Facts About Brunswick, Maine


John Furbish

_________Brief accounts of various events,_______
and interesting incidents
connected with
the history of the
town of
_____ Brunswick_____

Cumberland Co., Maine


____Commenced June 27 th, A.D. 1862, A.L. 5862____



Electronic Edition
Transcribed by Jackie Young, Pejepscot Historical Society, Fall 2008
edited by Paul Dostie, Curtis Memorial Library




John and Maria L. (Day) Furbish from a photograph taken in 1863, the year of their marriage.



FOREWORD (to facsimile edition)


John Furbish, who was born in Brunswick June 20 th, 1836, was actively engaged in the affairs of the town from his boyhood days until his sudden death on August 8, 1905. He was the son of Benjamin Furbish, who came to Brunswick in 1835 to establish what was to be a family business for more than a century, and was himself a civic leader and successful businessman.

John had a keen interest in what was going on about him, and in the history of Brunswick in its earlier days. He was a founder of the Pejepscot Historical Society, the prime mover in the acquisition, for the Society, of the old Congregational Vestry on School Street, now the Varney Lecture Hall, and was the author of a number of papers prepared for the Society, some of them published in “Our Town” and elsewhere.

This little volume was begun in June, 1862, when Mr. Furbish was in his twenty-seventh year. It was never intended to be a personal diary, but rather a chronicle of changes and developments in Brunswick. There are gaps in the record, some of them covering several years, but the picture of what was happening in the town in the Civil War period and the years that followed it is well and clearly presented.

Publication of this facsimile edition of Brunswick “Facts” by the Pejepscot Historical Society has been made possible by a gift from John M. Dunlap, Jr. of Harpswell.

April, 1976 P.S.W.

1862 - 1863 - 1864 - 1865 - 1869 - 1870 - 1871 - 1872 - 1876 - 1877 - 1878 - 1879



Brunswick population.





 Ship building.



 E. P. Hammond





The year opened with no very flattering prospects of business, and the progress of the rebellion casts a shade over the future. There has been nearly 200 of our citizens in the volunteer army, besides a few in the regular. Many causes have opperated to reduce the population of our town, so that we hardly hold our own in numbers.

The population of the town by the census of 1860 was 4723 souls. Lumbering formerly the principal business of the place is now reduced to two or three single and one “gang’ saws”. Sugar shooks being an article of manufacture and shipment in the winter. The “Cabot Manufacturing Co.” have one mill making cotton goods, which notwithstanding the high price of cotton, and its liability to be wholly out of the market, they keep runing.

Ship building is low here now, “Pennel Brothers” being the only ones putting up a new frame. Capt Robt Given 2d is finishing a small vessel commenced last year.

The year is marked by an unusual degree of religious interest, partially owing to the earnest labors of Rev. E. P. Hammond, known about here as the “evangelist”. Large numbers have been led to express an interest under his preaching, during the three weeks he was here, preaching or exorting every night, and a part of the time three times in one day. Old men, and young, sea captains, and laboring men of all classes have been converted while the work among the children was deeply interesting.

The following are the names of the settled ministers of the town 1 st Parish, Orthodox Congregational, Rev. George E. Adams, installed December 30 th, 1829. Edward Ballard, Episcopal. A. D. Wheeler, Universalest & Unitarian, “Mason St. Church”, Rev. Mr. Newhall, Methodest. Rev. Mr. McDonald surplying Maine St. Baptest Church, and Andrew J. Nelson, the church at New Meadows. Prof. E. C. Smyth College pastor.




 McKeen Store

 Henry Bowker’s dwelling house


Mrs. C. Grave’s house.











One of the worst fires that has occurred here for years, broke out about 1 O’Clock A.M. June 27 th in the building known as the “McKeen”, or “Center” store, corner of Main & Cross St’s, and occupied by D. B. Libby as a grocery store; and Jos. McKeen, “College Treasurer”. When discovered by watchman Wm. Townsend, the lower part of the building was all afire, and nothing was saved from the building, but two safes in Mr. McKeen’s office came out little injured. By reason of the scarcity of water, the fire extended to the “Bowker House”, next north; and the store of H.A. Thompson, on the opposite corner of “ Cross St.”; the latter building was saved with considerable damage. The fire also extended East, burning the dwelling of Mrs. Coledge Graves, which touched McKeen’s store. Bowker’s livery stable was only saved by there being no wind, and tearing away a long shed with the aid of a Fire-hook, that I went down to the Protector No.4 Engine house and got. There was a large number of “students” who rendered valuable help in working the engines, to whom a vote of thanks was given by Engine Co. No. 4. In all probability the fire was the work of an incendiary, as a drunken fellow named “Corbet” threatened vengence on Mr. Libby, but no proof could be obtained, and no arrest was made.

The suspicion resting on “Corbet” seems to be unsustained.

According to orders from the “Adjutant General”, the enrolled militia of Brunswick assembled by companies Wednesday July 16 th to ellect officers, and the following persons were chosen as captains.

Wm. R. Field & Augustus F. Spollet of village companies.

Augustus F. Cox & Augustus P. Jordan in the outskirts.

Note! I believe there is no one else by the name of Augustus in town.)


This organization is preparitory to an expected draft, to fill our army, the quota of Brunswick being 52, fifty two men. Some excitement attends the prospect of drafting for service.



History of the companys and their action in lighting the place.


*Jan 16 th 1860


Post Masters.



Town Meeting July 24 th



During the session of the Legislature in A.D. 1854 a charter was granted to a number of gentlemen, incorporating them as a corporate body with the name of the “Brunswick Gas Company”: but owing to the presence of one James D. Simmons, a lawyer, commonly called “Pitchforks”: the manufacture of that article having been his trade), and he being at that time unworthy, and irresponsible, as a member of the Company: no action was taken upon surplying the town with gas, until 1859 when the “Cabot Manufacturing Co” decided to erect works for surplying their mill with light: when the “Brunswick Gas Co” entered into a contract with them for surplying their pipes: upon this they laid a main pipe of about six inch diameter up as far as opposite the “Tontine Hotel.” Pipes were laid quite generally to the different stores, and the gas was let on*. In the meantime the Company having perfected their organization and elected associates, and officers President Benj. D. Green, Secretary & Treasurer Benj. G. Dennison. Price of gas per 1,000 ft $4.00

The following are the names of the different post-masters within my remembrance. Theodore S. McLellan, (Democrat), Jos. F. Dunning, (Whig. Not confirmed by the U.S. Senate), John McKeen (Whig), Ex Gov. Robt. P. Dunlap, (Dem) Nath Badger being acting master, Alfred J. Stone (Dem) & Benjamin G. Dennison (Republican) present incumbant.

A business meeting of the citizens of the town was called July 24 th 1862, upon the petition of Saml. R. Jackson and others, to see if the town would vote to pay an additional bounty to such persons as may volunteer with in ten days. It was voted to pay to each man one hundred dollars ($100.) making a bounty of $185.00, a good sum for a poor man to leave behind. The meeting was well attended, and but one person voted in the negative (Capt. Hinchman Sylvester, whose intense hate of abolitionists carries him to unreasonableness). Other business, such as a vote to raise by loan $5200. to meet this expense: and some new roads was acted upon. Chas. J. Gilman, moderator.


War Meetings

Gen. Howard.


 Aug 5 th 1862


H. F. Durant.



Town Meeting Special
Aug 11 th 1862


Resolution on secession
letter to W. S. Lindsey asking foreign mediation.


Several very enthusiastic meetings have been held to promote the enlistment of Brunswick’s quota. Gen. Oliver O. Howard well known to us here, who lost an arm at the battle of “ Fair Oaks”, addressed a large concourse of people at the depot: and several meetings were held in “McLellan’s Hall”, where J. K. Nichols and W. W. Morrill got some recruits.

The largest, and most enthusiastic meeting held thus far, was in the 1 st Parish Church, where Prof R. D. Hitchcock of N. York, H. F. Durant Esq., and Peleg W. Chandler Esq. of Boston, Gen. Howard, and others spoke.

Mr. Durant paid especial attention to the person who wrote a letter to Mr. Lindsey M.P. London, saying that Maine was ready for England’s intervention. He was very severe, and closed by saying that the devil would not have such a man in xxx-: that the only place for him was in England. The meeting held until about 11 ½ O’Clock P.M. The large church had been most beautifully decorated for Commencement exercises, with our flag, and streamers from a point in the top of the building, to the various pillars. There was glory in the Red, White, & Blue.

A special meeting of the voters of the town was called to see if the town would vote to extend the time for paying bounties to volunteers. Dr. Isaac Lincoln was chosen moderator. Voted to extend time to the 26 th of August. The following resolution which explains itself was adopted: it was prepared by Barrows & Robbins, I am told.

Voted: To adopt the following resolutions, vizi--.

Whereas, W. S. Lindsey, a member of the British Parliment, is reported to have said in his place in that body, that he had lately received a letter from “a citizen of strong Union feelings in Brunswick, in the State of Maine, expressing his hope for British intervention in the contest now going on,” therefore

Resolved, that the citizens of this town will spare no pains to discover and ascertain whether this declaration thus made by a member of Parliment is a fabrication, or whether we really


Resolutions continued












Town Meeting
9 Mos. Troops Bounty of 20.00


have among us such a black-hearted hypocrite, traitor, and knave, as would thus seek to add the calamity of a foreign war to our present distresses.

Resolved, that we need something more than such a naked declaration convince us that there is in our midst such a compound of the villain and the fool; but if it should prove that there is, be it further

Resolved, that we will purge the fair fame of our town by consigning him to the deserved punishment of all traitors, whenever he shall be discovered.

Resolved unanimously, that the citizens of this town abhor the idea of foreign interference in the affairs of the Republic: that we will always resist to the utmost of our power, the intervention of any monarch or potentate whatever against our Government, and that we hold in utter detestation the fiend and fool who would seek to bring such a thing about.

Resolved, that Brunswick is no home for traitors, and that if any lurk here, pretending to be “men of strong Union feelings” while secretely sympathizing with the rebels in arms against our Government, they had better remove before they are discovered.

Voted, that a copy of the above resolves signed by the Moderator and Clerk of the meeting, be sent to the Hon. F. H. Morse Consul at London) and Hon. C. F. Train, London England, and that they be published in the “Portland Press”, “Boston Journal” and B’k Telegraph.

A legal meeting was held Aug 30 1862 to see what measures the town would take to encourage volunteers to fill our quota under the last call, which was ordered as a draft. Quota 46 men. It was voted to pay twenty dollars bounty , and a committee was appointed to solicite subscription to raise the bounty to a larger sum. G. B. Tenny, Amhest Whitmore and others were


Bounty raised to $100.


Moses M. Marsh Aged

89 years 6 mos.





 Frank Houston



  Egbert Bow.


chosen: and the meeting adjourned to Saturday, Aug 30 th at which meeting it was voted to raise the bounty to one hundred dollars for every volunteer for nine months.


Died Aug 28 th 1862 aged 89 years 6 mos. He was one of our oldest citizens, respected by all. In early life he was a school teacher, and I have been told, but cannot speak for its truth, that he studied medicine. He was the oldest member of the Masonic fraternity in the place, having been a member of it some 67 or 68 years. He was buried with Masonic honors, by United Lodge No8.


At the present time there is quite a number of negroes in town, who are sober industrious people: but it is of two in particular I shall speak who are not now with us, but are associated with all relating to the race among us.

Francis Hueston or Houston was a full blooded African, once a slave.  He escaped from bondage, and located between Brunswick and Bath: he was a man of strong will, powerful in muscular system, and endowed with much good sense: his opinion was much respected by his neighbors: he had a large family of children, and acquired some property: he was for many years a voter, and none questioned but what he understood what he was voted for. There were attempts made several times to carry him South, but none succeeded, and he died full of years, respected by both white and black men. Egbert Bow, born of slave parents, but never a slave, was probably the best endowed African with us: and he was often refered to as a proof that a negro was a man of ability, and none could say ought of him.  He lived on a fine farm on the bank of the river below the Town Farm.  He went to California at the first excitement, and returning engaged again in teaming, always keeping good horses.  He finally sold his farm and went to Canada, and the best wishes of the whole community followed him, all declaring him an honest man. May God help him.


