Kennard, John, 
LiNscoTT, Noah, 
LiNscoTT, Isaac, 
LiNscoTT, Isaac, Jr., 
LiNSCOTT, Joseph, 
Long, John, 
Lord, Ammi, 
McKusic, John, 
McKusic Francis, 
Merrifield, Samuel, 
Mattox, Thomas, 
Neal, Andrew, 
NoRRis, Jonathan, 
NoRRis, Isaiah, 
Pease, Stephen, 
Pendexter, Edward, 
Pendexter, Eliab, 
Pendexter, Henry, 
Pendexter, Paul, 
Pendexter, Thomas, 
Perry, James, 
Perry, Samuel, 
Perry, Joseph, 
Perkins, Daniel, 
Pike, John, 
Pike, Noah, 
Pike, Bennett, 



EsTEs, Jonathan, 
Eastman, Daniel, 
Eastman, Ohadiah, 
Eastman, Ezekiel, 
Eastman, Jacoh, 
Ellis, John, 
Fessenden, William, 
Gray, Joshua, 
Gray, Daniel, 
Gray, Isaac, 
Gray, John, 
Gray, George, 
Gordon, Joseph, 
Graffam, Unite, 
Gilpatric, John, 
Graffam, Theodore, 
Guptill, Daniel, 
Holmes, James, 
Holmes, James, Jr., 
Hubbard, Heard, 
Hubbard, Joseph, 
Hammond, Edmund, 
Hamilton, James, 

Sarc;ent, Chase, 
Smith, David, 
Smith, Theophilus, 
Sherburn, Andrew, 
Sherburn, George, 
Sherburn, Samuel, 
Stone, Paul, 
Storer, Benjamin, 
Storer, William, 
Storer, John, 
Shute, John, 
Thompson, Joseph M., 
Thompson, Isaac, 
Trafton, Charles, 
Treadwell, Mastres, 
FiN'EY, Richard, 
Weymouth, James, 
Wormwood, James, 
Whitten, James, 
Whitten, Richard, 
Whales, John, 
Weeks, Samuel, 
Wilson, Joseph. 

At the time of the incorporation the town was divided into si.\ "classes," 
or districts, each having a "class-master" chosen for a year, with the following 
appropriations for the schools : 

Class No. I. Noah Barker, 14s. to hire a teacher. 

" No. 2. William Chadbourne, fS.43. 

" No. 3. Abram Barrens, ^i as. gd. 

" No. 4. James Wilson, £1 6s. 3d. 

" No. 5. Asahel Cole, £2 os. 3d. 

" No. 6. Chase Sawyer, ^i 8s. 


Francis Small may properly be assigned to the head of this list, as he 
was the first known settler, then a "squatter," and afterwards the first white 
proprietor of the township. As we have intimated, he had strayed through 
the wilderness, and built a small house where the village now stands, said 
house being burned by the Indians while he was secreted within sight of all 
their movements. Small was a trader at Kittery. It is said that Captain .Sun- 
day was on good terms with Small, and to make good his loss, deeded him the 
extensive tract of land which was conveyed b)- the Indian deed signed by 
Sunday, now in possession of a descendant. 

Henry Pentl(^X.tcr was a son of Henry, and Deborah Wellfeald. He was 
descended from an ancient family of respectability in the Isle of Jersey. The 
surname was originally I'oingdestre, and became Poindexter after settlement in 


England. It is now spelled variously. Mr. Pendexter came up from Bidde- 
ford in 1773, and opened his clearing by cutting down trees on about two acres. 
This was burned, the logs piled, and the following spring he went up with his 
two eldest sons with considerable provision, and planted his burnt ground with 
corn. Having built a small, comfortable camp the year previous, in which he 
lodged while working on his first clearing, he left his sons there to cut down 
weeds, watch the corn, and ieep the bears away. These lads remained at their 
camp alone from spring until fall. They had a gun and fishing tackle, and as 
game and fish were plenty managed to live first-rate ; so they said when old 
men. But they were lonesome and homesick, and betimes climbed a hill and 
looked down river in hope of seeing their father coming. Mr. Pendexter moved 
his family into a log-house in the autumn of 1784. (See Pendexter Genealogy.) 

James Holmes moved his family from Scarborough to Francisborough 
in 1774. His son James was eight years of age at the time of removal, and 
he was born Aug. 30, 1766. The Holmes family was settled early in Scar- 
borough, having come from Massachusetts, and were of the same ancestry of 
Dr. Oliver Wendell, Holmes, the poet. Members were intermarried with many 
of the most respectable families near the coast, and there are descendants of 
James now living in Porter and other towns near Cornish. 

John Durgin came into the plantation as early as Henry Pendexter and 
Holmes ; some say he was the first pioneer to pitch here. I am not acquainted 
with the genealogy of this race, but suppose the numerous families now domi- 
ciled in adjoining and near towns are the descendants of John, who was the 
last plantation collector, in 1792-3. He was an owner in the first grisf-mill 
and saw-mill on the Great Ossipee river in the plantation. 

Asahel Cole came with others of the name from Biddeford in 1775. He 
was not a man of education, but being public spirited, he took an active part 
in affairs. He was a magistrate, and tried all cases at his own house, where 
his wife, who is said to have had more education, could sit in an adjoining 
room and hear the evidence. When he reached the point of the proceedings 
where he must render his decision he would excuse himself for a moment, leave 
the room, and hold a secret consultation with his wife in the kitchen. Her 
opinions always passed for law and were never overruled by the higher courts. 
Mrs. Cole was a Hammond, and was no doubt a remarkably intelligent and 
strong-minded woman, whose good judgment bridged the gulf of her husband's 
illiteracy. But Cole had solid common sense, which was much better than 

Dea. Noah Jewett was one of the founders of Cornish, and was chosen 
a deacon of the first church organization ; a carpenter by trade and in the year 
1800 built the first Cornish meeting-house from a plan made by Dr. Cyrus 
Snell, now in existence. Deacon Jewett was a genuine Puritan, possessing the 
stern religious zeal characteristic of his time. He was fully conscious of 


the importance of his sacred office, and claimed a share of that deference 
supposed to be due to the dignitaries of the period. He had not only failings 
but the virtues of the Puritan believer; in person said to be small, of swarthy 
complexion, and led forward by an enormous nose, a facial appendage that has 
been duplicated by some of his descendants who are supposed to be proud of 
this inheritance from the anatomy of their progenitor. (For the family gene- 
alogy, see second part.) 

"Uncle Ebeii Barker" was a soldier of the Revolution, and after his 
return married a widow whose husband had died in the army, leaving one child. 
He came early to Cornish and settled south of the Deacon Jewett farm, where 
he lived to old age, esteemed, honored, and beloved by all who knew him. 
He was of pleasing personal appearance, having blue eyes, a fresh complexion, 
and prominent nose that indicated stability. His form was portly and well 
proportioned; said to be a man of rare good sense and prudent of speech. 
(For the genealogy, see second part of this work.) 

"Uncle Bennett" Pike was a son of John Pike, of Epping, N. H., 
who was a proprietor of a tract of wild land in Francisborough. He sent his 
two sons, John and Bennett, into the wilderness to open a clearing on his claim 
when they were aged respectively nineteen and sixteen. The sons felled trees, 
burnt the ground, and raised a bountiful corn crop. This land was on what 
has long been called the High road, and here the two pioneers decided to set- 
tle. "Uncle Bennett" married Dolly Morrill, of Epping, in 17S7; secondly, 
Hannah Brasbree, who was a woman of remarkable intellectual force and 
culture, who exerted a powerful influence to stimulate her husband along the 
same line. He was said to be a Henry Clay looking man, tall, spare, and 
nimble ; a man of superior intellect and solidity of character, who wielded a 
salutary and wholesome influence in his community. He wore the con\en- 
tional blue swallow-tailed coat, ornamented with gilt buttons and surmounted 
by an enormously high collar, which formed a good support for his hat. He 
lived to old age, and when he had died they laid him to rest alongside of the 
town fathers in the little grave-yard at the mouth of the road. (Genealogy 
in second part.) 

Samuel Boynton, one of the early settlers, came from Stratham, N. H., 
and was brother-in-law of Deacon Jewett. He settled on the Hio-h road • was 
a worthy man, possessed of a "peppery temper"; capable in town business; 
in person tall and spare. He was twice married; second wife, Mary Deering 
a short, stout, intellectual woman of serene temperament, well calculated to 
get on with the crusty husband. She was an unwavering believer in ghosts 
witches, and fairies, and in her old age caused troubled dreams for the chil- 
dren by the stories she told of what she had seen and heard. 

Joseph M. Thompson was one of the early men of Francisborough 
township and the first to build a house where the village now stands • a log- 


house, laid up about 1782, on the main street, near where the old law office 
stands. He was born at Exeter, N. H., Nov. 12, 175 1, and served in the 
Revolution, being at the battle of Bunker Hill. He was a man of enterprise 
and business ability, who did much to advance the settlement and growth of 
the town of Cornish. He built a small frame house a little way south, the 
first at the village, which is still standing, but removed from its original site 
to make room for the stately residence built by his son, of whom hereafter; 
He died Nov. 18, 1840. 

Dr. Benjamin Thompson, son of the preceding, was born in Cornish 
in 1792, and died in 1874, only a few rods from where he first saw the light. 
In early days he was a school teacher. He studied medicine with Dr. William 
Swazey, of Limerick, and afterwards attended a course of anatomical lectures 
at Fryeburg, delivered by Dr. Alexander Ramsey, one of the most learned 
graduates of the Medical College of Edinburgh, Scotland. His diploma was 
received from the Medical College of Maine. He practised continually from 
182 1 until his death, and was considered by the medical fraternity to be one 
of the most profound and skillful physicians and surgeons of his time. He was 
a man of considerable eccentricity ; something like Doctor Ramsey. " As odd 
as Doctor Thompson" was a common phrase. He was skeptical in regard to 
religion, and his doubts stuck to him to his last hours. Because he did not 
know he would not believe. Faith was not his inheritance. He was logical 
and courted discussion; was tenacious, unyielding; kind to the poor, he com- 
passionately went by night or day to relieve them when ill, and never distressed 
them for a fee. He was strictly honest and frank of speech ; eminently social, 
fond of lively amusement, and enjoyed festive occasions. He acknowledged 
that his great mistake was in living a single life. His reputation was well 
deserved, and when he died he was greatly missed by all classes. 


Baldwin, situated on the west shore of Lake Sebago, was formed from a 
tract, including Sebago, granted in 1774 to the survivors of the company of 
Captain Flint, of Concord, Mass. The Massachusetts Government had pre- 
viously, about 173s, granted township No. 3, east of the Connecticut river, to 
the same grantees who settled upon it and remained until 1751; and from 
that time until 1774, no proprietors' records have been found. When the 
boundary line between Massachusetts and New Hampshire was established, 
the land granted to Captain Flint was found to be in the latter state ; hence 
he and his associates lost the grant and all their outlay in settling there. 

Samuel Whittemore and Amos Lawrence petitioned for a new grant, and 
the two townships were conceded on condition that thirty families should be 
settled there within six years. The conditions had not been fulfilled in 1780, 


and the state extended the time six years more. By great exertion they were 
able to comply with the terms and saved their grant by "the skin of their 
teeth," for they had to "strain a point" to count thirty families in 1790. The 
plantation name of the tract was Flintstown. A petition for incorporation was 
formulated in 1800, in which they stated that the conditions of their grant did 
not require them to build a house of worship, to settle a minister, nor to make 
roads through the township ; that they were destitute of a meeting-house and 
minister; that the twenty miles of county roads built through the township 
were in a dangerous condition for teams, carriages, or horses ; that this was 
detrimental to the inhabitants of the township and the public, as all in the 
Pequawket country and Upper Coos must needs pass through on their way to 
the sea-ports ; that there were less than sixty families in the township, very 
poor, and scattered over rough, mountainous land. This petition was signed 
by the persons whose names follow: 

William Fitch, Jacob Clark, 

Joseph Fitch, Jacob Rowe, 

Ephraim Bachelder, Jr., David Potter, 

Joseph Pierce, William Bickford, 

Ephraim Brown, Samuel Burnell, 

John C. Flint, James Cook, 

Joseph Lakin, Benjamin Ingalls, 

John Burnell, John Burnell, Jr., 

Isaac Fly, Joseph Richardson, 

Eleazer Flint, Samuel Sawyer, 

Charles Wiggin, William Ingalls, 

Richard Fitch, Eben. Lord, 

Joseph Lakin, Jr., Samuel Scribner, 
David Brown. 

The town was incorporated June 23, 1802, and named for Loammi Bald- 
win, one of the pioneer settlers. On August 30th, following, a meeting for 
town organization was held. Religious meetings ^vere occasionally held at 
private dwellings, but no minister was settled until 1S24, ^vhen Rev. Noah 
Emerson was induced to become the pastor of the Congregational church. 
The Methodists claimed a share of the ministerial fund, which not only 
resulted in an ecclesiastical quarrel — the most bitter sort of a quarrel that 
the devil ever instigated — but in a suit at law, in which the Supreme Court 
decided against the claimants. 

The Saco river forms the southwestern and southern boundary of the 
town. Saddle-back mountain has an altitude of 2,000 feet; on its side there 
is a remarkable, perpendicular, precipitous rock, estimated to be 400 feet in 
height, around which cluster many unfounded traditions. 



Hon. Josiah Pierce was born in Baldwin, Aug. 15, 1792; graduated at 
Bowdoin College in 18 18, and in 182 1 opened a law office in Gorham; was 
elected to offices of town trust; was representative to the Legislature in 1834-5, 
state senator for three years, and president of the Senate. From 1846 to 1856 
he was Judge of Probate for Cumberland county. In early life he was a writer 
of very good poetry. He died June 26, 1866, aged 73. His son of the same 
name was Secretary of Legation at Russia under Caleb Cushing. He has 
since been made a Baron and lives in England. 

Eleazer Flint, descended from Thomas Flint, who was in Salem before 
1650, came from Massachusetts and took up an extensive tract of land, from 
which some of the best farms were cleared. He was a "father of the town" 
and the name of his family was applied to the plantation. His descendants 
have been industrious, frugal, and much respected, and the venerable Eleazer 
Flint, now living, is a man of superior intelligence, whose homestead is a model 
of good order and agricultural prosperity. 

Zebulon Larrabee, second son of William and Mary, Was born in Scar- 
borough, in 1757, and came through the wilderness to Baldwin, then Flints- 
town, in 1782, and was one of the first settlers. He was a man of enormous 
build, weighing nearly three hundred pounds, and so strong that no two men 
in town could hold him down. He was found dead in his bed and was laid 
down in the family lot back of the mansion now owned by Tirnothy Brown. 
His two brothers, Joshua and James, came into the plantation at the same 
time and all were useful citizens. (See Genealogy.) 

William Fitch and others of the name were among the early settlers of 
Baldwin, and the family has been prominent as one of progress and public 
spirit both in this town and Sebago, adjoining. 

Joseph Lakin came from Groton, Mass., and was an early resident 
of Sebago, but was originally in Flintstown. He was ancestor of the Lakins of 
Harrison and Bridgton, Joseph, Jr., having died in old age in the former town. 

John Burnell, John, Jr., and Samuel were among the founders of 
Baldwin. This family was descended from French ancestors, who spelled the 
surname Bernelk. Many of this connection still reside in town. 

Ephraim Bachelder and Ephraim, Jr., were here early. They were 
descended from the Rev. Stephen Bachiler, who came from England and 
figured in the colonial history of New Hampshire. The family has been a 
prolific one in the southern towns of the Granite state; branches were early 
established in various sections of Maine, and many distinguished scholars and 
divines have borne the name. The descendants of the Baldwin family are 
industrious and full of energy. Some spell the name Bachellor and Bacheller. 

Jacob Rowe, Joseph Pierce, Joseph Richardson, Ephraim Brown, David 


Brown, Jacob Clark, David Potter, William Bickford, Isaac Fly, Chase V\'iggin, 
Samuel Sawyer, Ebenezer Lord, and Samuel Scribner were early settlers in 
Flintstown, but some of tiiese families were set off on land conceded to Sebago. 
Descendants of nearly all are now living in these and adjoining towns, and 
are among the best citizens and successful farmers. 


This township was first settled by Lieut. Benjamin Ingalls, a native of 
Andover, Mass., who came to the Great Falls on Saco river, in company with 
five others, in 1774. One of this number was iJaniel Foster, a brother-in-law. 
These pioneers surveyed several lots, and the original record, in the hand- 
writing of Lieutenant Ingalls, with its quaint orthography, runs as follows : 

"Sept. 5th 1774 then Daniel Foster and Abial Messer and John Curtis 
and Ebenezer Herrick and Benjamin Ingalls came up to the Great Falls on 
Saco Rivor the west sid and Laid out a Tract of Land for each of ous as 
follows viz: — 

" Begining [at] a maple Tree on ye River Bank against Bryants Pond So 
Called Running West 160 Rods then Runing Sowth 80 Rods then Running 
East to Saco River Ebenezer Herricks Loot N i Pine tree then By the Side 
of Herricks Loot & one for John Curtis N 2 Pine tree 80 Rods down ye Rivor 
to a Read Oak Tree markt f then 80 Rods own the Rivor to a White Pine 
Tree markt f . 

" Sept. 6th then Daniel Foster Abial Messer John Curtis and Ebenezer 
Herrick Layed out a Loot for Benja. Ingalls then Begun att a Pine Tree on 
the Bank of Sawco Rivor about 60 rods above Hancock Brook Runing west 
100 Polls to a maple tree markt IIII then Runing Sowth 600 Polls to a hem- 
lock tree IIII then Runing East to a Pine on the Bank of Saco Rivor att the 
mouth of a Littell Brook which Runs out of the medow Cald \\'oodsoms 
medow Laied out and Bownded as above for Benjamin Ingalls & we markt it 

" Sept. loth 1786 Mr Joshua Davis of flintstown went with me and Pre- 
ambed the Lines and Bownds of my Lott as above. 

"July IS 1786 Mess Joshua Davis and Jess Walker went with me and 
Vewed the Bownds of my Land that I Laied owt in agust and Sept. 1774." 

The above mentioned tract taken possession of by Lieutenant Ingalls was 
situated on the west side of Saco river, extending from the brook above Hiram 
Falls to a point above Hancock's brook, and includes the whole plot where 
the village of Hiram Bridge now stands. 

In 1790 Gen. Peleg Wadsworth, a native of Duxbridge, Mass., and a 
Revolutionary patriot, purchased a tract of land in the plantation of Massa- 
chusetts consisting of 7,800 acres, from which he cleared an extensive and 
valuable farm, where, according to a statement published in the Eastern Her- 
ald, Sept. 10, 1792, he raised more than 1,000 bushels of corn on burnt land 
at a place called Great Ossipee, about thirty-six miles from Portland. In 


1 795 he built a house and settled his son, Charles L. Wadsworth, on this tract 
of land. On Feb. 27, 1807, the township was incorporated by the name of 
Hiram, in honor of Hiram, King of Tyre. General Wadsworth being a man 
of liberal education, wealth, and public spirit, who took a leading part in the 
affairs of the town, was regarded as its patriarch. In 1800 he built for him- 
self a country mansion here, the most stately and pretentious ever built in 
town, to which he moved in 1807. We cannot close our brief sketch with 
more appropriate words than the following, copied from an address prepared 
by Llewellyn A. Wadsworth, and delivered at the family reunion at Duxbury 
in 1882: "On a high plateau in the valley of the winding and silvery Saco, 
whose majestic cataract makes endless melody as its bright waters roll onward 
to the sea, set like a gem in its circlet of hills and mountains, the old ancestral 
Wadsworth mansion still stands. On an eminence nearly in the shadow of 
' the forest primeval,' sleeps the honored patriarch among his kindred, well 
worthy of the eulogium upon his tablet: 'He was a Patriot, a Philanthropist, 
and a Christian.' " 


Three Hills of Rocks. — Maj. William Phillips, who lived at Saco, 
purchased several tracts of land of the Indians; some of these extended back 
into the country thirty-five or forty miles. In a deed bearing date 1666, Cap- 
tain Sunday conveyed to him "three hills of rock" about forty miles back 
from the sea on Saco river. In conveying shares of this property Phillips 
designates "it as a mine commonly accounted a silver mine," and says he 
had sold divers shares to gentlemen in Boston. The early inhabitants were 
deceived by the glistening of the "isinglass," or sheets of mica, in the rocks 
on the cliffs of the mountains and supposed these to be rich in deposits of 
silver. It has not been ascertained just where the three hills of rock were 
situated, and considerable speculation has been rife in relation to them. There 
are three eminences in Hiram about one-half mile above the great fall on the 
east side of the Saco, on the line between the counties of Cumberland and 
Oxford, which correspond with the somewhat indefinite description found in 
the various conveyances, and the distance from the sea. As these hills are 
comprised in a tract of 1,500 acres of land taxed to the heirs of Phillips in 
1807, in Hiram, and being rocky, hilly, and almost unfit for farming purposes, 
and on the opposite side of the river from the other lands owned by Major 
Phillips, there are good grounds for the theory that these are the identical 
hills purchased because of their supposed value as mining property. Pictur- 
esque fancy beholds a group of speculative men with Major Phillips viewing 
these shining hills as the sunlight glinted upon the mica in the clefts of the 
rocks, while the owner discoursed upon their great value as he sold shares at 


long range to gentlemen from Boston. But they were just such fools as have 
succeeded them during the nineteenth century. 

The Hancock Ponds. — These sheets of water, embosomed among the 
towering hills, derived their names from William Hancock, son of William, 
who came from Londonderry, Ireland, to Buxton. He had built a hunting 
camp near the larger pond and retired to that sylvan retreat to hunt and trap 
for the winter. Tradition, well supported by several reliable persons who lived 
at the time, makes one John Brown, a native of Scarborough, come to Buxton 
with a hand-sled loaded with valuable furs and wearing a coat known to have 
belonged to Hancock. He immediately went to Portland, where he disposed 
of his peltry, and disappeared to be seen no more. Search revealed the vacant 
camp and a spoon bearing Hancock's name, but neither his body, gun, nor traps 
were ever discovered. Hancock's brook furnishes the water power at Hiram 
Corner and flows into the Saco on the east side, opposite the town-house. It 
was known as Hancock's brook when the first survej' of land was made, in 
1774. No mention of this son was made in the will of William Hancock, Sr., 
made in 1769, but his name was found, with that of his brother John, in the 
inventory of the estate taken in 1770. 


Lieut. Benjamin Ingalls, the first pioneer, was bom to Moses arid 
Maria Ingalls, in Andover, Mass., Aug. i, 1728, O. S. He entered the British 
army and was captured at Louisburg by Sir \\'illiam Pepperill in 1745. In 
1 76 1 he was commissioned as lieutenant. About 1765 he left the army and 
made voyages to sea. In 1774 he came to Great Falls on the Saco river, 
where he surveyed several lots of land, one of which he settled on ; this was 
at the bend of the river, and the cellar was to be seen not many years back. 
While living here his nearest neighbors were James Howard, in Brownfield, 
and Mr. Cookson, in Standish. In October, 1785, the "great freshet" swept 
away his house, hovel, and blacksmith shop. He then removed to Flintstown, 
now Baldwin, and settled near "Ingalls pond." He and his wife died in 
Hiram, at the home of Capt. Charles L. Wad.sworth, but were buried in Bald- 
win, (See Genealogy of Ingalls Family.) 

Daniel Foster was the second settler of Hiram. Ho located not far 
from the bend in the Saco, and the hill in the road there was known as Foster's 
hill. He died about 1780, without leaving- issue. It was the first death after 
the settlement of the town. His grave was in the pines by the road-side 
near the H. Wadsworth road, where a monument has been erected. 

James Eastman was a soldier of the French and Indian war and served 
in the Revolution. He and his wife are remembered as they went from house 
to house among the farmers, when advanced in life, to dress the crop of flax. 


His house was upon a slight rise of ground in a narrow field, now in the woods 
under the hill below the buildings of Artemas Richardson, and his lonely grave 
may be seen in the forest on a hill-side, some distance from where he lived. 
His age cannot be ascertained. 

John Watson, said to have come from England with a brother who set- 
tled in Kennebunk, after serving in the Revolution, came to Hiram in 1778. 
His house, on the bank of the river, was swept away by the great freshet of 
1785. He then built near where Walter F. Watson has resided since. His 
son John was the first male child born in town. Thomas, another son, was a 
justice of the peace. From this family the Watsons of HLram are descended. 

Daniel Boston, descended from an old family in York, Me., came early 
to Denmark, then a part of Brownfield, and opened a clearing not far from 
Saco river, on the southwest side of the three eminences known as " Boston 
Hills." In June of 1784 he moved to Hiram Hill, on the west side of the Saco. 
Crossing on a raft he lost his kettles and crockery. His house was built on 
the farm since called the "Craig place," where Llewellyn A. Wadsworth now 
resides. The clay used in building his chimney was carried in a basket on 
his shoulders a distance of a half mile up a steep ascent from the bank of the 
Saco. He finally removed to Vermont, where he died. (See Boston Genealogy.) 

John Burbank came from Kennebunk in 1778; was an early school- 
master in Hiram; a soldier of the Revolution; settled on the farm in Hiram 
since owned by Nathan Kimball. His son Israel was the first postmaster of 
Hiram; his commission bears date Dec. 14, 1803; he was in the war of 1812. 
Asa, another son, was a lieutenant under Gov. Caleb Strong; his commission 
was dated Sept. 15, 1813; he died Oct. 26, 1858, aged 72. Sarah, his wife, 
died Oct. 30, 1865, aged 82. Their son John was an assessor in 1805. 

John Clemons came from Danvers, Mass., some time in 1780. He was 
in Fryeburg in May of that year on the memorable "dark day." When he 
came to Hiram he tarried with the family of Capt. John Lane for a night. At 
supper time the children of the families were so numerous that not more than 
half could be supplied with gourd-shell bowls from which to eat. Mrs. Lane 
was equal to the occasion. Having an old chair with a concave leathern bot- 
tom she poured two quarts of bean porridge into it, and the hearty children 
gathered about this t/isA on legs and ate their supper. Mr. Clemons and his 
wife experienced many hardships during the early years of their residence in 
Hiram; for seven years she did not see the face of a white woman. (See 

John Bucknell came from Fryeburg to Hiram with his son Simeon in 
1785. In 1792 Simeon built the house where his son Andrew since lived 
and died. The latter was constable for twenty-five years; was captain of the 
militia ; so was Simeon. 

Lemuel Howard came from Brownfield in 1785; married Hannah, 


daughter of John Clemens, and settled on the farm since known as the William 
Cotton place. His son John was an ofificer in the war of 1812. 

John Ayer was living in Hiram as early as 1787, where Jacob Buck 
since lived. He built the first grist-mill in town; it was on "Thirteen Mile 
brook," just above the old "red mill." He and Capt. Charles Wadsworth 
built the first bridge across the Saco in Hiram, about 1805 ; sometimes held 
religious meeting. 

John McLucas came from HoUis or Buxton in 1787, and settled opposite 
Henry B. Fly's lane. He was a soldier of the Revolution. Mr. McLucas was 
a man of giant strength. At one time, in the presence of General Wadsworth, 
he requested one son to guide the plow and another to ride on the beam ; he 
then put the chain over his shoulder and drew the plow through the ground 
powerfully. The astonished General, who had called on McLucas to hire him 
for farm work, exclaimed : "Bless me! bless me! I wouldn't have such a man 
in my field." Five of his sons enlisted for the war of 181 2 in one day. 

Timothy Cntler had a grant of land in 1788, consisting in part of a 
portion of Mt. Cutler, which was named for him. His house was where 
George W. Osgood has since lived. 

William Gray, a Revolutionary soldier, went from HoUis to Hiram, and 
settled below the fall in 1793. He was a blacksmith, as was his son of the 
same name who was in the war of 18 12. Mr. Gray moved to Cornish. 

James Fly came into town in 1794, sitting down on the well-known 
Marshall Warren place. He was a soldier of the French and Indian war ; 
probably connected with the Fly family, early inhabitants of Scarborough. 
Mr. Fly was also a veteran of the Revolution. Henry Fly owned the powder 
horn he carried in the colonial service, upon which his name was carved. 
Elder James Fly was of this family. 

Capt. Thomas Spring settled in Hiram in 1794; at that time brought 
six children; built his house where Marshall Spring has since lived. He was 
with Montgomery in the assault on Quebec; in the Revolutionary war; with 
Arnold on the Plains of Abraham, and with Washington in the battle of ^^'hite 
Plains; was the first to open a public house in Hiram. (See Genealogy.) 

John Pierce, an honored and public-spirited resident of Hiram, came 
in 1794; was one of the early town officers. He was connected with the 
distinguished family of Baldwin. The Pierces now li\'ing on the homestead 
are descended from this early settler. 

William Storer, descended from the old Wells' family of this name 
came in 1795. He, too, was a soldier of the Revolution. His house stood 
where the grave-yard now is. The children lived to old age and were respected. 
His wife was Sarah, daughter of Joshua Chadbourne. 

Capt. Charles L. Wadsworth settled in town in 1795. He was the 
eldest son of General Peleg; was one of the first captains of the militia; held 


several town offices. He died in 1848, aged 72, leaving a large family, of 
whom four sons settled in Hiram. Of " Captain Charlie " many quaint stories 
are told. He was an owner of extensive timber land; sometimes rode a mule 
on his excursions among the lumbermen ; this animal is said to have carried 
him safely over the Saco by night on a bridge stringer; an event the rider did 
not know of until the following day when the workmen making repairs dis- 
covered the print of the shoe-caulks in the stringer. 

Marshall Lewis was among the early settlers. He came from Fryeburg 
and lived opposite where the Joshua Sargent barn stands. His wife was a 
daughter of Daniel E. Cross. Mr. Lewis served in the artillery company of 
Capt. Rufus Mclntire, in 1812, and was killed in the battle of Oswego. His 
widow toiled hard to bring up the children. At one time of scarcity their 
stock of provisions was reduced to a small quantity of bran. The eldest of 
the six children was the wife of Col. Charles Wadsworth. (See Genealogy.) 


Jonathan K. Lowell, a Revolutionary soldier, came from Baldwin at 
an early day, and settled near where William A. Storer has lived. His son of 
the same name married Mary, daughter of Lemuel Howard, and was ancestor 
of those who bear this name in Hiram. 

William Cotton came from Cornish to Hiram as early as 1799, and 
settled on land among the mountains where his son Lemuel afterwards lived. 
His wife was a daughter of Lemuel Howard. He was one of the veterans of 
18 1 2, and the progenitor of families of the name in town. Several members 
of this family are buried in a pretty little grove on a knoll near the old Cotton 

Asa Osgood, a Revolutionary soldier, early made his home on the farm 
since owned by Royal Clark, and was head of the family of this name in Hiram. 

John Tyler and his brother David, before 1800, lived on the Stephen 
Ridlon place near "Tyler hill," so-called. The family moved away near the 
close of the century. 

Josiah Mabry came from Windham, and succeeded the Tylers on the 
Ridlon farm. He had first settled near Hancock's pond. From Hiram hill 
the family removed to the place where they have of late resided. They prob- 
ably came in before 1800. 

Gen. Peleg Wadsworth came to live on his land in Hiram, Jan. i, 
1807. He erected his mansion house in 1800. Stephen Jewett, of Cornish, 
was the carpenter employed, and Capt. Theophilus Smith, of the same town, 
the mason. This house is standing as a monument of good material and 
thorough workmanship that have stood the wear and tear of 94 years. (See 
account of town settlement.) 


Capt. Edmund Skilliilgs came to Hiram before 1800, and lived below 
John Spring's. 

Philip Corey came about the same date and settled on the Enoch Tread- 
well place at South Hiram. 

Moses (jOnld and Aaron lived on the Harrison Scribner farm as early 
as t8oo. About fifty acres of second growth wood, some graves there, some 
cellars near, are evidences of the early existence of a homestead. 

James Glillmore lived where Alexander Brazier has lived latterly, in 

Dea. Edward Ricliardson, from Standish, was living in Hiram in 18 10; 
was settled on the hill east of Bryant's pond, where John L. Kimball has since 
lived; a member of the Freewill Baptist church; twelve children. 

Dea. Epliraim Kimball came to town about 18 10, settling on the side 
of Tearcap hill, near the Mabry place. 

Col. John Warren came from Gorham, Me., in 18 13 and purchased 
the farm where his son Nathaniel afterwards lived. Major Nathaniel, father 
of the Colonel, came a few years later and domiciled near. He was a soldier 
of the Revolution. (See Genealogy.) 


Brownfield was formed from three grants of land conveyed by Massa- 
chusetts to Capt. Henry Young Brown in recognition of his services in the 
French war. The condition of these grants, which comprised 8,544 acres, 
mostly included in Brownfield, required him to settle thirty-eight families in 
the township by June 10, 1770; and in three years thereafter he was to see 
that a minister was settled there. The first clearing was opened in 1765; the 
settlement organized as "Brownfield plantation" in 1787. In 1799 a petition 
was sent to the General Court, signed by twenty-four men, asking for the 
incorporation of the township, to be called Dover; but when it was incor- 
porated, in 1802, it was named in honor of the principal proprietor. The 
population in 18 12 was less than 900, but of this number twenty-five entered 
the army; of these, four died in the service, and two of the eighteen who 
returned were wounded. 

The first settled minister was Rev. Jacob Rice, who came in i8o6 from 
Henniker, N. H., at the earnest request of friends who had known him before 
coming from that place to the new plantation. He was a graduate of Har- 
vard, 1765; was a man of much literary ability, an able preacher, who was 
universally beloved by those with whom he associated. Another early min- 
ister was Rev. Tillius How, a son of Eliakim How, who moved from Henniker 
to Brownfield about 1800. He was graduated at Dartmouth, 1783; died in 
Fryeburg in 1830. 


Joseph Howard was appointed postmaster in Brownfield in 1803, and 
held the office about thirty years. 

The first mills in the town were built by Capt. John Lane on "Ten-Mile 
brook," so-called. A mill was built on Shepard's river (named for one Shep- 
ard, an early hunter) by those who owned the land near it, — Bean, Miller, 
Webster, Merrill, and others. 

Master Simeon Colby was the first school-master in the single district 
and was held in great respect ever after. 

In 1806 a petition was forwarded to the General Court for the incor- 
poration of a Baptist society, and signed by twenty-eight of the inhabitants, 
which contained the following: "We your Petitioners Inhabitants of the 
Town of Brownfield and Pleasant mountain Gore respectfully represent, that 
being convinced that Religion is a matter of the greatest importance and 
Immediately concerns every one of the human race, and being fully convinced 
that every society ought to be regular and observe such rules as will promote 
the cause of religion and good order in the same, and believing that the peo- 
ple called regular Baptists are the most Scriptural, in their doctrine, discipline 
and mode of worship, of any denomination of Christians in this our day, and 
feeling ourselves willing to help support the above named order according to 
our several abilities, we therefore pray, that your Honors would incorporate 
us and our estates and such others as shall hereafter join with us into a society 
by the name of the ' Baptist Society of Brownfield and Pleasant Mountain 
Gore,' with all the privileges, powers and immunities to which other Societies 
of a like nature in this Commonwealth are entitled, and as in duty bound will 
ever pray." Signed: 

Elder Tristram Jordan, Thomas Symonds, 

Dea. Ephraim Jewell, Stephen Pearl, 

Joseph Watson, Mial Jordan, 

Asa Ingalls, Daniel Lowell, 

Isaac Berry, Jr., Thomas Pingree, 

Parson Pingree, Francis McKusick, ■ 

Ephraim Jewett, William Jewett, 

Henry Berry, James Harnden, 

Samuel Whidden, John Whidden, 

Daniel Hill, George Lord, 

Jacob Frost, Paul Gray, 

John Cram, Silas Snow, 

Thomas Boston, David Whidden, 

Richard Whidden, William Whidden. 


Gen. Daniel Bean was one of the early settlers of Brownfield, who 
stood in the front rank among the active business men. He was born in Lim- 
erick, and came to this new plantation when scarcely twenty-one years of age. 


After marriage he settled upon land purchased in the wilderness, living in a 
cabin containing two rooms. For about ten years he cleared land and lived 
by cultivating his crops by day and making shaved shingles evenings with 
which to purchase his groceries. At the end of this time he disposed of his 
farm and moved to the site of the present village, where he engaged in mer- 
chandising in company with an old friend, Gen. James Steel, who prior to 1800 
was iAe prominent business man in town. He was a man of much public spirit, 
who took an active part in town affairs and filled nearly all the municipal 
offices. In 1827 he represented the classed towns of Porter, Hiram, and 
Brownfield, in the Legislature. He became early interested in military affairs 
and was rapidly promoted from captain of infantry to the rank of brigadier 
general; resigned in 1826 and devoted his attention to trade, milling, and 
farming. In 1846 he sold out to his sons, Sylvanus and Eli. General Bean 
was an old-time Whig of the Henry Clay stamp. He was a zealous Free 
Soil man, and an earnest advocate of temperance from the time of the Wash- 
ingtonian movement to the end of life. During the war of the Rebellion he 
was active in his support of the Union and outspoken against the secessionists. 
The Copperhead element in town sought to intimidate him by burning down 
his buildings ; the loss was severe, but did not have the desired effect. As a 
true patriotic citizen he advocated what he believed to be right without fear 
or favor. He died May 15, 1873. (See portrait.) 

Lancaster Hodges, a colored man, born in Danvers, Mass., Jan. 31, 
177 1, came to Brownfield early in life with a family named Jacobs. When 
the family left town, in 1798 or 1800, Lancaster found a home with the Gib- 
sons until a .short time before his death, in May, 1878, at the patriarchal age 
of 107. He was the only person of his race in town until 1S65. "Lank," as 
he was familiarly called, was a general favorite with all the people in town, 
and to all the dances and country "rinktums" he was invited to be guest. 
He was an expert spinner of wool on the Quaker wheel, and Eli B. Bean, Esq., 
has a nice coat for which he spun the yarn; it was woven by the wife of Gen- 
eral Bean. He was the owner of a few sheep that were kept for him by the 
farmers. He was skilled in all kinds of domestic work, and made himself 
useful; was an honest, trusty man. During the last fifty years of his life his 
eyesight failed him and he finally became blind ; but he could travel to any 
part of the town without a guide until rising ninety. He kept his room with 
scrupulous neatness, and after becoming blind used to ask others to come in 
and inspect it to see if any dust had accumulated there. He had a distinct 
recollection of seeing the soldiers starting for Lexington, and of seeing the 
dead and wounded brought to Danvers. The portrait in this work was pro- 
duced from an original taken after he was more than a hundred years of ao-e 
and was paid for by selling duplicate copies in town ; a perfect likeness. 




'ciM"iUan. . 



ftp /co.\^> \0^3*^^ 







Pouyt. JA 

ji£ . arcu^«"*> 


J^is, Cltme-n*. 




Gen. Joseph Frye served in the expedition against Louisburg, and was 
commander of a regiment at Fort William Henry, on Lake George, in 1757. 
As a reward for his sufferings and eminent services the General Court of 
Massachusetts granted him the privilege of selecting " a township six miles 
square on either side of the Saco river between the Great Ossipee and the 
White Mountains, anywhere within those limits where he should not interfere 
with previous grants." 

For a guide to assist in exploring this region he selected Capt. William 
Stark. To gain a view of the surrounding country tradition makes them climb 
the eminence since called Stark's hill. The following lines, taken from a poem 
intended to describe the scene, are worthy of perusal : 

" The valley in its unshorn glory spread 
Far, far beneath them, while the Saco led 
Its mazy wanderings onward now, now turning, 
Like some coquettish girl, roguishly spurning, 
And then, be sure, encouraging again 
The awkward suit of some poor blushing swain. 

One forest all unbroke, save where the sight 

Fell on Chocorua's crags or Kearsarge's heights, 

Or where the silver lakelets gleamed in their summer sheen, 

Or the dewy meadows glistened in their robes of green." 

Colonel Frye selected the territory mainly comprised in the township 
afterwards named in his honor. The grant was made March 3, 1762. One 
sixty-fourth part was set apart for schools, the church, and a settled ministry, 
respectively. The northwest corner of the township proved to be in New 
Hampshire, and when the discovery was made the General Court made good 
the loss by the grant of an equal number of acres (4,147) on the north, called 
"Fryeburg Addition." This latter tract included the Cold river valley and 
was incorporated as Stow in 1834. A tract cut off from Brownfield was added 
to Fryeburg, and the extreme length from north to south was made twelve 
miles; from east to west, seven miles. 

The township was settled with remarkable promptitude. The same year 
of the grant pioneers came in with their cattle from Concord, N. H., and 
commenced preparations for the establishment of homes by cutting away the 
forest and the erection of log-cabins where the village now stands. From 
the natural or wild meadows they found a supply of hay for their cattle. 
From this occurrence the settlement was dated 1762. When cold weather 
came on the married men returned to their families, leaving their live stock 
in the care of Nathaniel Merrill, John Stevens, and one "Limbo," said to have 
been a " darkey." This winter could not have been very lonely, since herds- 


men from Falmouth and Corham kept aliout two hundred head of cattle and 
a dozen horses on the great meadows near. 

In 1763 the settlers came with their families. Others followed and sat 
down on the site of the present villaf^e, then known as the " Seven Lots." On 
tlieir journey through the wilderness, sixty miles from any white settlement, 
the women rode on horseback; they encamped in the forest almost unsheltered 
save by the overarching foliage and star-studded dome. ■ The winter of 1766 
was marked as one of suffering from destitution. Some of the settlers made 
a journey of eighty miles on snow-shoes to Concord and hauled provisions 
for their families the whole distance on hand-sleds. After the next spring's 
planting was done four men went down to Saco for supplies, expecting to 
return in two weeks. They did not come back as anticipated, and the families 
assembled at the home of Major Osgood to consider their fate. Fearing that 
they had been waylaid, it was decided to send forward two men as a searching 
party. Just at this moment some quick ear caught the sound of their paddles 
on Lovewell's pond, close by, and as it was a light night all hastened to the 
water-side. Joyful was the meeting. The men had worn the skin from their 
shoulders by the heavy burdens carried. 

The town was incorporated by the name of Fryeburg, Jan. 11, 1777, in 
the perilous time of the Revolution. 

A meeting-house was built and the Rev. William Fessenden settled with 
a salary of forty-five pounds, to be increased five pounds per annum until it 
reached seventy pounds, when it became fixed. This was to be paid for the 
first six years of his ministry in Indian corn at three shillings per bushel, and 
rye at four shillings. Schoolhouses were built in 1784. At one time three 
forts, built of stockades, were standing in the town. 

There are numerous ponds and streams in the town, forming several con- 
siderable tributaries of the Saco, which here runs in the form of a great loop 
thirty miles in length. Saco pond, now Loxewell's, has an area of two square 
miles, and is a beautiful miniature inland sea. The broad intervales on the 
banks of the Saco at Fryeburg are noted for their extent, richness, and beauty. 
Nearly 10,000 acres of this valuable land is frequently co\ered with fertilizing 
deposits by the inundation of the river which causes it to produce an enor- 
mous burden of grass. The old town is also noted as having been the home 
of the Pequawket Indians, and the battle was fought here between them and 
Capt. John Lovewell, an account of which may be found in the chapter on 
the Sokokis Indians. Fryeburg village, situated on a level and elevated plain, 
is one of the most beautiful, quiet, and restful in the country, and has become 
a popular resort for the city folk. Population of town in 1880, 1,633. 

Freshets on the Saco. — From a diary kept by Lieut, fames \^' alker, 
an early inhabitant of Fryeburg, we make some extracts relating to freshets on 
the Saco. Under date of May 13, 1814, he says it rained three days and 


nights, pouring down like torrents. On the 15 th the intervales were all covered, 
the water rising four feet during that day. It continued to rise until the i8th, 
and reached the highest point known at that season. It swept almost every- 
thing before it. Nineteen saw-mills, two grist-mills, and four dwelling-houses 
were known to be carried off, besides the bridges, logs, and other property. 
May 20, 1819, he enters the statement that the water is the highest since 1814. 
About the middle of October, 1820, he writes of the greatest freshet "I have 
ever known since I lived in Fryeburg." In Bartlett and Conway the loss of 
sheep was estimated to be 3,000, besides cattle and horses. Feb. 10, 1824, he 
writes : " This day and night there was a very great fall of rain; it produced the 
highest water I have ever known. I have lived on the farm about 25 years and 
never knew either of the bridges to go off before. The bridge over the main 
stream was carried off by the ice ; also the canal bridge, which cost ^1,000, was 
carried down the stream." Feb. 15th the ground was nearly bare. August, 
1826, he writes of the most powerful and destructive rain he had ever known. 
The intervales were covered ; the highest banks of the river, at the Island, 
were one and one-half feet under water. In Conway and Bartlett the river 
rose to the greatest height for forty-two years. Lieutenant Walker writes: "I 
have lived on the farm at the Island 27 years and I never knew the like before. 
I calculate it has destroyed 500 tons of meadow hay and grass in this vicinity, 
and as the crop of English hay was cut off by the extreme drouth, cattle must 
be killed or they will starve before spring." April 4, 1827, he records that 
five inches of rain had fallen and two bridges were carried away. May 26th 
he states: "I never knew so much rain and the river so high for so long a 
time since I lived on the farm, which is 28 years." May 3, 1843, "Extra 
freshet; highest for 29 years, which was in 1814; the next highest was in 


Gen. Joseph Frye, the grantee of Fryeburg, was a son of John and 
grandson of Samuel Frye. At the outbreak of the Revolution he was called 
to Cambridge to assemble and organize the patriot troops. He was made a 
brigadier by the provincial Congress, then promoted to a major-general, and 
stationed at Falmouth. He left the service in 1776, ostensibly on account of 
poor health, but it was rumored that some difference with General Washington 
caused him to resign his commission. Two sons were officers in the service, 
Joseph, as captain, Nathaniel, as lieutenant. The hearing of the latter was 
lost at the battle of Monmouth. 

Nathaniel Smith. — In the summer of 1763, this man made his way 
through the wilderness with his family, and may be appropriately designated 
the first settler in the township. General Frye granted him a lease, jointly 
with his wife Ruth, of one-half of a lot during their natural lives, free of rent. 


Sept. 23, 1765, "for and in consideration of the good-will and affection I have 
and do bear to my friend," etc. His son Jonathan was killed in Montgomery's 
unsuccessful attempt to take Quebec. When asked what message he would 
send to his parents he said: "Tell 'em that I wish I could live to whip the 
damned Britishers." 

John Evans, descended from a Welsh ancestry, came to the township 
in November of 1763, in company with his unmarried brother and several 
others. He had spent the summer in clearing land. While on their journey 
they camped in the woods, and in the morning found themselves nearly buried 
in snow. The women rode horseback from Concord, N. H., when there were 
no settlements between Sanford and their destination; no bridges across the 
streams. At the fording-place at Cornish the water of the Great Ossipee was 
very high and they had but one high-posted horse that could carry them over 
without swimming. Mrs. Evans remarked that in crossing she sat on the 
horse "the strongest way." When all had been safely landed they encamped 
on the river bank. Mr. Evans located where the village now stands, and his 
son, Capt. William Evans, who died at the patriarchal age of 90, was the first 
white male child born in the settlement. The members of this family were 
noted for longevity. The mother was a sister of Col. Thomas Stickney, who 
was a hero of Bennington, and was a woman of great resolution and endurance. 

Maj. Samnel Osgood, who led the pioneer party through the wilder- 
ness, settled on the site of the old Oxford house. Here stood the first tavern, 
which was the centre and rallying point of the settlement. Lieut. James 
Osgood erected the Oxford House in 1800. This became one of the most 
noted and popular public houses in the country, and is still held in remem- 
brance by many who sat at the genial fireside. Among the numerous descend- 
ants of Major Samuel was the Rev. Dr. Osgood, for many years a pastor in 
Springfield, Mass. The Osgoods have an honorable history. 

"Squire" Moses Ames was one of the pioneers of the settlement 
established on the site of the present village. He was selectman and repre- 
sentative to the General Court. He was one of the first board of trustees of 
the Academy, had supervision of the building when erected, and "watched 
the driving of every nail, and saw that not one was wasted." 

Jcdediah Spring, descended from John and Elinor who came from 
England to Watertown, Mass., in 1634, was an officer in Capt. Jonathan 
Brown's company, at Lake George, in 1758. He and his wife, whose maiden 
name was Elizabeth Saltmarsh, came to Fryeburg in 1763. He removed across 
the river to Conway. His numerous descendants in Brownfield, Saco and 
Portland, have been noted for their business energy and public spirit. 

Capt. Tiniotliy Walker came into the settlement in 1765 and occupied 
the lot first taken up by John Evans, and traces of his cellar were to be seen 
not many years ago. He built a saw-mill and grist-mill at the outlet of Walker's 


pond. In Rev. Paul Coffin's journal of his missionary journey to the settle- 
ment, in 1768, he mentions the forty acres of corn, grass, and English grain, 
all very rich, found on Captain Walker's farm. He wrote that two or three 
tons of hay were grown to the acre, and that his improvements were surpris- 
ingly large considering that the work had been done in three years. Many of 
the Walkers were remarkable men. Lieut. John was an old forest ranger, a 
soldier at Fort William Henry, and afterward at the fall of Quebec. He was 
noted for his gigantic proportions and commensurate physical strength; was a 
consummate boxer and wrestler, who championed all the members of his com- 
pany or regiment. Ezekiel Walker lived near Bear pond and was the first 
inn-keeper licensed by the town. 

Col. David Page came in 1765. He had been one of the "Rogers 
Rangers," and was wounded in the service. He was a prominent man in the 
settlement ; became a magistrate. 

David Evans, a brother of John, came into town, a single man, in 1763, 
and two years after took to himself a wife. He was one of the settlers on the 
■»" Seven Lots " which formed the nucleus of the village. 

"Squire" Nathaniel Merrill came with the preceding and was also 
unmarried until 1765. He had also been a "Rogers Ranger"; settled on 
one of the "Seven Lots"; was a man of prominence in the plantation and a 
competent surveyor. 

Lieut. Caleb Swan came in 1766 from Andover, Mass. Sailing from 
Newburyport, he and a companion landed at Saco, and thence forced their 
way up the river along the old Indian trail, driving three cows, a yoke of oxen, 
and a horse. Two nights were passed in the woods with but little shelter. 
They crossed the Great Ossipee on rafts. The lot drawn by him was in the 
lower part of the town, but he "pitched" at the rapids. He was a graduate 
of Harvard and distinguished himself at the college. He was an officer in 
the French war ; a man of strict integrity. His wife was Dorothy Frye, sister 
of the Colonel. 


This town was incorporated Feb. 20, 1807. About two-thirds of its area 
was taken from Brownfield and the remainder from " Pleasant Mountain 
Gore," containing about nine thousand acres granted by the General Court of 
Massachusetts to Fryeburg Academy, and a tract one mile square called Fos- 
ter's Grant." This was within that territory known as the "Pequawket coun- 
try." The town lies on the eastern boundary of Oxford county, with Fryeburg 
on the north, and is eight miles long and six miles wide from east to west. A 
large part of the area is water, there being several large ponds from which 
the issuing streams afford ample power for the various mills. All streams are 
tributary to the Saco river. There is a group of mountains, consisting of eight 


elevations, some ten miles in circumference, the highest of which is known as 
Pleasant mountain, whose summit is estimated as 2,000 feet above the sea. 
There are two other peaks, called Boston hills, near the western boundary. 
A remarkable cold spring pours forth its clear water near the road to West 
Denmark. The lands are very broken and full of stones, and the pioneers 
had courage like a diamond drill to dig out their farms here. There is enough 
granite in the stone walls of this town to build a temple like Solomon's or a 
citadel like that at Quebec ; and to build these miles of indestructible fence 
there must have been many aching backs and bleeding fingers. 


Daniel Boston, from an old family of Scottish extraction in York, was 
the first settler in that part of Denmark taken from Brownfield. He cleared 
land and built his house not far from Saco river on the southwest side of the 
eminences called the Boston hills. His only highway was the river, by boat 
in summer and on the ice in winter. The ground proved to be frosty and he 
"pulled up stakes" after a few years and removed to Hiram, and in the his- 
tory of that town a more extended notice may be found. 

Ichabod Warren, a native of Berwick, was one of the earliest to settle 
in this plantation, in the western section. His son, Lieut. Ichabod, born in 
town in 1774, married Jane Mclntire, of York, who was born there the same 
year, and had issue, twelve children. He died in 1S19. Eleven children 
Hved to adult years and were respectable and prosperous. (See Warren 

Cyrns Ingalls, a native of Andover, Mass., born in 1768, with his wife, 
Sarah Barker, of the same town, came to this plantation before 1800, and 
built the first mill in town on Moose brook. He was the first justice of the 
peace and held town office nearly all his days ; was delegate to the convention 
in Portland, in iSig, to frame the state constitution, and was the first repre- 
sentative to the first Legislature, held in Portland in 182 i and 1823. (See 
Ingalls Genealogy.) 

Maj. Elias Berry, one of the most prominent settlers of Denmark, 
came from Middleton, Mass., where he was born in 1767. His wife was Jane 
Stiles, from Andover, Mass., where he began life. His residence in Denmark 
dated in 1792, in which year he opened his clearing, on land since called 
" Berry's hill," and the farm is now owned by the town. He came from Ando- 
ver in 1794 with an ox-team, his goods, wife, and three children being on the 
sled, and was eight days on the road. He built the first two-storied house in 
town, and in it was a hall where the early settlers met for dancing and other 
entertainments. He was an active business man and held important offices 
in town; served in the General Court of Massachusetts and in the Maine 
Legislature; died in 1850. 


Thomas Pingree was a native of Rowley, Mass., where he was born in 
177 I. His wife was Phebe Alexander, of Henniker, N. H. He came to town 
in 1800 and cleared land in the southern section; built a house, and in 1802 
he moved his wife and six children to his plantation. He cultivated an exten- 
sive farm, all of which was enclosed by about a thousand rods of wall, nearly 
all "double." He died in 1848, and his fourteen children were all married 
and had issue at the time of his decease. His brother, Parson Pingree, came 
in 1805 and cleared a farm one mile east of the mills. His son Jasper was 
father of Hon. Hazen Pingree, now the distinguished mayor of Detroit, 
Mich. (See Genealogy.) 

Thomas Symonds, an early pioneer of the town of Bridgton, settled 
in Denmark in 1794. He was a native of Danvers, Mass., where he was born 
in 1 76 1. His wife, Rhoda Knapp, was from Dedham, Mass. These had a 
numerous family. 

Jonathan Saunders came into town before 1800. He cleared a farm, 
and built his house in the eastern section of the town ; the farm is now owned 
by Horace Gore. He was born in Billerica, Mass., in 1750, and died in 1831. 
(See Genealogy.) 

Dr. Joseph Benton, descended from an old English race of some dis- 
tinction, came from Fryeburg to Denmark and practised medicine there as an 
able physician nearly a quarter of a century. He died in Baldwin in 1838, 
aged 76 years. His son Alfred, born in Westmoreland, Conn., 1788, married 
Sally Knapp Symonds in 1809, and came to Denmark with his father. He 
was a man of superior intelligence, who had served as enlisting officer in the 
war of 1812, and drew a pension. (See Genealogy.) 

Obediah True, an old Revolutionary pensioner, moved into town in 
18 13-14; was born in Sanford in 1756. He enlisted after the battle of Bun- 
ker Hill at the age of nineteen; served under General Wayne at Stony Point, 
and under Gates at the capture of Burgoyne's army. After a three months' 
furlough, he traveled to Portsmouth on foot, took passage for Boston, was 
captured the first day out by a British cruiser and carried to England, where 
he was confined in Dartmoor Prison until the close of the war. He came 
home by way of France. Although advanced in life he hated the " Britishers " 
so much that he enlisted in the war of 18 12, and served to the close of hos- 
tilities. He died in 1844, aged 89 years. 

Lieut. William Davis, from Westmoreland, N. H., born in 1782, with 
wife, Clarissa Carlton, from Mt. Vernon, N. H., came to Denmark about 1808, 
and cleared a farm east of the Corner, where his grandson resides. He was 
an officer of a company sent to Portland in September, 18 14. He was a good 
citizen who served faithfully in municipal oifices; deacon of the Congrega- 
tional church for a long term of years, and constant in his religious duties; 
died in 185 1. 


John r. Smith, born in Newmarket, N. H., in 1785, came early to 
Cornish. His wife was Nancy Gray; removed to Denmark about 18 12, and 
cleared a farm at the locality known as "Jordan's Corner." He was a teacher, 
lumber speculator, and a farmer, who acquired a handsome estate for the 
time. He was a citizen of honesty and was called to fill the town offices; a 
pillar in the Orthodox church, who did much to sustain religious services in 
town. He died in 1841. (See Smith Genealogy.) 


The territory embraced in this town was originally a part of that extensive 
tract of indefinite boundary called the " Pequawket country." The charter of 
the township was granted by Gov. Benning Wentworth, Oct. i, 1765, and 
comprised 230,040 acres with an addition of 1,040 acres for roads, ponds, 
mountains, etc. The township is six miles square. A part of this tract had 
been included by mistake in the grant to General Frye, and was disconnected 
when an accurate survey was made. The town derived its name from Henry 
Seymore Conway, commander of the British army at the time of incorporation. 
The land was divided into sixty-nine equal shares, and each grantee or his 
representative was required to plant and cultivate five acres of land within 
five years for every fifty acres his claim contained. It was also ordered that 
before any division of the land was made a one-acre lot should be reserved for 
each grantee near the centre of the township. Each proprietor was to pay 
annually, if demanded, one ear of Indian corn in the month of December for 
ten years ; after that, one shilling proclamation money for every hundred acres. 
Two shares of 500 acres were reserved for Governor ^^'entworth, one share 
for the support of the gospel in foreign lands, one for the church of England, 
one for a settled minister, and one for schools. 

Many of the original proprietors never set foot on the township land, but 
sold their rights to others. The shares of those who were delinquent in com. 
plying with the conditions of the grant, were, after due notice, regranted on 
petition of Andrew McMillan, Apr. 6, 1772, to those who became actual set- 
tlers. Colonel McMillan was personally interested in the settlement, and 
exerted himself to induce families to enter the lands. In 1772 there were 
forty-three polls reported within the town. 

The only roads by which the inhabitants traveled were the broad, well- 
trodden Indian trails down the banks of the Saco and across to the Great 
Ossipee ; these had been kept open by hunters who had camps in the Pequaw- 
ket country. 

The early pioneers of Conway were not as wise as the Sokokis, for they 
built their first houses on the low intervales, and the great freshet that inun- 
dated the Saco valley in October of 1785 proved very destructive to property. 


Three hundred and twenty-seven acres of arable mowing land were covered 
with debris and spoiled; two barns with all the hay and grain stored in them 
were swept away; seven dwellings and four barns so badly damaged as to 
necessitate rebviilding; ten oxen, twelve cows, eighty sheep, two horses, and 
twenty-five swine were drowned ; large quantities of flax spread upon the inter- 
vales to dry, and corn remaining unharvested, were destroyed, and every bridge 
and rod of fence in the valley carried away. 

Among the afflictions that befell the settlers was a scourge of rattlesnakes; 
a pest much worse than rabbits and hares, to destroy which the British 
parliament passes elaborate bills. On May ii, 1767, the inhabitants of Con- 
way voted that any person who should kill a rattlesnake or snakes in the 
township and should bring the first " joynt of the rattle of said snake or snakes 
to the person appointed — who should consume the same immediately — should 
be paid three pence lawful money." The snakes were to be killed and their 
rattle "consumed" on or before the 20th day of June. Following this action 
it was voted that Joshua Kelley receive the rattlesnakes' tails and "execute 
the same." 

They voted a bounty of $20 on wolves' heads; twenty-three cents on crows' 
heads; six cents on grown blackbirds and two cents on young ones. 

An article in their warrant to see if a bridge should be built across the 
Saco at a place called "Chautaugui" was passed over. At another meeting 
it was voted to build a bridge at " Shataugua." 

The largest bodies of water in Conway are Walker's and Pequawket ponds. 
The tributaries of the Saco in this town are Swift and Pequawket rivers. 

The scenery of Conway is the grandest and most picturesque to be found 
in New England, and has been the subject for admiration to travelers from 
many lands. 

On the western bank of the Saco are two remarkable ledges. The most 
northerly, known as "Hart's Looking-Glass," nearly perpendicular, rises 650 
feet. That below rises 950 feet, and is called "White Horse Ledge." 


