From the record of the town’s annual meeting held “March 6, 1769”, we learn that it was “Voted that Joseph Wood, Jonathan Darling and Robert Parker be a Committee to lay out Roads where they should think proper to convean the Town on this side of the Salt Pond.”
The year previous the town voted “For to clear a Rhode from here to Pronobscutt” and chose a committee consisting of Samuel Foster, Israel Wood, Robert Parker, Joseph Wood and John Roundy to attend to laying out said “Rhode”.
At the annual town meeting held “Monday, April 7, 1794, voted that the following Roads be recorded. Viz :—
- The Road on the Neck.
- The Road leading to the Tide Mills from the Main Road that leads to Mr. Carleton’s.
- The Road from the Head of Blue Hill Bay to Noice’s Brook by Mr. Joseph Parker’s.
- The Road leading from Beech Hill by the Meeting house to the Head of Blue Hill Bay.
- The Road leading to the old Penobscot Road near Mr. Robert Wood’s from the Head of Blue Hill Bay by Capt. Joshua Horton’s.
The foregoing extracts from the records fix the fact of the location of the first roads laid out and built in the town.
For the purposes of this paper our investigation and statements will necessarily chiefly be confined to the consideration of the places and residents along the roads designated above as the “road leading to the Tide Mills” and “the Main Road that leads to Mr. Carleton’s” in one direction and to the Head of the Bay in the opposite direction.
Blue Hill Maine Genealogies
It appears by the records that there were four person who settled in the south part of the town by the name of Carleton, whose given names were Edward, Dudley, Moses and David, all from Andover, Mass., and evidently brothers. They built the mills first known as Carleton’s mills, mentioned in the town records in 1770 for the first time when Dudley Carleton was elected a selectman, in 1771 was re-elected and in 1772 was chosen one of a committee to keep the fish course clear at Carleton’s mills.
Beyond Allen’s mills upon the main road stood a small house, in the boyhood days of the writer, occupied by a Mr. Closson and family. The house has been gone many years. Off the main road to the right was the home of Eliphalet Grindle and family, and another not far distant from Grindle ‘s was the house and home of a family by the name of Durgin.
The Allen neighborhood was isolated from the rest of the people of the town; it was a community by itself, well known to the writer seventy years ago.
Long Cove was the next place of importance northeast of the Allen settlement. Its importance consisted of being a landing to which were brought cord wood and saw logs from the interior to be scowed to vessels loading below the falls with wood for Boston and elsewhere, and for rafting and floating logs to the tide mills. Wood to the amount of hundreds of cords was hauled there each winter and piled upon the shore awaiting spring and summer to be forwarded to market. It was a busy place for a portion of the year, and presented a picture of activity and enterprise.
The cove extended a quarter of a mile or more above the highway bridge that crossed over it, and it was the head waters of the cove where a brook emptied into it that the boys frequented in the spring to catch smelts.
Upon the rise of ground east of the cove in those days was the house on the north and barn on the south of the road of William W. Gray. He was the son of Joshua Gray, of Sedgwick, and his wife was Lucy, daughter of Josiah Closson, of the same town. They had no children of their own, but adopted one or more. Mr. Gray was an industrious man, who gained a livelihood by farming, and by working at odd jobs for others. He and his wife have been dead a half century, his house and barn are gone, and his farm is now owned by a son of Daniel B. Allen.
The next place north and easterly is what the boys called, sixty or seventy years ago, “Mackville”. There lived Peter McFarland, a shoemaker of Scotch descent, who is said to have come from the city of New York, where he left a wife and several children, here to build a log cabin and make his abode prior to 1800.
After the death of the heads of the family, the marriage of the children, and the removal of them from the haunts of their childhood, the place was owned for a number of years by Giles Johnson Grindle, and occupied by him and his family. The land stretched from William W. Gray’s to Mother Bush Brook with a shore line upon the Salt Pond. The buildings are gone at this writing, and the land is owned and cultivated by a son of the late Daniel B. Allen.
Mother Bush Brook, after dark, was a place to be shunned by lone boys, for fear they might see the ghost of Benjamin Friend, whom tradition said haunted that spot. The “Ghost of Mother Bush Brook” was described in verse some years ago by the writer, and requires no further notice here.
From that brook onto the crown of the Coggin hill was a part of the rough stage road between Sedgwick and Blue Hill, wooded on both sides, and a lonely way, six or seven decades ago. From the brow of the Coggin hill one looked down upon the Tide Mills or Falls district, where the settlement of the town began April 7, 1762. Beyond rises Blue Hill mountain in all its grandeur, with Newbury Neck, Schoodic and Mt. Desert hills on the right, the sparkling waters of the bay, with Long Island nearer at hand, the Falls, the island where Wood and Roundy built their log cabins, and with the tide mills, pond, etc., in the foreground. All these the writer sees engraven upon the tablets of his armory as he saw them from that spot more than seventy years ago, when he was a boy of the neighborhood, though nearly three score years have gone by since that was his home.
The Tide Mill Neighborhood
The Tide Mill neighborhood began at the Coggin lot and extended to Bragdon’s brook and just beyond, where the schoolhouse stood in which the writer first learned to lisp his “A B C’s.”
The first remembrance the writer has of the “Coggin lot” was when Capt. Isaac Merrill built the house now standing in 1831, and the barn a year after.
Since the days of Capt. Merrill, the “Coggin lot” has been owned and occupied by a Mr. Conary and others. The next house, after the “Coggin lot” was that of James Candage, who built the house that was standing until a few years ago, somewhere about 1800.