Election of State Officers

Jno L. Swift.




 Extra Bounty




Meeting for drafting
Mode of


The annual election of State and County officers was Sept 8 th.  Whole number of votes case was 568, a very small vote, but the war has taken off many, and the excited state of the public mind on the state of our country kept the political feeling from excitement.  Jno. L. Swift was elected Town representative to the next legislature, he being the candidate of the Republicans, and Union citizens, he received 290 votes, to 274 for Jacob Sands, the candidate of the amalgamated “southern sympathizers”, and strong party democrats.

Under the last call for 9 mos. troops, to be drafted if not filled by volunteers before Sept 10 th 1862; orders, we received from the State authorities to draft for that part of our quota of 46 men not filled by volunteers.  It was found that the “east village” and “west outside” companies were full, and three wanting in each of the other two.  The quota being so near full it was desireous not to draft, so a bounty of fifty dollars additional was offered by “west village” company, and three men (Ai Libby, Augustus Parker, & Samuel Swett) came forward and on being accepted the money was raised by subscription in the company.  The other company was filled in a similar way.  Dr. Jno. D. Lincoln, examining surgeon has his hands full now: many drafted men trying on trifling pretenses to be “disabled”.

The meeting for drafting from west village company was held in McLellan’s Hall Maine St.  Edmund D. Toothaker “orderly”, and Robert Rogers, Clerk. A good attendance of company at 9 O’Clock A.M. Sept 10 th.  The form of drafting ordered by government was as follows.  As many slips of paper as there were members of the company, with the numbers from “one” up written upon them, the persons drawing the lowest numbers to be taken unless “disabled”, when the numbers next in order took his place, by this plan but one drawing covered the whole ground.


Presentations to Officers
Col J. L. Chamberlain
20 th Reg’t

Lieut L.H. Lunt 5 th Reg’t


Capt C.A. Greenleaf 25 th Reg’t


Ship Building 1862


Snow Storm



Deaths at Sea

Wm L Forsaith


Prof Joshua L. Chamberlain having been commissioned “Lieut Col” of 20 th Regt Maine Volunteers: several of his friends raised a sum of money and bought for him the “Staples Horse”, (a beautiful “stone gray” stallion, having a heavy white mane and tail) which with the necessary trappings were presented to him at the camp in Portland by Capt Wm R. Field Jr. with suitable remarks.  Lewis Henry Lunt, son of Jos Lunt 2 d, who went out a private in the first company, under Capt E. W. Thompson: having been commissioned as a 2 d Lieut for merritorious conduct, some of his friends presented him with a sword and belt costing about $40.

Chester A Greenleaf, who had held the office of overseer of spinning in Cabot Cotton Mill, being elected Capt of a company from this and adjoining places, of nine months volunteers, his friends presented him with a swords and belt, through Wm R Field Jr. at the camp “Abraham Lincoln” Portland, believing he would honor it.

Messrs Pennel & Brothers have built the present year, 1862, at their yard a ship called the “Anglo Saxon”.  Capt James H Pennel, Master.  This is the only vessel launched here as yet the present year.

Snow began to fall last night Dec 5th, and continued nearly all of 6 th, a heavy body of snow falling for the time.  Fifteen inches in less than twelve hours.  This will give good traveling, as it lays level.  First snow this season fell on the afternoon of Nov 7 th.

We have lost several of our young men at sea during this year.  William Curtis Forsaith, son of Rodney Forsaith, and 1 st Mate of ship “Lydia Skolfield” was washed overboard when off Cape “Horn” last July.  This comes as a severe blow upon a family in which there has never before been a death since the marriage of the parents over thirty years since.  Another of the crew, a young man named Snow of Harpswell, was lost also.


Buildings erected during 1862


Brick store by B. Furbish Main St.



There has been some building during the year, and a good degree of work for mechanics.  Among the buildings are a two story dwelling house by Allen Colby Esq. on Federal St. upon a lot of land sold to him by me, that was formerly owned by Elder Titcomb: on the east side of the street, next to the deep cut of the Kennebec & Portland Rail Road.

The largest and most expensive building erected was by Benjamin Furbish, on Maine St. nearly opposite Mason St.  A wooden building erected by him upon nearly the same spot, was moved with the stock of hard-ware goods, and tin-man’s tools in it, some hundred feet to the south, by Waitstill W. Douglass, Carpenter: to give place for the new building.  Work was commenced excavating the cellar June 20 th, the principle part of the sand was taken out by the road surveyors Messrs Frances Owen and Leonard Townsend at town expense to repair highways.
The cellar wall was laid by George Cobb, he hauling the stone from a ledge in “ Elliot St”.  The first stone was laid at the South West corner, north side of cellar entrance, at fifteen minutes past four o’clock P.M. July 1 st.  Finished July 18 th, and measured by agreement by Allen Colby who made of it 68 4/17 yards of it, for which we paid 1.50 per yd.  The underpining was set by Hiram Cobb, he set the first stone on the S. East corner, it being the front corner pilaster stone.  The brick work was put up under the direction of brothers Thomas and Andrew Whitehouse of Topsham. The began bricking up the cellar, or rather the underpining July 21 st and began to lay up the front brick, setting the front door stool the 23 d, also laying the lower floor the same day.  Jordan Snow Carpenter.


Well digging


old well


Capt Dunlap house




Size & Cost


J Lufkin’s Store Maine St



A singular circumstance occurred in connection with digging a well to furnish water for making morter.  Thomas Coombs agreed to dig a well at 1.25 per foot, and find brick.  It was decided to put it as near the S. West corner of the lot as possible, but after removing a few shovel fulls of earth it was decided that the ground had before been disturbed, and after a hard days work among loose earth and stones it was clear it was an old well we had struck, and upon inquiry among the older inhabitants it was found to have belonged to an old house that stood where Carvill’s store now is, (about 25 ft North of the north line of our lot.  Dr. Isaac Lincoln says it was where Capt John Dunlap, father of Ex Gov R. P. Dunlap, used to live. Dr. Lincoln says he gave $100. for it and moved it up near where the upper falls were, some 30 or 40 years ago, it stands there at present.  Probably in no other part of the whole lot should we have met any trouble, but the old well gave us a heap of trouble.  Coombs completed the well after a fashion, but it was not deep enough, and after the mason work was completed we agreed with Thos Gatchell to take up the brick, and relay them, and furnish three feet of water for fifty cents per foot.  The building was completed, and goods moved into it October 1 st.  Size of building 65 by 27 feet.  2 stories high, with cellar under all of it.  Cost
Bricks made by T. S. McLellan of Brunswick & Flagg of Topsham.

A brick store was erected by Joshua Lufkin on Main near Center St.  The old store was moved to the north side of Pleasant St, just above Main St, and was let or sold to Nath’l Badger, who was Town Clerk over 20 years, also assistant Post Master under Pierce’s administration.


Snowdon House



Election of Town officers 1863 March 23d


Dogs taxed


Battle at Fredricksburg Federal defeat Gen Berry Killed May 3d Gen Hooker


As I was sitting at my desk in my chamber on the evening of           I had my attention drawn by a light reflected from a fire upon the “hill” near the Colleges, and upon inquiry the next day learned it was an old unoccupied house below Prof Smyth’s on the Maquoit road, known by the name of the “Snowdon house” after a man by that name who once lived there.  He printed room paper by hand, on small sheets I presume as used to be the practice, and it is for the reason of the fact not being generally known that I make this record here.

The anual election of town officers for the year was held at McLellan’s Hall March 23 d 1863, and the following were chosen. Chas J Gilman Esq Moderator. Leonard Townsend Town Clerk.  Leonard Townsend, Augustus F Cox & Francis Owen, Selectmen, also “Assessors and overseers of the poor”, Ai Brooks Jr Treasurer.  All true and loyal men to their government.  The “Copperheads” under the much abused name of Democrats made a desperate effort to carry the election but all to no purpous.  ‘The people are true.’
One feature of the meeting was the passage of a vote to levy a tax upon dogs, agreeable to a law passed by the State. (Cows were however suffered to run at large).

We received news of this battle May 4 th, first as a great Federal victory, then as great a defeat, next as a part of both.  The first great Cavalry act of the war was executed by our forces under Gen Stoneman, who left the army a few days before and breaking rail-road communications of the rebels, went within three miles of Richmond.  Lieut Lord of this town lost a foot, son of Rev Mr Lord. Gen Hooker commander of Federal, Gen Lee of Rebel forces.


Draft to fill up the old regiments



Names of drafted men to fill the quota of



(A draft having been ordered under the law passed last session of Congress, and all unmarried men under forty-five, and all married men under thirty-five, having been previously enrolled according to law, by John L. Swift Esq., and the names sent to the Provost Marshall’s office Portland, drafting for this Congressional district was proceded with, and in Brunswicks turn were drawn Saturday July 25 th) (Woodbury G Frost of this town being blind-folded and drawing) the following names:
Horace E. Dunning, Sam’l Woodside, Edward P. Furbish, Albion Hutchinson, Isaiah Freeman (colored), Isaac A Sylvester, Ruben Whitney, John H Merriman, John H Dunning, Woodbury G Frost, Edward P Pennel, John Woodward, James Woodside, John B Perkins, William A Woodside, Levi Day, Dan’l J. Ayer, Gilbert H. Ayer, Chas W Greenleaf, Jesse M. Gatchell, Isaiah Crossman, Wm Reed, Sam’l C Pennel, James H Pennel, Jacob Dunning, Wm N Gatchell, Henry W Murry, Wm H Morse, Albion P Woodside, Tim Gleason, Cyrus Parker, Emory Douglass, Jno F McLellan, Dan’l Corbett, Edwin Mitchell, Geo E Springer, Wm McClay, Edwin F Gerrish, Wm R Smith, Chas A Gatchell, Sam’l W Woodward, Thos U Eaton, Eli Steavens, William A Given, Augus’ P Jordan, Thos H Coombs, Wendell L Hopkins, Elbridge A Morse, Aaron V Metcalf, Wendell Blethen, Geo. W. S. Groves, Jno. A. Larrabee, Geo W Freeman (colored), Wm Burns, Anthony F Bradley, Egbert C Smith, Charles Fred Owen, John Hennessey, Wm F Ward, Cyrus K Frost, Cyrus F Patterson, Charles K Harding, H. M. Prescott, Charles H Perkins, Jos H Lombard, Fessenden I Day Sargent Lee, Geo A Woodside, John R Jones, Owen McMannus, Benj F Morse, Geo Allen, Alpheus S Packard Jr, John Roberts, Jos N Badger, Benj Pennel, Wm B Knights, Albert Woodward, Chas Cartland, Geo H Drew, Geo Cushman, John Furbish, Charles A Wing,


Names of drafted men Continued.

Whole Number

4 only sons of widows 5 only sons of aged parents 3 elected under 4 th class p’d commutations

Town Bounty $300.
State Do $100.


Price of Substitutes




Calvin Gatchell, Geo M Stanwood, Geo G. Dearing, Chas Marrimer, Henry Orr, W. E. G. Worthley, John C Larrabee, Ozro Morse, Ephriam Harrington, Jos H Alexander, John McMannus, Samuel James Jr, Harmon Wallace, Charles Richardson, Levi Lubec, Andrew Forbes, Charles Snow, Geo M Dolly, Andrew J Thomas, Abraham Perkins.

        (The reception of the list of names caused much fun, and some long faces. Conscript badges in the form of red ribbon were plenty in the streets.  Of the number drawn 27 were accepted, 35 rejected for disability, and 12 had not reported up to January 1 st 1864).  Two of the number, John R. Jones, and Edward P Furbish, died before it was time to report at Portland.  Quite a number are absent or at sea.  3 were aliens, 3 non-residents, 26 furnished substitutes, 1 reported for duty, 6 in service March 3.