Thomas Chadbonrne built the first framed house. His land was granted 
in 1773. He had a mill privilege on Kesaugh brook. The following lines 
were found on the inside of the cover of an old book, and show that as 
early as about 1774 the names found therein were well known: 

" Thre men went up from dollof town, 
And stop al nite at Foraters Pockit, 
To mak ye Road Bi injim Hil, 
To git close up to nort pigogit, 
To Emris Kamp up Kesuck Brok, 
Wha Chadbun is Beginnen — " 


He was granted fifteen acres of land with mill privilege on Pudding brook, 
on condition that he build a good saw-mill, to be kept in good repair forever, 
and to saw logs into boards or other lumber for the proprietors for one-half 
of the lumber, or at the rate of nine shillings per thousand for boards. He 
was to build a grist-mill on the same stream to grind in proper manner for 
inhabitants, and keep mill in repair forever and be at all times ready to serve. 
As encouragement for building saw-mill and grist-mill, one hundred acres of 
land were granted him. 

Col. Andrew McMillan, of Scotch descent, was bom in Ireland. He 
was an officer in the French war, and received, Oct. 25, 1765, as a reward for 
services, a tract of land which included the whole intervale on the east side 
of the Saco in Lower Bartlett. He purchased shares in Conway, consisting 
of intervale and upland, which were subsequently known as the "McMillan 
farm." Here he established his permanent home in 1764. He was prominent 
in town affairs and filled many offices. He was representative to the General 
Court, and paid the highest taxes of any man in town. His house was the 
headquarters of those who entered the township prospecting for land. He 
was a man of hot temper, whose generous heart prompted him to assist his 
fellow-men. He supported a fine establishment, open hospitality, and colored 
servants. He died Nov. 6, 1800, aged 70 years. 

Eichard Eastman, son of Richard who came from Pembroke to Con- 
way with his family, was the fourth in descent from Roger Eastman, who came 
from Wales to Salisbury, Mass., about 1640. The elder Richard purchased 
the mill lot, and such improvements as had been made there, of Thomas 
Chadbourne, Esq. Included in this estate was the first framed house built in 
Conway, of date about 1766. This property was conveyed to Richard, Jr., 
and Noah, his brother ; these, with other members of the family, moved into 
the house, which was on the intervale north of Kesaugh brook, in 1769, and 
therein was born the first male child cradled in Conway. Mr. Eastman was 
a useful townsman and lived to do good among men for a long term of years. 
He was a deacon for rising half a century. He found great delio-ht in the 
worship of God, and enriched his fertile mind with quotations from the sacred 
records. His long, calm, and fruitful life was undoubtedly attributable to his 
habits of strict temperance and prudent industry; and as a result of his good 
example his name, as a synonym of many excellencies, has been embalmed in 
the memories of many who honor men for honorable conduct. \\'hen Chris- 
tian services were established, in 1778, his name, with that of his wife, Abiah 
Lovejoy, were two out of eight signed to a covenant which required them to 
"walk with the Lord." As justice of the peace, he was well known for careful 
business, and as one of the foremost townsmen, who promoted every com- 
mendable enterprise, he was respected. His death occurred in 1826 at the 
age of 79. From his seventeen children a numerous race has sprung up, now 


scattered over our broad land, and their blood has fused with that of nearly 
all families in the upper section of the Saco valley. Children : 

1. Sally, m. Abial Love joy. 

2. Jonathan, m. Phebe Lovejoy. 

3. Polly, m. Amos Barnes. 

4. Phebe, m. Humphrey Cram. 

5. Hannah, m. Isaac Merrill. 

6. Richard, m. Elmira Morrill and Louisa Morrill. 

7. Abiah, m. William C. Ford. 

8. William, m. Mary Lovejoy and Mary Trickey. 

9. Dorcas, m. Samuel Merrill. 

10. Patty, m. Jonathan Stickney. 

1 1 . Keziah, m. Henry Tucker. 

12. Betsey, m. John Hill. 

13. Amos, m. Betsey E. Merrill. 

14. Harriet, m. Gen. George P. Meserve. 

15. John L., m. Margaret Douglass. 

16. Clarissa, m. Rev. Stephen Merrill. 

17. Irene, m. Jonathan E. Chase. 
One died unmarried. 

Noah Eastman, brother of Dea. Abiatha, was born Mar. 20, 1753 ; mar- 
ried Hannah Holt, Sept. 10, 1775. He was a miller in North Conway for fifty 
years and was locally called "Honest Noah""; when in old age, "Uncle Noah." 
He was an industrious, frugal man, who held the respect of respectable people, 
and that was good enough. He died Aug. 26, 1823. 

Daniel Eastman was born Sept. 6, 1792 ; married Martha, daughter of 
Dr. William Chadbourne, who died in 1880, aged 82 years. He died Aug. 22, 
1885 ; was a major; oldest Free Mason in the state at time of death; largely 
engaged in real estate business ; purchased the top of Mt. Washington for 
ten cents an acre and sold out for twenty-five ; owned principal part of Conway 
intervales; was in mercantile business; built the Washington House and 
"kept tavern" many years. Of his children, five in number, William C. is 
now living. 

Rev. Benjamin D. Eastman was born Dec. 21, 1802. In 1831 he 
united with the Maine Methodist Conference. He served as pastor in various 
churches; was twice representative and ^served a term in the state Senate; in 
Conway was trader and postmaster ; was a student of the Indian language ; 
prosecuted historical researches and wrote for the press. He married Lois F. 
Averill; second, Nancy F. Whitney; had two sons, George W. and Charles W. 

The descendants of the three Eastman brothers, before mentioned, are 
said to be more numerous than of any other three settlers in the Saco valley. 
Their wives were of commensurate worth, and were adapted to fill their 


responsible places in a new settlement. They were robust, brave-hearted, and 
faithful to their vocation. 

ThoillilS Merrill, Esq., was a son of Dea. John Merrill, of Concord, 
and was one of the lirst settlers in Conway. His house was on the south side 
of the Saco in 1766 ; three sons permanently settled in 1771. He was a man 
of great usefulness, whose integrity and ability won the esteem of his fellow- 
citizens; and when they required a justice of the peace their petition to 
Governor Wentworth read: "We shall be glad and rejoice if your Excellency 
should appoint to that office Lieut. Thomas Merrill." He was clerk for the 
proprietors and town many years. He was a man of superior education and 
an accurate scribe; died July 2, 1788, and was interred in an old lot near the 
centre of the town. 

Col. David Page came from Dunbarton to Concord about 1761, and 
settled first at the "Seven Lots," where Fryeburg village now stands, about 
1765. He removed across the river previous to 1770, and was from that date 
conspicuously identified with public affairs in Conway. He was selectman, 
justice of the peace, and representative; had been a colonelin the Revolu- 
tionary army; was one of the "Rogers Rangers," and carried wounds received 
in service. 

Samuel Dinsmore, from Lee, was a soldier of the French and Indian 
war. His son Elijah raised a company and marched to Cambridge in 1775, 
and after the Revolution came to Conway, in the dead of winter, on snow- 
shoes with his wife. He carried an enormous pack lashed to his shoulders, 
in which were their "airthly belongings." He built a camp near that of John 
Pendexter, and afterwards resided near the site of the present Intervale House. 
He was a tavern-keeper and a deacon of the Baptist church ; two rather incon- 
gruous offices to fill contemporaneously. He was financially successful. 

Capt. John Hart, from Portsmouth, came to Conway and sat down on 
the west side of the Saco soon after the Revolution. The great rock now 
known as Cathedral ledge was near his homestead, and originally called Hart's 
ledge. He was a tavern-keeper. The coach road from Conway through the 
Notch passed his door. He owned land in Hart's Location. He married 
Polly Willey, who reached the age of 92. , He lived to old age. He was a 
well-known and popular townsman. His daughter Lydia married Joseph 
Dinsmore; Honor married James Willey. 

Lieut. Amos Barnes, of Groton, Mass., was born Jan. 9, 1757; father 
killed in French war. Amos was at Bunker Hill and Trenton. He enlisted 
three times in the Revolution; was with Washington at Valley Forge, and 
with Sullivan in the Indian expedition. He was on half rations two months. 
He married Polly, daughter of Richard Eastman, June 18, 1789. He was a 
commander of militia, and of a company in 181 2. He died in Conway Dec. 
6, 184.0. 


Col. AMal Lovejoy came from Concord previous to 1774. His father 
was one of the grantees, and he represented him in settlement. He married 
Anna Stickney, and planted his roof-tree near Hart's ledge. He and his wife 
were two of the six "charter members" of the first church; was chosen deacon 
at the organization, and served forty years in the sacred ofTfice. He died May 
27, 1817. 

Moses Randall came from Sanbornton, and as one of the iirst pioneers 
located on the intervale below Sunset hill, where a grandson now resides. 
His journey to Conway was made with an ox-team through a road lined by 
spotted trees. Several of his children came with him. He was a man of 
great industry, and upon the valuable farm first cleared by him passed down 
to old age. 

Joseph Thompson was an early pioneer. He came from Lee ; a clothier; 
owned a large tract of land. His first house was built on the intervale. After 
the great freshet he rebuilt on the high ground at a place since called the 
"Three Elms." His first wife was a Randall ; second wife, Sally Chesley; had 
issue by both. He divided his extensive 'farm of 500 acres into three parts 
for his sons. ' 

Leavitt Hill settled on the west side of the Saco at an early day. He 
cleared extensive fields and became the owner of a good farm; was many 
years a tavern-keeper. He transplanted an elm from the intervale, in 1780, 
about one inch in diameter, that now stands near the house and measures 
twenty-six feet in circumference one foot above the roots. 

Col. John Hill, who became an enterprising business man, was son of 
preceding ; was an owner of mills and extensive tracts of land in several towns ; 
owned the Pequawket House ; was engaged in trade and manufacture of shoes 
and clothing; postmaster about forty years; was popular and held office; 
acquired great wealth, which was lost by reverses. He died Apr. 24, 1870, 
aged 79 years. His wives were Sally Freeman and Elizabeth Eastman. 


This town was incorporated June 16, 1794, and was named in honor of 
the distinguished Josiah Bartlett. If we were to describe the various tracts 
of land once comprised in the township our vocabulary would be exhausted.' 
The geography of this wild, rugged, and forest-covered country was long in a 
transition state. The alternating of slices of territory, varying from fifty to 
a hundred acres, was like a game of "give and take" upon an extensive 
checker-board. Boundary lines were as uncertain as New England weather, 
and indefinite as a passing cloud. In consequence of this transitory state of 
affairs the early inhabitants did not have any permanent place to "hail from." 
If a pioneer of Hart's Location went "down country" to have his grist ground 


he might return and find his family living in Adams ; or if he went to Dover for 
a supply of groceries, leaving his cabin in Jackson, he might, on his "hame- 
coming," have to acknowledge that he was an inhabitant of some other grant 
or township. ( )n Monday the planter might cultivate his field in the county of 
Coos, and on Tuesday find the same acreage transferred bodily across the line 
into Carroll. No anchor was strong enough to keep the territorial ship from 
drifting; the land was constantly crawling from grant to township, and 
from shire to shire. Let us prove our assertion true. 

The town of Bartlett is comprised in a grant to Col. Andrew McMillan, 
of 2,000 acres, dated Oct. 25, 1765; a grant to Capt. \\'illiam Stark, consist- 
ing of 3,000 acres, of the same date; a grant to Lieut. Vere Royse, of 2,000 
acres, dated Sept. 6, 1769; a grant to Adjt. Philip Bayley, of 2,000 acres, 
dated Aug. 9, 1770, and one to Maj. James Gray, of 3,856 acres, June 12, 
1772. By an act, June 19, 1806, the town received a grant of 600 acres from 
the state lands situated in Adams, 300 for support of the gospel and 300 for 
schools. On June 3, 1822, a tract belonging to Nathaniel Carlton was cut 
from Bartlett and annexed to Jackson. A tract owned by Jonathan Mclntire 
was annexed to the town by an act dated July 3, 1839. TJfe farms of Nathaniel 
Tufts and Stephen Carlton, 2d, were sawed from Bartlett and "jined" to 
Jackson in 1853. In 1853 the town was transferred from Coos to Carroll 
county. A tract was taken from Chatham in 1869 and "spliced on" to Bart- 
lett. A slice was cut from Hart's Location and consigned to the town in 1878. 
The area is now 38,000 acres, a large part waste land; no, not actually waste, 
for the inhabitants ask an admission fee of the city folk who go to view the 
grand, majestic, natural scenery of the mountains. 

This was a stern, uninviting country for settlement. It was broken, rocky, 
and resisting. The word spontaneous applied only to the growth of wood and 
wild plants. It required a good deal of harrow-tickling and hoe-coaxing to 
produce productive farms ; but when the soil had been curried into a generous 
mood it gave forth bountifully from its rich properties. 

The isolation of the inhabitants made them mutually dependent upon 
each other, and stimulated a spirit of good-will and reciprocal attention to 
their needs. In the early days of settlement there were but few neighbors 
within thirty-six miles. The provisions were drawn over the snow on hand- 
sleds from Dover, seventy-five miles away^ One of the pioneers went seven 
miles to borrow a plow and carried it home on his shoulders over a rough, 
stony path, interspersed with break-neck steeps and hard-scrabble hills. 

Many of the inhabitants were non-resident and their land exempt from 
taxation ; this made the burden of expenses for public improvement, such as 
the building of roads and bridges, very heavy for the few who lived in the 
town. This condition of affairs was a source of discouragement and anxiety 
with the settlers, and culminated in a sharp-pointed petition which brought 


the snail-paced authorities to their feeling. In about two years after the 
prayers of the inhabitants had been offered for material mercies a tax of one 
penny an acre was levied upon the lands of non-resident owners. 

The fluctuating character of the streams that come rushing down from 
the hills in their untamed madness has made it difficult to keep any bridges 
on them, and the people have been taxed many times to rebuild such. 


Richard Garland was one of the first five settlers who entered this 
mountain-hidden locality in 1783. These suffered many deprivations, and 
numerous anecdotes are told about their adventures. He was the first con- 
stable and collector; was from Dover; had served in the army of the Revolu- 
tion. He married Sarah Watson, of Rochester; died in 1853, an aged man; 
had children, and descendants reside in town. 

Sergt. Jonathan Tasker, descended from John Tasker, who came from 
England to Madbury, N. H., was an early adventurer and settler. A brother of 
Jonathan, Ebenezer, also settled in town. Sergeant Tasker had served in the 
Revolutionary army under Colonel Reed ; was one of the first selectmen ; had 
two sons and several daughters, who intermarried with descendants of other 
old families. 

Clement Meserve came from Marlburg, rear Dover, N. H., to Jackson, 
but soon removed to Bartlett. His sons and descendants constituted a large 
per cent, of the population, and were prominent and useful men. (See 

Hon. Ohed Hall came from Madbury, N. H., and owned a farm in 
Upper Bartlett ; kept a house of entertainment for travelers. He was a gentle- 
man of many fine parts; was a meisber of Congress in 181 1; had a family 
of intelligent sons and daughters, the latter known as the pink of beauty. 
His first wife was twenty years his senior, and the second wife twenty years 
younger; the latter was the mother of his children. She spent her latter 
years with her children in Portland, as the wife of Richard Odell. 

"Master" Ebenezer Hall, brother of preceding, was a man of superior 
education, possessed of excellent business capacity. He was called to fill 
the town offices, and in 181 1 was appointed judge of probate for Coos county; 
was a man of kindly heart and graceful manners. His integrity was unques- 
tioned and his influence remarkably useful. He left a family of children of 
extra intelligence, who have filled stations of responsibility. 

Joseph Pitman descended from one of Britain's ennobled families; 
was born in London in 1759, and came to New England prior to the Revolu- 
tion. He espoused the cause of the colonists and served as a privateer. 
Having married Alice Pendexter, sister of Hon. John, he settled, before the 
organization of the town of Bartlett, in Hart's Location. He was one of the 


foremost pioneers, and was active in town affairs during life ; filled many town 
offices. He left more descendants who have filled honorable positions than 
any of the first settlers. 


This township was granted to Thomas Chadbourne for his services during 
the French and Indian wars, before the Revolution, by Go\ernor Wentworth. 
It was named for Richard Hart, who purchased the territory by payment of the 
small sum of one thousand and five hundred dollars. In this wild region 
the waters of the Saco find their way from the Notch of the White Mountains, 
and along its borders the Indians made their trail which led to Canada. But 
few white families have lived here. The W'illey house was built three miles 
from the narrow pass in the Notch, in 1792, for the accommodation of a few 
travelers and the Vermont marketmen when on their way to Portland. Dr. 
Samuel Bemis, an inyalid, who was seeking for a locality where he could find 
health, found his way to Hart's Location, and became so much attached to it 
that in consequence of its wild grandeur he built a sort of castle-mansion of 
the native granite, in which he spent the remainder of his days ; his death 
occurred in 188 1, at the age of 87. From this man Bemis Station derived its 
name. The Frankenstein gulf was named for a German artist, who was a 
companion of Doctor Bemis. On Avalanche brook there is a remarkable 
waterfall, one hundred and fifty feet in height and at the base seventy feet 
wide. Below this there is a fall on Bemis brook one hundred and seventv-six 
feet in height, but so difficult of approach as to be seldom seen. 

It was in Hart's Location that the remarkable "W'illey slide" occurred 
in August, 1826. During an awful tempest an avalanche started more than a 
thousand feet from the base of Mt. W'illey and swept down with terrible 
momentum behind the dwelling of the W'illey family. Had they remained 
within doors they would have been saved ; but the roar of the descending 
mountain side and shock of falling boulders so terrified the family that they 
fled from a place of safety into the very jaws of destruction. The family, con- 
sisting of seven, were overtaken and with two men stopping there, David Allen 
and David Nickerson, were buried under the earth, stones, and trees. The 
bodies of three of the children were never found. There was a great boulder 
behind the house which held its place and divided the descending debris, 
saving the buildings. 


Abel Crawford, from Guildhall, "Vt., came through the rock-bound wil- 
derness to the White Mountain Notch when a young man, clad in garments 
made from moose skin. He was born about 1765. His wife was Hannah 
daughter of Eleazer Rosebrook, and inherited strong traits from both her 


parents. Mr. Crawford became a mountaineer when a young man, and in old 
age was known as the "Patriarch of the Hills." In personal appearance he 
was attractive and remarkable. He was of stature six feet four, not broad 
but muscular and wiry; his complexion dark; in temperament genial and gen- 
erous. He was the first guide to the mountains, and assisted in cutting the 
first foot-paths. At the age of seventy-five he rode the first horse that ever 
reached the summit. When eighty he was a strong, hearty man. He and 
sons built the old Crawford House, kept many years by his son Thomas J. 
Crawford. During the last five or six years of his life he represented the 
eight voters of Hart's Location and those in Nash and Sawyer's Location 
and Carroll. He died July 15, 185 1, aged 85, and lies buried by his wife, who 
died October 28, 1848, at the age of 76, near Bemis Station. His sons were 
men of gigantic physical proportions; none were under six feet; the eldest, 
Erastus Crawford, was six feet six, and Ethan Allen Crawford, who inherited 
his grandfather Rosebrook's estate, was nearly seven feet, a stature that enti- 
tled him to the designation, "The Giant of the Mountains." 

Capt. Samuel Willey moved from Lee, N. H., about 1775, and opened 
a clearing in Stark's Location, now Bartlett, but subsequently moved to North 
Conway, where he passed the remainder of his life, dying June 14, 1844, at the 
advanced age of 90 years. His wife, Betsey Glazier, was of Scotch descent 
and lived to the age of 83. Their children were eight in number, named as 

follows : 

1. Polly, m. Jonathan Thompson. 

2. James, a lieutenant in the 1812 war; lived in Conway. 

3. Samuel, b. Mar. 31, 1788 ; m. Polly Lovejoy, Sept. 17, 1812, and had 
a family of five children. He removed from " Humphrey's Ledge " farm, the 
first cleared in Bartlett, to a house that had been built by one Davis near the 
Notch, in October, 1825. Mr. Willey was a most estimable man. He was 
kind hearted, of gentle spirit, sound judgment, and a sincere Christian. His 
companion was a person of many virtues ; an excellent wife and mother. By 
industry and frugality these found enough to meet their daily needs, and with 
their children formed a happy and contented family. But the entire household 
was destroyed by a landslide from Mt. Willey, Aug. 28, 1826. In a small 
enclosure, on the Bigelow place, lie the remains of the parents and two chil- 
dren. Three, Jeremiah, Martha, and Elbridge, were never found and their 
bodies are still under the debris of the slide. On the base of the monument 
erected to their memory are these lines : 

"We gaze around, we read their monument ; 
We sigh, and when we sigh we smile. " 

Children: £ltza Ann, b. July, 1813; Jeremiah, b. July, 1815; Martha G., 
b. Sept., 1817; Elbridge G., b. Sept., 1819; Sally, b. in 1822. 

4. Hannah, m. John M. Barnes. 

Betsey, m. Jacob Bray. 

Rev. Benjamin G. 

Stephen, succeeded to homestead, went West. 



Jssfrtfi 3i)f:irtlt-^tonfs. 






ILLICK MILL SETTLEMENT.— Nearly a hundred eventful years 
have passed away since a road was "bushed out" from Nason's 
Falls, at South Limington, across the level plains to the "old Alfred 
road," near the well-known homestead of Cyrus Bean, then in the 
plantation of Little Falls, and about one mile southwest from the present 
hamlet of Bonnie Eagle. This thoroughfare crossed the stream that issues 
from Killick pond, and was extended, in the winter season, along the clearings 
in the "Dalton Right." As Killick pond was about three miles long, sur- 
rounded by high banks, it afforded ample room for flowage and formed, at its 
outlet, an excellent water-power. Taking advantage of this, a few enterpris- 
ing men, having an eye to business and improvement, planted a settlement 
here. Mills, a store, blacksmith's shop, ordinary, and several dwelling-houses 
were erected. Fields of considerable extent were cleared along the side of 
the stream, orchards planted, flowers cultivated, and as the road traversing 
their plantation was considered to be a permanent highway, hopes were cher- 
ished that the place would, with the increasing population of the townships, 
become a prosperous centre of trade. 

As this "Killick Mill road" formed the connecting link in the route 
followed by many of the New Hampshire and Vermont farmers, when trans- 
porting their produce to the Portland market, two brothers, Amos and David 
Towle, built an old-fashioned tavern at the Killick Mill settlement for the 
accommodation of these and other travelers. This great, wide, ramblino- house 
stood on the swell of land on the right-hand side of the road as the pilgrim 
goes toward the west, some distance east from the bridge. Lons; ranges of 
sheds containing many compartments, provided with doors and connected with 
the stables, were built above the house; these were for the ^'ermonters' long 
pungs and loads of farm produce, and there was no use for locks and bolts 
while Towle's great watch-dog, " Holdfast," was unchained. This soon became 
a popular "putting-up place," and Towle's Tavern and the toddy mixed there 
were known and talked of by many of the best farmers in at least three states. 
It has been said that Abel Crawford used to count fifty teams in a day as 
they passed his house in the White Mountain Notch on their way from Ver- 
mont to Portland, and as many as twenty of these have been accommodated 
at Towle's Tavern for a night many times. This winter caravan usually came 


down from the north during the early weeks of the new year and was absent 
from home under ordinary circumstances eight or ten days; when snow-bound 
and belated, two weeks. This annual market-trip was much talked of by the 
stalwart "Green Mountain boys" as they went from house to house in their 
neighborhood. Several days were required for "gittin' reddy." Their loads 
consisted of whole hogs (dead, of course), dressed poultry, sausages, cheeses, 
butter, dried apples, fox and mink skins, baskets, brooms, axe-handles, goad- 
sticks, stockings, mittens — anything and everything raised and manufactured 
on the farm that could be turned into cash, or bartered for such knickknacks 
as they needed in their homes. 

Although the Towles looked for these market-men the first of January 
every year, there was no certainty as to when they would appear; the contin- 
gency of bad roads and weather must be considered. Sometimes a man of 
business, a lumber-dealer or cattle-man, or a dignified magistrate going to 
attend the assizes, would dine at the tavern and bring word in advance that 
the farmers might be expected on such a day. Being thus forewarned, the 
family was forearmed and enabled to have everything in readiness for the recep- 
tion and comfort of their annual patrons. The landlord from the road-side, 
and his wife from the kitchen window, watched betimes for the coming of the 
head team, and listened for the " clink-clonk-clank " of the great bronze sleigh- 
bells that could be heard for a long distance across the level lands on a clear, 
cold day ; their music was very pleasant to the waiting landlords. When the 
long train was driven into the tavern yard there was shouting and great con- 
fusion. These lusty, cold, hungry teamsters were a noisy crew. As soon as 
the horses had been provided for, and the great pungs secured in the sheds, the 
market-men would gather up their robes, dinner firkins, and whips and start 
for the bar-room, where these would be piled in a corner for the time being. 

An enormous stone fireplace, piled with burning logs, threw out a cheer- 
ful warmth and mellow light. A rough-and-ready group soon formed a circle 
around the long hearth, where boots were removed and the benumbed feet 
toasted until they tingled with the rush of a stimulated circulation. When all 
had been made comfortable by the great fire without, and a generous lining 
of hot toddy within, the hearty fellows went for their firkins. What were 
these for, when guests at a public house, where were ample provisions for man 
and beast ? Why, it came to pass in those days that farmers, when on their 
way to and from market, carried their own food ; the tavern-keepers only had 
pay for baiting, lodging room, and what their company drank; this was con- 
sidered to be enough. Well, these portable larders were placed before the 
fire and warmed awhile; then the covers were removed and placed on the 
farmer's knee where they formed the round table from which these were to 
take their courses. Such strapping fellows were naturally good feeders; but 
what could be expected after a ride of forty miles in a cold winter day ! 


Neither the fastidious nor abstemious were present at Towle's tavern on these 
occasions. Indigestion and dyspepsia were torments then unknown ; the 
robust appetite regulated the diet. See how these Vermonters assail their 
round "cupboards " ! With the greasy bone of a spare-rib in one hand, and 
a big doughnut in the other, their jaws were kept busy for a full half-hour. 
To "gnaw a bone " was no disgrace, for all knew the adage true, "The nearer 
the bone the sweeter the meat." A little oil from the delicious roast caused 
the face to shine, and the flip with which they washed their supper down 
made their hearts merry. Sometimes the housewife at home would make a 
couple gallons of bean porridge for her husband's long journey. This was 
provided with a short stick connected with a bit of bed cord, put into a flaring 
tub, and exposed upon a snow bank to freeze. When all was ready, this con- 
gealed mass, which resembled a block of Roxbury "pudding-stone," conglom- 
erate and gray, was hung by its loop upon a stake at the pung side, and took 
care of itself till wanted. As a convenient instrument, the Vermonter carried 
a small axe in a cleat on the outside of his pung, and when "bean porridge 
hot" was wanted, he chopped a hunk from "bean porridge cold," which, 
according to sayings of the old folk, was "best when nine days old." This 
was warmed in a basin at the hearth-stone and eaten with great relish by 
these hardy men. 

The coming of the Vermont farmers was looked for by the Towles as a 
speculation, and the welcome accorded them had a mercenary undertow ; but 
the millmen, the smutty-nosed blacksmith, and heads of families of the settle- 
ment gathered with the strangers in the great bar-room for pure companion- 
ship's sake; for the royal good time they had in listening to the stories told 
by the men "from the northard," and the general good-fellowship that pre- 
vailed at these evening gatherings. These mid-winter nights would be snap- 
ping cold and enormous piles of fire-wood must needs be burned. The ice 
would crack with startling report on the pond, the "runners" of a passint; 
sled scream over the frozen track, and nails start from the ta\ern walls ; but 
what cared these jovial fellows who toasted their shins, smoked their pipes, 
and told tales in Towle's tavern ! Their horses were comfortable in the 
stables and their produce safely housed, So let Jack Frost rave and tear. 

It would be a late hour when the men of the settlement bade the Ver- 
monters "good-night" and went home; then the weary wayfarers would 
spread their buffalo skins upon the bar-room floor, "camp down" with their feet 
toward the fire, and soon be snoring like the tearers of strong cloth and the 
drone of a big fiddle. They would be up, betimes, to replenish the fire-wood 
or to solace themselves with a whift' of their pipe, and so the night wore on. 
luting before the blinking stars Iiad retired before the coming day, these exu- 
berant countrymen were up and about their business. It was twenty miles to 
Portland, and they must have an early start. After a mug of hot flip to warm 


their marrow bones and a breakfast of porridge-chips, tliey were away after 
their horses. Full of good-fellowship, lively, talkative, whistling, they assisted 
each other when "hitching up," and not one drove away till all were ready; 
then, big Dick Wilbraham, the "Lyndonville giant," who acted as "captain of 
the host," cracked his long whip, shouted "good-morning," to the landlord, 
"come on," to the Vermonters, and guided his tall, mottled horses into the 
road-way, followed by his "companions in travel." Slowly they climbed the 
long Killick hill* as each walked by the side of his team; then, standing upon 
the small platform at the rear end of their long pungs, they applied the lash 
and were away at full pace cityward. 

Reaching Portland as early as ten in the forenoon, the remainder of the 
day would be spent in disposing of their load ; the following morning would 
find them making purchases of a new gown for Molly, a fur tippet for Susan, 
a cap for Jim, a fowling-piece for Ned, and a steel trap for Zeb. Besides 
these articles, such hardware, crockery, and "chicken fixens" as were needed, 
but not raised, on the farm. Evening found the whole company once more at 
Towle's Tavern in the Killick Mill settlement, where they were to tarry for 
the night; for the night? We shall see. 

Supper done, checker-boards were brought forward, the round-cornered 
cards taken down, and while the Vermonters, with the mill-men, studied how 
to outwit each other in their silent, harmless battles between "king-row and 
corner," or between " clubs and spades," the spectators watched the games 
with their heads enwreathed in clouds of blue incense that emanated from their 
odorous pipes, and joined in the congratulations bestowed upon the champion 

We have incidentally mentioned one Dick Wilbraham, called " Wilbram" 
for short, the big man from Lyndonville, Vermont. Now he stood six feet 
seven in his stockings, was broad in proportion to his height, and a perfect 
Hercules for strength. No two men of his neighborhood had been able to 

*KiLi.iCK Pond.— It has been assumed in tradition and print that this beautiful lakelet was 
named for one Kellog, or Eelloch, who once lived somewhere in the neighborhood, and it is now 
about time to refute the statement. My reliable grandfather, who was born in 1780, informed 
me that when the "Dalton Right," in the northwestern part of the plantation of Little Falls, 
was settled, some very large and beautiful masts were cut on the bank of the stream which 
forms the outlet of this pond. Among the company sent up from Saco to assist in hauling the 
masts to the ship-yards in that town, was a Scotchman, and as the teamsters stormed at their 
oxen but could not draw the enormous load up the long hill near the pond, this foreigner shouted : 
" Bide, mon, bide, ye hae come to a killick." From this expression by Sandy the steep ascent 
was named " Killick hill " ; afterwards the pond was known by the same designation. Now this 
tradition, if such it may be called, has not traveled very far down the stream of time through 
the channel of human affirmation, and has some foundation in fact outside of Itself. The word 
Killick is of Scottish origin, and always used to denote a halt, a sudden stop ; the exact meaning 
of the word employed by the Scotchman when the mast-team "got stuck" at Killick hill, 
nearly, or quite, a century ago. The same name, involving the same idea, is now applied to a 
small anchor. Where is the evidence to show that a person named Kellog or Kelloch ever lived 
in the townships on either side of this pond?— Author. 


hold him down since he reached maturity. He was now in the prime of man- 
hood, firm of fibre, and dangerous to trifle with when his "dander was up." 
His abundant good nature, sound judgment, and Hvely conversation constituted 
him a pleasant companion. In emergencies he was always equal to the occa- 
sion ; when imposed upon, a terrible retaliator. His dialect -was strongly 
tinctured with that peculiar flat pronunciation and long-drawn accent which 
originated in northern New York and insinuated itself, like a great, thin-edged 
wedge, into nearly every part of Vermont. He was, withal, something of a 
wag, and his quaint expressions and penetrating jokes were long remembered 
and rehearsed at the fireside years after he lay in his seven-foot grave among 
the green hills of Lyndonville. 

There was in the Killick Mill settlement, at the time of which I write, 
a character locally known as Nat Brandford, whose fame as an athlete was well 
established by his feats of strength exhibited when the saw-mill was raised, 
where he carried one end of the "fender beam" to its seat upon his brawny 
shoulder unassisted. This man was not over tall, but almost superhumanly 
thick, with a neck like a statue of "heroic size," and a square jaw that told 
of terrible will and determination. His was an animal organization, as 
expressed in every lineament of his bull-dog head and member of his muscular 
body. He was quarrelsome, hateful, and vindictive. 

It was unfortunate that two such men as Dick \\'ilbraham, of Lyndonville, 
and Nat Brandford, of the Killick Mill, should meet ; but such was the case at 
Towle's Tavern more than once. Nat had hurled several insulting hints at 
Wilbraham, but the latter passed them without any noticeable umbrage, and 
the muttering of an expected storm had passed away. Nat had frequently 
boasted of his willingness to "tan Dick Wilbraham's jacket for him," and by 
some imprudent and meddlesome person this half-threat had reached the big 
Vermonter's ears and soaked well into the flesh and bones of his stalwart body. 
This one-sided spirit of jealousy, for it was nothing less, extended itself into 
others; and had they confessed the truth, it would have been known that there 
existed among the Killick Mill settlers and the farmers from Vermont a 
genuine longing for a test of muscle between these formidable men. So much 
more the pity, for it was self-evident that if the affair culminated in a corporeal 
contest, somebody would be seriously hurt; possibly, property would be 

For a purpose Nat Brandford had challenged Dick \\'ilbraham to a game 
of checkers. The latter played the white "men," and the former the black, 
for he claimed that "luck was commonly with the niggers." As the game 
slowly progressed, and the two men cautiously moved their "skirmishers" 
toward each other, every faculty of forecast was brought into exercise. They 
were both old hands at "checkers," and this game would be a masterpiece for 
one of the competitors ; there were some reasons for thinking that the harm- 


less pastime would be supplemented by a game of more radical consequences. 
Worst of all, that hellish liquid that has promoted more hatred between men, 
more crime, more murders, than any and all other inventions of the prince of 
darkness, was setting on fire the axles of anger, and the burning wheels were 
revolving with increased velocity ; at this rate of speed, a collision, a crash, 
could not be averted. What a tempest of rage was brewing in the breasts of 
those men ! What the end would be none could divine. Every person present 
was silent, and with bated breath, as those who dread impending calamity, 
watched the movements of the checker players. Nearly every "man" had 
been swept from the board by the "jumps" of Dick Wilbraham's "crowned" 
warriors, and the last "nigger" on Brandford's side had been driven to a corner 
where it could not be extricated, when the "brakes" were thrown off, and the 
latter shouted in a voice that had been steeped in hate : 

" Dick Wilbraham, you cheat." 

"You lie, Nat Brandford," responded the Vermonter, and springing to 
his feet he shouted, " Clear the floor." 

With all haste chairs were hustled to the wall, while Amos Towle loudly 
cried for interference between the angry men. It was without avail; not a 
person present would raise a hand to hinder the coming contest. In half the 
time I am writing a line it was all over. Springing like an enraged panther, 
with as much agility as if he had been an oily-jointed circus performer, Dick 
Wilbraham seized Nat Brandford by the neck and his leather breeches, and 
raising him bodily from the bar-room floor dashed him through the window, 
sweeping sash and glass away like so much gossamer, and landing them in an 
enormous snow bank some distance from the tavern-side. For a moment the 
almost breathless spectators stood speechless, not having the power to move; 
then, like the victorious lion that roars over his prey, Dick Wilbraham lifted 
the safety valve of a voice that must have vent and screamed with a terrible, 
blood-curdling scream until every man about him sank into a chair and he was 
left alone upon his feet. Only a brief interval passed, when he turned to the 
landlord with, an expression of face that was full of meaning and said: "Mr. 
Towle, go out, and if Nat Brandford can be found and is alive, tell him to go 
to his home and never, never, never cross my path again." This spoken, a 
deathly paleness spread over his frenzied visage and he went to his seat at 
the fireside. In an hour he was as calm as if nothing had happened, but the 
affair had cast a heavy shadow over the evening's enjoyment and conversation 
declined to a low level. 

Nat Brandford was not seen again for the night. The settlers retired to 
their homes filled with astonishment at what they had seen, and the Vermont 
farmers, feeling that their cup was full, spread down their buffalo robes and 
silently sought repose. They were up for an early start, but before leaving 
for their homes noble-hearted Dick Wilbraham sent his compliments to his 

176 DKSEirrKi) iieautii-stonek. 

vanquished foeman in the following half-serious, half-sarcastic remark: "Mr. 
Towle, you tell Nat Brandford for mc that when his broken bones are set, 
and his wounded face and hands are healed, to send the doctor's bill to Dick 
W'ilbraham, of Lyndonville, Vt., and he will pay it." 

When a lad, while searching for straying sheep in company with my 
grandfather, I made my first visit to this sylvan solitude under the Killick hill, 
where once nestled a cluster of peaceful homes. While resting upon a deserted 
door-stone, under the sweet white bloom of an old apple tree, the aged sire 
told me the story of the settlement and its abandonment. The place was so 
beautiful for situation and its history so full of lively incident that it was ever 
after invested with charming attraction; and for years I frequently wandered 
about the bush-grown fields and along the brook-side, giving free scope to my 
fancy till I mentally reconstructed the mills and dwellings, and repeopled the 
lonely place with happy and hearty men and women. 

There remained, forty years ago, the timber bridge, the decayed ruins of 
the mill-dam, some old cellars, tumble-down stone walls, scrubby fruit trees, 
and, growing among the tangled grass and over-towering weeds, a rose-bush 
produced its annual crimson flower as a memorial of the beauty-loving soul 
by whose hand it had long ago been planted, and now " shed its fragrance on 
the desert air." 

Many years had passed, and memory's picture of the spot had become 
quite faded and dim, when the author formed the acquaintance of a dear old 
lady whose calm, peaceful face was enwreathed by snowy locks, and learned 
that she was born at the Killick Mill settlement, in the well-known tavern 
kept by her father, David Towle, and his brother Amos. An hour's conver- 
sation with this venerable woman, who seems to be the last surviving person 
who lived in this early hamlet, recalled all the particulars related to me in my 
boyhood, and I longed to visit the place once more, where, in my early years, 
the tinkling sheep bells carried by the wandering flock of my grandfather 
inspired my pensive meditations. The wished-for opportunity was soon 

It was a balmy autumn afternoon when the author turned from the main 
road, over which the Alfred Shakers used to pass when on their way to visit 
their brethren in Gloucester, and made his way along the bush-bordered path 
that marked the course of the old, discontinued Killick Mill road, and down 
the winding hill to the spot where the broad-spoken Scotchman applied the 
name by which the locality has since been known. The declining sun was 
sending his glinting rays through the yellow foliage of the white birch, and 
enflaming the scarlet maples; the tasselled sumac was blushing by the hill-side 
the golden-rod bowed with its offering of wealth, and the lonesome pines were 
filled with solemn whisperings. Moving forward to the brook-side, where was 
found a mossy mound, we sat down and listened to the bubbling waters as 


they wound in and out among the stones in the stream-bed. A loon laughed 
upon the pond and a green-plumed drake convoyed his well-dressed progeny 
to the seclusion of the flag-covered cove. A noisy kingfisher sprung his rattle 
while crossing the mill-stream and the red-crested woodpecker beat his reveille 
upon a decayed tree not far away. No tone of sheep-bell reached my ear, no 
intrusive traveler came to disturb my reverie. How changed these scenes ! 
Near where I reclined the rumbling mill-wheels once raised waves of echoes 
that chased each other over the hills ; here were heard the laborer's lusty 
shout, the ringing anvil, the traveler's hearty hail, the plaintive lullaby and 
merry laugh of childhood. Gathered around the ample fireplace of tavern 
bar-room, resting strangers told the news and gave the latest market price. 
At the evening hour the weary mill-men assembled and stimulated hope by 
outlining plans for the future, and as they one by one sought their homes no 
bolt was drawn, but the latch-string, that primitive emblem of hospitality, was 
left outside the door. Night crept down the wooded hill-sides and sat upon 
the surrounding forest ; threw its shadows along the field-sides and enwrapped 
beneath its sombre folds the quiet hamlet. The reigning stillness was only 
broken by the falling water at the mill-dam, the barking fox in the dingle, and 
responsive dog at the house-place. 

Now the tangled grass hides the concave door-stones once polished by 
passing feet, the long-deserted fields are overgrown with bush and brake, 
the hearth-stones have been carried away, and the unfailing spring, from 
which the sweating mill-hand and reliant housewife filled their wooden pails, 
pours its unwanted waters down the vale. The trapper and fisherman pause 
to view the enchanting scenery of the quiet spot, the mink and otter hide 
beneath the decaying timbers of mill and bridge, the chirring squirrel sharp- 
ens his claws on the spruce tree, and a chickadee trills his simple note on 
the withe-rod. 

The arms that wrought at mill and forge have long been dust, the mother's 
soothing lullaby has been hushed in the realms of eternal silence, while the 
children once sportive in the homes of this promising hamlet have nearly all 
departed to the unexplored country of the dead. 

Tradition has reported the existence of some little graves on the borders 
of the village plot, but my careful search failed to discover any indication of 
such underground cabinet, and we discontinued investigation with the con- 
clusion that the upheaving frosts and trampling feet of ruminants must long 
ago have obliterated all traces of these unmonumented places of sepulture. 
But the ceaseless murmuring of the sheltering pines will be the restful requiem 
of the little sleepers who early escaped the ills of a heart-breaking world 
through mortality's narrow gate-way. 

The long shadows were creeping over the hill-side once more, reminding 
the loitering visitor of approaching night, and, unwillingly, we turned away 

178 desehtfj) hearth-stone^^. 

from the crumbling, dissolving remnants of the deserted village to attend to 
the duties of the active present. 

The oft-repeated question, "Why all this change ? " must now be answered. 
The highway upon which this plantation and village were begun was discon- 
tinued in consequence of the long, hard-to-climb Killick hill, and a new road 
built near the bank of the Saco. The tavern was taken down and removed 
to South Limington to intercept the diverted flow of travel, the mill was soon 
dismantled and its more valuable parts carried to Bonnie Eagle, and for want 
of employment the inhabitants scattered into other localities. For several 
years the fields were more or less cultivated and the grass harvested, but in 
time, for want of attention, they became unproductive and were allowed to 
revert to the empire of nature where they have since been held in undisputed 

Even the names of nearly every family that once lived here have been 
lost in the unrecorded volume of the past century, and but two persons, now 
passing the white winter of enfeebled age, who were born there, are known to 
be living; these are Mrs. Sarah, wife of James Garland, and her sister, Rox- 
anna, widow of the late Isaac Libby, daughters of David Towle. 

The Dalton Right Settlement. — An extensive tract of valuable land, 
covered with a heavy growth of timber wherein the axe had made no mark, 
on the west side of Saco river, was early known as the Dalton Right, a name 
that appears in many conveyances. It was formerly owned by Tristram Dal- 
ton, an Englishman, and is described in an old joint deed in my possession as 
follows : "A parcel of land containing one thousand, one hundred and sixty- 
eight acres, being the same tract which was assigned to the Devisees of 
Tristram Little, deceased, by Jeremiah Hill, Joseph Bradbury, and Robert 
Southgate, a committee appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court the i6th of 
July 1788, and in return of s'd Committee the ist day of December, 178S, is 
thus described: 'beginning at Saco river one mile and a half from the upper 
bounds of Pattershall's Lot, so-called, computed on a northwest course; 
thence running southeast six hundred and fifty-three rods ; thence northwest 
two hundred and forty rods ; thence nortlieast to Saco river ; thence by s'd 
river to the first-mentioned bounds, and which s'd moiety or half part, I pur- 
chased of Tristram I )alton, as by his deed to me bearing date the second day 
of October, 1794, fully appears.'" This hmd was deeded by Thomas Cutts, 
of Saco, Aug. 10, 1797, to James Redlon, Thomas Redlon, John Bryant, 
Ichabod Cousins, Thomas Lewis, and Rufus Kimball, of the Little Falls plan- 
tation, in the county of \ork. A tract of land between the Pattershall Lot 
and the Dalton Right, known as the College Right, bordered on the Saco river, 
and was purchased about the same time by Daniel Field, Jr., brother-in-law 
of the Redlons, and he built his house close to his northern boundary on the 
knoll just below the brick house built by Uncle David Martin, now in the 


well-known "Hobson Field." This was a beautiful site for a homestead. 
Mr. Field had served with his father, Lieut. Daniel Field, in the Revolution, 
and lived for several years near his father-in-law, Matthias Redlon, in the south 
part of Buxton. When they moved into the wilderness on the Dalton Right, 
Mr. Field built his log-house, which was approached by a lane leading from 
the present highway, then only a bridle-path. After the death of " Uncle 
Daniel," Joseph Decker, who had married Annie Field, lived in a great, 
wide, weather-boarded dwelling there, which Mr. Field had built after the 
Redlon mills,* in which he was an owner, were put up on the brook above. 
Old Mrs. Field lived here with the Deckers until she secured a pension for 
her husband's army service ; then Paul Wentworth, whose wife was her daugh- 
ter, carried her to Greenwood, Me., where he had the use of her money many 
years. The land of Mr. Field extended down river to the present line between 
the Daniel Decker farm and the land of the late Amos Hobson. It was at 
the home of Daniel Field, on the beautiful elevation on the river side of the 
road, where Parson Coffin made his headquarters at the time his pudding was 
stolen, as elsewhere noticed in this volume. Zachary Field, a son of Daniel 
and Rachel (Redlon) Field, once built a hcjuse on his father's land at the 
river-bank above " Decker's Landing," now in Hobson's pasture, and where 
an old apple tree marked the spot for many years. Zachary moved to Cornish, 
and lived near his brother-in-law, Edmund Pendexter, some years, but came 
back to Phillipsburgh, and removed his house to the road-side nearer that of 
his father, just back of the well-known, old hackmatack tree, above the creek 
that flows from the cold spring which afforded what Uncle Daniel Decker 
called "howley water." Here, upon the Field Lot, were three "deserted 
hearth-stones " where once gathered the pioneer families. In these homes were 
heard the cry of infancy and the sigh of enfeebled age ; the drone of the busy 
spinning-wheel and the crashing loom. Every trace of these early homes, 
with the exception of some fragments of bricks occasionally turned up by the 
plow, has long since disappeared, and few now living know that a human habi- 
tation ever stood there. North of the College Right there was a "twenty-rod 
strip" that had been sold for taxes; this was purchased by John Redlon of 
Elliot G. Vaughan, and he built a log-house and cleared a small field where 
the brick house now stands. Here his eldest son, William, was burned to 
death by falling from a basket into the fireplace in the momentary absence of 
his mother. When John Redlon removed to Vermont, this "twenty-rod strip," 
with the buildings thereon, was sold to his brother Thomas, who lived by the 
brook-side above, and he conveyed the same to his son, Thomas, Jr., and 
David Martin, who married his daughter Eunice, who recently deceased within 
a few rods of where she was born, at the great age of ninety-eight. Uncle 

* It will be observed that the names Redlon and Ridlon are used interchangeably ; such 
were the forms of spelling used by the persons above mentioned. 


David built his house where the present brick dwelling, which he also built, 
stands, and his brother-in-law, Thomas Ridlon, Jr., built the wide farm-house, 
where he spent his days, on the hill in the "Ridlon Neighborhood," so-called. 
Tlie lower boundary of the Dalton Right was the northwest line of this 
"twenty-rod strip," and it extended to the line between the old John Lane 
mansion, above Bonnie Eagle, and the farm of Orrin Davis, I suppose. At 
any rate, Abram Redlon, another brother of Thomas, James, and John, moved 
up from Deerwander, where he settled at the date of his marriage, and built 
a house in what has since been the Lane pasture, and an old well there could 
be seen not many years ago. I have the original agreement to build a school- 
house near Abram Redlon 's, on the old road that led from near the well-known 
"Gulf Bridge," over the hill back of the Joseph Ridlon farm-steading, and 
behind the Lane and Usher oaks ; indications of this road were plainly visible 
a few years ago in the pasture. To this school-house the children of the early 
settlers on the Dalton Right acquired what little knowledge of books they 
possessed. Here, then, was another deserted hearth-stone near which it is 
said Abe Redlon used to keep a quarter of beef under the family couch on a 
truckle-bed, and when meat wa% wanted for dinner Aunt Patience pulled the 
bedstead out and cut her slices ; then returned it with its burden to its seclu- 
sion. He removed to Ohio in 1800, and died in Indiana. Thomas Lewis, 
the man of song and prayer, another of the purchasers of the Dalton Right, 
settled on the spot where "Uncle Joe Ridlon," who bought him out when he 
removed to the "Kinnybeck," built his pleasant homestead. Uncle Thomas 
Lewis had a Boston woman for a wife, who was never in Boston in " all o' her 
born days." He was called "Elder Lewis" by some, as he was an exhorter 
who sometimes "tuck a text." The line between Thomas and James Redlon 
was where the fence now runs between Thomas C. Sawver and Jacob Town- 
send. This great tract extended from the Saco river soutliwest beyond 
"Young's Meadow pond," since known as the \\'hale's pond, from which 
issued Redlon's brook, on which the Redlon mills were built, near where it 
flows into the main stream. The log-house of James Redlon was a little way 
back of the Robert Ridlon farm-house, now owned by Mrs. W'hitehouse, and 
on the same site he built his framed dwelling after the mills were built. 
James Ridlon, Jr., who had settled at Salmon Falls, moved an old school- 
house to the corner by the road-side near the present house of Townsend ; he 
also built a house back in the field where the old orchard was, so we here find 
where two hearth-stones were deserted. Ichabod Cousins began to clear a 
farm on his part of the Dalton Right on the back end of the lot near where 
Caleb Kimball, another purchaser, hung his crane, and there built a barn, the 
foundation of which, in the bushes, I have seen. He "changed his mind " 
and finally settled near his brother-in-law, James Redlon. His hearth-stone 
was long ago removed and no vestige of his house has been seen for nearly 


half a century. Nicholas Ridlon, son of James, ist, whose wife was Hannah 
Hancock, once lived on the high table-land where Joseph H. Ridlon now 
lives ; but he allowed his hearth-stone to grow cold and vacated it for a tem- 
porary home at Steep Falls. 

We will now call attention to the " Back Settlement," as it was early called, 
where Medeford Phillips, Caleb Kimball, John Bryant, and a Mr. Temple 
built houses. These dwellings, built of logs, were on the line of an ancient 
Indian trail that led from Saco river, over the ridge where the "Decker Lane" 
was opened, to the Little Ossipee river at South Limington, and we fancy that 
many a moccasin track has been made in the soft earth around the cool spring 
as the copper-skinned Sokokis came there on his journeys to drink and saw 
his dusky likeness reflected upon the clear water. On the knoll near this 
never failing fountain Mr. Temple — whence he came or whither went none 
can tell — built his cabin and dwelt in peace and poverty many years, and 
from the pure, abounding spring near his door Mrs. Temple filled her wooden 
bucket. Passing across the level land near where the " Flat Gully bars " used 
to be, we may see the site of John Bryant's humble home. To this spot he 
came from Scarborough with the Kimballs, and as their neighbors, he and his 
sons, John and Robert, both with families, cleared a small field. The land 
had not been paid for, and when the war of 1812 came on John Bryant, Jr., 
enlisted with the hope of obtaining money to clear the property from debt. 
He was killed by an Indian; his widow was married to a Bradbury and went 
to Ohio. Robert removed to the eastern part of the state, and the old folks 
went over to Limerick and spent their last days with their maiden daughters. 

The Kimball house was upon the high land still farther northwest, and 
there was produced a family of sons and daughters whose swarthy tissue 
and big feet could not be duplicated in the plantation; as for height, we can 
only say, "There were giants in those days." Mr. Kimball cleared a good 
farm here and some said — probably Uncle Dan Decker — that the dark com- 
plexion of the children was a result of eating smut when working on burnt 
ground. The house was burnt down, as will elsewhere appear, and was not 
rebuilt. On the old road that traversed these early clearings in the " Back 
Settlement" four long-used hearth-stones were abandoned, and those who 
once gathered around them at the evening time, as they roasted shenangoes 
in the ashes and green corn before the coals, have all gone out of human sight 
on that gloomy thoroughfare whose last gate-way opens into the silent putting- 
up-place named the grave. 

The Dalton Right has been divided and sub-divided many times, and 
much of the land has passed out of possession of the descendants of the orig- 
inal owners. Here was established a considerable settlement as early as 1781, 
and the two neighborhoods were known as the " River Settlement " and " Back 
Settlement" for many years. From early days I have known every acre of 


this land purchased by my ancestors and their Icindred. With my father and 
venerable grandfather I followed the mossy paths and winding wood-roads 
that passed through the noble pine forest around the old farms, when, with 
gun in hand, they went during the cool hours of the autumn day to hunt for 
partridges and pigeons. I have crept around the greenwood borders of the 
old, neglected clearings and bush-grown fields, where the pioneers followed 
the plow and gathered their harvests soon after the war-clouds of the Revo- 
lution had drifted away; and in more mature years I have followed along the 
cool banks of "Aunt Judy's brook " with fishing-rod and trap, until evSry nook 
and corner was familiar as the acreage of the cultivated farm. Within a few 
years, notwithstanding the changes in the face of the country, I have traced 
the old paths, and found the pellucid springs that bubble from the grassy mar- 
gins of the woodlands, to which my forefathers went from their fields to slake 
their thirst, and saw again the very places pointed out to me in childhood's 
ruddy morn, where bears, wild cats, and coons were caught or killed by the 
first settlers. 

I well remember the crumbling foundations of the two Bryant houses and 
some decayed logs, locked at the corners, that had once been part of the small 
cow-hovel. A few scrubby apple trees were struggling for existence among 
the great overshadowing pines, and the path leading to the spring could still 
be seen winding down the hill-side. The grass-plot, where once the door-yard 
had afforded a play-ground for the Bryant children, was for many years cov- 
ered with thick verdure, and with each returning spring-time dotted with golden 
dandelions. The road that passed these dwellings, once worn by the rum- 
bling wheels of traffic, was overgrown and discontinued; everything savored 
of seclusion and abandonment. This was a favorite feeding-place for my 
grandfather's sheep, and while sitting upon the pasture bars, assuming the 
office of shepherd-boy, I spent many' quiet, happy hours there, watching the 
sportive lambs as they chased each other around the bush-grown cellars. But 
my imagination was crowded with pictures of the past, and my vision of local 
objects dissolved into a mental survey of the long ago. All these hints of the 
abodes of human life were guiding hands to pensive meditation, and, beguiled 
by the subtle power of fancy, I rebuilt the dismantled dwellings and repeopled 
the silent solitudes. So deep was the spell that bound my mind that I seemed 
again to hear the merry voice of childhood, accompanied by the playful patter 
of children's busy feet. The melody of the happy mother's voice mingled 
with the hum of swift-revolving wheel, as nimble iingers deftly spun the fluffy 
flax. Again my inward ear caught the cheering clatter of dishes, as the frugal 
housewife spread her table for the noonday meal, and the resounding blast of 
the horn that summoned the toiling husbandmen from the virgin furrow or 
gilded harvest field. Once more the drone of pastoral bees was heard and 
the bleating of lambs came down from the honeysuckle meadows to mingle 


with the muffled drum-beat of the partridge on the mossy log by the brook- 
side. As the deep shadows fell across the clearing and enveloped the quiet, 
rural scene, the shrill challenge of the mousing fox was heard on the field 
borders, the whip-poor-will repeated her plaintive note upon the deserted door_ 
stone, while the sound of tinkling sheep-bells from the vale below alternated 
with those of the home-coming cattle in the pasture lane. In fancy I saw the 
weary men sitting about the open door while they discussed the latest news of 
the plantation and conjured wierd images in the spiral wreaths of smoke 
ascending from their pipes of clay. Within, the weary child was transported 
to the regions of repose by a mother's evening hymn, while the venerable sire 
sighed audibly as he pillowed his snowy head for his nightly slumber. When 
aroused from the romantic reverie by some startling sound I would break the 
silken threads of the net that had been woven about me, and find that all 
these pleasing pictures which had passed across my mental vision were like 
phantoms of a singularly realistic dream. Those who had once composed the 
happy domestic circle around these cold hearth-stones had long ago departed 
to the world of silence. The bewitching charms of those secluded nooks 
haunt my memory still, and as I vainly try to delineate some features of their 
matchless beauty, I mentally revisit the familiar locality and am, in spirit, a 
child once more. The march of improvement, the spoiler's hand, and unheed- 
ing plowshare have obliterated the last indication of the foundation of the 
homes of the pioneers, and but for this memorial the present generation would 
not know that the place had been the seat of a human habitation. 

Deserted Homes in Hiram. — On a pleasant June morning, guided by 
one who had spent all his years in the neighborhood, we made our way to an 
extensive tract of land embosomed among rugged mountains to view a locality 
where some of the early pioneers of the broken country laid their first hearth- 
stones. Our first objective point was the deserted farm where John demons 
built his first cabin and opened a clearing; and where Capt. Artemas Richard- 
son, a retired seaman, for many years carried on very extensive farming opera- 
tions. Here, upon a high plateau of nearly level land, we found great fields 
stretching away on all sides ; fields well laid out and enclosed with miles 
of heavy-built stone-wall, which of itself represented years of laborious toil. 
These expansive enclosures of good soil were once covered by enormous 
burdens of grass, or adorned by many acres of waving grain and luxuriant 
maize. Here, almost in the centre of the original plantation, once stood the 
great house with its capacious, annexed wings, along with barns and farm 
offices of dimensions commensurate with the abundant products of the estate. 
Now all these buildings lie in a confused heap ; not one standing. We care- 
fully climbed over the fallen timbers whose size indicated their strength when 
filling their appointed places in the standing structures, and peered into the 
enormous cellars where once great store of milk, cream, and butter was kept; 


where numerous bins filled with Shenangoes, Mohawks, and Bluenoses were 
arranged along the wall-side. Here from ten to fifteen sleek cows came 
nightly from their dew-laden pastures bringing treasures of rich milk ; and the 
almost daily swash of the churn was prophetic of the butter-spanking that 
followed through every week of the year. Here great preparations were made 
for the Portland market, where the family supplies were procured in exchange 
for produce from the fields and products of the dairy. Once every week, for 
months together, the proprietor drove down to the city loaded with his harvest 
bounty, until he became well known among the merchants as a sagacious and 
successful farmer. He was by his neighbors and the inhabitants round-about 
considered to be "fore-handed" and "independent." 

Great flocks of sheep grazed upon the sweet verdure of the mountain 
sides, and the daughters of Captain Richardson became expert wool-workers. 
The hum of spinning-wheels here kept time to the crash of the loom and 
clatter of flax-brake and swingle. Stockings and mittens grew rapidly upon 
the snapping needles at the evening fire-side and were "narrowed off" before 
the weary hands found rest. At each returning season the bumble-bee drone 
of the flax-spinney was heard as the nimble-fingered operator drew the fibrous 
thread. From the wool of the flocks and flax from the field-side all the 
clothing for the large family was home-made. 

But now ruin and decay are everywhere seen. The extensive, dilapidated 
remains of the once well-appointed homestead buildings; the neglected fields 
with tumble-down walls; the dying orchard trees and bush-grown pasture 
lane; the unused well, from which the moss-covered bucket once brought 
cooling refreshment to the thirsty field-hands ; the silence, and lonely grave 
in the field, all join in the sad story of change. The owner of this vast and 
once valuable rural estate came to a sad end. We saw the oaken beam 
among the debris of the barn frame where he closed his earthly career by 
self-strangulation. He seems to have been a man of violent temper, who 
demanded unquestioning obedience to all his wishes. Being- habituated to 
command while upon the quarter-deck, when a mariner, he carried the same 
rigid discipline into his family. It has been related that for some disregard 
of an unreasonable command by one of his daughters he tied her up and 
whipped her until her flesh was cut into furrows, and to intensify her agony 
he washed her lacerated body in brine. I'or this inhuman act he was prose- 
cuted, and the report reached far and wide until he could scarcely go abroad 
from his home without being shunned and reproached. It was supposed that 
his remorse for such cruelty to his child and the embarrassment caused by 
the public denunciation drove him to a self-made gallows. His body rests 
alone in a corner of his now forsaken farm, neglected and unvisited. 