After the death of Azor and Chloe Candage the old house was occupied by Phineas Dodge his wife and family during his life, and by his widow until a short time before her death. The barn was sold and moved away and the old house finally succumbed to the ravages of time and was torn down. At this writing there are no buildings standing, and the land that once composed the farm has passed into other hands.
The next house was built about 1790 by Jonathan Ellis, who came to the town from Bellingham, Mass., and her kept a store in one room from which “the barrel of rum and sugar and molasses enough to sweeten it for raising the new meeting house” was sent in May, 1792. In that old house, still standing and occupied, the writer was born nearly seventy-nine years ago, and around it center many a fragrant memory of the impressible days of child hood and of youth.
Samuel Roundy Candage was the occupant of the Ellis house from 1816 to his death in 1852. After the death of Samuel R. Candage the old house and place, in part, were sold to Otis Carter, he died leaving it to his widow, and upon her death it went to an adopted daughter, who still owns it, and in which Ebenezer M. McFarland has a life interest by Mrs. Carter’s will.
Farther down the road towards the tide mills stands the house built by John Cheever about 1835.
After the Cheever family had left the place, it was sold to a Mr. Seavy, who also purchased the tide mills. He occupied the premises for some years and then disposed of them, including the mills, to Capt. William Conary, The mills were taken down or fell down during the ownership of Capt. Conary. After Capt. Conary’s death the Cheever house and place were sold to Irving S. Candage, the present owner and occupant. The wharf has fallen into decay and the store and sheds caught fire and were destroyed several years ago.
After the occupancy of Mr. Clay and family, Capt. Samuel Eaton and family from Deer Isle lived there a few years; then Phineas Dodge and family, and various others from time to time for longer or shorter periods.
The tide mills, the first of which was built in 1765, when at its raising every person in town was present and all sat about one table at dinner, was the first mill of the town, and was named “Endeavor”. The father and grandfather of the writer were owners in the mills, and has worked in them in boyhood, and has many recollections of them.
The island upon which Joseph Wood and John Roundy first built their homes was, in the boyhood of the writer, owned by Marble Parker, and after him by his son Augustus. The latter sold it to David Friend and a portion went to a Mr. Sylvester. Mr. Friend sold his part to Brooks Gray, and Sylvester his to Mrs. Ethelbert Nevin, of New York, who built a fine cottage upon it, and at this writing is building another. These have been and are the owners in the past and at the present time.
Passing on from the tide mill road back to the old stage road to and from Sedgwick, there stands just where the former diverges a house built by Robert Clay, brother of Benjamin already spoken of, on land purchased of the writer’s father in about 1834. Mr. Clay was a joiner and house carpenter like his brother, a cousin of Samuel R. Candage and a descendant of John Roundy, the first settler, through his father’s marriage with Molly Roundy.
On the lot practically, and less than 150 feet from the Clay house, stands the schoolhouse of the district, built in 1834-5 by Simeon P. Wood, by contract, in which the writer attended winter school under the teachings of C. C. Long, Fred A. Darling and others.
Across the road from the schoolhouse is the cellar over which it is said the house of Joseph Wood stood which he built, when he removed from the island at the Fore Falls.
The Edward Sinclair place with the house now standing thereon was next to the place just described.
Dudley Sinclair sold the farm to Otis Roberts, after his brother Edward and family removed to Aroostook, and went to Rockland, Me., where he died at a good age. Mr. Roberts sold the place to Harvey Conary, who, with his wife, lived some years upon it, and there died, leaving a son and daughter. The son has half the farm and lives in a house built by him near by. The old house and part of the land went to his sister, the wife of Burt H. Candage, son of Robert Parker and Sarah E. Candage, who still owns it. The old house has been kept in repair and is the finest residence in the Tide Mill district.
The Marble Parker Place
The Marble Parker Place is next, the house, barn and farm all lying on the right or eastern side of the old stage road, with a back pasture and wood lot beyond the Candage and Sinclair pastures and mill island already spoken of. This description fits a time seventy years ago when a gamble-roofed house stood upon the site of the one now standing, with well curb and old style sweep located a short distance from it. What year the old house was built cannot now be determined, but ’twas some years before 1800. The lot of land that went with it was probably taken up by Peter Parker, Sr., who came from Andover, Mass., to Blue Hill in 1765.
In the latter years of Mr. Parker’s life, his farm was carried on by his son, Augustus G., who tore down the old house and built the one now standing. After his father’s death, Augustus G. Parker sold the homestead to David Friend and removed to Flye’s Point, Brooklin. The present owner, David Friend, has sold the greater part of the Parker farm, retaining a few acres near the house, the balance having gone to those interested in building summer cottages upon it near the bay shore.
The Edward Sinclair Place
The Edward Sinclair place upon the other side of the road is the next house to be described, which is said to have been built about 1825 by Captain Edward Sinclair, Jr., who occupied it a few years when first married. The occupant first remembered by the writer was Edwin Wood and family, son of Israel Wood, Jr. He was born January 29, 1810, and married Susan Higgins July 29, 1839. He lived there for a few years and then moved elsewhere.
The next occupant of the place was Phineas Dodge and family, then Israel Wood, a brother of Edwin, whose wife was Mary Walker Gray, of Sedgwick. Israel Wood was a great-grandson of Joseph Wood, and his wife a great-grand-daughter of John Roundy, the first settlers of Blue Kill. Israel Wood and family removed to Ellsworth, where he and his wife died some years after. Others have occupied the place, and at this writing it is owned by a Capt. Duffy and family.
