Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 239
Click on the image to view a larger, bitmap (.bmp) image suitable for printing.


Click on the image above for a larger, bitmap image suitable for printing.

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


of the county, and Blue Mountain, also about 4,000 in height, wflth its
eastward range of hills, subdivides the southern section. The Andro-
scoggin River passes across a corner of Jay, the south-western town
of the county, and the streams of towns on this side are generally
tributary to this river. An interesting feature is the combination of
scenery about one little valley of ten miles radius from the town of
Farmington, embracing the bold features of mountain ranges, with the
low, warm, fertile valley, having the geological features and botanical
exuberance which are not often found except in extensive countries.
The region in view from the Saddleback range is no less striking, for
on the west and south-west lie the Rangeiey and Richardson Lakes,
partly in Franklin and partly in Oxford ; northward is the Dead River
Valley with this tributary of the Kennebec winding peacefully through
it. Clearings in many directions show dots of buildings and broad tracts
of grass-land and cultivated field.

Franklin County was the home of the Norridgewock tribe of the
Abnaki nation of Indians. Their principal village was near where
Sandy River enters the Kennebec. There was a village of these
people at Farmington Falls ; another was at Chesterville Centre, on
the Little Norridgewock. Though the tribe removed to Canada before
settlements were made in the county by white people, yet a few strag-
gling families seem to have made different points in Franklin their
‘homes for many years later, having some intercourse with the hunters,
trappers and early settlers. The first of these found on Sandy River
the camp of one of these secluded aborigines named Pierpole. He
assisted them with valuable information in regard to their new home;
but not receiving the sympathy that was desirable from his new neigh-
bors, and being Roman Catholic in religion, he migrated to Canada
with his family, carrying with him the dead body of his child.

By the reports of hunters, the existence of the “ Great Interval ” on
Sandy River became known in certain quarters, creating a large degree
of interest. In 1776, therefore, five enterprising young men from
Topsham explored the region w'ith a view to settlement. Their names
were Stephen Titcomb, Robert Gower, James Henry, Robert Alexander
and James Macdonnel. They selected lots in the centre of the “Great
Interval,” measuring them off with strings of basswood bark. No
family, however, moved into the place till 1781. Mr. Titcomb, intend-
ing to become the first settler with a family in the place, started with
them and his household goods in the autumn of 1780, but was blocked
up by snow at the last house on the route, situated in Readfield.
When spring opened he went to his clearing and put in his crop ; then,
returning for his family, he met Joseph Brown and Nathaniel Davis
on the way with thfeir families. Settlers soon followed from each State
of New England, excepting, perhaps, Vermont. The first mill in the
county was on Davis’s Mill Stream, now called Temple Mill Stream,
near the centre of Farmington. This was erected by the combined
enterprise of the settlers, and put in operation in the autumn of the
first year that families wintered in the place. Many Revolutionary
soldiers were among the early settlers. Enoch Craig was one of these,
and became the founder of one of the enterprising and substantial
families of Franklin County. In 1789, he married Dorothy Sterling,
of one of the leading pioneer families, they being obliged to make a
journey to Hallowell in order to be legally united. Within ten years


This page was written in HTML using a program written in Python 3.2