Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 397
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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


poem of “ Mogg Megone,” graphically describes this village and the
worship of the dusky inhabitants.

A more effective force than had yet been sent left Fort Richmond
(in what is now the towm of Richmond) on the Kennebec, on the 19th
of August, 1724* It consisted of 208 men embarked in seventeen whale
boats. Near tbe mouth of tbe Sebastieook River, opposite what is now
the village of Waterville, they landed, leaving the boats under a guard
of 40 men. They marched up the eastern bank of the river to Skow-
hegan, where Captain Harman crossed at the Great Eddy with 60 men,
and followed up the river on that side for the purpose of cutting off
the retreat of those who might be at work in the corn fields on the
Sandy River; while Captain Moulton, leaving 10 men with the lug-
gage, marched with the remaining 98 men, for the doomed village,
reaching it on the 24th. Such of the Indians as were at home were
engaged in their cabins; but as the English entered one end of the
street an old Indian discovered them, and gave the war-whoop, which
brought out the warriors tc the number of about 60. The conflict was
sharp, short and decisive. Thirty warriors were slain and fourteen
wounded, the remainder escaping across the river and in other direc-
tions with the squaws and children. The church was pillaged, and one
of the three Mohawks who were with the expedition, enraged by the
fall of his brother during the fight, turned back and set.the chapel and
village on fire. Rasle engaged in tbe defence, firing from his cabin
upon tlie assailants, and himself fell in the fight. Roman Catholic
authorities have charged that the body of their missionary was shot
through and through, and was scalped and otherwise mutilated. The
church bell was recovered by the Indians from the ruins and buried in
the woods. It was subsequently found by an English party, and has
since been preserved in the collections of Bowdoin College. It weighed
64 pounds. From this time Norridgewock was forsaken by the tribe,
who removed to Canada.

Though the superiority of this region was known, it was still too
far from other settlements ; and no persistent attempts were made to
occupy it until after the Revolution, though some visited the place in
1772. Benedict Arnold, in October 1775, passed over this ground
with his army on the way to Quebec. No sooner was the war at an
end, than the settlers began to come in ; and in June, 1788, there were
a sufficient number of inhabitants to obtain incorporation as a town.
The town has always been thrifty, though many suffered much loss in
1837, by land and timber speculations. On the creation of Somerset
County in 1809, Norridgewock was made the shire town, continuing
to be such until 1871, when the county seat was changed to Skowhegan.
The first meeting-house was erected in 1794, at the public expense. The
court-house was built in 1820, and in 1847 remodeled at a cost of $7,000.
The present bridge across the river at this point was built in 1849, at a
cost of $11,000.

John S. Tenney and John Ware were esteemed citizens of Nor-
ridgewock. It was, also, long the home of Hon. John S. Abbot, a suc-
cessful lawyer of the Suffolk bar, very much esteemed by his brethren,
and recently deceased; William Allen, Esq., long and favorably
known in the middle and northern parts of the State, resided here
most of his life; and it is now the residence of Sophie May, the popu-
lar authoress of many valuable books for girls; and of Hon. Stephen


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