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
174 GAZETTEER OF MAINE.
a horseback in the town 5 miles long and 25 feet high. Granite is the
principal rock, of which there is much of a fine quality quarried. The
soil is sandy, or a sandy loam. Pine, is the most numerous wood, but
alternating with hemlock, maple, birch and poplar. The town is
marked by numerous small ponds, of which there are said to be
upwards of twenty. The largest of these is Parkers Pond, lying at
the south-eastern boundary of the town. Norcross Pond, the next in
size, has an area of about one-third of a square acre. The others are
Sheldrake, McGurdy, Locks, Sand, Parkhurst, Moosehorn, etc. The ^
streams are Wilsons, which forms the line of division from Farming-
ton ; McGurdys, which marks the line between Chesterville and
Vienna, also the former and New Sharon; Little Norridgewock, which
rises in Norcross Pond in the south part of the town, running north-
ward midway of the territory to Wilsons Stream, which discharges
into Sandy River.
The village of Farmington Falls is partly in Farmington and
partly in Chesterville. The manufactures here are lumber, sash and
blinds, spools, wrought granite, pumps, excelsior, potash, etc. At
South Chesterville, situated on Parkers Pond, there are a lumber-
mill and a grist-mill. North Chesterville, or Keiths Mills, on Wilsons
Stream, is the centre of the wholesale manufacture of wagons and
sleighs, which have a reputation throughout the State. The machine
work is done at the village, but the larger part of the labor is
performed on the neighboring farms ; thus mingling the labors of the
farm and the shop. The village is partly in Farmington, and is charm-
ingly situated, being surrounded by an amphitheatre of hills, through
which the stream winds like a silver thread, or anon spreads out
broad and pond-like. Other industries are carding and cloth-dressing, a
grain-mill, cabinet and furniture making. There is here a beautiful village
Union church, containing a bell that was given by Rev. Jotham Sewall,
—widely known as Father Sewall, and sometimes spoken of as the
Apostle of Maine,—whose remains lie entombed in the outskirts of
the village. There is a small library here. Chesterville Centre is a
pretty village, with a fine church, situated on the Little Norridgewock.
Here also is a large tannery for sheepskins, which are carried in
through and out of the great vats of tanning liquor on huge reels
moved by water and steam power. There are 20 residents of Chester-
ville over eighty years of age, and 1 over ninety. The town sent 65
men into the army of the Union during the war of the Rebellion, of
which 23 were lost.
When the region was first explored by the settlers, they found at
tbe rapids or falls at Chesterville Centre, on the Little Norridgwock,
remains of palisades enclosing an area of some 3 acres where the village
now stands. The enclosure included an Indian burying-ground, where
bones, wampum, and other Indian relics are often dug up.
Chesterville was first known as Wymans Plantation from its pio-
neer settler, Abraham Wyman, who commenced his plantation in the
southern part of the town in 1782. He was followed in 1783 by
Samuel Linscott and Dummer Sewall, who built mills near the centre
of the township, designating their settlement as Chester Plantation.
The title of the lands was from Massachusetts. The township was first
surveyed in 1788. Some of the early settlers were from Bath, others
from York, and a few from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Rev.
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