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"MOOSE" Summer 2010
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History of Woodstock, ME
Virtual Tour of Property
The History of Woodstock, Maine,
with Family Sketches and an Appendix
by: William Berry Lapham - Printed in 1882
 
 

History of Woodstock, Maine
From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886

Woodstock lies at the centre of the broad, middle section of OxfordCounty. Bethel, and Milton and Franklin plantations bound it on the north, Sumner bounds it on the east, Paris and Greenwood bound it on the south and west. A group of not less than 14 high hills occupy the centre, of which are Mount Blue and Perham Mountain. In the south-western part are Whitman and Curtis mountains, and in the south-eastern is Molly Ocket Mountain. The Lone Star Gold Mine is situated near the base of a mountain on the northeastern side of the middle group. Bryant’s Pond is a fine sheet of water in the western part of the town, named for an early settler. From its southern extremity issues Little Androscoggin River. In the north-western corner is North Pond; and in the north-eastern part lie Great Concord and Little Concord ponds, the latter two, the the sources of the East Branch of Concord River. South of these just within the border is Shagg Pond. The largest of these beautiful sheets is North Pond, and Bryant’s Pond is next, being three miles long by one wide.

All the eminences in the town seem to be composed in the main of granitic rocks. The soil is loamy and fertile, especially in the alluvial lands that skirts the ponds and streams. Potatoes is the chief cultivated crop. The scenery of this town is varied and beautiful, and the roads are in general very good. Beech, birch, maple, poplar, spruce and fir deck the hill-sides and valleys inextensive tracts or scattered groups.

The principal village is named Bryant’s Pond, and is situated on the pond of that name and on the Grand Trunk railway, on which it is a station. In this town there are four saw-mills, one sash and door factory, one grist4nill, and the others smaller and usually found in villages. The Lone Star Mine Co., operating for gold and. silver at the point before mentioned, is a corporation of this town.

Woodstock comprises two half townships, one of which was granted by Massachusetts, June 14, 1800, to Dummer Academy, and the other on February 7, 1807, to Gorham Academy. It was incorporated Feb. 7, 1815. Hamlin’s Grant, a gore of 1,270 acres, granted to Cyrus Hamlin in 1816, was annexed to Woodstock in 1872. The first settlement was made in 1798, by Christopher and Solomon Bryant, sons of Solomon Bryant of Paris. Settlements were begun in other parts of the town soon after. Lemuel Perham, an early settler, was the grandfather of ex-Governor Perharn, who was born in this town, and in his youth cultivated one of these hill-side farms.

The religious societies in the town are the Methodist, Baptist and Universalist. Of the first there are three; of the second two. There are four church edifices. The public seboohouses of Woodstock numbor eleven, and are valued at $2,000. The population in 1870 was 995. In 1880 it was 952. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $204,907. In 1880 it was $196,035. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 86 mills on the dollar.

 

History of Sumner, Maine
From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886

Sumner lies on the eastern part of the middle portion of Oxford County. It is bounded by Peru on the north, Hartford on the east, Buckfield on the south, and Woodstock and Paris on the west. The greatest length of the town is north-west and south-east about 11 miles; and its width averages nearly 5½. Through almost the whole length of the town runs the West Branch of Twenty-Mile River, and the East Branch of this river forms the eastern boundary line. Near this river at the north-east is Labrador Pond, west of the centre is Pleasant Pond, and in the south-eastern part of the town is North Pond, largest of the three, having an area of about one-third of a square mile. Smaller are Shag Pond in the north-west corner, and Little Labrador in the eastern part of the town. Black Mountain, noted for its blueberries, is an extensive elevation in the northern part; and Spence Hills on the south-western line. Cushman’s Hill, south of the centre, and Hedgehog Hill in the south-east, are also considerable elevations. The surface generally is uneven and broken, but the soil is generally productive. At Jackson Village (West Sumner post office) are a saw-mill for long lumber, a shingle-mill, grist-mill, cooperage, etc.; and at East Sumner are saw, shingle and grist-mills, and various small manufactures. The main business of the inhabitants is agricultural, in which they have met with good success, and the town generally bears the appearance of thrift. The F?mford Falls and Buckfield Railroad touches the south-eastern part of the town, and has a station near East Sumner. The Grand Trunk railroad station at West Paris is about 8 miles from Sumner Centre.

This town was formerly one with Hartford; and these sections bore respectively the names of East and West Butterfield. On June 13, 1798, it was separately incorporated under its present name in honor of Governor Increase Sumner. The first settler in town was Charles Bisbee, from Pembroke, Mass. The first settlement in the south-east part was made in the same year by Increase Robinson and Noah Bosworth. Most of the first settlers came from Plymouth County, Mass., and were Revolutionary soldiers. Among the earliest were Increase and Joseph Robinson, Simeon Barrett, Noah Bosworth, Hezekiah Stetson, John Briggs, John Crockett, Benjamin Heald, Mesech Keen, Barney Jackson and Oliver Cummings. These obtained the titles to their lands from Massachusetts. Oliver Cummings, from Dunstable, Mass., struck the first blow of the axe at what is now the centre of the town. For some years the settlers were obliged to carry their grist upon their backs ten miles to a mill in Turner, being guided by a spotted line through the woods. The first grist as well as the first saw-mill in the town was erected by Increase Robinson in 1783.

The churches in Sumner are a Congregationalist, First and Second Baptist, Free Baptist and Universalist. The public schoolhouses number sixteen, and the entire school property has an estimated value of $4,600. The population in 1870 was 1,170. In 1880 it was 1,014. The valuation in 1870 was $382,463. In 1880 it was $310,985.