Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 175
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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

CHINA.    175

Jotham Sewall and William Bradbury, the financier, commenced their
fortunes here. Among the trials and hardships of these two pioneers,
was that of going to Winthrop, 20 miles distant, to mill, drawing their
grain on a handsled. The first road was opened through the place
in 1780 ; and the first saw and grist mill was put in operation in 1785.
The town was incorporated in 1802. It has now a Free Baptist church,
and the Union church aforementioned. The number of public school-
houses is twelve, and the value of the total school property, $2,800.
The valuation of estates in 1870 was $288,353. In 1880 it was $290,-
968. The rate of taxation in the latter year was $16 on every $1,000.
The population in 1870 was 1,011. In 1880 it was 955.

Chicopee, a post-office in York County.

China is situated in the eastern part of Kennebec County,
on the western branch of the Sheepscot River. It is bounded
by Winslow and Albion on the north, Vassalboro on the west,
Windsor on the south, and Palermo, in Waldo County, on the
east. It touches Augusta at the south-western angle. Stage-lines
from Vassalboro to Bangor and Belfast to Waterville run through the
town. China was a part of the Plymouth Patent, and was surveyed in
1774 by John Jones, sometimes called “Black Jones,” from the dark-
ness of his complexion. He was not of the present Jones family in the
town. The first settlers were a large family named Clark, who came
from Nantucket. They were members of the Society of Friends. Mrs.
Clark, whose maiden was Folger, is said to have been a sister of Benja-
min Franklin’s mother. The Clarks, on one of their fishing excur-
sions in the fall of 1773, ascended the Kennebec as far as Gardiner,
where they fell in with surveyor Jones, and the next year removed to
the new plantation. The place was first organized under the name of
Jones’ Plantation. In 1776 it was incorporated under the name of
Harlem; in 1818 portions of this and of Albion and Winslow were
incorporated as the town of China, and the remainder of Harlem was
annexed in 1822.

The principal body of water within the town is China Lake, which
is 7 miles long and about 1 mile wide, extending from near the north-
ern line of the town south-west nearly to Three Mile Pond, at the
south-western corner of the town. On the western side extending into
Vassalboro, and connected by a passage called the Narrows with a
longer division of the lake, is another about 4 miles long and 2 wide.
The Sebastieook River forms the outlet. The land along the lake
rises from its gravel beach in gradual slopes to moderate heights. The
rock in town is mostly granite. The usual woods are found. The
soil is excellent. The western branch of the Sheepscot passes through
the eastern part of the town, affording several small powers. At
Weeks’s Mills on this stream are a grist-mill, lumber, and two shingle-
mills. At Palermo post-office, or Branch Mills, are a lumber and
grist mill. The town has a cheese-factors, tannery, several small boot
and shoe factories, etc. The centres of business in the town besides
those already mentioned, are China Village, at the north, the seat of
China Academy, and South China, beautifully situated at the south end
of lake.


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