      The Provost Marshall said that Brunswick furnished seventy-five per cent more of sound men than any other town in the district.  A bounty of three hundred dollars was voted by the town to all persons who went themselves or sent a substitute.  To this the state added an additional one of one hundred dollars: and the families of such as went received a weekly allowance from the state of ____ dollars.  (The Conscript Camp was at Mackay’s island in Portland harbor.  The substitute brokerage was carried to a hight near the close of the draft, some men paying four hundred and fifty dollars for a man to wear the uniform in their stead.  Many very hard “roughs” from New York and Boston were sent on, and some deserted soon after, but several executions in the army put a stop to the business.  Still many will probably get off as they went only for the money, and many drunk.)


Hot day May 22d


Election of Town officers March 23d New York Anti-draft -riot-




Special Town Meeting



Bounty $300.00


There but a few days as hot as it was the 22 d of May 1863, and many will remember it as the “hot day in May”.  The thermometer indicated 92° of heat in the shade: (and people having on their winter clothes as a general thing suffered with heat very much.)  The day previous had been quite warm, but the following was uncomfortably cool.

The annual election of officers for the ensuing year, was held in McLellan’s March 23 d, an account of which together with the names of officers will be found on page 13 – having been previously written out.

The sympathizers of secession in N York City, together with the roughs of the city attacked the offices of the enrolling officers and destroyed a large amount of property, and some 300 persons lost their lives during the week of terror.  There were very many persons in Brunswick who were glad of it, and openly express their pleasure, (but soon found public sentiment and law so strong, that they took the other track and form of speach).

A meeting of the legal voters of the town was called upon the petition of Wm H Stanwood and others to see if the town would vote to pay every drafted man 300. dollars before being mustered into service.  But it being seen that this was a Copperhead move to defeat the plans of the government in filling the army, (it being just the amount of the commutation fee) it was promptly voted down.

At another meeting called upon the petition of S R Jackson and others it was voted to pay a bounty of 300. dollars to each man accepted and mustered into service, or who furnished substitutes.  Abner B. Thompson moved to include all who should pay commutation money, but it being “Copper”, the moderator Marshall Cram Esq would not entertain it.


State Election


Marshall Cram Representi’


Buildings erected
and extensive
repairs made.



Pejepscott or Brunswick House


Capt AH Merryman


The anual election of State officers, Representative to the Legislature and Senators was held _____________ and the following was the vote case.  For Governor Sam’l Coney, of Augusta “Union” had ______.  Bion Bradbury of Eastport “Copperhead”, “Anti War VC”  ______.  For town representative Hon Marshall Cram “Union” ______, Jacob Sands “Copperhead” supported by all traitors ______.
This was the cast of all parts of the state.  Treason and traitors were laid lower than dead men are ever burried.

Capt Jerremiah C Merriman purchased the old Houghton house next to Gen J. C. Humphreys on Federal St nearly opposite Bank St. and sold the old house to Capt Clemant Martin who hired W. W. Douglass to move it up on the hill nearly back of H.C. Martins dwelling, where it was converted into a dwelling for two tenants.  Capt Merriman build a fine two story dwelling upon his lot, which makes a good appearance on the street.  Dan’l B. Blethen builder.

(Capt Alfred H Merryman purchased the old public house at the corner of Maine and Pleasant Streets, and by nearly an entire rebuilding made of it a fine dwelling, but large enough for a boarding house.  This house was built by Jacob Abbott about the year 1812, and has been used as a public house for many years, having been noted all through as a drinking house, if not worse. It has been of late known as the “Pejepscot House”, “Brunswick House”, American Do, Bradleys Boarding House, but formerly was the “Stinchfield House”, before the house on the S West corner of School Street was built, which was then called by the same name.  Niles, and Mustard also kept it as a “public house”.


 Pleasant St.



Ship Building




Jos Badger President of Pejepscott Bank. Aged



Dr. Isaac Lincoln tells me that he boarded with Mr. Abbott when he built the house spoken of on the preceding page, and that he was grandfather of Jno S. C. Abbott the historian, and that Pleasant St was laid out the same year. Before that the road to Portland was along the river as far as the “old boom”, turning off about where the house of James D. Simmons now is.  The same is a public way at present, I think, although several attempts have been made to close it up.  It is used in winter to a great extent, as a way to the river, to get wood from lots up stream.

        Only two vessels have built here the present season.  At Bungernue, Master Woodside built the Barque “ Union” of about 500 tons.  Owners Clemant Martin, J D Lincoln, Anthony Morse, & others.
Master Sam Dunning built a brig or barque, of about the same tonage for parties in Portland.  She was built at his yard at “ New Wharf” Name.

        Several of our oldest and wealthiest citizens have passed away during the year.  Capt Joseph Badger, a retired sea captain died _________, having outlived his wife only a few months.  He left no children: and by will made some months left all of his property to his brother, sisters, and their children.  His property was about 60,000, he appointed Col (Prof) J. L. Chamberlain and Chas J Gilman administrators.  All of his property was sold at auction, but the dwelling house (situated on the south side Pleasant St, just west of Union St), which was purchased by Capt Curtis Merriman for 5,000 at private sale.  His household goods were scattered far and wide.  At the time of his death he was President of the Pejepscott Bank of this town.


Capt Nehemiah Larrabee aged



E. P. Furbish drowned Aug 2
22 years
10 mos


Another retired sea-captain, for many years a resident of this village, Capt Nehemiah Larrabee who lived in the old Dunlap house directly opposite Mason Street, on Federal St, died ___________. Aged _____ years.  He left four children, one son Charles Larrabee Esq, attorney of Bath, and three daughters, Sophia Mary and Abby.  He left a fair property.  He was a man of strong prejudices, an “Old Whig”, and bitter hater of anything he did not like, (especially “abolitionests”, or any political party but his). His wife died in New York _____ November ______ Aged ____.

(One of the saddest and to us the most afflicting death was that of my brother Edward P. Furbish who was drowned Sabbath morning August 2 d at about 8 ½ o’clock, at the “point” above the upper railroad bridge on the Topsham side.  I proposed to go up to the river and wash and he thought he would go with me.  We conversed upon my going to war, and other things on our way up, but in a few minutes he was gone, and I had to pursue my sad walk home alone.  Those present were unable to render me any aid in rescuing him, though I had hold of him after he was unconscious.  We burried him August 4 th from the vestry of our church on School St, and although commencement exercises were taking place the building was crowded and all seemed to deeply sympathize with us.
Brunswick Division of Sons of Temperance of which he was second officer attended in a body, and took part in the service in an appropriate manner.

Edward as a scholar, mechanic and chemist had few equals at his age.  We thought a brilliant future was before him but God took him at the early age of 22y 10mos.


Bank robery!







R. T. Dunlap died October 26



The morning of October 2 d was characterized in this quiet ?? by the discovery that the “Pejepscot Bank” Maine St. had been entered the night previous and robbed of a part of its deposits.  The building was entered by a back window, and the vault blown to pieces by the use of some explosive substance, which threw the large blocks of granite with which it was built up, out of place, scattering the outer covering of bric[ks to a] mass of debris upon the floor.  The clock of the bank [was] stoped about 3 o’clock, probably by the explosion, which was heard by persons watching with the sick, also by the night watch, but the scamps escaped with about 3,000 to pay them for their work.  They did not get into the inner safe, but took a part of the dividend money which was kept outside, and rifled some of the trunks put their for safe keeping: Hundreds of people visited the bank during the day to see the ruins.  I was the first person inside the building after it was discovered that mischief was committed, and shall [not] forget the sight presented to my eye.  As a result of the crime Thompson & Co, agents of “Marland’s patent alum safe” sold several burglar proof safes, to help keep people honest.

 The last of several brothers, and probably the least loved was Richard Toppan Dunlap who died Monday evening October 26 th 1863 aged about 75.  The son of a man of remarkable energy [and] business, he inherited much exactness, and general business ability, but became a money lover, and was generally considered a miser.  For a number of years President of the “Brunswick Bank”.  A very excentric man, giving or not as he saw fit or was in a mood to do, dressing in a style peculiarly his own: pants always six inches too short, with a white hatte.  Many was always speak in reproach, others with words of praise.


in November








Close of the year.


The most remarkable freshit with in the rememberance of most of the people occurred in November.  The river had frozen over about four inches thick and there was every promise of a cold winter, but it began to rain about the 10 th and rained much of the time for a week, ending with a severe South-Easter which rose the river so much that there was no perceptible fall of water at the lower line of falls.  Except the loss of logs, there was no special damage done here: but up the river the damage was heavy, especially on the line of rail-road.

The most remarkable phenomina resulting from this breaking up of the river was the formation of immense quantities of anchor ice, which formed and rising to the surface covered the surface of the water and froze together making a very uneven surface.  A smart rain rose the river a little and it would appear that the anchor ice had filled up the river so that the water rose probably ten feet in a single night below the falls, and giving away suddenly swept all before it as far down as the upper end of Cow island where it seemed to jam again, and kept the water as much as six feet too high below the dam, and almost wholly preventing the mills from working. This state of affairs continued for a week or two, and there was no perceptible current under the Toll-bridge.  The water in time found a passage through the ice and resumed its usual level, but the surface if the ice looks much like the pictures of the northern regions, only on a small scale.

Thus have I written the record of the year 1863, in an imperfect manner from the force of circumstances, but truthful so far as it goes, and I hope to some purpous, still it may be all for nothing after all.


Cold enough
to begin with.



Little snow but
fine traveling



Dry roads


Fast-day April 14 th


Friday January 1 st was cold but not severe with us, but the succeeding three days were severe with wind South West, and the Sunday will be long remembered as the coldest day with a southerly wind known.  The daily papers soon told the reason of the severity: at Louisville Ky the murcury stood at 20° below zero, and some places equally as far south it was even colder. The amount of suffering was intense, and hundreds of persons are reported as having lost their lives in passing from place to place, even a short distance.

At no time during the winter has their been sufficient snow to render it necessary to break the roads: about nine inches being as much as fell at any one time.  Still it has been the best of traveling: teams being able to go anywhere in the woods, or on marshy places.  This has had a tendency to keep down the price of wood, as cutters have been able to work all winter.  Still wood has sold high, 6.00 – six dollars being the ruling price of good hard wood.  Last teaming March 5 th.

April 1 st gave us dry streets, and out of town the roads were called good. This continued until April 12 th when a N East snow-storm gave us six or eight inches of damp snow.  This made bad traveling for a day or two, and to-day, Fast-day April 14 th we have enough left to render the traveling very poor, but a few days more will give us dry going again.  There were a fair number out to the service to-day.  Exercises were held in most of the houses of worship.  Rev J Peacock Evangelist continues to hold meetings at Maine St. Baptist church.  Mr Adams 1 st Parish preached from Joel 2 d Chapt 17 th verse.  The estate of Richard J Dunlap have been selling a portion of his goods at auction the present month.


June 25 + 26 Hot
27 Cold




Great Drought




Sunday July 24 th



During every season we expect two or three days of great heat, these came this year June 25 & 26 when the thermometer was 90° in the shade, and the air very close.  I was at work in the cellar of the store but even there the heat was quite uncomfortable.  The 26th Sunday was a hard day for preacher and people, and many stayed from service.  About dark the wind came round to the north, and without a shower gave us a cool breeze.  Monday 27th was cold and overcoats were needed.  Such are some of the changes of a N England air.

