Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 373
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Gazetteer of the State of Maine With Numerous Illustrations, by Geo. J. Varney

BOSTON: PUBLISHED BY B. B. RUSSELL, 57 CORNHILL. 1882. Public domain image from


miles. The town has several villages,—Montville Village or McFar-
land’s Corner, Center, North, West and South Montville. There are
in the town five saw-mills for the manufacture of long and short lum-
ber, one grist-mill, two cheese-factories, two carriage-factories, etc.


This town was in the second grand division of the grant known as
the “ Twenty Associates’ Proprietary,” the most of which was subse-
quently owned by Joseph Pierce, of Boston, from whom the settlers
obtained their titles. The first settlement in this town was in 1778-9,
by a Mr. Stannard, who moved away in a few years; so that the first
permanent settler was James Davis, a Presbyterian minister, originally
from Massachusetts. Two years later his two sons, William and
Joshua, and a more distant relative, became residents. These all set-
tled in the neighborhood of what is now Liberty. These fam-
ilies intermarried, and the Davis families became so numerous
that the plantation gained the name of Davistown, which it re-
tained until its incorporation. Following the last, came William
Clark and Archibald McAlister, from Jefferson (then Ballstown);
and about 1793, Timothy Barrett, a native of Concord, Mass.,
took up his residence in Montville. He here maintained the life of a
hermit till about 1844, and in 1847 he died at the supposed age of
eighty-five. On February 18, 1807, the settlement was incorporated
as Montville, a name derived perhaps from the mountain which marks
tbe centre of the town.

In 1799 came in Rev. Moses McFarland. He was born in 1781, com-
menced preaching here in 1805, and continued to do so until within a
few years. Another preacher, Rev. Ebenezer Knowlton, a resident of
Montville, in 1855-7, represented this district in Congress. The town
has now four Free Baptist churches, and one Methodist church. The
number of public schoolhouses is fifteen; and their value, with appur-
tenances, is $4,500. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $389,945.
In 1880 it was $362,692. The population in 1870 was 1,467. In 1880
it was 1,255.

Moosehead Lake, the largest body of fresh water in New
England, lies on the boundary of Piscataquis and Somerset counties,
on the borders of a far-reaching wilderness. Its area is 120 square
miles. It is 40 miles in extreme length, from 1 mile to 18 miles in
width, and has about 400 miles of shore. Its borders, winding and
irregular in their general outline, are further broken up into little
coves, bays, points and peninsulas, and indented by the mouths of
many streams. The water is of such depth that the lake can be crossed
by steamers from end to end. For nearly forty years these craft have
puffed along its forest-clad shores, towing rafts of logs from its ex-
treme parts to its outlet, and in later years conveying explorers, hunt-
ers, fishermen and summer tourists. At present there are five or more
steamers on the lake, often accompanied by bands of music. Enclosed
by its waters are many islands, and about its shores noble panoramas
of mountain scenery. Of the islands, Sugar Island is the largest, con-
taining 5,000 acres, but uninhabited; Deer Island, the next in size,
contains above 2,200 acres, and has a cleared farm and a small public
house. Eastward are seen the tops of mountains, solitary and in
groups, among which are the Ebeeme Mountains, with Boarstone,
Horseback and Spruceback; and at the north east, almost touched by


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