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
126 GAZETTEER OF MAINE.
1 j; prietors, who conveyed 3,200 acres of it to William Bowdoin, of Bos-
|; ton, but Sir Ferdinando Gorges had, in 1637, granted to Sir Richard
t Edgecomb a tract of 8,000 acres, situated near Merrymeeting Bay—
' !| then called the Lake of New Somerset. In 1718 John Edgecomb, of
i New London, appeared for the heirs of his name, and entered a minute
i I of the grant in the book of claims. In 1756 the claim was again re-
5 vived by Lord Edgecomb, one of the heirs, who entrusted his business
to Sir William Pepperell, of Kittery. The latter having died without
i settling his claim, his lordship empowered Nathaniel Sparhawk to pur-
• sue it. Mr. Bowdoin, claiming from the Plymouth proprietors, brought
an action to sustain his claim, showed title from the Plymouth propri-
etors, and a quit-claim from Abagadusset. The court ruled that this
should prevail against the obsolete and indefinite grant made by
Gorges, and Mr. Bowdoin won the case. This ruling and decision
were in 1758 and 1763; but some years later the Superior Court
ruled that this town was not included in the patent, the north line
of the town being fixed as the southern boundary of the patent.
It is also said that the Pejepscot proprietors claimed this territory and
built mills within it. The settlement of Bowdoinham began soon after
the building of Fort Richmond ; but its increase was much retarded by
the wars with the Indians, and the disputes about the title to the land.
The National Bank of Bowdoinham has a capital of $50,000. Orrington
Lunt and Samuel Gray are among the most valued of former citizens.
The salubrity of the climate of this town is shown by the number of
! old persons living here, there being thirty-three over eighty years old.
v It was incorporated in 1762, being named in honor of the Bowdoin
The Free Baptists have two churches, the Baptists one, and the
I Methodists one. Bowdoinham has fifteen schoolhouses, the entire
school property being valued at $6,000. The valuation of the estates
in 1870 was $646,422. In 1880 it was $610,409. The rate of taxation
in the latter year was twenty-four mills on a dollar. The population in
1870 was 1,804. In 1880 it was 1,681.
_ Bowerbank, (No. 7, r. viii.) in Piscataquis county, lies
directly north of Foxcroft, but separated from it by Sebec Lake. Its
boundary on the east is Barnard, and 011 the west, Howard. Its area, in-
» eluding a part of the lake within its limits, is 26,880 acres. Birch Moun-
tain is its highest elevation. About one-third of its soil is suitable for
cultivation, and some parts have proved highly productive. Mill Brook,
the principal stream, has a saw mill and a grist mill.
Mr. Bowerbank, a London merchant, was the first owner of the town-
ship who took effective steps to procure its settlement. The first actual
, settler was a Mr. Robinson, who put up a framed house and barn in 1825,
and married and moved in in 1826. William Newell, a blacksmith
from Hallo well, was the next; William Heskith, the third, and Deacon
J. Brown, the fourth.
Religious meetings very early began to be regularly held, and in
1836 a Baptist church was organized. The settlers soon voluntarily
took measures to build a schoolhouse, and opened private schools
for their children. The township was permanently incorporated in
1839, taking the name of its English owner. There were then but
about thirty voters, upon whom were imposed the burdens of muni-
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