One of the characterizing events of this year is the severe drought, during the summer.  The spring was very wet, and the rain stoped suddenly and for a number of weeks there was scarcely a shower.  Farmers were obliged to do their haying nearly a month earlier than usual, and much corn of hoed twice, was done the second time after the hay was cared for.  Mowing Machines came in very general use here, labor being scarce.  So severe did the drought become that many of the trees, shrubs, and the like shed their leaves and were supposed to be dead: on most shade trees the leaves partially dried, leaving one portion green, as it is left when exposed to heat of a fire.  A gloomy scene to look upon.  Sunday July 24 th will be remembered by many as a gloomy one.  The air filled with smoke.  Fires raging all around us in the woods: bells ringing to call citizens of the neighboring town of Topsham to fight fires, while dust was sifting into everything worn or exposed. Prayers earnest for rain went up from sincere lips this day.  Our pastor, Mr Adams, said this morning that in ?? the 1st of August was as at present, and no rain fell until the 31st when trees, shrubs, and grass put forth new leaves: we pray it may not be so this year: and pray for rain.


Drought breaks August 2d

Gen Chamberlain



Call for 500,000 Volunteers


Ship Building

Presidential Election


The first rain for many weeks fell August 2d, we had had a few showers just wetting the surface, but not to be counted.  The rain commenced with a heavy shower, followed by a N. E. storm, continuing several days thoroughly wetting the ground, during the second day I could see green sprigs starting in the field back of the store, so rapid was the growth of vegetation, and a few days completely changed the face of nature, trees put forth new leaves, and the harvest was very fair.  Commencement exercises were somewhat interfered with, but I doubt if people were ever happier, or enjoyed it better.

This community were pained to receive news of the severe wounds received by this great citizen in a conflict before Petersburg Va. while leading on his brigade.  Lieut Gen Grant made him a Brigadere General on the field.  He lay months very low, but even with the awful wound, God saw fit to spare his life, and before well he started for the field of strife.

President Lincoln by two calls ordered the draft, if not before filled by volunteers, of 500,000. men for the army and navy.  Brunswick’s quota was filled by volunteers and (Substitutes, put in before the draft, as by law provided.  Bounty paid by the town $500.00 for 3 years men, contrary to State law, but done anticipating the action would be legalized by State Leg’)

Several vessels have been built here during the year, even with the present high prices of material.  The timber has been brought mostly from the Sandy River valley by R.Road.  There has been but little house building going on, and trade only fair. At the Presidential, Abraham Lincoln, our present worthy president, received a good majority, and our people rejoice in his re-election.
The Union shall be preserved!


Steady Cold in January




Fall of Richmond April 3d


Surrender of Lee’s Army


We have had little cause in this climate to complain of heat, during the winter months in New England, and this year is no exception to the rule. The steady cold has been felt all over the country.  Traveling good the most of the month.

Victories by our armies, in the fall of the principal ports of the South have cheered the hearts of our people, while the calls for troops by our chief magistrate have been answered as promptly as could be expected, many of the vetrans reenlisting: the town paying bounties of 300, 400, & 500. dollars for 1, 2 &3 years men.

The season opens finely, there being but little frost in the ground the water has settled down instead of running off.  So we have had no severe freshit.  Maine St was dry going the 26th of March, and trees, and grass begins to show life.

(The news of the fall of Richmond reached here Monday noon April 4th, but was not generally accepted, until confirmed by subsiquent dispatches, loyal people were perfectly happy, for it had been their prayer for four years, but there were some slavery lovers who looked blue.  Still the great mass, are as they ever have been true.  Truly Babylon has fallen! _?__)

Following the fall of Richmond came the daily report of the vigorous pursuit of Lee’s routed army, always accompanied with the expressed expectation of its capture, until finally Monday morning April 11th at about 8 o’clock came the official news of Lee’s surrender, together with the balance of his army.  This woke our people up.  The bells sounded the result and work was at end.  Guns, flags, music, and processions filled their appropriate places right merrily, and as Rev Mr Ballard said it was every person’s duty to make all the noise they could, and let externals go.


Rejoicing over Lee’s Surrender



Fire at Town Farm





Spring early


A general illumination was observed throughout the village, nearly every building on Maine Street, together with the colleges and private dwellings on nearly every street.  Every thing was impromptu, and very appropriate.  I believe it is the first real live acknowledgement of a fact I ever saw given in Brunswick.  One particular feature was the acknowledgement of God’s hand in all of these great victories.  Our fellow citizen Professor, or rather General Chamberlain distinguished himself, and in one of the battles received fresh wounds.  Honorable wounds!

(The final of our excitement for that day was the burning of the Stable and part of the shed of the Poor Farm, destroying a fine horse, two or three cows, &c.  There was a tragedy with all.  A miserably ugly, half crazy man named “Bill Storer” who was let out of the Lunatic Asylum only two weeks before, and has served one or more terms in the State Prison, for various offences: stabbed one Wm Card, (a like character) in the back whereupon he was locked up: and confessed that he set fire to the barn, and tried to fire the house also: telling them to go and see for themselves.  His principal reason for his act seemed to be, that old Pomp (the horse) should not carry him to Augusta again.  He let a calf out, saying he thought it would be too bad to burn an innocent calf.  Such can only be the acts of an insain man: but he is a fearfully ugly one, as his past life is a good evidence.)

The snow was nearly all off April 1st: and there being no frost of any consiquence.  The water was absorbed by the earth instead of running into the river.  The air has been very good and farmers are busy plowing, some even planting potatoes.  Every thing now bids fair for a favorable season, and we may well thank God for his many blessings to us.


Assassination of President Lincoln.
April 14 th Friday evening at about 10 o’clock at Ford’s Theater Washington





John Wilkes Booth. ------------
the villain

Funeral Services


(Our citizens, indeed the whole country, were thunderstruck to hear that our much loved, and noble President, Abraham Lincoln!, had been shot (dead) at the theater in Washington, where he had gone by special invitation to witness a patriotic play.  The newspapers of the day give all the particulars, and it only belongs to me to record the doings in Brunswick. The feeling here was the most intense imaginable: people only looked and thought for hours, feelings were too deep for utterance.  Soon people began to move, and arrangements were soon made for a meeting at 1st Parish Church, at 3 o’clock, at which hour the church was filled, and the services continues over two hours.  It was a solemn occasion, and it does seem that the death of our President has united our people even more than ever before. Party lines disappear, and we see all paying just tribute to his greatness, and universal goodness: and all of this is sincerity.

The churches are all to a greater or less extent draped in mourning, while all the Sabbath services were deeply solemn.  Dr Adams before commencing the services Sabbath morning called upon A G Tenny Esq, Editor of Brunswick Telegraph to read the telegrams received during the morning.  We were all made glad to hear that Mr Seward & son who were assaulted (about the same time) in their house, were alive and improving.

The assassin of President Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth (Actor) has not been arrested as yet.  Oh miserable wretch!  May thy days be short!

Wednesday April 19th being the day appointed for the funeral services at Washington, and in conformity with a request of government.  Services were held at the Mason St Church, conducted by Rev A D Wheeler, assisted by other clergymen.)  Text Mark 2d Chpt 19 verse, it being his Fast Day discourse anticipated.  (All places of business closed from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock.  A solemn day for our country.  God our help!


Funeral procession to Springfield Illinoise.



Death of Booth


Crops July 10th



Returning Soldiers


(All along the rout of procession there was the most deeply expressed grief, but at New York City the excitement was intense, and all night long the crowd passed by to get a last glance at the people’s dead.  No such a scene was ever witnessed in this land.  A nation in mourning for their head. Expressions of grief come even from rebels in arms, for they too seem to feel that the best friend of humanity had been fouly murdered.)  Still the crime seems to rest in high places.

(The news of the death of “Booth” was received here with a general feeling of satisfaction that he was so quickly disposed of.  While the arrest of his accomplices: and the offer of a reward of one hundred thousand dollars for “Jeff Davis”, chief conspiritor, and his subsiquent capture in his wife’s peticoats, all helped to relieve the feeling of gloom.)

The prospect for a fine crop was never better, and unless an early frost destroys it: this will be the year of plenty.  Such are the reports from all over the land, and even Europe sends back the same report.  If right has indeed triumphed and nature takes up the strain of rejoicing, this will indeed be a year of jubelee.  Grass never was heavier, and thus far the weather fair for curing it.  As this is a world of compensation, farmers will consiquently receive but about 10.00 per ton for it.

(With the close of the war, our citizen Soldiers are now returning, and we see in the streets, and in the trades, those who for three long years have bourn the musket in defense of right, now laying of the garb of war, assuming the ways of old.)  What a spectical!  To-day a nation in arms, to-morrow, peace!  Thank God for so great a blessing, and a birth in this noble land.  God bless our native land!  Happy land where freedom can so fully dwell!


Death of Gen J C Humphreys






Commencement Exercises

U.S. Grant




Another of our old citizens has fallen and there are few remaining.  Among the men who have had a controll of the masses of Brunswick perhaps none ever did it more effectual than “General” John C Humphreys.  A strong party man of the “Democratic” party (so called) he had no sympathy with any persons who entertained opinions calculated to injure its success.  Pleasant and winning in his manner, he exercised a power over men in his employ, which he turned to political account.  A leader of his party, and at one time Collector of the “ Port of Bath.”  Lumbering was his principal business.  He built the steam mills at the “ Narrows” where he also had a ship yard.  Rising from a low place in life he was emphatically a man of the people, and being possessed of an uncommon memory he turned his powers to a good account.  But he tried to do too much business and failed.  He died ________. Aged _____.

(The principal interest this year was the presence of Lieut Genl. U.S. Grant, Maj Gen O. O. Howard, & Brev Maj Gen J L Chamberlain.  The honorary title of “L.L.D” having been conferred by vote upon Gen Grant he responded by his presence Commencement day, and was the guest of Gen Chamberlain.  His presence at the Soldier’s reception in the evening caused the church to be filled to overflowing: it being the greatest jam I ever saw in this place.)

The drought broke last year at commencement time.  This year it began at about that time, and at the present writing Sept 12th is very severe.  The fall feed is spoiled, and butter which a short time since was plenty at .25 per pound is now scarce at .45 cents.  Potatoes are reported scarce in yield, price .65 cts per bushell.  Apples are litterally not to be had less than 2 or 3 dollars a bushell, not for many years at least has there been so near a total faleure of the apple crop in all sections of the country. Crops generally are very good and early ripe.  Corn is generally out of the way of frost, but all cry for rain to quench the prevailing thirst for wet.


Continued drought






Death of Jos McKeen


The fall has been very dry, and unless the ground continues open and we have late rains the springs will be very low for the winter.  The weather of the fall months has been very fine, and much fuel has been saved to poor people at least.  (Provisions are still high.  Butter 45 to 50 cts per pound.  Lard 30+, Pork 25+, Potatoes 80+, Poultry 20 to 25+, Corn 1.15, Flour from 12. to 18.00 per barrell.  Eggs 36 cents per dozen.  Beans 3.00 per bushel. Kerosene 1.00 Gall.  With these high prices the laboring class are obliged to live close:) although laborers are as much in demand as during the war, and apparently as scarce.  Our village has been saved from destructive fires, although many places in the state have suffered severely. ( Augusta especially loosing terribly)  We have scarcely had an alarm the past six months.

Our older citizens are passing away.  Joseph McKeen Esq, for many years College Treasurer, and formerly a prominent businessman of the place, died suddenly ______ aged _____.  He was emphatically an arristocrat, allowing no discussion upon the correctness of his judgment by persons whom he was want to class below himself.  Perhaps the best judgment of him may be a remark made by Prof A S Packard, “that he was a very proud man, very.”  Without doubt a man who tried to live a christian life: eminently a bible scholar historically, and one who loved to instruct in bible history: holding the position of a teacher of a bible class many years.  He closed his labors with his last class only about three years before his death (which occurred just four years to a day after his brother John’s) With some Mr McKeen’s name will always bring pleasant thoughts: with others, who believed he had deeply wronged them, the deepest hatred, and contempt. But he was but a man, and has passed away.


