Maine in 1839.
excerpts from:

The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged.

By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c.

Boston: John Hayward.Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839


This is just started, with entries related to my family history project, and some things that just interest me.  I'm not currently planning to put the whole thing on-line,  and I'll send the pages to anyone who wants to do part. Other pages: Connecticut 1839, Vermont 1839, Cape Cod and Islands 1839, Cape Cod  and Islands 1845, Massachusetts 1890.

Up one level:  19th Century Cape Cod and New England literature.
Last update 7/21/03



Bar Harbor (Eden), Bath, Belfast, Blue Hill and Bay, Bowdoinham, Brooksville, Bucksport,
Camden, Cape Elizabeth, Casco Bay, Castine, Cumberland county,
Dresden
Eden, Elliot, Ellsworth,
Falmouth, Fox Islands, Frenchman's Bay, Fryeburgh, Fundy Bay,
Gardiner, Georgetown, Goldsborough, Gorham,
Hancock, Hancock county, Hallowell,
Jay,
Kennebec River, Kittery,
Lincoln county,
Mount Desert,
Orrington, Owl's Head, Oxford county,
Penobscot River and Bay, Penobscot County, Poland, Cape Porpoise, Portland, Prospect
Richmond,
Saco, Scarborough,
Thomaston,
Vinalhaven
Washington county, WindsorWiscasset, Woolwich,
York
, York county

MAINE.
      This State was originally granted by James I. to the Plymouth Company, in 1606, by whom it was transferred to Mason and Gorges in 1624. This grant comprised all the territory between Merrimack river and Sagadahock. The territory was afterwards purchased by Massachusetts for £1,250, who obtained a confirmation of the charter in 1691, with the addition of the residue of Maine and Nova Scotia, including what is now called the Province of New Brunswick.
      This state, formerly the District of Maine, became independent of Massachusetts in 1820. By the Constitution, the legislative power is vested in a Senate and House of Representatives, elected annually by the people, on the second Monday in September. The number of Senators cannot be less than 20, nor more than 31. The number of Representatives cannot be less than 100, nor more than 200. No town or city is entitled to more than seven Representatives.
[4 pages...]
      The sea coast of Maine, extending more than 230 miles, indented by an almost countless number of bays, harbors and islands of romantic beauty, presents facilities for navigation unrivalled by any portion of the globe. The great rivers, St. Croix, Penobscot, Kennebec, Androscoggin, and Saco, with their numerous tributaries piercing the interior, give the farmer and mechanic a cheap and easy mode of transportation. These rivers, and thousands of ponds and other streams, dispersed throughout the state, afford a water power of vast extent and usefulness.
    The celebrated John Smith made an unsuccessful attempt to settle this part of the country as early as 1614. The first permanent lodgment of the whites in the state was made from the Plymouth colony, at York, in 1630.
      The first settlers of Maine were a race of men of good minds, stout hearts and strong arms. By them and their sons the stately forests were converted into an article of commerce, of immense value; thus preparing the soil for its ultimate staples, WHEAT, BEEF, and WOOL.  See Register. [an unknown document]

Bath, Me
.
      In the county of Lincoln, is situated on the west bank of Kennebec river, 12 miles from the sea, 32 N.E. of Portland, and 31 S. from Augusta. It is bounded E. by Kennebec river, S. by Phipsburg, W. by New meadows river and Brunswick, and N. by Merrymeeting bay. Population, in 1830, 3,773; in 1835, 4,200, and in 1837, 4,523. Incorporated, 1780. An attempt was made by a missionary to settle this place, and preach to the fishermen, as early as 1670. But the Indians would not permit it. A permanent settlement was made in 1756. The principal business of Bath is commerce, trade and ship-building, for which it is admirably well located. There belonged to this port in 1835, 26 ships, 32 brigs, 54 schooners, and smaller vessels. Tonnage of the district of Bath, including the waters of the Kennebec river, in 1837, 41,728 tons. Total number of vessels belonging to the district of Bath, in 1835, 37 ships, 94 brigs, 195 schooners, 10 sloops, and 1 steam-boat. Total, 337. The harbor of Bath is seldom obstructed by ice. Regular lines of steam-boats ply between this place and Portland and Boston, about three-fourths of the year.