From the spot where these melancholy events occurred we crossed the 
wide door-yard lawn and made our way down the farm-side on the line of an 


obsolete town road, through a tangled wood, to the spot where another hope- 
ful pioneer had laid the foundation of his home. Upon a knoll, surrounded 
by old fields long encroached upon by the extending forest, we saw the usual 
evidences indicating that once a human habitation had stood near; there were 
moss-grown and scrubby apple trees, the crumbling foundation of the chimney 
the well-worn door-stone, and covered well. To this lonely spot came James 
Eastman, from service in the French and Indian war, and built his cabin in 
the great basin between the encircling mountains. Where once his iields 
extended upon the gradual elevations of the hill-sides a dense forest is now 
flourishing, from which, where once the plow turned the steaming furrow, the 
lumbermen draw supplies for their insatiate mills. Under the wide-spreading 
trees, among the interlacing undergrowth, we saw the weather-stained walls 
and conical stone heaps long ago laid up by the calloused hands of the indus- 
trious farmer. Where rest the dusty remnants of the one who wrought among 
these templed hills ? Upon a little hillock in the overshadowing forest we 
found the isolated grave of the old soldier, at whose head and feet rude stones 
had been set to mark the spot. Where once had been a well-turfed mound 
there is now a deep depression in the earth that tells the sad story of decay 
below. Yes, his grave is alone; no kindred dust was deposited here. His 
widow and children long ago deserted the lonely locality. Old men remember 
the aged couple as they went from farm to farm to dress flax and spin the 
"lint" for neighboring families. But this grave has not been entirely for- 
gotten, and every year finds the national flag that we plant at the soldier's 
resting-place, drooping under the sheltering pine trees here. 

These were only two of the dozen or more farms seen and visited within 
this remote and hill-bordered amphitheatre, where, in the early years of the 
township's history, the sturdy and stout-hearted pioneers built a scattered, 
primitive hamlet. Farm joined farm here across the sunken valleys and up 
on the mountain slopes. Roads had been laid out and made passable for the 
robust wagons of those days; these old highways, winding sinuously under 
the shoulders and around the spurs of the mountains, spanned the moderate 
elevations and traversed the secluded valleys to the bank of the Saco, where 
they formed a junction with the river-road, built along the line of the old 
Pequawket trail. By such wood-shaded thoroughfares the isolated farmers 
who domiciled in the new plantation carried their grain to mill and visited 
the trading-post for supplies. 

Following the well-defined track of a long-abandoned road we climbed a 
steep ascent, crept down through a sequestered valley, penetrated among the 
forbidding ledges, and reached a beautiful spot where, from a pure spring 
under the bank, a sparkling rill crossed the path. Close at hand, overgrown 
by stunted pines, we saw the base tiers of logs and the stones of the chimney 
where a son of the sea-girt town of old York made his early home; his name 


was Boston, but he was not a " lioston man." Passing up the brae we found 
the decayed stumps of an old orchard, the corner-stones where a barn once 
stood, and fields of considerable extent. All was as silent as the halls of 
Valhalla. No curlinjj; smoke to mark the habitation of human beings can be 
seen here; no monotonous bell of kine or sheep breaks the impressive still- 
ness. Here nature has pushed her conquest and reclaimed the lands once 
wrested from her primeval estates by the forest-killing pioneer, and is fast 
rehabilitating the once denuded acres with spontaneous evergreens. 

To other deserted farms we wended our way by stern ascent and slippery 
steeps; we paused about the voiceless remains of once comfortable homes, 
where the loving mother ceased not for many a year to sing her soothing 
lullaby, from the advent of her first-born to the last babe that climbed from 
the cradle. Upon these cold hearth-stones the cheerful evening fire-light 
danced about the room and threw its mellow rays through the little windows 
to lure the passing traveler to a seat with the family group. To these homes 
among the hills Death found his way, and his captives lie imprisoned in clus- 
ters of graves found in field and pasture. While meditating upon the times 
when these houses were standing we were impressed with the thought that 
here hope had birth and was cherished for a time, but grew feeble and died 
like those in whose breasts it had been kindled. Over these concave door- 
stones the weary farmer came to his noontide meal and for his nightly rest ; 
in the door-way he gazed upon the sombre hills that towered in rugged grand- 
eur around his humble home; here he watched the cloudy chariots of the 
storm as they were driven over the ragged pinnacles and listened to the thun- 
der-tread of the marshaled hosts that were swayed by the battle shock of the 
contending elements of the air, and shielded his dazzled eves with outspread 
hand when the blood-red spears of light were hurled across the gloomy heav- 
ens ; here the father fondled the sportive child upon his knee and looked down 
the pathway of time to the day when he might see it in dignified maturity. 
Upon these hard acres the "struggle for existence" went on as the years flew 
past; the cares, the sorrows, the heart-aches, the withering hand of disease did 
their inscrutable work and laid the parents' heads in their rock-bound graves; 
upon these the sons and daughters looked for a time, then turned away from 
the place of their nativity to seek a livelihood in the great, teeming world of 

It is only a question of brief time and these once productive farms, 
where nestled peaceful homes, will become covered with the aggressive for- 
ests, and the subdued verdure of field and pasture will give place to rank 
weeds and underwood. 

We will now ask the reader to make a mental perambulation of the town 
to survey the numerous localities where some of the early settlers laid down 
their hearth-stones, but where the fires were long ago extinguished. Our 


Starting point shall be the "old red mill," near the homestead of the late Caleb 
demons. Near by, on the Samuel demons place, lived Capt. John Lane, one 
of the three famous brothers from Buxton who commanded as many compa- 
nies in the war of the Revolution, in 1777. Not many years ago the cellar was 
washed away by the river. Passing over the railroad and up the steep ascent 
by the brook-side, we are near the site of John Ayer's mill, built about 1785. 
On the left-hand side of the road, about sixty rods below the house of Joshua 
R. Ridlon, we pass the cellar where once stood the house of William Brown, 
son of Moody Brown, the soldier of the Revolution, who was in the war of 
1812. Proceeding northwesterly about fifty yards we may view the spot where 
John Ridlon once kindled his morning fire; thence onward around the foot- 
hill we pass, on the northwest side of the road, a spot on which the house of 
Abel Robbins stood. We have now reached the brow of the hill and see the 
ruins of the once extensive farm buildings of Capt. Artemas Richardson, on 
land owned about 1790 by John demons, recently the property of Caleb 
Clemons. Following down the hill on the line of an old road, and through a 
thick wood, we emerge upon the edge of the bush-grown field once plowed 
by James Eastman, the veteran soldier, of whom mention is previously made; 
thence onward to the spot where Elder James Fly used to spread his spiritual 
wings at his family altar and soar heavenward. His swarm of young Elys were 
named Abigail, Nancy, Eunice, Eliza, and James. As we proceed westward 
we shall stand by the caved-in cellar where Nathaniel Williams stored his 
winter supply of Shenangos, and about whose door-stone played his olive- 
plants, Joseph, Lavina, Aaron, Eli, Nathaniel, Lucy, and Eliza. Following on 
northwest we approach the Col. Aldric Clemons farm, where is the cellar dug 
by his father, Eli P., and the site of the early cabin built by his grandfather, 
John, Sr., 1780. 

We have now reached the present road that passes through the " Notch " 
between the mountains, and will bear toward the northeast along the borders 
of the pretty Clemons ponds. Our first pause will be beside the old founda- 
tion of Fred. Howard's chimney, which will be on our right hand. We hasten 
past the blackened ruins of the recently burned Adams house, and reach 
the spot where Joseph Howard once domiciled; this is on the right side of the 
highway, and a little way farther east may be seen the spot where one New- 
comb, as a new-comer, sat down by his hearth-stone. Proceeding on our way 
toward the railway crossing we pass, on the left, the cellar where John Pierce, 
son of John and Rebecca, stored his "garden sarse" and barrel of pork. 

Near the Spring schoolhouse we will turn abruptly southwest, and on 
our way to the hill upon which Darius Lewis now lives shall pass, on the right, 
the spot where Jonathan K. Lowell roasted potatoes and husked corn. About 
a half mile west from the dwelling of Darius Lewis was the cellar where Mar- 
shall Lewis, who was killed in the war of 18 12, settled. From the junction 


of the roads here we follow the route leading back toward Joshua R. Ridlon's 
and pass, on our left, the site of a house owned by Richard Heath (?). Close 
to James Ridlon's road we may pause and meditate on retrospective lines 
where Moses Lowell once ate his brctd and cheese; and on the hill-side, some 
distance back from the road, in a northerly direction, will be found the place 
where John and David Tyler pillowed their weary heads long ago. Between 
the residence of Llewellyn A. Wadsworth, Esq., and the road leading from 
the Spring schoolhouse to that of Darius Lewis, was the cellar of Daniel E. 
Cross, a Revolutionary soldier, who sold to Capt. Thomas Spring in 1794. 
On the farm of Squire Wadsworth, a little below the house, is the spot where 
Daniel Boston built a house and carried the clay for mortar to build the chim- 
ney on his back in a basket from Saco river up the steep, long hill. He was 
one of the assessors in 1806. Only a few rods north we find indications of 
a house lot, and learn that Royal Boston once lived here. Westerly stood the 
house of William Morey. About a quarter of a mile east, now in the forest, 
may be very distinctly seeii the foundation of a log-house, in which Winthrop 
Boston lived. On John H. Spring's place, still farther east, was once the 
habitation of Capt. Edmund Skillings. 

We have now once more reached the road leading from the red mill to 
Joshua R. Ridlon's, and will climb the hill to the road corner near the Joshua 
Robbins house. Turning to the left we wind down the hill to the dismantled 
homestead where Lemuel Cotton lived. Looking up across the fields we see 
the spot where William Cotton, the old soldier, had his fields. Following along 
the line of an old discontinued road that was once the principal thoroughfare 
to Saco river, we come suddenly upon a clearing that is hemmed in on every 
side, where two early settlers had built their cabins; the first was where one 
Marriner cast anchor on dry land, and the stones of his chimney and the base 
logs of his house could still be seen. Just across the brook, upon a knoll, 
Benjamin Boston once smoked his pipe and toasted his shins. 

We must now retrace our steps to the road near the red mill. Passing 
southeast down river, through the present village, we reach the place where 
Daniel Foster built his cabin and where he died in 1782. A little way down 
the river bank is the spot where Lieut. Benjamin Ingalls, the first settler, 
planted his home in the wilderness, say 1774. Between these last mentioned 
sites and the great fall, we pass the gra\e of lister, who died first of the early 
settlers. We will now turn westward, and as we enter the road leading from 
the river-side over the hills to South Hiram, we shall pass, on the left, the old 
cellar-hole where Daniel Hickey once rattled his hoc among the stones- he 
had seen hard service in the Revolution, and with General Wadsworth was 
taken prisoner at Bagaduce, in 1781 ; a son of old Erin. When we reach the 
Wadsworth mansion, near where the old road came out from Benjamin Boston's 
we may look upon the spot where William Pi'erce, son of John and Rebecca 


who came from Baldwin, once lived. Over the long hill by the Capt. Samuel 
Wadsworth farm we pass, on our left, the spot where John demons sat down as 
early as 1790; and farther west, the cellars of George Hodgdon (still living), 
of Simon Brown, and of Moses and Aaron Gould, from whom the name "Gould 
place," was derived. There are some old graves in the forest near, where 
trees nearly a century old are growing, but the names of those buried there 
are unknown. A short distance southeast we stop at the old homestead where 
the Chase family, represented in Cornish, Baldwin, Standish, and Limington, 
have their annual reunions. Here also we find the cellar of James Dyer, a 
descendant of the Cape Elizabeth family; who was in the 18 12 war, and 
another, where John and Charles Wentworth once lived. 

Turning about, we proceed easterly toward Hiram Falls, and find, not far 
back from the river road, the cellar over which the house of Aaron Rand once 
stood. In the glen, westerly, Henry W. Barnes once lived. On the road from 
Hiram Falls to Cornish there is an old cellar where a red rose blooms annually 
but no one can tell who lived there. Below are cellars where John Fly, William 
Gray, and John McLucas once settled. Some distance west of the last named, 
there are three or four old cellars, where several of the McLucas family lived; 
now there is no house in the neighborhood. 


OW shall I provide food for my family? This question was forced 
upon the attention of every pioneer; it involved the success or 
failure of his undertaking ; if it could be answered practically, hope 
was inspired and the arm invigorated for labor. The rivers and 
lakes were crowded with fish, the forests abounded with game, and mother 
earth was only waiting to be groomed with the plow and harrow to furnish a 
rich harvest of bread corn for the household. 

One of the important adjuncts of the log-house was the samp-mill, other- 
wise the sweep and mortar. The first corn harvests were gathered from the 
burnt ground and reduced to coarse meal, called "samp," by this rude instru- 
ment. A venerable mother, whose years had nearly spanned a century, 
remarked that as soon as her father had made his log-house comfortable he 
made an excellent samp-mill, and that they often stood in the low door-way and 
saw women, their distant neighbors, coming through the beaten woodland 
paths with their aprons full of corn which they wished to crush for dinner. 
"And we gals used to enjoy listening to the boom of the old pounder." 

To construct a samp-mill a large, hard-wood tree was cut off some dis- 
tance from the ground and the stump hollowed out with augurs, gouges, and 
hot stones until it had a capacity for a half-bushel of corn. About twenty 
feet distant a tall, forked post was firmly planted in the ground, at the top of 
which, connected by a strong hinge-pin, was a long, vibrating sweep; and from 
the small end of this was perpendicularly suspended a heavy pounder, called 
the "pestle," which was armed with a long handle so adjusted that two per- 
sons, one on either side, could work it up and down. The corn was poured 
into the capacious mortar and by a somewhat rapid succession of strokes, the 
momentum being accelerated by the rebounding sweep, the grain was crushed 
and prepared for the sieve of the waiting housewife. Although it required 
considerable muscular exertion to operate the sweep and mortar, it was a 
primitive necessity found useful in bridging the chasm between an empty 
meal-chest and a distant corn-mill. 

A well-constructed samp-mill was often kept going, by the associated set- 
tlers, from the early morning till the sun went down, and its booming echo 
drove every wild beast to his lair in the far-away forest. In the absence of 
the men, robust mothers and their buxom daughters often worked at the sweep- 


handles, their toil accompanied by cheerful songs, and their cheeks made 
warm and ruddy by the healthful exercise. 

But in a few years the increasing number in the household demanded a 
dwelling of more ample dimensions, the expanding grass fields and multiply- 
ing heads of live stock larger barns and out-buildings, and there must be some 
cheaper materials provided for building, as well as more practical methods for 
preparing their abundant grain crops for the table. These pressing needs of 
the pioneer proved to be the precursors of the first saw-mills and grist-mills 
in the colonies. 

The early records indicate when and where the first mills were erected 
and set running. Saw-mills driven by water-power were in successful opera- 
tion in New England more than thirty years before an attempt was made to 
build one in the mother country. In a deposition by Francis Small when he 
was sixty-five years of age, Sept. 8, 1685, he states that he had lived in New 
England upwards of fifty-five years, and well remembers that Capt. John 
Mason sent into this country eig/it Danes to build mills, to saw timber, and to 
make potash ; that the first saw-mill and corn-mill in New England was erected 
at Captain Mason's plantation at " Newichawanock " upwards of fifty years 
before, where also was a large house. This saw-mill was built in 1631, and 
the corn-mill a few years afterwards. In 1632 a windmill was removed from 
Watertown to Boston, and that year a small vessel was dispatched from the 
settlement on the Piscataqua with sixteen hogsheads of corn to be ground 
there. Windmills were not superseded by water-power for many years, for in 
1661 the selectmen of Strawberry Bank granted liberty to Captain Pendleton 
"to set up his windmill on Fort Point toward the beach, because the mill is 
of such use to the people." 

From the time when the mills at Newichawannock, now on Salmon Falls 
river, had proved a success, petitions poured into the General Court, and into 
the hands of the local authorities, asking for privileges for running saw-mills 
and grist-mills; and from 1632 to 1732, a period of one hundred years, men- 
tion is made in early records of more than fifty saw-mills and twenty corn-mills 
within the present bounds of York county, Maine. 

While these mills were first built to meet a requirement of the settlers, 
who contributed quite liberally of their money, grain, or labor for their con- 
struction, they soon multiplied for more mercenary reasons. The old docu- 
ments bear evidence to the fact that many of the first inhabitants in New 
England were adventurers looking for opportunities to embark in any enter- 
prise that promised a reasonable return for money invested. Some of these 
were men of education, possessed of considerable means and great business 
energy, to whom the old forest monarchs, that had stood the shock of our 
Atlantic tempests for centuries, became an irresistible temptation; indeed, 
these were so attractive that some of the learned jclergy, who had been sent 


over to lof)k after the spiritual welfare of their countrymen in the New World, 
became worldly minded as they went to meditate under the shade of the pine 
trees, laid aside their robes, and became builders and owners of lumber-mills; 
a profitable "side-line" where they had no organized parish. 

Many of the early merchants who came here to engage in trade with the 
settlers, to exchange English goods for peltry, soon went head-over-heels into 
the lumbering business. 

In many instances when the General Court granted mill privileges they 
generously attached a valuable slice of timber land to "furnish said mill 
withal"; and in view of the practise of modern politicians, who advocate the 
doctrine that "to the victors belong the spoils," we are forced to inquire if 
these early guardians of the colonial domain received financial perquisites 
from their humble petitioners which made them more liberal of the pubUc 
lands and water-powers. 

The building of saw-mills in New England was not only a necessity for 
domestic use, but was encouraged by the British authorities because the manu- 
factured lumber was in great demand there, not only for the building of ships 
but for the finishing of gentlemen's mansion houses and public buildings. 
No country in Europe produced lumber of such excellence as that maufactured 
from the mellow old pines of New England; there was nothing known that 
would receive the carpenter's plane with the same grace of non-resistance. 
Visitors to the Old World have written with much enthusiasm of the rich 
color of the "old English oak" in the panel-work seen in some of the ancient 
mansion houses there; when, in fact, they were but praising a product of 
American soil. 

The ownership of saw-mills was not confined to those who became resi- 
dent New Englanders. Wealthy capitalists on the other side of the Atlantic 
invested largely in timber lands and saw-mills here. Prominent among the 
London merchants who early became identified with the lumber trade, ex- 
changing English goods for merchantable boards, was one Richard Hutchin- 
son, "Ironmonger." As early as 1653 this man saw the advantages of New 
England as a seat of trade, and had emplo\ed competent agents here to look 
after his commercial interests on the Piscataqua. He engaged in trade with 
the first of the lumbermen at the mouth of the Saco river, and we find Lieut. 
William Phillips, the wealthy land owner of Saco, contracting to furnish this 
gentleman lumber at his saw-mills in that town.* Hutchinson not only 
engaged in importiu'; manufactured lumber purchased by English merchandise 
from the millmen here, but invested in saw-mills in western Maine, as proved 

*Iii 1880 merchantable pine boards wore, worth 30 shillings per thousand feet here; white- 
oak pipc-«tiiv('s, 3 pounds per tliousand ; red-oak, 30 shillings per thousand ; hogshead-staves, 25 
shillings per thousand; Indian corn was 3 shillings, wheat, 5 shillings, malt, i shillings per 
bushel. Silver rated at six shillings and eight pence per ounce. 


by records which relate to his transactions with agents here who had not ren- 
dered a satisfactory account of the earnings of such mills, and gave bonds 
for their appearance in England to answer for "all their dealings and doings," 
and to pay all dues to date. 

Another London merchant whose name has come down to us in con- 
nection with the New England lumbering business was John Beex. This 
merchant-adventurer owned several mills in what is now York county, Maine, 
and employed agents and attorneys here who sometimes collected more than 
a thousand pounds as revenue from his lumber business. 

From the fact that saw-mills driven by water-power were not built in 
England for many years after they had been in operation here, we had sup- 
posed that such were an invention of our New England mill-wrights ; but from 
the deposition before alluded to, it appears that such had been known in 
Denmark. Subsequent investigation proves that the Scandinavians were the 
originators of water-power saw-mills ; that they had taken advantage of those 
remarkable waterfalls with which Norway and Sweden abound, centuries before 
New England was settled. There are ancient churches now in a good state 
of preservation in those countries finished inside with boards cut more than 
four hundred years ago. 

Those Danish mill-wrights evidently came over with a meagre supply of 
tools for constructing even the wood-work of the saw-mills. The rude machin- 
ery was clumsy and rambling; the saw-gates, shafting, and gears were of wood, 
heavy and iron-hooped. The iron-work, such as cranks, journals, saw-straps, 
crow-bars, and dogs, were hand-forged by common blacksmiths from small 
bars of Swedish iron welded together to secure the requisite size and strength. 
In some of the early conveyances of saw-mills on the Saco river I find mention 
of the following appurtenances, the speUing as in the original: "Swipsaws," 
"doggs," "craws," "chaynes," "wheeles," "sledds," and "schidds." Among 
the tools enumerated were the following: " Borier," "frawe," "halberd," and 

The haul-up and tread-back "niggers" were not invented for more than 
a hundred years after saw-mills were running here. There were no "slips" 
connecting the bed of the mills with the streams by which they were propelled, 
over which logs could be drawn upon the mill-deck by the great chain ; they 
were all landed upon the mill-brow and rolled over skids to the carriages. 
When a board had been sawed, the log was run back in regular "tread-mill" 
fashion; that is, the millman mounted the "rag-wheel," and by walking upon 
strong pins inserted in the side of the rim for that purpose, reversed the revo- 
lution of the shaft by which the carriage had been propelled forward, and 
returned the saw-log to its former position, where it was set over for another 
board. This was a slow and laborious part of the millman's work, and we 
can only wonder why some more feasible and practical device had not been 


invented long before it was. The operation of the first power "nigger" 
created nearly as much astonishment as the original saw-mill itself, and the 
inhabitants from far and near went to see the "new-fangled critter" go. When 
this had been fairly tried, every saw-mill must have its "nigger." It is related 
that an old farmer walked ten miles to see one of these " tarnal mash-gag- 
gines " work, and after careful measurement of every part returned home, 
determined to put one up in a mill he had built on the brook near his house. 
His stock was hewed green from the forest and his tools were few and unsuit- 
able for his undertaking; his courage, however, was of the best quality. 
Having conveyed his timber to the mill, he began work and kept his own 
counsel. After many days of weary toil, he had his clumsy enginery in posi- 
tion. He then "slushed" the bearings and rails upon which the carriage 
ran, called in the neighbors, hoisted the gate, and the "thundering consarn " 
started. Away went the carriage toward the head of the mill, and never 
stopped till it was launched into the stream below. In the enthusiasm of the 
moment, while flushed with the certainty of success, and by watching the 
movements of the new machine, the owner forgot to unmash his gears, and 
the momentum received by the carriage on a slightly declining plane, well 
lubricated, carried it beyond its legitimate bounds, and left it in a shattered 
condition in the rocky bed of the stream. 

This accident so exasperated the owner that the new appliance was torn 
out and thrown from the mill. In relating the circumstances in after years, 
he said all he did scarcely retarded the growth of the tree from which the 
great shaft and wheel had been made, and in winding up his story, he would 
spring upon his feet and with clenched fist declare that "the confounded old 
thing was so awfully crooked that it couldn't keep still, and crawled off down 
stream through the sand." 

When we think of the construction of the early saw-mills and grist-mills 
in the wilderness of New England our fancy tempts us into a wide field of 
speculation. The mechanic from whose brain the plan was evolved must 
have been freighted with an infinite responsibilit)-; his anxiety assumed a char- 
acter commensurate with the magnitude of his undertaking. E\en if he was 
the proprietor in prospect, who was to take all risk upon himself, human curi- 
osity and personal inquisitiveness, then as now, would impel those who were 
in no way connected with the enterprise to intrude their opinions and ask a 
thousand impertinent questions calculated to annoy and harass all who were in 
any way identified with the new venture. For many months there were weary- 
ing days of toil, succeeded by wakeful nights of intensified thought. Aware 
of the tireless scrutiny of these meddlesome spectators, who have infested 
every community, the mental strain became greater as the culminating experi- 
ment drew near, and the final result must have been anticipated with feeling 
alternating between hope and fear. Every part was adjusted with the greatest 


possible care, and its operation surveyed with critical circumspection. The 
chain of connection between the great driving wheel, outside of the mill, and 
the terminal parts was traced link by link, and what was wanting in nicety 
of finish was supposed to be made good by the copious application of liquid 

Dedication of a Saw-Mill. — The day of trial came at last, as it will 
to all beneath the sun. Ample provisions were made for the dedication ; the 
importance of the august occasion demanded that some imposing ceremony 
should be inaugurated as the proper recognition of the achievement. Spirit- 
ual inspiration was considered indispensable at the time of which we write, 
and large supplies of a variety of liquors were landed on the mill-brow. One 
of the most winsome young ladies of the plantation, beautifully dressed, was 
selected to deal out the beverages, and many times during the day must her 
warm cheek, as well as the casks, have paid tribute to the tastes of her patrons- 
Old men with locks like snow, who had their birth in England, leaning 
upon their staff, robust matrons, blushing maidens, and happy children were 
assembled upon pieces of timber near the mill to view the novelty of the new 
enterprise and share in the festivities of the occasion. 

Practically, the whole affair had been proven a success by the master- 
builder the previous night, while others were unsuspiciously sleeping, that any 
chance for a hitch at the critical moment might be obviated in season, without 
the embarrassment of exposure to public gaze. 

To convince the public of the practicability of this mechanical under- 
taking an invitation had been extended to every family within several miles 
around to be present at the "h'isting o' the gate." Several heavy men had 
been stationed upon the ladle-boards of the great wheel, and another at the 
saw-gate with a lever to "give her a start" when the water was turned on. 
The master-workman was placed in the position of honor at the gate-head 
upon the bulwarks. When every man was at his post, and silence had been 
enjoined, the proprietor slowly mounted the staging that had been erected for 
the purpose and addressed the assembled pioneers. He called attention to the 
growing needs of the plantations round-about and illustrated the advantages 
of saw-mills and corn-mills by reminding them that they were domiciled in 
small log-cabins, all too restricted for their growing families, and that they had 
been obliged to send their bread corn to Boston for grinding in a windmill at 
considerable expense of shipping and loss by extortionate toll ; he dwelt with 
evident pleasure upon the almost boundless resources of the forest adjoining 
and pointed to the beauty of the grand old pines under whose shadow they had 
gathered ; he proudly alluded to the master-workman, whose great skill and 
careful execution of his important task had been the factors of success in this 
great enterprise ; and then, after an impressive silence, he mentioned with 
the most profound pathos of voice and language the enormous responsibility 


iissumed by the proprietors and the financial risks involved in a venture so 
novel. Now he turns upon the platform and directs the attention of the spec- 
tators to the mill itself; it was, he said, a monument to New England enter- 
prise, the music of which would be new, absolutely new, in this country and 
cheering to all who were identified with the progress of the colony. This 
saw-mill, with the corn-mill soon to be erected, would prove the most valuable 
adjuncts to the material equipment of the settlement, secure its permanency, 
and bring wealth and comfort to every home. Continuing, he drew word pict- 
ures of the stately, well-finished and furnished houses that would soon sup)- 
plant the close, uncomfortable dwellings now inhabited by the settlers; of the 
large, warm barns that would arise to afford storage and shelter their cattle. 
Having closed his more public address, he turns to the master-workman, whose 
lever of hornbeam was already adjusted upon his brawny shoulder, and, with 
upraised hand and commanding voice, shouted, " H'i-st the gate." Like a good 
sailor he responded, "Aye, aye, sir! " at the same time raising the ponderous 
gate planks and turning the head of boiling, foaming water upon the great 
wheel. For a moment, while power and friction were contending for the mas- 
tery, the whole mill frame groaned and trembled under the herculean strain; 
but the several parts of machinery duly responded to the moderate revolutions 
of the water-wheel, the saw-gate slowly rose and fell, and the savage-looking 
saw gradually found its way into the soft fibre of the advancing log. For a 
time all lookers-on were overwhelmed with amazement at the startling spec- 
tacle ; but when the enthusiasm of the excited people could no longer be 
restrained, shout after shout rang through the resounding forest, and when 
the oft-repeated question, "Will she run?" had been materialized into the 
answer of "There she goes," all retired from the scene satisfied that the first 
water-power saw-mill in New England was an assured success. 

It has not required any strain of the imagination to find materials of 
which the foregoing description has been composed ; it is all true to fact and 
in strict accord with the conclusion naturally reached by a retrospective sur\'ey 
of the time and conditions to which the elucidation relates ; it is calculated to 
stimulate the apprehension of such as cannot well appreciate the hardships, 
deprivations, and heroic exertions of those pioneer settlers who opened the 
fore-gates of enterprise and materially assisted in ushering in our present 
era of agricultural, commercial, and educational prosperit}-. 

Mills in Saco and Biddeford.- .\s early as 1650, Roger Spencer, a 
prominent business man of that time, had a saw-mill in Biddeford, which then 
included Saco, and in January of that year the town of \ork granted liberty 
to John Davis to build a saw-mill on the Great Falls of Saco river, with 
accommodation sufficient for that business, the most convenient that can be 
fixed upon next to Roger Spencer, with timber and meadow sufficient for his 
work. There is said to be no evidence that Davis ever built a mill on the 


privilege specified. Is it not, then, a little singular that a John Davis owned 
a sawrmill and grist-mill on the east side of Saco river, May 25, 1752, of which 
I find mention in his will of that date ? 

In June, 1659, Richard Vines granted a tract of land in Biddeford to 
Lieut. William Phillips, a man of wealth, who moved from Boston the follow- 
ing year and built a house below the falls, which was garrisoned. The year 
following his settlement in Biddeford, he purchased one-fourth of Spencer's 
mill, and the next year employed Capt. John Alden, his son-in-law, to build 
another mill, conveying to him a fourth interest in the same when it was 
finished. In 1667 Lieutenant Phillips conveyed one-half of the island, against 
the mills, to Capt. John Bonython for 800 pine trees suitable for merchantable 

In 1680 Benjamin Blackman built a saw-mill on the east side of Saco 
river, at a point subsequently called Blackman's Falls, and purchased one 
hundred acres of land, which embraced all the privileges on that side of the 
river. In 1681 he petitioned for liberty to cut timber on the Common for the 
accommodation of his saw-mills. Three years later he purchased a tract on 
the river, containing 640 acres, of John Bonython; and the year following 100 
acres, of James Gibbins, extending three miles and a half above the falls. 
From the records it appears that Blackman was acting as agent for a company 
at Andover, Mass., that had planned to improve the entire water-power on the 
east side of the river; but in the absence of evidence to show that this vast 
scheme was ever fully carried out, it has been plausibly assumed that the 
troubles with the Indians prevented it. The improvements made by Black- 
man, and his associates, Shief and Walker, were abandoned during the Indian 
wars and only a few families remained about the falls. Upon the foundation 
laid by these early proprietors, an enterprising company erected quite exten- 
sive mills soon after the resettlement of the town. 

In 1691 Capt. George Turfey built the "lower mill," so-called. This was 
repaired and kept running until 18 14, when it was carried away in the great 
freshet. The "Eddy mill" was subsequently built nearly on the same site. 

Samuel Walker, a resident of New Jersey, sold out his two-thirds of the 
Blackman mills in 17 16, to William Pepperill, Jr., a young man who had been 
extensively engaged in the lumber trade and merchandising at Kittery. The 
following year he purchased the other third of this mill of Mr. Blackman's 
son-in-law, the conveyance including the timber standing on 4,500 acres of 
land northwest of the mill. William Pepperill sold half of this tract to a 
mill-wright and speculator in lumber, of Hampton, named Nathaniel Weare, 
not long after it came into his possession, and to Humphrey Scamman, Jr., 
of Saco, mariner. These two gentlemen, in part payment for the property, 
built a large, double saw-mill on the old Blackman privilege, and a large house 
for the use of the millmen, one-half being owned by Pepperill. 


This mill property, and an adjoining tract of land a half-mile square, was 
divided by the proprietors in 1717. Pepperill had the saw and frame next to 
the land with a landing-place for his lumber there. Scamman and Weare had 
the saw and frame on the river-side. The agreement specified that each of 
the owners should do his part to keep the mill in repair. The great mill-house 
was also divided. Captain Scamman carried on the lumber business here till 
his death, in 1734, when the estate was divided between his children. Smith, 
in his journal, mentions the burning of the saw-mills in Saco by the Indians, 
in 1745; the garrison and the Scamman mill were also probably destroyed at 
this time. Mr. Weare sold his three-fourths of the mill and land to Richard 
Berry, John Elden, and John Selea, in 1731, and subsequently one-eighth to 
Thomas Dearborn ; the remainder, to Abraham Tyler and Jeremiah Moulton. 
The two last disposed of their share in 1737. 

In 1740 Samuel Cole, of Biddeford, sold a share of a saw-mill to Thomas 
Wheelright, of Wells ; this was a part of milling property included in privileges 
embraced by twelve acres of land purchased in 1720, on which he built a 
saw-mill, afterwards called "Cole's mill." He soon after sold another quarter 
to Benjamin Gooch, of Wells. In the spring of 1741 the three proprietors 
just mentioned united in building the well-known " Gooch mill " on the island 
of that name. 

On Feb. 9, 1747, William Cole, of Biddeford, millman, conveyed to 
Joseph Woodman, James Scamman, and John Tarbox, all of Biddeford, yeo- 
men, one-quarter part of a saw-mill standing on Saco river in said town, and 
on that part known as "Cole's spout." Also, one-quarter share of one near 
the other, but higher up on the river, at a place called "Jordan's creek." 
Ephraim Stimson and Benjamin Gooch had conveyed one-eight share of a 
saw-mill on "Jordan's creek," June 10, 1746, to Joseph Woodman. This was 
on the west side of Saco river and called the "Upper mill." About 1750 
these saw-mills gave employment to a large number of men, and, conse- 
quently, there was a considerable settlement in that part of the town. 

Col. Thomas Cutts came from Kittery to Saco in 1758 with only one 
hundred dollars in ready money. After a careful survey of the water-power 
and various mill privileges, he decided to locate on Indian island and make 
that the seat of his lumber business. He purchased a small undivided part 
of this island in 1759, it being but one-fourth of Weare's original share. Here 
he built a small house in which, according to the custom of the time with 
merchants, he fitted up a room in one end for a store. On this spot he made 
his abode, and from his small beginning added acre to acre and mill to mill, 
till he became one of the most extensive dealers in lumber and general mer- 
chandise in the whole country. Soon after the confiscation of the property of 
Sir William Pepperill by the government, during the Revolution, Colonel Cutts 
purchased a large part of the estate, including the saw-mill. 


Mills in Buxton. — The earliest mention of a saw-mill in the township 
called Narragansett, No. i, now the town of Buxton, was July 19, 1738, when 
the proprietors voted that if a saw-mill was built it should be set up on Saco 
river. No mill was erected at that time. On April 11, 1739, the proprietors 
voted to pay Dea. Jonathan Fellows thirty pounds, "old tenor," to help him 
build a saw-mill on lot 12, in Narragansett, No. i. He failed to build accord- 
ing to agreement, but the first mill in town was evidently built on this privi- 
lege, as will appear. At a meeting of the proprietors held June 18, 1740, a 
bounty was voted to Samuel Chase "to enable him to build a saw-mill on 
Gains is brook," in this township. This was the small stream that has been 
known as the "Hains Meadow brook" from as early as 1763 down to the 
present day. This saw-mill was only built on paper. In 1742 a committee 
was chosen at a proprietors' meeting to agree with Stephen Mighill and others 
about a saw-mill to be set up in the township, "both as regards the building, 
sawing, and when the mill shall be resigned back to the proprietors." At a 
meeting of the proprietors held May 31, 1743, it was voted that Thomas 
Gage and Stephen Mighill should be released from their obligation on their 
refunding the money they had received in part payment. On Nov. 17, 1742, 
Nathaniel Mighill, of Rowley, took oath that he visited Narragansett, No. i, 
the week previous, and saw a saw-mill erected there, and that the mill-wright 
said he desired to get it to go in three or four days. In 1744 a bounty was 
voted Thomas Gage and Stephen Mighill " on their keeping a good saw-mill 
running in the township." Failing still to keep their pledge, the proprietors 
voted to sue Gage and Mighill if they did not immediately carry out the con- 
dition of their bond and build the saw-mill. Stimulated by this threat, the 
two engaged Joseph Woodman to build a saw-mill on Stackpole's brook; this 
was in 1750. This first saw-mill built in the township was on the east side of 
the Salmon Falls and Saco road. No other mills are known to have been put 
up till 1 76 1, when John Elden, of Narragansett, No. i, Jeremiah Hill, of Bid- 
deford, and Joseph Leavitt, of York, built a saw-mill and grist-mill on Little 
river, where Daniel Leavitt's mills have since stood. There were two saw- 
mills here in 1762, and in 1767 Captain Bradbury conveyed to his son William 
one-eighth of his interest in what he designated the "upper saw-mill, which 
stands by the side of the grist-mill." The saw-mills and corn-mills on this 
stream were kept in repair many years. 

In 1769 the proprietors granted a mill privilege on the Saco river at Sal- 
mon Falls to Dea. John Nason, Capt. John Elden, Isaiah Brooks, and Jabez 
Lane. This company built a double saw-mill and grist-mill, and the proprie- 
tors soon after gave them a deed of four acres of land which embraced the 
mills. There were three grist-mills and no less than three saw-mills in opera- 
tion in town as early as 1772, and it was no longer necessary to carry the corn 
on the shoulder to Saco for grinding, or to build dwelling-houses of logs. 


On Jan. 30, 1786, there was an article in a call for a proprietors' meeting 
to see if they would grant a mill privilege from the common and undivided 
lands on Bog brook, so-called, to William Walkinshaw, John Smith, Nathaniel 
Hill, and Benjamin Donnell, Jr., to see how much land they would grant for 
said mill privilege, and if the proprietors would lay out a highway to said mill. 
In the meeting held on the 15th of March following, it was voted (inter alia) 
to "pass over" the article relating to this mill privilege, and this is the last 
mention of a mill (?) on that stream for many years. 

The first saw-mill erected on the east side of the Saco, at Moderation, 
was built between 1790 and 1795, by Nathan Elden, Sr., who, at the same 
time, opened the first store there. He was succeeded by his son Nathan, who 
greatly extended the business, building and maintaining a grist-mill, and con- 
tinued successfully for about twenty-five years, being well and widely known 
as "Squire Elden." In 1814 he sold one of his saw-mills to Joseph Hobson 
("Deacon Joe"), and interests to Jabez and Jeremiah Hobson about 1820; 
and in 1822 he sold a further interest in saw-mills and privilege to Oliver Dow, 
who had been a clerk in his store, and who continued in the lumber business 
and in trade until far advanced in life. Tobias Lord, who subsequently settled 
at Steep Falls, commenced business at \^'est Buxton about 1828, and on Nov. 
2, 1831, Nathan Elden conveyed to him a single saw-mill which he had lately 

George W. Lord engaged in the lumber business at M'est Buxton in 1S48. 
He had previously lived there when carrying on wool-carding and cloth- 
dressing; after which, he was engaged in the lumber trade and milling at 
Limington and Bonnie Eagle before returning to Buxton. Mr. Lord con- 
tinued successfully during the remainder of his days and extended his business 
gradually until he acquired wealth. 

Gideon Tibbetts owned a saw-mill on Buxton side of the river at Modera- 
tion, in 18 1 4, which was carried away by the great freshet which swept the 
mills and bridges from the Saco that year. This mill stood near the site of 
the present grist-mill, a little farther up the stream ; it moved down river whole 
to Bar Mills, where it crushed one of the saw-mills ; then drifted down upon 
some rocks and went to pieces. 

Mills in HoUis. — The first saw-mill and grist-mill known to have been 
built in the plantation of Little Falls, now Mollis, were erected by a primitive 
stock company on the stream issuing from \'oung's meadow pond, since 
known as Whale's pond, called Young's meadow brook, afterwards Ridlon's 
brook, and latterly known as " Aunt Judy's brook," and Martin's brook. 
These mills were about midway between the present carriage road and the 
Saco river, and were built by Thomas Ridlon, James Redlon, John Bryant, 
Ichabod Cousins, and Daniel Field. The grist-mill here was running years 
before there were such at Moderation. It was this mill to which Robert Mar- 


tin brought his corn to get it ground, after bringing it from Saco to his home 
in the Elwell district, Buxton, the same day. He said he carried the grist to 
the east bank of the Saco, thence across to Ridlon's mill by a raft. When it 
had been ground, he carried it two miles to his home by the same route, and 
sat down to rest while his wife baked him a cake. He drank some milk before 
leaving his home for Saco in the morning, and took no other nourishment until 
he reached his house on his return ; then he had another draught of milk. 

The first set of stones made for this mill were lost through the ice on 
Sebago pond when being drawn by an ox-team from Baldwin. It was a year 
before another set was ready for use. From the time the grist-mill was com- 
pleted for many years nearly all the inhabitants of Phillipsborough, Limington, 
and Buxton had their grain ground at "Ridlon's mill." It was an interesting 
spectacle when fifteen or twenty horses were hitched to trees about this mill, 
some being unladen and others ready to start with their burdens, while those 
who were waiting for their grists collected in a group to discuss the prospects 
of their harvests or narrate the latest adventure of the settlements. 

The saw-mill was not built until 1790-1. This was above the grist-mill. 
Both were driven by "overshot" wheels. The saw for the saw-mill was 
brought from Haverhill, Mass., through the woods, on horseback. Fancy the 
undertaking ! The first saw-mill at Bar Mills was built in the sumnier of 1795, 
being raised on the loth of September of that year. It was built by John 
Woodman and others. 

From old documents in my possession it appears that William Walkin- 
shaw, Matthias Redlon, and Simon Gile were engaged in building a saw-mill 
on the west side of Saco river, on Moderation falls, as early as 1790. The 
bands for the base of the mill were framed and raised before the river had 
frozen over, and while at work there Thomas Ridlon, son of Matthias, slipped 
upon the frosty timber and fell into the falls. He was almost instantly carried 
under the ice, and those who saw the accident did not expect to see him again 
alive. Below where the present bridge spans the river there were "rips" that 
remained open during the winter, and here, seeing the light shine through the 
opening, Mr. Ridlon sprang out upon the ice, and to the astonishment of the 
workmen was soon at work on the frame. During the winter Walkinshaw and 
his associates in business, assisted by a considerable force of men and teams, 
cut and hauled the timber for their mill frame. Ephraim Sands, the well- 
known hewer, though advanced in years, was the master-mill-wright, and here 
wielded his enormous broad-axe for many a day. So correct was his eye, and 
so accurate his stroke, that he refused to have his timber "lined." At every 
blow he carried his axe through the slab from the top to the bottom, and thus 
hewed more in a day than two ordinary axemen. How long this mill was 
operated by the three original proprietors I do not know, but from 1786 to 
1795 Matthias Redlon was engaged in the lumber trade in a small way, as 


proved by his book of accounts in my possession. On June lo, 1795, he con- 
veyed one-sixteenth part of a dou/>k saw-mill on Moderation falls to William 
Walkinshaw for "twenty-one pounds lawful money." Simon Gile continued 
running a saw-mill on Hollis side several years after the beginning of this 

As elsewhere mentioned, mills were early built on the Killick brook, near 
the outlet of the Killick pond, and some time after these were removed to 
Bonnie Eagle a mill was built on the same stream, on the Limington road, 
where the Stephen Estes mill has since stood. A saw-mill and grist-mill were 
also built on the stream that enters the head of the Killick pond, at North 
Hollis, but they have been dismantled. 

We have been informed of a saw-mill in the lower section of Little Falls 
plantation, now Hollis, owned and run by Samuel Haley and his son Noah; 
this was located on "Deep brook." •! do not know when it was built nor 
how long maintained. 

The first saw-mill and grist-mill built in Limington is said to have been 
on the Little Ossipee, on Chase's falls, since known as "Chase's mills," not 
far from the Saco; and some kind of mills have been running there for about 
a century. Mills were early built, how early has not been ascertained, at 
South Lirhington, on Nason's falls, since known as " Hardscrabble," and more 
or less lumbering has been carried on there ever since. A grist-mill was also 
long kept running there. Other small mills were built on some of the larger 
brooks, but these have been allowed to decay. 

In Pearsontown, now Standish, the first mill was built by Ebenezer Shaw 
in 1762. At a proprietors' meeting held at the house of Edward Ingraham, in 
York, June 9, 1752, a committee was chosen to lay out to some persons a tract 
of land, including a stream for the purpose of building a mill. Mr. Shaw 
received the privilege, and 200 acres of land, as "an encouragement," where 
the well-known " Shaw's mill " has since been maintained, and immediately 
set about preparations for building. At Bonnie Eagle a saw-mill and grist- 
mill were owned by Samuel and Robert McDonald as early as 1790. Samuel 
sold out his share and moved to Chatham, and a son, now living, rode on the 
horse behind his father when they went from Standish to that remote wilder- 
ness. 'I'he following notice, found in a copy of the old Eastern Herald, of 
date "March 4, 1794," speaks for itself: 

"Standish. To be sold, a saw-mill on Saco river in the town of Standish. 
Said mill, if well attended, will saw 600 M boards yearly. Also a grist-mill on the 
premises well furnished. Robert McDonald." 

Probably John Came succeeded the McDonalds here, as the " Came mill " 
stood on the same site and privilege, on the "island" there. Job Burnhani, 
an early mill-wright and dam-builder, owned a saw-mill many years on the 


Limington falls, on Standish side of the Saco, and was succeeded by his sons; 
the dam and mill are now gone. 

Tobias Lord, Esq., early engaged in the milling and lumber business at 
the Steep falls, where his son of the same name now owns, but we have no data. 

The first grist-mill in Cornish was built by Asahel Cole, in 1777, on the 
outlet of Hosac pond, near his house. A grist-mill was soon after built on 
the outlet of Long pond, called the "Hough mill"; this had a good water- 
power. A saw-mill was built on the same stream by John Durgin, in 1796. A 
grist-mill was built on Little river, that runs through the village, in 1780. The 
planks from which the spout was made for carrying the water from the dam 
to the wheel were dragged through a bridle-path from Limerick with an 
ox-team. There were no boards on the mill-frame when the wheel was set 
a-running. When the mill was not in use the hopper was turned upside down, 
and the curbing covered with flakes of hemlock bark. Mr. Thompson built 
a saw-mill on the same stream in 1784; both mills were swept away by spring 
flood in a few years. He then put up a grist-mill and saw-mill below the falls 
on the same stream, the former driven by a "tub-wheel." The miller said, in 
1818, that he could grind but one bushel of grain in an hour. The saw-mill 
was driven by a "flutter- wheel," which turned so slowly that the teeth of the 
saw could be counted when " she " was in full cut. When it was necessary to 
pass down the mill-bed the millman went through the saw-gate, when in motion, 
without much haste, or danger to his head. In 1790 Thompson built a mill 
for wool-carding and cloth-dressing. 

John Brown built a saw-mill on the outlet of Long pond in 1802, and in 
1804 put up a grist-mill on the same stream, on his farm. This saw-mill was 
standing a few years back and may be now. 

Theophilas Smith built a saw-mill on the Great Ossipee, where the cov- 
ered bridge on the South Hiram road crosses, in 1824. Col. John Warren 
purchased this mill in 1834, and two years later put a grist-mill into the base- 
ment ; and only a few years afterwards the whole establishment was burned 

The Thompson mills were purchased by Cotton Lincoln, and in 1841 he 
rebuilt the grist-mill, and the saw-mill in 1843. 

The town of Baldwin was not richly endowed with water-powers; the 
streams upon which the few small mills have been built were not of sufficient 
volume to drive much machinery, and being without capacious reservoirs, and 
diminished in summer by drought, they are unreliable. Quaker brook, since 
known as Dyer's Folly brook, has furnished power for small mills since an 
early day; on this stream Isaac Dyer owned a mill, and on it the Weed mill 
was built. Subsequently the Youngs ran a mill where Dyer's mill was built, 
on the east side of the Bridgton road. On Break-Neck brook small mills have 
been owned by various parties. Ephraim Richardson formerly owned a mill 


where that of Appleton N. Burnell now stands. ()n Pigeon brook Edward R. 
Bacheller had a mill in which he was killed by the machinery. The old Clark 
rake factory was on a stream where the mill of Amos Richardson was recently 
burned down, in the western section of the town. 

The first mill, a saw-mill, built in Hiram was owned by John Ayer. It 
was in the deep glen on the right side of the road leading to the Hiram hills, 
a little way above the Old Red mill now standing above the village known as 
Hiram Bridge. This mill was driven by the great, old-fashioned, but excellent 
"overshot" wheel, and when the stream was at spring flood it afforded abun- 
dant power for the lazy old saw. 

William Stanley built a saw-mill on the stream that issues from the Spec- 
tacle ponds, in the southwest part of the town, at an early day ; it was close 
to the lower pond, near the road novv' leading from the chapel to the home of 
Daniel Gray, and was one of the first mills in the town. 

Gen. Peleg Wadsworth built a mill on " Shookham " brook about 1819. 
This was on the Samuel D. Wadsworth farm. The stream was in some way 
fitted for driving down logs, and was known subsequently as Canal brook. 
Several mills have since stood on the site. The General also had a grist-mill 
on his farm before his death, in 1829. A mill was built on Hiram Great fall 
many years ago, but the time has not been ascertained. Mills were built 
early on Hancock brook at East Hiram. 

In Denmark the early mills were built on Moose brook before 1800, by 
Cyrus Ingalls, who came from Andover, Mass. 

The first mills in Brownfield were on Ten Mile brook, which takes its rise 
in Hiram, and flows northeasterly to Saco river. Burnt Meadow brook forms 
a tributary, coming from Dyer's pond, and about 200 rods from the point 
where the two streams form a junction, Capt. John Lane had a mill. In an 
old deed of date 1 789, from Henry \oung Brown to Simeon Bucknell, of 
Hiram, twenty acres of land about the old mill on Ten Mile brook are con- 
veyed, and the conditions were that the said Bucknell should for the term of 
sixteen years maintain a good grist-mill on said brook, where said Bucknell 
then had a mill. This old document shows that there was a mill there before 
1789. Mills were also built on Shepherd's river, near Brownfield Centre, by 
the early proprietors of the land in that section. 

The following, of date May 26, 1773, has reference to the action of the 
proprietors of Conway respecting early saw-mills and grist-mills in that town: 
" On consideration of a vote passed at the first meeting of the proprietors of Con- 
way for Capt. Timothy Walker to have one hundred acres of land, his two mills to be in 
the centre with the mill privileges, and as said vote was passed without sufficient noti- 
fication, but as sd Walker is now ready to give bond to serve the Proprietors with said 
mills therefore Voted to confirm said hundred acres of land as laid out to sd Walker 
his heirs or assigns the conditions of his bond to run as followeth : That until there 
shall be another grist-mill and saw-mill built in Conway the sd Walker his heirs and 


assigns shall keep a good Grist-Mill and Saw-Mill in good repair and give good attend- 
ance at the same to serve the Proprietors or Inhabitants of sd Town in the following 
manner: To saw all timber that shall be brought into the mill-yard which sd Walker 
is to always provide convenient for the mills for one-half of the lumber the said timber 
shall make which is to be sawed into proper stuff according to the owners directions 
and grind well for customary toll and if after other mills are built in said Town sd 
Walker his heirs or assigns shall think it for his interest to keep up said mills or one of 
them then he or they shall serve the said Proprietors and Inhabitants in the abovesaid 
manner so long as he or they shall think proper to keep the mill or mills up. At another 
meeting held Sept. 29, 1773, voted to Thomas Chadbourne about fifteen acres of land 
in Conway with a mill privilege on Pudding brook near Mr. Eastman's bounded on 
every side by lot No. 12 on the condition that he build a good saw-mill on said mill 
privilege to be completed by the first of November next and keep the same in good 
repair forever and to saw logs into boards or other lumber for the Proprietors or 
the Inhabitants for one-half of the lumber or at the rate of boards at nine shillings 
per thousand. Likewise build a good grist-mill on the same stream in two years from 
the first of November next and to grind for the Proprietors or Inhabitants in a proper 
manner and to keep the same in good repair forever and be ready at all times to serve 
them in a proper manner and that there shall at all times be a proper convenience for 
logs and lumber at said mills. Also voted to Thomas Chadbourne as an Incourage- 
ment for building a grist and saw mills on Pudding brook so-called in said town one 
hundred acres of land to be laid out by the Committe." 

At a proprietors' meeting held in 1765, it was "voted to Capt. Timothy 
Walker of Pigwacket one hundred acres of land beginning at the Grist Mills 
and immediately surrounding the mills, which was afterwards known as the 
'Mill farm.'" 

Thomas Chadbourne sold his interest in the mill privilege and all his 
improvements thereon to Richard Eastman, then said to be on Kesauk brook. 

Among the early mills built in the town of Bartlett was a grist-mill owned 
by Joseph Thompson on the Ellis river ; this mill was long ago swept away by 
a rise of water. A Mr. Goodrich built a saw-mill and grist-mill on the falls 
that are now known by his name, and mills have since been maintained there. 
Another early mill was owned by one Abram Allen, near the village, and after 
many years of service it was allowed to fall down. A saw-mill was built by 
John Pitman, about 18 10, on the East branch, and a saw-mill and grist-mill 
on Rocky branch were owned by Stephen Burbank. 

M^\ Jimnbcrman'h tf amjj. 


WINTER in the woods! Snow-bound with a vengeance ! The 
most intelligent representatives of our more populous centres have 
but a faint conception of the part played in the drama of human 
life by the hardy lumbermen when camping in the backwoods. 
Isolated from the comforts of home, from the restraints and refinements of 
society, and exposed to all the dangers incident to their bold employment, the 
lives of these timbermen are peculiarly trying. But with all their deprivations 
and hardships there are pleasant and beneficial phases in the backwoodsman's 
experience. The very conditions to which he is subjected insures to him the 
greatest blessing of human existence — that of vigorous health. Disease can- 
not exist amid the medicinal exhalations of the balsam tree, or aching limbs 
be found upon a bed of cedar boughs. Accidents are not infrequent. The 
upraised axe of inexperienced chopper sometimes becomes entangled in bush 
or overhanging branch, and, being diverted from its course in the downward 
stroke, goes wide of its mark and makes a deep and dangerous wound in foot 
or limb. In severe weather these men are sometimes badly frost-bitten, and 
great suffering is occasioned thereby. The greatest danger to the axemen is 
from falling trees; to teamsters, when descending the steep hills before the 
heavy load of logs. By one misstep or the breaking of a chain many have 
lost their lives. 

Before our New England race had degenerated by intermarrying with 
three generations of cousins german; for want of pure air and healthful exer- 
cise when the bones were growing; before the curse of cooking ranges and 
French courses were known in the family, no finer specimens of physical 
manhood could be found than in the lumber camp. The use of a four-pound, 
narrow axe threw the shoulders back, expanded the chest, and dro"e every 
dormant function of the system into the chain-gang of activity. With every 
respiration the capacious lungs were filled with about a gallon of the health- 
giving properties with which the forest is pervaded. The constant changes of 
position necessary for doing the work that engages the woodman's attention, 
and the copious perspiration caused by his robust exertion, were conducive 
to a vigorous circulation of the life current and eliminated from the body 
every poisonous ingredient. 

There is no locality so well protected from the storms and tempests as 


the deep, sheltering forest. The thick trees not only break the force of the 
wind, but form a protecting canopy over the workman's head. Besides, those 
who go to the lumber swamp are well equipped for resisting the cold. Their 
bodies are clad in coarse, thick woolens; the feet are protected with several 
pairs of heavy home-made stockings, and the face and neck supplied with 
abundant whiskers and hair. These men live near nature, are on good terms 
with her, and derive the beneficent blessings flowing from an observance of 
her laws. Brave, noble-hearted fellows ! Somewhat rough, like a chestnut 
burr, outside, but all right in the region of the heart. No spirit of narrow- 
souled meanness would be tolerated in the camp. "All are in the same boat," 
and sympathy is reciprocal. 

So long as strong drink is kept out of the woods, peace and harmony 
usually prevail; when that curse of the human family is admitted, strife and 
discord run rampant, quarrels and fighting are the order of the day. The 
most successful managers at the present day will not allow strong drink in 
their camp. Much more work is accomplished, much more peace enjoyed. 

Life in the lumber camp is not so monotonous as the uninitiated might 
suppose; indeed, it has as much of variety, of mirth, of good-fellowship, as 
almost any situation one can conceive of. 

There are, ordinarily, five departments to fill among those in the timber 
swamp, and the various "hands " are known as teamsters, choppers, swampers, 
and sled-tenders. The cook, sometimes called "the old woman," has his 
dominion within the camp or at the wood-pile. 

The "boss" purchases his oxen, engages his crew, and starts for the 
swamp while the ground is yet free from snow. It is a busy day when prepara- 
tions are being made for the journey from the settlement to the backwoods. 
The long rail-carts are loaded with barrels of beef, pork, and flour. There 
must be bags of meal, bundles of fish, and boxes of herring; also, potatoes, 
onions, beans, salt, and the "trimmings" necessary for a winter's cooking. 
Packs of quilts, blankets, and men's clothing follow, as a matter of course. 
A box of new axes and a few tools for repairs fill the complement. 

When we consider that eighteen or twenty men are to be supplied with 
food during a long winter, and that those thus employed and exposed will eat 
double the quantity of food required when at home, some estimate of the stores 
necessary to be taken to the woods in the autumn can be formed. As many 
as six fat oxen have been butchered and eaten at one such camp in a winter. 

The work of the cook is arduous and wearing to an extreme. While the 
men of a crew, as a rule, are not very fastidious, there will be chronic growlers 
who are never infinitely happy unless finding fault; such are a "sid in the 
teeth " of the camp cook, and sharp quarrels between the two are not unusual. 
But if the "boss" is in camp he has a word to say about such matters and 
his decision must be regarded as final. As a rule, the cook must cut his own 


firewood, keep the camp in order, and carry hot food to the teamsters, chop- 
pers, swampers, and chainmen a mile or two distant in the woods, in two large 
firkins suspended from a yoke across his shoulders. Meanwhile, a fire will be 
built of dry limbs, a tea-kettle put on, and hot coffee and tea made. Men 
who have toiled in the cold since daylight will "lay-to" and eat steaming 
baked beans under such conditions, when they would spurn such a dinner in 
their homes. "Ah! but they taste wonderfully good out in the woods." So 
say the old lumbermen when telling their "experiences." 

When night comes on and the weary men with faces covered with frost, 
and beard jeweled with icicles, come to camp, all is bustle. The teamsters 
are busy at the hovels putting up their cattle, while the crew gathers about 
the roaring fire upon "deacon's seat" to remove moccasins and hang their 
mittens up to dry. 

By the time the teamsters have come in and all are comfortably warm, the 
busy cook has his hot supper on the long, board table and the hearty fellows 
gather round to tighten their waist-bands. How the food disappears! Will 
the company ever be satisfied ? Supper over, the men attend to such work or 
recreation as seems most congenial. One will be found whittling a goad-stick, 
another an axe-handle, and a third making a yoke. A group upon the "dea- 
con's seat" will be playing checkers with bits of leather, cut round or square, 
for the "men," while oihers, whose heads can scarcely be seen for the smoke 
rising from their pipes, will be reading a well-worn newspaper. A fiddle or 
banjo will often be heard in camp at evening, and some hilarious yankee will 
try his foot in a "double shuffle " at the fire-side. Stories are always in order 
in the lumberman's camp, and the more they stretch the credulity of the 
listening company, the more are they enjoyed. The competition in "telling 
tales out of school " is sometimes sharp, and roaring laughter follows. When 
the cook has washed his dishes he finds a seat by the fire, and knits his 
stocking foot as deftly as any old grandmarm in the chimney-corner at home. 

When the weary men are ripe for rest, one by one they tumble from the 
"deacon's seat" upon their couches; but when in a mirthful spirit many a 
"trick" is played upon each other and many a keen-edged joke passed down 
the long tier of bunks until the last owlish fellow has "turned in" and joined 
the snoring chorus. 

When an ox becomes lame, or his neck so badly chafed that he is unfit 
for the yoke, the teamsters will away to the pond or stream for fish; if a 
"yard " of deer has been found, and there is a sharp crust on the snow, there 
will be venison in the camp before night. 

If the lumberman's winter quarters are not too far away sleighing parties 
from the nearest settlement sometimes make the camp crew a visit before 
spring. On one occasion the good wives among the farmers on the upper 
reaches of the Saco decided to visit the logging camp on the mountain side 


some two miles away. The day appointed was clear and bright and the crisp 
air was exhilarating. All hearts "devised liberal things." A goose, turkey, and 
several fat chickens should be carried as a donation to the lumbermen. It 
was a merry company that drove up the well-trodden woods-road, and the 
greeting received was of the most cordial kind. A woman's face in camp was 
a benediction; a, pronounced henQdiction, as some of the young men found out 
before their departure. 

