Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 514
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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


five years old and upward. Skowhegan is on the Maine Central Rail-
road, 100 miles from Portland. It is connected by stage-lines with
Norridgewock, Anson, Solon, Athens, the Forks of the Kennebec, and
Moosehead Lake, also Canaan and Mercer.

The territory comprising Skowhegan was originally a part of
Canaan, from wliich it was taken and incorporated under the name of
Millburn, Feb. 5, 1823. In .1836, the name it now bears was substi-
Skowhegan is an Indian word, and is thought to signify a
place of watch, referring to the habit of the savages in gathering
here to catch salmon and other fish, which were abundant in their
season. The original territory of the town lay wholly on the north
side of the river, and contained but 19,071 acres ; but by the addi-
tion of Bloomfield on the south side of the river opposite, in 1861, the
area was swelled to 30,981 acres. Of this'number 48 acres are water,
and over 321 are in roads.

This town is largely indebted to Hon. Abner Coburn for its pros-
perity. Mr. Coburn’s father, Eleazer Coburn, moved to this locality
from Massachusetts in 1792, at the age of fifteen years, being among
the early settlers of the Kennebec Valley. He was a farmer and sur-
veyor. Abner was born here in 1803. After he became of manly age,
he and his younger brother Philander, assisted their father in survey-
ing and exploring the 1,000,000 acres of Bingham’s Kennebec purchase.
The three, a little later, entered into a partnership business in land and
lumber under the name of E. Coburn
& Sons; and after their father’s
death in 1845, his sons, the surviving partners, continued the business ;
and in 1876 Philander died. He and another brother'are now sole
possessors of the property of the family. They own 450,000 acres of
land in Maine, and several thousand in the western States. Mr.
Coburn was governor of Maine in 1863. His charities have been very
large of late years. Besides the gift of an elegant court-house to his
native county, he has given $75,000 to Colby University at Waterville,
and several gifts of smaller sums to other institutions, ainonĀ» which is
the State Agricultural College at Orono. Other valued citizens of
former years were Gen. Joseph Locke, Judah McLellan and Samuel
Weston, Esqs. Col. Z. A. Smith of the “Boston Journal,” was for
sometime a resident of Skowhegan. This town sent 285 men to the
Union army in the war of the Rebellion, losing 84. There are here a
society each of the Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, Christians
and Catholics. E. P. Mayo’s Somerset Reporter is published here.

The village has graded schools, including a good high-school. The
number of public schoolhouses is twenty-four, valued with appurten-
ances at $28,900. The population in 1870 was 3,893. In 1880 it was
3,861. The valuation in 1870 was $1,581,610. In 1880 it was $2,053,818.

Small Point, a post-office in Phipsburg, Sagadahoc County.

Smithfleld lies in the south-western part of Somerset
county, west of Fairfield, south of Norridgewock, east of Mercer, and
north of Belgrade and West Waterville in Kennebec county. On the
west of the town lies North Pond, and East Pond in the southern part.
North of this, in the centre of the town is a large marsh. The ponds
are each about 3 miles long and 2 wide. These ponds are beautiful
sheets of water, with excellent facilities for sailing, fishing and shoot


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