Belfast, Me.
      Is the chief town of Waldo county, and a port of entry, and is beautifully situated on Belfast bay, on the W. side of Penobscot river. It lies 30 miles E. from Augusta, 30 S. from Bangor, 30 N. from Thomaston, and, across Belfast bay, 12 W. from Castine. The town was incorporated in 1773, but not permanently settled until about the year 1785. There is considerable good land in Belfast. In 1837 it produced 3,492 bushels of as good wheat as ever grew on the prairies of the "boundless West." The Paasaggassawakeag river passes near the center of the town, and adds much to the appearance of the place. The harbor is very good it is guarded by Long and Sears' islands,, and has anchorage for a great number of vessels of the largest class. The proximity of Belfast to the sea, its site in relation to Penobscot river, and its excellent harbor, which was never known to be obstructed by ice, but twice, (1780-1815,) gives it peculiar advantages for foreign commerce, the coasting trade, and the fisheries. Considerable ship building is carried on at this place. The tonnage of the district of Belfast in 1837 was, was 29,342 tons. The principal exports are lumber and fish. Population, 1810, 1,259; 1820, 2,126; 1830, 3,077; and in 1837, about 4,000. Belfast, although irregularly built, is a pleasant town, and is an important winter mart of the trade of Penobscot river.

Blue Hill and Bay, Me.
      Hancock co. The town lies at the head of a large bay, of the same name, 12 miles E. from Castine, and 78 E. from Augusta. There are several large ponds in Blue hill, and a hill of 960 feet in height, from which delightful marine scenery is presented. Incorporated 1789. Population, 1837, 1,808. The bay has Long and other islands inside; and outside, Burncoat, and a group of smaller islands. Blue Hill bay is connected with Penobscot bay and river by a passage between the islands and main land, of about 12 miles. It lies about 16 miles W. from Frenchman's bay.

Brooksville, Me.
      Hancock co. On the E. side of Penobscot bay, opposite to Islesborough and Castine. It is bounded on the N. by an arm of that bay, and includes cape Rosico. This town is well located for navigation and the fisheries. It lies 80 miles E. from Augusta, and about 25 S.E. from Ellsworth. Population, 1837, 1,192. Incorporated, 1817.

Bucksport, Me.
      Hancock co. This town lies on the E. side of Penobscot river, 15 miles below Bangor, 61 N.E. by E. from Augusta, and about 18 W. by N. from Ellsworth. It has a fine harbor for vessels of the largest class, and which is seldom obstructed by ice. The soil is good, and the town is watered by a number of ponds and streams. Considerable shipping belong to this place, and the trade is quite extensive, particularly in the lumber business. It has some manufactures. From 1792 to 1816, Bucksport was called Buckstown. This is a very beautiful town, elevated, healthy, and flourishing. It is situated just above the head of Orphan's island, on which a fort is to be erected. Population, 1830, 2,237; 1837, 2,825.

Camden, Me.
      Waldo co. This seaport is finely located for navigation, with two beautiful harbors, on the W. side of Penobscot bay, 10 miles N. from Thomaston, 17 S. from Belfast, and 40 E.S.E from Augusta. Population, 1837, 2,991. This place has some navigation engaged in the coasting trade and fisheries, and considerable ship building is carried on; but the principal business is the manufacture of lime from inexhaustible quarries of marble, or lime stone. About 200,000 casks of lime is annually shipped from this place to all parts of the United States. This lime is noted for making a cement of a superior quality. The Megunticook river waters a part of the town, and gives it a great water power, which might be well applied to manufacturing purposes. From a mountain in the rear of the town a beautiful prospect is presented of Penobscot bay and its numerous islands. Camden is a pleasant town in summer months.

Cape Elizabeth, Me.
      This celebrated cape lies in the town of Cape Elizabeth, and forms the western limits of Casco bay. Near the point of the cape is a light-house, 50 feet in height, in N. lat. 43° 33'. W. lon. 70° 11' For the town of Cape Elizabeth, see Register.[?]

Casco Bay, Me.
      This is one of the finest bays on the American coast. Its western boundary is Cape Elizabeth; its eastern, Cape Small point. The distance between those capes is about 20 miles. Its indentation does not exceed 15 miles. Within it are some of the best harbors in the world. It is said that Casco bay contains as many islands as there are days in a year; however that may be, we know that they are very numerous, some very large, fertile and well cultivated; and that a survey of them from the high grounds in Portland, Falmouth, Cumberland, or Yarmouth, affords a treat of island and ocean scenery of transcendent beauty.