The horses were provided for, the women laid aside their wraps, and 
assisted the embarrassed and apologizing cook in preparing for an exti-a good 

Newspapers were spread upon the table as a substitute for a cloth. The 
turkey and goose were nicely roasted in the old-fashioned manner before the 
hard-wood coals. When all was ready the company gathered about the boun- 
teous board to enjoy the repast. It was noticeable that the men of the 
camp appeared more tidy than was their custom ; that they were not as hila- 
rious and uncouth in manner. All were ashamed of their rude table and 
rough, board seats ; were abashed in the presence of so many strangers. One 
there was, a teamster, who could not eat goose flesh; anything, even crow or 
owl, before that. He could scarcely bear to sit with the company at table, so 
obnoxious was the goose upon which the others were feasting. Many compli- 
ments were passed by the ladies to the camp cook for his nice bread and 
pancakes, and the members of the party were soon on the best of terms. 

When the meal was over the women and girls "cleared away" the dishes, 
put the shelves in order, and then went for a walk down the logging road to 
search for spruce gum, and "take the wholesome woodsie air." The whole 
day was spent about the camp. In the evening songs were sung, the violin 
put in tune, and "projects tried." 

The moon rode high above the forest at the hour of nine, the teams were 
hitched up, and after much " tucking in " by the gallant young woodsmen, 
"good-nights" were spoken, and the jinghng sleigh-bells were soon heard far 
down the mountain side. 

It was a late hour before the lumbermen found any inclination to seek 
repose. The conversation was somewhat spicy and the dreams that followed 
rather romantic. At any rate, the day had been a pleasant one, not soon to 
be forgotten, and we may well believe that some of the farmers' daughters 
felt their "ears burn," if there be any occult connection between compli- 
mentary speakers far away and the subjects conversed about. 

Some days subsequent to the visit and royal feast, when making his gteat 
batch of bread for supper, the absent-minded cook made a mistake between 
two basins that had been placed side by side on a shelf and poured the goose- 
grease into his pan for "shortening." Unwilling to waste so much good flour 
he decided to take the risk of being found out, baked his bread, and placed 

210 THE LUMIll<:i!MAN\S CAMP. 

it upon the table, the same as if nothing had happened. The men appeared 
unusually hearty that evening and eagerly devoured the warm biscuit. Even 
the teamster who detested x'""-''^\ who never wanted to hear goose mentioned, 
declared aloud that the cook had beat himself; that he had never made any 
bread half as ^voi/ before, and asked for the secret of his success. " Well, 
Sam," replied the cook, "they ought to be good, for I shortened 'em with goose- 
grease." This turned the laugh upon the fastidious teamster, and he was 
afterward asked many times if he would have Ms biscuit shortened with goose. 

Flapjacks! Pancakes! Fritters! Many are eaten in the lumberman's 
camp. How are such cooked? There is some novelty about this culinary 
art as practised by the backwoods cook. The indispensable utensil is a light, 
long-handled frying-pan. Into this the thick batter is poured, it is held over 
a bed of coals, and when one side of the pancake has been well browned, 
with dexterity of movement it is thrown upwards from the pan and caught 
again as it descends, the uncooked side down. An experienced camp cook 
will repeat this operation a hundred times and never fail to recover his revolv- 
ing flapjack before it reaches the fire. 

Being bantered by several fun-loving members of the "old bachelor's 
family," who would do almost anything to "raise the wind," I'o/Zj', the man 
cook, at one time declared that he could throw a pancake out at the smoke 
hole in the roof and catch it when descending outside the camp. A wager 
was instantly laid and the experiment tried. A great, spreading batch of bat- 
ter was poured into the fry-pan, everybody commanded to "clear the track," 
and the crisis came. Turning his eyes toward the hole overheard, "Polly" 
estimated the distance, calculated the time that would be required for his 
cake to descend, and, bracing himself for the supreme moment, sent the steam- 
ing fritter on its aerial flight. Quickly turning upon his heel, the cook rushed 
for the door, but struck his head against the cap-piece and fell like a stunned 
bullock. Such shouting, raillery, and explosions of laughter as followed this 
amusing adventure when the crew found that "Polly" was not seriously 
injured! The question, "Where's your pancake .> Say! Polly, where's your 
flapjack?" rang out again and again, until it passed into a proverb, and for 
months afterward, when the choppers and teamsters were coming into camp, 
they would hail their cook by shouting with all their strength, ■• Polly, where's 
your flapjack? S-a-y, Polly, w-h-e-r-e-'s your pan-c-a-k-e ? " The reader may 
be sure that the novel experiment was not repeated. 

The preceding anecdotes illustrate, in a simple way, some phases of life 
in the lumberman's camp. Man)' are the side-shaking episodes that are wit- 
nessed there; some too highly seasoned for the printed page. When the long 
winter has passed and the men turn toward their homes, they cast many a 
longing look backward to the rude log-camp in which they have enjoyed so 
many pleasant hours, but which they would never see again. 

Past p\m m& |ttastiitj. 


RINCELY, patriarchal pine ! Grand monarch of the'primeval for- 
est ! Fit emblem to emblazon on our state escutcheon ! Of all 
the noble trees found on the banks of the Saco, none were compar- 
able with the white pine; it was majestic, graceful, venerable, and 
awe-inspiring. Kingly, like Saul, it stood "head and shoulders" above all 
other trees of the wood. Some of these were two hundred feet in height and 
full six feet in diameter. Their chronology was vast in its reach; by count- 
ing their concentric rings it has been ascertained that some of the sentinel 
pines cut upon the Saco intervales were a thousand years old. Their age 
was recorded without an error for ten centuries and kept securely in their 
own trunk. For a thousand years these had been swayed by the mighty 
tempest and menaced by the lightning of heaven's artillery only to take deeper 
hold upon the foundations of the earth. They scaled the mountain side like 
a phalanx of giant grenadiers, and, standing upon the summit, caught the first 
beams of the morning and the last purple ray of the setting sun. 

The sacred writers exhausted the resources of their language, under the 
inspiration of an imagination kindled at Eastern altar fires, in descriptions of 
the cedars of Lebanon, but these were not as majestic as the noble pine. 
Doctor Holmes, who has always possessed a lively admiration for great trees, 
says he never approached a certain giant oak in Chelsea without taking his 
hat off; what, then, should be his reverence for the ancient pine that lifts its 
green banners above all the oaks of the land. 

One may stand beneath the sapling's shade and talk of the "whispering 
pines," but he who sits far below the foliage of the old forest monarchs when 
they are touched by the passing winds will hear voices that sound like the 
distant ocean's roar; their music ranges through infinite variations in sweetness, 
compass, and power. There are swelling strains like the chorus of a mighty 
orchestra; sounds as solemn and awe-inspiring as the piteous music of the 
Miserere, or the wail of a lost soul. Again it floats in gentle undulations like 
the dying echoes of a vesper chime, or the symphonies of an angel's song. 

Year after year, century after century, these veterans had cast their 
lengthening shadows across the Saco's dark waters as the western light was 
fading above the horizon. Before the continent was known to the vikings of 
the north, or ever the sagas had been written, the bold eagle that disdained 
the lower altitudes perched upon the pine tree's topmost bough. When Colum- 


bus reached our shores these venerable trees were six hundred years old. 
Invested with the power of speech, what a history they could unfold! What 
race of human beings passed under their swaying branches a thousand years 
ago? Was the land inhabited then by the nomadic red man, or did these 
great trees make record of the earlier centuries of their growth in the silent, 
uninhabited wilderness? As the seasons succeeded each other, the snows of 
winter sifted through their branches and the wild flowers of summer blos- 
somed at their feet. The agile squirrel climbed their dizzy height to feed 
upon the seeds of their corrugated cones, and while the centuries were run- 
ning their race, their yellow needles had been silently falling upon the untrod- 
den carpet below. The wild drake hailed the mountain monarch as he guided 
his winding column on its annual migration, and the passing clouds swept 
their emerald harp-strings with their trailing skirts. Their posterity was like 
the vast army that covered the valleys and hills, their genealogy beyond the 
power of man to tabulate. 

When the early voyagers came to the New England coast they were filled 
with amazement at the sight of the vast, interminable forests, and were awe- 
struck when they surveyed the towering proportions of the enormous old white 
pines. Returning home, they wrote such glowing descriptions of these trees 
that the crown interested itself to secure masts and spars from our shores for 
the royal navy. In a manuscript, dated 1666, it is stated that "at the falls of 
Newichawannock three excellent saw-mills are seated, and there, and down- 
ward that side of the river, have been gotten most of the masts which have 
come for England ; and among them that much ad?nired mast which came over 
some time last year, containing near thirty tons of timber, as I have been 
informed." These masts were as many yards in length as inches in diameter 
at the butt, after being hewed and dressed at the mast sheds erected along 
our coast for that purpose. Thirty-six inches was the maximum for the masts 
at the large end; hence these were one hundred and eight feet in length. 
Although a thousand years old, the pines were as sound as a nut, and many 
of them as straight as an arrow. 

The British government employed a colonial surveyor-general of the 
woods, under a large salary, whose business was to see that all trees suitable 
for masts for the royal navy were marked with the "broad arrow." A statute 
was passed, in 1722, imposing a heavy fine for cutting the mast pines without 
license from the commissioner. The government paid a premium of one 
pound a ton on masts, yards, and bowsprits. Ships were built for the especial 
purpose of transporting masts; they were of about 400 tons burthen, were 
handled by twenty-five men, and carried from forty to fifty masts at a voyage. 
In time of war these vessels were attended by armed convoys. The price at the 
royal navy-yard for masts thirty-six inches diameter, in 1768, was ^153, odd. 

The mast business seems to have been principally carried on in New 


Hampshire for many years, and the mast ships came to Portsmouth to load; 
but when the advantages of Portland harbor were known the trade was trans- 
ferred to Maine. In a newspaper printed in Boston, in 1727, it is stated: 
"The mast business * * * is removed eastward, where it has been car- 
ried on the last winter with such success as could hardly be expected, consid- 
ering the very little seasonable weather for it. As this must tend very much 
to encourage the settlement of those parts of the country * * * there is 
no reason to fear but that our government will, in their wisdom, look upon it 
very much to their interest to protect and encourage it." 

Great mast houses were put up at the mouth of Saco river, and many 
workmen employed there for years, until the war of the Revolution. We have 
an ancient account book owned and "kept" by one of the early settlers of 
Saco, who was engaged in masting for a long term of years, as his charges for 
such work prove; his earliest mention of masts being of date 1759, and the 
last 1 77 1. Those who were employed in the forest, cutting and hauling 
the enormous trees, were called "masters" and "mastmen," while those who 
hewed and dressed them, in the long sheds built for that purpose, were desig- 
nated "mast-wrights." When the woodsmen left the settlement and went in 
search of suitable trees, they were said to have gone "a-masting." The great 
forest monarchs cut down by them were named "mast pines." Then, as now, 
every occupation had its peculiar vocabulary. 

Many very valuable masts were assembled at Saco and Portland when 
the Revolution came on, and became so much worm-eaten and decayed that 
they were cut up and used in building wharves. We have conversed with a 
venerable woman, who remembered the old mast house at Saco lower ferry, 
and who gave us the names of several men who were engaged in the masting 
business when she was a child, some of them having eaten at her father's table. 

When the author commenced the writing of this book there were a few 
specimens of "mast pines" standing on an old estate on the borders of the 
Saco valley, but these old landmarks, that have been admired by hundreds of 
visitors to the locality, have now been hewed down. Only a few years back 
four such trees were sold for $1,200 in York county. Few, if any, now remain. 

Much of the pine timber landed on the brow of the early mills was so 
large that the logs were slabbed down by the millmen before they would pass 
the saw-gates. Some such trees would scale 6,000 feet. In the wainscotting 
found in some of the old Saco valley houses the boards were three feet in 
width, and many of the doors were cut from a single board. The author was 
one of a family of seven who gathered about a dining table, the top of which 
was formed from a single board four by three feet. 

The rough, unlettered men who engaged in masting were skilled in all 
the arts of wood-craft. They were like those ancient men of whom the poet 
Bryant wrote : 


" Among our hills ami valleys, I have known 
Wise :uiil griive men, who, whili: their diligent hands 
Tended or gathered in the fruits of earth, 
Were jivcrend learners in the solemn school of Nature." 

The classics they knew nothing of, but they were profound in that of 
which school men were ignorant. To these sons of the forest every bush and 
brake was a silent teacher. The hark and moss upon forest trees were their 
instructive objects of study; without chart or compass they could find their 
way through the dark, pathless wilderness and emerge therefrom at any 
desired point. 

Their eyes were trained for their craft; their judgment had jurisdiction of 
trees. As the experienced dealer in live stock estimates the weight of the 
bullock while going to the shambles, so those mastmen could tell, with won- 
derful precision, how much the standing pine would scale. When in the wood 
in search for masts these men would stand at a distance from some noble pine 
and by turning their practised eye toward the pillared trunk would instantly 
decide whether its size and height were suitable for their purpose. 

But there were important tests to be applied. Was such tree sound ? 
While one of the mastmen remained a little way off to listen, the other would 
approach the great tree and deal the trunk several hard blows with his axe- 
poll. Some of these grand-looking pines were like good men, sound to the 
heart; others, like the villain whose manners were polished but whose inward 
parts were as black as night. If the tree was solid to the core, the axe-stroke 
produced a dull, hard sound; if decayed within, a hollow, reverberating echo. 

If the old pine bore the examination and -'passed muster," the next thing 
of importance to consider was the course by which the mast could be hauled 
from the woods. This must be decided before cutting down the tree. The 
ground was now carefully examined and a roadway surveyed through the 
wilderness. Rocks were removed, hollows filled, streams bridged, and side 
hills "wharfed" with logs. Trees and underbrush standing in the way were 
cut down. The mast pine must fall in the direction opposite to that by which 
it would be removed from the forest. These things being settled, "spring- 
skids" were felled at right angles with the mast tree when it came down. 
Such would obviate risk of breaking and elevate the great trunk to facilitate 
loading. All bushes and obstructions were removed from about the base of 
the tree so that the choppers could avoid the danger of rebound by moving 
quickly away when the old hero fell. 

Having selected their positions at opposite sides of the mast pine, the 
two brawny woodsmen throw the shining, keen-edged steel into the mellow 
wood. Two "scarfs" were carried by experienced workmen when cuttino- 
large trees; the lower one to facilitate cleavage. The angle on the stump 
side of the incision would descend but slightly toward the heart of the tree; 
that above would intersect at an angle of forty-five degrees when the heart 


was reached. The skilled axeman would observe this rule and only a mini- 
mum of the valuable tree was wasted. 

Mastmen expert with the narrow-axe would time their blows with the pre- 
cision and regularity of a drum-beat. How the shining blades gleam in the 
sunlight! With what lusty swing of arm do the choppers throw them in! 
How accurately the edge follows its aim! See the broad chips fall out, and 
the sweat drop from the shaggy brows of the workmen! But hold! The axes 
have reached the heart of the ancient pine. There is danger now, and the 
masters hasten away. For a moment the old monarch, that had laughed at a 
thousand tempests and shook his enormous arms in defiance of the winds, 
stood unmoved as if determined never to descend from his lofty throne. A 
passing breeze touches it far above the surrounding forest, and a quiver, a 
shudder, is perceptible below ; then, slowly, the great trunk sways forward and 
with an awful roar, answering to a dying groan, the king of the mountain came 
down with a crash like a giant thunderbolt that made the ground quake, and 
with a rebound which was like the death struggle of an expiring behemoth. 
All was over now; prostrate lies the tree of trees. How has the mighty fallen! 
Bryant deemed the "death of the flowers" a theme worthy of his poetic pen. 
How much more sublimely impressive the death of the patriarchal pine! 

It was no light undertaking to move one of these colossal mast trees from 
the forest to the coast. Their weight was stupendous. Simple but heavy 
appliances were used for loading them. They were usually hauled in winter 
upon a great mast-sled made for the purpose; sometimes, however, on three 
pairs of heavy block-wheels. From eight to twelve yoke of oxen were required 
for moving the largest masts. The strongest chains and hawsers were carried 
to the woods for securing the stick to the sled-bunk or wheels. Several active 
and experienced men, besides teamsters, were in attendance to remove obsta- 
cles, lag up depressions in the roadway, and to assist, perhaps, in lowering 
the load down some steep ascent. 

It was a lively and exciting time when a great mast came from the woods. 
The whole forest resounded with the shouting of animated teamsters. A 
"master-carter" superintended the undertaking; his orders were arbitrary; 
his right there were none to dispute. Others might act on a " committee of 
ways and means," but the ruling of the chief was final. His place was at the 
seat of honor, standing upon the fore end of the mast-stick. From this posi- 
tion he could see all obstructions and observe the movements of the men and 
their teams. To keep his foothold while the great, jolting mass moved forward 
was an accomplishment worthy of the most experienced river driver, and but 
few were competent for the place. 

The old-fashioned New Englander was a believer in noise, and plenty of 
it, sure enough. Their theory was : the more noise, the more power — in meet- 
ing and out. The old teamsters believed cattle had the capacity for a fair 


degree of education ; this was evident from the way they talked to them. We 
observed this when following the long, slow-moving team connected with the 
great "breaking-up plow," and while listening to the brawling teamsters on 
the high road. We wondered then, we do now, why men should thus address 
dumb brutes, if to such their language had no intelligible meaning. 

To ;i spectator of humorous proclivities there was something decidedly 
ludicrous and mirth-provoking in the posture, the impulsive movements, the 
excitability, the vehement demonstration, and — noise, of a genuine yankee 
teamster, especially when he "got stuck." In their dilemma they would chew 
their quid like a sheep, wrench their features into fantastic contortions, assume 
facial expressions as wild as a demon and vulgar as an orang-outang, roll 
their eyes like a raving maniac, and, if not well pickled with grace, they would 
swear by all the gods in the calendar. 

Just watch such teamster as he approaches a hill with heavy-loaded ox- 
team. Coming events cast their shadows before — in such instances. The 
goadsman is acquainted with every inch of the road; knows that every ounce 
of muscle incorporated into his team must be brought into requisition. See 
how animated his gestures are! How he swings his right arm! Now he rushes 
forward to remind his leaders of their duty; then, with great agility, pays 
his respects to his "tongue" cattle. Standing on tiptoe he raises his right 
arm and goad-stick high above his head and shouts wildly : " Back, Star ! Her- 
Line ! Gee, Broad! Her-Golding ! " He forgets to be merciful and cruelly 
punishes the straining oxen with hickory and steel. 

All goes well when mast-hauling if the road be well swamped, level, or 
slightly descending ; there must be hard driving when toiling up the steep 
ascent. Poor oxen, how they pant for breath when allowed to rest ! At the 
highest point the master-carter calls a halt and deliberation is in order. Men 
are sent forward to reinspect the road. Here danger is imminent. How can 
the hill be descended without accident ? If in winter, heavy chains are thrown 
over the sled-runners as "bridles" to arrest the \'elocit\' in going down; if in 
summer, the wheels are chained to an axle-tree for the same purpose. As an 
additional precaution two yoke of o.xen are detached from the chain forward 
and connected with the rear end of the mast to "hold back." Cool heads 
and steady hands are now in demand. If any mistake is made, if an)thing 
is overlooked, if any part gives way, fearful the consequences. But these 
sons of toil are brave-hearted and know their responsibility. If one expedient 
failed a new appliance was instantly seized upon ; nothing too great, nothing 
too hazardous, for them to undertake. 

With great caution they begin the descent, and with almost breathless 
suspense all watch the movements of team and mast-stick. Vigilance was 
the price of safety. Success attends the effort, and the level land is reached 
without accident. This achievement was worthy of a long pause in proceed- 


ing; there was a rest for man and beast, with refreshments. Congratulations 
were exchanged and stories anent mast-hauling aforetime told. All hands were 
in excellent trim for new adventures. 

There were other difficulties to meet ; the most dangerous hill to climb 
and descend. But victory gained inspired for new ventures. It was a long 
way to the coast and the mast-landing. The master-carter bestirs himself and 
orders an advance. 

" Every man to his team ! Every ox to his bow ! " Robust shout of 
drivers, jingle of chains, rattle of horns follow. The master-carter mounts 
the mast and asks: 

"Are you all ready, men?" 

"All ready," respond the teamsters. 

" M-o-v-e-e-e-e ! " 

Shout of teamsters, creak of wheels, and the caravan moves slowly for- 
ward, crushing, like a conquering tyrant, everything beneath its heel. For a 
half-mile comparatively level ground is passed over and good progress made. 
The beginning of the end is reached. 


Goads at rest. Oxen pant. Teamsters talk. Trigs are made ready. 
Obstructions are cleared away. The coast is clear. 

"All ready?" 


" Then m-o-v-e-e-e ! " 

Clink of chains, jingle of yoke-rings, swinging of goad-sticks. 

"Back, Swan! Her-Duke ! " 

"Gee, Buck! Her-L-i-n-e-e-e ! " 

" Get your trigs ready ! " 

"Whoa! A good pull, men. Let your cattle breathe!" 

"Say when you are ready!" 


" Then m-o-v-e-e-e ! " 

" Her-Duke ! Her-Darling ! " 

" Her-Broad ! Her-Turk ! " 

"Drive on! drive on! Hard! Hard! H-a-r-d-d-d ! " 

The air is rent with shout of teamster and command of the master-carter. 
The great wheels creak and groan under the enormous load. The straining 
oxen crinkle their tails, snort, moan, and hug the bows. The crisis is passed; 
the hill-top is reached ; there were no broken chains, no person injured. 
All's well! 

"Another strong pull, men ; let the critters rest awhile." 

"Back! Hish! hish!" 

With protruding tongues the great, meek-eyed oxen pant and heave. 


Before the courageous, reliant mast-men there was one more hill to 
descend; the most rough and dangerous of all, I say; a deep ravine to cross 
near the bottom. Everything is overhauled and inspected, from wheels to 
bow-pins. Rings, staples, and chains are carefully examined. The roadway, 
already pronounced cleared and safe by the swampers, could not be tried until 
the master-carter had surveyed every foot of it. Hl- orders improvements; 
has stones removed and additional skids at a sideling point. The descent was 
very steep, and the enormous load could not be entrusted to the intrepidity 
of teamsters or strength of steady-going oxen. New appliances were resorted 
to. The necessary fixtures had not been overlooked. Several hundred feet 
of hawser had been brought from the mast house. ( )ne end was made fast to 
the rear end of the mast-stick ; then turns taken around a sturdy old oak on 
the hill-side, with several powerful men to hold the running end. An advance 
is ordered. Slowly, cautiously, teamsters and teams move down the hill, while 
the men above allow the "snub-rope " to render round the "anchor tree." 

"Steady! ste-a-d-y! st-e-a-d-y!" measuredly shouts the master-carter, 
and down, down, down the hill-side goes the thundering cavalcade. 

"Careful! care-ful! c-a-r-e-f-u-1, men!" 

The gully at the foot of the hill had been bridged with stout oak stringers 
and covered with timber. The builders had guaranteed the work perfectly safe, 
but some were fearful. All felt that this was tAe point of greatest danger. It 
was no time now for speculation. The master-carter had inspected the bridge, 
had ordered the teams forward ; the responsibility was upon /tim and to /lim 
would blame be attached if accident happened. It is a great relief to have a 
scape-goat ready on such occasions. But none dared to make suggestion. 
Men are not wanting in courage because cautious ; the foolhardy lack pru- 
dence. Good judgment, careful management, cautious dri\-ing, these were the 
prime factors combined in what hap-hazard people call "good luck." The 
ravine was passed without a hitch, without harm to man or beast, and the level 
land in the valley reached in season with success. Reader, throw off the 
brakes. Excelsior! 

A protracted rest. Refreshments, stimulants, to be sure. Anecdotes 
and hilarious laughter composed the social sandwich of their noon-time rest. 
The remainder of their journey down the river-side pro\ed uneventful ; their 
destination was reached in due season. The great mast was landed at the 
yard amid cheers from the workmen, wlio assembled about the master-carter, 
the hero of the hour, and teamsters to ask questions about the road, their 
success, and to tender congratulations. The weary oxen were led to their 
mangers and the mastmen went home to rest. A few weeks pass and the 
noble mast-stick, handsomely dressed, is crossing the heaving Atlantic to be 
admired by the English ship-builders, who will gather about it with eyes 
strained wide and mouths ajar at so wonderful a sifht. 




dSarlg OfhurckB and |HmtJ5l^ra. 



NTRODUCTORY.— Those who came hunting for the lost sheep 
of the house of Israel in the early settlements of New England 
found a few only of the scattered flock in a howling wilderness; 
and if the sheep were of the human sort, meek and gentle as such 
sheep should be, the wolves with which these were surrounded were of the 
four-footed kind, well armed with tooth and claw. It was a rough country for 
classical men, men of "the cloth," unless that cloth was buckskin, well-tanned 
and sinew-sewed. Although some of them belonged to the "standing order" 
they needed rest and must, perforce, recline at times where the settler's bed 
of hemlock and coverlid of greasy bearskin were not conducive to the well- 
being of immaculate shirt fronts and snowy neck bands. 

As will appear more particularly in another paragraph, the pioneer 
preachers who followed the colonists to the New World were members of the 
Episcopal body, bred in the old classical institutions, environed by influences 
of refinement. The service of their church was ritualistic and her ceremo- 
nials stereotyped; hence, wherever the ministers of this communion wandered 
they must carry along the pulpit gown, even if there were no pulpits to wear 
them in. 

They were men of consummate courage and invincible faith, who were 
worthy — the worthy ones — of all honor. Wherever the settlers went, with 
keen-edged axe, to find timber for the walls of their woodland tabernacles, 
the pioneer preachers followed, with the sword of the Spirit, to hew out pillars 
for the spiritual temple. 

As the rude log meeting-houses did not have robing rooms adjacent to 
the altar, we fancy these modest servants of the sanctuary resorting to some 
secluded dingle in the forest to don their clerical attire before appearing in 
the place of worship. Their "odor of sanctity" was exhaled from the balsam 
trees and woodland herbage. Though their parishes were as boundless as the 
far-extending forest, their worshiping assemblies were so limited in numbers 
that each listener could appropriate a liberal segment of the gospel loaf. No 
sweet-toned church bell called, with metallic tongue, the worshipers, who came 
from their cabins by the seaside, through the shady corridors, to the place of 
sanctuary; but impelled by a conscience trained from childhood's early morn 
to love the gospel, each moved onward as his heart inclined. The musket 


and liorn of powder kept company with the Bible and psalm book, and those 
"weapons not carnal but mighty" were stacked in the same armory with 
those that contained the swift-flying messengers of death. 

Somewhere about the pioneer preacher's portmanteau must have been the 
goose-quills and ink-h(irn alongside a goodly bundle of crown-marked paper 
brought from "Merrie England." Where wrote they those sermons so grace- 
fully conjoined and by numerals divided; sermons of generous length, well 
clad with doctrines and quotations from the ancient creeds ? With stimulated 
brain and throbbing brow, these scholarly men, conversant with the literary 
style of the old composers, found some quiet hours for study and the organi- 
zation of written discourse. They must have the credit of being far-seeing 
men, if from the beginning they saw the end of their sermons. 

Their hearers were of various grades of intellectual calibre; some pos- 
sessing the capacity and training that enabled them to analyze and assimilate 
the most profound disquisitions, while others, like the man described by Pol- 
lock, "had not a dozen thoughts in all their lives." 

Among the early ministers we can mention those who had a keen e)'e to 
business and were not averse to speculation. Their ancestors had been land- 
hungry for generations where there was no land for them, and this longing, 
transmitted to their sons who came to our shores, though in "holy orders," 
rose above all the bulwarks of a consecrated life and ran wild to find an acre- 
age commensurate with the appetite. 


Richard Vines, the founder of the settlement on the Saco, was an 
ardent supporter of the Episcopal church, and his associates who accom- 
panied him were of the same faith. Many of the early immigrants who came 
to the New England colonies brought certificates from justices of the peace 
in which it was stated that they were "conformable to the Church of Eng- 
land. " The first minister of whom we find mention in the old records as 
settled in the neighborhood of Winter Harbor was the Rev. Richard Gibson, 
who was at Spurwink before 1636, and whose name appears as party to a law- 
suit that year. This Episcopal clergyman probabl)- officiated somewhere 
within the plantation about the mouth of the Saco river until 1640-41, when 
he moved to Portsmouth. 

The ancient document here subjoined, which was incidentally mentioned 
in another place, is the only record known to exist which shows that there 
was a religious organization in the settlement at this early period. "1636 7 
ber 7 (Sept. 7th) The Book of Rates for the minister, to be paid quarterly, 
the first payment to begin at Michaelmas next." This paper contains the 
names of six of the principal colonists, and the amount subscribed by each, 


with allusion to fifteen others. The whole salary pledged amounted to ^31, 
15 shillings. 

Rev. Gibson was succeeded by the Rev. Robert Jordan, who was born in 
England in 1601, and settled on Richmond's Island as early as 1640. The 
Puritanical colonial authorities summoned him to court in 1657, charged with 
baptizing children, and practising the rites of the Church of England contrary 
to law. This was an exhibition of that religious bigotry possessed by those 
who fled to America to enjoy liberty of conscience; here they became perse- 
cutors. The beautifully ornamented brass baptismal font used by Mr. Jordan 
has been handed down by his descendants and may now be seen at the rooms 
of the Maine Historical society in Portland. 

We have found no record pointing to a house built for public worship in 
which these two early ministers officiated. If any such existed, every indication 
that marked its site was long ago swept away. It was the universal custom 
for the English church to bury the dead in the parish churchyard. If in this 
early parish there was a house of worship, the bodies of the planters or their 
children who died before the submission to the jurisdiction of Massachusetts 
were probably interred around it. If any such graves have been, or can be 
found, then we may with some claim to probability point to the spot where the 
first meeting-house built in the Saco valley stood. 

Following this early period of which we have written, the churches built 
and the ministers employed were for and of the " standing order. " The 
pastors and their congregations were of regular hornbeam, puritanical material, 
described by an old settler of social habits as "sanctimonious and solemn as 
etar-ni-ty. " In the grants of township lands by the General Court the pro- 
prietors were required to build a meeting-house and settle a " larn-ed orthodox 
minister" within a specified time. > 

The Rev. Thomas Jenner, a Puritan minister, was preaching in Biddeford 
in 1641 and remained two years. Then came one George Barlow, an untitled 
exhorter, who, for some reason, became unpopular — he probably cast out the 
devils in some other than an orthodox name — and they would " away with 
him." The commissioners forbade him to preach or prophesy any more under 
a ten-pound penalty. 

At this day the Court had the control of ecclesiastical affairs, and when, 
in 1643, the town was found to be destitute of a minister, the commissioners 
ordered, while at court in Wells, that Robert Booth, a citizen of some educa- 
tion, "have liberty to exercise his gifts for the edification of the people." 
Assisted financially by an annual appropriation voted by the town, and volun- 
tary contributions, he " held forth " as preacher for some years. Those he 
could not edify he probably mortified. 

Then came Rev. Seth Fletcher, a man who had the faculty of making a 
community kettle boil wherever he went. He was hired by the town in 1666, 


and is said to have continued for several years, which I doubt. Rev. William 
Millburn was the minister in 1685, and in the year following a manse was 
ordered built for his residence. His salary was to be paid in beef at a shill- 
ing and sixpence per pound ; pork, at the same price per pound ; wheat, four 
shillings sixpence ; Indian corn, three shillings ; butter, five pence per pound ; 
boards, eighteen shillings per thousand ; red oak staves, sixteen shillings. As 
he and family could not ent all of these, he became, perforce, a speculator. 
From 1688 the Indian troubles prevailed for nearly twenty-nine years, during 
which no records were kept. 

When the town was reorganized in 17 17, the Rev. Matthew Short, a 
Harvard graduate, was acting as chaplain at Fort William. But the settlers 
who had long been in exile and had just come back to their bush-grown plan- 
tations were without means to pay for preaching, and in 1722 petitioned the 
Court to grant them £40, " as it had been pleased to do for some time," for 
the support of their minister. From 1723 to 1726 the Rev. \\'illiam Eveleth 
preached half of the time at Winter Harbor for twenty-six pounds a year. 
Rev. Marston Cabbot came in 1727, and was offered a conditional salary. He 
was evidently a single man, hence they would pay him ;^8o per annum and 
board ; or, if he should procure a housekeeper, the town would build him a 
parsonage and grant him 100 acres of land for his glebe ; or, would pav him 
;^iio and let him provide for himself, He tried it about two years without 
the housekeeper, manse, or 100 acres of land and the town paid Captain Sam 
Jordan ;^35 per year for his board. In 1729 Rev. John Moodv was the tem- 
porary minister, but declined to settle permanently because he was too 3'oung 
and had not finished his education. 

The first church known to have been organized in the S.ico valley was 
the Congregational body in Biddeford, formed by council April 30, 1730, and 
was composed of thirteen charter members. Samuel ^^"illard* was ordained 
pastor in September of that year. He died suddenly of throat distemper after 
a very successful service of eleven years. We subjoin the names of the thir- 
teen original members, and of the twenty-four additional male members who 
united under the ministry of Rev. Willard, as their names will be of interest 
to their descendants ; 

John Gray, Nathan Whitney, Samuel Scamiman 

Samuel Jordan, Rishwortii Jordan, Robert Edgecomi!, 

John Sharp, John Smith, Benjamin Hill, 

Benjamin Haley, Andrew Stackpole, John Smith, Jr. 

*Rev. Samuel Wii.lard was grdat.-grandson of Ma.i. Simon ^Vi^ard, one of the first set- 
tliirs in Coiii'oid, Mass., a man of oonsidcialilo note. His son, Krv. Saiuufl, an eminent man 
was acting president of Hai\ iird CoIIohli. Jolm Willard, fatlier of tlie minister, was a college 
graduate, but settled in the West Lidicw as a merchant, and thure, at Kingston, Samuel was 
horn in 1705; was educated undor the caro of his uncle, Josiah Willard, of Boston, and gradu- 
ated at Harvard in 1723. He married Abigail, daughter of Samuel Wright, of Rutland, Mass. 
by whom he had five children, two of whom were eminent divines and one president of Harvard! 


Samuel HiNKLEY, Daniel Smith, Abial Hill, 

Humphrey Scamman, John Treworgy, Benjamin Nichols, 

Ebenezer Hill, James Clark, Samuel Scamman, Jr., 

Pendleton Fletcher, Moses Wadlin, Wyatt Moore, 
Thomas Gilpatrick, Nathaniel Whitney, Jr., Thomas Emery, 

Benjamin Hilton, John Murch, John Stackpole, Jr., 

John Tarr, Edward Chapman, Joseph Gordon, 

Mark Shepard, Robert Whipple, Magnus Redlon, 

Ephraim Stimpson. 

Rev. Moses Morrill, the successor of Mr. Willard, came fresh with his 
Harvard laurels from Salisbury, Mass., in 1742, and had a successful pastor- 
ate of thirty-five years. 

The Rev. Nathaniel Webster was ordained as Mr. Morrill's successor in 
1779, and settled with a salary of seventy-five pounds voted by the town to be 
paid in produce as follows : "45 bushels of corn at 4 s ; 4 bushels of rye at 
5 s ; 400 pounds of pork at 5 d ; 50 pounds of wool at i s, 8 d ; 50 pounds of 
flax at 8 d; 100 pounds of butter at 8 d ; 4,046 pounds of beef at 20 s per 
hundred-weight ; i quintal of fish at 21 s ; 2 tons good English hay at £2-" 

The first deacons of this first church were Eben Hill and Benjamin Haley, 
who died at Cape Breton, 1745, and was succeeded by Simon Wingate. Dea. 
Hill was succeeded by Moses Wadlin in 1749, and in 1754 he was followed 
by John Stackpole, Jr. 

We have no record to show when the first meeting-house in the Saco Val- 
ley was built. Church Point is mentioned in 1642, in bounding land at Win- 
ter Harbor, and it has been assumed that a house of worship stood here. 
Was it not named Church Point for one Captain Church ? We do know that 
a Congregational meeting-house was built at Winter Harbor about 1660-66, 
in which the people were seated according to rank, as was then the custom. 
Land was procured from Benjamin Haley in 1719 for a meeting-house and 
place for burial, and the building, 35 by 30 feet, was erected near where the 
old graves may now be seen. 

The inhabitants on both sides of the river were in one parish until 1752, 
when Sir William Pepperill gave four acres of land for a meeting-house, school- 
house, and a burying-place, and those on Saco side were set off by themselves. 
A house was put up, and after several years, by piecemeal, it was finished. 
Here the Biddeford pastor officiated at stated seasons until 1761, when Rev. 
John Fairfield became the settled pastor. But nine persons united with the 
church during his service of thirty-six years, and in 1798, he asked to be 
dismissed. His very reasonable request, though coming late, was reasonably 
acceded to, and the parish did worse than -'jump out of the frying-pan into 
the fire" by the engagement and settlement of Mr. Whitcomb, whose intem- 
perate habits are said to have been a reproach upon his calling and a great 
injury to the church. From 18 ro to 1825, Rev. Jonathan Cogswell was the 


pastor. Wlien he entered upon his duties there were but twenty-eight members 
in the church, but during his ministry there were many accessions. 

The first deacons of the Saco society were Amos Chase and Gershum 
Billing.s, chosen in 1763. The charter members of this church were as follows : 

John Fairfield, Rohert Patterson, Jr., Amos Chase, 

Robert Edgecomb, Robert Patterson, Andrew Bradstreet, 

Magnus Redlon, Samuel Banks, Gershum Billings. 

Tristram Jordan, Thomas Edgecomb, 

At the ordination of John Fairfield the town provided a public dinner, 
which was prepared by Ebenezer Ayer, to which ninety guests sat down. 
Among the provisions were a barrel of beer, two gallons of rum, and two 
quarts of brandy. We see that the world moves, for such entertainment on 
such an occasion would not be allowed today. 


First Congregational Chnrch. — Ministers of the gospel were in 
Narragansett, No. i, as early as 1755 ; probably several years before. The 
first meeting-house was to be of hewed timber, thirty feet long and twenty-five 
feet wide; to be nine feet in height, the roof to be boarded and short-shingled. 
This rude building was erected on the public lot laid out by the proprietors for 
the purpose. There is no record to show that it was formally dedicated. 
Those who assembled within these " hewn " timber walls probably sat on 
blocks sawed from the trunks of trees. Alarmed at the outbreak of the war 
between France and England the settlers deserted their plantation in 1744, and 
did not return until the spring of 1749. They found their little chapel in the 
wilderness undisturbed, but going to decay. The necessary repairs were made, 
and a minister engaged — Rev. Joshua Tuffts — who remained two years. He 
is the first preacher whose name has come down to us. About the time of 
the organization of the church a second and larger meeting-house was built 
on the same lot. The old house was given to Samuel Merrill as a recognition 
of his generosity in opening his dwelling for religious meetings before they 
had any public building for the purpose. 

Paul Coffin preached his first sermon here, Feb. 8, 1761, being twenty- 
three years of age, and was ordained Mar. 9, 1763. 

On the day preceding the ordination, two ministers and their delegates 
from Wells started on snow-shoes through the wilderness to assist in the ser- 
vices. They lost their way and when night came on found themselves on the 
bank of Saco river, some distance above the settlement of Narragansett, No. 
I, in the plantation of Little Falls; and there they passed the night, suffering 
from cold, hunger, and want of sleep. They reached the meeting-place the 
next day, and, according to the records, filled their respective places on the 


ordaining council. In the minutes written by Mr. Little, the scribe of the occa- 
sion, we learn that " a very plentiful entertainment for the council and strangers 
was provided at the expense of the proprietors, whose various and generous 
cares for the felicity of the inhabitants of this place in erecting a spacious 
meeting-house, and in the settlement of the gospel ministry among them, we 
take notice of with abundant pleasure." There was no meat for the ordination 
feast and Moses Emery went into the forest with his dog and soon brought 
down a moose ; this was dressed and served to the brethren present, and was 
probably washed down with strong drink. Mr. Coffin was settled for life. 
There were not more than thirty families in the plantation, and these living in 
log-houses. His salary was always small and in the time of the Revolutionary 
war, about eight years, he did not receive twenty dollars in specie. He became 
a farmer and from the soil of the "ministerial lot" he procured the most of 
the provisions for his family. His sons assisted when of age to do so and his 
daughters were taught to card, spin, and weave. 

The new meeting-house was not supplied with glass windows when Mr. 
Coffin commenced preaching in it and the congregation sat on planks sup- 
ported by saw-blocks until 1790, when the floor (or ground) was marked off 
for the pews. There was no pulpit, and, hence, we may fancy the learned 
preacher standing on a rude and unsteady platform of rough plank with his 
Bible on a small table or stand. Here came the founders of the township; 
the fathers and mothers of the first generation of sons and daughters born 
there. The members of the church and congregation were, many of them, 
men of strong minds and possessed of sound common sense, but they were 
uneducated and without polish. The preacher looked from his rude rostrum 
upon a motley group, variously attired, hard-handed, and bowed with toil. To 
the minister these men and women looked for instruction for themselves and 
their children ; and they were not disappointed, for he was faithful to his mis- 
sion — warning and rebuking with all authority and meekness. He had a 
colleague appointed in 1817, and preached his farewell sermon in 1820. 

The church records show that during his ministry in Buxton he solemn- 
ized 483 marriages and administered the rite of baptism to 794 persons. 

Rey. Paul Coflfin was born in Newbury, Mass., Jan. 16, 1737, old style, 
and died June 6, 182 1. He was a graduate of Harvard College, and able to 
read the Scriptures in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages, to which he 
added a knowledge of the French, which he wrote and read with facility. He 
was always a diligent student, and prepared his sermons with great care. In 
his pulpit he was argumentative and displayed an earnestness that won and 
held attention. " He measured men's minds with precision, and entered into 
their motives as one acquainted with the world " ; a lover of good society and 
hospitable. When informed by his physician that he was near the end of his 
earthly pilgrimage, he replied: "I did not think I was going so soon; but I 


believe I have that faith which will carry me to Abraham's bosom." He was 

buried in the churchyard. 

"Remote from towns lie ran his goodly race, 
Nor e'er had changed nor wished to change his place ; 
Unskillful he to fawn, or seek for power 
By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour; 
Fiir other aims his heart had learned to prize, 
More bent to raise the wretched than to rise. 

"But in his duty prompt, at every call. 
He watch'd and wept, he prayed and felt for all ; 
And, as a bird each fond endearment tries 
To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies. 
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay, 
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way." 

The house built by Mr. Coffin was of two stories and stood end to the 
road. The front door opened upon a green lawn. When his son David built 
the new house the mansion was removed and has since been occupied by 
Joseph Garland; probably the oldest two-storied house in Buxton. In this 
house he spent the greater part of his long life ; here his children were bom, 
and here he and his companion died. Before the house was removed the 
study was in the southwesterly room in the second story ; in the northwesterly 
room as the house now stands. 

Freewill Baptist Church. — This organization was originally a branch 
of the Gorham church and did not become a separate body until about 1800, 
when they built the edifice long known as the "Brook meeting-house," about 
one mile east of the present village of Moderation, near the Peter Staples 
homestead. To this sanctuary those in sympathy with the Freewill Baptists 
came from near and far — from Standish, Hollis, the "Spruce swamp" neigh- 
borhood, and Shadagee.* Here were assembled the old-fashioned saints, the 
very "salt of the earth," to worship God in humble simplicity, and here were 
they instructed by the founders of the denomination, Benjamin Randall, David 
Marks, and John Buzzell. This house was dedicated in 1806, and continued 
to be occupied by the society until the "Great Reformation" of 1834 under 
the preaching of Elders Joseph White, Clement Phinney, and Jonathan Clay. 
Meetings were held in the Boulter schoolhouse, which was situated where the 
Bonnie Eagle and Gorham roads cross between West Buxton and Bog mill. 
At this time Elder Mark Fernald, of the Christian connection, rode into town 
on horseback and preached the word of life powerfully to the anxious gath- 
erings. In closing a discourse he said: "The ministers the Lord sends will 
be a blessing ; those sent by the devil will prove a curse." One of the most 
efficient factors in this wide-spread revival was the wife of Gideon Tibbetts, 
then in the beauty of young womanhood, who was often heard singing the 

* I shall spell this name as pronounced by all the early inhabitants, and leave Chateaugay 
and ChautaugvM for the etymologists to quarrel over. 


praises of God when on her way to the meetings. Many who afterwards 
became pillars in the church were converted in this reformation. The early 
record's were lost, and we cannot learn the names of all. But few are now 

The membership of the church was so increased by the fruits of this 
spiritual harvest that it was deemed best to divide the body and organize a 
second church at East Buxton, and on April 8, 1834, this was effected. About 
this time Dea. Joseph Hobson leased the society a lot on the hill above his 
house for a new meeting-house, and the present building was erected, and 
dedicated in 1836. It was enlarged, the carpenter work being done by Nich- 
olas Manson, in 1847. 

The church-bell, still hanging in the belfry, was the first brought into the 
town, and weighs about 1,000 pounds. It was hung by a wooden yoke secured 
by iron bands, and its sweet, musical tones have been listened to by the old 
fathers and mothers who now rest upon the hill-brow opposite; by the youth 
whose sun went down while it was yet noon, and by many whose early years 
were spent on the banks of the Saco, now far away and going down the un- 
steady stair of enfeebled age. The inward ear of memory recalls the echoes 
heard reverberating among the hills of Hollis and Buxton, on those clear, calm 
summer mornings, calling, calling, come to the house of prayer. 

" Those morning bells ! those morning hells ! 
How many a tale their music tells 
Of youth, and home, and that sweet time 
When last I heard their soothing chime." 

The lease from Deacon Hobson, lost for many years but recently recov- 
ered, conveyed to the society a drive-way all around the meeting-house after 
the addition was put on in 1847, ^-nd the original fence at the rear of the 
house was on the boundary line. 

Rev. Andrew Hobson, a man of fine physical proportions, classical feat- 
ures, and attractive as a preacher, was the first pastor after the dedication of 
the house at West Buxton. Then came a young man fresh from his academic 
class, but with a consecrated heart ; a man who was abundant in labors for 
the salvation of the people. He was so much in earnest that when visiting 
he was seen to run from house to house. He was not strong, and by over 
devotion to what he called duty sank down to death. By his request, his 
remains were buried just behind the pulpit on the church lot. A chaste mon- 
ument, suitably inscribed, was erected at his grave, and all neatly enclosed by 
a latticed fence. Flowers were planted upon his lonely grave by those who 
were led to Christ under his loving ministry, and a well-worn path, pressed by 
the feet of hundreds who, at the close of the services, gathered about the little 
yard, led to the sacred spot. Alas I the greed of man has disturbed his 
chosen place of rest, and his bones have been removed across the river to 
the public cemetery. 


Rev. John L. Sinclair came to West Buxton with his wife and little son 
in October, 1843, and boarded with the family of Deacon Hobson for several 
months until they went to house-keeping. He was the son of Joseph Sinclair, 
of Meredith, N. H., where he was born July 10, 1809; was baptized by Elder 
Benjamin Manson, at the age of twenty-one; licensed to preach in 1832, and 
June 30, 1835, was ordained and settled in Lynn, Mass. IJuring his ministry 
he preached as pastor at Hopkinton, Manchester, Lowell, Biddeford, and 
Sandwich. He was a man of tall, commanding form, strong, comprehensive 
intellect, armed with deep, far-reaching voice. He was not ashamed of manual 
labor and upon the Moses K. Wells farm, adjacent to the village, swung the 
keen-edged scythe across the grass-laden intervale, and with strong arm tossed 
the well-made timothy upon the bounding load. He died at Lake Village, N. 
H., Aug. 16, 1888, leaving a widow who survives (1894.) 

We remember Elder Sinclair well, but have not ascertained how many 
years he was pastor at Buxton. On either side of the pulpit sat his deacons, 
Hobson and Leavitt, who were accustomed to "improve" after the sermon, 
the former in stammering accents, the latter in slow and measured sentences. 
How Simon Palmer would shout, while the humorous Doctor Peabody laughed 
in the singing seats! 

Some of the brethren would be overcome by their own personal devil, 
called by way of courtesy "the old inimy," and occasionally "fall from grace." 
Then followed neighborhood gossip, church meetings, "mauling" of the 
offending member, a forced confession, forgiveness but not forgetfulness, 
and renewal of covenant. 

It was said that wicked boys, bent on mischief, knowing that "Uncle 
Steve" Eastman had a crusty temper, would torment him while about his work 
until he flew into a passion and gave utterance to words not commonly used in 
prayer, and then circulate the report that the old man had been "cussin' and 
swearin'." This usually culminated in a church meeting to which brother 
Eastman went and acknowledged his faultiness. The same bo}s,- still pos- 
sessed of the devil, would hide behind piles of lumber until the old man came 
out, looking sour and crest-fallen, and then approach — not foo near, I tell 
ye — and ask him what they "church-mauled " him with. It was reported that 
he once said, in reply to an inquiry from some of the inquisitive ones, that the 
church made him "confess a hundred things he was not guilty of." If that 
was true, it was a shame. 

How well we recall the conventional testimony of "Uncle Bill" Stevens 
uttered in a sharp, grating voice! His text was: "He that cracketh the nut 
receiveth the meat." How o/ic of "Uncle Jerry" Hobson's shoes did creak 
when he came down the aisle! Eben Sawyer always had his hands full of fingers 
and his pumpkin-seed boots full of toes ; so had his sister, Joanna Hanson. 


inside of a barrel stave. " Squire" Vaughan, full of courtly grace, walked to his 
seat with great dignity of bearing. Mark Came hurried in with a bustling^ 
business air. Tobias Lord, with a shock of white, bushy hair surmounting his 
towering forehead, reached his pew with resolute, formidable stride. " Major " 
Hobson moved down the aisle with a moderate, swinging gait. Abram L. 
Came was very erect, serious, a:nd dignified. "Jim" Field wore side whiskers 
curled about his cheek. Ivory Clark's suit of "pepper-and-salt" always 
appeared strained. Simon Palmer wore his front hair "banged," while Deacon 
Leavitt exposed a shining crown. "Uncle Daniel" McCorrison moved at 
snail-pace and snored during sermon-time. Horatio Bryant invariably took a 
morning " nap " in church. Little Jonah Johnston was bedangled in a long, 
blue, swallow-tailed coat, and was never without a tear in his eye. Joseph 
Decker, portly, and serious-looking, was as regular as a clock in his habits, 
but boiling over with pawky humor. Mrs. Wells, with her gold-bowed spec- 
tacles, and Mrs. Butler, the teacher of children, were full of grace and 

Those were the good old days of two sermons and noon-time intermissions 
when the brethren sat on board-piles and compared notes about farm work 
and political issues, while the good old dames and young damsels within doors 
gathered in clusters to nibble carraway-seed cookies and smell "laylock" and 
" merrigold " bouquets. 

On a balmy summer morning some indecorous boy, when on on his way 
to the sanctuary, was beguiled into "by and forbidden paths" at the river- 
side, and there caught a sand-peep, otherwise "steelyard bird." This he 
carefully hid in his pocket, loitered until the congregation had been seated, 
crept into the vestry, and when the preacher had got well under way, clapped 
the half-fledged prize upon the long, broad balustrade just back of the "body 
pews." "Peep-peep-peep," and he began to run from one side to the other. 
The people turned their heads to discover the cause of this interruption ; the 
preacher paused in the midst of his discourse and "Ryal" Tarbox, the sexton, 
hastened back to oust the intruder. Now came the climax of the singular 
performance. Stepping upon the long vestry seat the clumsy old sexton 
entered upon the race. The bird was nimble and elusive; it would spread out 
its little wings and run, screaming, sharp and shrill, peep-peep-peep, while its 
pursuer, all out of breath, capered about with out-stretched hands, ready, but 
not able, to catch the tempting game. Meanwhile, the service at a stand- 
still, or sit-still, while Peabody, looking down from the singing seats upon the 
ludicrous race, was convulsed with laughter. At length the poor, exhausted 
bird was seized and "cast out o' the synagogue," and the preacher went on; 
while poor Ryal, red in the face, was panting like a hart. The boy who 
caused this episode was not a bad child and became a man of respectability 
and enterprise. 


What craning of necks and impertinent glowering on those Sabbaths 
when it had gone abroad that some newly-wedded couple would " appear out " ! 
This was a greater attraction //le/i than a church theatre is now; and when, 
after almost breathless waiting, the rustling of "changeable silk" was heard, 
and the be-gloved and blushing pair came to their seat, silly maidens " snick- 
ered," and knowing old women whispered: " She looks real purty" and "her 
man kinder dandified." Why, it required as much courage to "appear out" 
in those days as it did for a fluttering heart to approach the marriage altar, 
behind which stood one of the old-fashioned, frigid ministers. 

It was a memorable day when a communion had been announced and a 
hungry and thirsty boy of the village laid hands on the bread and wine during 
the morning service, so that when the good deacon's wife had spread the 
snowy cloth her husband came in, greatly confused, to tell the waiting pastor 
that the emblems prepared for the solemn occasion could not be found. For- 
tunately the silverplate was left for the future use of the church. 

The most remarkable event that was ever witnessed within the walls of 
the church at West Buxton was when Dr. Edward Peabody, who had been the 
choir-leader for many years, was carried there upon a mattress, at his request, 
and supported upon the rostrum while he addressed the assembled people. 
He had, during his whole life, neglected the gospel, in which he was a secret 
believer, and now, when upon his dying bed, wished to make a public confes- 
sion of his faith. 

Second Freewill Baptist Church. — The church was organized by 
members of the first church who had received letters from that body. Meet- 
ings were held in a schoolhouse until a meeting-house at Spruce swamp was 
built in 1839, the dedicatory sermon being preached b}- Elder James Libby, 
of Poland. Elder Jonathan Clay was pastor from the organization for ten 
years, until his death, Feb. 20, 1849. The first deacons were Samuel Elden, 
who died Oct. 27, 1872, and Elijah Owen, who died Mar. 29, 1879. These 
were succeeded by Samuel Merrill and Thomas Smith. 

First Baptist Church. — The early ministers of this denomination who 
preached in Buxton were Elder John Chadbourne, and Elder Simon Locke 
who was a pastor in Lyman. In 1799 an organization, styled the Baptist 
church of Saco and Buxton, was effected, there being but fourteen members. 
Abner Flanders was ordained as pastor, and continued preaching in Saco and 
Buxton until 1825, when the North church was organized at Elden's Corner, 
now Buxton Centre. Elder Flanders supplied here until 1829, when he retired 
from the active ministry and devoted his attention to agriculture. Elder Flan- 
ders was not an attractive person, being tall, loose framed, coarse and angular 
featured. He was moderate and drawling in his sermons, and his general 
deportment in the pulpit was conducive to sound sleep and Sabbatic rest. 

TVtp r■h^^r^h in thf^ ennth nart nf tViA tr\it/n urac loff iirit-l-*^^^*- « ^^c,*-^^ J 


disintegrated. The Baptist society at Buxton Centre has enjoyed the ministry 
of some able teachers and has become a strong and influential organization. 
The first deacons of the South church were Samuel Woodsum and Joseph 
Atkinson; of the North church, Isaac Hancock and Rufus Emery. 

Methodist Church. — A Methodist class was formed at North Buxton, 
under the preaching of Elder Elias Hall, in 1799, with Hugh Moore as leader. 
Richard Hubbard was pastor in 1802-3. At this time a meeting-house was 
built, and was superseded by a larger one in 1848. In 1870 there were 127 


The plantation of Little Falls was settled as early as 1760, and in 1780 
many families had sat down in clearings there, but we do not hear of any set- 
tled minister or place of worship until 1802, when in the March town-meeting 
the inhabitants voted to build two meeting-houses. One was built in the field 
back of the schoolhouse in district No. 4 by Joseph Jordan. Joseph Linscott, 
Samuel Bradbury, Abijah Usher, Capt. John Smith, Joshua Warren, Jr., and 
Daniel Smith were the building committee. The other house was built in the 
southern section of the town, near the celebrated boiling spring, now in Day- 
ton. It was voted to employ a minister that year, and Elder Timothy Hodg- 
don was engaged at a salary of $200. He supplied in the two pulpits until 
his death, in 1825. Many of the settlers of the plantation came from Narra- 
gansett, No. i, after the Revolution, and continued members of Paul Coffin's 
church until 1805, when they received letters, and a society consisting of 
twenty-five members was organized in Hollis. In 1806 the town appropriated 
$500 to build a parsonage. This church had occasional preaching until 1832, 
when John Hubbard was ordained and settled over them as pastor. Under 
his preaching the cause was in a flourishing condition here, the membership 
largely increased, and large congregations were assembled weekly to hear the 
gospel. Elder Hubbard closed his labors here in 1835, and from that day 
the flock gradually scattered, " like sheep without a shepherd," the services 
were discontinued, and the meeting-house was allowed to sink into decay. 
According to the English custom, a churchyard was laid out around the meet- 
ing-house, and here the early dead in that neighborhood were buried. A few 
old monuments were there, some leaning this way, some that, and others pros- 
trate, while the winds had sported with sands under which the bodies had 
been interred, until, it is said, many of the bones were visible on the surface 
of the ground. The sheep were running at large there when we last visited 
the place many years ago, and were nightly folded in the meeting-house. We 
remember this old place of sanctuary well. It was constructed in the primi- 
tive style with great, square pews enclosed by rattling doors. The pulpit was 


so high that the preacher's head must have been in the region of clouds — 
the house was on a high hill — and the ponderous sounding-board hanging 
above threatened to fall and crush all below. Here the "odor of sanctity" 
exhaled from tansy, southernwood, spearmint, and the wild flowers gathered 
by the wayside when on the road to church; and here, at intermission, many 
a box was opened containing sage-seasoned meat and cheese, and a good sup- 
ply of " Waterborough doughnuts" to sustain the worshipers through the 
afternoon services. 

Freewill Baptist Churches. — The Provisional Baptists had a society 
in Waterborough as early as 1803, and many who lived in Mollis were mem- 
bers. This church was under the pastoral care of Elder Pelatiah Tingley. 
We do not know the reasons for some peculiar entries on the town records, 
such as the following: "John Frowarthy, Daniel Townsend, John Young, 
Hezekiah Young, and Dominicus Smith have for several years belonged to 
our church." Certified by Elder Tingley. Also Elisha Smith, Joshua War- 
ren, and Elisha Smith, Jr., were certified on the town records as members of 
the same church.* 

The first Freewill Baptist society, under that name, was formed in March, 
18 1 5. Benjamin Warren was the first clerk. There were only twenty-two 
members. Elder Humphrey Goodwin became pastor and continued to preach 
until his death, Oct. 3, 1838. Services were held in a schoolhouse until 1S34, 
when a meeting-house was built. This, I suppose, was the well-known 
"White meeting-house," a name that eventually was applied to the neighbor- 
hood adjacent. In this house there has been heard such singing as would 
raise the hair on modern heads. When the three brothers, Benjamin, "Corker 
Joe," and Clem Smith, had blown the crumbs out of their teeth, "pitched the 
tewne," and warmed under the inspiration of "Buckfield," such running in 
and out, and up and down, the scale was seldom heard. As they sang differ- 
ent "parts," Clem would drop out while Ben and Joe galloped away upon the 
road of song; then, when out of breath, they would come to a killick, and 
Clem would "fid in" and sweep all before him for a time. But after thus 
scouring the track for a while, and when they had reached that point on the 
home stretch "where lilies show their spotless heads," such vehement tearing 
along was never elsewhere heard of. These trained, old-school musicians 
were never out of time. No matter how intricate were the meshes of the 
tune, how steep the notes to climb, or deep the bass valleys they descended 
to, the listener could always tell where each was going, and they always came 
out square on the last line; this, therefore, was a great mystery. But these 
have long since gone up to unite with those who sing the new song. This 

*TowK Records.— "HoU is, March 2, 1818. This may certify to whom it may come tefore 
that Joseph Gilpatrick, of Waterborough, whose property is in Hollis, and John Gilpatrick and 
Edward Gilpatrick, of Hollis, do belong to the free Society and meet with us." 


church has been favored with excellent pastors, and, although among farmers, 
has had a strong membership. 

At the time of the division in the Limington quarterly-meeting there was 
a separation between members of this church, and a considerable faction 
formed another church, since known as the "Bullock society." A meeting- 
house was built in the "Buttertown" neighborhood, and Elder Jeremiah Bul- 
lock and his wife preached occasionally for many years. Among others who 
have supplied here we remember Benjamin Hawkins, Luther Perry, Samuel 
Boothby, and David House. John Aids and William Johnson were deacons. 
The old, dilapidated house has been thoroughly renovated, and made not only 
comfortable, but attractive. In that humble sanctuary the author delivered 
his first apology for a sermon; forced to the front, unwillingly, by the relent- 
less importunity of the deacons in the absence of Elder Perry. Elliot Gil- 
patrick was both chorister and choir here for many years; there were others 
who sometimes "fell into line," but were all left in the shade by the charming 
voice of this old musical magician, who was born with his mouth full of songs. 