The Old Schoolhouse
The Old Schoolhouse, the next building upon the road, stood upon a ledge at the left corner of what is now the shore road to Parker’s Point. It was an old-style square structure with square roof, unpainted and ancient-looking, that had been moved from beyond Bragdon’s brook, its first location, about 1830 or 1831. The author details a long held secret of how the old schoolhouse in Blue Hill Maine caught fire.
The Sawyer House
The Sawyer house and place next to the old schoolhouse site the writer well remembers. The house was built by Mr. Sawyer, the shoemaker from Biddeford, who first worked in the neighborhood for John Cheever. Mr. Sawyer married a Miss Curtis for his first wife; she died and he married her sister for a second wife. He built this house previous to 1840, the exact date the writer does not know, and lived in it a number of years, then removed to the village and later from the town.
John Robertson was a sea captain, and died at Newport, R. I., in 1854. His widow sold the place after his death and removed from the town to her native place in Washington county. After Capt. Robertson, Andrew Gay and family resided at that house and place.
The next occupant and owner, Mr. Herrick, still resides on the place. He was born in Sedgwick, is a blacksmith by trade and a worthy citizen.
The Samuel Wood House
The Samuel Wood house and place is the next in order. The original house was of two stories with brick end-walls, and with woodsheds attached. All of the family have left town or died years ago, and the place, after the death of Simeon P., passed into other hands. The farm and pastures occupied both sides of the main road and extended over the hill, including more than a hundred acres. Before the death of his father, Simeon Parker Wood married Lucy H. Powers, Dec. 25, 1839, and brought her to the old homestead to reside. After his father’s and mother’s deaths he pulled down the old house and built the one now standing on the old site. In his earlier days he was a land surveyor, but after marriage carried on the farm.
After the deaths of the head of this family, the place was sold to Sewell Wellington Candage, son of Sands and Abigail (Norris) Candage, born on Blue Hill Neck May 21, 1840. He married Viola A. Black Jan. 10, 1867, by whom he had two children, Ada, born Feb. 18, 1868, and Frederick L., born April 14, 1870. Mr. Candage is the fifth in descent from James Candage who settled upon the Neck in 1768. He still owns the Wood place, and is a farmer.
The Wood farm on the westerly side of the road extended from the line of the Sinclair farm to the Clough farm, near Bragdon’s brook, except one acre belonging to Israel Wood, 2d, to be described later, and extended beyond the hill a considerable distance.
Beyond the hill, Samuel Wood, brother of Simeon P., built a house and barn about 1833 in which he lived a bachelor’s life until 1837, when he sold out and went to Monmouth, Illinois, where he settled, married; had children; became mayor of the place and a man of means and influence, and where he died at a good age.
The writer well remembers, him and his bachelor home upon the hill, which he frequently visited when a boy, for like his brother Simeon, he was fond of boys and young company.
Capt. Merrill Dodge bought the place, removed to it with his family from Long Island, and lived there until his death, after which the house and barn were torn down.
Stinson or George Robertson Place
The Stinson or George Robertson place lay quite a distance back of the place last named. It is said that a Mr. Stinson, who came from Deer Isle, built the house; at any rate he lived there in the childhood of the writer, worked upon the farm of the writer’s father sometimes, and gave the nick name of “Tag and Yell” to the writer because he wanted to tag after the workmen into the field, and cried if not permitted to do so. What became of Mr. Stinson and family there is neither record nor tradition known to the writer to determine. After Mr. Stinson left the place, it was occupied by George Robertson, who married Sophia, daughter of Marble Parker, Oct. 8, 1833.
The Robertson family removed from this place to the village, and whether the old house is now standing the writer does not know, but presumes it is not. Mr. Robertson was a member and deacon of the Blue Hill Baptist church at the time of his death. He lived to be over eighty, his wife dying before he did.
The Israel Wood Place
The Israel Wood place is the next to be described, which was upon the main road, the house occupying an acre on the west side and the rest of the farm lying upon the other and stretching to the bay shore between lands of Asa Clough, Sr., and of Samuel Wood. After the death of Mr. Wood and marriage of his widow, the place was sold to Isaac Parker, 2nd, who married Abigail Marshall Powers, sister to Mrs. Simeon P. Wood, and of the wife of his brother, Augustus G. Parker, Feb. 19, 1835, and set up housekeeping in the Israel Wood house, built about 1800, and still standing at this writing.
Beyond the bounds of this farm on the highway is Bragdon’s brook, where boys fished for trout sixty and seventy years ago, with twine for a line, bent pins for hooks and worms for bait. It seems but yesterday to the writer that he was thus engaged, and he almost feels the thrill of satisfaction again that went through his veins when he hooked and landed a tiny trout the like of which would require a dozen for a hungry boy’s breakfast.
At the mouth of the brook where it empties into the bay, at smelting time, in the spring of the year, they had better catches of larger fishes. The old schoolhouse stood half way between the brook and Clough’s hill, on the right. That was the house moved to the Tide Mill district and burned as before related.
The writer first attended school in the old house upon its original site, was present when it was moved, and remembers well as it was being hauled up the hill at Samuel Wood’s that Robert Robertson, who was there, called out to the boys to “puss, boys, puss,” meaning to push behind and help the oxen with their load. He was a Welchman by birth, and his articulation not always the clearest. “Puss, boys, puss,” was a by word among the school boys for a long time after the event here narrated. Here properly ends the description of the Tide Mill district where the settlement of the town began and its early history centers, but we shall keep on, if all goes well, until we reach the village, and after that further consider the advisability of continuing the subject.