Castine, Me.
      Hancock co. Castine derives its name from a French baron of that name, who here resided upwards of twenty years after 1667. This peninsula, jutting out into Belfast bay, at the mouth of Penobscot river, was formerly called "Major Biguyduce," pronounced Bagaduce. The peninsula embraces 2,500 acres of land, and was first settled by the English, in 1760. The British occupied this place in both of the wars with the U.S. It was the shire, or chief town, of the county from 1789 to 1838, when the courts were removed to Ellsworth. Castine possesses an excellent maritime position, but its trade with the country is limited, being cut off by the more inland towns. Its trade, however, is considerable. The lumber and coasting trade, with the fisheries, give active employment to its people. 78 miles E. from Augusta, and about 25 S.W. from Ellsworth. Population, 1830, 1,155; 1837, 1,168.

Cumberland county, Me.

Dresden, Me.
      Lincoln co. On the E. bank of Kennebec river, near the head of Swan Island, 9 miles N.W. from Wiscasset, 14 S. from Augusta, and 59 N.E. from Portland. This is a large agricultural township, with some trade on the river. Previous to the division of the county, in 1789, Dresden was the shire town or place where all the courts in Maine were holden, E. of Kennebec river. Dresden was incorporated as a town in 1794. Population, 1837, 1,570.

Eden, Me.
      Hancock co., situated on the north part of the island of Mount Desert, and taken from the town of Mount Desert (which formerly comprised the whole island) 1795. First settled, 1763. Eden lies 92 miles E. from Augusta, and about 18 S. by E. from Ellsworth. Population, 1837, 1,024. The town has a good soil, good harbors, and possesses great advantages for the shore fishery. It is said that 500 bushels of cranberries have been picked in Eden in a season. Cranberry isles lie on the coast, about 3 miles south.

Elliot, Me.
      York co. This town lies on the N.W. of Kittery of which it constituted a part until 1810. It adjoins Salmon Fall river on the S.W. by which it is separated from New Hampshireand is bounded N. by South Berwick, and E. by York. It is a good farming town and probably contains as great a proportion of valuable tillage land as any in the county according to its size. Population, 1837,1,859. Elliot is 108 miles S.W. from Augusta.

Ellsworth, Me.
      Chief town of Hancock county. This is a pleasant and flourishing town on both sides of Union river, at the head of navigation. The village is principally on the E. side, where there is a good bridge across the river, 3 miles above the entrance of the river into the waters connected with Blue Hill bay. The tide rises at the bridge 10 or 12 feet, and Ellsworth possesses an enviable position for maritime and inland trade. The location of the courts for this county was changed from Castine to this place in 1838. The court house is eligibly situated on the W. side of the river. Ellsworth is quite an agricultural township. It has a good soil, and considerable attention is given to the growth of wheat and wool. It lies 81 miles E. by N. from Augusta, and 30 N.E. by E. from Bangor. Population, 1830, 1,3851837, 2,195.

Falmouth, Me.
      Cumberland co. This is a pleasant town the head of Casco bay, 6 miles N. from Portland, and 47 S.W. from Augusta. It is watered by Presumscut river, and has a number of vessels employed in coasting and fishing. The soil on the whole is not so fertile as in the interior parts of the state, yet Falmouth comprises a considerable quantity of good land. The town was incorporated as early as 1718, and included the the territory of the city of Portland until 1786. Population, 1837, 2.068.

Fox Islands, Me.
      See Vinalhaven.

Frenchman's Bay, Me
.
      This important bay, in the county of Hancock, containing a number of excellent harbors and beautiful islands, is bounded W. by Baker's island, one of the Cranberry islands, and E. by a peninsula in Goldsborough, on the W. side of which is Musquito harbor. The distance across the bay, from Baker's island to Goldsborough point, is 10 miles. This bay juts in from the Atlantic ocean about 20 miles, and is environed by the towns of Eden, Trenton, Hancock, Franklin, Sullivan, and Goldsborough, and is the recipient of many valuable streams. It is easy of access, never obstructed by ice, and is one of the best retreats in a storm on the American coast.

Fryeburgh, Me.