Cabot Co improvements





Death of John M O’Brien






Dec 28 th


(The manufacturing company having obtained controll of the uper dam privileges, have raised their own dam and begun to lay out work for extensive improvements the next spring.  They are at work blowing out the ledge east of the present building, and also on the west, while with the rocks thus obtained the are laying a substantial wall along the edge of the high bluff forming the river bank, thereby gaining available ground for their buildings.  They have also thrown a substantial bridge over the waste-water course, giving them a passage around their works.  This promises to be the inaugeration of a renewed activity in the use of our water-power, I hope for the better.  )

The last member of the first class of Bowdoin College has fallen, and the college mourns once more.  Although not a native of Brunswick, he was identified with its history, his ancestors being among its first residents, and intermarrying with the Dunnings.  He lived for many years in the old yellow house on the South east corner of O’Brien St where he died, aged 79 yrs.
I sat up with him about a week before he passed away and found his mind for the most part remarkably clear, and save at intervals, apparently as strong as ever, memory good, and well-informed upon all matters both local and national.  His reasoning upon national affairs was fit for a Presidents consideration.  He considered the Struggle through which our nation had just passed, as the beginning of the overthrow of “Antichrist” in the world. I rejoice that I was permitted to receive his dying blessing.  By nature a strong man, a lawyer by profession, a mechanic by nature, a Christian.

But little snow on the ground, no sleighing, weather mild, although we have had some cold.  Good by 1865 Jno Furbish.





Mild Winter




Death of
A. C. Robbins



Fire R. Bowker House


I regret very much the ommission of the record intervening, as the history of our town has been of interest, but a pressure of cares, changes in business, and carelessness has been the cause.  Trusting I may not again ommit, I proceed.

The close of the past year, and the beginning of the present has been one of unexampled mildness, although at sea it has been a winter of great severity. Up to the first of February we have not had over six inches of snow at one time, and that in the form of a sleet, which made splendid sleighing and teaming.  The thermometer has not been below zero more than three or four times.  This has been very favorable for poor people, who not having much work this winter must otherwise have suffered.
Provisions are still high, Potatoes 1.00 per bushell Corn 1.20 Butter 45 to 50 Eggs 25 to 36 cts per dozen.  Pork 15 cts per Round Hog, Flour 9. to 14.00 (still droping) molasses 60 to 75.  Kerosene Oil 40 to 60 cts per gallon.  Wood 4.50 to 8.00 per cord.  Money market tight.  Trade up to the middle of January quite good.  Coal Jan’y 30th 12.00 per ton (July 30 – 8.50)

The health of the place quite good, among the deaths are some of our oldest citizens.  Augustus C Robbins Esq long prominent as a Bank Cashier, more recently one of the State Bank Commissioners, noted as a wit and joker, the type of hospitality, Secretary of the College board of Overseers, and prominent in good works, is as much missed as any.  He leaves a widow and two children, Dr Chas A Robbins and Harnel- (???) Robbins Libby.  Amount of estate $20,000

The dwelling house of Robt Bowker Esq was burned 21st inst caused by an over heated chimney, which had been on fire the day previous.  Loss about 3,500  Insured 3,000


February 3d
Snow Storm




March 9




May 3d


The first real snow storm of the season.  Wind N. East.  Amount of snow about seven inches, and very solid, being part of it sleet.  Thunder & Lightning also accompanied it during the night.

Our friends in Topsham of the Congregational Church have been remodeling their house of worship, which was opened by dedicatory exercises Feb’y 4th.  Sermon by Prof J. S. Sewell (The paper mill under process of erection in Topsham is roofed in, and presents a solid structure, but I fear too expensive for profit).  However I own no stock… As yet.

A remarkable winter.  Mild, and yet a plenty of snow for good traveling. Until Feb’y 26th there was no snow storm demanding the breaking of roads: at that time eleven inches of snow fell in six hours: the storm was followed by the coldest snap of the season, the thermometer registering 20° below zero.  Yet with our freedom from snow, it has been a severe winter fifty miles above us, there being seven feet of snow on a level.

Our quiet village has been the scene of a suicide, a young man by the name of A D McKoy, son in law to Hiram Cobb, cut his throat while in a fit of passion.  He went to the looking glass, took his razor, and deliberately cut, first one side, and then the other.  He lived about an hour, regreting his rash act, and then died with no hope.

The winter has quietly passed away, and green grass begins to appear.  The ice gradually melted away, without damage, although in Canada, N. York & other places fearfull damage has been done, and many lives lost.

(Work is begun on “Memorial Hall”, the walls of which will be put up this season, and roofed in.)





May 26




June 4




July 5 th


(Parties are here prospecting for “Feldspar” for the Potteries in Trenton N. Jersey.  They pronounce the quarries here superior to any they have ever seen.)

Robert Bowker is rebuilding his dwelling house, after the same design as his old one.

The wet weather of spring seems gone, and we have a hot “spell of weather at present.  Thermometer 85° in shade.

Vegetation growing finely.

We experience at intervals, extensive runs of measles, at the present time great numbers are thus afflicted, but one case has proved fatal as yet, that I hear of.  Some days at least 50 new cases are reported.

The spring although apparently cold, has been very favorable to the farmer, and a deal of seed has been put in.

Mr Chas L Thompson launched his barque “Isaac Lincoln” successfully a week or two since.  This is the only vessel built this year as yet.

Mr Ezekiel Thompson for a longtime Baggage Master at the depot died here this week, a worthy & popular man.

Yestoday was a very hot day, but during the evening a fresh breeze sprung up, making it very pleasant.

Mr John R Larrabee living out of the village got up in the night to fasten a blind, missed his way, and falling down stairs broke his neck.

(Col Andrew Dennison one of our oldest citizens has passed away.  He commanded a regiment in the war of 1812.  Was the inventor of the machine for cutting the blanks for pasteboard boxes, by means of which he and his sons have built up a large business, in various kinds of paper boxes)


July 20




August 20







Sept 1



Farmers are having a fine time to get their hay crop, the weather being all they could ask for.  Mowing machines are in good demand, and many who a few years since would have laughed at the idea are now purchasing.  We disposed of the first “Hay Ladder” ever in town to Gilbert Woodward Esq.  They must be as generally used as are horse rakes, and mowers.

Allen Colby has broken ground for a dwelling house, on the lot at the head of Lincoln St, corner of Union and Grove.  Dan’l A Booker is erecting a house, corner of Union & Cedar.  Coal is on a rampage, price today 12.50 per ton.

A backward season.  No green corn in the market yet.  The wet spring has been followed by a dry August, and many fields of corn do not yet show ears. Sweet corn will be a poor crop unless we have a long warm September.

Excursions and Sea-Side boarding is the order of the day.  The 1st Parish S. School went to “Mere Point”, and the Mason St S. School to Sabattus Pond on Wednesday of this week.

James Berry & others are building a new mill on the Site of the old Thompson Mill, to be used for manufacturing purpouses.

Thus far the general health of the place is good.  The great crop of babies just now coming along, gives the physician a plenty to do: but this far all have been safely delivered.  Sex generally Boys.

Berries of all kinds have been very abundant this year.  The severe drought still continues.  The corn and potatoe crop is badly injured, but the grain crop is very fine.

While such a drou’t prevails here at the west it is very wet.

(The news of a boat-race in England was received here during the same afternoon.  Such is the wonderfull means of the day for transmitting news. Havurds defeated by 3 lengths.)


(Septem’/8 th



9 th






October 5



6 th


New England & Maine State Fairs held in Portland this week, where the display of stock is far beyond any previous display in the State.

At about Five o’clock this afternoon it began to rain, increasing to a tempest before Seven, and continuing through the evening doing much damage.

The gale of last night has no parallel in this generation, it is said that in 1815 there was one even more severe.  In the village the principal damage was to trees.  A large Rock Maple front of Father’s was torn up by the roots and thrown into the yard, breaking down the fence.  On and along the street five other trees were uprooted. A large Elm on Pleasant St was thrown directly into Capt Otis’ yard. Many other trees were ruined here as well as in Topsham.
But in the woods the destruction was most severe, in a twenty acre lot of ours we calculate a thousand trees are down, and other tracts about as bad. Nobody injured here.
The Fairgrounds in Portland suffered severely, and the spire of the new Cathedral there was blown down.  Other damage not reported.  Along the coast the damage must be very severe, and lives lost.  The “Coleseum” in Boston was destroyed, thust ends the “Jubilee”.

Again we are visited by a severe gale and rain, commencing Sabbath day and reaching its greatest fury at Sundown on Monday.  No special damage was done about here, but we experience one of the most powerfull freshets ever known. The river for its whole length seems striped with booms, and logs, pumpkins and corn are running thick.  Up the river much damage has been done in destruction of bridges &c.

The water reached its greatest hight to-day, and is falling.  We experienced the first white frost last night we have had, but the day has been cold, and we must freeze to-night unless it moderates somewhat.


December 3












The river below the bridge froze over last night, but full of anchor ice, so there will be no skating, and perhaps less deaths by drowning.  No snow as yet, excepting squalls.

The first snow to remain came Saturday evening, and is followed this afternoon by a smart North Easter, which we hope will make good traveling. The roads have been very bad, and as a consiquence business dull.

(The “Memorial Hall” approaches complition, and with a few days more of warm weather will be roofed in from the snow.  The work seems to drag, but perhaps it is no fault.

The structure will be an orniment to the place, and one which if not destroyed by fire, or earthquake must stand a long time.)  The dwelling houses of Allen Colby, corner of Grove and Union St, & Dan’l A Booker corner of Cedar and Union are nearly completed and add to the wealth of the place.

The Cabot Company have nothing new under contemplation, so far as I am aware.

Messrs James Berry, Stone & Atkins, J P Storer & M Whitter have just completed a large mill (in the Cove so called) 80 x 40 which will be used for Sawing &c.  Carding Machine & Plane Manuf’g.

All of the Cove privelege must sooner or later be put to other uses than at present, in the manufacture of cotton or wollen goods.

Poor traveling and dull business seems to trouble all.  The weather is remarkably mild for the season of the year, farmers would find little trouble in plowing on sandy ground.  (The “Niagra No3” Fire Company have a new engine, and we are supposed to be well prepared for fires, but strange to say there has not been a fire for almost a year, and but one or two alarms.)


Jan'y 6 th


Freshet &



February 14








The oldest inhabitant knows nothing like a weather record like the past week, in this part of the country.  The wind has been West of South West, and the air as mild as in April lacking the high run of the sun at that season.

While I hear of farmers plowing on Sandy lands, Traveling is bad, the frost having come out of the ground much of the way.  Sunday (2d) a severe rain storm and gale prevailed uprooting trees &c, and clearing the ice from the rivers and bays, a very unusual occurance.  Trade is dull, and money tight. Gold at a premium of about 20 per cent.

The “Memorial Hall” is nearly roofed in, and is a noble looking structure.  General health of the place good.

The past month must ever be remembered for its mildness and but for the poor traveling would have been the most beautiful in all respects ever known for January.

Since this month came in we have had more snow, and colder weather, making the ice crop a sure one, although it seemed at one time a doubtfull question.  When there fails to be a sufficient amount of cold weather to give a full supply of ice in the rivers of Maine, we may well say the much talked of deviation of the Gulf Stream has occurred.

Business is very quiet, our receipts falling off, compared with last year about one fourth, and this appears to be the general complaint.

(The prospect for the year to come seems better, if the contemplated improvements are carried out.  A new and tasty building is to be erected on the “Cushing” lot, so called, Corner of Maine and Pleasant St by Messrs Lemont & Decker) and other work is projected, but I now know of no dwellings to be erected, although some are to be repaired.


Feby 14


Town Hall

Negative Vote


Affirmative Vote





Third Town
Meeting on Hall Affirmative



(The principal subject of interest at present relates to building a “Town building” on the lot recently purchased by the Town.