The shore road to Parker’s point and village, as now laid out, did not exist, there being a foot path across fields and pastures only, and if required to go there by team, ox or horse, one turned off from the main road at or near Frederick Parker’s barn to reach the point.
Over the old path which followed the direction of the present road the boys of three score years ago traveled in search of acorns in the autumn, for “slivering” fir trees in spring and visiting Indian camps at Clough’s shore. They had to climb over his fences or through bars in their progress.
Penobscot Indians were in the habit of camping upon the shore in summer, where they shot seals, fished, and the squaws made and sold baskets. Some winters they remained at that locality, where the boys and young people of the town visited them, and were usually kindly received. The Indians were fond of stories and of songs, and the boy who could entertain them with either was a welcome guest to their camps.
Their birch bark canoes, models of beauty,symmetry and lightness, were wonders to the boys, as they examined them on the shore or saw them paddled gracefully over the waters of the bay. The squaws were watched carefully as they dextrously wove and formed their baskets of strips of ash wood colored to suit their fancy, while their “papooses” shyly eyed strangers and played their games and caressed the dogs which had a place in every Indian camp.
For the boys that frequented their camps they had names peculiar to their tongue and of recognized significance. One boy, with a florid complexion and very active, they gave the name of “Ma-ja-jag-a-nut”, meaning “the red horse,” and others had names given to them quite as appropriate but not now held in memory. They were an inoffensive folk, and were welcomed to the town by the people, among whom they freely mingled.
The first house one saw on his way to the point was that of Robert Robertson, built about 1830, and still standing. Mr. Robertson was a sailor in his younger days, married his wife at Deer Isle, where it is supposed his children were born, and then removed to the Tide Mill district, where he resided some years before building this house and locating here. After the death of Robert Robertson and wife, his house was occupied by Capt. Foster Hardin and family, whose wife was Ann Robertson, daughter of Robert Robertson, Sr., and wife; he dying in 1861.
Since the death of Foster Hardin and wife, the place has been sold at least twice, and is now owned by Kneizel, the musical artist, except the old house and a small lot owned by David F. Harding, who lives in the house.
The next place and house was that of Samuel Hall, who built, the house now standing in the ’30s or ’40s of the last century, which is now owned by the heirs of Wolff Fries.
The next occupant of this house was Andrew Jackson Gray, who married Nancy B. Dodge, daughter of Capt. Merrill Dodge, July, 1852.
The modern houses and cottages of summer residents are not included in this account of early settlers and their houses, so that we pass on to the farm known now as Parker’s Point.
The Parker District
Parker’s Point was taken up, cleared, buildings erected and farm cultivated by Isaac Parker, the eighth child of Peter and Phebe Marble Parker, born May 23, 1792.
After the death of Mr. Parker, his farm was sold to Mr. Sweet, who came from Salem, Mass. The old house has been remodeled and placed upon another foundation, and much of the farm sold for summer cottages. The cottages and owners upon the Parker farm which are modern, it is not the writer’s intention to describe, he leaving that to be done by some one of the present day historians of the town.
Passing on from Parker’s point toward the village, sixty or more years ago, one would next come to a house and place then owned and known as the Charles Colburn place.
Charles, so far as the writer knows, built the house where he resided, probably about the date of his marriage in 1829. Mr. Colburn and family removed from this place to East Boston in the ’40s where he carried on the business of teamster. The next owner and occupant of the Colburn place was Jonah Dodge, who, with his family, resided there for some years. Mr. Dodge and family removed from this to the Nathan Ellis house in the village, where now stands the new town hall, and where he and his wife both died. The Colburn house had no permanent occupant after the Dodge family left it, and it fell into decay and was pulled down. The land is now owned by summer residents, upon which is being built a fine house on a part of it, the balance being in use for golf and other games. The view of the mountain, village and across the inner bay from that locality is one of the finest in the town.
Next to the Colburn-Dodge place is the old wharf falling into decay, where fishing vessels once landed their catches and dried them upon flakes near by, and where later was the first steamboat landing in the town.
Passing on past the “Granger Mine” and “Lover’s Leap”, one arrives at the Dodge house and farm, the house upon it having been built by Reuben Dodge.
The house and place are still owned by the Dodge heirs, who use the house a few months each year as a summer place. This completes the description of the old places along the shore road from the Falls district to the village, the other houses to the corner of Main street being of modern design and build.
The Clough and Frederick Parker Neighborhood
Upon the right side of Clough’s hill stood for many years a story-and-half-house painted red, with barn and out-buildings, owned by Asa Clough, Sr., and built by him when he first came to the town about 1795, and torn down twenty-five or more years ago.
Asa Clough, Sr., was a farmer owning a large farm upon both sides of the main road extending from the line of the Wood farms to that of Jeremiah Stover on the west, and to his son Daniel’s on the east, amounting to more than a hundred acres. He was hardworking and industrious, as it was necessary for one to be with a family of ten children, and his sons were like him in habits of industry.
Nearly opposite his house his son Zelotes built a house previous to 1840, where he resided and reared a family of twelve children. Mr. and Mrs. Clough lived to reach more than four score years. Their house is still standing.
The next house to that of Zelotes Clough was of two stories, with a square roof, owned and built by Jeremiah Stover.
Jeremiah Stover, head of this family, died, and the house and place continued to be occupied by his widow and son Jeremiah, he succeeding to his father’s business of farmer and tanner.
