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
300 GAZETTEER OF MAINE.
some two miles long,in the western part of the town. The streams are the
Kennebunk River, which separates it from the tow n of the same name ;
Little River, next to Saco ; Batsons River and Smiths Brook, which,
uniting, form a small harbor; and Goffes Creek, emptying into the
Kennebunk River. At the mouth of the latter is the principal harbor ;
whose natural security is increased by stone piers at its entrance.
Fisheries and shipbuilding form the principal business at the sea-
board. Ten vessels were built during the last fiscal year within its
limits and on the opposite shore of Kennebunk River. There are sev-
eral small saw-inills on the streams, and two saw'-mills and a grist-mill
run by steam-power. The town has four good granite quarries. The
south-eastern part is rocky, but the soil for the most part is clay loam ;
and both uplands and marshes yield good grass crops. The face of
the country is moderately uneven. The eminence called Mount
Scargery or Scargo is the highest land. The roads are kept in good
condition, and there are pleasant woods of maple, oak and pine
scattered over the town. Elm trees from twenty to a hundred years
of age are frequently seen along the highways in the vicinity of the
olden dwellings ; and in these dwellings are tokens of a time long past
and of a thrifty present.
The climate is regarded as favorable to longevity, there being some
80 persons over eighty years old. There is a mineral spring in town of
some note, known as the Perkins Spring.
Kennebunkport was made a town under tbe name of Cape Porpoise,
in 1653, by the Massachusetts Commissioners. ■ The inhabitants wrere
driven off by the first Indian wars, and returning were re-organized in
1718 under the name of Arundel. In 1820, that name was changed to
the one it now bears. The land titles came from Gorges and Rigby.
The first permanent settlement was made in the south-eastern part of
the town by William Seadlock and Morgan Howell, about 1630. The
place is said to have been named Cape Porpoise by Captain John
Smith, from his having encountered many porpoises off the cape.
The court records for 1640 show that William Seadlock is presented
by the grand inquest for allowing a man to get drunk on bis premises.
Mr. Seadlock also appears in the record of 1633 as complainant against
one John Baker for opprobrious speeches against the minister and
meeting, and for countenancing private meetings and prophesying to the
hindrance of public assemblies. The church at Cape Porpoise appears
to have been an independent body ; for when the Massachusetts Com-
missioners attempted, in 1653, to organize the government of the
town, they were opposed by the church, and they therefore declared
that body dissolved. From 1689 to 1719 there is a hiatus in the
records, the Indian wars having mostly depopulated the towm during
that period. There was a fort built upon Stage Island in 1689, and
garrisoned by direction of Governor Andros ; but when he returned
to Massachusetts, the troops deserted. The Indians soon made their
appearance in large numbers, and the inhabitants either removed to the
fort, or to the neighboring town of Wells. The fort wras besieged until
the provisions were almost exhausted, when Nicholas Morey, a lame
innkeeper of the town, one dark night escaped from the island in a
broken canoe. The second day the distressed inmates of the fort
beheld a sail approaching. Presently she sent the contents of a swivel
gun among the Indians, who instantly abandoned the siege and fled.
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