A Town Meeting was held Feb’y 1st at McLellan Hall to vote to instruct the Selectmen to petition the Legislature for power to issue the bonds of the town for a period of twenty years for a sum not exceeding $40,000, the avails of which shall be used in erecting a building for use of the town, or to rent as it may appear for the interest of the town.  Owing to a lack of interest on the part of village people, the out of town people voted us down.  Another meeting was immediately called, which was held Feb’y 9th. The day previous was a heavy snow storm which prevented the farmers from turning out, and after much discussion the question was decided in the affirmative 166 Yea’s 66 Nays.  But this was not allowed to be satisfactory, and Mr Alex F Boardman, who has a notion in his head, to postpone the matter until after the resumption of specie payment: and a plan to lay the corner stone of the building July 4th,1876 our 100 national anniversary, with difficulty gets up a petition to again call the town to gather, Feb’y 19th to get a vote to reconsider the last vote.  At this meeting which was a large one, and the opponants of the measure had a fair chance, the decision was more than ever emphatic, and the representative of the Town was instructed to support the measure.

The Legislative Committee reported the bill giving the Town power to build a building with Stores below for rent if by a majority vote of the town it was decided to do so, but upon the instigation of Representative Barker of Stetson it was ammended so as to require a two thirds vote, and thus passed, this caused the opponants of the enterprise to rejoice, as a defeat.


Legislative Action
Town Hall







March 28

Town Meeting


A new bill granting power to the Town to erect a building was next prepared and sent up to Augusta, and was passed before its opponants hardly knew of its existance, the same to take effect upon its approval by the Governor. This bill requires no vote of the Town, but it will probably be submitted.)

Twice this winter has the river below the bridge been broken up, and above the falls it has been open nearly all the time, only once have people tried to travel over it.

Feb’y 18 & 19 there was a severe rain, breaking up the ice again, and piled it up about the Lower Rail Road Bridge clear to the stringers, but the water falling off no special damage was done.  On the Kennebec the damage was very severe, sweeping away bridges, houses, &c, flooding Hallowell, and piling the ice up twenty five feet thick.

The winter has been a remarkable one, and many of the days in March were good Spring ones.  It is doubtful whether so mild, and open a winter was ever known.

Annual Town Meeting.      The day opened with one of the most severe rain storms I ever saw, making with the light snow that was on the ground such traveling that only about a half dozen men were in from out of the village. An effort was made to adjourn, so as to give the citizens of the outskirts a chance to be present, but it was voted down.  The meeting was the most protracted I ever knew, and only closed at 5 O’C P.M.  The following officers were elected.  Henry Carville, Jos Lunt, Lyman E. Smith Selectmen, Leonard Townsend, Clerk.  Barton R. Jordan, Treasurer.  Appropriation for School, 6,500.  An appropriation of 8,000 was voted, but at a late stage of the meeting, after many had left, was cut down.)


April 1 st

May 1 st




October 20 th


Sudden deaths



The month opens as lovely as a May morning, and our streets are nearly free from snow.  Gold at $1.11 7/8

The season promises well, and seed is being put in in large quantities.

The season proves to be one of protracted drought.

(Lemont & Decker are putting up a fine building corner of Maine & Pleasant Streets, to be finished with stores below and a large hall above.  This springs out of the new hall excitement and will put a damper on it for several years.)

A severe shock of an earthquake was felt here this AM at 11 1/2 o’clock. The most severe of any here for years.  A portion of a chimney on Medical Hall was thrown down, and in one or two other cases.  Also cracking two window sills in the new Lemont block, so claimed, but doubtful.)

The year has been marked by many sudden deaths among us.  Capt Chas Boutelle, James Nelson, &c.

(But the death that marks more clearly than any other in our village history is that of Miss Dorhethy Giddings, so long a Sabbath School teacher and keeper of her fancy store.  So well known to all as to become a land mark on the street, and the old house-store corner of Maine & O’Brien Streets on the North East corner will long be had in remembrance.  She was burried from the Congregational church Sunday PM Nov 6th / 7 o, the Sabbath school following in the procession, for forty six years she was connected with that Sunday School .)

Capt Clem’t Skolfield remodeled the old Dunning mansion corner of Elliot and Union Street putting on it a “French Roof” and entirely modernizing it, and will make of it a desireable residence for two families.


January 1 st




February 17



March 4





A lovely day.  Winter seems loth to come upon us.  Sleighing poor for want of snow.

Lemont Hall dedicated by a concert in aid of the Young Men’s Christian Association.  Thermometer -12°.

“Jenny Eaton” (Aunt Jinny) was found dead to-day.  She has lived in a little hut on the Growse-town road for many years all alone with her hens: no window, and using only pitch knots for light.  She too will be missed.

The month closed with but little snow, and a mild air.

Great fire at the bridge at about 6 1/2 o’clock A.M.  Cause unknown.  The first span of the bridge, Colbys Sash and Blind Manufg, Grist Mill, Saw Mill, and Carpenters Shop, Berry & Co’s new Saw Mill, and Carding, Planing, Cotton batting factory.  This is the first fire for over two years, but disastrous enough to make up for it all.
But few will be able to rebuild any of their mills.

Maine Street bare of snow, and nearly dry, but some of the side streets are bad enough, while out of the village it is very bad, and must be for weeks to come.

All are rejoiced that winter is so near past.

Ice gone out of the river and the air nearly as mild as May.  My neighbor Mr Pierce has taken up his grape vines in his grapery, and I see the elm trees are budding fast.

From my window I see the green grass showing along by the sidewalks.  The “oldest inhabitant” remembers no such a season as this.  Should spring open thus early it will tend to reduce the living expenses of all classes and start vegitation along in season, but we shall probably have cold storms and perhaps snow and ice in quantities yet.


June 16









Rev. E. Byington


The season which at my last writing was promising was not so early as was anticipated, and generally proved ten days later.  The spring was a dry one, and the grass crop looks short, although frequent rains this month have greatly invigorated it.  Seeds have come up well, and so far as now shows we shall have good crops.

Some new dwelling houses are being erected and the Selectmen are repairing the old building on the town lot, and the Post Office is to be removed to it placing it where it should be, and where it was many years.

(The Paper Mill (across the bridge) is at last to be put in shape to manufacture stock; while the Paper Pulp Mill near it has proved a success, and is doing a good business.

Eben Colby has erected a new mill in place of one of those destroyed, and some small temporary structures have been put up near it for Sawing Shingles and Carding Wool.

(Rev. Dr Adams who for over forty years was the Pastor of the Congregational (1st Parish) church in this place, having received a Call to Orange N. Jersey, and left the work here, his place has been supplied by the choice of Rev Ezra H Byington, formerly of Winsro Vermont: who gives great satisfaction, and awakens a new interest in the Parish.  At the present time repairs are being made in the Church, and new carpets, gas &c being put in, yet few in the parish really prefer the house as it is, Gothic in style, but unfit it seems for a place of public-worship; for a plain neat assembly room is far preferable in all respects.  The work progresses and sometime we shall have a different house.)


July 5



R.Road Accident

July 19


 Fish way

August 23





Nothing local has disturbed our town during the “Glorious Fourth”, and save a want of rain for grass (and my cistern) everything promises well, a general and no doubt well founded complaint is made about the short grass or hay crop, and hay already $25. per ton will reach $30. or more before spring, and stock will be low.

The serious Rail Road accidents of last week where by our fellow citizen Dan’l H Berry was killed, and the death of others known to us, cast a gloom over every heart, and I trust all feel thankful that no passengers were injured.  It is not often that the road has accidents.

The drout tells severely upon the crops, and all seems to indicate short crops.  Still there is time enough yet for great ammendment.

The general health of our people is good, and all are busy about their work.

A “Fishway” is being constructed at the Factory dam and another is to be at the lower dam, so that Salmon and other fish may find their way to breeding ground.

The hay crop has been gathered in fine condition but the amount is less than for several years.  The season is dry: but crops generally look well.  Fruit is scarce, and apples will be high.

(The foundation is being laid for a new Primary School House corner of Center & Federal Street) on the Houghton lot so called.  The house is to be two stories high and of brick.  Mr Alonzo Day is building a dwelling house on Grove Street, and John A Dunning on Gilman Avenue.

A son of Mr Thos Pennell lost his life at the Pulp Mill in Topsham this week.  Chas P Cobb had a son drowned.




August 26





Sept. 29

Nov 8 th

11 th



Mr Orrin W Ripley is building a dwelling house on the North Side of Pleasant Street on what is known as Powder House hill.  This must be in time a favorite building location.

(Great excitement in the place, owing to the discovery of great frauds and defalcation in Pejespscott National Bank by the Cashier John Rogers.  A man commanding as great respect heretofore as any person in the place.  It is a terrible blow to his interesting and innocent family.  The extent of the defalcation is about $40,000 so far as known.  No such event ever more fully upset a community.  Confidence is shaken in everybody and business must suffer accordingly.  Mr Rogers was taken to jail this evening by the U.S. Marshall, which was more than we had expected, and cast a gloom over many hearts.  Mr Rogers has been a citizen here as long as I can remember and in all respects prominent confided in especially by the poor, and widows.  His fall is brought about principally by insufficient salary for the position in life he moved in.

John Rogers sentenced to six years hard labor in the State Prison.  Oh what a change to himself and family a few week has made.  Previously to making known his crime, he attempted to commit suicide, but the excitement he was too much for the poison.)

First snow of the season.

14 in snow fell last night, giving fine sleighing.
The year past has been one of drought, and short crops.  Grasshoppers have done great damage cleaning every green herb, and leaf from some fields, striping the leaves from the apple trees and eating the apples leaving only the core hanging upon the stem.  This happens about once in a score of years, and can only happen here when the season is particularly dry early. Hay is scarce, and stock very low.  Beef at retail 5 to 15 cts.


Jan’y 1

Feb’y 21 st


March 1



April 3d

4 th



May 21 st



The year begins mild and fine sleighing, though not much snow.
“Mump” are an epidemic.  Our physicians estimate over 1000 cases here at the present time.

The winter thus far has been remarkable for its steady cold, and fine traveling, about four inches of ice covers the ground on which a little snow falls at times but no drifts as yet, and all pronounce it a remarkable season.

(The prosperity of our schools is growing more and more into the pride of our people, and a deeper interest in the minds of those who have children to educate.  Our school year closed to-day with public exercises at Lemont Hall, where the graduating class, consisting of 11 young ladies participated and received diplomas.  A class of seven young gents during the year also graduated from the Collegiate department.)

( Maine Central Rail Road Bridge over the river burned at 2 o’clock this morning, loss about $30,000.  Insured $20,000.  Maine Street nearly clear of snow along the middle, and the many carriages used in transporting passengers between the depots making things look lively at train time.)

Prof Thos C Uphams remains were brought here and burried this afternoon. Services at the Congregational Church.  Conducted by Prof Packard, Mr Byington & Fisk of Bath.

(I have just returned from a visit to the temporary bridge being erected in place of the one burned.  All but the last stretch is up and ready for the rail.  No doubt they know what is the required Strength is but it looks frail.  It is being built about two feet higher than the old so as to allow the iron bridge to be placed under it without interfering with travel.  The whole is now supported by piling driven down to the bed of the river.


May 21

Hay $30. ton

Cattle Starve


Compressed Air






Death of Dr Adams


The spring is backward and cold.  Professor Goodall says that at no time since he has been here has it been so difficult to obtain their botanical specimens as this year.  A warm rain yestoday will soon tell upon the grass crop, which at the best will be but light as the fields are in poor condition.  Hay is now thirty dollars a ton, and there is good evidence to show that many cattle even in this town have been allowed to perish of hunger.

(The company organized to lay pipes for conveying Compressed Air up to the depot & College are relaying the same, it having suffered by contraction during the winter.  When they laid it last fall they only put it about ten inches under ground, which proves to little.)

Keeping a private daily journal drew my mind from this until I knew I was behind in it; since which it has been behind.

(The compressed air was a success practically, but failed for want of patronage.  Much of the pipe was removed but by the efforts of a few of us 1300 feet extending from the cistern front of the Baptist Church Maine St to the mill near the bridge was secured, and connected with a force pump for a supply pipe for fire purpouses.  The town at its annual meeting in 1875 by vote purchased the same, but there has been no occasion to use it.)