Jeremiah Stover, Jr., pulled down the old house and erected upon its site, about 1840, the house now standing. Jeremiah Stover, Jr., died Jan. 14, 1882, aged seventy-six years, and his wife, Louisa Lord, died Nov. 16, 1866. The house and place are still owned and occupied by members of the Stover family.
The Daniel Clough house and place upon the east side of the highway and nearly opposite the Stover place is the next in order to be described.
The Newton Stover House and place a little farther along, and upon the other side of the highway, is the next to claim attention. It was built by Newton Stover, the son of Jeremiah, Sr., about 1831, and was originally plastered upon the outside instead of being clapboarded, but finding in after years that plaster did not stand the climate well, it was clapboarded over.
Newton Stover’s wife was a daughter of “Deputy” Dodge, of Sedgwick, whom he married in 1831. They resided in this house ten or more years, and then removed to Sedgwick village, where Mr. Stover continued to reside until his death at an advanced age.
In this house his first child, Almira Emily, was born March 11, 1832. Whether they had other children or not the record is silent, and the writer does not know.
Mr. Stover was a member of the Baptist church, as were all the Stover’s of that family, and essentially a religious man. He was the writer’s teacher in the Sunday school held in the schoolhouse at the Tide Mills, and the writer can testify to his earnestness and zeal in that work. The tones of his voice, the expression of his face and the earnestness with which he applied the scripture lessons in his teachings, rise up in the mind of the writer, as proof of what he aimed to do for his class.
Capt. Jerry Jones is remembered by the writer as the next occupant of the house after Mr. Stover moved with his family to Sedgwick. Capt. Jones was a sea-faring man, born in Brooksville, married a daughter of Thomas Lymburner and came to Blue Hill to reside that his wife might be near to her sister, Mrs. John Clough, when he was away at sea.
Capt. Jones lived here a number of years, just how many the writer cannot say. After him others occupied the house, and in 1859 Mrs. Caroline Walker and her two children, when the writer spent a few weeks there with her.
The house is still standing and occupied, but by whom the writer does not know, as it is the old residents and houses of the town that he is engaged in describing.
The Capt. Ezra Dodge Place opposite the last described, now claims attention. Capt. Dodge was the son of Jonah Dodge, of Sedgwick, and brother of Merrill and Jonah already spoken of. He was a sailor and sea captain, and in early manhood made a voyage in a ship as a foremast hand from Boston to Canton, China, and return, in the days when men who had made China voyages were few as compared with later years.
Capt. Ezra Dodge died Oct. 17, 1875, and his widow July 20, 1876. So far as the writer is aware, the house and place are owned and occupied by their children at this writing, 1905.
The John Clough place on the west side of the highway, is the next to claim attention. The John Clough house was built by him in 1822, the year of his marriage to Jane Limeburner, of Brooksville, and in it he and his wife took up their residence when married, as it had been completed and furnished in anticipation of that event. It is still standing. John Clough was the fourth child of Asa Clough, Sr., born Jan. 27, 1797; a stone mason and farmer. He was for many years a highway surveyor of the town, and accounted to be a good builder and repairer of roads and highways.
The John Clough house is still owned by his descendants, and there stands near it a small house built for and occupied by his youngest son and family before the death of the parents.
The Moses Carleton Place on the other side of the road, nearly opposite the John Clough house, is the next to be described. Whether Moses Carleton built the house or not the writer cannot state positively, but he and his family lived there after removing from the Allen neighborhood, about 1830, to the time of his death in October, 1838, aged seventy-nine years. As his family record and history has previously been given, further remarks thereon are not needed here.
Jonah Dodge and family lived in this house for a few years before and after the death of Mr. Carleton, and then removed to the Colburn place on the shore of the “Little Bay” as already described. The next occupant of the The Moses Carleton place after the Jonah Dodge family was Capt. Samuel P. Holt.
The next occupant of the The Moses Carleton place after the Samuel Phelps Holt, Jr. family was Ingerson McIntire.
Mr. McIntire took down the old house, and built upon its site the two-story house now standing and occupied by his son and family.
The writer remembers Mr. and Mrs. Morse Carleton, their daughter Polly and son Samuel, Jonah Dodge, wife and children, Capt. Samuel P. Holt and wife and Ingerson McIntire, all occupants of this place and all gone to their rest.
He remembers, too, the yellow birch trees standing by the roadside just north of the house, which in the summer of 1904 appeared to him about as they did seventy or more years ago when he was a lad, and he thought of the surrounding changes while they seemed to preserve their vitality.
The Johnson Wood Place is the next to claim attention and a description. The house was built by Johnson Wood sometime between 1830 and 1835.
Johnson Wood was a mason and bricklayer, a worthy, industrious and upright man. Since his death the place has remained in possession of of his children.
After the Johnson Wood place, the Frederick Parker place is the next in order, with a large, square, two-story house upon the left of the road with a fine lawn in front; the barn, now gone, stood on the opposite side of the road. Just when this house was built is not known to the writer, but it was probably as early as 1820.
The farm connected with the house and barn extended on both sides of the main road for some distance, and was probably that of Robert Parker, Frederick’s father, who came to the town from Andover, Mass., about 1765.
Frederick Parker was a farmer and a worthy man. He and his family were well known to the writer in his youth. After his death the place was sold to Fred A. Fisher, and was occupied some years by Rev. Mr. Tripp a Baptist clergyman. It lay idle after that until bought and put in repair by Mrs. Kline, of Cleveland, O., whose sister and family use it for a summer home.
