Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 395
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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


ment under Colonel Dunbar about 1730 ; but the growth was slow, as
it appears that at the beginning of the Revolution, there were only 30
men hete capable of bearing arms. James Noble, who bad married
the widow of Vaughan, pursued the claim until 1765, when he and his
coadjutors were dispossessed, though they did not then wholy abandon
their claim. The town was incorporated in 1788, being named for a son
of the proprietor, Colonel Arthur Noble, who was killed in a battle with
the French at Midas, Nova Scotia in 1747. It included Damariscotta
until 1847, when the latter was set off.


Rev. Adoniram Judson, father of the noted missionary of the same
name, was settled over the Baptist church in Nobleborough in 1819.
The Baptist denomination still preponderates in the town, having three
churches, and the Methodists, one. There are twelve public school-
houses in Nobleborough, these with other school property being valued
at $6,500. The valuation of real estate in 1870 was $287,867. In 1880,
I    it    was    $239,295.    The population in 1870 was 1,150. In 1880, it was


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N orridge wock lies on the Kennebec River in the south-
ern part of Somerset County. It is bounded on the North by Madison,
east by Skowhegan, south by Fairfield and Smithfield and west hy
Mercer and Starks. The township is somewhat larger than the stand-
ard size, having an area of about 26,000 acres. The form is nearly
square. The Kennebec River runs through the town from the north-
west angle to the centre, thence by a right-angled bend north-easterly
to Skowhegan. There is a village on each bank of the river at this
bend, connected by a good covered wooden bridge, 500 feet in length.
The town is quite hilly, but with fine intervals, the uplands also being
fertile. The soil on the river is a light sandy loam, and back from it
a rocky loam. The flora is unusually interesting. The forests are in
due proportion to the territory, and contains the trees common in the
region, with a predominance of hard-wood. Limestone is found in
abundance but mixed with slate. There is also a fine quality of granite
formed near the southern line of the town. The water-powers are at
Bombazee Rips, on the Kennebec 3 miles above Norridgewook Bridge,
with a natural fall of 8 feet, and on Sawtelle’s Mill Stream, at South
Norridgewock, with a fall of 10 feet in 20 rods. There are in this
village a saw and a grist-mill, a carriage and a furniture factory,
granite works, etc. Norridgewock Village is 5 miles south-west of
Skowhegan. It is on the line of the Somerset Railroad, which has a
station at South Norridgewock. The two villages are separated only
by the river.

Norridgewock was formerly the seat of a powerful tribe of Indians,
and the name of the town is a corruption of the name of their village.
It is said to have been the name of an early chief, and to signify
“ smooth water.” The French had a Roman Catholic missionary here
as early as 1610. Sebastian Rasle, a Jesuit missionary, became resident
at the place in 1687, laboring faithfully for the Indians in the manner
of his convictions until his death in 1724. He had here a dwelling
and a neat chapel; and his influence over the Indians was strong and
beneficent. They became earnest worshippers in the little chapel, and
their relations among themselves greatly improved, while their barbar
ities in war were lessened. The French, wishing to secure the Indians


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