The closing days of the year 1875 were made solemn by the death; and burial here December 30th of the Rev Geo E Adams, it being the 46th anniversary of his settlement over the First Parish as their pastor.  The last five years were spent at Orange, New Jersey, but he was never dismissed from his charge here.  The citizens generally participated in the funeral; and general sorrow filled all hearts, for he was the spiritual teacher of a large part of the people.

















(Our goodly town has not taken an active part in celebrating the Centennial year.  Unless visiting of the great Exhibition is eneough to constitute action.)  Mrs Furbish left home to “do the show” as the boys say, and passed a pleasant season there, and in visits to other localities.  Tickets to and return can be had for $16.00, not including lodging & food.

Considerable building of dwellings going on, in the vicinity of Elliot & High Street but no extensive structures.

The early spring was cold & wet, but midsummer gives us a hot growing season.  The hay crop is excellent and better weather for getting it never was known.  Wages 1.50 a day.

Judging without data; this has been one of the hotest seasons for years: the nights were warm enough to sleep with little if any clothing upon the beds, the highest record in absolute shade without reflection was 96° above zero Far. at 1 o’clock P.M.

To the west of us considerable suffering by reason of want of rain, but seasonable showers about us has insured good crops of everything so far.

Considerable political interest is being awakened in the Presidential campaign, and Hayes & Wheeler on the Republican, and Tilden & Hendricks on the Democratic are strongly supported: General distrust, and indicision are the obsticals to overcome.  Many honest men will not vote, choosing the error of nutrality to other mistakes.

I see but few who do not have work if they choose to avail themselves of it, but at less wages than formerly, for which reason some will not labor when they might.  (The large number of French Canadian adults in town affoard the best of help for road work, and Rail Road train workmen, which some Yankees do not like much.).


 Savings Banks












Scarlet Fever



(Perhaps the subject exciting the deepest interest among our peoples is the situation of the Brunswick Savings Institution, which with deposits over 400,000 dollars was obliged to suspend opperations owing to a shrinkage of securities, and general distrust with calls for large deposits, and indications of a run induced in part by a run upon similar institutions in neighboring places.  Careful and impartial examination of its securities doesn’t convince the Bank Examiner that public interest at present calls for putting the institution in the hands of a receiver, and our prudent men consider it would be a public calamity at present.

Public confidence in the officials of the Institution prevented the withdrawal of over ten per cent of the deposits, and affairs assume a more hopeful turn although resumption at par is yet delayed.  Still all who desire can have their money at ten per cent disc’t, and some from necessity, others from fear withdraw at that figure.)

(The vote of the town was strongly republican and the morning after the election democrats were jubilant (illegible at this point)---distrust enough to spite all but the most sanguine. And the guns still hold fire.

There were good crops of most kinds, potatoes were cut short and prices range high, retailing at ninety cents a bushel.

The month has been cold and real winter.  Thermometer at or below zero twelve mornings during the month.

(A fatal epidemic in the form of malignant Scarlet fever has made sad work with the children of the place this month and the schools have been stopped for weeks by reason thereof.  The meetings have been thinly attended, and a gloom is upon the hearts of all who have children exposed to it.  Quite a number of adults have had it severely, but none fatally).  Otherwise the general health has been good so far as I am aware.  Adieu 1876.


Cold & Snow

Hay 12 to 14
Potatoes 90+

February mild


Spring early

May 18






January by common consent is pronounced a cold month, and a dull one for business.  Yet the frost has not forced itself into cellars &c as in other years, owing partly to a large amount of snow, calculated to be two and a half feet upon a level.  The thermometer showd it was below or at zero 13 times during the month.  Hay is from 12. to 14.00 per ton.  Potatoes 90 cts Coal 7.50 for stove size, Wood 3.00 to 5.50 per cord.  Flour 8.00 for good.

February has been a mild pleasant month, and out of doors work comfortable to do.  Considerable wood is hauled in, and logs to a limited extent. Scarlet fever has abated to a great extent, and the general health is good. Ammusements don’t pay, and scarcely a traveling show is on the road.

The spring has been warm, and vegetation is well advanced.  Most of the planting is done, and seed is in good condition to grow.  The hay crop promises well unless the present drought continues.  Forest fires are raging about us, and the air is filled with smoke making the sun look like a fire ball.  The past few days have been very warm, 85° Far. at noon in the shade, 72° at evening.  Why there is always a hot term about the 20th of May I do not know, but it seems to be a well established fact that about as warm days as we get for the year come about that time.  Humbolt found that the cold spell in September was universal over the globe about the middle of that month.

The usual amount of building of dwelling houses is being done, although of a cheep class.  Seven are now up, or underway.  (Business is very dull, and wages low.  Most of the day laborers are getting but 1.00 to 1.25 per day, but most articles are also much diminished in cost.  The Russio Turkish war has caused quite a rise in flour.)


July 4 th




Hay Crop

Market Prices

Spruce Trees



Town History


A fine warm day.  The usual amount of fire-crackers, torpedoes & small arms have been used to make a noise since sunset last night and it is probable that we shall hear an occasional report until midnight, when the patriotism of our boys will slumber until another year.

Numerous parties have been to the seashore, and the (Kennebec Engine No1 (having received permission from the Selectmen) was carried to Watervill to contest for a prize, and a telegram informs us won the highest).  About the town nothing has been doing, (many stores were closed and the quiet of our weekday life was only broken by the noise.)

Many of our farmers are at work haying, the season being unusually early, and a fair crop will be cut.  Prices for workmen in the field about 2.00 a day.

Green Peas 30 cts a peck.  Lamb 15 to 17 cts per lb.  Strawberries 20 cts per qt.  Cherries 16 cts per lb, &c.

The spruce trees are being killed by a worm or caterpillar of a brown color, which appears to have begun its work upon the shore, and is working in land; if it does not receive a check most of these trees will die in a few years.

No shipbuilding is being done here this year.

(Dr. George A Wheeler of Castine, son of Rev A D Wheeler formerly of Topsham, and his brother H. W. Wheeler of this town are about to publish a history of Brunswick, Topsham & Harpswell.  The late John McKeen Esq was at work for many years upon historical matters relating to our town, and it is to be regretted that the work was not engaged in before his death.)


July 27



Colorado Beetle

Nov’ 20

Market prices

Narcissa Stone’s


Haying is about finished, and a satisfactory crop of good quality. Blueberries have not been so plenty for years, but owing to the demand for shipping are still sold at from 8 to 10 cents a quart.  Parties from out of town have been camping upon the commons for two weeks.

Potatoes have been largely planted this year owing to the ravages of the “ Colorado beetle” in other sections.  Many reports of their being seen in town are in circulation, and double vigilance is exercised by many to prevent their doing damage.

The season is mild with considerable rain.  Abundant crops have rewarded the labors of the husbandman.  Potatoes are now selling at 50 cents per bushel. Hay 12.00 to 14.00 per ton.  Beans of best quality 3.25 a bushel, which is nearly three times the price of last year.  Fresh Pork-spare-ribs- 8 cts lb. Flour – best patent $11.50 per lb.

Quite a number of medium priced dwellings have been erected.  Death has made vacancies in quite a number of homes, during the fall typhoid fever prevaled considerable, and laterly (a number of our older citizens have passed away. Miss Narcissa Stone aged 76 years, for a long time a prominent person died Nov 18th.  She was a person highly esteemed; a cousin of the late Col A. J. Stone and daughter of Capt Dan’l Stone.  Considerable landed estate was inherited from her father, which she held on to tenaciously, and considerably improved.  She purchased the stable of the “Stage Co” and converted it into a steam mill for manufacturing of lumber & grinding grain. This enterprise did not prove a paying one, and was soon closed.  It was said that the trouble arose from insufficient power.  Some evil minded person set it afire a few years after, and the chimney now stands a few rods back from Pleasant St in a fair state of preservation.  Her residence was near where the first settler (Thos Purchase) built his dwelling and has long been called “Narcissa’s Hill” leading to the “Landing”.)


Nov 21
Death of
Dean Swift



Fires and


Waterpipe on
Main St.
Pulp Co


Death has taken another of our oldest citizens.  Dean Swift, who has been known for almost 86 years as one of our citizens: born and living among us, known as a wit, a capital story teller, a confirmed user of the “cup”, the associate of all the characters of the town fifty years ago.  A neighbor for many years of the late Col Jacob Johnson on Centre St, he delighted to mimic his voice, and tell of his excentricities.  All of us who were boys then remember his story about the Colonol who complained that “Your (Dean’s) rooster has been fighting with my cock.” “Which whips,” (says Dean) “Yours as yet, yours as yet.”  Oh! Well, let them fight says Dean.  Hardly any one left to tell of “ye olden times”)

The loss from fire has been light thus far this year.  The firemen got up a Fireman’s Muster here September 26th and some dozen engines & companies were here from out of town.  It was a fine day, and an orderly, agreeable gathering.  A trial of machines was had on Maine Street; the water being supplied by the pipe from the mill.  Naigra No 3 of this town took the prize (a Trumpet) offered for home companies, having thrown water 20 feet horizontally.

(Taking advantage of a scare caused by an apparent attempt to set Stetson’s furniture establishment on fire; a meeting of a number of citizens met and agreed to make some repairs and changes in the water pipe which is laid from the river up Maine St.  As a result of that meeting 160 ft of new 4 in wrought iron pipe has been laid directly from the pump up Mill hill, and connecting with the old 2 1/2 in pipe, placing a hydrant at the foot of the hill; and laying a branch pipe to corner of Maine & Mason St for a supply pipe in case of fire near that point.  I have worked hard upon this enterprise for I believe it must be finally adopted upon a larger scale, the whole extent of Maine Street if not upon other streets, using cisterns for temporary supply & immediate use in case of alarms.)


Account of




Nov 26
Heavy Rains

30 th





(The present attempt to supply the village with a supply of water is not the first, although it is probably the most efficient.  I remember when a boy of seeing the logs on an old aqueduct which formerly conveyed water from somewhere above McKeen road, into the village; the logs lay in the swamp below Spring Street, and to the east, or below, Federal Street.  For some time after the Portland & Kennebec Rail Road was built, water ran out of the severed aqueduct log above Spring Street.  The end of another log is at this day to be seen near the foot of Mill Hill leading to Topsham.  I have heard Dr. Isaac Lincoln say that at one time lead pipes were laid (by Robert Eastman I think) for conveying water, and when it proved a failure he purchased what was laid under his orchard in the rear of his house rather than it should be dug up and disturb his grounds, and I doubt not some day excavators will find it there.  Whether this was the pipe which delivered the water which I have heard was discharged into a public watering trough, near Dr Lincoln’s residence, I do not know but judge it may have been.)

A South East rain storm began here yestoday evening and has prevailed with little variation for 24 hours; large quantities of water have fallen, and streams are rising.  Reports from Washington and further Aouth give accounts of great losses.  The U.S. Steamer Huron is lost on coast of N. Carolina with over 100 of officers & crew.

The storm has continued with a breaking out of the sun once in a while, and the freshet in the river is one of the highest for a water flood we have seen for many years, rivaling what is known as the “pumpkin freshet”, (because of so many of that vegetable floating in the river) the water is well over “Mason-rock”.  No damage has been done about here so far as I have heard.

By proclamation of the President, and our governor, to day is to be observed as a day of Thanksgiving & praise.  Service will be held in the several houses of worship.  A dull mild muddy day.

Dec 14







January 5 th

7 th

8 th

Mar 6





The ground is frozen, roads rough, river high and still open except along the sides and in the coves. The thermometer has reached zero only once, and that by Prof Packard’s glas, which is in a cold locality.

An unusual day for the season, ground bare, traveling splendid.  To-day is as sunny and comfortable as April, and the double teams in our streets make it lively.  The factory help are promenading as though it were autumn.  The markets are well supplied with poultry, and the poor are not suffering. Work is scarce for the laborer, but low prices of food enable them to live on little in value.
Turkeys 18 cts per lb.  Potatoes 50 cts bushel.  Oats .50 for 30 lbs.