The George Choate Place a half mile west in the rear of the Frederick Parker house, is the next to be considered and described. That place lay away from the main road, and was reached by following a cart-path across field or pasture of Mr. Parker, through gates and bars. It consisted of a one-story house, painted red, a small barn and a few acres of land. Whether Mr. Choate built the house or that it is still standing the writer does not know. [This house was supposed to have been built by a Mr. Davis.]
Mr. Choate was born in Newburyport, Mass., about 1778, learned the trade of house carpenter and joiner, and went to Deer Isle, where he married and resided previous to his occupancy of this place. He came to Blue Hill prior to 1840; died in 1858, aged eighty or over, and his wife died in 1882, aged eighty or over.
Their children, consisting of one son and several daughters, were born at Deer Isle. The son, named George, died in childhood; one daughter married Amos Carter, another married Samuel Hall, the youngest married Abel Towne, and another daughter married and lived at Deer Isle.
Mr. Choate was an original man in his sayings, and sometimes irreverent, although kindly, withal. He called Long Island “the Land of Promise”. When asked why he thus called it, he replied: “Because the people there promise but never pay”.
One day, in speaking of eating lamprey eels, Mr. Choate said, with much disgust.
“Eat lamprey eels! I would just as soon eat a piece of a man who had been dead six weeks.”
The boys sometimes dulled his saws and tools by using them without permission, so he said to them, “Boys, if I catch you dulling my tools I’ll make a burnt sacrifice of you!”
He was an early riser, often up at 2 o’clock in the morning, saying that four or five hours sleep was all he required. He built a barn for the writer’s father somewhere about 1838, and he would walk from his house while doing so and be on hand for breakfast at 5 o’clock.
One morning, breakfast being ready, the mother of the writer said in his hearing, “I wish the boys would get up and eat breakfast with us while it is nice and warm.” “Leave that to me,” said Mr. Choate. He went to the foot of the chamber stairs and shouted, “Come down here, quick, boys, the back room is all on fire!” The boys, of whom the writer was one, jumped out of bed and ran down in their night clothes to find their parents and Mr. Choate seated in the dining-room without showing any anxiety or alarm.
When asked where the fire was, Mr Choate answered, quietly: “In the fire-place, boys!” The boys went back to their beds muttering imprecations upon Mr. Choate, but finally took it good-naturedly as a Choate joke.
The writer was a favorite with Mr. Choate on account of his name and age, which corresponded with those of his dead son George. He on more than one occasion helped him plough, plant, and hoe his garden, on which occasions he would have the help of his “hired man” – a jug of New England rum. With all his jokes and eccentricities, Mr. Choate was a favorite with young people, and he was fond of their company and society. Peace to his ashes!
The Parker District Schoolhouse stood upon Parker land beyond the old barn upon the east side of the main road, built before 1840, and still standing. In it the writer attended winter schools for several sessions, as it was the custom for scholars of that and of the Tide Mill district to go from one to the other.
In that schoolhouse, too, the writer attended at evening a:school of music taught by Mr. Davidson, where his first lesson was received upon the violin, an instrument he has been fond of through life.
The James Clough place is the next to be described, with a blacksmith shop on the east and house on the west side of the road, adjoining the Frederick Parker farm. This house was built prior to 1840 by Mr. Clough, in which his family and he resided until his death.
The Annie Wood Place was a little farther beyond the James Clough place, upon the east side of the road, which the writer well remembers, though gone from its foundation for more than sixty years. When and by whom it was built the writer does not pretend to know.
Annie Wood was the daughter of Israel Wood, Sr., and granddaughter of Joseph Wood, the first settler. She was born near the Tide Mills, Dec. 24, 1776; was a tailor, never married, and resided in the old house above mentioned with her niece, Sally Savage, until her death by consumption in 1841.
She did tailoring in the family of the writer’s father for many years prior to her death, and it was interesting to hear her and the writer’s father, who had been friends and acquaintances from childhood, talk over the affairs of the early families of the town. They both had good memories and thoroughly understood the subjects upon which they conversed.
The Leonard Clough Place and house were nearly opposite the Annie Wood place. That house was built very near or a little before the death of Miss Anne Wood, say about 1840, by Mr. Clough, who continued to occupy it from that time until his death in July, 1865, in his sixty-fourth year. Leonard Clough was the sixth child of Asa, Sr., and Abigail S. (Pecker) Clough, born Sept. 3, 1801, married Mary Jane, daughter of Samuel and Fanny (Colburn) Wood, Nov. 30, 1837. He was a spar-maker by trade, who made the spars for vessels built at Blue Hill for forty years before his death. He made the spars for brig “Equator” from a draft made by the writer, and from which she was rigged and her sails cut and made. He was a modest, good man, and by his death the town lost a valuable citizen and his church and neighbors a true friend. Mr. Clough left no children, and the house and place passed into other hands. The house is still standing. A few years ago his widow died, thus ending the family record of that branch.
The Jedediah Holt Place is the next in order, and in the boyhood of the writer was the last house upon the road before reaching the meeting house. The first Jedediah Holt house was of two stories; that was burned seventy years or so ago, and upon its site was built a story-and-a-half house in which Mr. Holt resided until his death, Aug. 8, 1847, aged ninety-three years, four months and fifteen days.
Mr. Holt outlived his wife and all his children but Jonah. The writer remembers him as an aged man, past labor, with his grandson, Samuel Phelps Holt, living with him in the old house that was burned. He lived an honorable and respected life, saw the town grow from a half dozen families to nearly 2,000 inhabitants, and to be a place of thrift and owning a large number of vessels built in the town, beside the granite and other industries. His farm contained a good many acres on both sides of the road, cleared, cultivated and used as fields and pastures, which were covered by the primeval forest when he first began work upon it. After Mr. Holt’s death the place was sold to other parties.