Methodist Episcopal Cliurch. — A Methodist evangelist, Elder Lewis, 
came into the town early, and created considerable religious interest in that 
neighborhood between HoUis Centre and Waterborough. In 1809 fourteen 
persons "polled off" from the support of any other church, and a record of 
the transaction was entered upon the town book, according to law. The 
names of these first members of the Methodist Episcopal church were: 

Caleb Locke, Jr., Capt. Daniel Dow, Joseph Chadbourne, 

Amos Mason, Hezekiah Goodwin, Widow Locke, 

Robert Cleves, Simon Plaisted, Thomas Locke, 

Thomas Wadlin, Charles Clark, Silas Ward. 

Roger Edgecomb, Andrew Gordon, 

A meeting-house was subsequently built, and a society organization has been 


Few towns in the Saco valley can furnish an ecclesiastical history equal 
to Limington, and the early religious horizon was much clouded by dissen- 
sions and divisions. Some of the first settlers of the township were staunch 
members of Paul Coffin's church, in Buxton, and went down there to worship 
for some time. A Congregational church was organized in town, Oct. 1 1 , 
1789, consisting of six members, whose names we subjoin: 

Jonathan Boothby, Daniel Dyer, Isaac Robinson, 

Amos Chase, Francis Small, Asa Edmunds. 

At the first town-meeting, held in 1792, £14. was voted for the support 
of the gospel and a committee chosen to have it "preached out." At a meet- 


ing held in September of the same year, the town voted ;^i5 additional for 
the ministry. In November the town voted to call Mr. William Gregg to settle 
over them and an annual salary of ^80. A meeting-house was begun in 
1793. Petitioners called for the settlement of Jonathan Atkinson, and he was 
ordained pastor, Oct. 15, 1794. Amos Chase and Daniel Dyer, the first dea- 
cons, were chosen Jan. 17, 1795. The meeting-house was rebuilt and enlarged 
in 1835. The society increased in membership under the labors of its efficient 
pastors and became strong. 

Freewill Baptist Church. — The powerful preaching of Elder John 
Buzzell in Parsonsfield was an attraction which drew away many whose ideas 
were not in sympathy with the cold, formal ceremonies of the " tandings 
order" in adjoining towns. From the Limington town records we find that 
John Stone, Isaac Ward, Asa Hubbard, and Dominicus McKenney were 
released from the ministerial tax in their own town and recorded as being 
members of the Parsonsfield Provisional Baptist church. Between 1804 and 
1810 many of the inhabitants of Limington "polled off" and united with the 
Freewill Baptist church in Parsonsfield. Elders Christopher and Jeremiah 
Bullock, father and son, were early and successful preachers of the faith held 
by Elders Buzzell and Tingley, and many were converted. The first church 
was organized by Elder Jeremiah Bullock, and increased until it was deemed 
advisable to divide into three separate branches, in different sections of the 
town; this was effected in 18 14. In that year the North church had 68 
members. The three branches had a membership of 24S in 1823. During 
1834 the leading ministers of the Parsonsfield quarterly-meeting heartily 
espoused the temperance cause and earnestly preached against intemperance. 
Elder Bullock opposed this action as unprofitable. The mission question fol- 
lowed and engendered still greater opposition. A di^•ision soon occurred, and 
the followers of Elder Bullock from that day to date have been called " Bul- 
lockites," but they themselves recognize no name but Freewill Baptists. As a 
distinguishing designation the larger body has been called "Star Baptists," 
in consequence of publishing, as their denominational newspaper, the Morn- 
ing Star. 

The Bullock faction soon formed an organization known as the "Limino-- 
ton quarterly-meeting" which has been maintained until the present time. 
The first meeting-house was built in 1810; the second, now standing, in 1852-3. 
The first three deacons were Ezra Davis, Jr., Andrew Cobb, and John Man- 
son, ordained June 5, 1816. 

In 1 83 1 a council met at the house of John Lord and organized the 
North Freewill Baptist church, consisting of forty-two members by letter from 
the old first church. The first deacon was Ebenezer Cobb ; the first clerk 
Humphrey McKenney. This church was disbanded in 1848, and in 1852, 
Elder S. Rand and fifty others took letters and formed the Freewill Baptist 


church in Cornish. Their last record is short and pathetic. It reads as 

follows: ,,^ 

" Oct. 30, 1848. 

"Met according to 'Pointment capacity. Chose Bro. Frost Gubtill Moderater. 

Voted to give each brother and sister a letter to join some other church. Voted to 

disband this church. Voted to dissolve this meeting. Prayer by brother Boynton. 

Parted in good union. Stephen Meserve, Clerk." 


Congregational Church. — It was necessary to have a church of seven 
members before a minister could be ordained; accordingly, John Tompson, 
John Pierce, George Freeman, Michael Philbrick, Josiah Shaw, Peter Moul- 
ton, and David Sanborn were the original pillars of the body ecclesiastic. 
Following the initiatory step a council of ministers, belonging to the Congre- 
gational order, was formed and the Rev. John Tompson was ordained, Oct. 
26, 1768. He continued to preach in town until 1781; then was dismissed 
and settled in Berwick, where he preached many years, dying in 1828, aged 
88. During the ministry of Mr. Tompson in Pearsontown the persons whose 
names follow were admitted to the church : 

Mary, wife of Josiah Shaw, May 14, 1769 

Jonathan Philbrick, to full communion, June 18, 1769. 

Ebenezer Shaw and Anna, his wife, Aug. 18, 1769. 

Caleb Rowe, from Kensington, N. H., Apr. 8, 1770. 

Sarah Tompson, to full communion, Nov. 4, 1770. 

Dominicus Mitchell, admitted June 9, 1771. 

Daniel Sanborn and Jane, his wife, Dec. 8, 1771. 

Daniel Hasty and Martha, his wife, Oct. 25, 1772. 

Mary, wife of Michael Philbrick, July 4, 1773. 

Thomas Shaw, to full communion, Sept, 19, 1773. 

Ebenezer Shaw, Jr., and wife Sarah, to full communion, June 4, 1774. 

Anna, wife of Dominicus Mitchell, July 24, 1774. 

Joanna, wife of Peter Moulton, Apr. 2, 1775. 

Daniel Cram and Sarah, his wife, July 16, 1775. 

Daniel Harmon and Sarah, his wife, Feb. 4, 1775. 

Joseph Butterfield and Mary, his wife. Mar. 24, 1776. 

John Dean, admitted June 30, 1776. 

Stephen Sanborn and Mary, his wife, Apr. 13, 1777. 

Sarah, wife of John Wood, May 11, 1777. 

John Ayer and Elizabeth, his wife. May 11, 1777. 

Sargent Shaw, to full communion, Sept. 19, 1779. 

Reuben Burnham and Enoch and Anna Perley, to full communion, 1779. 

George Freeman and Jonathan Philbrick were deacons of Mr. Tompson's 
church. After he went away two ministers supplied before a regular pastor 
was ordained. 

Rev. Jonathan Gould was the second pastor. He was ordained in Stan- 


dish, Sept. i8, 1793. But few united with the church during his pastorate. 
He died suddenly of consumption without being confined to his bed for a day, 
and on Thursday following he was followed to his grave by a great concourse 
of people; not a relative present. On his grave-stone the following inscription 

" In memory of the Rev. Jonathan Gould late pastor of the Church in Standish 
son of Deacon Jonathan Gould of New Braintree and Abigail his wife, who departed 
this life July 26, 1795, in the 33d year of his age and 2d of his ministry. He was a 
fervent and zealous preacher of the gospel very exemplary in his Life & conversation 
& bid fair to adorn the ministerial character with peculiar honour. 

So sleeps the saints & cease to mourn, 

When sin and death have done their worst, 
Christ has a glory like his own 

That wants to clothe their sleeping dust." 

The persons whose names follow were admitted during his pastorate: 

James D. Tucker and wife, Mary, Nov. 24, 1793. 

Widow Linnell, by letter from Eastham, 1794. 

Daniel Boynton and wife, Jan. 26, 1794. 

Joseph Paine, to full communion, Aug. 10, 1794. 

Stephen Sparrow and wife, Sarah, Feb. i, 1795. 

Abigail Muzzey, admitted Mar. i, 1795. 

John Pierce, admitted Mar. 15, 1795. 

Dorcas, wife of Myrick Paine, 1795. 

Enoch Linnell and wife, Susanna, Apr. 26, 1795. 

Daniel Cram and wife, Chloe, and Zacheus Higgins, May s, 1795. 

Joseph Hopkins and wife, Sarah, June 15, 1795. 

After the death of Mr. Gould, Deacon Freeman read printed sermons on 
Sabbath days for some time. The Rev. Daniel Marrett was ordained Sept. 
21, 1796, being settled by the town. During his ministry he received mem- 
bers to the church who lived in town and some from adjoining towns. By 
reason of dismissals, excommunications, removals, and deaths of the members 
of the church the parish collector found trouble in collecting Parson Marrett's 
salary, which had been fixed at £80 per annum. Some who did not attend 
the services had their property taken by the collector and sold at auction. 
This resulted in bitterness against the parson and much ill-will among the 
towns-people until the laws were changed after Maine became a state, in 1820. 

Some of the members of the church lived to venerable years as the 
following deaths will show: 

Deacon Freeman, d. Mar. i, 1829, aged 90. 
1 )L\icon Philbrick, d. May 4, 1821, aged 82. 
John Pierce, d. during the Revolution, at Boston. 
Michael Philbrick, d. in Thorndike, Me., in 1813. 
Josiah Shaw, d. Aug. 7, 1810, aged 70. 
Peter Moulton, d. June 3, 1812, aged 70. 
David Sanborn, removed to Baldwin. 


Ebenezer Shaw, d. Mar. i8, 1783, aged 68. 
Daniel Sanborn, d. Jan. 14, 1786, aged 65. 
Caleb Rowe, d. in Belgrade, Me., 1819, aged 84. 
Dominicus Mitchell, d. September, 1822, aged 78. 
Daniel Hasty, d. in 1818, aged 69. 
Daniel Cram, d. Mar. 3, 1815. 
Joseph Butterfield, d. Sept. 12, 1819, aged 78. 
John Dean, Esq., d. May 6, 1826, aged 83. 
Stephen Sanborn, d. in 1779. 

It appears that a party of intoxicated soldiers entered the old meeting- 
house on a training day and dismantled it. The lines subjoined were written 
by Thomas Shaw, who said there were no schools in town until he was twenty- 
four years of age and he never attended a day in his life. He was self-taught 
to the extent that he could read, write, and cast accounts. The spelling and 
punctuation are defective. 


" A training was in Standish town 
Before the old house was torn down, 
That once did stand in the hroad road 
Where people met to worship God. 
And after men did drink their fill 
Of liquor fit all flesh to kill 
And night came on to hide their deeds. 
To wickedness they did proceed. 
After that they bewich-ed were 
By Satan, they hegan to tear 
The meeting-house in the highway 
A shame it is unto this day. 
The devil's servants entered in 
To worship there they did begin ; 
Both in the pulpit and the pews 
All over the house their prayers arose; 
They pray-ed then for to distroy 
The house with weopens in great joy. 
As soon as their sham prayers were done 
Then devastation soon begun. 
With axes and with hamers they 
Pulpit and pews all in their way 
Tearing the boards off of the frame 
As if the house was cursed by name. 
When Satan's servants then had done 
Then homeward they quickly did run 
And each one ot them hid his head 
Under a sheet or coverlead. 
And the next morning, appearing bright 
Their deeds of darkness came to light 
And stared them in the face 
When e'er they look-ed on that place. 
Then through the house we all see 
Wondering what the cause might be 
For it was open to behold 
The works of darkness there wais bold. 
The seats were scattered all abroad 
And boards stove off the house of God. 
And under foot all seemed to lie 


As if the house they did defy. 
As strangers passed by the same 
They wondered Ijow that it became 
A mark for Satan to shoot at 
Carrying the news abroad at that. 
And when we abroad did go 
Peopln then did to us tiirow 
Til at our old house had had a fight 
With Satan on a training night. 
Ye servants of the wicked one, 
Review the deeds you have done 
And never [again] do such a thing 
For a scandal upon all to bring. 
One scabby sheep affects a flock 
So a bad name they all have got 
One sinner also corrupts a town 
Which has a bad name all around. 
So then Standish has a bad name 
By bad men that live in the same 
And good and bad now must it bare 
And every one his equal share. 
And now there Satan chose to dwell 
Because the people suit him well 
For fire and brimstone soon will fall 
Upon them and consume them all 
—Lord save us when we to thee call." 


Congregational Church. — Religious meetings were held in Flintstown 
soon after the proprietors had effected a settlement, these being conducted by 
evangelists, or local laymen, who had the "gift of tongues," an attainment 
sometimes supplemented by the " gift on continuance." However, the pioneers 
were engaged in subduing the wilderness and seem to have allowed religious 
matters to care for themselves until Rev. Noah Emerson was settled as regu- 
lar pastor of the Congregational society. About this time, say 1824-6, the 
" Emerson meeting-house " was built on an elevation westerly from the " Emer- 
son brook," so-called, on the right side of the road leading to ^^'est Baldwin. 
This sanctuary was of the conventional pattern in Aogue at the time — 
nearly square, with two rows of windows, one for that part filled with the 
pews, the other for light in the gallery. The square pews were supplied with 
doors to keep intruders o//t and the children and dogs ///,■ also, with "clapper 
seats," hung on hinges, to make a racket and wake the sleepers when the con- 
gregation arose to receive the benediction. This house was set some distance 
from- the road, and the lot is now covered with a growth of pines. 

The Methodists formed a society about the same time of the organization 
of the church known as "the Standing order," and claimed a share of the 
ministerial appropriations voted by the town; but the Orthodox brethren 
believed they were the "elect" and held on to the "filthy lucre" with a close 
grip; they were "in favor at court" and won their case; the poor Methodists, 
meanwhile, left to shift for themselves. However, with that persistency 


characteristic of the followers of Wesley, they maintained their foot-hold in 
the town, and today the two churches worship in two neat chapels, the 
Methodists at the west, and Congregationalists in the east, section of the town. 
The Baptists of various shades of doctrinal views, Calvinistic or " Hard- 
shell," and " Freewillers," have held services in different parts of the town, 
and one or both have built, at some time, a house of worship there. 


" Elder " John Chadbourne was an exhorter who early settled in Cornish 
and held religious services in private dwellings of the pioneers. He was there 
more than a century ago, building wheels and wooden plows on week days, 
and holding forth with gospel sword on the Lord's day. A church was organ- 
ized in 1792, and Mr. Chadbourne ordained about 1795. He traveled exten- 
sively as an evangelist, and was successful in gathering churches. He was 
grandfather of Ex-Secretary of State Sumner J. Chadbourne, Esq., of Augusta. 
Elder Levi Chadbourne, a kinsman of John, also labored in Francisborough, 
now Cornish, on the religious line, being an exhorter, who was afterwards 
ordained; but some said he was a "naughty man," who retired to secular 
employment. Meetings were held in the log-house of Dea. Joshua Chad- 
bourne, another descendant of the original Humphrey, who kept "ye great 
house at Strawberry Bank." Another leader of spiritual services in the early 
days was "Daddy" Allen, whose character was above reproach; a man greatly 
beloved by his contemporaries, who died while a favorite hymn was being 
sung at his request. 

The "great reformation" started in the log-house of Deacon Chadbourne, 

aforesaid, in 1789, and extended into the surrounding towns; this resulted in 

the organization of a Baptist church, followed by the erection of a house of 

worship and the settlement of a pastor, named Timothy Remick. The plan 

for their meeting-house was made in 1800, and we subjoin the names of the 

pew owners : 

Aver, Humphrey, Clark, John, Pike Bennett, 

Ayer, Timothy, Estes, Jonathan, Phcenix, John, 

Allen, "Daddy," Gray, William, Parker, Elihu, 

Barker, Enoch, Gray, Isaac, Pike, Noah, 

Barker, Noah, Jr., Gray, Joshua, Pease, Mark, 

Barker, Eben, Jewett, Noah, Pease, John, 

Barker, Noah, Johnson, Simeon, Rundlett, David, 

Barnes, Abram, McKusic, J. Snell, Dr. Cyrus, 

Boynton, Samuel, Merrifield, Samuel, Sherburn, Andrew, 

Chadbourne, William, O'Brion, John, Jr., Smith, Capt. Theophilus, 

Chadbourne, Joseph, Pugsley, Andrew, Stoker, Benjamin, 

Chick, Thomas, Pike, John, Storer, William, 

Cole, Henry, Pease, Simeon, Thompson, Joseph, 

Cole, Daniel, Pike, Col. John, Thompson, Isaac, 
Perkins, Daniel. 


The meeting-house was dedicated in 1805. It was forty by fifty feet on 
the ground, and of two stories. Upon the front a porch was built for the 
main entrance; on either side of this, other doors. There were galleries 
around three sides, free-seated. The dedication was followed by a horse race, 
which was witnessed by the half-drunk congregation. 

Elder Remick was a good man and a useful, who, after many years of 
faithful labor, closed his connection as pastor in 1835. For some years there 
was no regular spiritual shepherd over the flock, and the meeting-house was 
nearly abandoned and fell to decay. Elder Flanders, a resident in Buxton 
many years, one of the homeliest men that ever exposed a repelling face to a 
congregation, and father of Bradbury Flanders, who inherited all of his physical 
and mental peculiarities, drawled out sermons in schoolhouses betimes in 
Cornish, during the interim between 1835 and 1841, when a young man came 
whose labors were followed by a revival and the church took a new lease of 
life. The old meeting-house was supplanted by a new one, and John Hub- 
bard was ordained and installed pastor. After serving some two years he 
removed to Biddeford, where he preached successfully. He was succeeded 
at Cornish by Elder George Knox, probably a kinsman df the heroic old 
Scottish reformer, John Knox, whose wife was a Bunnell from Buxton; sad 
to say, she was burned to death from the explosion of a lamD. 

Rev. Albert Cole, familiarly known for many miles away as "Parson 
Cole," was a native of Cornish, and organized the Congregational church 
there. The second Baptist meeting-house was drawn over the snow to the 
hill in Cornish village and remodeled, and there Mr. Cole was for many years 
the popular preacher. He died in 1881. 

The Methodists and Freewill Baptists gathered churches at the village, 
and both societies have good houses there. In the section of the town near 
the Limerick line the Freewill Baptists built a house of worship, and for many 
years maintained preaching there, but this church has decreased in strength 
and the house is closed. 


The earliest public religious services of which we have any account, in 
the town of Hiram, were held by an exhorter and mill owner, named John 
Ayer, of whom mention is elsewhere made. This class of religionists filled a 
useful place in the new settlements until the man of authority, the regularly 
ordained and titled minister, found his way among the scattered families. 
These pioneer preachers, who followed the exhortive method, were men of 
loud speech and pronounced demonstration, who could rub their hands and 
emphasize with stamp of foot. The pioneer settlers were of various shades 
of belief and unbelief, and were winding timber from which to form an har- 
monious reliffious bodv. 


A Calvinistic Baptist church was formed in the early years of this century, 
and a Methodist class about the same time, at South Hiram. The early Bap- 
tist preachers were Elder Timothy Remick, of Cornish, and Elder John Chad- 
bourne, who moved into town from Berwick (Sanford ?) some sixty years ago. 
The Methodists were favored with a vigorous sort of gospel by such old cir- 
cuit-riders as Elders Strout, ' Dyke, and Linscott. After the reformation, in 
1842, Col. Charles Wadsworth was chosen class leader and so continued 
many years. Of the members connected with this class, when services were 
held in the old Tripp schoolhouse, we find names of the following persons: 
Sarah H. Wadsworth, Abby W. Lewis, Ruth Wadsworth, Thomas Tripp 
and wife, Polly, Betsey Gilpatrick, wife of John, Hannah Fox, and Dinah 

A Freewill Baptist church was gathered at East Hiram in 1825, and has 
enjoyed the labors of Elders Hart, Pike, and Colby. The old meeting-house 
above the "Corners" was built more than sixty years ago as a "union" house 
(such as usually constitute a "bone of contention"), and was the first com- 
pleted in town. Such solid ministers as Samuel Hart, John Pinkham, Benja- 
min Manson, Charles O. Libby, Aaron Ayer, and Charles Bean have drawn 
the water of life with their buckets in this old house, and the place became 
hallowed by the manifestation of the gospel's saving power. 

The Congregational church was organized in Hiram, Oct. 26, 1826; its first 
regular pastor was Rev. Charles Soule, installed about four years afterwards. 
The Rev. David Gerry was pastor from 1839 to 1856, a period of seventeen 
years, and is remembered kindly by many still living. The Congregational 
meeting-house was dedicated in August, 1872. A Universalist society has 
existed in town, and a beautiful house of worship was built and presented to 
them by Mrs. Spring, in 187 1. 


We have not been able to ascertain when or by whom the earliest churches 
were founded in Denmark. The requisite data was promised by a gentleman 
fully competent to deal with the subject, but from feeble health he was unable 
to attend to the collection of facts in season ; and what is wanting in this 
section may be found in a supplementary chapter entitled, "Aftermath and 
Gleanings." The Congregationahsts, Methodists, Baptists, and Universalists 
are represented in the town at present. 


For an account of ecclesiastical affairs relating to this town, the reader 
is invited to turn to the historical sketch of the plantation and settlement. 



From Rev. Paul Coffin's journal we learn that he made a missionary 
visit to Fryeburg in i 768, where he was bountifully entertained at the mansion 
of Capt. Henry Young Brown, and at the home of John Webster, where he 
records : " Drank a fine dish of tea, well suited with wheat bread and pumpkin 
pye." This learned parson was one of the first to raise the Congregational 
church banner in the town. Then came the Rev. William Fessenden, a 
graduate of Harvard, who was called to settle as pastor. The Congregational 
church was organized Aug. 28, 1775, and Mr. Fessenden ordained Oct. 11, 
1775. His salary was paid in Indian corn at three shillings per bushel, and 
rye at four shillings, for the first six years of his ministry. He was well 
adapted to his charge and proved popular and useful, until his death. May 5, 
1805. He was succeeded by Rev. Francis L. Whiting, whose ministry ter- 
minated in 18 1 4. For a number of years Rev. Dr. Porter supplied the 
church. On October, 1824, Rev. Carlton Hurd was ordained as pastor. 

In 1787 the town voted to build a meeting-house, and formed a committee 
to draft a plan and estimate the expense. For many years worship was held 
in the small edifice, which was unpretentious in finish and limited in capacity, 
being twenty-five by fifty feet, with three small windows of nine lights on 
either side, and one at the end. This building was without pews or gallery. 
The male persuasion were seated on one side and the females on the other, 
" Quaker fashion " ; and when, long afterwards, the pews were put in and the 
congregation was seated promiscuously, it created wide-spread wonder. Some 
of the early forms of worship were peculiar ; that is, they had a precentor, 
same as in the Scottish kirk. When the hymn was announced Joshua Gamage 
rose near the pulpit, and immediately those who engaged in "singin' tewnes " 
moved from various parts of the congregation and assembled around the 
leader; then they made a "joyful noise unto the Lord." 

The Baptists obtained a hearing in town about 1790, and Elder Zebedee 
Richardson moved there with his family and gathered a church. For many 
years he preached, alternating with Mr. Fessenden, at the Centre, Corner, 
and north part of the town. This mutual fellowship and good-will continued, 
each minister holding his co-laborer with respect and esteem. Mr. Richardson 
deceased when many of his members were advanced in life, and as he was 
not succeeded by one of his denomination, the church in process of time 
became invisible. 

The Methodists, Freewill Baptists, and Universalists have flourished 
betimes in Fryeburg, some of them having birth and support in controversies 
and doctrinal contentions such as are too common between rival sects. 



Congregational Church. — " Pigwacket, upon the Saco," represented 
an area so extensive that we find the same difficulties attending our attempt 
to write of the early churches and ministers that were met with in our treat- 
ment of civil affairs. The same families are represented as being inhabitants 
of Fryeburg and Conway, and the same events are mentioned as having 
occurred in both towns. Rev. Timothy Walker, who lived in Pennycook, now 
Concord, followed some of his parishioners through the wilderness, on horse- 
back, to "Pigwacket, upon the Saco," and from his journal we copy a few 
statements. He set out for Pigwacket Sept. 19, 1764, and on the 21st lodged 
at a meadow above the great falls on Saco river. On Saturday, the 2 2d, he 
reached his destination, and on Sunday, following, found forty-five persons 
present to hear the gospel. He viewed the interval and great meadows; also 
Lovewell's pond. He was entertained during the week at Mr. Spring's and 
Nathaniel Merrill's. After baptizing Elizabeth, daughter of Jedediah Spring, 
he "set out homeward with a large company." Two years later, Sunday, 
Sept. 28, 1766, he wrote: "Preached at Mr. Swan's in Pigwacket." On this 
trip he baptized Judith, daughter of Captain Walker, Susanna Holt, Barnard, 
son of Timothy Walker, Jr., Susanna, daughter of Samuel Osgood, Ann, 
daughter of Leonard Harriman, Robert, son of David Page, William, son of 
John Evans, Sarah, daughter of David Evans, William, son of William Eaton, 
Moses, son of James Osgood, and William, son of Benjamin Osgood. 

Irregular religious services were held in Conway from the coming of 
Timothy Walker until the population had so increased that efficient measures 
were instituted for the settlement of a regular minister. Rev. William Fes- 
senden, the minister at Fryeburg, was engaged, in 1775, to preach one-third 
of the time during summer, to be paid four pounds and fourteen shillings for 
his services. 

A call was extended to Rev. Nathaniel Porter, in 1778, which was 
accepted, and his salary fixed at ^55 for the first year. A church was organ- 
ized by Mr. Fessenden, Aug. 18, 1778, and Mr. Porter installed pastor in 
October of that year. He continued in this relation until his death, Nov. 10, 
1836. He was born in Topsfield, Mass., Jan. 14, 1745, and graduated from 
Harvard College in 1768. He cleared his own glebe and toiled hard, amid 
many deprivations, as a farmer. Many of his first sermons were written by 
the light of pitch-wood. He baptized three hundred and forty-five persons 
and received into the church one hundred and six members. 

Rev. Benjamin G. Willey was ordained an associate pastor in 1824, and 
continued his labors down to 1832. He was a member of the Willey family 
involved in the disaster at the slide of the White Mountains, born in Conway, 
Feb. II, 1796. He was author of "Incidents in White Mountain History." 


The first meeting-house was put up in 1773 by the town. This sanctuary 
was located in a portion of the town "deemed eligible for a city," on the plain 
"below Pine hill and the Rattlesnake projection of the Green Hill range." 
This location proved unsatisfactory, and before the house was finished it was 
taken down and removed to Conway Centre, where Doctor Porter commenced 
his pastorate labors. Another meeting-house was built, in 1793-5, i" North 
Conway; in 1826, another house was dedicated at Conway Village. 

Baptist Church. — This body was organized, at the house of Samuel 
Willey, Aug. 26, 1796. Amos Morrell was chosen deacon, and Samuel Willey, 
clerk. Richard Smith was ordained pastor in the same year, and a farm pur- 
chased for his glebe. Those who had been taxed to support the Congrega- 
tional minister, when wishing to attend the services of the new organization, 
entered their protest against further compulsory taxation for the maintenance 
of the "Standing order," and in 1800 the town voted to exempt the Baptists 
from all the mmister tax that stood against them. This society immediately 
petitioned the General Court for incorporation; this prayer was answered and 
they were incorporated. Elder Roswell Mears became pastor in 1799 and 
settled on the ministerial farm. 

Freewill Baptist Church. — Elder Benjamin Manson organized a 
church of this denomination, in 1826, with a membership of twenty-nine. An 
accession of fourteen members was received in 1832, and in 1834 the mem- 
bership was eighty-four. This body was known as the Conway and Eaton 
church. Subsequently the church was divided, and the Conway section had 
a membership of sixty-five in 1842. With periods of alternating success and 
decline the organization lost its visibility, and a new church was organized. 
This body has ceased to exist. 

Other religious denominations gained a foot-hold in town, but at a period 
so late that we shall not consider their history pertinent to this volume. 


Freewill Baptists. — A church representing this useful denomination, 
with thirty-five members, was organized in 1818. In 1825, from the fruits of 
revival, sixteen members were added. In 1834 the interest had so far declined 
that a vote was passed in a quarterly-meeting session to drop them from the 
roll. Such substantial materials were found there by a committee sent to 
visit the defunct society that a new organization was effected. Additions were 
made of thirteen members in 1834, and in 1843 the number was increased to 
sixty-two members. The wicked old wolf seems to have stolen in among the 
sheep soon after, and with tooth and claw set about their destruction. The 
church was reported to be "in a low, scattered, and divided state," and 

T7cirimic rnmmitfppQ <;pnt tn rnnnQpl tllpm Tn t R r r fVipir ^irpi-p ot^ii^iT^Q.^ i-^ 


walk in gospel order, and to cultivate a spirit of mutual forbearance and 
concession toward each other, and to be more attentive to their religious 
duties. A committee was formed to visit the church in 1856, to see if its 
members had exemplified this spirit, as advised. From intermittent revivals 
new members were added, but the body was dropped again in 1883. A 
second Freewill Baptist church had been gathered in Bartlett in 1836, and 
was connected with the quarterly-meeting, with thirty members. Four years 
afterwards it was pronounced dead, although some worthy members survived 
the general dissolution. The verdict of the recorder was : " Died at the age 
of four." 

Methodist Church. — Methodism seems to have been more congenial 
to the soil of Bartlett than some other "isms," or, at least, it took deeper root. 
A society of this order was incorporated here, by act of the Legislature, in 
1827. In 1832 there were 179 members of the Bartlett charge, which, I sup- 
pose, included the church or class in Conway and in Jackson. A list of the 
names of members has been preserved, but without any mark to indicate what 
towns they were inhabitants of. In 1837 there were three classes in Bart- 
lett, one in Jackson, and three in Conway, thus constituting a circuit. The 
church in Bartlett was composed of twenty-seven members, of the most re- 
spectable families, in 1838. A lot was purchased and a church built in 1839. 
No. I, Lower Bartlett, Daniel E. Pendexter, class leader; No. 2, Middle Dis- 
trict, Jonathan Gale, class leader; No. 3, Upper Bartlett, John Seavey, class 
leader. The members of the Pendexter family in Bartlett have been staunch 
and devoted supporters of the Methodist church. 

li!jI: |^:|[k|:|[Lj|:| b|fa 

^^5i (i")mer;it |tl(*dn'/' 



K it understood, at the beginning of this chapter, that it was not 
prepared under the influence of a sacrilegious spirit. My purpose 
is to illustrate the quaint speech and old-time customs of the sub- 
stantial, unpolished pillars of the church, as represented in the 
rural districts during the early years of the present century. 

Many of those somewhat primitive "breth-ring and sist-ring," to whom 
the author listened when young, were persons of excellent character and 
superior natural endowments, whose pviblic addresses in the house of God 
were both dignified, instructive, and impressive; their whole lives were filled 
with useful service for humanity, and their influence for good is indestructible. 
We recall the names of some ministers, who were called from the plow-handles 
and work-bench to assume the duties of their sacred office, who became emi- 
nent for piety and profound in their knowledge of the inspired volume; they 
were commanding in person, powerful in the pulpit, and genial at the fireside. 
Their sermons may have been unmethodical, their enunciation and grammar 
defective, and their gestures ungraceful; but, by diligent application to study, 
keen observation of human nature, and the essential quality of hard common 
sense, supplemented by voices of resounding power, they drove home the 
truth with sledge-hammer force. They graduated from the pine groves and 
field-sides, and their whole lives savored of the times in which they lived. 

The following simple lines, composed many years ago, were suggested 
while listening to one of the venerable ministers, and epitomize some of their 
peculiar characteristics : 


He was a nuiii of sterling worth, 

And taunht to revereiico Goil from birth ; 

A sound I'xporioiioe he possessed, 

And daily WMlked as he professed ; 

He had a call direet from God 

To ineaeh the niessatie of his word. 

And dare not wait to stndy Greek, 

But found the truth at Jesus' feet. 

His heart the w arning Spirit moved, 

He saw that tinui must be improved ; 

His homo was dear, and friends loved well, 

Yel he could not among them dwell ; 

With falling tears and heart-felt groans 

'A GINERAL ifEETIN'." 247 

For Christ had promised, " I will be 
Within thy heart to strengthen thee." 
His pockets held no scribbled lines, 
To chill the heart and please the mind 
Ot those who walked the road of sin. 
And sought its glittering toys to win. 
He found no work for velvet hands, 
Nor was he swathed with paper bands. 
But came to feed the hungry poor 
With manna fresh from Heaven's store. 
God made his great commission known, 
And Satan's hosts were overthrown ; 
The sharp-edged sword the soldier bore 
Wounded the harnessed Ahab sore, 
And drove his armies from the field 
Before his gospel burnished shield. 
He could not stop for storm or wind ; 
His feet were shod like David's " hind," 
And through the land by. night and day 
The faithful preacher made his way ; 
His faith-clad prayers were not denied, 
But all his needs the Lord supplied. 
His loins with Truth were girt about. 
The he was not without, 
Shielded in faith with all the rest. 
And on his head salvation's crest. 
Thus armed and qualified to fight, 
He met the foe with main and might, 
And victory crowned the preacher's toil. 
For ransomed souls were his rich spoil ; 
Though thousands by the truth were slain. 
The number soon were "born again," 
And walked in paths of glory bright. 
With Christ their everlasting light. 
These heralds on the watchman's tower 
Proclaimed a gospel rich with power. 
And taught that all who wore a crown 
Must heed the trumpet's warning sound. 
They often walked with solemn face, 
With downcast look and trembling pace ; 
When dying men to judgment bound 
Could sport upon such dangerous ground. 
These veterans fought the battle well. 
And rescued souls from sin and hell. 
Some still remain to point the way, 
And teach us how to preach and pray. 
Hold up your heads, ye noble men ! 
Your warfare soon will have an end, 
And you shall bear rich sheaves of grain. 
The souls of men once "born again." 
A few more rounds upon the wall. 
To sound the watchman's faithful call. 
Then cross the floods and be at rest 
Within the mansions of the blest. 

The narration of events now to appear are true delineations made up 
from personal observations during the author's early years. The names of 
persons are adapted. 

Before there were any churches built of wood and stone in country 
towns — when churches were composed of human intelligences — the "meetin' 


houses" were erected on the highest eminences and seemed to suggest that 
those who selected these altitudes did so with the purpose of facilitating com- 
munication between the members of the body militant and that triumphant by 
applying the short range principle. 

From the pulpit of one of these churches of high standing, on an early 
winter Sabbath, the old-fashioned pastor gave the following announcement: 

" A Gineral Meetin' will be held in this house the first week in Jinewerry to begin 
on a-Tuesday at one of the clock and continoe over the follering Sabbath. All are 
invited to prepare straw and provender for man and beast." 

Mid-week, following this notice, the old elder made a tour of his parish 
to learn what arrangements were being perfected for the entertainment of the 
expected guests. His high-posted sorrel mare and correspondingly high- 
backed sleigh, with his stately form towering amid-ships, were seen advancing 
down the "Walker lane." 

Entering the farm-house of one of the venerable members of his flock, 
whom we will call Brother Hunchcome, he approached the fire and began to 
unswathe his neck, divesting it of several thicknesses of bandanna and worsted. 
After being seated and made comfortable by the genial warmth of the roaring 
open fire, the elder opened the following conversation : 

"Brother and Sister Hunchcome, there's to be a gineral meetin' at the 
meetin' house tu convene on a-Tuesday next, and tu continoe over the 

"So I larned," replied Brother Hunchcome. 

"And I drove down to see how meny delegates ye could 'commerdate; 
'spose ye'n Sister Hunchcome are willin' tu take kere o' some on 'em." 

"Sartin! Sartin!" 

"How meny ken we put up, motlier?" asked Brother Hunchcome of his 
good wife. 

Aunt Pattie smoothed her apron, adjusted the ruffles of her immaculate 
cap, and bowed her head for consideration. After a brief silence she called 
up a compassionate expression and said : 

"Wall, father, I think we ken take kere of 'bout six or half dozzen 'thout 

"Mother sez 'bout six, sir." 

"'Bout six," repeats the elder. "Very well; that'll do. How are you'n 
Sister Hunchcome enjoyin' yer minds now-days?" 

"Cumf-table, cumf-table," responded Brother Hunchcome. "But we be 
greatly consarn'd 'bout the meetin's; we be very anxious for an outpourin' o' 
the Sparit durin' the gineral meetin'." 

"That's well, my brother and sister; that's well; let us pray for this 


Bowing around the hearth-stone the holy man prayed substantially as 
follows : 

"O Lard, commarnd thy blessin' upon thy sarvant and handy-maiden; 
re-ward them for the hospitality bestow-ed upon thy saints ; and in entertainin' 
stran-gers may they entertain an-gels on-awares. Hev marcy on the on-con- 
sarned and car-nally minded; pour thy Sparit down co-piously 'pon thy Zion; 
let show-rs o' grace visit thy plantation durin' the gineral meetin' 'bout to 
convene among us — for thy name and marcy sake, Amen." 

This done, all arose, hands were shaken again, and the elder proceeded 
on his way. 

A counsel was immediately called and all "sot on the question." Great 
changes would be necessary. New cribs must be extemporized in the wide 
barn, considerable additions made to the stock of available provision in larder 
and cupboard, and the house renovated and put in trim for company. With 
claw-hammer and an old basin of rusty nails in hand the head of the house- 
hold started toward the barn. All was bustle within the great farm-house 
kitchen. The women girded up their loins with apron strings, put their arms 
akimbo, and all day long the business-like footfall of housewife was heard 
between the meal-chest, pantry, and hearth-stone. Puddings of ponderous 
size and chaotic immaturity were forwarded into the cavernous depths of the 
great, brick oven; loaves of "rye'n ingun" bread, yellow as gold and of old- 
school size, were housed away in the same harmless sepulchre ; beans by the 
peck, embalmed in pork of "home raisin','' were stowed in the same capa- 
cious receptacle, while pies, pancakes, jumbles, and "must-go-down" graced 
the long shelving of the pantry. 

When the culinary preparations had been completed the " wimmin folks " 
went about to "rid up the house." The "fore-rume" (no parlors then) was 
put in trim for company; bed linen aired and changed; laundried curtains 
hung at the small windows ; the fire-board taken down and the brass andirons 
polished ; and with sweeping, brushing, and dusting, all things wore an air of 
tidiness and inviting comfort. 

The arrival of the "meetin' folk" was both interesting to anticipate and 
amusing to behold. There were disciples of every grade — elders, deacons, 
delegates, messengers, breth-ring, sist-ring, convarts, new-lights, and come- 
outers. Standish Neck and Raymond Gore produced subjects suitable for 
observation by the students of anatomy and fashion. Quaint, queer old fel- 
lows, some of these! Many were maimed or deformed in some way. Such 
costumes! Swallow-tailed coats that had been worn on a wedding-day forty 
years before; pantaloons "pulled a year too soon" and crooked as a boat- 
knee; waistcoats of sufficient extent to answer all purposes of propriety; tall 
hats, bell-crowned and ragged as sackcloth, that formed a materialized para- 
dox because short; dickeys suggestive of the sides of a wheelbarrow, that 

'250 "yl GINERAL MEErfN\" 

were calculated to keep one's head level; turn-down collars, over which poured 
a set of neck whiskers like the water at high flood over a river dam. Some 
had evidently made a suffering attempt to shave, but their rusty old razor, like 
a broken-toothed rake, had left many "scatterings" here and there. One 
had a pair of eyebrows as long and outstanding as the ears of a lynx-cat. 
Another had, perforce, started a mustache, which had passed the age of "vel- 
vet" and was then in the "plush." Some of the more venerable breth-ring, 
who had "fought through many a battle sore," carried canes cut from the 
forest, crooked as the limbs they were intended to support, forming, thus, a 
bond of sympathy mutually helpful. The anatomical isthmus connecting 
head and trunk of these veterans was well swathed in the many-fold thick- 
nesses of ample cravats, and others, more dignified, wore the wide neck-stock 
secured by a buckle behind. The more unfortunate had lost an eye, and 
those who possessed two were afflicted by some "impediment" in them. 

Let us pay our respects to the beasts that brought these brethren and 
sisters. These were of all builds and colors; so were the vehicles to which 
they were attached by tug and toggle. There were black horses in yellow 
sleighs, yellow horses in black sleighs; gray horses in blue pungs and white 
horses in red pungs. Some were wrapped about with segments of a bed quilt, 
others covered by the skin of a heifer found dead in the pasture. Sleigh-bells 
all sizes, from that of the "crab apple" to the "pumpkin sweet." 

The "gineral meetin'" was convened at last and important conventional 
business attended to. Elder Linscott was called to the chair to "preside over 
said meetin'," while Elder Winterwade was called upon to "open said meeting 
by prayer." What an all-comprehending invocation that was! Considerable 
time and force were spent in thanksgiving for such "temporal and spiritual 
blessin's as had been 'sperianced during the past year — ah; for the gracious 
outpourin' o' the Sparit upon the various pastorial charges; for the presarva- 
tion of the lives of so many breth-ring and sister-ing — ah." Then he turned 
the switch and ran on another track; prayed for "wisdom and on-derstanding 
for the transaction of all deliberations — ah ; that a sparit o' unison and mag- 
nimousness might prevail — ah ; that ministers might be an-ninted with pow-er 
to preach the word — ah ; that the breth-ring and sist-ring might put shoulther 
to the wheel — ah; and that the gineral meetin' would resound to the glory o' 
the Lard and the edification o' the people." 

As an interlude a "pennyroyal hymn" was sung; it ran as follows: 

"Conii', my bruth-ring, let us try, for a little season, 
Every burden to lay by, come and let us reason." 

"The chear is reddy for bizness." 

" Move we hear report o' the churches." 

"Ravmond church fust on the list. Anv delecrate from RavmnnH ?" 


The "breth-ring" looked around. A cane rattled in a wing pew, and 
presently the Raymond delegate, in the person of Deacon Dingley, arose to 

" Hem! Ahem ! My breth-ring, I'm the missinger from Raymond Gore 
church. Ahem ! I'm sorry to report a low state o' Zion 'mongst us, my breth- 
ring; very low state o' Zion. Many are on the background — ah, and some 
have hanged their 'arps on the willers by the cold streams o' Bab-Ion. 
There have been some signs o' rain, but all signs fail in a dry time — ah. But 
we hope for better days, my breth-ring. The Raymond Gore church needs 
the slayin' power — ah ; a terrible shakin' o' the dry bones — ah. We ask for the 
prayers o' the gineral meetin' for a blessin' on Raymond Gore church." 

"Windham church next on the list. Any delegate from Windham?" 

An old brother with but one eye responded. His hair was iron gray and 
"banged" over his wrinkled forehead. With trembling hands he grasped the 
back of the pew in front, and with a voice that might have been a- cross 
between the chirping of a cricket and the filing of a mill-saw he gave his 
report. He seemed to be deeply moved by some inward storm, which was 
indicated by clouds, thick and gloomy, that gathered about his brow ; it burst 
forth at length, and the rain-drops fell thick and fast from his weeping eyes. 
Windham had been wonderfully favored. For a long time a few faithful 
" breth-ring and sist-ring had been crying atween the porch and the altar ; 
long, patiently, and with unfaltering importunity had these wrastled with the 
Lord until all on a sudden, in an on-expected moment, the winders o' heaven 
flew open and showers of blessin's came down upon the dry an' parch-ed 
ground — ah. Many of the gay-minded, bloomin' youth had forsaken the 
follies and frolics of this world to jine the church ; scores who had wandered 
and backslidden had come home where there's bread 'nough'n to spare ; fatted 
calves that had been kept for 'these disloyal, prodigal sons until they were 
four-year-olds were now butchered and served up, not as vea/, but as dee/ — 
no great loss 'thout some small gain, my breth-ring — and the weddin' garment 
and bridle ring bestow-ed upon them. It was believed that some o' the con- 
varts would be called to preach and others to prophesy. Old feuds had been 
settled, and breth-ring who held hardness agin each other for lo! these many 
years had acknowledged their faultiness, and now took sweet counsel togather." 

This report was very well received and the remarks of the delegate from 
Windham were frequently interrupted by "Amen," and "Bless the Lord,'' 
from those who listened to the good news. 

"Limin'ton church next on the list. Any delegate from Limin'ton?" 

A fine, child-like voice was heard in one of the rear pews and the chair- 
man recognized "Brother Perkins, the delegate from Limin'ton." 

"I am sorry to report," said Brother Perkins, "that the Limin'ton 
church's in a sad condition, and I'm terribly feared our can'lestick will be 


remov-ed out o' its place. There seems to be a-a-a skism in the body, a sparit 
o' disunity an' hardness, my breth-ring. The ole inimy, he seems to be set 
luse 'mongst us, an' he's caus-ed se-rous trouble in the church an' community. 
There's Brother Purin'ton an' Brother Emery, theys hard agin one nuther; 
Brother Purin'ton, he girdled Brother Emery's young orchard, and Brother 
Emery, he throwed pison inter Brother Purin'-ton's well, he did. Then Brother 
Purin'ton, he kill-ed Brother Emery's dog, he did, an' Brother Emery, he 
knocked off the horns from Brother Purin'ton's cattle, he did. Wus than 
that, my breth-ring, Sister Severings, she backbitted 'ginst Sister Mulberry, 
and then Sister Mulberry, she called Sister Severings scandle-munger, she did. 
Well, my breth-ring, things went from bad to wus until Sister Mulberry and 
Sister Severings, they met one tother down in Sargent Nason's blueberry past- 
ure ; I say these two sist-ring met down there and they gut into a quarrel and 
then they called one nuther hard names not lawful for me to utter, and then 
they clinched, they did (groans from the breth-ring), an' tugged, and scratched, 
and pulled one tother's hair, till Nason's dog, old Jowler, he beared the 
racket'n come dashin' down the pasture'n Betsey, she run one way, and 
Sally, she run tother. We hope the prayers of the gineral meetin' will be 
offered for the church of Limin'ton." 

At the close of the foregoing report the chairman suggested a hymn, and 
Elder Oilytongue struck, 

" From whence doth this union arise, that hatred is conquered by love," etc. 

Elder Peacemaker moved that a council be called to set with the Liming- 
ton church and see what could be done to ' reconcile these alienated ones. 
The motion was seconded by Deacon Parsons, of ^^'aterborough, and the 
committee was appointed by the chair. 

The evening shadows were now falling, ,and a brother suggested that 
"wisdom was profitable to direct," and a motion to adjourn until the call of 
the chair was carried. 

Elder Heatherway, the pastor of the church where the general meeting 
was convened, then announced that there would be "preachin' at airly can'le 
litin'," and the session was closed. 

"'Cordin' to pintment," the people gathered at the gloaming to listen to 

the word. The ministers had taken their places in and about the pulpit 

the old, high pulpit overhung by the bell-like sounding-board. 

Groans from the brethren escaped, sighs from the sisters were heaved; 
groans came down from the desk and up from the wing pews. 

Barney Slocum was seen climbing the rickety singing-seat stairs with 
the green baize bag that contained what old Sister Dearborn called the 
"bull-fiddle." Ransum Edwards was to lead the singing; he was waiting 
with tuning-fork in hand for the coming of Barney, who had now removed 


the covering from his bass viol and was rubbing the bow upon a piece 
of resin. 

Groans and sighs ! 

"Lard, help!" 

" Du, Lard ! " 

" Hev marcy! " 

"Du, Lard!" 

Groans ! 

Sighs I 

Elder Pinkhorn slowly arose in the pulpit with open pennyroyal hymn- 
book in hand, and after looking benignantly ovar the waiting congregation, 
said: "We will now begin the sarvice by the use of hymn ninety-six, common, 
pertick'ler metre ; hymn n-i-n-e-ty-six." He then began to read with deep 

intonation of voice, 

" Hark! from the tomb a doleful sound." 

The rise and fall of his voice was like a boat bounding over small bil- 
lows — solemn, musical, singular. When the last and eighth stanza had been 
read there was a pause, followed by the rap of Ransum's tuning-fork, the 
accompaniment of a twang from Barney's instrument of three strings, and the 
voice of the leader, "do-me-sol-do-o-o." And then the congregation arose and 
the choir started in. The congregation had been invited to "jine in the 
singin'" and some "jined." 

Now the leader was a man of time and didn't wait for anybody. Whether 
they sang high or sang low ; whether they sang fast or sang slow, it was all 
the same to him, and he pushed right on to the end of the stanza. If others 
kept pace it was all well, but if they were not to the front in season, Ransum 
boldly waded into the next verse, and away they went, nip and tuck, hip and 
thigh, tooth and claw, on the "home stretch." Ransum was leader, and he 
led, whether or no. 

And Barney had but one tune for all measures ; that he had learned to 
play in his youth; it was set to the words, "Fire on the mountains, run, boys, 
run." Notwithstanding the galloping character of this "worldly tune," Bar- 
ney declared that by going fast or slow, he could adapt it to the rollicking 
hymn of "Ca-ne-an, bright Ca-ne-an," or "Old Hundred." Taken all in all, 
it was powerful music and served in good stead in those old-time and unme- 
thodical services. What was wanting in harmony was made up in noise ; 
consequently, if somewhat inartistic, abundant in quantity. 

The congregation seated. 

Silence for a brief space. 

Groans from ministry and laymen. 

An awful hush like a lull in time. 

"Lard, help!" 


"Du, Lard!" 

"Hem! Ahem!" 

Elder Muchamore moves forward in prayer. With hands clasped over 
the pulpit cushion, face uplifted, and one eye closed, he opens with the fol- 
lowing words : 

"It is through a well-directed train o' thy Providence that we're spar-ed, 
the monuments o' thy marcy; had thou dealt with us 'cordin' to our de-sarts, 
we should long ago been cut off as cu-cumborers o' thy ground. Hear thou 
in heav-un, thy dwellin'-place, an' answer us upon airth. We would not utter 
the prayer o' the republican, but that o' the sinner. Visit thy vine-yard. Send 
co-pious show-ers o' grace. . Du thou a-nint thy sarvants with holy ile ; make 
'em sharp thrashin' instruments havin' teeth. May they give the trumpet a 
sartin sound. Bless thou the breth-ring and sist-ring who hev come so far 
over hills and through valleys to 'tend this gineral meetin' ; du. Lard. Hev 
marcy on the on-faithful and on-consarned. We be all 'tar-nity bound crit- 
ters ; all goin' to the judgment where the wor-rum dieth not and the fire is 
niver squinched. Marcy! Marcy! Marcy! Du help the brother who hez the 
word to preach. May he hev the two-edged se-word that divides the jints an' 
the marrow. Let the word melt harts as wax upon a hot rock. Re-vive thy 
wark. Pour down thy Sparit. Marcy! Hev marcy — for thy name an' marcy's 
sake, warld without eend. Aman." 

Elder Hardback now arises and reads hymn forty-five, long metre. The 
congregation is again cordially invited to "jine in the singin'." 




" Do-me-sol-do-o-o-o." 

"When strangers stand and hear me tell." 

Away goes Barney's viol at the tune of "Fire on the mountains, run, 
boys, run." Away went Ransuni, as leader, as determined as ever to be on 
time. But this was a somewhat difficult piece, and the various singers were 
soon entangled in the complicated intricacies of the old tune, and like sheep 
were running in all directions. Some were trying to follow Barney, some 
Ransum, and some sang independent. This was too mucli for Elder Hard- 
hack, and he called a halt by shouting, " That'll do, that'll do ; omit the last 
six stanzas." 

Sermon-time has come at last, and old Elder MacGravity rises to address 
the congregation. His introduction was as follows: 

"My beloved breth-ring and sist-ring, I feel very on-warthy to arise 
before ye, but my mind has been deeply impressed with a passage o' Scripter, 
which, if it be the will o' the Lard, I shall use as the foundation o' my re- 


marks. The text may be found in the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 
twenty-five, first verse : ' Then shall the kingdom of heaven be liken-ed unto 
ten virgins, which took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom.' 

" We onderstand this to be one of our Marster's most strikin' and im- 
pressive parables. It has to do with events of the most momen-tus character. 

" The event employed as an illustration is that of an Eastern weddin', 
an oriental weddin', my breth-ring, and the — the — the weddin' precession. 
They who was tu take part in the precession had torches, and carried vessels 
of ile into which they dip-ped them now'n then to keep 'em burnin', my breth- 
ring — ah. But the bridegroom on this occasion delay-ed his comin', an' the 
onwise vargins they burn-ed up all their ile, they did; burn-ed up all their ile; 
and when they all slumbered and slep' there was a shout, ye see, ' Behold the 
bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.' And these onwise vargins 
exclaim-ed, 'Our lamps be gone out.' Ye on-derstand they had no ile, my 
breth-ring, no ile in their vessels. The ile means grace, my breth-ring. Hev 
ye any grace in yer hearts, my breth-ring, any grace — ah, in yer hearts — ah ? 
Behold, the bridegroom cometh! Go — ye — out — to — meet him. See tu it 
that ye don't git caught like foolish vargins without any ile; without any grace." 

For want of space we cannot report the sermon in full. It was an extem- 
pore undertaking, plain, exhortive, and practical; well adapted to the times 
and conditions, and left upon the minds of the hearers — who were not sound 
asleep — a deep and, we trust, lasting impression. 

The visiting brothers and sisters now repaired to the homes of the farmers 
round-about to which they had been assigned by the pastor in charge, and 
while the horses were "baited" at the barn the company gathered about the 
cheerful fire to discuss the business transactions of the morning session, 
the sermon to which all had listened, and the "state of Zion " at large. 

Here was an opportunity for observing primitive fashions and quaint 
speech. Among those entertained at the good home of Brother and Sister 
Hunchcome was Elder Hornbeam. This "sarvant o' the Most High" had 
passed over the ridge-pole of life and was venerable in years. He was tall 
and well formed; his head high and intellectual; his visage elongated; com- 
plexion fair. His mild blue eyes, beaming from under heavy brows, gave to 
his calm face a benignant and compassionate expression. A wavy "temple- 
lock " was allowed to flourish at the side of his cleanly shaven face. His coat 
was of "snufif-color," double-breasted, and "swallow-tailed"; neck well pro- 
tected by a broad, white neck-cloth. His voice was deep and sonorous ; his 
pronunciation moderate and distinct. 

Deacon Steadfast was also a guest at the home of the Hunchcomes. 
How can we draw his portrait with tardy pen ? He was short and inclined to 
corpulency; broad, expanding, and well-fed. His form was somewhat bent by 
hard toil, and his bowing knees indicated too much weight from above. If the 


pious deacon had a neck it was not visible, and his large, square head seemed 
to rest upon his trunk. Long, shaggy eyebrows were in vogue when the 
deacon's creation was effected ; in the ingredients there was no lack of hair. 
His face was fat and ruddy; his nose large, wide at the end, and pugnacious; 
his lip, broad and full; his chin, square-cut, well turned up, and firm as granite. 
Little bright eyes twinkled with exuberant good nature, but in depths far 
removed from the outer world. The garments constituting the deacon's attire 
were of ample circumference, giving evidence of a superabundance of cloth 
when the several articles of apparel were formulated ; but the wool had been 
taken from his own flock, the "full-cloth" woven by his good wife, and what 
cared he how much was required. He was a man of liberal soul, who wanted 
his limbs to articulate with unobstructed freedom. There were no buttons 
behind for ornament without use — that would savor of vanity — but two neigh- 
borly rows in front, with button-holes to match, of course. His voice was 
thick and husky. Such is an outline of Deacon Steadfast, traveling com- 
panion of Elder Hornbeam, as seen in the home of Bro. Hezekiah Hunchcome. 

Numbered among the female guests at the fireside were two matronly- 
looking sisters whose antipodal physiognomy and costumes require descrip- 
tions of extreme contrast. Sister Warpingstick was tall, thin, sharp-featured, 
fidgety. Her face was as white and rigid as the chiseled marble ; her thin, 
compressed lips seldom opened in speech, but her piercing, black eyes scin- 
tillated with unmistakable determination. Her attenuated form required small 
space on earth, but reached heavenward wonderfully. Her passage through 
this world displaced but little atmosphere, but she could look down upon 
common folk. In all her attire, order and extreme tidiness were observable. 
There was no superflous flummery, no attempt at display. A small, simple 
cap set lightly upon her abundant, white hair; a white kerchief was pinned 
neatly about her shoulders. Not more than six yards of plain, worsted stuff 
were used in making her dress. Her mo\ements were nervous and pro- 
nounced, her words few and pointed. \\'hen she violated the rules of her 
code of conduct by speaking, it was evident that her views were seasoned 
and unbending. To sum up. Sister Warpingstick was a pure-minded, keen- 
witted, critical, unsympathetic woman, held in respect for her spotless integ- 
rity, uncompromising dignity, and precision of life. 

By her side sat Sister Comfortmaker, with an enormous area of facial 
territory upon which the sun never seemed to set. Jovial good nature was ' 
in every lineament of that combination of features; it glinted from her full 
blue eyes, radiated on her plump, ruddy cheeks, played pranks about her 
broad mouth, and capered around her robust nose. A great, rich smile sat 
on her ample face as faithfully as a brooding fowl. Her voice was low and 
plaintive; fragrant her words of gentleness, sympathy, and goodness of heart. 
The full ruffles of a great lace cap enframed her face, a string of gold beads 

■■.'1 GINERAL MEETlN\i' 259 

his own meetings and invited the people present to "jine in singing" the 
familiar hymn beginning with the words, " Go preach my gospel saith the 
Lord." Now this elder had been in early years a teacher of simple music; 
was possessed of a voice of great compass and charming flexibility. Feeling 
fully competent to conduct the singing, he raised the "key-note " and grandly 
was he supported by those old-fashioned saints, many of whom had been his 
pupils in former years. If ever two men were astonished, then Ransum 
Edwards and Barney Slocum were. The formei sat sulky and silent, but the 
latter, not to be outdone, stood forth at the front gallery and sawed away with 
all his might; the grum, deep sound of the viol, rising now and then above 
the voices below, forming an excellent accompaniment to the vocal perform- 
ances of the singers in the congregation. Indeed, Barney's arm seemed to 
have been moved by the Spirit so that his old instrument gave forth no dis- 
cordant sound. At any rate, the music was rousing and sublime, and the 
whole subsequent service received such an impulse of inspiration that all 
spiritual bearings were lubricated, all devotions ran smoothly, and the whole 
wound up with shouts of victory. 

As no one seemed to have "the word," Elder Readyman said the meeting 
would be a sociable one, and in a rousing exhortation admonished the " breth- 
ring and sistering to come up to the help o' the Lard agin the mighty; agin 
the mighty, my beloved breth-ring — ah." 

For a brief space an awful silence reigned; it seemed to hang like a thick 
cloud over all; it was, properly speaking, "waiting for the angel to come and 
trouble the pool"; otherwise, "waiting for the moving of the Sparit." At 
length a terrible groan, solemn and savoring of the nether regions, escaped 
from Deacon Steadfast; this knocked all the keys out, and the "odor of sanc- 
tity" began to rise like invisible incense. Sighs and groans were now heard 
from various pews ; they were getting up steam and an escape valve must be 
opened somewhere, and that right early. Clear the track! Old Sister Spin- 
dletree led the van in singing : 

" How happy is the man who has chosen wisdom's ways ! " 

Her head was in the rear end of an enormous churn bonnet, overhung by the 
ample folds of a green baize veil. The ivory keys of her vocal organ were 
nearly all absent, and her voice, like the wind at night when sporting with a 
hemlock splinter on the boarding of the farm-house, sharp, rasping, and ear- 
spHtting. As soon as she had fairly "got the bitts in her teeth" and was in 
the highway of melody, the members of the congregation began to file into 
line, like geese in the air, at the vdice of their leader, while their discordant 
notes resembled the figure of their flight. All the same, the old lady had the 
inside track, and made good time down through all the curves of the stanza; 
and such was the marvelous reserve force with which she seemed to be 

260 "yl aiNERAL MEETING'" 

invested, that, with scarcely a moment's pause to take breath, she dashed 
across the vacant space and struck boldly and with accelerated speed into the 
next verse. Finding it to be an unequal race, many of the singers fell out by 
the way, while a few bold spirits pressed nobly forward, though far in the 
rear," to the end of the hymn. 

Eloquent silence. 

Startling groans. 

"Help, Lard!" 

"Du, Lard!" 

"Hem! Ahem!" 

"Ah-r-r-r! Oh!" 

"Improve the time, breth-ring." 