The year begins with bare ground, and weather fair and mild.

First sleighing: about eight inches of damp snow upon the ground.

- 14° to 18° - (according to locality) below zero – good sleighing.

- 23 to 28              “          “      “                “       air clear and still.

Snow nearly all gone, but few sleighs in use.  The winter has been very favorable for poor people.  The frost has not penetrated to the depth it does some years; although from the thickness of the ice which is being cut the average cold must have been quite low. Many parties have embarked in the ice business down river or upon the “Kennebeck” but reports are so conflicting about the amount stored upon the Hudson that there is little enthusiasm.

An alarm of fire was given at 2- 15’ AM Sunday Feby 24th, by reason of the discovery of a fire in Frank’ M Stetsons clothing store “Arcade block” west side Maine St next to Baptist church, the fire was nearly all inside, and little damage done to building but the stock was thoroughly smoked & wet.  The heat inside was intense, and had it not been a wet night the damage might have been much more.  Incendiaries claimed!  But who?  The water pipe was out of order, but was not need just then.  The need of the pipe in order was very evident to all.


March 8




April 2d

Improvement Association


May 4


Water Pipe



Free Baptist Church
O’Brien St.


A remarkable day.  The glass showing 55° Far. in the shade at One o’clock P.M.  Snow most gone and street drying fast.  Wind North West and mild as a southerly air.

Several light falls of snow this month, but about all gone and farmers report the roads being very bad, and frost coming out very fast, promising an early spring.  Spring birds greet us, although I have not as yet seen the Robin.

A few traces of ice to be seen on shady streets, but most of the streets are dry and dusty.  Birds singing merrily.

(Through the zealous endeavors of Rev H P Nichols (Epis.) a meeting was held at Lemont Hall for the purpous of organizing an association to promote the health, and add beauty to our town and homes.  A good attendance of citizens attested their interest.  S. J. Young Esq was chosen President of the Association and A.V. Metcalf Cor-Sec’, with other necessary of officers, and good addresses made by several.

People generally think that the season is two weeks earlier than usual, but I do not see it as much, for the trees are not that much in advance. However that may be it is a fine season and vegetation is much advanced.

(Notwithstanding the opposition of some citizens the town officials have concluded to put the water pipe in order, and we all hope that if the time ever comes to need it, we shall see good results, certainly we have the best place for a supply pipe to be laid that there is in this vicinity, and if the town fails to prepare for an emergency the reproach should be laid at the door of the proper parties.)

(The Free-Will Baptist Meeting-house O’Brien St. erected within year past, dedicated May 16th.  Rev Mr Edwards pastor.  Mr Edwards has been an untiring laborer in constructing it.)


July 3

4 th

20 th


Hay Crop


Mere Point Enterprise


For the past three days the thermometer has indicated 99° Far’ at one o’clock P.M. in a shady position, and the nights have been very warm.  Our chambers being 85° or more all night, falling towards morning to 81°. Everything has got warmed through.  These days ripen off the hay, and some farmers have been at work a week cutting.

Cooler.  The day has scarcely caused a ripple in our place.

The “hot wave” has swept across our country and back again.  St. Louis has seemed to suffer worst in coup-de-sol cases, over one hundred cases reported a day.  The past three days has been very hot.  For two days the wind has been North West, and like an oven for heat, causing it to be as hot at the shore as anywhere: parties who were at the shore yestoday report it very severe.  To-day the wind has blown from the sea and it is comfortable to-night.  We all say Amen!

The hay crop is very large and is being got in the best of order, hardly a drop of rain falling since the month began.

A surface drought is affecting root crops, but the springs are hold up well.

(Some of our citizens have purchased “Mere Point” for the purpous of converting it into a seaside resort.  C.J. Noyes C.E. has made a plan of it laying it into lots & drives.  To give it prominence they have rechristened it “Sea Point.”  A few cottages are complete and more to be erected.  As to its old name, commonly called “Mair Pt”, perhaps properly “Mere”. It is said that it originally fell to North Yarmouth, but that people said it is a mere point, we don’t want it so it fell to Brunswick as abandoned property.  But the more generally accepted idea is that it was so named from the French “Mer”, “the sea.”


August 8

Heavy Wind




Excursion to Potts P’t Harpswell



October 24




After considerable fog, the day opens fine, and promises well.

Yestoday afternoon a heavy squall struck our village.  (Wind North West) accompanied by some rain.  The center of its violence struck the house of Chas. C Humphreys, corner of School and Federal Street, blowing over the chimney, and taking off one half of the roof: also blowing off a chimney on the High School house next adjoining: wrenched off limbs of trees in its course: and either had spent its force, or rose from the ground doing no other damage heard of.
Investigation shows that had the roof been properly fastened it would not have been torn off, even if the chimney did blow over through the roof – It is not an unheard of thing even here for chimneys to be blown over.)

(One of the variations of our every day life was the arrangement for an excursion to Potts’ P’t by the merchants of the place.  After several postponements on accoun of the dull weather, all hands started August 6th and had as good a time as a damp day and scarcity of provisions would permit.  Dan’l Elliot who inspired the scheme is reported to have been in the best of humor: remarking about dinner that they were all out meat, fish & potatoes, but had “an excellent supply of mixed pickles.”  Calling for pie, a small piece was passed to him, when he answered “Oh give us a whole one, we don’t want any step-mother pieces here.”  Sharp but rather rough considering that his second wife sat at his side, with his children.)

Up to this date there has been no frost to kill other than squash vines, and not all of such tender leafage.  Grapes of all kinds have ripened well, and the leaves are ripening beautifully.  Potatoes are scarce all about us, and quality poor, price at this date 70 cents per bushel for shipment.  Corn meal 57 1/2 c / Bush’l.  Good St. Louis flour 5.50 per barrel.  Hay 10.00 Ton.  Cranberries 2.00 Bush’l.  Squash 1.00 per Hd.  Lamb 8 to 10 cts lb. Best Family Soap 7 1/2 lb.

A heavy fall of rain since last night.  3 1/2 to 4 in on a level.


Dec’ 12





23 rd


A.S. Packard




A heavy rain storm on the 10th which followed several previous storms by which the ground had been filled with water, caused many cellars to be flooded, and the highest rise of water known for many years; indeed I do not think I ever saw so much of a freshet save when there was ice in the river, it at all.  There does not appear to have been any special damage done here, but large quantities of logs from up river have gone out to sea.

(Diptheria is very prevalent at present, and several deaths have occurred from it.  As a rule it follows the borders of swamps, but this does not allways follow, and some cases cannot be traced to local causes.)

There has not been snow enough for sleighing as yet, and the past month has been very mild: only the top of the ground has been frozen, and on land not two wet plowing could be done any day; and there is much of it carried on.

Mild and but little snow, which is favorable for the poor who are out of work.  The river is gorged with “anchor” ice to the extent that the mills are shut down most of the time: the mild weather has a tendancy to wear it away, but cold would solidify it.

Professor Alpheus S. Packard of Bowdoin College celebrated his Eightieth birth day to-day: hale and hearty as a man of sixty, his mind is unimpaired, and his physical condition slightly.  Last Sabbath he conducted service at the church; his son William preacing the sermon from the 90th Psalm 1st verse, but making the whole psalm his subject, taking up its meditations & prayers.  It was evident that the approaching anniversary of his father’s birth day, and his reaching four score, inspired his thoughts.  To-day the many friends of the good man presented him with a valuable edition of Appletons Encyclopedia – 16 vols, and in the evening informally called upon him socially, with congratulations.


Dec 31

“Anchor” Ice












A remarkable, and unusual state of affairs exists at the river.  The weather has not been cold enough to freeze the river so as to prevent the runing of the “anchor ice” so called, and it has so thoroughly filled the river at some point, that the water flows back to the lower dam leaving but little fall.  Below the dam the water is nearly over the ledge of rocks upon which the piers of the bridge rest; and “Mason” rock is covered a part of the time.  The mills cannot run on account of back-water, and an effort was made yesterday to blow a channel by means of torpedoes but the is not solid enough for that.  To-day I hear the ice has stopped runing, and the water is falling.

The month has been quite mild: and there is but little snow or ice.  To-day is as comfortable as we could wish.

(There has been considerable house building this season, but it has been principally that of cheap dwellings.  One of the best houses has been a neat single tenement house erected by Mr. Gardner Cram on O’Brien Street next east of the Free Baptist church, and in the rear of his store.  Mr. James R. Barker was the contractor, and it was frequently said during its erection that if turned upside down it would hold water, so faithfully was the work put together.  The paper mills have been at work all the year, also the Cabot Co cotton mill.  Mechanics have had good wages, and work has held on well.

There has been no ship building here, but I hear that preperations have been made for another years work.  Crops except potatoes have been good, and command fair prices.  The large crop of apples gives every body who desire them an abundance at very low prices, the best selling 50 to 75 cents per bushel.  Potatoes 1.00.

College matters have been peaceful, Pres Chamberlain having been to the Paris Exposition as Commissioner for the U. States.


Feb’y 8
Anchor Ice

April 26

Late Spring


May 17

Sugar Beet


June 9




The winter has been very comfortable; and considering the dull times, but little suffering has been reported.  The accumulation of anchor-ice in the river caused much suffering, so to speak, because the mills could not do the work on hand; but a channel gradually wore away and the waters droped off, and work resumed.

The winter was very favorable for stock; and poor people have not suffered as was feared they would, although work has been slack.

The spring is backward but health, a little snow still lays in spots in the woods, but “may flowers” are being gathered at present farmers say that the season is two weeks later than last year.

The spring has been dry and late, quite a week behind last year.  Grass starts well, and a large amount of seed has been put into the ground.  Quite a number of farmers about here have planted Sugar Beet Seed, feeling encouraged from the experiment made last year that a new and profitable source of income has been opened to them by the establishment of the enterprise.  But little building is yet in progress, but many are repairing; and some making additions.

Skolfield Brothers are at work in their yard upon a large vessel, and Master Rob’t Given is building a small craft.

The past few days have been very cold and windy, frost night before last killing beans and other tender plants.  One week ago it was just the other extreme, the thermometer indicating 94° Far.  So it is extremes follow one another rapidly.

Brunswick assumes city ways gradually.  To-day we see a “Street Sprinkler” begin to wet our dusty “Maine St”.  This has been inaugurated through the effort of Andrew T Campbell Jr., who raised by subscription $500.00 to defray the expenses.

Curtis of Topsham has taken the job, and procured from Portland a second hand water cart.


July 4 th

No Celebrations





Hay Crop



July 10





Although the spring was cold, crops at this date are fully up to the average.  To-day has been hot (94°) and windy, at 4 PM a slight shower laid the dust, and the air in three hours had cooled thirty degrees, so that thicker coats were comfortable.  There was no other public notice taken of the day than the ringing of the bells at sunrise.

In the absense of celebrations in the towns near us, people went very generally to the sea shore.  The proprieters of Mere Pt kept “open house” I judge, and no doubt people enjoyed the fresh ocean breeze, even if it was hot.

At Belfast the “Masons” held high carnival in the exercises of dedicating a new hall.  With this exception, I know of no large demonstration anywhere in the State.  Cause, “Hard Times”!

The hay crop must be very large, and prices lower.  Prices for hay have been very uniform for months at $12.00.

The “ Colorado beetle” is ravaging the potato fields, but early crops will very generally escape, and as farmers learn to take care of them they will probably be less trouble.

Trade is very dull in all branches.  But little house building is being done, and what there is is that of small houses or sheds.  Repairs are made as usual and mechanics are generally busy at fair wages.

Frequent thunder showers have kept the grass green and crops growing finely. During the shower this P.M. a heavy bolt fell upon the rod on the Stone tower of the College Chapel, which did no damage other than to frighten those who were in the building at the time, it being the close of Commencement exercises.

The air which has succeded the heated term has been quite cool, the glass indicating 55° on some mornings.