Fundy Bay
      This bay washes a part of the eastern shore of Maine; and as it is an important channel of commerce between the United States and the British provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, it may be useful to notice it. This large and important bay sets up N.E. round cape Sable, the most southern point of Nova Scotia, in N. lat. 43° 24", W. lon. 65° 39', and crosses to the shore of Maine a little W. of Frenchman's bay. From the mouth of Frenchman's bay to Cape Sable is about 150 miles; from Eastport to St. John's, N.B is 60 miles; from St. John's to Annapolis, in a bay of that name, on the Nova Scotia side, is 40 miles; from thence to Halifax, by land, is 80 miles. From Eastport direct to Annapolis, across the bay, is about 70 miles. The Bay of Fundy is divided near its head by cape Chignecto. The N.W. part is called Chignecto bay; the S.E. part the Basin of Mines. From Eastport to Cumberland, at the head of Chignecto bay, is about 170 miles; to Windsor, at the head of the Basin of Mines, is about 150. From Windsor to Halifax in N. lat. 44° 39' 20", W. lon. 63° 36' 40", is 45 miles.
      The commerce on this bay with our friends and neighbors, the English, is very considerable. While they receive bread stuffs and other productions of our soil, we are indebted to them for vast quantities of grindstones and gypsum to sharpen our tools and renovate the soil. The gypsum is principally from from the Basin of Mines;--it lies embedded in elevated masses along the shores of the bay;--it is easily quarries and taken on board of vessels by the sides of the cliffs. This gypsum is of a fine quality, and it is doubtful whether any has been discovered in our country as good.
      The grindstones from Cumberland, or Chignecto bay, are everywhere celebrated. The source is inexhaustible, and the manufacture immense.
      The tides in the bay of Fundy are supposed to rise to a greater height than in any other part of the world. Their elevation increases as you ascend the bay. At Eastport they rise 25 feet; at St. John's, 30; at Cape Split, 55; at Windsor, 60, and at Cumberland, at the head of Chignecto bay, they rise to the enormous height of 71 feet. These tides announce themselves some time before their approach, by a sound resembling that of a rushing wind in a forest: they dash against the shore with a reddish hue, the color of the clay bottom over which they pass, with frightful violence; at first, to a height of from 8 to 10 feet, overwhelming all within their reach.
      There are but few islands in this bay. Grand Manan, and a cluster of small islands round it, off West Quoddy Head, and Campo Bello, near Eastport, are the principal. They belong to the British. A small island about 5 miles off the S.W. part of cape Chignecto, Isle de Haut, contains beautiful specimens of asbestos.
      The rapidity of the tides within this bay, the fogs which prevail, and the absence of good harbors between Eastport and St. John's, and from St. John's to cape Chignecto, render the navigation difficult and often dangerous.
      The harbor of St. John's is easy of access, safe, and of sufficient expanse for a large fleet of any draft of water. The city of St. John's contains about 15,000 inhabitants. It is located at the outlet of the great river whose name it bears, in N. lat. 45° 20', W. lon. 66°. This city is a very flourishing place. It is the largest resource for timber and lumber that Queen Victoria has in her possessions.
       St. John's river rises in Canada and the northern parts of Maine. It receives the Madawaska, St. Francis, Aroostook, and many others valuable tributaries, from Maine; it waters a large portion of its northern territory, and bears many valuable productions of that state to its mouth. "This river is 350 miles long; the tide flows up about 80 miles, it is navigable for boats 200 miles, and for sloops of 50 tons 80 miles. This river and its branches water a large tract of excellent country. About 30 miles from its mouth commences a fine level country of rich meadow lands, well clothed with timber. The river furnishes a great quantity of salmon, bass and sturgeon. About a mile above the city of St. John's is the only entrance into this river. It is about 80 or 100 yards wide, 400 yards long, called the falls of the river. It being narrow, and a ridge of rocks running across the bottom of the channel, on which there are not above 17 feet of water, it is not sufficiently spacious to discharge the fresh waters of the river above. The common tides here rising above 20 feet, the waters of the river at low water are about 20 feet higher than the waters of the sea; at high tide the waters of the sea are about 5 feet higher than those of the river: so that at every tide there are two falls, one outwards and one inwards. The only time of passing with safety is when the waters of the river and of the sea are level, which is twice in a tide, and continues only about 20 minutes each time."
      Frederickton, the capitol of New Brunswick, lies on this river, 80 miles from its mouth, in N. lat. 46° 3', W. lon. 66° 45'.