At this stage a heavy, thumping sound, suggestive of thick boots, was 
heard in a wing pew; it was Deacon Pilkins falling down before the "marcy 
seat." While there is an impressive, anticipatory hush over the congregation, 
we may as well introduce Deacon Pilkins. He waS a good man of his kind, 
but known far and wide for his eccentricity of manners and speech when 
engaged in devotion ; in consequence of this fame, the more fastidious and 
precise who were present nearly lost their breath when he knelt to pray or 
rose to address the people. One could never foretell what strange thing 
might happen; what thunderbolt of expression might fall from his mouth. 
He was a man whose language, when addressing his Master, indicated great 
farniliarity and absolute confidence; indeed, he talked to Him as a man con- 
verseth with his friend face to face. He it was, when on his way to the 
"gineral meetin'," who saw before him in the way a piece of glassy ice, and 
knowing that his mare was "smooth shod" and likely to fall when she reached 
this dangerous place, deemed it wisdom to apply the lash, and thus, by in- 
creasing speed, peradventure she might pass over sure-footed. Alas! he was 
doomed to disappointment and disaster, for she went down, and the deacon 
kept on until his face came in contact with the shelly ice, which terribly lac- 
erated his ponderous nose and split his nether lip. Filled with the most keen- 
edged anger that ever drove grace out of a good man's heart, he climbed upon 
his knees, and passing his hand across his marred visage and finding it covered 
with blood, he sang out, "Now, Lard, I look pretty to go to a gineral meetin', 
don't I ? " Looking upon this accident as ;i temptation of the devil and being 
determined to gain the victory, the heroic old deacon pushed forward and was 
present at the opening session. But his great face, never noted for its beauty, 
was so badly disfigured that he could scarcely crucify his pride sufficiently to 
mortify the flesh in appearing at the front! Besides, his mouth was so swollen 
that he found it difficult to speak; this had been exceedingly trying, and now, 
having improved somewhat, the deacon would be heard from, "hit or miss," 
and he was. 


Bend an ear toward the wing-pew and it will be filled. Listen to the 
voice of prayer. 

"O-o-o-o Lard! Thy sarvant's been a-thinkin' 'bout the ka-lamity that 
befell him while on the way tu the gineral meetin', he has; been lookin' on it 
over'n me mind, Lard; been considerin' thet 'twas the device of the arch 
inimy to keep thy sarvant away. But he couldn't do it. Hal-la-lu-yah ! 
Couldn't do it, could he, Lard ? No, no. I'm on the ground, bless the Lard ! 
But, Lard, I've been afeared I give way to me passion when I fell on the ice 
up'n Windom, I hev; and me spirit's been drefEully bow-ed down durin' the 
gineral meetin'; clouds an' thick darkness bruded over me. Lard, if I done 
wrong, pardon thy sarvant; hev marcy, du. Give me wisdom tu guide the ole 
mare on me way home; interpose. Lard; don't let her fall down and cause 
thy sarvant to utter on-lawful words, I beseech of thee. Bless the gineral 
meetin'; pour down of thy Sparit; melt the hearts o' the rebellious sons and 
darters o' men; put 'em into the ark o' safe-ty and shut 'em in. Lard. Take 
kere o' me ole lady ter home; keep her stidfast ontu the eend. A-men." 

"Amen " from the leader, who then calls for the hymn beginning with the 
line: "'Tis the old ship o' Zion, Hallelujah!" Lazarus Junkins pitched 
the tune with his voice of "tenor." Abram Thrasher and Darkis Dascomb 
fell in with "counter" and "tribble," while such as the other brethren and 
sisters had they freely bestowed, until the place was filled with a solemn 
sound. Now the tide began to rise and the brethren grew responsive; even 
old Sister Primrose over in a corner, with a voice as slender as a pipe stem, 
cried out, "A-min." 

"Improve the time, breth-ring." 

Suppressed groans. 

Solomon Singletree rises to exhort. Hark I He was powerfully wrought 
upon by the Spirit; he trembled; his teeth fairly chattered; his voice was wet 
with emotion ; tears gushed down the furrows of his face. Placing one hand 
over his ear — as was the custom in those days — ^and turning his eyes upward, 
he opened his mouth wide — it was a wide mouth — Solomon's — and pro- 
ceeded to say: 

" My deah breth-ring and sist-ring, 'tis an awful cross for me to rise afore 
ye. The ole inimy, he's been a-tellin' me I better keep still — ah; thet I 
couldn't eddify; but, my breth-er-ing, if I can't eddify I can mortify — ah. 
An' I thought, my breth-er-ing an' sist-er-ing, that to obey was better nor 
sacrifice — ah. I wanted ye tu know I was on the Lard's side — ah; that I was 
persuin' the jarney to win the crown — ah, that's laid up yender for all who du 
run well — ah. My breth-ring and sist-ring, we have borne the burden in the 
heat o' the day, and travilled for souls, but when Zion travils she will bring 
forth 'cordin' to the Scriptures, she will — ah. Let us, my breth-ring, put on the 
whole armor; let us fight the good fight o' faith — ah, havin' on the hel-i-mit 


o' salvation, an' the brist-plate of righ-teous-ness. Press forrud, my breth- 
ring; we shall sune git ayont the bow-shot of the inimy — ah; where the 
wicked cease from troublin', and the weary are at rest. I wanted to come 
down to the gineral meetin' to look inter yer faces once more, my breth-ring 
— ah. Now, here's my hart an' here's my han', tu meet you in that hivenly 
land— ah." 

"Amen, Amen, A-marn." 

"A little while longer here below, then home to glory we shall go," was 
struck by Sister Slow, 

"Amen! " 

"Improve the time, breth-ring." 

In a wing pew a little, sharp-faced woman, heavily draped in black, rose, 
and after a long struggle to overcome the rising tide of emotion that broiled 
up in her throat, in a fine-spun, whistling voice, said : 

" Since I last met wi' ye in gineral meeting I'v seen deep sorrer, my deah 
breth-ring and sist-ring, having lost my deah companion; yes, the billers hev 
rolled over me, an' now I'm left a poor, forsaken, widderless woman with my 
family of faitherless children to kear for. My sparit's weigh-ed down, an' I 
weep day and night in my lone-li-ness, but I know that He who hears the 
young ravens cry will provide for me an' my chil-der-en. Oh-ho-ho-ho." 

Deep-drawn sighs and handkerchiefs from several sisters. 

Heavy groans from Deacons Steadfast and Pilkins. 

"Let the time be improved." 

An aged brother, whose trembling voice had not been heard, now leans 
upon his staff and with great pathos delivers his testimony. His words were 
very impressive: 

" I was a very vain, on-bridled youth in the mornin' of life, an' made 
light of all good. Though from time to time the Sparit strived with me 
young heart, I would say, 'Go thy way for this time and when I have a con- 
vanient season I will call for thee.' I thought I was too young, my breth-ring, 
and so procrastinated, procrastinated, till I found procrastination was the thief 
of Time. I was in a meetin' one evenin' and the convicting Sparit found me, 
but I wouldn't yield; it follered me home and moved me to bow down with 
me father and mother, but I wouldn't yield ; it follered me tu me room and tu 
me bed and prevented sleep and slumber, but I wouldn't submit to the still, 
small voice within. ' In the mornin' I went away to the barn and fell down 
upon the straw and cried to the Lard for marcy, and there, my breth-ring, my 
soul was deliver-ed. My goin' was 'stablish-ed, an' a new song put into me 
mouth ; the fields broke forth into singin' and all the trees clap-ed their hands, 
my breth-ring. I've made meny crooked paths; hev wandered into by and 
forbidden ways ; have been a show traveler, but I wish Mount Zion well — ah. 
Remember me when it's well with you, my breth-ring." 


"Amen," from Elder Readyman. 

In a moment up jumped old Deacon Butternut, and raising his hand high 
above his shining, bald head, yelled out, "Glary! Glary! Glary!" Then 
pausing to overcome his emotion, he screamed out, " Yes, yes, my breth-ring, 
religion's good for young men, middle-aged men, and o/d wimmin like me." 

The ministers looked grave. 

The deacons groaned. 

The delegates looked at the ministers. 

The sisters didn't know what to do. 

The spiritual barometer fell. 

Silence was becoming a burden. 

Something must be done to break the spell. 

It was a moment of dreadful suspense. 

Lazarus Junkins came to the rescue with a rousing hymn, beginning with 
the comforting words, 

" Even down to old age all my people shall prove," etc. 

This bridged the awful chasm and to the close of the service a joyful 
spirit prevailed. At the close of the meeting there were great demonstrations 
of affection among the members, but poor old Deacon Butternut stood aloof, 
feeling "as though he'd said suthin' on-lawful or a leetle out o' jint." Poor 
brother! It was only a "slip of the tongue," only a slight mistake, harmless, 
but not easy to rectify. Let it pass. 

On the Sabbath the time was devoted to regular public service ; preaching 
in the forenoon and afternoon by the "big guns." 

Barney was at his post, accompanied by his grum-voiced instrument, ready 
to serve and be honored. Personally, he looked the embodiment of dignity 
and repose. A remarkably calm Indian summer atmosphere, like a halo, 
enveloped his high-crowned head. Meekness, like a pair of blue doves, roosted 
in his squinting orbs. Somehow, he felt that his services on such occasions 
were indispensable. Substantial remuneration was seldom realized, but the 
honor — the honor — was all-comforting and satisfactory. He and his roomy 
viol had been long together, and seemed to be mutually helpful. The instru- 
ment had a voice that never failed to respond to the summons of its owner; 
this, to Barney, was like an attribute of life, and by long association he came 
to regard the whole musical structure as little less than human. Although he 
always applied the feminine designations, "she " and "her," to the instrument, 
its burly proportions and deep bass voice were significantly masculine. It was 
amusing to see him remove the green worsted covering, and to observe the 
evident solicitude with which he scrutinized every part. He would gently 
groom her portly front and rub on cosmetique to improve her complexion; 
would fondly caress her graceful neck and pass his delicate fingers over her 

264 "A aiNERAL MEETIN'." 

sensitive nerves when coaxing her into tune; and when, by patient persuasion, 
he had evolced a harmony of chords, and touched her with his magic wand, 
she quivered and palpitated with excitability as if enamored of her master. 
Barney, meanwhile, had a dreamy, far-away, listening expression in his eyes, 
like one who was hearing an echo somewhere above. The more venerable 
she became, the more mellow and rich her voice. Many a set of strings had 
been worn out and replaced by new ones, but every time she had been thus 
rehabilitated, to Barney she was rejuvenated and made "as good as new." 
Alas! frail as she was, Barney preceded in dissolution, and she was present 
at his obsequies draped with the sombre emblems of sorrow, the chief but 
silent mourner. For many years she remained under sackcloth, her appear- 
ance dejected and melancholy; but when these days had passed, she emerged 
from retirement, softened and subdued by rest, and responded with sonorous 
melody to the touch of the long-disused bow in the hand of her master's son 
and successor, who had inherited some of his musical proclivities. When last 
seen she was well preserved; and although her nervous force was somewhat 
depleted, yet, if touched by the inspiring bow to the old familiar tune, "Fire 
on the mountains, run, boys, run," like an old war horse, she would smell the 
battle from afar, and spring to action with all the resounding sprightliness of 
her youth. Whether numbered with existing things, or relegated to the decom- 
posing elements, we know not; but may we not indulge the hope, that some- 
time, somehow, somewhere, these two old friends, Barney and his tuneful viol, 
may be reunited to join in the pseans of praise and thanksgiving in that angel- 
ical choir "where congregations ne'er break up and Sabbaths never end." 

We have now reached the last evening of the "gineral meetin'," and 
our story will soon be told. The interest and enthusiasm had increased from 
the opening session. Those who could not leave their business durint; the 
week had listened to reports from their neighbors that had stimulated a desire 
to attend, which grew apace until the Sabbath dawned ; and on this last great 
day of the feast the people came from near and far, and the house was filled 
to overflowing. The sermons during the day had been preached by Hubbard 
Chandler and Clement Phinney. The night was dark and cloudy, and it was 
with difficulty that belated travelers could keep the road. 

On three sides of the great meeting-house were rows of sturdy posts 
connected by rails to which the horses were hitched. When all had been 
comfortably seated within and the services had begun, the rude boys of the 
village, impelled by an innocent exuberance of animal life, bent upon mischief, 
called a council which sat behind board piles, and, after a somewhat hurried 
consideration of the pending issues, came to this decision, namely: that, dur- 
ing the whole series of meetings they had behaved with becoming decorum, 
both at home and in the house of worship; that, while the old brethren had 
enjoyed themselves remarkably well, the wishes of the younger people had 


been unwarrantably ignored ; that, they must now give vent to their feelings 
or "bust"; hence, it would be nothing more than fair, that on this, their last 
opportunity, some harmless amusement should be extracted from the occasion. 
A plan of operation was quickly matured, and, though not without objection- 
able features, and attended with danger to the aggressive parties, it was 
carried out to a finish. We assume to say that many an anxious father and 
mother wondered where their sons were while listening to the prayers, exhor- 
tations, and singing within, and that the question, "Where are all the boys 
to-night?" was silently asked by many. 

Now the execution of the project is begun. Two wary fellows were 
stationed at the meeting-house doors, as guards, to warn their associates if 
danger was imminent. Beginning at the first team on the east side of the 
house, the horses were all quietly disconnected from the sleighs, pungs, and 
sleds, and made to change places, until, with one or two exceptions where the 
color would not admit of it, not a beast stood where his owner had left him 
when entering the meeting-house. To sum up, everybody had "swapped 
horses " without any knowledge of the fact. To some the exchange would 
have proved an advantage; to others, of course, a "bad bargain." Brethren 
who came with a white horse went away with one of that color. He who left 
a black horse at the hitching-post found a black horse there when the services 
closed; the same with the prevailing colors of red and gray. Now, the work 
must not end here. Bells were tell-tale things, and if left upon the horses to 
which they belonged, might expose the whole scheme. Every man in those 
days was familiar with the ione of his own sleigh-bells; the sagacious boys 
knew this, and used the necessary precautions. The string of bells found 
about the neck of the horse of Deacon Pilkins was carefully removed and 
buckled upon the horse connected with his sleigh ; this principle was applied 
to all. The service was continued until a late hour. No prowling sexton 
was about to hinder the work of exchange, and the whole affair was completed 
without observation. But the culminating point had not been reached ; it was 
not reached on f/iat occasion. However, the boys were full of interest when 
contemplating what might be discovered when the teams were led to the 
meeting-house door; these spectators retired within the shadows. There 
were no lanterns to throw intrusive light upon what was passing; there was 
no light but the flickering tallow dip, shielded from the wind by the hand of 
the old sexton in such a way that not a ray reached the horses and sleighs at 
the platform. One by one the long procession filed along and left the place 
on their way to — somebody's home. The end was not reached. One man 
had reasons for believing all was not well before he had driven far. Only a 
few rods from the meeting-house the carriage road turned "square to the 
right." The rein on the "off side" of Hiram Jordan's horse had been tied 
fast to the saddle turret, through which it passed, with a waxed-end; and 

26(i "/I aiNERAL MEETIN\ 

pull hard or pull soft, it made no impression upon the horse's head ; it only 
guided the saddle. As a result of this cunning arrangement of the harness the 
horse went straight forward and came to an abrupt halt against a board fence 
by the road-side. 

"What on airth's the marter with ole Doll?" 

Hiram disentangled himself from the wrappers and fumbled about in the 
darkness. He goes to his (?) horse's head and finds the rein properly con- 
nected with the bitt ; he traces it to the saddle, but fails to discover an3rthing 
"outer gear." Turning the horse into the road, he took his seat, put on the 
string, and away they went due east. But "ole Doll" didn't seem to drive as 
free as usual. After standing in the cold for three hours, she was "in the 
habit of goin' home like thunder," as Hiram said. When they had reached 
the Gammon cross-roads, Hiram's mare should have turned again to the right, 
but though he pulled with all his strength she kept straight on and carried 
the party nearly a half mile, even to the foot of Elwell's hill, before he could 
stop her. 

"What in thunder's the trouble with ole Doll?" ejaculated Hiram. 

Again he got down and examined the harness; all appeared regular. 
Leading the stubborn animal back to the road corner, he steered her towards 
home once more, put on the white oak, yelled, "Her-dap, ole Doll," and went 
forward. The end — was not yet. The house of Hiram Jordan was situated 
on the right side of the road "as ye go down," and approached by a narrow 
lane. "Ole Doll" used to prick up her tail and ears when she reached this 
point and dash down to the door-yard upon the "clean garlup." Strange to 
say, she moved moderately "forruds" on this occasion and ceased not till she 
had reached Hardscrabble hill. 

"What in the name o' common sense ails ole Doll?" 

Once more Hiram seizes the bridle, and with many a jerk and the use of 
words not proper to utter he led the animal to the door-stone, and there gave 
orders for Abram to light the "barn lanthern " immediately and follow him 
(Hiram) to the stable. 'Twas done as commanded, and there, behind closed 
doors, the twofold mystery was solved. First, the reason why old Doll wouldn't 
mind the rein; second, that it was not "ole Doll," but a high-boned gelding 
of uncertain age that answered to the name of "Bill," and belonged to — 
whom ? But there was a greater mystery yet unsolved. " How came that boss 
in Hiram's sleigh and where, ( ) where, was ole Doll? " Misery likes company, 
so the old folks used to say, and Hiram Jordan was not the only man who sat 
gazing into the expiring embers till a late hour, wondering what unearthly 
power had spirited away their favorite horses, and why a strange beast had 
"strayed or stolen" between the "fills" of their sleighs. Now Hiram Jor- 
dan's "ole Doll" was not possessed of an amiable temper; she would lay her 
great ears back, show the white of her wicked eyes, and snap her teeth like 


a steel trap. It proved that she had fallen into the hands of old Brother 
Makepeace, from Raymond Gore, who had been entertained under the shel- 
tering "ruff" of 'Lias Graypole. Now it came to pass that "ole Doll" did 
not take kindly to her changed conditions ; did not relish the idea of being 
driven in a direction directly opposite to that which led to her well-filled man- 
ger on a cold night like this ; * and on the way she gave emphasis to her dis- 
composure by switching her sprig tail vehemently and by going at a gait never 
before thought of by old Brother Makepeace, who shut his square jaws 
together, braced his feet against the fender, and held on like taxes. When 
there was a little lull in her speed, when ascending a steep acclivity, Brother 
Makepeace would take a long breath and exclaim: "Never, never, n-e-v-e-r, 
in all my born days, did I ever know old Bill to go like this. Why, he seems 
possess-ed with the div-vle." But before the words were fairly out of his 
mouth there was business ahead to be attended to, and " old Doll was goin' 
of it" like the wind — against the wind — toward 'Lias Graypole's. But the 
end was not yet. Reining this frenzied, four-footed cyclone into the door-yard. 
Brother Makepeace, all out of breath, shouted, "Whoa!" and "old Doll" 
whoaed. Danger was now imminent. Beware! my old brother, beware! 
"Them thet knows no danger fears no danger." After helping his portly 
consort out, the trembling, unsuspecting old man approached the head of old 
Bill, and with gentle and soothing voice kept repeating, " Whoa, Bill ! whoa. 
Bill ! " Look out there ! Snort — snap. " Whoa, ye ole fool ! " Poor Brother 
Makepeace runs for the barn. At this moment 'Lias Graypole drives down 
to the door just in time to hear the voice of his venerable and much-respected 
guest, screaming from the open barn door : 

"Say, 'Lias, my ole Bill's possess-ed with an on-clean sparit; he's gone 
mad, true's ye live, 'Lias, an' I can't git a-nigh 'im." 

The barn lantern was soon brought forth by a daughter of 'Lias Gray- 
pole, named Perseverance, and after much skirmishing "old Doll," falsely 
called " old Bill," was shut up in a close stall and left for the night; while the 
family of Gra)rpole and their guests sat long about the hearth-stone, trying 
to "dissolve doubts," trying to divine the cause of all these strange happen- 
ings. These were somewhat extreme cases, as candor compels us to confess, 
but many a brother who had found consolation at the "gineral meetin'" was 
disturbed in his slumbers on this eventful night, and unconsciously "talked 
hoss " in his galloping dreams. 

We now hasten to state that the following morning proved a revelation. 
From the farm-houses near the village to the confines of Buttertown and the 
policies of Spruce Swamp, men rose to find cause of wonderment. Wisdom 
and understanding were exercised without avail ; this affair was beyond their 
province; how far the demoralization extended nobody knew; nor could any- 
one tell whose horse or mare, as the case might be, had "stray-ed within their 


enclosures." Suffice to say, that for several days in succession, the village 
square was filled with teams; with horses and sleighs of all colors and shapes 
"baitin' on a fodderin' o' hay," while "visitin' breth-ring" of various grades 
were walking about with whip-staffs under their arms, repeating the inquiry: 
"Have ye seen onything of my hoss; ony-thing of my mare?" Some were 
successful the first day, some on the second, while some there were whose 
patience was severely tested by being obliged to wait until the fourth after- 
noon before finding their own beasts. 

It was a remarkable adventure enacted by those cunning boys, resulting 
in much inconvenience to the delegates, messengers, and visiting brethren 
and sisters, but nobody was harmed beyond remede, and time, that heals all 
asperities, mollified these hearts and made all things right. 

Many of those mischievous boys have become gray-haired men, while 
every one of those dear, old saints have gone beyond the bow-shot of the 
enemy who had caused them so many trials and temptations on this " airthly 
ball." Peace be to their ashes ! 

Sk 0|xrrhratt J^Iit^irrn. 


ACOB COCHRAN, son of Jacob and Rachel (Webster) Cochran, 
was born in Enfield, N. H., July 9, 1782, and is said to have taken 
for his wife Abigail Colcord, of his native town. His father was a 
farmer in comfortable circumstances, with a numerous family to 
provide for. The lad Jacob developed some quite remarkable traits in early 
days; he was keen-witted, sagacious, and prolific of ingenious expedients; 
that is, the boy was father of the man. 

Authorities disagree respecting his advantages for acquiring even a 
common-school education. Those at whose fireside he was entertained have 
informed me that Jacob became disgusted with the methods employed by the 
religious societies known as "the Standing order," and began to preach in 
schoolhouses where he had been employed to teach. To what extent he 
enlarged the circle of his operations in the Granite state cannot now be ascer- 
tained with certainty. The same mist of obscurity enshrouds his coming into 
the Saco valley. Why he came, none with whom we have conversed can tell. 
If some one invited him his name has not been remembered. 

His creed has been variously represented. Some who listened to him 
claim that his doctrine was substantially the same as modern Universalism; 
others, that he was an advocate of a primitive kind of Spiritualism and free- 
love, upon which he had engrafted many of the ceremonies practised by the 
Shakers. From a careful sifting of evidence, we conclude that his creed, if 
it may be designated as such, was somewhat chaotic and remarkably elastic; 
that it was developed by stages, to suit circumstances, and modified when 
policy made it expedient. 

He must have been a unique and very remarkable character. His intel- 
lectual, mesmeric, and physical powers were certainly extraordinary. What- 
ever view we may entertain regarding the soundness of his doctrines, the 
methods employed by him, or the character of the man, we have no warrant 
for believing that he was an illiterate, impulsive ranter, who carried forward 
his work like a cloud driven by a tempest. On the other hand, he was cool, 
calculating, and deliberate. He arranged and organized his schemes with the 
consummate precision of a military tactician, compounded his arguments with 
observant carefulness, and being a master in the law of sequence he was 
enabled to forecast the culminating results from the beginning with the accu- 
racy attributed to a prophetic spirit. 


It was his exhibition of some occult power that materially augmented his 
influence upon his hearers, and seemed to invest him with formidable boldness 
that challenged the criticism of his opposers. His public addresses were 
prepared with painstaking study, delivered with remarkable facility, and 
embellished with charming flowers of rhetoric. His musical, resounding 
voice, eye of penetrating fire, and gracefully agile movements commanded the 
respectful attention even of those whose object in attending his meetings was 
to cavil and create disturbance. 

Men well versed in the sacred oracles, who boasted of their conservative 
self-possession and went fortified with resolute personal control, were so 
adroitly besieged by the subtle arguments of this marvelous magician of elo- 
quence that, before they were aware of the fact, they had surrendered uncon- 
ditionally and subsequently served with unfaltering and heroic fortitude under 
his victorious banner. 

Women who had been reared under the most puritanical home instruc- 
tions, whose proverbial conscientiousness constituted them models of virtuous 
propriety in the communities where they resided, gradually yielded to the 
delusive spell woven about them by the mesmeric power of Cochran, renounced 
all allegiance to their former principles and habits of rectitude, and with 
unblushing boldness and evident sincerity allowed themselves to become 
involved in such questionable ceremonies as were encouraged in the name of 
religion by this misguided people. 

From our more advanced standpoint, we very naturally ask, like Xico- 
demus, "How can these things be!" If the delusion had been confined to 
the ignorant and superstitious, we should not marvel; but it extended to fam- 
ilies of refinement and intelligence, whose former characters were stainless. 
The strongest-minded men succumbed to the influence emanating from Coch- 
ran. The unanimous testimony of several perfectly reliable men interviewed 
proves this to be true. Many, who afterwards boasted that they were never 
influenced by the preaching of Cochran, remained at a safe distance, not 
having the contempt of danger to come within the mystic circle of his power. 
It has been related to me by those present that some of the coolest and most 
resolute men in Saco and iiuxton were o\erpowered in the meetings held by 
the magician. One said he became as helpless as an infant in the presence 
of the preacher and was willing to do an)'thing. He was assisted to kneel 
and cried to God for mercy, but was carried away in spirit and became obliv- 
ious to everything worldly. Of course these were exceptional cases. Those 
who were not accustomed to exercise the logical faculties with that critical 
discrimination which is characteristic of more disciplined and scientific minds 
were easily led by a man of Cochran's mental calibre and judgment of human 

Dark-browed superstition, the handmaid of ignorance and unrestrained 


impulse, had almost universal sway at this period, and attributed all myste- 
rious manifestation to the supernatural, relegated all intricate problems to the 
realm of spirit for solution, and boldly stood in the highway of reason to 
obstruct investigation. 

This combination of favorable conditions enabled Cochran to excite the 
curiosity, win the attention, gain the confidence, and hold the people, for a 
season, within the province of his power. 

From what we have been able to learn of those who were acquainted 
with him, it appears that Jacob Cochran was no less attractive at the fireside 
than in public. A fluent and versatile conversationalist, with charmingly 
polished manners, he became the magnetic centre of every social circle where 
he was a guest. His urbanity, cheerfulness, and dramatic powers made his 
presence highly entertaining, and his society was courted by some of the most 
prominent and refined families within the radius of his acquaintance. His 
well-stored mind afforded treasures of interesting and useful knowledge, cov- 
ering a wide range of subjects, and rendered him a desirable personality to 
many. These manifold attainments greatly facilitated his undertakings of a 
religious character, and we mention them to throw some light upon the 
obscurity which hangs over his remarkable .sway upon the public. 

The question naturally arises, was any good accomplished under the 
labors of Jacob Cochran.? Undoubtedly, very much. Give even the devil 
his due. In the towns bordering on the Saco several hundred professed con- 
version under his preaching, and the influence of the "revival" extended from 
this locality into other towns in western Maine, until, within a year from the 
inauguration of the movement, about a thousand persons made a profession 
of religion. Many of these were sincere believers in the New Testament 
and were never involved in the ridiculous practices encouraged by the leader. 

When Cochran first began to preach in Scarborough and Saco, his com- 
manding appearance, evident learning, matchless oratory, and the uncertainty 
existing regarding his creed opened to him the churches, and some of the 
settled pastors listened to him with amazement. This was when his doctrines 
were more in harmony with the generally received tenets of the orthodox 
churches; before the objectionable features of his system had become appar- 
ent. The sensation was intensified a hundred-fold when churches were closed 
against him. He had already won many to his standard, and the determined 
stand taken against him by the more conservative in the community was 
looked upon as unwarranted persecution by his followers. He posed as a 
martyr-at-will, and discussion ran wild. 

He then resorted to schoolhouses, dwellings, and barns. His principal 
stronghold, and the hot-bed of his delusion, was at the northern section of 
Saco, and on the borders of Buxton. Of his dominion there was no recog- 
nized limitation; wherever a family lived, the members of which had embraced 


his creed, there his influence was supreme. In the "Heath neighborhood" 
and on the "Buxton road," so-called, the Cochranites fairly reveled in the 
enthusiasm of their mock worship and disgraceful practices; and one who 
lived there at that time recorded with his pen that "these Cochranites out- 
Mormoned Joe Smith and all his deluded crew." 

In Saco village there was an old house in which C'ochran "held forth" 
after he was prohibited from entering churches. During the intermissions 
between the services that were open to the public and such as were held for 
the exclusive benefit of the followers of Cochran, the leader would marshal 
his hosts upon the street, and with shouts, singing, and marching create a 
sensation only equaled by the Salvation Army of modern times. Following 
these open-air exercises, services were opened for the "elect" and continued 
until the day-dawn, if unmolested. At these meetings Cochran gave exhibi- 
tions of his mesmeric power. It has been said by those who witnessed the 
performances that as men and women joined hands, forming a circle around 
the room, Cochran would, by passing his hand across their foreheads, cause 
them to sing, shout, dance, fall unconscious to the floor, and go through vari- 
ous grotesque contortions of body not suitable to delineate on the printed 
page. It is claimed that by placing his hand on the heads of strong men he 
could make them sink down, foaming at the mouth as if in the agony of con- 
vulsions. Experiences of this character were considered necessary for the 
enjoyment of the richest possibilities of the faith. 

When Cochran had secured a firm foot-hold in the community, his creed 
evolved a new and startling phase. He preached against the legal marriage 
bond, and in the ideal state pictured by him the inhabitants were neither 
married nor given in marriage; this should begin on earth, being God's stand- 
ard for society, and be as nearly approximated as mortal conditions would 
admit of. The affinities were to be all spiritual and were infinitely superior to 
any relations formed by natural affection. He admonished all who had been 
united in the bonds of matrimony according to the laws of the land to hold 
themselves in readiness to dissolve such union and renounce their vows. All 
revelations to this end were to come through Cochran, of course, and in 
the allotment of the spoils the leader, by \irtue of his rank, was sure to get the 
"lion's share." Tradition assumes that he received frequent consignments 
of spiritual consorts, and that such were invariably the most robust and 
attractive women in the community. 

As we have intimated, he had a sort of permanent wife, locally known 
as "Mrs. Cochran"; but his loyalty to her was subject to such revelations as 
he might receive anent his duty (?) to others. Some who were conversant 
with these affairs, now living, relate that on one of Cochran's professional 
visitations he informed one of his male followers that he had, while at prayer 
in his house that morning, received a communication direct from Him who 


dwells above the stars that embodied, i7iter alia, a requirement of a peculiar 
character, namely, that he and the brother addressed should, for the time 
being, exchange wives. To this, as from the Lord, via Cochran, his medium, 
the layman consented, and leaving Cochran to assume the government of his 
family, he immediately went to pay his respects to Mrs. Cochran. Now this 
woman was somewhat skeptical in regard to her husband's doctrines and 
practices, and when she responded to the knock at her door and inquired 
about the nature of the man's errand; when he told her about her husband's 
new revelation, with clenched fist and flashing eyes she replied: "You go 
straight back and tell Jake Cochran his God is a liar." 

In place of figure-drawings upon a black-board to illustrate scriptural 
incidents, he employed the more impressive mediums of iiesh and blood. 
One of the favorite tableaux introduced by these fanatics was the personifi- 
cation of our first parents, as they were supposed to have appeared before 
fig-leaf aprons were in fashion. We have not found a description of the stage 
scenery used as accessory to this performance, but a part of the programme 
was for the disciples present, both male and female, to sit upon the floor in a 
circle while the ideal Adam, in the person of Cochran, and Eve, in the person 
of some chosen female, came into this extemporized "Garden of Eden." 

When a knowledge of these ridiculous practices reached the authorities at 
Saco, Cochran was summoned to the bar of justice and required to give bonds 
for his future good behavior, being warned that if such conduct was repeated 
in his meetings the most severe penalty of the law would be visited upon him. 
Although the ceremonies of Cochran's meetings continued to be decidedly dra- 
matic, the performers afterwards appeared in costumes of ample dimensions. 

But disintegrating elements were now beginning to disturb the system. 
The fact that the preaching of Cochran had the effect to destroy domestic 
peace, and ruined the home life of many who had become identified with the 
movement, produced a more healthy reaction than the leader had anticipated. 
Married men embraced the doctrines promulgated, while their more virtuous 
or level-headed wives would have no part or lot in the matter. On the other 
hand, women who had hitherto lived consistent and respectable lives became 
infatuated with Cochran and his preaching, while their husbands were decid- 
edly averse to both. 

These conflicting elements in the home were stimulated rather than con- 
ciliated by the leader, and hatred was eventually engendered between heads 
of families which culminated in separation. For these family discords Coch- 
ran was justly held responsible by the law-abiding inhabitants, who favored 
sobriety and good order, and threatening denunciations increased in vehe- 
mence as such melancholy events followed in the wake of the delusive move- 
ment. However, the cunning leader, who was well read in law, sagaciously 
steered clear of any open violation of the statutes for many years. He was 


held in such esteem by his followers that they were ready to make any sacri- 
fice for his financial support. 

Meanwhile, secret meetings had been held by the municipal authorities 
and a vigilance committee formed to watch the conduct of the Cochranites. 
Emboldened by what seemed to be a calm upon the sea of public sentiment, 
Cochran recklessly introduced his old ceremonies and practices into his ser- 
vices. These transactions were promptly reported, and muttering thunders 
of discord and violence again filled the air. Summary measures were to be 
resorted to. This reached the ears of the Cochranites, and a midnight meet- 
ing was held behind barred doors, watched from without by vigilant sentinels, 
to consider what means should be used to thwart the purposes of their 
enemies. Being forewarned, they used every precaution to prevent any 
interference with their plan of operation. For a time their meetings became 
models of good order, and the leader conducted himself with decorum. This 
change allayed the bitterness of public feeling for a brief space, and those 
who were opposed to Cochran, having become used to the sensation, grew 
more and more apathetic. In this instance, at least, what proved to be sauce 
for the goose was applied to the gander, and well-laid traps into which it was 
believed the leader would put his foot were skilfully avoided, and schemes for 
his betrayal into the hands of his enemies adroitly circumvented. Moreover, 
Cochran managed to have eagle-eyed spies in the camp of his opposers. Men 
supposed to be in full sympathy with the town authorities were present at the 
" indignation meetings " of the citizens and reported all that was said and 
done to their spiritual commander. Thus he out-generaled a well-organized 
body of men who sought his overthrow, and continued to "hold the fort." 

There were two especial factors made prominent in the meetings held by 
the Cochranites, after the leader had his machinery in full operation, that 
should have attention as we proceed with our treatment of this subject; 
factors that excited more curiosity, and attracted more people to Cochran's 
meetings, than all other forces at his command. \\'e allude to the lively sing- 
ing, to rollicking tunes, of their songs and the "swooning away" of those 
who had taken the higher degrees of the mysterious system. The songs, or 
hymns, were attended with clapping of hands and dancing that certainly 
resembled the evolutions of the society of Shakers when engaged in their 
worshiping ceremonials. When some of the elect had sunk down upon the 
floor, evidently unconscious, an inipressi\e hush would prevail in the assem- 
bly while the expectant people waited for the resuscitation of the fallen brother 
or sister. When those who had thus wandered away from the "things of time 
and sense," on their excursion to the realms of spirit, returned to the scenes 
of activity, they were wont to tell, with astonishing exhibitions of inspiration 
and burning language, of the marvelous revelations made to them while 
"absent from the body." 


Sometimes these choice mediums would so far lose their strength that 
they were laid upon a bed in an adjoining room until their returning spirit 
gradually acclimated itself to a terrestrial state; this was not always accom- 
plished on the first night, and they were allowed to remain where the services 
had been held until they recuperated. On one occasion a certain sister, named 
Mercy, who was a maiden of great personal beauty, sank down upon the floor 
in a house at Saco, and failing to come back to this sublunary world in season 
to relate her experiences while wandering so far about the celestial hills, they 
put her to bed and went home. A meeting was held at the same house on 
the following evening, and what occurred there was related to me by an intel- 
ligent old man, still living to verify, if need be, what I write. Mercy had not 
come back to deliver her lecture on her observations while absent in the spirit 
world, and as her relatives were becoming fearful that she would be led 
onward by the sirens of that land until she became weaned from all kindred 
connections in her old home, they importuned Brother Cochran with great 
manifestations of solicitude, imploring him to exercise all his powers to restore 
this sister to their embrace. 

As the people assembled, they were, old and young, permitted to satisfy 
their curiosity by viewing the vacated casket in which Sister Mercy had domi- 
ciled for much of the time for eighteen fleeting years. My informant described 
her appearance, as he remembered her, while lying upon the bed. She was 
recumbent upon the outside of her couch, dressed in a long, white night-robe. 
Her classic features were as white and rigid as the marble, and her profusion 
of dark hair floated in marked contrast over the snow-white pillow. Her 
eyes were nearly closed, and the long, silken lashes lay upon her pale cheek. 
There was no movement or change of expression observable as the long line 
of spectators silently filed through the room to gaze upon her saintly face and 
graceful form. About the bed her relatives stood weeping. When all had 
been seated around the large outer room, Cochran announced in a solemn 
and pathetic voice that Sister Mercy had now been so long away that her 
spiritual attractions were too strong for her to release herself from them unas- 
sisted; that her relatives were exceedingly anxious for her return, and that 
her usefulness among them, as a religious community, seemed to require 
that all should earnestly pray for her presence. He then entered her room, 
and, passing his magic hand across her fair brow, said: "Mercy, arise." In 
a twinkling she sprang from the bed with a scream and swept through the 
congregation. It came to pass that some wide planks had been braced against 
the outside door to prevent any intrusion, and becoming conscious of her 
exposed condition in such ethereal garments, Mercy took shelter for the time 
being behind these. Her prudent mother handed her a sheet, and with this 
wrapped about her lithe figure she went back to her room and dressed. 

All were now excited to the highest pitch, and rejoiced with timbrels and 


clapping of hands. (Ireat news from the spirit world was looked for. Mercy 
was a person possessing a pleasant voice and rare descriptive powers; and 
having been so long among the shining ones, and her own spirit all fragrant 
with the blissful odors brought from the unfading flower-banks of the celestial 
regions, those present anticipated startling revelations from her inspired 
tongue — and were not disappointed. She stood forth in the midst, pale, 
trembling, and with a far-away look in her mellow eyes. She told, in super- 
human language, of the wonders seen by her during her absence from her 
brethren and sisters. Breathless silence reigned in the assembly while the 
amazed people listened to Mercy's recitation of her vision. We have seen a 
portrait of this woman, taken when in middle life, and it certainly represented 
one of the most beautiful of her sex. It has been stated that some of these 
devotees of the Cochran system had been subjects for the display of Coch- 
ran's power for so long that they had the appearance of ghosts; they became 
pale, attenuated, and seemed to dwell continually on the debatable borders of 
the spirit world. 

This resurrection event caused great commotion in the community, and 
the public rage became menacing. Commensurate with the spread of this 
tidal wave that inundated society were the disfavor and denunciation that pre- 
vailed when the summit of Cochran's ascending popularity had been reached. 
Broader and darker grew the impending storm, until the threatening fore- 
winds became ominous of disaster and ruin. This moral cyclone burst at 
last and the leader found it expedient to resort to a new code of tactics. He 
was moved from house to house in Saco and Buxton under the cover of dark- 
ness, his whereabouts known to his followers all the while, for some time; but 
learning that a determined movement was on foot to apprehend him, Cochran 
abdicated his local throne of power and went into limited exile. This hasty 
retreat from the vortex of the storm obviated the inconvenience of removing 
an adhesive combination garment woven from feathers and tar. He did not 
go far away, but held meetings in Limington, Limerick, and Parsonsfield, 
while the prejudice down on the Saco subsided. Some of his followers had 
removed from Saco and Buxton into Limington and welcomed Cochran to 
their new homes. Wherever he preached he employed the same rotation of 
methods. There were no objectionable or \erv striking features in his meetines 
at first, but his forms were much like the primitixe Freewill ISaptists. But as 
the people became acquainted with iiis style, and the prejudice that preceded 
his coming wore away, he would excite curiosity and stimulate sensation by 
introducing some novel ceremony or by making startling statements in his 
sermons. He found unyielding opposition in these last-mentioned towns. 
Elder Clement Phinney, the keen-eyed evangelist, had encountered Cochran 
when he first came to Scarborough and penetrated his mask instantly. The 
two had dined together at a farmer's house near where Jacob was holdino- 


meetings. Elder Phinney had expressed a desire for an interview with this 
strange preacher. Dinner done, they retired to the sitting-room and engaged 
in a warm discussion of scriptural subjects. Elder Phinney wished to draw 
Cochran out, and with all- his ability in debate found himself entangled beyond 
extrication in the arguments of his adversary. He was not converted to 
Cochran's creed, however. When he became convinced of Cochran's real 
character he discontinued the conversation and looked sternly upon him. This 
coldness was keenly felt, and Cochran could not pass it by without notice. 
Turning to Elder Phinney he remarked that he was sorry that he should be 
thus held off, whereupon the blunt old evangelist held out his cane, and said: 
"Mr. Cochran, I don't want you any nearer than that." 

As soon as he learned that Cochran had removed to Parsonsfield, he put 
his old friend. Elder John Buzzell, on guard, and he had so much influence in 
his town that Cochran could never get a very strong hold there. Meetings 
were held, however, in several private houses and some converts made. At 
one dwelling, while the services were in progress, the inhabitants carried two 
heavy logs and stood them in a leaning position against the door, so that 
they might fall in and crush those who opened to come out at the close of 
the meeting. Elder Buzzell openly opposed every demonstration made by the 
Cochratiites, calling the inhabitants of the community together in various 
districts to warn them against what he believed to be an arch-imposter. Coch- 
ran challenged this old veteran — not old then — to a discussion, but while 
Elder Buzzell had no fear, he would not stoop to notice such a man. 

At Limington, meetings were held at the dwelling of a native of Buxton, 
who once lived on Woodsum's hill, below Salmon Falls. Runners were sent 
down to Buxton and Hollis to advise Cochran's disciples that " Brother Jacob " 
would hold meetings on such a day and evening. To avoid suspicion, the 
Cochranites went from home at night and followed a circuitous route to Lim- 
ington. One of these was a brother of the man at whose house Cochran was 
to preach. Sister Mercy, the one who alternated between the terrestrial and 
celestial worlds, was there, ready to soar away or to remain in the body, as 
the leader of ceremonies might wish; if it was deemed best for the success 
of the service that Mercy depart, Cochran gave the signal and away she went 
— upon the floor. On this occasion, however, she did not go beyond recall, 
for when the services had closed and the time for rest came, the owner of the 
house placed a candle in Cochran's hand, opened a sleeping-room door, and 
with a significant gesture bade Brother Cochran and Sister Mercy "good- 
night." Before they could close the door, the brother who had come up from 
Buxton, who had now opened his eyes to the enormity of this system, 
approached Cochran and delivered himself as follows: "Mr. Cochran, I 
have believed you to be a good man and have Hstened to your sermons with 
interest, but I have discovered your true character and am done with you; 


farewell." With his pipe to solace his grieved soul, he passed the remainder 
of the night in a chair at the fireside, and at day-dawn went on his way home, 
a wiser if not a better man. He acknowledged his faults to his neighbors, 
and warned them to have nothing more to do with Cochran and his deluded 
followers. This man shook the dust from his feet, moved to eastern Maine, 
and lived a consistent Christian the remainder of his days. 

V\'e have now to do with conflicting traditions. 7^iving authorities disa- 
gree in regard to Jacob Cochran's last days, and I am unable to untangle the 
skein. He either returned to Buxton and Saco, after having been once driven 
away, or some of the transactions to be mentioned occurred previous to his 
leaving for the back towns; it is, perhaps, of no special interest to our present 
inquiry to know these particulars. 

It is stated on creditable authority that a certain well-to-do farmer on the 
Buxton road, in upper Saco, who had no fellowship for Cochran, had, for his 
wife's sake, she being an ardent believer, permitted the preacher to hold 
meetings at his house. In some inexplicable way, it appears that Cochran 
became possessed of a considerable sum of money belonging to this man, 
and as there were grounds for believing that the sly old fox was preparing to 
leave the neighborhood, the necessary papers for his arrest were made out 
and placed in the hands of an officer. Those who knew the man were aware 
that it would be no pleasant task to place the lion-like athlete in custody; but 
they wished to be forever rid of his presence, and some strong and resolute 
men determined to serve the papers on him and bring him, dead or alive, into 
town. The names of these men have been given us, but they are withheld 
for obvious reasons. 

Cochran evidently received some special revelation anent this aifair, and 
made an attempt to escape. He was overtaken by his pursuers somewhere 
between the Buxton road and Saco river, and after a desperate struggle was 
locked up. It has been stated that he \\as tried before Judge Thatcher and 
sent to the state prison, where tradition has him in\ent a novel fire-arm, which 
was patented by his son. Others are equally certain that he escaped from the 
officers when on his way to prison and went to New Hampshire, where he 
continued to preach for many years. All with whom I have conversed are 
agreed that his body was brought to Saco for burial. Some of his disciples 
wished to have his remains buried in the McKenney neighborhood, near the 
seat of his former operations, while the inhabitants, who had seen enough of 
the fruits of the "Cochran craze," determined that his body should not find 
sepulture in their midst. Tradition says he was buried by his disciples, at 
night, near one of their dwellings; another has him repose under the cemented 
floor of a cellar in that district. It may, therefore, be truthfully stated con- 
cerning this singular man, as of the law-giver of Israel, "No man knoweth 
the place of his burial unto this day." 


But Cochranism was not extinguished with the death of its founder; the 
doctrines promulgated by him had taken too deep root. Long before Coch- 
ran had left the Saco valley he had anticipated what ultimately came to pass 
and had prepared for the extension of his empire. He saw the importance 
of introducing a missionary spirit into his system, and preached special ser- 
mons calculated to stimulate the zeal of his supporters on this line. With the 
same sagacious perception which had been so prominent a factor of his suc- 
cess in all his undertakings, he discovered those who had been gifted with 
natural fluency of speech and encouraged them to go forth and preach the 
doctrines they had embraced. This many did, absenting themselves from 
their homes and neglecting to provide for their dependent families and the 
cultivation of their farms until the inevitable results of poverty, hunger, and 
cold followed. 

These missionaries followed as nearly in the steps of Cochran as their 
limited ability would admit of, and labored with unabated zeal to recruit with 
converts the ranks that had been depleted by death and desertions. Among 
the more notable who went out to plant Cochran's standard, we mention 
Joseph Decker, who became widely known as the "Massachusetts prophet," 
Timothy Ham, and Benjamin Goodwin. Two of these were men of remark- 
able natural endowments, who became able exponents of the peculiar theories 
received from Cochran. Of others who served under his banner I cannot 
speak with certainty. The "Massachusetts prophet," of whom more in 
another department of this book, traveled quite extensively in the district of 
Maine, and followed the apostolic customs as nearly as possible in a cold 
climate. These men eliminated from the services held by them the objec- 
tionable features introduced by Cochran, and succeeded in winning many to 
the faith. They must have been sincere, for they were ready to endure the 
most vindictive persecution, to suffer banishment, or die, if need be, for 
the faith they had espoused. 

The matter embodied in this chapter was not culled from dim traditions, 
that had been handed down from generations enfeebled by age, but has been 
received from the lips of venerable persons, of unimpaired mental faculties, 
who had listened to the preaching and witnessed the peculiar practices of 
Jacob Cochran while he held such a mighty sway in the towns on the Saco. 
I could have supplemented these statements by quotations from a bundle of 
yellow documents that were formulated by a magistrate who lived in Buxton 
at the time these things occurred, but some of these affidavits would be of too 
sensational and personal a character for my purpose. I have not torn the 
veil asunder from the top to the bottom, by any means, and have left out 
enough of tradition and documentary evidence, relating to this remarkable 
delusion, to fill a volume. 

During the time my researches have been carried forward, families whose 


relatives, ncai- or distant, weru entangled in the dangerous meshes of Coch- 
ran's ingenious net, have earnestly Isesought me not to allow the names of such 
to appear upon the pages of this hook; a natural but unnecessary precaution 
which had been anticipated. 

The result of this wide-spread religious epidemic was far-reaching and 
ruinous. For nearly three-score years this corroding wave of influence has 
been creeping downward, keeping pace with the three generations of descend- 
ants of those who were involved in the original delusive excitement inaugu- 
rated by the villainous destroyer of homes and human happiness, who, though 
dead, speaks still through the instrumentality of his influence and by the 
soul-blight of their posterity, born out of wedlock. 

Some of the scenes witnessed in the domestic circles in the Saco river 
towns were heart-rending. Young wives who had refused to prostitute their 
principles of virtue, by submitting to the demoralizing practices of the Coch- 
ranites, were bereft of their children and forsaken. Such were left in sorrow 
and poverty, and all their remaining days refused to be comforted because 
those they had loved "were not." An aged and saintly woman was recently 
visited whose father, once an industrious farmer with a pleasant home, became 
a public advocate of the Cochran creed, and who, after long neglect of his 
farm and family to follow what, in his delusion, he called duty, visited foreign 
lands and eventually died, a stranger among strangers, thousands of miles 
from home and kindred. As this venerable woman adverted to her childhood 
days and her father's expatriation, she groaned in spirit and wept; a far-off 
echo of a voice that had preached pernicious doctrines, but long ago silenced 
by the paralyzing hand of death. 

We know of a sea captain who Uved on the west side of the Saco. He 
had married a beautiful daughter of respectable parentage, and to them two 
pretty boys had been given. Before Jacob Cochran appeared in that com- 
munity peace and contentment reigned in that home-circle. But the fatlrer, 
a man of speculative and unstable mind, was swept from his moorino-s by the 
sophistry of this imposter and spent the time that should have been devoted 
to the interests of his family with the followers of the " New Apostle to the 
Gentiles," as some called him. He had a "spiritual wife" assigned to him, 
said farewell to Hannah, tore her children from her bosom, and left for the 
westward, where a community of primitive Mormons had congreo-ated. When 
these sons had grown to manhood the)- retained a faint recollection of a 
mother, and refused to call one by that dear name who had taken her rightful 
place. They instituted a searching inquiry for their mother's family, came 
east and visited the old homestead, but, alas! too late to see her who had 
found a premature gr;ive in consequence of the great sorrow that had fallen 
upon her heart. Other children were born to the father, in the state of New 
York, some of whom have risen to eminence among men. 




BlMiMHmiMigijai^^ . 

Sh^ |pai[mou JntiH^bn. 



|HE Cochran craze paved the way for a Mormon invasion in the 
Saco valley. A full-blooded Cochranite made a first-class Mor- 
mon saint. Jake Cochran was a John the Baptist for the Mormon 
apostles, who appeared on his old battle-ground and gathered up 
the spoils. The inhabitants of the river towns, as well as some in the inte- 
rior, were afflicted with Cochranite grasshoppers, followed by Mormon 
locusts. Scions cut from the decaying trunk of the old Cochran tree were 
readily engrafted into Mormon branches, but the fruit was the same; when 
these had become firmly united, they' were transplanted bodily co new soil, 
considered more congenial to their development, in the state of New York. 

Some of the old people, now living, confound the two movements, and 
we have found insuperable difficulty in sifting the chaff of error from the 
wheat of truth. It seems to have been a most remarkable coincidence, which 
has the appearance of concerted action between Cochran and his successors. 
Almost as soon as he vacated the field, the founders of the Mormon hierarchy 
invested it. The history of the Mormon church makes Brigham Young come 
to Maine in 1832 or 1833. The doctrine preached by Smith, Pratt, and 
Young, in York county, was not of an offensive nature ; it was, properly speak- 
ing, Millenarianism. The excitement was immense. The inhabitants went 
twenty miles to hear these earnest missionaries preach. A change from Coch- 
ranism was wanted, and this new gospel seemed to be an improvement. Old 
wine was put into new bottles, and many drank to their fill. At this time 
polygamy had not been mentioned. No attempt was made to form an organ- 
ized church; Cochran had preached against such, and Brigham found these 
disciples averse to any ecclesiastical government, and waited until he had 
transported his converts to Manchester, N. Y., before enforcing this part of 
his creed. 

We have not learned how long these Mormon preachers remained here. 
They had great, covered wagons, drawn by large, spirited horses, in which 
those who would emigrate were carried away to their settlement. The house 
built on the Ira W. Milliken farm, just across the Buxton line, was known as 
the "Temple," and this was the head-centre of the Mormon crusade. It has 
been said that this place of worship was built for Jacob Cochran and his asso- 
ciates, but I think this an error. The Mormon excitement spread into every 


town where Cochran had made converts; these had been washed from their 
moral and rational moorings by the tidal-wave let loose upon the community 
by Jacob, and the Mormon inundation landed them high — if not dry — in 
New \ork state. 

The Mormon elders were unwearied in their efforts to enlarge the circle 
of their influence and to (hum up recruits for their semi-religious community. 
Like flaming heralds, they traveled from town to town, and their evident sin- 
cerity and unbounded enthusiasm drew thousands to hear them. But there 
was determined opposition. The ministers of the gospel stood outside and 
openly warned their people to keep clear of these missionaries of a strange 
faith. The culminating effect proved that the spirit of the Mormons was 
identical with Cochranism. Both systems produced the same ruinous upheaval 
in the domestic circle, and the wreckage of blasted homes was scattered all 
along the coast where the devastating storm held swa}-. 

But a small proportion of those who espouse.d the Mormon creed removed 
to the westward, and many who went returned to their old neighborhoods. 
So far as we know, husbands and wives, with their children, removed together. 
While waiting in Parsonsfield for John Edgecomb and wife to make prepara- 
tions for their departure, some of the inhabitants of the town entered the 
stable at night and mutilated and disfigured the horses. This cruel trans- 
action only stimulated the zeal and extended the influence of the itinerant 
preachers, and many, who had regarded the Mormon innovation with much 
disfavor, had their sympathy excited for the leaders when they became the 
subject of persecution. This was but a repetition of religious history. Those 
who become aggressive opposers of any movement inaugurated in the name 
of Christianity, however obnoxious its features, engender prejudice against 
themselves, and, negatively, give momentum to that which thev wish to hinder. 
He who kicks the parent stock scatters thistle seeds and multiplies plants in 
his field. John Edgecomb was a good citizen and a hard-working farmer 
when the Mormon preachers came into town on Cochran's old trail. He aban- 
doned his home and the grave of his only child, and followed the Mormon 
star westward. His wife soon after died, and when the Mormons removed 
farther west he came back to his old neighbors, and died near the spot where 
he had built his first house. 

James Townsend went from Buxton with his family, consisting of a wife 
and four children. He proved loyal to the end; went westward by stages, and 
built the first hotel in Utah. Only a few years ago he visited the East and 
called upon his relatives and early acquaintances. He returned to his home 
in Salt T>ake City and soon died, leaving a \'ast estate. 

Some who joined the westward Mormon tide became preachers and trav- 
eled extensively on our continent and in foreign lands to promulgate the faith 
held by the church of the Latter Day Saints. Many who removed to the New 


York settlement went west as far as Ohio, and some of them, after their breth- 
ren went to Nauvoo, purchased land and became successful farmers there. 
Near Beaver Dam, Ohio, there are descendants of such, who are well-to-do 
farmers, millers, and merchants, who stand upon a good social plane in the 
community. A few only of the original Mormon emigrants are now living, 
and these are far advanced in life. They left the Saco valley in 1836 and 
1837, and are treading the border-land of another world. Those seen when 
we were in Ohio had long ago renounced the Mormon faith, and were respected 
members of the evangelical churches. The lessons learned in early life were 
costly, but practical. Since they were rescued from the cyclone into whose 
track they had fallen, and the vapors which then enveloped their minds were 
dispelled, their lives have been useful and unimpeachable. Could the history 
of their solitary reflections, remorse, and self-reproach be recorded, how sadly 
impressive would be its perusal ! 

While sitting of an evening on the rustic porch of one who went We&t 
with Joe Smith and his Mormon colony, we conversed about those days. The 
old man seemed anxious to learn about those he had left behind in early life, 
his kindred and once dear friends. While thus engaged, he brushed the 
drift-wood from his memory, and related many incidents in his experience 
while on his journey West and during his residence in the Mormon community. 
As I called the names of some of his relatives, then living in Maine, he 
wiped a tear from his eye and sighed deeply. He remarked that, as he 
grew older, his desire to visit the scenes of his childhood increased. When I 
asked why he did not gratify his wish, he said he supposed everybody would 
call him "an old Mormon," and he could not endure that. 

To this venerable man, whose name I promised not to mention in print, 
I am indebted for much information concerning the Mormon excitement on 
the Saco river. He said: "W» were young then, and the novelty of the doc- 
trines preached and the attractiveness of the speakers drew us into the trap." 
His detailed description of the services held by the Mormon elders was deeply 
interesting. There was still a mystery about the power that attended these 
preachers. He had thought about it while working at his anvil and when in 
his field. 

Alluding to the old "Temple" in Buxton, where the Mormon apostles 
held meetings, he said he remembered it well. It was not in the form of an 
ordinary old-fashioned meeting-house, or chapel, but a dwelling-house, con- 
taining several rooms, with close shutters at the windows. What he denomi- 
nated "speaking in tongues" was incomprehensible. All who were present 
at the services were astonished at the phenomenon, and with one accord 
admitted that those who exhibited this remarkable gift must have received it 
from a supernatural source; it could not be accounted for or explained in 
any other way. 


Those who had been newly converted were as likely to manifest this 
power as the old experienced preachers. Such would mount a bench and 
address the assembly in language unintelligible, both to the Gentiles present 
and to tlie elders who claimed to be in such intimate relations with the spirit 
world. Those who spoke in unknown tongues were said to have been as igno- 
rant of the significance of their discourses as their hearers; they were touched 
by an inspiration and had no control of their tongues. 

There were others who "interpreted tongues." While sitting in silence, 
such would be suddenly seized with an impulse to speak, and in language 
sublime they communicated the lofty and profound sentiment of their subject. 
These interpreters were persons as unaccustomed to public speaking as the 
first mentioned, and absolutely incapable of using the eloquent and eupho- 
nious language, in a normal condition, employed by them when interpreting 
the unpronounceable jargon of those who "spake in tongues." These also 
professed to be unconscious of what they had spokea, and were considered 
to be irrespor,sible by those who heard them. 

This mysterious factor, so prominent in the meetings held by the Mormon 
preachers, convinced many who had been determined opposers of the move- 
ment that a higher power pervaded the souls of these uncultured converts, 
and they laid down their prejudices and became nominal believers in the 
doctrines advocated. 

No analysis of this singular system that we might attempt would be favor- 
ably received by the intelligent public of the present day. The reasons are 
obvious. ( )ur hberal educational advantages, the extensive circulation of gen- 
eral Hterature, and the constant opportunity afforded for an exchange of ideas 
in the intercourse resulting from modern habits of tra\el have conspired to 
foster a spirit of independence in our methods of thinking which gives birth 
to conclusions that are usually impervious to argument. The conditions that 
obtained in a rural and primitive community were so unlike those with which 
the people are familiar today, and so far removed by lapse of time, that the 
mind instinctively repels any attempt to adduce e.xtenuative testimony, that 
might have the appearance of an apolog)', for a people who tolerated such 
teachings and practices as we have hinted at in the foregoiiii; treatment of our 
subject. So will it be in the future. \\'e are /low winking at customs that 
would have been ccmdcmned l^y our puritanical ancestors who lived contem- 
porary with the Cochranite and Mormon delusions that swept the Saco valley 
sixty years a|o. The guardians of public morals had the courage then to 
bring Cochran to the judgment bar to answer for what they considered to be 
a violation of the conventional code of propriety, in a small assembly of his 
own chosen disciples, while today, at the popular watering places, in the circus 
tent, and upon the theatre stage, semi-nude females are gazed upon by those 
reputed to be the most refined and cultivated among the respectable, wealthy, 


and religious families of the land without a blush, or any sentiment that could 
produce one. The school children who walk our streets must needs look 
upon obscene pictures, displayed on the corners; and when within the sanctified 
seclusion of the home, the daughters do burn the midnight oil perusing books, 
the printed pages and illustrations of which are alike unfit to expose to the 
light of open day. 

When our boasted modern civilization shall emerge from its vulgar and 
«;/civilized state, and reach the standard of inward purity and outward modesty 
enjoined by the sacred volume, then may we survey the past with a conscience 
unsullied and a vision unobscured by the thick clouds of intemperate indul- 
gence, and with some claim to superiority throw stones backward and pelt 
those who lived in glass houses before we were born, and who, being dead, 
cannot talk back. But while we allow such demoralizing customs as are 
everywhere prevalent to exist unchallenged, let us not be too severely unchar- 
itable in our estimation of those whose examples of morality and lives of 
sobriety would compare favorably with our own, while their responsibility, by 
reason of their limitations and environments, was a thousand times less. 