Mr. Atherton and family resided there for a number of years, and then it passed into possession of Miss Effle Ober, daughter of Mrs. Atherton by a former husband —now Mrs. Effie Kline, of Cleveland, Ohio, the present owner.
The house has been so changed and improved as not to be recognizable as the one in which Jedediah Holt spent the last years of his life, and where he died. It is now used for a summer residence, for which it is well adapted, having large ground and a delightful view of the bay, islands and Mt. Desert Hills.
From this house one passes by Dodge’s woods on the right, where boys of the writer’s day went to gather beechnuts in the fall of the year, there being no buildings on either side of the road at that time until after the four corners of the road were reached near the old meeting house.
Today there is one modern house upon the right, beside the Blue Hill inn, and one on the left, all modern and of little interest from a historical point of view.
The view along that stretch of road, of the mountain, a part of the village, Peter’s Point, the ridge of land beyond, the little bay, Parker’s Point, etc., is truly fine and pleasing.
The writer traversed that road many times in youth, in going to and from his home at the Tide Mills to the old meeting house, the village, and to school at the academy, when every object, far and near, was engraved upon his memory through life, and every stone in or beside the road were familiar to him, as well as the houses and their inmates.
The Old Meeting House
On the north side of the main road leading from the four corners to the village, stood the meeting house, built before 1800, and burned Sunday, Jan. 2, 1842. The writer well remembers it, and those who preached in it, from Father Fisher to the time of its destruction, and was present at the fire that consumed it and saw its frame, all ablaze, fall to the ground.
There was a meeting house of some sort before this — one at or near the Tide Mills, to which allusion is made in the town records, and in which the church services were held after the church was organized in 1772, ten years after Wood and Roundy first landed in town and built their log cabins on the island near the Fore Falls, now called Mill island.
Just where the meeting house in the Tide Mill district was located, cannot now be determined, as traces of it have not been preserved, but mention of town meetings being held in it and of repairs to it are found noted in the town records. The first mention of it was at the March meeting of the town in 1772, when “The meeting by adjournment is to be at the meeting house, the first Monday in May, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon”.
The settlement of the town grew in numbers and spread from the Neck and Tide Mill districts to the head of the bay and beyond, so that the first meeting house was not centrally located, even if of sufficient size to convene the people, and there began an agitation for a new meeting house to be built nearer the center of the town.
The meeting house after due consideration by the town and the passage of a hundred votes and resolutions, was completed, but was never formally dedicated, as ten years elapsed from the initiatory steps taken for its building to its completion. Its internal arrangements were like those of the Old South church, of Boston, with square pews, galleries, high pulpit with steps leading up to it, and with sounding-board suspended above. In 1821, John Peters, esq., presented a bell, and a tower and steeple for it were added at the eastern end of the building for its installment. That had just been completed when the donor of the bell died and it tolled for the first tine for his funeral.
Rev. Jonathan Fisher, the first settled pastor of the town preached in the meeting house from 1796 to 1837, when on account of age resigned his pastorate. In it Rev. Albert Cole was ordained in 1837, who continued to preach therein until it was destroyed by fire Sunday, January 2, 1842. This ends the historical account of the meeting house, an account full and replete with interest to the few who are still living who attended service within its walls, and of instructive historical interest to every citizen of the town and vicinity.
The old meeting house had been built at great sacrifice by the people of the town, after prayerful and business consideration of unusual length, and by many votes of the town, and it seemed a blow of great severity to have it destroyed in that manner, with no insurance upon it to be collected in aid of another.
Miss Charlotte Augusta Parker Holt, daughter of Stephen and Edy (Parker) Holt, a native of the town, wrote some verses on the burning of the meeting house. Others wrote appropriate articles upon its destruction, but the records of the church are silent regarding it.
Many memories crowd the writer’s mind of the people who in it attended church and Sunday school, nearly all of whom have gone to their reward in another world, while he has been spared to write this account, and for other purposes, which the All-Wise One has ordered.
From the Site of the Old Meeting House to the Mill Stream in the Village
The next house below the meeting house, according to the early recollections of the writer, was that in which lived Dea. James Savage and family.
After the death of Dea. Savage, F. A. Darling, who had married Phebe Wood Savage, daughter of the deacon, lived on the old place, took down or rebuilt the old house into two stories and occupied it until his death.
Mr. Darling taught school in his younger days, and the writer was one of his scholars; in after years he was a stone-cutter. He died a few years ago, but the house in which he lived still stands.
The opposite side of the road had no house upon it from the earliest recollections of the writer until the Blue Hill inn was erected thereon, but according to the records it would appear that Joseph Wood and perhaps his sons were owners of a part of the land thereof.
Next to the house of Dea. Savage stood the story-and-a-half brick house, on the brow of the hill looking toward the village, belonging to Dr. Nathan Tenney and family in the writer’s boyhood.
From the reading of the town records in connection with action taken towards building the meeting house, one may in-fer that at that time Col. Nathan Parker owned the land hereabouts and lived in b house standing near the spot on which the Tenney house was erected in the early part of 1800; just what year is unknown to the writer. Col. Nathan Parker was from Andover, Mass., as will be remembered by those who have read the account of the settlement of the town near the Falls by the writer, and his marriage to Mary Wood, daughter of Joseph Wood, on Dec. 20, 1764, the first solemnized in the town. His family record has already been given.