Georgetown, Me.
Goldsborough, Me.

Gorham, Me.
      Cumberland co. This town is watered on the N.E.side by Presumscut river, and the Cumberland and Oxford canal. It is 9 miles W.N.W. from Portland, and 63 S.W from Augusta. Gorham was first settled in 1736, by John Phinney and others from Barnstable county, Mass. Maine was at that time almost a wilderness. Portland, Saco, and Scarborough were very feeble in consequence of the depredations of the Indians. These people endured great privations, and for many years were in constant apprehension of attack by the savages. "The wives and daughters of the first settlers of Gorham shared in all the toils and wants of their husbands and fathers; they used to labor in the fields, carry burdens, go to mill, and aid in defense of their property. One time when most of the men were away, the Indians attacked the fort, and the wife of Hugh McClellan rallied the women in the garrison, shut the gates, mounted the walls, fired upon the Indians, and by her courage and activity baffled the enemy till succor arrived."
      Rev. Samuel Lombard, a native of Truro, Mass., was the first settled minister. His annual salary was £53, 6s. 8d. He was ordained Dec. 26, 1750. One hundred twenty dollars were raised to defray the expenses of the ordination. We copy the following from the list of supplies for the occasion, to show the prices of some articles at that period.

1

barrel of flour

£14

7s.

6d.

3

bushels of apples

2

8

0

2

barrels of cider

9

0

0

2

gallons of brandy

5

0

0

1

bottle of vinegar

0

5

0

2

cheeses, 6d. per lb.

 

 

 

54½

lbs. of pork, 7d. per lb.

 

 

 

6

candles

0

1

0

1

oz. of nutmegs

0

1

0

8

fowls

1

16

0

29

lbs. sugar

8

14

0

1

tea pot

1

10

0

4

gallons of rum

5

4

0

2

bushels cranberries

2

0

0

1

lb. tea

0

10

0

1

lb. of ginger

0

2

0

6

gals. molasses, 2s. 8d.

per

gal.

 

4

oz. of pepper

0

0

6

      Gorham is very pleasantly located: its soil is of a superior quality: it has a flourishing academy, on a solid foundation: it is a place of considerable trade, and of extensive manufactures of cotton, wool, leather, starch, and gunpowder. Gorham has produced many men of talents,among which were eminent jurists and statesmen. It is noted for its attachment to the principles of the revolution.
      From 1807 to 1834, twenty persons died in Gorham, whose average age was 94 years. Population, 1837, 3,022.

Hancock, Me.
      Hancock co. This town was taken from Sullivan and Trenton in 1828. It is situated between those towns, and is nearly surrounded by the head waters of Frenchman's bay. It is a place of some navigation; 85 miles E. from Augusta, and bounded easterly by Ellsworth. Population, 1837, 653.

Hancock County, Me.
      Ellsworth is the chief town. This county is bounded N. by Penobscot county, E. by Washington county, S. by the Atlantic ocean, and W. by Penobscot bay and river, and a part of Penobscot county. Its extent on the ocean is between 50 and 60 miles: it comprises numerous islands of great beauty, some of which are large, fertile and well cultivated; it comprises also numerous bays, and a vast number of coves, inlets and spacious harbors.
Perhaps there is no district of its extent on the American coast, that offers greater facilities for navigation, in all its various branches, than the county of Hancock. The tonnage of Frenchman's bay, in this county, in 1837, was 13,184 tons. The soil of the county is generally of an excellent quality, particularly in the interior. There are a great number of ponds in the county : every section of it is watered by mil streams, and Union river, nearly in its centre, affords the interior part great facilities for transportation. The county contains an area of about 1,850 square miles. Population, 1830, 24,347; 1837, 28,120. Population to a square mile, 15. This county produced, in 1837, 21,446 bushels of wheat, and counted 38,870 sheep.

Jay, Me.
      Franklin co. Jay lies at a bend of Androscoggin river, 29 miles W. by N. from Augusta, and 12 S.S.W. from Farmington. There is much valuable land in Jay. The inhabitants are principally farmers, and cultivate the soil with much industry. The town produced, in 1837, 8,129 bushels of wheat, and considerable wool. Population, 1830, 1,276; 1837, 1,685. Incorporated, 1795.