,31 IJIantatiM ^Jantoral Uifiitali^n. 


HEN Paul Coffin came to Narragansett, No. i, now Buxton, the 
whole region round-about was covered by a dense wilderness, which 
was only broken here and there by "openings," where the stout- 
hearted pioneers had laid the foundation for their prospective 
homesteads by clearing narrow patches of land and putting up their rude log- 
cabins. For many years subsequent to his settlement but little change was 
apparent in the environments of his circumscribed parish ; but small increase 
of the active population. However, the time came when the sons of the new 
plantation reached man's estate and took to themselves wives of their neigh- 
bors' robust daughters. These established themselves upon new territory in 
the adjacent townships and began life for themselves, until there had grown 
up considerable hamlets, called "neighborhoods," in Little Falls and Little 

Having baptized these young men and their wives in infancy, and cate- 
chised them while passing through the "slippery paths of youth"; having 
pronounced their marriage ceremony at the sacred altar where he had so long 
ministered, he did not relinquish his spiritual fatherhood or pastoral oversight 
when they went forth from the immediate precincts where he bestowed his 
more public labors, but followed them into the new clearings with his sympa- 
thies, prayers, and — "old black mare." 

Being the only settled minister within the radius of many miles, he could 
catch spiritual seals without regard to any "three-mile limit" prescribed by 
other denominations. At this time a spirit of respect and reverence was cher- 
ished and inculcated for the house of God and ministers of the gospel, and 
when health, weather, and the condition of woodland roads would admit of 
traveling, the people from far and near regularly attended divine service. It 
was no unusual thing, in the pleasant season, for representati\-es from twenty 
families in the plantations of Little Falls and Little Ossipee, now HoUis and 
Limington, tfc be present at Parson Coffin's meetings in Buxton, from five to 
ten miles from their homes. One can scarcely imagine a more picturesque 
and pleasing rural spectacle than that of a scattered throng, some on foot, 
others on horseback, grouped along the forest-bordered roadway, moving 
cheerfully and pensively forward toward the sanctuary on a Sabbath morning. 

To reach the place of worship in season required very early rising and 


preparation. The chores were numerous enough, but the toilets to be attended 
to were not elaborate. From the settlements in Limington came the Edge- 
combs, Nasons, Chases, Sawyers, Boothbys, and Towles, who were joined 
along the way, at Mollis, by the families of Field, Lewis, Cousins, Redlon, 
and Townsend. 

Those who had horses "rode double," the husband and wife, or the 
brother and sister, on the sajne beast, one upon the saddle, the other on the 
"pillion" behind; and the women who went on foot carried their shoes and 
honest stockings — no hose then but iron hoes — in their hands or under their 
shawls till near the meeting-house; then they sat down upon log or stone and 
dressed their feet, reversing the custom of those who, in ancient times, 
removed their sandals when walking on holy ground. 

Our mental survey impels us to candidly state that these worshipers at 
the Orthodox shrine established at " Buxton old corner " had a twofold motive, 
many of them at least, in making such long journeys to attend the religious 
services there. As the dear old Scotch woman said to me, at her cottage 
door in the Highlands, those were " sweet-hearting days," and beautiful visions 
of blooming cheeks and sparkling eyes, to be literally seen in Parson Coffin's 
congregation, made the young men's step very elastic. Besides, nearly all the 
families in the older settlement, "down river," and those "up river" were 
connected by ties of blood. When Thomas Redlon and his wife, Pattie, 
daughter of Lieutenant Merrill, of Bunker Hill fame, rode to the horse-block 
at the meeting-house door, they were sure to find in waiting her sisters, who 
married with the Wentworths, Lanes, and Bryants. The wife of Thomas 
Lewis was a Boston, from old York, and far from her father's home, but if 
she went down to the good parson's meeting she found her beloved sister 
Susie, wife of Joshua Decker, there, and during the long noon-time inter- 
missions, while the male persuasion were at Marm Garland's tavern, not far 
away, tO get what was locally called their " Sabba-day hock," these wives and 
sisters would have merry times eating lunch under the shadow of the spread- 
ing hemlocks. 

Parson Coffin illustrated the theory that a house-going minister makes a 
church-going people. He was accustomed to make annual or semi-annual 
visits to the remote neighborhoods, for the purpose of inquiring after the spir- 
itual welfare of the heads of families and to catechise and baptize the children. 
These visitations of the learned parson were looked forward to with great 
interest and pleasure by those families comprising the settlements on the west 
side of the Saco river; they were occasions of social enjoyment and a break 
in the monotony of daily toil which stimulated hope and made existence more 
tolerable. At such times the deportment of all would be prudently decorous 
and, of course, somewhat serious, but not altogether devoid of the mirthful 
and hilarious elements, as will appear. All who were familiar with Parson 

'28S A PLANTAr/dN pastohal visitation. 

Coffin knew that he was, constitutionally, a man of much humor, who could 
not only appreciate a witticism or a harmless joke, but was sometimes known 
to take part in a lauj^hable comedy. 

It was at the close of his sermon, on the afternoon of a pleasant Sep- 
tember Sabbath, that he gave notice of an intended visit. Providence permit- 
ting, to the good people in the plantation of Little Falls during the week 
following; and. Providence sii// permitting, that he might continue his pas- 
toral progress into the plantation of I^ittle Ossipee. Several families from 
these far-away hamlets were present at the services on that day, and on their 
return home not only advised every one of the pastor's coming, but nearly 
completed arrangements for his entertainment. 

The house of Daniel Field was as large and centrally located as any in 
the neighborhood, and it was decided that on this occasion the parson should 
find a home there. It must be understood that when these pastoral visits were 
mode the minister did not alternate from house to house, but located at some 
comfortable dwelling, and the people assembled there to listen to his counsel 
and minister to his temporal needs. In consequence of this custom, the 
entertainment provided for the tables was never limited to the good parson's 
appetite, but was sufficiently abundant to supply every man, woman, and child 
in the community; hence, all contributed toward the feast. 

The minister would not reach the Little Falls settlement before Tuesday. 
At an early hour Monday morning the mothers, with children in arms, began 
to assemble at the house of Aunt Rachel Field to assist in arranging the house 
and preparing the necessary food. Some grown-up daughters were put in 
charge of the small folk, while the robust matrons, with skirts tucked up and 
arms laid bare for business, went to work with a cheerful good-will to " rid up 
the house" and make all things tidy. There was Hannah Cousins and her 
next-door neighbor, Katy Lewis, with soap, sand, and scrub-cloth, who went 
down upon the puncheoned floor and scoured it unto snowv cleanness. :\Iean- 
time, the much beruffled, white-capped Mrs. I'ield, supported by her two buxom 
daughters, Sarah and Anna, was busy between meal-chest and dresser-room, 
making "rye'n'Injun " bread and ponderous puddings for the great stone oven. 
A select requisition had been served on the "speckled harem " at the barn the 
evening previous, and half a dozen of the best-favored fowls transferred from 
the roost to the capacious bake-pan. 

At the same time Mrs. Temple, Betse)- Bryant, and Judy Townsend were 
cooking at their own homes to help supply the tables at the house of Aunt 
Rachel, while the lads and lassies were bringing chairs from near and far. 
The wife of Ichabod Cousins had received as part of her marriage dower a 
china tea-set, of delicate design and great beauty, which she had kindly and 
carefully brought down to ornament the table. To lend an air of dignity, a 
large, green-bordered platter was sent up from the home of Nathaniel Town- 


send. Thus every one wrought and contributed freely to provide all things 
decent and ample for the great occasion. 

Tuesday morning's dawn found everything in readiness for the parson's 
reception. Two boys were sent forward to watch from the hill-top and herald 
his approach. Before the sun was four hours high, the white-faced mare upon 
which the good man rode, was descried in the distance, slowly cantering up 
the river-side, and the lads ran with all haste to advise the anxious and wait- 
ing members of his congregation of the fact. 

Here fertile fancy, like a mental lasso, gathers within her swinging circles 
many an object of beauty in this picture of pioneer life and hospitality, and 
we can scarcely limit our description of the charming scene within our proper 

But few, if any, of those who were to sit at the feet of the learned and 
saintly parson, on occasions like this, had associated with cultured and polished 
society. They were the sons and daughters of a frontier settlement, inured 
to hardships and daily toil from childhood, and in the " struggle for exist- 
ence " found no time or inclination for following the fashions or cultivating 
the manners of such as were reared in the towns where conventional customs 
were observed. The men were clad in garments from the wool of their flock 
and the flax of their fields, all dressed and woven by the fingers of their frugal 
wives and daughters — full-cloth coats, tow shirts, moccasined feet, and heads 
protected by caps made from the pelt of coon or fox. The women and girls 
wore their small-checked "linsey-woolsey" gowns, neatly aproned, and ker- 
chiefed at the neck, and upon their heads caps of lace neatly bordered and 

Nearly all of the elderly fathers had served in the army of the Revo- 
lution, leaving their wives and children at home, in the midst of a howling 
wilderness, in poverty and but poorly protected. These sons of the clearing 
were hard-handed and bronzed by exposure, but there was no sham about 
them; they were just what they appeared to be; brave, generous hearts were 
beating under their homespun to the tune of an honest purpose. Their speech 
was unclassical and somewhat rude, but it was not the vehicle of a villainous 
soul; they "said what they meant, and meant what they said." 

On the other hand, Parson Coffin had enjoyed and improved the advan- 
tages of education and cultivated society; had been reared in a home of 
refinement and wealth. Best of all, he was a practical man, possessed of the 
hard coin of common sense, and could easily adapt himself to the conditions, 
primitive though they were, of his parishioners. He had eaten moose meat 
with the council of ministers at the feast prepared for his ordination, and was 
not too fastidious to relish the wholesome, homely fare provided by the set- 
tlers' wives for his pastoral visit. 

When Parson Coffin reined his mare into the log-fenced lane leading to 


the door-yard of the home of Uncle Daniel Field, on that fine autumn morn- 
ing, he saw groups of stalwart men, standing at ease or sitting on saw-blocks, 
engaged in discussing,' the prospects of their harvests, the prices of lumber, 
or the latest news that had reached the setdement. His greeting was unpre- 
tentious, but cordial. While Caleb Kimball was removing the saddle from his 
mare, he grasped the hand of each one present; then was led to the house, 
and in the entry-way paused to partake of the refreshment which his host so 
generously proffered as the proper liquid entertainment for his learned and 
reverend guest. He was made at home in the "fore room," while, one by 
one, the "brethring" came in and were engaged in conversation by their 
socially-disposed pastor. 

The several heavy, home-made tables brought from the neighbors' had 
been united under several yards of snow-white, domestic linen, and extended 
the entire length of the great kitchen. When the plain, steaming dinner was 
served every seat was filled ; the young folk, meanwhile, lingering near, like 
Mary's lamb, waiting for their turn at the bounteous board. Parson Coffin, 
of course, was placed in the seat of honor at the table head, being supported 
on the right and left by the two brothers, Thomas and Ebenezer Lewis, both 
of them local preachers, who undertook coarse work in their line when called 
upon by a gospel-hungry people. Below these were the venerable and saintly 
deacons. Chase and Nason, from Little Ossipee, while ranged down the sides 
of the various sections of the spread were nearly all of the heads of families 
in the plantation. At the foot were several of the unmarried sons and daugh- 
ters, who had been placed there to "fill the complement." Near the pantry 
door stood Aunt Rachel Field, with her two blooming daughters, and Susie 
Decker, who had come up from Narragansett to visit her son and daughter, 
recently settled at Little Falls. 

It had long been known from Saco to Pearsontown that Parson Coffin 
not only took kindly to, but was extremely fond of, such Indian puddings as 
these old mothers knew how to make, and on this august occasion his hostess 
had not ignored the choice of his palate, but catered thereto. On the great 
platter this delicious article was burning incense to the good man's dilating 
nostrils, and toward it, while the finishing preparations were being attended 
to, he cast many a longing look. 

Moreover, it was a custom in those days to pass the food to each guest 
and allow them to appropriate as much as was deemed sufficient to meet the 
demands of an appetite the compass of which each was supposed to know 
best. When the platter containing the favorite food was held before the 
parson, he excited no surprise by dipping deep and long, until his capacious 
pewter plate was filled to the brim. V\'hen each had been supplied, silence 
was enjoined by a sharp rap on the table by Uncle Daniel Field, who imme- 
diately announced : " Parson Coffin will now exercise marcy." Rising slowly 


from his seat, the saintly servant of the Most High raised his spreading hands, 
closed his eyes, and said an extensive and comprehensive grace. 

Taking advantage of the moment, Thomas Lewis quickly seized the 
great spoon and transferred the minister's pudding to his own plate, while 
the younger of the assembled guests, whose eyes had not been closed so com- 
pletely as such occasions demanded, witnessed the amusing performance with 
expressions of face better imagined than described. Just as the last portion 
was disappearing from the plate of the honored guest, he had finished his 
invocation, and turning his eyes downward cried out: "Ho! ho! Brother 
Lewis, what are you doing with my pudding?" "I beg a thousand pardons. 
Parson Coffin," responded Thomas, " I thought I was dipping from the platter." 

This joke was well received by all and proved to be the key-note to a 
mirthful and animating conversation, that was not abated till the dinner was 

When these had sufficed, they retired to the "fore room" for social inter- 
course, while relays of the young people took their places about the table. 

"After-dinner speeches," in those days, were woven into the general con- 
versation that followed a well-patronized meal, and the themes led forward 
for discussion on these occasions were by no means restricted to a religious 
province, but branched broadly and boldly out into wide and expansive chan- 
nels, and were not allowed to become commonplace for the want of irony, 
hyperbole, and harmless witticism. The men with whom the parson had to 
do were possessed of the same human nature with which he was himself 
freighted; they had personal and legitimate interests to be considered; there 
were forests to subdue, fields to clear, fences to build, and families to provide 
for; hence, theirs were lives of toil from before the dawn of day till all was 
silent save the wakeful house dog, barking at the echo of his own voice. 

A farmer himself, and possessed of a store of practical knowledge per- 
taining to nearly every branch of work incident to the existence of a pioneer, 
the minister could enter heartily into the discussion of those questions which 
were most interesting to those he was visiting. In thus manifesting a lively 
concern for the temporal, as well as for the spiritual, needs of those with 
whom he lived and labored, his pastoral visits were made of double import- 
ance. While the hours of that pleasant afternoon were passing they talked 
of masts for the ship-yard at Saco, of shaved shingles and clapboards to be 
transported down river to the lumber-yards of Col. Thomas Cutts, and of 
peltry for the fur dealers. 

The facilities for communicating intelligence at this time were limited 
and inadequate ; and when news from the cities and centres of commercial, 
political, or military activity had reached these inland plantations, it was 
eagerly seized upon and conveyed from house to house, until every person in 
the community was made acquainted with all the particulars. Parson Coffin 


kept up a considerable correspondence with men of learning in various parts 
for many years, and sometimes made journeys to distant parts, so that his 
presence was sought for by those who had not such opportunities. To such 
his conversation was entertaining and highly instructive, and his presence in 
any part of his almost boundless parish was heralded with great satisfaction; 
and long after his departure his influence was embalmed in the daily conver- 
sation of the settlers' families, who had come to regard him as their oracle in 
all things. 

Once in two years, as regular as the change of seasons, a little stranger's 
advent was looked for in the homes of these planters ; consequently, there 
were duties of a purely professional character to be attended to whenever the 
pastor visited the several neighborhoods in his parish. For the purpose of 
baptism, each mother had brought the babe that had made its appearance 
since the last visit of the administrator, and these were made the recipients 
of such blessings as were supposed to flow into the lives of those children 
thus consecrated by the imposition of holy hands. The records kept by Par- 
son Coffin, now before me, show that on some of his visits to Little Falls and 
Little Ossipee he had administered the sacred rite to from eight to twelve 

When he had devoted sufficient attention to the heads of families and 
the babes, the timid youth were called in and prudently instructed and kindly 
admonished. This done, the Scriptures were read with a musical intonation 
of voice and the holy man went before the throne of grace in prayer ; a prayer 
long and broad enough to comprehend, singular and sundry, every need of 
every soul in the community; yes, of the whole wide world. 

The shadows were now falling deep and dark across the borders of the 
clearing, the distant tinkle of cow-bells was a summons to the milking yard, 
and with many a cordial "good-night" the fathers and mothers, the sons and 
daughters, of the plantation of Little Falls took leave of their beloved pastor 
and left him to his nightly repose. 

(Jartj ^iirxr tnlUg ©armts. 


"Around the fireside, at their ease, 
There sat a group of friends, entranced 
With the delicious melodies; 
Who from the far-off, noisy town 
Had to the wayside inn come down." 


HE colonial tavern was called an "ordinary," and the early notices 
of them in the old records are under this name. Old-fashioned 
people, who had occasion to travel, used to speak of them as the 
"putting-up place"; or, when of long standing and well known, 
they were designated simply by the name of the landlord, as "down at 
Thorns'" and "at Warren's." These old institutions are worthy of more 
than a hurried notice, and no description of them would be complete without 
a pen-picture of the "tavern-keeper," for he was part and parcel, yea, the life, 
of the establishment. The old-time "ordinary" was in vogue when the coun- 
try was thinly populated, and was usually connected with a river ferry on some 
bridle-path, where now and then a belated traveler found a lodging for the 
night and straw and provender in the log-hovel adjoining for his jaded beast. 
Of course these places of entertainment were but private dwellings, fitted 
with a "spare bed" under the roof, and were small and sparingly furnished; 
nevertheless, they afforded shelter and a bite of homely fare, and there was 
not half the growling by guests one hears today. Those were rough old times, 
and people who were on a journey, whether magistrate or merchant, adapted 
themselves to the conditions they chanced to encounter. The "ordinary" 
sign-board was a shaved shingle, lettered in primitive runes, that advised the 
traveler of accommodation for himself and horse. 

But let us leave this colonial period behind us and turn our attention to 
the regular taverns of more pretentious proportions and appurtenances. These 
were usually great, square, high-gabled, rambling houses, fronted by wide- 
spreading elms and approached by a circuitous drive-way. Upon a sturdy 
limb of a tree, or swinging from the arm of the leaning post erected for the 
purpose, the great square or shield-shaped sign-board creaked in the wind as 
it beckoned a welcome to the approaching stranger, and, by the emblems 
painted upon its face, symbolized the refreshment to be found within the 
hostelry. Fronting the tavern 


"Across the road the barns displayed 
Their lines of stalls, their mows of hay," 

where the important-moving grooms take charge of the horses. 

Upon the heavy, oaken, much-moulded front door a heavy brass knocker, 
with lion's head cast thereon, invited the traveler's attention; and dis- 
mounting at the horse-block near, he dropped the bridle rein over his arm, 
stood upon the broad door-stone, and hammered away until the old tavern 
quaked and he who kept the same came forward to respond to the noisy 

These early landlords were men of consideration in their community, men 
of portly physique, who, being justices of the peace, were called "Esquire"; 
and they were not unconscious of the dignity of their office and the import- 
ance of their business as an accommodation to the general public. They cori- 
sidered themselves to be gentlemen, and dressed in attire becoming to their 
quality. To be popular and make his house a favorite resort, the old-time 
landlord must be found presentable in person and conversation; a graceful, 
genial, smiling, winning man, who could quickly measure the capacity of his 
guest and lead discussion into channels that were entertaining. Such appre- 
hended the wishes of their company before they were expressed; were atten- 
tive, obliging, painstaking. His hat was rough-furred, bell-crowned, and white; 
his turn-down collar, wide and tidy ; his watch-chain of silver, bedangled with 
a heavy fob ; his cut-away, narrow-tailed coat gave full display to his rotund 
middle and the buff vest thereof ; his buttons were garnishing and bright. 
Red-faced and plump-cheeked, he appeared the personification of all authority 
and good nature, of all wisdom and decorum. With what graceful demon- 
strations he escorted his incoming guest to a chair at the fireside ; how politely 
he handed the ladies into the parlor, and how delicately he complimented 
each one ! He motions to the attendant to replenish the fire and ingeniously 
engages his company in spirited conversation; he soon suggests refreshment 
and gracefully walks behind the counter. 

Those were days of wide fire-places and ample hearth-stones ; plenty of 
hard wood and pitch knots ; ample room and comfortable chairs ; pure air and 
wholesome food. There was no stint at the table; no food on sideboards, 
out of reach, nor gibberish of table-girl to tell you what you could have to 
eat. The food was placed upon the table, where it should be, the guests kindly 
passed the plates to each other, and all went well. Dinner was announced by 
ringing bell and was /nn/y before you were called. The landlord, with great 
cheerfulness and politeness, escorted his guests to the dining-room and saw 
them seated, then quietly retired. 

The group gathered about an old-time tavern fireside,"on a winter even- 
ing, formed a picture worthy of description ; we mean the typical group, made 
up of persons of various employments and professions, persons of dissimilar 


build and size, of diverse facial characteristics and expressions, and of an- 
tipodal temperaments. 

" Let me in outline sketcli them all, 

Perchance uncouthly as the blaze 

With its uncertain touch portrays 

Their shadowy semblance on the wall." 

Here came an old-school judge and a trio of lawyers on their way to 
court, guests whose tastes the landlord did well to cater to. His honor was a 
man of great gravity and dignity of deportment, whose smoothly shaven face 
and towering brow above betokened profound learning and clear judgment. 
His cool gray eyes, surmounted by jutting brows, his serious expression, and 
restricted conversation forbade any approach to familiarity, and around him 
there was an atmosphere of awe. His hair of iron gray was smoothly combed 
from his classic temples and tied in the fashionable cue behind; his wide 
neckcloth was of snowy whiteness, and the lofty dickey that rose above it 
guarded his square-cut chin. He was the "court," and the lawyers over whom 
he was soon to preside and " rule " showed him the deference that was due. 

These old barristers were mostly hard headed, and the "brass" in their 
composition had been well hamrnered in by forensic contact. They were good 
feeders; enlarged their waistbands and took pride in their circumference. 
Their nerves were keyed up to the fighting pitch, and their appearance was 
calculated to "squinch" the courage of a witness or crush a less formidable 
opponent. They wore coats of snuff color or. royal blue, and waistcoats 
double-breasted, broad, and solemn; to say nothing of velvet breeches, small 
clothes, and silver knee-buckles. Their wit was always filed to a point when 
going to court, and a fresh stock of irony and sarcasm was laid in. When off 
duty, after their cases had been tried, they assembled around the old tavern 
hearth-stone, and joked and laughed and fired squibs at each other; they 
exposed their own deception, and told how their sophistry had pointed the 
lance of argument. But they were men of judicial erudition and acumen, 
who have not been succeeded by their superiors. 

When the sheriff came with his handcuffed prisoner, and led him to a 
seat in the wayside tavern, human nature in its most perverted character man- 
ifested itself. All eyes were turned upon him, until, poor fellow, whether 
guilty or innocent, he was made to feel that he was an outcast and a culprit. 
Where self-control and a delicate and compassionate sense of propriety should 
have ruled the hour, the unfortunate man became an object of scorn and 

Here also was found the robust farmer, who was on his way to market, 
and who ate his dinner from his well-filled box at the fireside ; while the moc- 
casined teamsters talked to each other about "them cattle" and the condition 
of the roads, the puttering peddler discoursed about his various articles of 


We must not pass without notice one of the most picturesque characters 
in the whole group ; we mean the early stage-driver, the well-informed story- 
teller, the royal good fellow and general favorite who had safely brought the 
travelers to the old tavern. But as we are to draw his picture in another place 
we take leave of him here. 

We were writing of taverns and landlords ; where are we now ? Along 
the wall-side was a long assemblage of top-coats, hats, woolen neck-comforters, 
and in a corner a stack of whips and goad-sticks prudently brought within 
doors. The great, pronounced-ticking clock was measuring off the hours as 
they passed, while the flashing, flickering fire-light threw grotesque shadows 
upon the wainscoting. And still the tide of story, the political discussion, 
and the legal argument flowed on. 

Let us step across the hall-way and take a peep into the fore-room, as the 
parlor was then called. Behold, here is the landlady, rightly named, to be 
sure, rosy-cheeked, white-capped, beruffled, rotund, full-skirted, bustling, dear 
old darling, who understood her art to pecfection, busy entertaining ker guests. 
A delightful body, bubbling with cheerfulness, intelligent, quick to apprehend, 
graceful in speech, and full of old-fashioned politeness, she never allowed the 
conversation to fall into the quicksand of monotony, but di\ersified the themes 
and wove in gold and silver threads with cheerful flowers of rhetoric. 

But the fires have burned low and the glowing brands have dropped 
apart. The tall clock has faithfully performed its task and now measuredly 
counts the hour of ten. 

" But sleep at last the victory won ; 
They must be stirring with the sun, 
And drowsily good-night they said. 
And went, still gossiping, to hed." 

The fires are "raked up" and the great live coals buried in the bank of ashes. 
The rattle of shovel and tongs is followed by the bolting of doors, and all is 
soon still about the old tavern save the loud-ticking clock and the creaking 
sign-board without. Heavy-winged sleep hovers over the judge, the magis- 
trate, the merchant, and the farmer; and this mysterious balm for human 
cares, so like an experiment with death, repairs the wasted tissue and invig- 
orates the frame. 

The wakeful crower on the cross-beam sees the skirmishers of the morn- 
ing coming over the eastern hill-tops, and dutifully sounds his clarion to 
arouse the weary wayfarers and challenge the approaching day. The fires are 
rekindled upon the still warm hearths, the grooms are about the stables dis- 
bursing hay and provender, and the busy cook within her kitchen adroitly 
turns her spitting pancakes and sputtering eggs in the fry-pan. Madam, 
meanwhile, trips lightly about the long table, laying plates for her early-risen 
customers, and as, one by one, they are seated at the bountiful board she 


pours the fragrant coffee, and her cordial "good-morning" and beaming 
countenance were appetizing condiments. 

"All ready ! " " Passengers for Arundel, old York, and Strawberry Bank, 
get ready ! " shouts the stage-driver, as he reins his prancing horses to the 
door. All is now hurry and bustle, but they will be on time. There were no 
railway trains to meet, no danger from being too late. Landlord and lady 
assist the departing guests with great-coat and cape, each is well and warmly 
wrapped about, crack ! goes the whip, 

" ' Farewell! ' the portly landlord cried, 
'Farewell! ' the parting guests replied," 

and the clanging bells and groaning runners on the frozen track tell that the 
wayfarers are away on their journey. 

When left alone, the landlord and wife sit down and count their shillings; 
they exchange congratulations, she hums a hymn, he jingles his "siller" and 
whistles a merry tune while waiting for the returning mail coach. 

Sometimes a terrible storm of snow came on ; the roads were blockaded, 
and for days together the old-time tavern was filled with waiting pilgrims. 
These were seasons of special interest to the — landlord. But he used all his 
arts to console his restless guests, and as they looked from the windows upon 
a buried world, and heard the roaring of the unabated storm, he would say : 
" Be at home, gentlemen ; be at home ; it will soon clear away." On such 
occasions the nervous man would fret and chafe, while those of phlegmatic 
tendency continued to make the best of what could not be helped, ate apples, 
smoked the "pipe of peace," told old stories over again, and laughed as loud 
as when the roadS were clear. 

At these early taverns notices were posted, committees met, and coun- 
cillors held court. They were the news centres and the daily paper in its 
embryo condition. But the world has moved on, the screaming iron horse 
has crowded the rumbling mail coach from the old coach road, travel has 
been diverted, the creaking sign-board has fallen, the kind old landlord is 
deceased, and the old-fashioned tavern is only now a memory, an institution 
of the past. 

The first keeper of an "ordinary" or place for entertaining strangers on 
the Saco was also the licensed ferryman from 1654 to 1673; his name was 
Henry Waddock. This may have been, probably was, the first tavern opened 
in the Saco valley. He was succeeded by Thomas Haley, and he by Hum- 
phrey Scammon, who purchased the property in 1679, and ran the ferry-boat, 
and "kept" the ordinary. This ferry was subsequently conducted by Amos 
Chase and Robert Patterson, and we suppose they also put up travelers. 

Among old-time landlords remembered by some residents now living, are 
mentioned Jere. Gordon and John Cleaves, who flourished when their houses 
were the headquarters of the country stage-drivers. 


We do not know who opened the first public house in Buxton, but do 
know that John Garland, Zachariah (Jsher, and Ebenezer Wentworth were 
innholders as early as 1798-1800. The Garland tavern became a place of 
considerable note. It was situated on the right side of the road leading from 
the meeting-house at the "Old Corner" to Salmon Falls, and for many years 
was a favorite resort for the most respectable and prominent people of the 
county. Of the tavern and family who resided there the following has been 
related : " Madam Garland was known as one of the best cooks of the time, 
and her eight daughters were no less skilled in this useful but much neglected 
art. It was not alone the famous bowls of punch, the mugs of flip and samp- 
son, and the choicest viands of the forest, as well as what the Portland market 
afforded, that always found the most fashionable young men there, as reference 
to the record of marriages will show." Mrs. Garland was a good-natured 
lady of the old school of fashion, and often found time, among her multi- 
plicity of duties, to play the odd game with her daughters. "Joan" was the 
pride and life of the household, and a particular favorite of all who knew her. 
She had a kind word for every sorrowful heart. Aunt Susie Merrill said she 
was "a gay duck and the prettiest rosy-cheeked girl I ever saw." Parson 
Coffin knew how to lay aside his clerical robes and enjoy the social qualities 
of life with his neighbors. By special invitation of Madam Garland he visited 
her family on a Monday, a day in olden times when /adies were not ashamed 
to work. Joan was tugging and sweating over the wash-tub in the heat of 
July. The parson was quietly ushered into the parlor, and it was gracefully 
announced to Joan that Cad. Gray, her "spark," had come. While she was 
busy with her toilet, the parson, with assisters, carried the tub with its contents 
into the parlor and placed it upon two chairs; and when Joan stepped softly 
in to greet her lover, she found the parson, with coat off and sleeves rolled 
up, busily engaged in finishing her washing. She instantly saw that she was 
euchred, and one ejaculation fell from her lips: "Never, never, will I do any 
more washing in this house!" She faithfully kept her vow, and the good 
parson soon made the following record: "1789, Sept. 6, Cadwallader Gray & 
Joanna Garland both of Buxton." 

At this tavern the proprietors of the township held meetings; here referees 
met for consultation, and here lawsuits were ended. The place was near Par- 
son Coffin's meeting-house, and old men told how some of his hearers used to 
visit the tavern for an "eye-opener" at the noon-time intermission. On stormy 
days and autumn evenings, the 1,anes, W'oodmans, Merrills, and Hancocks, 
heroes of the Revolution, would toast their shins, tell of their hardships, and 
fight their battles over again. Sometimes the mug of flip became too potent, 
and the hilarious company too noisy for the ears of Madam Garland, and she 
would intimate that it was time to close the doors, when the company would 
disperse and go "wallowing hame." 


Colonel Berry kept a public house at the old corner, so-called, in Buxton, 
for many years; a very popular house it was, where the Saco stage-drivers 
changed horses and dined. A large hall was connected with the tavern, and 
the place became a favorite resort for dancing parties and evening dinners. 

At Salmon Falls, Ben. Warren long kept an old-fashioned tavern, and the 
old house is still standing at the east of the bridge. Paul Coffin mentions 
taking dinner at Warren's tavern, and calls it a " poor " one ; but I am inclined 
to think this house was at North HoUis, possibly the old John Benson place, 
where a public house was kept at an early day. Paul Coffin was on a mis- 
sionary journey, and would not have dined within a mile of his own home at 
Salmon Falls. 

A public house was opened at Bar Mills at an early day, and was con- 
ducted at one time by Daniel Darrah. 

Albert Bradbury ran a hotel at Bog Mill for several years in the old-fash- 
ioned, two-storied house now standing there, since owned by Levi Rounds. At 
this house Joseph Bickford, the stage-driver, changed horses. 

The well and widely-known "brick tavern," at North Hollis, otherwise 
called " Sweat's tavern," was built by Moses Sweet, Esq., and conducted'by him 
for many years. He sold to Col. Nicholas Ridlon. While he was proprietor, 
this house was well patronized. Mrs. Ridlon was a lively, entertaining land- 
lady, who was popular at her well-supplied table. The building of railroads 
and consequent removal of the stage lines left the old-time taverns " out in the 
cold," and their patronage so far declined that many of the creaking sign- 
boards were taken down and their doors closed to travelers. 

At Moderation, Albion Strout carried on the public house and stabling 
business on Hollis side of the Saco river for several years. I think he was 
succeeded by William Sherman, who sold to Timothy Tarbox as early as 1848. 
The latter kept open house here many years. Here the Saco stage horses 
were changed at the time Bill Berry was driving, and many years subsequently. 
Mr. Tarbox was a cheerful, lively-spirited landlord, who kept a roaring open 
fire burning on his office hearth. He was a noisy person about the stable, and 
could be heard shouting to the horses all through the neighborhood. That 
broad corner room has echoed to the clang of lusty laughter on many a winter 
night, while the storm without roared, and the sharp sleet rattled against the 
window-panes. When "Jace" Wakefield, " Elce" Guilford and the loud- 
laughing John Eastman called in for an hour with hilarious Timothy, the land- 
lord, one might prudently undo the waistbands for the well-seasoned stories 
told, and the humorous jokes hurled about the hearth-stone were enough to 
disturb the dead. Sometimes Uncle " Ike " Townsend would drop in to 
moisten his parched tongue, and when the liquid "oats" began to take effect, 
some of the most original and funny speeches that ever tickled a fellow's sensi- 
tive rib, might be looked for. The old man's oval face, naturally high flavored 


with color, would take on a ruddier hue and shine in the firelight, while his 
little mealy-looking eyes would snap and twinkle like so many stars in the 
" milky way." Here came " Nate " Graffam, who could " make up " the worst- 
looking faces of any man living ; for this he had natural capacity. 

At Standish the Shaws seem to have been early innkeepers; but the 
Tompsons, at the corner, were long known as landlords. A public house was 
early opened at York's Corner, and one was kept open since the author's recol- 
lection, but the proprietors' names have not reached me. 

The public house at Baldwin was owned by Isaac Dyer, but conducted 
by several persons employed by the proprietor to whom he leased the estab- 
lishment. This was an old stage station, and about it there was considerable 
business bustle, and a fair degree of patronage for years. 

At Limington Corner a place for the entertainment of travelers was 
opened at an early day. 

The old Mount Cutler House, at Hiram Bridge, was built by John P. 
Hubbard, in 1848, and at its dedication Francis Radeaux, one of Bonaparte's 
soldiers, played the fiddle; he died in Raymond aged about 95 years. This 
tavern was "kept" by Augustus Johnson for some years; he was succeeded 
by Simeon Mansfield, who was long a popular landlord. This house was quite 
a famous place when the old coaches were on the road, and here the rough- 
and-ready river-drivers assembled when the day's labor was over. 

The first inn opened in Fryeburg was kept by Ezekiel \\'alker, who was 
licensed by the town; this house was near the Centre, in the vicinity of Bear 
pond. The old Oxford House, where Daniel Webster boarded when teaching 
at the academy, in 1802, was at one time owned and conducted by John Smith, 
the old heroic stage-driver. His housekeeper was his niece, Molly Brewster, 
who presided with charming grace, and the house was deservedly popular. 
He sold out and purchased the James R. Osgood mansion and there kept 
"open doors" to many of his former patrons. 

In Brownfield the first tavern was opened as early as 1800, by John 
Stickney, where his grandson, William H. Stickney, now resides; this was an 
old-fashioned " way-side inn," where occasional travelers found entertainment. 

The first tavern in Conway was built by Col. Andrew McMillan, and the 
present McMillan House stands on the same site. This old-time inn stands 
beneath stately elms in the lower section of North Conway, surrounded by 
broad, green lawns, and has long been a popular resting place for the weary 
and wayfaring. Gilbert McMillan kept the house for many years, and he 
was succeeded by his son, John McMillan, who was endowed with a combina- 
tion of faculties which constituted him an attractive and successful landlord. 

The history of the old taverns kept by the Crawfords, Willeys, Thompsons 
and others near the White Mountains, is too well known to be more than 
mentioned here. 

5:HE earliest stage line that touched the Saco valley, of which we 
have found any account, extended from Portland to Boston, passing 
through Saco, and was established in the year 1800. This service 
was managed by Stephen Littlefield until his death, in 1834, when 

his son William, who had handled the reins from the age of sixteen, succeeded. 
In 1842, when the railroad connected the two cities, this old line was discon- 
tinued, and William put on a line of coaches between Saco village and the 
station, continuing to carry the mails; thus the two Littlefields, father and son, 
had handled the Saco mails for more than seventy years. They were both 
men of strict integrity, courteous, and very popular with the traveling public. 

At the time the new Laconia mills were ready for operation, in the years 
1845, 1847, and 1849, there was quite an exodus of the farmers' daughters 
from the back towns of York and Oxford counties; all hands were away to 
Saco and Biddeford to work in the factories. It was not necessary, at this 
time, to send agents to Ireland and Scotland to procure operatives to run the 
spin-frames and looms. The farmers had plenty of daughters to spare, and 
these quickly responded to the call for help. Many of these robust children 
of the broad-shouldered yeomanry had been "raised on burnt ground," as 
Uncle Daniel Decker once said, and had inhaled a quantity of charcoal suffi- 
cient to digest "boarding-house hash." 

Up to this time the meagre mails had been gathered up and carried either 
by men on horseback or with a single team. Several times Peleg Gerrish had 
gone down to Saco with a cargo of "up-country girls," as they were then called, 
and foresaw that the new mills .soon to be erected by the Pepperill company, 
which was incorporated about this time, would create a demand for more 
operatives and further augment the patronage of a regular stage line. There 
was still another factor to encourage the undertaking. The mails mightily 
increased between Saco and the up-river towns, as the statistics show ; indeed, 
there was a regular boom in the postal service of the Saco valley at the time 
the great mills were set running "down country." Why? From the simple 
fact that from four to six hundred half-homesick country girls in the mills and 
boarding-houses were spending their Sunday afternoons writing sentimental 
love-letters to their "sparks," who swung the scythes up in the buttercup 
meadows during the dreamy days of midsummer, and pitiful lamentations to 


their parents that usually contained the stereotyped and melancholy informa- 
tion: "This finds us enjoying rather poor health, and we hope you are enjoy- 
ing the same blessing." Sometimes the memory of the old family table would 
find expression in such words as these : " How we want a taste of mother's 
injun puddin' and apple-dowdy." 

Moreover, those who had an eye to business saw that there would be, 
eventually, a rebound of this migratory wave; that these exuberant creatures, 
who had beforetime roamed and romped over the whole domain of the farm 
and forest, would become weary of the confinement and noise of the mills and 
the regular rotation of the boarding-house bill of fare, and, ere long, go to 
their old homes to rest, recruit, show their new gear, and se6 their "fellers." 
This prophecy proved true, as will soon appear. 

In 1844 a line of stages was put on by the O'Brions, of Cornish, between 
that town and Portland, and the following year Joseph T. Bickford established 
and operated a stage line between Saco and Lovell, via Buxton Old Comer, 
Buxton Centre, Bog Mill, York's Corner, Steep Falls, Baldwin Corner, Den- 
mark Corner, and East Fryeburg. He also ran a line between Sebago and 
Bridgton, on which his brother William drove. An old printer,* employed in 
the office of the Saco Democrat, "set up" and printed the handbills announc- 
ing the establishment of this stage line up the east side of the Saco, in the 
early summer of 1845. Mr. Bickford owned and ran this stage line until 
the railroad was built from Portland to Steep Falls, when the section between 
that point and Saco was discontinued. 

In the spring of 1847, "Pea" Gerrish went down the Saco from Cornish 
to take a survey of the route on HoUis side ; to get the "lay o' the land," ex- 
amine the hills, and see what terms could be made at the taverns for stabling, 
changing horses, and dinners. He decided to establish a line via Bonnie 
Eagle, Moderation, and Bar Mills, on Hollis side, and thence across the river 
to Colonel Berry's tavern, where he waited to dine. At this point he struck 
Bickford's route, and drove down to Saco over the same road. On this line 
Mr. Gerrish drove about a year, sold out to the O'Brions, of Cornish, and was 
succeeded in 1848 by William Berry, who out-championed all the jolly fellows 
who vied with each other on the x-arious Saco valley routes. He was a hand- 
some, dashing young man, who made considerable show on the road. He wore 
a large, bright-colored cravat, and a drab hat with the rather wide brim rolled 
up at the sides. His manners were attractive, and his conversation engaging. 
With great politeness he gave much attention to the comfort of his passengers. 
He could read human nature at a glance, and sized up his patrons with un- 
mistakable precision. He was an expert reinsman, and had a reputation for 
safe driving, but his boldness assumed too much risk to those under his care, 

* Robert B. Wentworth, of Portage, Wis., formerly of Buxton. 


and while running horses on the circuitous drive-way by which he approached 
Berry's tavern, at Buxton Lower Corner, with the driver of an opposition stage, 
he capsized, and one of his passengers was very seriously injured, a costly 
experiment for the proprietors of the line. 

Of course the lawyers going to and coming from court, and ministers 
when attending their quarterly-meetings, rode on these stages. There were 
lumbermen, and river-drivers at certain seasons with their long ashen "hand- 
speeks," and various other classes who went up and down country occasionally 
by this public conveyance, but the principal patrons were the factory girls 
going to seek employment, or the weary ones returning home for a vacation. 
These farmers' daughters were, perforce, rather verdant when on their first 
down-river trip. They were shy and bashful withal, and blushed and giggled 
as such unsophisticated young women will when the corn of common sense is 
only "in the milk." They were sometimes dressed in plain homespun, but 
honest linsey-woolsey, gowns, and their pretty faces were shaded with ample 
sun-bonnets of pink print, laundried as tidily as could be. Their spare ward- 
robe and "fixin's" were housed away among dried rose leaves and lavender 
in their little, red, round-covered trunks, tied about with pieces of bed-cord, 
or in bandboxes and divers bundles in bandannas. It was a picturesque spec- 
tacle to see Bill Berry on the box of his great coach, his six spirited horses 
coming into Saco upon the dead run, and above him on the "hurricane deck," 
as he called it, a half-dozen of these bright-eyed country girls. How he would 
come thundering down Main street and dash up to the front of Jerry Gordon's 
tavern ! 

At one time when driving down he was well loaded, within and without 
coach, with factory girls. It was midsummer, and while passing through the 
woods below Salmon Falls they were overtaken by a heavy shower. The rain 
came down in torrents, and nothing but circumscribed and fragile sunshades 
with which to shield their precious but delicate head gear. As they trundled 
on. Bill would rally the spirits of the almost disconsolate girls by such words 
as: "Never mind, ladies, never mind; they have plenty of new bonnets 
down in town. Don't shed a tear, my good girls; the sun will come out long 
before we reach town, and you will be as dry as a chip." But this was 
unavailing, so far as dress goods were concerned, for really all hands were, as 
the Scotchman declared when they got down from the coach before the gazing 
throng about the tavern, "as wet as a drooket craw." Nevertheless, when 
they found that there was no alternative but to sit and soak, they laughed and 
joked and sang until Bill Berry declared that there was more fun in a woman 
when she was thoroughly drenched by a shower than under any other condi- 
tion. I am writing of " Stage Lines and Drivers," with factory girls for trim- 
mings. See .■* 

Well, these new recruits entered the mills and worked two months for 


sixty cents a week and their board. "Board! What do you call board?" 
asked a silver-haired woman, as I wrote, who was down there in 1848. I can- 
not write what s/ie likened the "living" to. Of course, when settlement-day 
came the wages did not aggregate much, but away the glad girls went, and the 
way they decked themselves out in artificial flowers and bright ribbons was 
death to their pocket-books. But when the wages gave them from four to five 
dollars a week they went in strongly for cheap jewelry. There were gold 
beads for Amanda's plump neck, rings for Triphena's dimpled finger, long, 
swinging pendants for Rachel's ears, and a "buzzum pin" for Prudence. 
What a time they had, to be sure, when at their boarding-house they pierced 
each other's ears. How they squalled and danced about! 

Still writing about stage-drivers, as the reader will presently see. It is 
now autumn, and the " sere leaf" is falling. This is the season for the factory 
girls to sing, "We are homeward bound," and mean it, too. A half-dozen of 
these have settled, made their purchases, packed their trunks, which some- 
times .contained "factory cloth " for which the possessor could show no invoice, 
and were waiting for "Berry" to drive down to their boarding-house — "cor- 
poration boardin'-house," if you please. Hark! "Crack!" That's Bill's whip- 
snapper, true's you live, and the old, reeling, bouncing coach comes rumbling 
down the street. A hurried kiss for the mistress of the house, a thousand 
good-byes for their room-mates, and a blush for the young men standing around, 
and these merry-hearted, " hame-going " girls are seated upon the "hurricane 
deck " back of and above the driver. They were all acquainted mth Bill ; of 
course they were; didn't they go down with him in a shower, and get sousing 
wet? Ah, yes, crack goes the long whip, and they go up Main street as if the 
" deevil " was after them, with the ribbons a-flying and the cheeks a-blushing, 
homeward bound ! a forty-mile ride into the hill-countiy. They laughed, they 
joked, they sang songs that would have made their puritanical old mothers' 
ears tingle and eyes snap with great amazement. Never mind, they were 
going home, and the pent-up mirth beguiled the hours on the road. And do 
you think those old stage-drivers — there ! What did I tell you, reader ? — were 
a dull, sanctimonious set? Well now, beloved, you may be assured that their 
humorous eye-teeth were " cut," and that their witticisms, though harmless, 
were sometimes rather highly flavored for sober folk. They were, as a matter 
of policy, sociable fellows, who, if they did not, like counter-girls, sell smiles 
by the yard like tape, disposed of them in quantities for gain to win the favor 
of the traveling public. It /,!/,/ to be polite and accommodating, and so they 
practised such virtues. The popular Bill ISerry could readily adapt himself, 
and the atmosphere about him, to the capacity or character of those who sat 
on the box with him or on the high seats of the four-wheeled synagogue, above. 
He could be grave or gay, serious or hilarious. Of compliments, he had great 
store, and distributed them most liberally when he had a half-dozen good- 


natured, appreciative factory girls aboard. He enjoyed their company, and, 
being then a single man, in no danger of being scalped, he had been known 
to take his pay by a draft on a pretty girl's cheek, in lieu of silver, as he handed 
her down at her father's door. 

When leaving Saco he was observed to be silent and thoughtful for the 
first few miles out. He was, on such occasions, waiting to discover what drift 
the conversation would take, so that he might know what kind of an expres- 
sion to hang out. If the company were mirthfully inclined, and the themes 
were calculated to stimulate entertaining comment, he would not long remain 
a "silent partner." If, on the other hand, a smoothly-shaven man with a black 
coat and white neckcloth was on the top within ear-shot, Bill was as serious 
as a man under "consarn o' mind"; indeed, he could assume a very religious 
air, and engage in theological discussion with apparent enthusiasm. But when 
he had a bevy of choice spirits on board, a dozen mill girls homeward bound, 
ready to explode with exuberant animal life, and he knew it, a wonderful sense 
of relief was experienced, and expressed in no doubtful way, when the straight- 
laced dominie had reached his point of departure; then there would be music 
in the air all along the route. Aye, a free, traveling concert for all who lived 
along the way. 

Farmers' sons toiling in the fields, hearing the rumbling of the coach or 
the melody that floated on the air, would lean on the hoe or rake, raise their 
chip hats, and shoot kisses at long range, while Bill cracked his whip, and 
through a cloud of summer dust would go down through the valleys with horses 
at the full gallop. Some sarcastic remarks were heard about "green girls still 
tied to their mothers' apron strings," who were seen peeping from window 
sides or cape-bonnets in the blueberry patch of the cow pasture. 

Bill Berry not only knew every man who lived along the route, but was 
familiar with their peculiarities. He had a quick, discerning eye that instantly 
saw the funny side of everything that appeared on the road. He was ac- 
quainted with the Bean and Smith families in Hollis, knew of their keen 
mother-wit, and the quaint things they were capable of saying. He would 
sometimes overtake one of the Beans on the road, and chat with him as they 
walked at the coach-side, to draw out something for the amusement of his pas- 
sengers. At one time, when walking his horses up the rising ground below 
the old Joe Haley place, he fell in with Charles Bean, and a little way ahead the 
well-known and short-legged Sam Graffam was stubbing along. Berry asked 
Charles what ailed that little man going over the hill. This was the answer : 
"There's nothin' ails the man. Mister Berry, only the seat of his pant-a-loons 
drags in the sand." That was a "Bean blossom" of which we have a field 
full in another department. 

On another day as Berry drove down the Guide-board hill into the old Alfred 
road, between Moderation and Bonnie Eagle, he encountered Cyrus Bean, and 


for the fun of the thing, invited him to climb up and ride. As they crossed 
the Gulf bridge they saw another man, somewhat out of proportion, waddling 
along by the road-side. His trunk seemed to be large and well developed, but 
his nether limbs were scarcely long enough for comfortable locomotion. Bill 
saw there were all the essential combinations for sport, and in a pitiful tone 
of voice asked Cyrus what caused the man's lameness. He instantly replied 
is his inimitable way: "Why, Mister lierry, the man aint lame at all; he's just 
like a toad, allers the tallest when he's a-sittin' down." How Bill Berry 
roared! Crack went his lash, and the horses galloped up to the old Brice Lane 
tavern door, where, with great demonstration of gratitude, and " I'm greatly 
ableeged to ye, Mister Berry," Cyrus took his leave of the gallant knight of 
the whip. 

At one time the stable-man at Cornish did not "grease the wheels" of 
Berry's coach, and the axle became hot on the road, a few miles out of Saco. 
He saw that the horses were sweating more than usual, and found the axle 
and box welded and the latter turning in the wheel-hub. Nothing discon- 
certed, he unloaded, set his mill girls to picking strawberries, and was off to 
a farmer's for some kind of a vehicle with which to carry his passengers into 
town. At last he came with a long hay-rack, about half filled with straw; upon 
this he seated his jolly crew, hitched on his leaders, and leaving the coach by 
the road-side drove to the tavern in rustic gear. What a shout went up all 
along the street as the crowds of interested spectators beheld this novel spec- 
tacle going with the speed and noise of a war chariot through the town ! It 
just suited Bill Berry, who was on the very crest of the wave of human glory. 

Neither roads upheaved by frost nor blockaded by snow could stop Bill 
Berry; he was bound to be on time, and would take down bars and drive 
through fields when the highways were impassable. It was his custom to run 
the hills and upon the apex to stop for his horses to rest. He considered this 
easier for his team. 

But it was when " Ike " Dyer put on his opposition stages and undertook 
to run Berry off the line that affairs assumed a somewhat serious and some- 
times dangerous aspect. Dyer had the money, and the Cloughs, for whom 
Berry was then driving, had the pluck and good horses. Every trick that 
"witty invention" could contrive was employed by the competing drivers to 
gain an advantage. The two stages left Saco at about the same time, and the 
driver who found himself in the rear watched for a clear track and ran by 
the rival stage, if possible. Berry almost always took the lead and kept his 
position. He kept an eye out at the side, and with whip in hand was ready 
to tickle the ears of his leaders when an attempt was made to pass him on 
the road. It was something fearful to see these two furious Jehus running 
their six-horse teams for dear life, while the old bounding, careening coaches, 
with their frightened passengers, went heaving through clouds of dust as thick 


as that raised by a powerful whirlwind. When approaching the taverns the 
"tug of war" was on, and with vehement driving and terrible risk of life and 
limb each sought to reach the door-stone first. It was in a race like this that 
the accident, before-mentioned, occurred. But Berry was an expert reinsman, 
who knew all the arts of coach navigation ; he had the best horses and the 
contempt of danger that nearly always made him the victor. 

Alas ! poor fellow; he had just been happily married and was moving his 
household goods across the river, at Hiram, when his spirited horse became 
unmanageable and went over the side of the old "stringer" bridge, and the 
kind-hearted and popular stage-driver lost his life. It was not known whether 
he was killed instantly by a stove that was on the load when he fell, or if he 
was drowned. He could not swim, always having a dread of the river. Hun- 
dreds assembled along the banks on the following day as boatmen were drag- 
ging for his body, but it was not found until several days after, when, during 
a heavy thunder shower, it rose and was taken away for burial. 

Few men in the common walks of life were so well and favorably known 
as Bill Berry. He had a host of warm friends, who delighted to do him 
honor; and it affords the author great pleasure to write this humble tribute to 
a manly man, who kindly noticed him when a barefooted school-boy, trudging 
along the dusty road. He had an inexhaustible fund of humor and an inter- 
minable string of stories with "pints" in them with which to regale his pas- 
sengers. He would sometimes have that musical genius, Murch Chick, upon 
the high seat above him, and by well-applied flattery keep his magic fiddle- 
bow going until he swore that his "elbow-grease had all run out." At other 
times the dry wag known as Orse Smith would be upon the box, and then woe 
betide the sober man in the company. He who could restrain laughter when 
the quaint sayings of that unfortunate fellow were in the air was dead enough 
to be buried. 

These were days of slow travel, when the stage-driver was looked upon 
as a man of considerable importance. As he came into the towns and 
hamlets along his route the idle ones would be assembled about the taverns, 
waiting for the arrival, to watch the driver as he came sweeping around the 
curves to the broad door-stone and shouted "Whoa ! " With what nonchalant 
airs and dexterity he threw the long reins to the hurrying hostler and wound 
the long lash around the hickory whip-stock ! He was regarded as a hero 
and a dashing gentleman by the young folk ; tMs we are sure of. And when 
the fresh horses were in harness and all was ready, the driver would enter the 
tavern hall and lustily shout, "All aboard " ; then what bustling of passengers ! 
And the comments made by the spectators ! While the saucy mill girls slung 
squibs at those along the way, they, themselves, became the subject of many 
a sarcastic ejaculation. 

Lewis O'Brion, Esq., of Boston, informs me that he commenced driving 


Stage the 2d of March, 1847, when sixteen years of age, and drove nearly all 
the thne until April, 1859. Not all the time, however, from Cornish to Saco, 
but from 1853 to 1859 he drove from Madison, N. H., via Freedom, N. H., 
North Parsonsfield, Limerick, Waterborough, Hollis Centre, and Salmon Falls, 
to Saco. He says: "William Berry left the Cornish and Saco line and went 
over to drive from Portland, via Baldwin, Hiram, Fryeburg, and Conway. 
Naham and Levi Clough followed William Berry, and Jacob Mudgett followed 
Clough. Albert Weeks, of East Parsonsfield, followed me on the line from 
Saco to Madison, via Limerick. I am quite unable to tell you when the stage 
quit running from Saco." 

John Smith, born in Newbury, Vt., came to Conway in 1833 and estab- 
lished a stage line between the mountains and Portland. He made five 
journeys to Washington to secure mail routes. He estimated that the miles 
covered by him when driving stage would have equaled nine journeys around 
the world. He had many adventures with rival stage-drivers, who had put 
on competing lines of coaches and tried to run him off the track. He was 
not the kind of man, however, to succumb to opposition ; it was only an 
impetus to greater exertion, and he extended his daily line so as to cover the 
whole distance between the mountains and Portland in a day. The distance 
was more than one hundred miles, and his coaches came down through the 
Crawford Notch very early in the morning, so early that forty miles were cov- 
ered before breakfast, which was taken at Fryeburg. On the journey back he 
dined at Fryeburg and took tea at the foot of the mountains. He sold to little 
Job Cushman, who was as fussy as an old maid. He disposed of the line to 
Naham Clough and bought the stages running between Bridgton and South 
Paris, where he connected with the Grand Trunk Railroad. 

Levi Clough, brother of Naham, drove on the regular line from Saco to 
Cornish, thence through Kezar Falls and Porter village to Freedom, N. H., at 
the time Isaac Dyer put on his opposition stages, and had many an adventure 
on the road and at the hotels, where he changed horses. He was a little, 
waspy fellow, full of crazy pluck, and sometimes took great hazard with his 
passengers when his temper was up. ,\t one time the ri\al driver reached 
the Tarbox tavern at Moderation before Clough, and stopped right in the 
drive-way by which he wished to reach the door-stone. "Little Levi" kindly 
asked him to move out of his way, but he replied with taunting language, 
mingled with oaths. "Very well," said the )ello\v-haired knight of the whip, 
and, cracking his long lash over his leaders' heads, he drove them over the 
door-stone, against the tavern, inside of the other small coach, and dragged the 
whole team, with driver, into the road, smashing wheels and tearing away 
the paint. From that time forward Levi had the drive-way to himself. He 
was witty, full of humor, and by craft sometimes induced a woman to ride with 
him, while by some misunderstanding her husband would be left to the trun- 


dling stage run by the rival driver employed by Ike Dyer. After leaving the 
box Levi Clough went into the army, and served as wagoner. Returning, he 
secured a small pension, and spent his last days at Cornish and at the Soldiers' 
Home at Togus. He was a kind-hearted man, who could tell a good story, 
and his genial manners and chivalrous spirit won him the warm esteem of the 
traveling public. "Little Levi" died in 1892. 

A Mr. Morse owned the line from Limerick to Saco, via Waterborough 
and Salmon Falls, many years, and I think he ran the stage from Limerick to 
Moderation, via North Hollis, calling at the old brick tavern there. At any 
rate, it was known as the " Morse stage." Robert Whitehouse held the whip 
on this line for a period, but afterwards drove from Moderation to Saco. The 
line between Limington and Buxton Centre, via West Buxton, was long 
conducted by Lemuel Davis and, his sons, but he was succeeded by "Rod" 
Larrabee and Alonzo Lane, of Bonnie Eagle, and bought out Job Cushman 
on the Bridgton and Paris line, where, at his death, he was succeeded by 
Sumner Davis, his son, who continues on the box as a painstaking and pop- 
ular driver. 






i\'jtern ^li^Hcm (l^mi||ratioit. ;1 





E have elsewhere intimated that swarms from the settlements on the 
Saco river had gone forth to establish homes in distant localities, 
where their posterity may still be found. Such an exodus occurred 
in 1795, 1798, and 1800. Elder ^Morris Witham, a Baptist preacher 
and land speculator, said to have been a native, or an inhabitant, of Standish, 
made a journey on horseback to the Western Reserve, now Ohio, in 1795-7, 
and possessed himself of an extensive tract of land in that territory. It has 
been said that this land consisted of claims he had purchased of Revolutionary 
soldiers, but for this we cannot vouch. He first sat down in the Little Miami 
valley, now within the corporation of Cincinnati, but not being contented there 
he purchased a thousand acres of land ten miles east of Columbia, where he 
selected the location for a settlement. 

After an absence of several months, he returned to the Saco, bringing 
such a glowing account of his visit and of the rich bottom lands, pure water, 
salubrious climate, and beautiful timber, that he induced several families to 
sell out and follow him to the then far West. He might have been seen dressed 
in black garb, wearing a broad-brimmed hat, riding on an old yellow mare, 
from one neighborhood to another, up and down in the Saco valley, where, 
gathering around him a group of the amazed settlers, he would enlarge upon 
the description of what he had witnessed. Being a minister of the gospel, 
every one //ie» believed all he said. He told of soil, black as gunpowder, in 
which corn and wheat grew higher than the tallest of men; of fountains of 
water, inexhaustible and sweet as nectar; of natural grasses for pasturage, 
where cattle became hog-fat in a few weeks without attention; of tall chestnut 
growth from which fence-rails could be split with an axe-stroke, as straight as 
a line, and of abundant cedar from which clear chipboards and shingles could 
be made that would never decay. He said Mohawk potatoes grew as large as 
"Caleb Kimball's foot"; and, judging from that of his son Eleazer, seen by 
many of us, these tubers must have lieen of enormous proportions. We may ' 
hear more about them presently. 

The fact was Elder Witham was a man of many superior parts, who wanted 
to preach the gospel and sjicculate in land at the same time. He believed 
that the saints were to inherit the earth, and wanted to secure ///> share before 
the territory was absorbed. He was a General, otherwise " Hard-shelled," 


Baptist, whose creed wasyV/jY right; and he wished everybody else to become 
Baptists. As we survey the movements of the elder, assisted by the testimony 
of several very excellent persons interviewed in the West, who were personally 
acquainted with him, it appears that he cherished the hope, that when settled 
down upon his claim on the Ohio, surrounded by a cluster of families apart 
from all other communities, and undisturbed by any interference from the 
other religious sects, he could build up a little kingdom of his own, all of one 
theological stripe. Certainly, if he could herd the old sheep, he might put his 
own religious ear-mark on the lambs ; if he should feed the flock, he also might 
hope to share in the fleeces thereof. Why not? This was according to the 
apostolic teaching that the ox that treadeth out the corn shall not be muzzled. 
He was not like his ancient noble predecessor, Nehemiah of sacred story, 
tempted to go down to the plains of Ono, but to the rich bottom lands of the 
Western Reserve. We shall see that the whole inception and execution of 
the elder's plan, so far as it ^cas executed, had not been a hap-hazard, but a 
well-arranged, scheme, which bid fair to materialize, and to assume organized 

He surveyed and laid out his land, disposed of to those who had followed 
him to the West, very ingeniously. These lots were so arranged that the 
owners, by building their farmsteads on one end, would form a hamlet all in 
compact association around a common centre. 