William Tenney resided with his father until his death, and there his children were born. His widow and children resided there some time after his death; she later married Capt. Judah Chase. Jane Tenney occupied the old house until her death in the ’80’s. Mrs. Caroline Walker, widow of the writer’s half brother, William Walker, resided in the house of her grandfather. Dr. Tenney, and with her aunt, Jane, in the early ’60’s: and there the writer spent several weeks during her occupancy of a part of the house.
After the death of Jane Tenney it was occupied by different parties, and finally sold to Admiral Henderson, of the U. S. N., who changed over the house and place, or began it, but died and his widow completed the work. Mrs. Henderson made an attractive place of it. It occupies a commanding view, and is a beautiful location for a summer residence, the purpose to which it is now put.
The Kittridge House beneath the hill was the next house remembered by the writer in boyhood, although there stands another now between it and the Henderson or Tenney place. This house was built in 1832 or 1833 by Hosea Kittridge, who was then preceptor of Blue Hill academy. He was born March 5, 1803; married Nancy, daughter of Rev. Jonathan Fisher, Nov. 18, 1830. She was born Aug. 19, 1804. They had two children born at Blue Hill;
- Ellen Kittridge, Jan. 30, 1832.
- Tyler Kittridge, Oct. 3, 1834.
Mr. Kittridge, after a number of years’ service, resigned as preceptor of the academy, and left town with his family for a home in the West.
The Kittridge House and place were sold to John Stevens, who on Nov. 5, 1838, married Miss Mary J. Perkins, of Castine (born Feb. 10, 1811) and brought her a bride to this house to reside, where both continued to reside until their death, and where their children were born.
The house and place remains in the family and is rented to summer residents for the season and closed winters. The writer remembers the house when being built and also from that time to the present. In it he spent many a pleasant hour with Mr. and Mrs. Stevens, whose son Edgar was a sailor and an officer with him in ship “Electric Spark”, first in 1861 and again in 1864 and 1865, and who still holds a warm place in the memory and friendship of the writer. Those who share together common hardships and dangers are not likely to easily forget each other as they from year to year grow older, and the time draws near for casting anchor and mooring ship for the last time on the voyage of life.
The Moses P. Clough House is the next below and adjoining the Kittridge house. It was built by Capt. Moses P. Clough about 1831 or 1832 and occupied by him and family until his death at sea June 28, 1836, of bilious fever.
After the death of Capt. Moses Parker Clough, and prior to 1840, the house and place were purchased by Bushrod W. Hinckley, Esq., and was his home and that of his family until his and his wife’s death and is at this writing owned by daughters of theirs.
The Asa Clough Place opposite Moses P. Clough’s house just described, the house still standing, was built by Samuel Baker in 1822 and sold to Mr. Clough in 1827.
After his death and that of his wife, the place was occupied first by his son Roscoe and family, and at this writing by his brother George A. and family, as a summer residence.
The Congregational Church
Built in 1842-3, and dedicated Jan. 11, 1843, the Congregational Church stands next to the Asa Clough house just described. The writer was present at its dedication and sat in his father’s pew, No. 9, on right side of the broad aisle. The invocation and scripture readings were by Rev. James Gilpatrick, pastor of the Baptist church; sermon by Rev. Jotham Sewall, Jr., pastor of the church, from Hag. 2, 9th, “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former, saith the Lord of Hosts.”
The dedicatory prayer was by Rev. Sewall Tenney, of Ellsworth, and the closing prayer by “Father Fisher”. The house was well filled by an attentive audience, and all of the services were of a highly interesting character to the writer, they being the first of the kind he had attended. That was sixty- two years ago! And the writer’s thought, as he narrates the occurrence is, “How many beside himself are alive this day of that filled house of active, living human beings?” He hears no answer to his mental inquiry, but he knows full well that only a few; if a few even have survived the wear and tear of departed years.
In this meeting house the celebration of the centennial of the church organized in 1772 with fourteen members, was held Dec. 31, 1873. At that time the church membership in full, as per roll, had reached 438, most of whom had been called to the church above.
Rev. Stephen Thurston, of Searsport, a former member of the church, preached an historical sermon of great interest, giving an account of the chief incidents in the history of the town from its settlement, and of the church from its gathering, which was printed by vote of the church. At the evening services, brief addresses were made by Revs. Tenney, of Ellsworth; Thurston, of Searsport; Ives, of Castine; Houston, of Deer Isle; Raymond, of Bluehill; Prof. Fletcher, of the Eastern State normal school; Rufus Buck, esq., of Bucksport, and others. Letters were read from former Pastors Stone and Bunker, also from Revs. Josiah Fisher, M. L. Richardson, H. A. Winea, E. A. Rand, Prof. Jotham Sewall, of Bowdoin college. Rev. Dr. Pond, of Bangor theological seminary, and from many absent sons and daughters of the church.
A poem was read by Augustus Stevens, written by J. G. Harvey, of Portsmouth, N. H., for the occasion, and a centennial hymn by Miss Maria F. Wood. A sum of money amounting to $300, or more, was given by absent members of the church and town which was made a fund, the in-come to be used for church purposes.
The closing words of Mr. Thurston’s sermon were:
“A century hence where shall all we be found? One thing we know. These taber-nacles will be taken down and laid in the grave. The living will perhaps heedlessly trample over our sleeping dust. Our very names will be forgotten. Those then living will not know that we ever lived and acted our little part. Our last sleep shall continue ages after that period. But where will be our immortal spirits?”