Kennebec River, Me.
      The first source of this important river is Moose Head lake, of which it is the outlet. From thence it passes in a S.W. course nearly 20 miles, where it receives the waters of Dead river; it then proceeds S. to Starks, about 40 miles, where it receives the waters of the Sandy: here it changes its course easterly, about 12 miles, passing Norridgewock and Skowhegan: it then again chages its course to the S. till it receives the waters of the Sebasticook, about 15 miles: it continues to descend in nearly a S. course to Hallowell, about 20 miles; here it inclines to the E. a few miles. and then resuming a S. course, and passing through Merrymeeting bay, where it receives the Androsscoggin river, it passes Bath and meets the ocean. The whole length of this river, from Moose Head lake to the sea, is about 150 miles. The tributaries already named are the most considerable; but there are many others that would be considered important rivers in other sections of country. The whole fall of this river is more than 1,000 feet, and its hydraulic power, with that of its tributaries, is incalculable.
      We are enabled to state that the average, or mean time, of the closing of this river by ice, at Hallowell, for 45 successive years, was December 12th, and of its opening, April 3d. The most remarkable years were, 1792, when the river closed November 4th, and opened April 4th, the following year; and 1831, when it closed January 10th, and opened  April 13th, 1832. Since the year 1786 the Kennebec has not been obstructed by ice in any spring after the 20th of April.
      
Lincoln County, Me.
      Wiscasset, Topsham and Warren are the county towns. Lincoln county is bounded N. by the counties of Kennebec and Waldo, E. by Waldo county and Penobscot bay, S. by the Atlantic ocean, and W. by Cumberland county and Casco bay. Area abut 950 square miles. This county is bounded on the ocean nearly fifty miles, and like the county of Hancock in this state, comprises an almost innumerable number of bays, coves, inlets, commodious harbors and fertile islands. The waters of the Muscongus, Damariscotta and Sheepscot pierce its centre, and the noble Kennebec finds all its Atlantic harbors in the county of Lincoln.

    Considerable attention is paid to agriculture, for the soil is generally fertile and well adapted to the purpose; but this county is essentially a maritime section of New England, possessing every requisition for foreign commerce, the coasting trade and fisheries. The tonnage of the three districts, Bath, Wiscasset and Waldoborough, in 1837, was 93,347 tons. This county contained, in 1837, 84,000 sheep, and raised 37,963 bushels of wheat. Population, 1820, 53,189; 1830, 57,181; 1837, 60,226: 63 inhabitants to a square mile.

 Mount Desert, Me.
      Hancock co. This town comprised the whole island of the same name, lying between Frenchman's bay and the waters of Blue Hill bay, and Union river, until 1795, when the north part was set off and called Eden. It lies 110 miles E. from Augusta. Incorporated, 1789. Population, 1837, 1,783.
      This town has an extensive coast, and a number of excellent harbors. The people of Mount Desert own considerable navigation employed in the coasting trade; and the shore fishery, is a lucrative branch of business. The soil of the town is good, and abundantly able to supply the inhabitants with bread stuffs. In 1837, the ocean towns of Mount Desert and Eden, produced 674 bushels of good wheat. We mention this fact, to show that there must be something, other than sea air, which causes that valuable grain to blight on the coast of Massachusetts.

Orrington, Me.
      Penobscot co. This is a fine township of land with a handsome village on the east side of Penobscot river, opposite to Hampden. The town has a good mill stream and enjoys great navigable facilities. Population, 1837, 1,426. Wheat crop, same year, 2,349 bushels.

Owl's Head, Me.
      Lincoln co. This noted place on our eastern waters is a point of land attached to the town of Thomaston, running out three or four miles into Penobscot bay, opposite to the town of Vinalhaven. Owl's Head forms the western entrance into the mouth of Penobscot river, and has a light house to guide the wary mariner on his way. A breakwater is about being erected, which will render the harbor at this place one of the most commodious, as it is one of the most important, on the coast. An almost countless number of vessels pass this place annually. Frequently five hundred pass in a day. From March 15th to June 15th, 1838, 5019 sail were seen to pass in the day time. Owl's Head is not only a stopping place in a storm, but a resort for great numbers of people, for many miles around, to take passages on board of steamers and other vessels. It is a delightful place in summer, and has justly acquired a reputation for possessing all the various enjoyments which induce thousands to visit the sea coast at other places. It lies 4 miles E. from Thomaston, 55 S. from Bangor, 40 S.E. from Augusta, and 79 E.N.E. from Portland.