He returned a second time (and the last) to New England, in the autumn 
of 1799, for the purpose of inducing other families to go West. Having 
waited until those who had first emigrated could harvest a crop from the new 
land, he brought to the East in his saddle-bags some of the fruits of this 
goodly country to prove the statements true made by him on his first home- 
ward trip. There were potatoes of tremendous size, but not as large as Caleb 
Kimball's foot; ears of corn large, long, and well-ripened, and a braid of 
prairie grass of remarkable growth. With these " specimens of the grapes 
from Eschol" he rode from neighborhood to neighborhood, exhibiting them to 
the amazed inhabitants. As a further proof of the fertility of the soil, he had 
brought letters from those who had followed him West for their friends and 
kindred in the Saco valley. These epistles were as high colored in descriptive 
phrase as the narrow schooling of the writers would admit of. One wrote that 
their potatoes grew so large that while he was employed with his pen a brother 
was sitting on one end of a Shenango, eating potato and butter, while the other 
end was roasting in the embers of the fire-place. Another stated that the 
corn was of such phenomenal growth that the kernels were cracked with a 
sledge-hammer before they could be ground in a mill. The only trouble com- 
plained about was that the wild grasses were so nutritious that their cows in 
a few weeks became so fat that their milk was dried up and they must be 
turned for beef. 


These specimens of their first harvest, and the descriptive letters written 
by the homesick pioneers, were the bacteria of an early western fever, brought 
into the Saco valley settlements, that spread until many families were hope- 
lessly infected. The excitement grew, and industrious men neglected their 
farm work and assembled in groups of dozens to discuss plans for removing 
to the westward. As a result, those who owned good land and comfortable 
buildings; whose expanding fields were dotted with a goodly number of cattle 
and sheep; who had passed through the preliminary struggle of cutting away 
the forests and of subduing the soil, and were entering upon an era of agri- 
cultural prosperity, were overwhelmed by this western wave, sold their farms 
and stock in haste, at ruinous prices, pulled up stakes, turned their backs 
upon kindred and native land, and followed, rather anticipated, the advice of 
Horace Greeley — to "go West." 

Many of these farmers spent about all the money received for their farms 
and stock for large horses, wagons, and harnesses for their journey. In one 
neighborhood they hired a man, supposed to be a shrewd business calculator, 
to go to Haverhill, Mass., to purchase horses, one of which was said to have 
been so broad across the back that Joe Decker, Sr., rode about the door-yard 
standmg upon his hips. All the cord-winders in the Saco valley were called 
to cut up sides of leather and make harnesses for these big horses, while the 
millwrights and wheelwrights were cutting and slashing with all their might 
to build wagons of commensurate proportions for the accommodation of the 
emigrant families and their few remaining household goods. 

It was a sad season indeed when the hour of parting came, and we can- 
not apprehend the strength of motive that was powerful enough to separate 
these members of a family connection under such circumstances. Were they 
possessed of the finer sensibilities of filial affection and kindred attachment, 
when they could voluntarily isolate themselves from all the associations that 
would seem to have bound them to tlie homes of their childhood, and encounter 
unknown conditions? They well knew that these separations would be final, 
so far as this world was concerned. 

From the lips of an aged man in southern Illinois, where I was visiting 
twenty years ago, I wrote down some reminiscences of the parting scenes and 
journey as he remembered them when, as a lad, he was carried \\'est by his 
parents. It was a balmy morning in June, at "flax-bloom time," when those 
composing the emigrating party took lea\e of their friends and left the Saco 
valley. Arrangements had been made for the families of Bra"dbury, Warren, 
Lane, Townsend, Bennett, Rounds, W'entworth, and Redlon to meet at Salmon 
Falls, and from that point to follow Elder Witham, who was to return to the 
West, as he had come Fast, on horseback. Some of the fathers and mothers 
in middle life, with their children, had passed the night at the down-river 
home of their aged parents. Before daybreak there was much confusion, as 


preparations for leaving were made. White-haired old men sat at the chim- 
ney side with bowed heads, wiping away the falhng tears. Venerable mothers, 
who had spent their strength for their children, with many a sigh were now 
assisting their sons and daughters to leave them. There were brothers and 
sisters who had come from twenty to forty miles, from the back towns, to say 
farewell to those who had been nursed upon the same maternal bosom and 
rocked in the same old cradle. More distant relatives and neighbors had also 
congregated about the old house-place. 

Elder Lewis, called "Uncle Eben," was there, and as all bowed together 
for the last time, on earth, he commended them to the care of an all-nierciful 
God in a most tender but powerful prayer. Amid falling tears these fathers, 
mothers, brothers, and sisters fondly embraced each other. One by one the 
children were kissed and handed up to the great covered wagon. " Farewell, 
Abram!" said a patriarchal father with uncovered head, as his snowy locks 
floated in the wind. "Good-by, Patience!" sobbed a poor, old, wrinkled 
mother, as she looked upon her first-born daughter for the last time. " Good- 
by, gran'pa and gramma," cried a quartette of little voices from the wagon. 
Crack! went the great leather whip, and the party moved away. 

Long and sadly did the group about the door stand and silently watch 
the receding teams. Scarcely a word could be uttered by reason of the full- 
ness of every heart. One by one they separated and pensively went their way. 
The aged ones went back to their lonely hearth-stone, where they wept and 
groaned aloud. But little work was done during the day; a thick, sombre cloud 
hung over all. This is no imaginary picture; it is but the too cold attempt to 
describe, in brief, what actually took place, as related, with much pathos, by 
one who clearly recalled all the particulars. Nor does this account apply to 
one family, to the parting of one kindred band, but to many. Those who moved 
down river from the upper part of Phillipsburgh, now Hollis, were witnesses of 
what occurred at other homes, as the caravan was made up on the road. 

Cooking utensils were carried in each wagon, and when night came on 
the train was drawn up in a circle, their horses tethered to hubs driven into 
the ground and watched in turn by their owners, while the busy women were 
preparing food for supper. Seeing their fires, people living in the neighbor- 
hood of the encampment would come out to see them and often bring them 
something for refreshment. Jolly times they had around those evening circles. 
I asked my old informant if Elder Witham took any of the " O-be-joyful " on 
the journey, and he replied: "Why, yes; everybody drank the ardent in 
them days." 

The women had been spinning " stockin'-yarn " all winter, and as they 
journeyed or camped around the fire continued their knitting work, and the 
cold season found many a little foot encased in the stockings knitted while 
on the way to 'Hio. 


Their horses wore wooden hames, and when they reached Pennsylvania, 
the poor creatures had become so badly galled, that it was found necessary to 
halt for two weeks, while these sore shoulders healed. During this time, being 
in a Dutch settlement, the men threshed grain and the women spun flax for 
those with whom they tarried to "pay their keeping." After waiting as long 
as circumstances would admit of, and finding their horses still too sore for 
harness, some of the Yankees exchanged with the Dutchmen. One of these 
found a "tight-bitted mear" on his hands, and the "ole critter would run and 
kick like a mu-el." Lively incidents were of frequent occurrence en route. 
They ran horses until the wagon rattled like an "airth quaker," and the dust 
rose like a thick cloud for a half-mile along the road. One of their company 
had taken his fiddle to while away a pleasant hour on the road, and betimes 
there would be music and dancing around the fire at evening. This reminds 
me that my quaint old story-teller said his mother, " Pashunse, was a powerful 
dancer, and could tucker down any man she ever met." 

When ascending the Alleghany mountains, the road was so steep that they 
found it necessary to double up their teams and draw their heavy wagons up 
by stages, two men walking behind to trig the wheels when a stop was made 
to allow the horses to rest. In descending, long withes were twisted into the 
sides of their wagon-covers, and by these, held in the hands of men who 
walked on the upper side, they prevented their wagons from capsizing. One 
of the lads was riding on a young horse which stumbled, threw him upon the 
ledge, and fractured his arm. This sad accident happened at a point where the 
declivity was so steep that the teams could not be stopped ; consequently, 
the lad was placed in one of the great, jolting wagons, where he was left to 
suffer excruciating pain, until the foot-hills were reached ; then was laid upon 
a quilt by the road-side, and his broken arm bound up between rough " splints " 
hewed from a sapling cut for the purpose. Again he mounted his young horse 
and suffered terribly by the stepping of the beast upon the stony road. 

At Redstone creek, on the Ohio river, the company w aited to build great 
fiatboats, upon which to transport their families, horses, wagons, and gear down 
to the place of landing. Here a stranger fell in with them, who stated that 
he was also on his way to Ohio, prospecting for land. As he seemed to be 
honest, and as his objective point was near that of the emigrants, they allowed 
him to take a pair of their horses down by land; this would help the stranger 
and reduce their boat-load. Their passage down the river was uneventful. 
At the landing they were greeted by kindred and old acquaintances, who had 
followed Elder Witham west a few years previous. Joyful was the meeting ; 
but the man who had borrowed the horses did not appear as promised. After 
waiting for several days, the owner found one of his horses some distance up 
the river, where it had been turned out to care for itself. This animal was 
too poor and weak to be driven, and was exchanged for a heifer, and note 


which was never paid. The other horse, a valuable one, was not found, nor 
was the scoundrel, who had charge of him, ever afterwards heard from. 

Some of these families were permitted to spend their first winter in the 
homes of their kindred who had comfortable cabins ; others went immediately 
to work, and put up small log-houses. One family passed the winter in a hut, 
built of puncheons, entrenched in the ground and roofed with chestnut bark. 
This was small and had but one room. A store of meal and potatoes was laid 
in, and all the meat they had was furnished by two Dutch hunters, named Van 
Eaton, who betimes came to sleep in their hut, bringing with them venison 
and wild turkeys. In this dwelling a family, consisting of the parents and four 
children, was sheltered, and a fifth was born there during the winter. The 
father spent the time -splitting rails to pay Elder Witham for his land. 

Thus it will be seen that these families, by removing west, exchanged com- 
parative independence and comfort for poverty and suffering ; in other words, 
turned themselves and families out of doors, besides sacrificing, what was con- 
sidered to be at that time, a handsome estate in New England. It was a wild, 
reckless venture, and nothing but unsanctified selfishness upon the part of 
Elder Witham would have caused him to use the influence which he employed, 
to induce these well-housed and contented families to sacrifice all they had 
gained, by years of toil, to gratify his personal ambition for selling his land in 
the West. 

They reached their destination at "roast-ear time," so Uncle Sam said. 
Nothing to do but build a log meeting-house that very season. The following 
year several new houses were put up for families who passed their first winter 
in homes of their friends. The hamlet was called "Witham settlement" at 
that time. Thus far the projector of the scheme had executed his plans 
remarkably well, and the time had come for bringing about another phase of 
the undertaking. The flock had been gathered to the landed enclosure; he 
now wished to gather them into the denominational fold, thus to shepherd the 
sheep and their lambs and to shear them as well as he could. And to accom- 
plish this the elder went to preaching with all his might. A deep religious 
interest immediately sprang up, and nearly all who were " 'countable " were 
found to belong to the "elect" and made excellent timber for a "Gineral" 
Baptist church; they were baptized and gathered into that fold. Elder Witham 
could have sat "under his own vine and fig tree with none to molest or make 
him afraid." But ambition sometimes hurls headlong those who are led too 
far by its bewitching wiles. He expanded his plans and started for Wash- 
ington to enter another tract of land. On this journey he was taken vio- 
lently ill and soon died. He was buried "somewhere" on the bank of the 
Ohio river, but his own descendants do not know the place of his earthly rest. 
Thus ended the plans of the speculative preacher. His old parishioners, 
interviewed by me while in Ohio, thought well of him. Had he survived. 


there is no reason for doubt that he would have made another journey to the 
Saco valley fur recruits to augment his colony and enlarge his church mem- 
bership; a movement that would have left a dozen more abandoned hearth- 
stones, and obsolete old wells like those known to exist today in the Saco valley, 
where were once happy homes, in neighborhoods made up of kindred con- 
nections, who were naturally helpful in time of health, and kindly attentive in 
the hour of sickness. 

Around the old log meeting-house, built in Witham's settlement, a burying- 
ground was laid out, and there many of the parents and children, who removed 
from the river towns on the Saco, many of them when advanced to old age, 
were laid down to rest. There the widow and children of Elder W'itham were 
interred, and a fine monument marks the spot today. This old grave-yard is 
now enclosed in the public cemetery at Withamville. Nearly all of the early 
families are dead or removed farther West. A grandson of Elder W'itham, 
now quite aged, survives. Some members of the Lane family remain. Abra- 
ham Townsend and his family were among the first to remove from Phillips- 
burg to the Western Reserve. His sons were well-to-do farmers there many 
years ago, and descendants were living on the homestead, not far from Cin- 
cinnati, when I was in the West twenty years ago. 

Elder Morris Witham and his wife, Hannah, had eleven children, seven 
of whom were daughters ; to these he gave loo acres of land, to his sons, i :;o 
acres each. 

q]|a[S|i|aiBji|4irapli^ |ara[^n^ [ili^[^tsi]|;it;a |ar^|ar^|;lra|^[Sj ] |^^ 

y I 1 1 i I I M I I > i I I ) 1 n ! 1 1 I H I I ) 1 1 I M I I ) 1 1 I ) I n ) 1 1 I M M ) 1 1 I ) i I I M I I ) I M ) 1 M ) i I I M I I ) 1 M M I I » I I M I rH ;g-i^ 


m |rimiliti^ d|i)urlBhip mxi P^nrriag^. 

m |disi|iIisi'iiio'|iiEikiisi'|i& 

E are fully aware of the gravity of our subject, the almost insuper- 
able difficulties to be encountered in its literary treatment, and 
the criticisms which it may engender; nevertheless, the inquiry 
involves much that was considered important at the time of which 
we write, and we have no scruples in our attempt to delineate the customs of 
the early inhabitants who sat down in the Saco valley. Whatever was toler- 
ated at that puritanical period ought to bear the light of this decade of the 
nineteenth century. 

The affairs of which we shall make mention in our thesis were at the very 
foundation of well-ordered society, the foundation of the homes of the com- 
munity. Courtship meant something more than a formal introduction of 
strangers, followed by a few days or weeks of acquaintance among the pioneer 
families. It was serious and moderate business then, and required the exer- 
cise of considerable skill on the first skirmish line. 

A pretty face and charming personality created rivalry as arbitrary among 
suitors then as anything witnessed in the more sensitive communities of today; 
and it was not always an easy matter for a maiden with two eyes and a com- 
passionate heart to decide between two gallants of about equal manly quali- 
ties and personal prepossession, who had laid siege at her castle ; to set one 
adrift on the cold stream of time with a wounded spirit, the roar of the falls 
in his ears, and nothing but his hands to paddle with. 

And so, while the one sought for was deliberating and balancing her 
chances, it was policy for those who paid court to cultivate and bring to the 
front all those evidences of goodness and graces of manner that were at their 
command. And didn't they do it .' Muscular religion had a potent influence 
upon the fair sex in the pioneer days; much more so than now. It manifested 
itself in divers ways and sometimes with resistless power. 

Athletic sports were then popular; were practised in every neighborhood 
and encouraged by all classes. On nearly all secular public occasions — at 
the military trainings and barn raisings — the brawny young men were sure 
to engage not only in throwing and lifting at stones and stiff-heels, but in 
friendly but formidable tussle, and the broad-shouldered champion who could 
down any one in the rural hamlet was then regarded as a hero ; indeed, his 
chances for winning fair lady, when family support depended more upon 


brawn than brains, were far more hopeful than of one who was of handsome 
person and courtly manner's, unfortunately deficient in physical development- 

At house-rolling and house-raising there was an excellent opportunity for 
the expenditure and exhibition of as much muscular strength as the average 
young man had in stock, and the spirit of competition often waxed warm 
while the contentions for the mastery were radical and vehement. On these 
occasions there were always interested spectators, whose twinkling eyes and 
smiles of approbation proved a powerful incentive to the competition in 
athletic encounter. 

Now it came to pass, in the year of grace 1770, that Zachary W'alderman, 
of the Narragansett township. No. i, was ready to raise the frame of his new 
farm-house, that was to supersede the small log-cabin in which he was then 
living with his family. Mr. Walderman had been an inhabitant of the plan- 
tation since about the time that hostilities had ceased in the French war. A 
native of England, he had come with his parents to the settlement at the 
mouth of the river ; had passed through the trying experiences of the Indian 
wars ; had taken his wife from a family of robust maidens at \\'inter Harbor, 
and spent the earlier years of his married life in a home on the coast. From 
the advent of his first-born his wife had been a fruitful vine, and her rich 
cluster of children were now ripening into young manhood and \vomanhood. 
Since their removal to the up-river township Mr. W'alderman and his sons had, 
by patient toil and the reward of bountiful harvests gathered from the rich 
new land, gained property, and the family required more house room. 

As the neighbors assembled upon the spot where the house was to stand, 
where the heavy broadsides were laid out and firmly pinned together ready 
for the raising, several stalwart young bucks, dressed in tow shirts and home- 
spun trousers, emerged from the woodland paths and seated tliemselves upon 
the timbers. Meanwhile, three or four of the \\alderman girls, whose sweet- 
hearting day had fully dawned, were standing in the shady kitchen of the 
log-house, close at hand, gazing through the little window upon the motley 
groups. Their prudent mother observed Iheir behavior and mildly rebuked 
them by the ingenious interrogation: "My children, why do you stand glow- 
ering at the strangers yender?" 

Now every young man who had crossed Walderman's clearing had taken 
a census of his family and knew how many of his daughters had reached the 
attractive period of young womanhood ; and, to be candid and confess the bare 
truth, the presence of these charming girls, whose fame for beauty had 
reached every clearing on the river, was the prime magnet that drew so many 
of the young men together, in response to the invitation sent forth by their 
father for help to raise his house frame. 

The able-bodied men in the settlement were still few in number, and 
after wailing some time, with the hope that others would come forward, the 


master-workman declared that the raising must be postponed until more help 
could be procured. Zachary Walderman, however, was not the man to have 
his purposes thwarted by such trivial obstacles as this seemed to be, and found, 
in his own family, a contingent force that was equal to the occasion. Sum- 
moning four of his robust daughters, who came blushing toward the frame, 
he announced that they were fully competent to hold the foot of the posts, or, 
if otherwise needed, they could put their shoulders under and raise about as 
many pounds as any of the masculine gender in the plantation. 

At the foot of the four great posts the quartette were stationed and as 
the heavy broadside was slowly elevated they all acquitted themselves of their 
charge without a murmur or evidence of over-exertion, save a richer tint 
brought to their already rosy cheeks. When the frame had been raised and 
secured in position, the daughters retired to the house to help their mother, 
who was serving refreshments to the men. 

There was now an opportunity for the superabundant animal life of the 
brawny young men to show itself in the wrestling feats that followed. To them 
grave interests were at stake, and these muscular gladiators knew they were 
striving in their manly sports for something more substantial, more practical 
and valuable, than a fading crown of laurels. An occasional side-glance proved 
too plainly that there were bright eyes gazing upon the herculean encounters 
and that the effect of successful competition would be far-reaching in its re- 
lation to a happy or dissatisfactory life thereafter. And so they wrought and 
tugged hke giants in the arena, cheered on by the shouts of the men who 
watched them, until they left no ground for doubt as to the championship. 
The enthusiasm of the girls who witnessed the sport knew no bounds, and, 
in spite of their mother's restraint, they clapped their hands with delight when 
some favorite fellow gained a victory. This helped wonderfully to "settle 
the coffee," and paved the way for some prolonged, old-fashioned courtships 
that culminated, several years afterwards, at the marriage altar, and records 
of the event are still extant. 

There, we have now attended to our preliminaries; have laid our founda- 
tion and must describe, in as clear form as possible, how the old time gallants 
and sweethearts proceeded along the mazes of the fickle road in which so many 
feet have been pierced with thorns. Our attempt to gain reliable information 
to weave into this chapter was attended with some very amusing circum- 
stances, which seem to be worthy of notice, being part and parcel of the theme 
under treatment. Aware that there was an aged pair still living, who were 
present at the raising of the Walderman farm-house, when taking my notes 
twenty-five years ago, I ventured to visit them for an interview. They were 
very aged, as a comparison of dates will indicate, but remarkably well pre- 
served, lively, and conversational. In a round-about way, I approached the 
subject that I wished to elucidate, and at my first inquiry started a blush to 

320 piiiMiTivE couirrsifiJ- and marhtage. 

the wrinkled cheek of the dear old lady, and a ripple of laughter in the man 
at her side. It was a delicate matter, to be sure, but he who writes with the 
confidence of authority must boldly push his investigations, and secure his 
materials from original sources. I could not turn back. The shell of the 
cocoanut was now well cracked, and I must have the milk within. And so, 
rallying my courage, I proceeded to ask the old lady how love-making was 
carried on in "ye olden time." She seem embarrassed and ingeniously 
evaded my question. But I pressed my suit, and as I teased her for partic- 
ulars she shook her fist at me and said: "There! there! young man, don't 
you be so inquisitive." She put on a serious expression and declared that it 
was so many years ago that she could not distinctly remember how she 
and her husband had managed their courtship; she had, however, a vague 
recollection that it lasted for several years, was exceedingly pleasant, and 
wound up with an old-fashioned wedding. 

Finding that I was not likely to attain my object in this way, I resorted 
to an expedient. I saw that the dear old couple were of a humorous turn, and 
told them a pretty, romantic story about the boy who, when on his way to 
school, used to call and kiss a pretty little girl through the bars, where she 
often waited for his approach; how he afterward made her his wife, and re- 
moved to a distant land, and how, in after years, when he and his wife had 
become advanced in life, they returned and visited the homestead, where the 
flame of love had first been kindled ; and how, as they walked down the old 
road that led to the schoolhouse, he had extemporized these lines : 

" This old, gray wife of mine, 

When walking 'neath the stars. 
Slyly asked me how I'd like 

To kiss her through the bars." 

This had the desired effect, and before leaving, the two modestly gave 
me enough of romantic materials to fill a \olume. From my notes I condense 
the remainder of my narrative. 

On the day of Zachary Walderman's house-raising. Than Greenlaw had 
lingered behind when the neighbors had gone homeward, and found an oppor- 
tunity to drop a pretty word into the pink ear of blushing Mollie \\'alderman 
that made her little heart jump like a hungry fish; and her dreams, through 
the livelong night, had been fringed with delicious ripples of blissful sweetness 
that were indescribable, but distinctly remembered for many days. 

Now Than Greenlaw was far from being handsome, according to the 
standard of handsomeness in vogue at the time of which we write, but he was 
called a "Ukely young man" by those who valued brawn and bone. He was 
manly, of good habits, and brave as a lion. But he was comparatively poor, 
and had nothing to begin life with but the generous endowment of physical 
strength, with which nature had favored him. He gave evidence of possess- 
ing sound judgment, was a resolute worker, and, in the estimation of thoSe who 


had hewed homes from the wilderness, he stood a fair chance to succeed as 
well as others had done. But there was to be a thorn in his side, a skeleton in 
his closet. 

About this time, one of the most wealthy proprietors of the township, con- 
nected with a respectable old Newbury family, had moved into the settlement 
with his family of sons and daughters, who had been reared amid influences 
of refinement and culture. This new family had brought to their somewhat 
pretentious home good furniture and wardrobes. The sons and daughters 
came to the old meeting-house, on Sabbath mornings, dressed in fashionable 
gear, were exceedingly decorous in behavior, and prodigal of politeness. Of 
them, we are sorry to say, the young people of the rude settlement were envi- 
ous, and held themselves at a distance. Still we find that the sons, handsome 
fellows, had excited the admiration of some of the planters' daughters, and 
their appearance in the settlement had quickened the palpitation of several 
susceptible young hearts. It was a busy time for the little fellow who carried 
the silver bow, and his arrows, tipped with love's infectious nectar, were flying 

Ned Flanders, one of the new-comers, was a stranger respected for his 
respectable conduct and family connections. His education and genteel breed- 
ing made him appear, in the estimation of the young men born in the settle- 
ment, somewhat lofty and important in his bearing, but his urbane and gentle 
manners won the attention and held the warm esteem of maiiy fair ones ; 
there was no denying this. His course of life for the future, if marked out, 
was not known. He was considered competent to succeed in any calling, but 
he was too young to prophesy about. 

Somehow Than Greenlaw had come to believe this new inhabitant stood 
between him and the heart of Mollie Walderman. He had accidentally seen 
him at the window of the Walderman house, and was painfully annoyed in 
consequence. He was, however, too independent and high-minded to betray 
any change in his feelings ; too noble to play the spy. He would allow matters 
to take their course, and go about his own business. 

Zachary Walderman loved his daughters, wished to see them well settled 
in life, and was not averse to Than Greenlaw's coming to see Mollie. He 
had begun with nothing but his hands, and thought a young man of Green- 
law's build and sound judgment would be more likely to succeed in clearing 
new land and in providing for a family on the frontier, than some stripling 
with soft hands who had come from the city, westward. But, unfortunately, 
Mrs. Clarinda Walderman had a different view. She had been much taken 
with Ned Flanders, and had declared to her husband, in the presence of her 
daughters — a very unwise thing to do, of course — that the conversation of 
the young man recently at the house was delightfully entertaining, and sAe 
considered him to be a very nice fellow. Such a flattering commendation 


from the mother went far to compUcate matters between a trio of interested 
persons, namely, Moihe Walderman, Than Greenlaw, and Ned Flanders. Of 
course, all was now in cliaos; there had been no engagements made, but those 
we have mentioned had mentally staked out the ground and encouraged them- 
selves that there would be no serious obstacles to overcome. Mrs. Walderman, 
by many prudent hints, had instructed her daughters to keep a tight rein on 
their young hearts and to be cautious in their love-making; but what she had 
frankly confessed of her estimation of Flanders knocked all the keys out, and 
those interested knew there would be no objection to him in the household. 
If the several daughters, and the several young men who looked upon them 
with more than common admiration, could only be guided in selecting by some 
good angel who knew their temperaments, all would be well, but if they got 
"mismatched," as the farmers sometimes say, there would be no end of trouble. 

Both Greenlaw and Flanders occasionally called at Walderman's, but the 
customs of the times' held them under restraint to the extent that neither 
showed any partiality in their attention to the young ladies. Greenlaw was 
independent, and determined to find out whether or not Miss Mollie cared for 
him ; and as to Flanders, he was not convinced yet whether he most admired 
Mollie or her younger sister, Susie. Flanders was a fellow of keen insight, and 
could read human nature very well, but the \\'alderman girls were modest 
and said not many words when strangers were at the house ; so it was not 
easy to learn the peculiarity of the several maidens. They were all very 
pretty — had a pretty mother — and charming in their quiet, unaffected, and 
simple manners. But all were so non-committal that for one to select his coun- 
terpart he must wait until circumstances developed some evidence of the dis- 
position of the girls. Why, it was very much like going to a large stock in the 
draper's shop; the pieces are so many and all so attractive that the would-be 
purchaser can scarcely decide which she likes best, and so she stands at the 
counter and looks first at this, then at that, piece. This was the exact dilemma 
of Flanders, but the opposite of Than Greenlaw's idea of things. He had 
loved Mollie Walderman, he knew he had, and Ned Flanders might visit the 
family, or show special attention to an)- or all of the others, and he wouldn't 
care a fig. And matters remained thus for a long time. The kettle of the 
Fates was boiling, however, and something would soon come to the top. 

Fortune's wheel took a peaceful turn this time, and evidently some good 
spirit held the crank. Susie \\'alderman, two )'ears )ounger than Mollie, was 
a most charming creature in many respects. She was more vivacious, but 
much less practical, than Mollie ; more sentimental and poetic in her nature, 
but not as ready to serve and help her mother. She was possessed of unri- 
valed personal beauty, and had a form as gracefully moulded as a Grecian 
sculptor's ideal. She was, too, a real good girl ; one who was strictly consci- 
entious and very kind-hearted. 


It so happened that, as she was driving the cows down the river-side one 
spring morning, Ned Flanders, on his way to the ferry, crossed her path. He 
looked surprised, and she blusijed to her hair as they so unexpectedly met. 
But he instantly recovered his composure and saluted her with his usual polite- 
ness. The cows were in no hurry and were busily browsing while Ned and 
Susie willingly loitered and engaged in conversation. Here it was that the 
affinity of their hearts was discovered ; sly Cupid deftly slipped the silken 
cord between their spirits, and before they parted Ned Flanders had said: 
"Susie Walderman, I love you." Each went their way, Flanders to cross the 
river, Susie to drive the cows to the pasture. When she returned, her mother 
heard her humming some sentimental song and mildly chided her for being 
gone so long. But a new joy had come into her young life, and she believed 
with all her soul that Heaven decreed that she and Ned Flanders should, 
through the list of years, walk down the pathway of life side by side. 

Now Susie had come to believe, as well as Than Greenlaw, that her sister 
Mollie had regarded Ned Flanders with more than Platonic interest, and to 
avoid all misunderstanding and obviate all possibilities of ill-feeling, honest 
Susie frankly made known to Mollie how she had met Flanders and that 
they were pledged before high Heaven to walk together while they lived. At 
first Mollie evinced surprise, and a tear came to her beautiful brown eyes, but 
she at once remembered her relations to Mr. Greenlaw and felt that all would 
be well. She had all along been conscious of really loving the noble fellow, 
but her pliable mind had been caused to fluctuate, like the disturbed magnetic 
needle, by the fascinating manners and cultured conversation of the young 
man from Newbury town. Now she reproached herself for being so unstable 
minded, and determined, when the proper opportunity presented, to confess 
her sin to Than Greenlaw and tell him all that was in her heart. At first 
there was a momentary twinge in her breast with the thought of seeing Ned 
Flanders walking with Susie, but principle got the mastery, and she became 
calm and happy. As we have before intimated, courtship was conducted in a 
moderate way in those good old Puritan days, and it was fortunate for these 
of whom we write that it was so; that they had not become more entangled 
in the clinging meshes of love's web. Only a little dust had been blown into 
their eyes; they all saw clearly now. The sore heart of Than Greenlaw was 
nicely Mollie-fied when he next met Ais Miss Walderman, and there was great 
joy all along the line. The road was free from any known obstructions, and 
broad enough for all to walk in without crowding or getting mixed. Mr. 
Walderman could have the companionship of his much-respected friend, 
Greenlaw, and his wife, Clarinda, could enjoy the charming conversation of 
the genteel Flanders. Well done ! 

We must now reluctantly take our leave of the interesting sister, Susie, 
and her friend, while we follow Mollie and Greenlaw. That these were worthy 

I'lUMiTivK coiJuTs/iir A^'n maretage. 

of special attention will he apparent as we proceed with our story. The 
reader may as well pause here and take breath, for the long, intricate, winding 
road of an old-time courtship has just been entered upon, and in following 
the pair whose cause we have espoused we shall need to husband the reserve 
forces of our interest, as our patience may be quite severely strained before 
we have reached the climax of our tale. We shall be in good company, how- 
ever, and we may look for much that is picturesque and entertaining along the 
way. Crystal fountains will burst out in unlooked-for places, generous shade 
will invite a pause for rest, and, as we rise higher, beautiful table-lands, that 
command extensive views of life, will afford ample scope for our delighted 

The preliminary steps have been taken, and the stage reached where 
those in the settlement knew that Than Greenlaw and Mollie Walderman were 
"keepin' company," and the old dames said Than was " payin' 'tention to 
Mollie." Seven years were required for an apprentice to learn his trade in 
those days ; same time for courtship to ripen into marriage. These old-fash- 
ioned gallants sought the goal with great patience and perseverance. An 
American girl of today would become disgusted with the attention of a dozen 
suitors and turn them adrift in less than half the time it required in the early 
days to get up steam. 

Now the curious reader wishes to. get at the kernel of the corn; to know 
the methods employed to win fair maiden and hold her to her bargain; to 
know what they said to each other and how they behaved in each other's com- 
pany at times of meeting. Well, my friends, this is an obscure dingle to pass 
through, and our approach must be made with extreme caution. Only such 
as were initiated in the pioneer period are supposed to speak with any claims 
to authority on this delicate subject, or, rather, at this point in our narrative. 
Fortunately we are pretty well equipped for the undertaking ; our note book 
holds copious materials for our purpose. Let us see what we can find. 

Knowing something of the limited accommodations of the primitive home, 
and the want of a suitable place of retirement, supposed to be appropriate for 
the telling of lovers' pleasing dreams, we asked our old informant where the 
courting business was carried on in those days, and she replied: "We had a 
tryst." A secluded bower down on the mossy ri\-er bank under the shelter 
of the singing pines, where the fretting ripples of the stream played their tune 
against the corrugated ledge; down where the wild flowers scented the even- 
ing air, and the whip-poor-will chanted his mournful plaint; here, in this 
retired spot, the lovers met, and spent a prudent hour together. And what 
said they? What themes did they discuss? Inspired by the delightful in- 
cense that is supposed to distil from two hearts under favorable conditions, 
did they wax eloquent, and pour into each other's ears soft and sentimental 
expressions of fondness until each drifted into a dreamy, hazy spell and became 


intoxicated and oblivious to all the more real and practical things of life, 
health, and the pursuit of happiness ? Why, no ! She said he told her of the 
" claim " he had taken up ; of the " clearing " he had opened ; of the fine eleva- 
tion suitable for a house-lot he had found ; of the number of acres of corn he 
intended to "dig in" on his burnt cut-down, and how much of the golden 
grain he hoped to harvest toward paying for his land. For an interlude he 
would remark that it was a beautiful evening, or that the whip-poor-will did 
sing sweetly, and she, responsive soul, would softly whisper "yes." 

All this may seem very "commercial" and unromantic; may appear out 
of form in such associations, but it was a day of practical things, when the 
pressing needs of the family were of prime importance, and must receive atten- 
tion. At the same time, while their conversation was carried on, there was 
a silent undertow, whose gentle waves of soothing sweetness swashed and 
swirled around their hearts, dashing its delicious spray over their tranquil spirits, 
causing each to feel as though they were gently drifting in some tossing boat 
upon an elysian sea. 

When their ideas of propriety prompted the lovers to turn their lingering 
feet homeward, he held her little, warm, fat hand in his embracing palm, and 
they went slowly to the house-place of the Walderman farmstead. A moment's 
pause, an imprinted seal of fellowship, and while Mollie was finding her pillow 
by her sleeping sister's side, the moccasined feet of Than Greenlaw were 
brushing dewdrops from the tangled grass that grew along the river-path on 
his way home. 

When it became known throughout the JSTarragansett settlement that Mr. 
Walderman's daughter Mollie was receiving the attention of Than Greenlaw, 
it helped them forward amazingly ; it caused the couple to anticipate the ex- 
pectation of the community, and made them more confidential in giving public, 
but prudent, evidence of the interesting relationship existing between them. 
They came down the road side by side when on their way to the sanctuary, 
where the good Parson Coffin preached the word; they sat together on the 
plank seat during the long sermon; they wended homeward as they came. 
We may be sure this more public demonstration of their attachment caused 
a flutter among the lads and lassies, all along the line, and it set all the gossipy 
tongues a-wagging, but Than and Mollie were becoming acquainted with the 
mystic way, and accounting that others had been "through the mill," and 
such things had been foreordained, they kept moving forward. As ships 
that pass in the night, the years slipped away. Than Greenlaw had 
developed and expanded into a fine and attractive specimen of physical man- 
hood. Mollie Walderman had ripened and matured, and was now a graceful, 
dignified, and charming woman. The two had gone on horseback to attend 
the wedding of Samuel Mitchell and Charity Tyler in the plantation of 
Little Ossipee, in company with several other young couples from Narra- 

3-2(; pniMiTivE covuTsriip and marriage. 

gansett, No. i, and were taking lessons that would better prepare them for 
coming events. 

Than had built a house on his claim, which was now surrounded by con- 
siderable cleared land. His harvests had been abundant, and the acreage he 
had called his own was clear of all incumbrances. Honeysuckle and red 
clover bloomed about his door-stone. A well-fenced field was covered with 
tall, waving timothy. Sleek cattle ruminated in the stumpy pasture. A dozen 
sheep flecked the green turf near the river bank. Than Greenlaw's grain bins 
were full to the cover. His older maiden sister kept his house, and frugally had 
all things orderly and tidy. 

All the dreamy summer days found Mollie W'alderman at her wheel or 
loom. Her brothers dressed for her the flax, she twisted the fluffy lint upon 
the distaff, and with her nimble fingers drew the supple thread. She was a 
happy child. A halo of peace encircled her pretty head, her heart thrilled 
with loving emotions, her prospects were now auspicious and pleasing. She 
had laid away a fine supply of snow-white linen for her "toucher." \^'hen the 
early autumn came, she and her mother went to Saco on horseback, riding 
double, of course, and returned with the old Walderman mare nearly covered 
with bundles and bandboxes. All along the clearings they had been seen by 
the gossiping neighbors, and the air was filled with old women's "surmises." 
It was now a foregone conclusion that Miss Mollie Walderman was soon to 
become a wife; the conclusion was based on sound premises. 

Meanwhile, Pat Slattery, an Irish tailor, made his appearance in the settle- 
ment, and had spent two weeks ^at the house of Than Greenlaw. He had 
been a frequent visitor to the township, and somehow his comint; was now- 
well timed. Pat always managed to have a nice coat pattern tucked away in 
his pack; could find another if wanted. He was a good workman, prided 
himself on his perfect-fitting garments, and had a keen eye to business. He 
was a genuine type of the witty and inimitable sons of the Green Isle. An un- 
wearied talker, full of flattering ejaculations. As he laid his tape over Than 
Greenlaw's broad shoulders, and drew it across his swelling chest, he stood 
back, struck an Irishman's attitude, and, closing one eve, tipped his yellow 
head to one side and said: "Be me howly mother, Mister Crreenal-haugh, 
yer honor, be jabbers! ye's the foinest laid out gindeman my eyes iver looked 
upon! Arrah, but ye his a foinc £or-um to measure. The an<jels help me, but 
ye be twanty-six across yer shoulthers, and forty-eight unther yer ar-rums. 
It's a foine coat I'll make ye. Mister Grcenal-haugh. Arrah, but ye'll presint 
a royal appearance whin ye's go abroad with yer foine fitting snug-body. Ve 
be a very rasonable man, yer honor, and I dare say ye'll hev a prosperous 
career." Day in and out there Pat sat upon his cramped feet, plying his needle, 
his frowsy hair tossing in the breeze that came through the window. Betimes 
he would call Greenlaw in and try on the coat, or the waistcoat, and on every 


such occasion was exhausting the superlatives of his vocabulary in praise of 
his customer's majestic and godlike form. " Arrah, yer honor, that comes over 
ye as nate as a hin's wing over her chackens, and be me howly mother, ye look 
like a king, Mister Greenal-haugh." 

Arrangements at the Walderman home were nearly. completed. A sister 
of Ned Flanders, a young lady of excellent taste and skilled as a fashionable 
maker of wedding gowns at Newbury town before moving to the Narragansett 
plantation, was called to assist in making up the pretty materials Mollie and 
her mother had purchased at Saco, and had whispered in her was-to-be-sister's 
ear that no more beautifully dressed maiden had ever stood at the marriage 
altar in her presence while dwelling among the fashionable folk at the westward. 

As the people assembled about the door of the old meeting-house, on 
Sabbath morning, they eagerly read the "publishment" of Mr. Nathaniel 
Greenlaw and Mistress Mollie Walderman. As one after another of the fami- 
lies from the Little Ossipee and Little Falls plantations dismounted at the 
horse-block it was whispered in their ears that there was to be a wedding. 
Old dames put on their great, round-lighted, iron-bowed spectacles, and ven- 
erable men, leaning upon their staff, read the joyful news. Between meetings 
this wedding was the theme of conversation upon the door-yard lawn, and as 
old women wandered among the graves — as such always will — they gossiped 
about the Waldermans and Greenlaws. Than and Mollie were not present 
on that day for gazing-stock; no doubt their ears burned at home. But Susie 
Walderman was there within ear-shot of some of the old dames and reported 
to her anxious sister some of the remarks she had overheard. 

Aunt Debby Lane declared it to be her opinion that this match was 
decreed in heaven, and Aunt Dolly Palmer responded, solemnly, "Amen." 
Patience Boynton said Mollie was as pretty a lass as ever saw light in the set- 
tlement, and Prudence Merrill responded that Than Greenlaw was as worthy 
as Mollie. And so they kept it going. The names of the two were in every- 
body's mouth, and to some were "a sid in their teeth." 

When all preparations had been completed, a man was dispatched to Lit- 
tle Falls and Little Ossipee with invitations to the wedding, which was to be 
in Nathaniel Greenlaw's dwelling "on a Tuesday week." Impatient curiosity 
could scarcely wait for the appointed day, and when it dawned there was 
running to and fro, bustle, confusion, and loud talking. It was four miles to 
Greenlaw's from the " Dalton Right settlement" (now between Moderation 
and Bonnie Eagle) and from eight to nine from " Nasonsville," in Little Ossipee 
plantation. The wedding was to take place at 2 o'clock p. m., and the hour- 
glasses were admonishing those who were contemplating the journey to hasten. 

At an early hour in the morning the young men and women had gone 
forward in advance, and at nine and ten those who rode horseback, from the 
two up-river plantations, were mounted and on the road. Indeed, this was a 

328 piiiMiTJVE couirrsifip and marriaoe. 

gala day for the settlement and a restful lull in the monotony of daily toil. 
Everybody, old and young, entered into the spirit of the occasion with much 
abandon, and the festivities were greatly enjoyed. About the door-yard were 
t;roups of old men with canes and adorned with white hair. Others in the 
vigor of manhood, just returned from the Revolution, with many arbitrary 
demonstrations were mapping out old campaigns and fighting their battles over 
at the road-side. The great, coarse, long-shanked, loose-jointed, high-shoul- 
dered youngsters, as green as corn in the milk, were leaning against the log 
fence in single file and in every conceivable position. Young misses in home- 
spun gowns, under sun-bonnets, were hovering about the doors. The families 
of Walderman and Greenlaw were all present. The mothers were very busy 
about the rooms within. Parson Coffin now rides down the lane and dismounts 
upon the new horse-block that has been set up for the occasion. It was 
evident that the supreme moment was drawing near, and the scattered groups 
about the field-side assembled about the doors and open windows. Pat Slat- 
tery was seated on the stair in the entry-way, with a mingled expression of 
seriousness and mischief playing around his enormously wide mouth. An 
awful stillness now pervaded the assembly ; it was like that oppressive hush 
that precedes the bursting of some terrible storm, when the black clouds trail 
the hills and the thunder makes the mountains quake. 

Convoyed by Ned Flanders and Susie Walderman, in beautiful attire, 
Mr. Nathaniel Greenlaw and Mistress Mollie Walderman came into the best 
room, where the good parson had been seated, and the four stood side by side. 
Beloved, there was the material for a picture that, if depicted in half its real 
beauty upon canvas, would, today, be snapped up at a hundred thousand and 
hang, as a priceless treasure of historic art, in the highest halls of state. 
Than Greenlaw's finely developed, majestic form was never seen at such advan- 
tage before. He was dressed in a blue, "snug-bodied," perfect-fitting frock- 
coat, spangled with thickly-set rows of burnished gilt buttons ; at the front, an 
ample waistcoat, cut low, of large figure, in silk; below, buff breeches of soft 
buckskin, encasing a pair of limbs of noble circumference, terminating with 
white silk stockings at the knee, that were held by broad buckles sparkling 
with tiny crystals or garnets. Low-cut, gloss morocco shoes were worn, which 
were latched with silver buckles. His statesmanlike face was smoothly shaven 
and his long hair combed back and queued with a broad ribbon behind. A 
shirt-front of ample width and immaculate whiteness, and a broad collar turned 
down over a wide, black silk neckcloth finished this wedding suit. 

Mollie Walderman was the incarnation of maiden loveliness, transcending 
the power of pen to describe. The choicest heritage of health was exhibited 
in her fresh complexion and finely developed form. Her eyes, large, soulful 
and beaming with happiness, bewildered those who came within their range. 
She was modestly attired. Her gown was of rich, figured stuff, full skirted; 


a cross-laced bodice of blue velvet. Over this, covering her plump shoulders, 
there was a pretty silken cape, heavily fringed and remarkably graceful and 
becoming. Her hair, until now worn in braids, was gracefully coiled behind, 
and above was a wreath woven of small white flowers. She wore lace at the 
neck and wrists ; in her ears a pair of modest pendants. But her dower of 
beauty was God-given, and not dependent upon any artificial ornament. For 
a moment she stood at the side of her chosen husband, silently admired and 
almost adored. 

Parson Coffin in the most gentle and decorous manner tied the holy knot, 
and the blushing, happy pair received such congratulations and salutations as 
were usually accorded on such occasions among the pioneers. At this juncture 
Pat Slattery pushed through the crowd, and standing before Greenlaw and his 
new wife delivered himself as follows: "Fair ladies and gintlemen, in the 
howly name o' the mother o' God, will ye for a moment give yer attintion to 
his honor, Mister Greenal-haugh ? Gintlemen and fair ladies, do you see 
that suit made by me own hands ? I call ye to witness before all the howly 
angels that ye niver saw in all your long and blissed lives a more princely- 
looking man, nor one dressed more like a king. May yer honor and your 
queenly lady have all the howly benidictions of the whole army of heavenly 

The marriage feast had now been spread, and the company was called to 
the long and bountifully supphed tables. Grace said by the parson, all hands, 
in exuberant glee and prolific of harmless jest, heartily refreshed the outer 
man — and woman, too. Somebody asked the carpenter, in a loud whisper, if 
he had any cradles in stock, and another hinted that the " sile " on Mr. Green- 
law's farm would conduce to the growth of "olive plants." As for Parson 
Coffin, he was not far behind in witty repartee, and modestly assured Miss 
Susie Walderman that he would experience great felicity in changing her name 
to Flanders, which, although somewhat "Dutchy," was very respectable. 

It would be milking time before the fathers and mothers could reach their 
homes, those who lived in the up-river settlements, and they mounted and were 
away at full gallop. 

But there was an important ceremony then in vogue at the "hanging of 
the crane," which must be performed by the young folk at a later hour; the 
last act in the old-time drama. This was called the "tucking-in," and no 
couple were considered well started in domestic life, without this being thor- 
oughly attended to. 

At a late hour, Nathaniel Greenlaw very politely begged to be excused, 
and decorously escorted his wife to the sleeping apartment that had been fitted 
up for their occupancy. After due time, a sharp knock was heard on the wall 
and all hands made a rush to "see how newly wedded folk looked on pillows." 
The high and curtained bedstead was at once pulled out so that part of the 


tuckers could work on the back side. Those were days of deep feather-beds 
laid upon equally bountiful straws sacks, and when these had been consider- 
ably ele\ated at the sides by pulling up, and the radical tucking under of 
several ample, old-fashioned patchwork quilts, the position of those within can 
be readily imagined ; to say that they were, perforce, neighborly would be to 
couch description in very roi)/ language. Thus were they compelled to lie, 
like a ship in the trough of the sea, until the "master of ceremonies" had 
pronounced them "well tucked in," when the happy pair received a parting 
salutation, which was considered indispensable to restful slumber, the "good 
nights " were spoken, and the company retired, leaving them in the custody 
of the good angels. 

Our story is ended. Good-night. 

%hmh\\d luraiiiq-iiraumk. 


Paraphrase.— I went by the iurylng-ground of the slothful, and by the grave-yard of the 
man void of understanding; and lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered 
the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down ; then I saw, and considered it 
well ; I looked upon it, and received instruction. 

HEN traveling between London and Bradford, in a midland railway 
carriage, I found myself in a compartment with a well-informed 
and socially-inclined English gentleman, who had but recently 
returned from an extended tour through this country. He men- 
tioned, during our conversation, several customs he had observed in New 
England that had impressed him unfavorably, and, I'/iffr alia, alluded to the 
many small and widely-scattered family burying-grounds and isolated graves 
he had seen while traveling by rail through our country towns. Begging par- 
don for seeming to be sacrilegious, he ventured the remark that this manner 
of interment would occasion the angel of the resurrection a deal of unnec- 
essary trouble when he issued his proclamation for the sleeping millions to 
come forth. 

It was not strange that one reared under the parish system of old England 
should fail to apprehend the reasons for the existence of these numerous ham- 
lets of the silent dead, or that he should be affected by their sad and neglected 
appearance. This conversation renewed a train of thought which I had fre- 
quently indulged that will now find partial expression in this connection. 

During the past year, while driving from town to town seeking for infor- 
mation for my literary purpose, I have seen hundreds of these unprotected, 
abandoned, bush-grown resting-places of the departed by the road-side; in 
field-corners, half-enclosed by tumbling stone walls; in the pastures, overrun 
and downtrodden by the ruminating cattle, or in the wood-lot, overshadowed 
by the wide-spreading trees. Many of these lonely graves have been visited, 
and while lingering around such uncared-for homes of the dead my busy fancy 
would formulate some startling pictures of the life history of those whose dis- 
integrated bodies reposed below. In imagination I saw the sturdy pioneer, as 
with high hope and invincible fortitude he entered the wilderness to hew out 
a home for himself and children. I saw the forest recede before the aggres- 
sive woodman and fertile fields expanding with the march of improvement. 
Homes were built and children grew to manhood and womanhood. I followed 
the patient, toiling parents down through their many years of care and labor. 

332 ai;anj)()ned huhying-grounds. 

saw the marks of age come on apace, and witnessed them growing feeble and 
helpless under infirmity. I saw the venerable sire reluctantly leave his seat 
at the fireside to take his bed and die. But the form of a noble son crossed 
the range of my mental vision and I became sensible of a feeling of relief. 
As the pale horse and his rider drew near, I saw this son standing at the side 
of his dying father, and heard the faintly whispered request: " \Mlliam, when 
my journey is ended, bury me under the sheltering maples down in the quiet 
field-corner, where I was wont to rest at noontide under their cool shade, and 
when thy good mother shall be called to follow, gently lay her down by my 
side; there let us rest together." After a little space I fancy the mournful, 
slow-moving procession, winding along the farm-side to this chosen place of 
sepulture, while the venerable mother, too feeble to go from the house, watches 
the receding form of her husband from the casement. Only a few weeks pass 
and the widow, who had been the faithful assistant of her husband and the 
loving mother of his children, was borne to the same beautiftil spot and 
housed away. As the summer passed the new-made path leading to the par- 
ents' graves was well worn by the feet of a son and daughter who occupied 
the old homestead; the flowers planted there were kept fresh and flourishing; 
but when the autumn winds blew chill across the seared fields the visits to the 
sacred spot became less frequent, and when winter fell were fully discontinued. 
The compassionate maples softly covered the lonely graves with their leafy 
tributes, and old winter spread over them his coverlid of snow. 

The returning spring-time finds the brother and sister making an early 
visit to the grave-sides. During the summer, the brother takes to his home a 
bride, and finds in her one who claims his attention during his hours of rest. 
The sister goes alone to her parents' graves, and before the winter wind sweeps 
o'er the plain, by quick decline, she, too, goes down to death, and is laid bv 
the side of those she loved so well. The three mounds are buried under the 
accumulating snows. A little stranger comes to the fireside of the old home; 
a magic link imported from the land of mystery to bind the parental hearts 
more closely. Again the returning songsters and budding trees, as harbin- 
gers of summer-time, appear. But the flowers once planted by the graves at 
the field-corner have withered, and the rank grass grows tall and unhindered 
over the mounds. The path once made smooth by frequent footfalls has 
become lost in the mazes of luxuriant vegetation. 

We now pass over an interval of a few years, and find a happy father and 
mother beguiling the noon-time hour and the evening's rest with the sportive 
entertainment of a beautiful child. Its flowing ringlets borrowed their waves 
from the father's brow, and its great brown eyes their expression from the 
mother's soulful orbs. Death meditates a triumph here. Spare that darlino, 
thou inscrutable monster ! He heeds not the prayers of any, and cuts down 
the father's hope and mother's idol. Again must the sods of the field-side be 


turned by the cutting spade, and a little bed be made for "wee Lawry." The 
hour of gloaming saw that little grave close over the brightest light of the 
home, and hearts once warmed with love's cheering flame grew cold and leaden. 
The pressing duties of farm and household demanded attention, and it was 
well for the sorrowing ones that it was thus ; but wounds such as were made in 
these hearts do not soon heal; a loving parent's memory of its offspring can 
never die. The mother plants clusters of little pansies and forget-me-nots 
about " wee Lawry's " grave, and spends many an evening kneeling in medi- 
tation there. 

The California gold fever seizes the husband, and he causes the follow- 
ing to be published in the local newspaper : 

"Farm for Sale. — The subscriber will expose for sale, at public auction, the 
well-known William Maynard homestead, with all the farm implements upon the place. 
This pleasantly located farm consists of two hundred acres suitably divided into fields, 
meadows, pastures, orchards, and woodland. Much of the soil is a rich, mellow loam, 
underlaid with moist clay. On this farm are two never failing wells of excellent 
water, and the pastures are supplied with abounding brooks. The buildings consist 
of a dwelling-house, of two stories, in good repair, a large bank-barn, stables, and other 
convenient farm offices. The whole estate will be disposed of without reservation to 
the highest bidder on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 4, 1849. Terms, cash, when 
title is delivered. No postponement on account of the weather." 

The day arrives, and the people from the country-side are assembled. 
The auctioneer promptly mounts the platform and opens the sale. 

" How much am I offered for this fine farm?" A few bids are made, 
when a bystander approaches the salesman and asks him if any reservations 
are to be made for roads or other purposes. Turning to the owner the auc- 
tioneer asks aloud : " Are any reservations to be made for roads or any other 
purpose?" Conscience now reproves with all her silent power; she thunders 
at the heart-door of him who alone can hear. He turns his eyes toward the 
field-corner while a quickened memory reminds him of his father's dying wish, 
"There let us rest together." But with faltering utterance he confirms the 
salesman's declaration by answering: "No reservation." 

And while the sale goes on a sorrowing wife weeps bitter tears for her 
first-born behind the curtained window. She has heard the announcement 
that there will be "no reservation," and looks across the field as she exclaims 
unheard : " My dear wee Lawry! " 

The paternal homestead is disposed of, the deed of conveyance acknowl- 
edged, the money paid down, and — the bones of the lamented dead become 
the property of a stranger. 

When a liberty-loving Lincoln stood in the Southern slave-mart and saw 
fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters sold, like so many beasts, under the ham- 
mer, his soul revolted at the horrible scene, and he whispered between set 
teeth: "If ever I have a chance to strike slavery I shall hit it hard." He 


struck that hard blow with the emancipation pen and set the millions free. 
But what shall we say of that unnatural son or daughter who would, virtually, 
put the remains of their parents up at auction, and who might as well ask of 
the gazing throng: "How much am I offered for the bones of my late father? 
How much for the dust of my sainted mother? What will you give for the 
mouldering form of my only sister; for the little body of my buried child?" 

What can be the feelings of such ! Do they remember the cramped, 
callous hands of the father who toiled for them, and those of a loving mother, 
pale and purple-veined, that ministered to them in childhood's helpless hour? 
Shall these be made merchandise of, and be sold because, being dead, they 
cannot raise a voice to remonstrate ? While living these were free, and shall 
they now be sold into slavei'y? Though dissolved and changed, the precious 
elements of which these once familiar forms were composed lie closely within 
the protective recesses of the grave, and should forever hallow that spot to 
those who are bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh. Then why this 
common abandonment of the bodies of departed kindred; this shameful 
neglect of their chosen resting places ? Must their graves be uptom by the 
relentless share of the stranger's plow, and be seeded down for his harvest? 
What cares he for the bones of such as were no kin to him ! \\'ith unfeeling 
heart he drives the undeviating coulter through their grave-mounds and oblit- 
erates the last indication of their burial-place with his unsparing harrow. 
He mingles their unctuous mould to nourish his growing crops and grinds 
their dust into the meal from his bread corn. 

How can those once fondly loved be so soon forgotten ! Bethink thee, 
sons and daughters who Kave sold the remains of thy parents. Remember- 
est thou thy mother's pale but calm and saintly face bordered above with shin- 
ing hair, upon which the frosts of age fell more thickly from year to year ? 
Because dead and buried from thy sight, shall her image be effaced from thy 
memory ? Have the living friends of later years crowded thy mother from 
the stage of recollection ? But, kind reader, w here is that worn-out form to- 
day ? Away in some bush-grown pasture, downtrodden, neglected, unmarked, 
unvisited, unthought of, abandoned to the elements and the ravages of time. 
Why this disregard of filial obligaticm; this uncivilized exposure of there- 
mains of our departed friends ? 

This picture has abundant foundation in fact, gloomy though it be. Hun- 
dreds of just such neglected and forsaken burial lots are scattered over the 
old fields, the pastures, and the woodlands of our state ; and from some seen 
by me, the winds have swept the sands till the bones of those once buried out 
of sight lie e.xposed to storm and sunshine. It would be of melancholy inter- 
est to take the census of the dead, if it were possible, and then learn how 
many bodies of the fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters, lie in an unmarked, 
unnoticed, and even in an unknown grave. The dust of thousands lies today 


beneath the crumbHng furrow of our cultivated farms, penetrated by the in- 
vading roots of growing forests or washed away by fretting rivers. Should 
the dead in unknown graves stand upon their feet before us, they would present 
a great host, almost innumerable. 

One hundred and six years ago, one of the pioneers of the plantation of 
Little Falls built his log-house and opened a clearing near the western bank 
of the Saco, and the first-born son soon first saw the light there. This pretty 
child, named William, was seated, for safety, by its mother in a large basket, 
as was then the custom, while she went from the house to gather wood. At 
the time a great fire was burning on the hearth. The movements of this child 
overturned the basket, and when the mother returned she found its body 
roasting on the bed of coals where it had fallen. Upon a moderate elevation 
just back of the house, a grave was made for this child, which formed a 
nucleus under the pines, where others of the early dead in the settlement were 
buried. To this spot mothers came at evening time to weep over the graves 
of their sons and daughters, and for many years it was looked upon as a 
sacred ground. But while the century has been running its race past the 
yearly mile-posts, and the dust of little William has mingled with the annual 
harvests gathered from the Saco's fertile intervales, the remains of Hannah 
Holmes, his mother, have reposed under the shadows of the Green Mountains 
of Vermont, and those of his father under the sods of Ohio's blossoming 
prairies. A week after the burial of little William, another child born in the 
settlement was named for him, and (Aat child died in " second childhood," at 
the ripe age of ninty-seven years, in 1885. 

The little graves were not marked by any chiseled monuments, the lot 
was not enclosed, and for many years was left undisturbed, but overgrown 
with shrubbery, weeds, and rank grass. During the last decade, the home- 
stead so early cleared on the "twenty-rod strip," close to the boundary of the 
" College Right," has several times changed owners, some of whom have gradu- 
ally encroached upon the hallowed ground with their plow, till, when last seen, 
scarcely a remnant remained to indicate the spot. A few more years and 
these early made graves may be ploughed under, and their existence would 
be unknown to the rising generations, but for this chapter. 

During the period of the plantation in the Saco valley townships an old 
man was shaving shingles at his camp on the intervale, and was there seized 
with a fatal illness. So painful was the malady that he was obliged to crawl 
upon his hands and knees toward his home. On reaching the house of a 
neighbor, his distress and weakness were so great that he could proceed no 
farther. Stimulants were administered which afforded temporary relief, and 
he was assisted to his own house, where, before morning, he passed away. 
Being the first person to die in the settlement, he was buried on his own land, 
on a high elevation overlooking the passing river. From that time, this remote 


and secluded spot became the burial-place for the community, and although one 
or two bodies have been interred there during the past fifty years, the whole 
enclosed ground and some early-made graves are overgrown by pines of con- 
siderable size. \\'hen last visited by the writer, the grave-mounds, which had 
originally been raised some distance above the level of the surrounding ground, 
were still distinct. Having been protected by a strong fence for many years, it 
bore no evidence of having been disturbed by vandal body-thief, ruthless plow- 
share, or trampling cattle. The whole enclosure was thickly carpeted with the 
yellow needles of the sheltering pines, and no falling footstep of intrusive 
visitor could have disturbed the rest of a conscious sleeper below. 

Here we found many tiers of well-mounded graves, arranged by families 
in regular order, side by side and equidistant. These families, while in life, 
had been connected by ties of blood, and by constant association had been 
almost the same as one household. It was proper and pleasant to place them 
in neighborly nearness in th