Oxford county, Me.

Penobscot River and Bay, Me.

Penobscot county, Me.

Poland, Me.
Cumberland co. Poland is situated on Little Androscoggin river, 6 miles above Lewiston falls. It is 44 miles S.W. from Augusta, and 26 N. from Portland. Incorporated, 1795. Population, 1837, 2,251.—Wheat crop, same year, 3,965 bushels. There is an excellent farming town with good mill privileges, several ponds, and a pleasant village.

A family consisting of about 70 of that curious people denominated “Shakers,” reside in Poland. They possess about 600 acres of choice land. They are attached to the society at New Gloucester, about a mile distant. Their village is on a beautiful eminence. To say that their village is neat and handsome, and that their lands and gardens are well improved, would be superfluous. See Canterbury, N.H.


Porpoise, Cape, Me.
This cape lies in the county of York, and forms the N.E. boundary of Kennebunk Harbor. N. lat. 43° 22', W. lon. 70° 23'.

Prospect, Me.
      Waldo co. This is a beautiful town, of good soil, on the west side of Penobscot river. It is bounded on the S. by Belfast bay; 52 miles E. by N. from Augusta, 12 N.N.E. from Belfast, and 18 S. from Bangor. Prospect is very flourishing in its commercial and agricultural pursuits. Population, 1830, 2.381; 1837, 3.198. Incorporated, 1794. Wheat crop, 1837, 4,416 bushels.

Richmond, Me.
    Lincoln co. Within these limits, on the west bank of Kennebec river, stood an ancient fortress called Richmond; hence the name of the town. It lies between Bowdoinham and Gardiner, and is the site of some ship building and navigation. The town has mill privileges on a stream which empties into Merrymeeting bay: its soil is productive, and its location pleasant.  Richmond lies 15 S. from Augusta and 15 N. from Topsham. Incorporated, 1823. Population, 1837, 1,526. Wheat crop, same year, 1,656 bushels.

    Saco, Me.
Thomaston, Me.

Vinalhaven, Me.
      Waldo co. Previous to 1838, this town was attached to the county of Hancock. It is situated 12 miles S.E. from Camden, 6 E. from Owl's Head, and is formed of the Fox Islands, at the mouth of Penobscot bay, about fifty miles below Bangor. There are three islands of considerable size, belonging to this group, besides several smaller islands on their coast. This island town possesses in an eminent degree all those advantages to be derived from a bold shore and good harbors, in the centre of an extensive maritime commerce, and of the domestic fishery. These privileges are well improved by the inhabitants of the Fox islands: they also make their soil tributary to their wants. In 1837, their crop of wheat was 1,611 bushels. So long as the sea island towns of Mount Desert, Eden and Vinalhaven, afford wheat, and Truro, wool, in such abundance; there seems, at present, no great cause for the Yankees going west to escape either nakedness or starvation. These islands are finely located for summer excursions, either for health or pleasure. The passages between the principal islands, are delightful; and the scenery around them beautiful. Population, 1837, 1,768.

Windsor, Me.
    Kennebec co. Windsor was incorporated by the name of Malta, in 1809. In 1821 it took the name of Gerry, and in 1822 it received its present name. It lies 12 miles from Augusta, by which it is bounded on the west. Population, 1837, 1,660. Wheat crop, same year, 5,947 bushels.
    This town is watered by the upper branches of Sheepscot river, and by several handsome ponds. The surface of the town is diversified : the soil is generally good, and its agricultural condition improving. There are some manufactures in the town.

Wiscasset, Me.
      Lincoln co. Shire town. Wiscasset is a port of entry, situated on the west side of Sheepscot river, 20 miles from the sea; 24 miles S.S.E. from Augusta, 42 N.E. from Portland, and 10 N.E from Bath. It was incorporated in 1769. Population, 1837, 2,246.
      Wiscasset contains a noble harbor for vessels of the largest class: it is easy of access and seldom obstructed by ice. For many years previous to the commencement of the commercial restrictions in 1807, Wiscasset was one of the most active and flourishing sea ports in Maine. During the disastrous perios which followed, Wiscasset suffered severely, in common with all towns largely engaged in navigation.
      Since the termination of the war the town has been slowly but safely progressing in wealth and prosperity. In addition to its commerce in lumber and ship building, this place islargely and profitably engaged in the fishery, for which purpose it is admirably located. The tonnage of this district in 1837, was 11,662 tons.
      The village of Wiscasset is delightfully situated on rising ground, in view of the harbor. The court house, churches, stores, and dwelling houses are built with taste, and many of them with elegance. A more beautiful village is rarely seen.

Woolwich, Me.
      Lincoln co. Woolwich lies a little above Bath, on the east side of Kennebec river, 32 miles S. from Augusta, and 7 W. from Wiscasset. It was incorporated in 1759. Population, 1837, 1,433. Woolwich has several ponds and small streams, and its navigable privileges are valuable.

York, Me.
      York co. This is an ancient maritime town, on the coast, between Kittery and Wells. It is bounded W. by South Berwick. This was for many years the shire town, and the place of holding the courts and keeping the records for the whole province, until the counties of Cumberland and Lincoln were set off in 1760. The town was incorporated in 1653.
      York has a court house and gaol, but all the county courts have been, within a few years past, removed to Alfred. The principal harbor is York river, about 6 miles from Portsmouth, N.H., with water sufficient for vessels from 200-300 tons burthen. The entrance, however, is difficult, being narrow and crooked. The other harbor is cape Neddock, about 4 miles N.E. of the former, navigable about a mile from the sea at full tides only; it having a sand bar at its mouth, sufficient to prevent vessels of any considerable burthen from passing at low water.
      Cape Neddock and Bald Head are the head lands. The former is a little to the south of cape Neddock river. At the end of this cape is a small hillock called the Nubble, on which Congress has recently authorized the erection of a Light house. Boon Island lies about 9 miles southeast of this point. Bald Head makes the S.W. part of Wells bay.
      The settlement of this place began about the year 1630: it was then called Agamenticus, from a mountain of that name in the north part of town. This is of considerable elevation, and a noted land mark. From its summit, there is an extensive prospect bounded by the great ranges of the N.H mountains on the N. and N.W., and the Atlantic on the coast from Cape Ann to Cape Elizabeth.
      This town was nearly destroyed by the Indians and French in 1692, who, coming on snow shoes, surprised the unwary inhabitants at early morning. This calamity was so desolating, that the few remaining inhabitants had thought of abandoning the place altogether; but a number remained, though suffering under severe privation from the destruction of almost every thing that could give them shelter or sustenance.
      The population of the town in 1830, was 3,485; but has been reduced since that time, by the annexation of a portion of its northern angle to South Berwick. Its population in 1837, was 3,001.
      York is situated 99 miles S.W. from Augusta, 45 S.W. by S. from Portland, 22 S.S.E. from Alfred and 9 N. by E. from Portsmouth, N.H.

York county, Me.
      Alfred is the county town. This county is bounded N. by Oxford county, N.E. by by the county of Cumberland, E. by the ocean, S. by Portsmouth harbor, and W. by Strafford county, N.H. It comprises an area of about 818 square miles. Its population in 1810, was 41,877; 1820, 46,283; 1830, 51,722; and in 1837, 53,781. Population to a square mile, 66. The surface of the county is rough and uneven, but not mountainous; its highest elevation is Mount Agamenticus. Its soil is hard and rocky, particularly on the sea coast, which extends about 35 miles. There is, however, much good land within the limits of York county: it produces large quantities of English and salt hay, potatoes and other vegetables, corn, and some wheat; but the latter grain is not so abundant in this as in more eastern counties. The quantity of wheat grown in this county in 1837, was but 17,795 bushels. There is much good grazing land in the county, and in 1837, there were 60,392 sheep within its limits.
      The sea coast is lined with fine harbors for the fishery, and many vessels are built of native timber. The county contains many capes, points and necks of land, on which are well conducted light houses. The tonnage of the three districts within the county, Saco, Kennebunk and York, in 1837, was 11,505 tons. York county contains many excellent mill streams; and the value of its hydraulic power is beginning to be seen and felt.
      This ancient county was the lodgement of some of the first settlers of New England. See Saco.

Maine index
19th Century New England