PART II, CHAPTER 1.
BOUNDARIES AND NOTABLE FEATURES.
The territory now covered by the towns of Topsham, Brunswick, and Harpswell, forming an extensive portion of the old Pejepscot purchase, is situated between Casco and Merrymeeting Bays, and on both sides of the Androscoggin River. The railroad station at Brunswick is distant from Portland twenty-nine miles, from Bath, nine miles, from Augusta, thirty-three miles, and from Lewiston, eighteen miles. Its latitude is 43° 54' 37" N., and its longitude 69° 57' 26" W. from Greenwich.
TOPSHAM, the most northerly of the three towns, is bounded on the north by Bowdoin and Bowdoinham ; on the east by Merrymeeting Bay ; on the south by Brunswick ; on the west by Brunswick and Durham ; and on the northwest by Lisbon. Its area is about 22,600 acres.
BRUNSWICK is bounded on the north by Topsham, from which it is separated by the Androscoggin River; on the east by the New Meadows River, which divides it from Bath and West Bath ; on the south by Casco Bay and the town of Harpswell; on the southwest by Freeport ; and on the northwest by Durham. It has an area of about 28,200 acres.
HARPSWELL is bounded on the north by Brunswick ; on the east by the New Meadows River ; and on the south and west by Casco Bay. It consists of a peninsula called Harpswell, or Merriconeag, Neck, which extends southwest from Brunswick into Casco Bay, and of the following islands : Sebascodegan, or Great Island, Orr's, Bailey's, and Haskell's Islands, with Whaleboat Island, Birch Island, and several smaller ones. The area of the Neck is 4,570 acres, and that of Great Island 5,790 acres, according to the measurement made in 1731, by Phinehas Jones, a surveyor.1 The whole town probably contains above 12,000 acres.
Through the Pejepscot region, and separating Brunswick from Tops-
1. McKeen, in Harpswell Banner, October, 1832.
ham. runs the ANDROSCOGGIN RIVER, noted for its numerous falls and abundant power. The other rivers are the Cathance and Muddy, in Topsham, and the New Meadows, which separates Brunswick and Harpswell from Bath, West Bath, and Phippsburg.
The CATHANCE rises in the lower part of the town of Litchfield, flows in a southeasterly direction through the town of Bowdoin, and continues on this course until it reaches about the centre of Topsham, where it takes an easterly course for a short distance, then runs nearly north by northeast until it reaches the village of Bowdoinham, when it takes a bend and flows to the southeast until it reaches Merrymeeting Bay. A few miles south of Bowdoinham, this river has an arm which extends northwesterly for about a mile, where it drains two small branches. Its whole length is about twenty-seven miles.
MUDDY RIVER rises in the southeastern part of Topsham, about mid-way between the old Bowdoinham road and the Foreside road, and flows in a northeasterly direction until it reaches Merrymeeting Bay. Its length is not far from four and a half miles.
NEW MEADOWS RIVER rises in the town of Bath, about half a mile from Merrymeeting Bay, and flows south into Casco Bay. It was anciently called Stevens's River.
The only pond of considerable size in this whole region is Cathance Pond, sometimes called Bradley's Pond, in Topsham. It is little more than an expansion of Cathance River, and is a few acres only in extent.
MERRYMEETING BAY is formed by the confluence of the waters of the Androscoggin, Muddy, Cathance, Abagadusset, and Kennebec Rivers. It is about six miles in length and three in breadth, at its widest part. In a deed from Sir Ferdinando Gorges to Sir Richard Edgecomb in 1637, this sheet of water was called the "Lake of New Somersett."1 In other ancient deeds it was called "Swan Pond."2
It is doubtful if there is in New England a tract of land of the same extent, possessing a more diversified scenery than does the territory just described. Each differing phase of the landscape may be sur-passed in many other places, but the tout ensmeble is rarely equalled. There is but one place where this extended view can be obtained, and comparatively few have ever enjoyed it. On the north of the village of Topsham, and about a mile distant from the bridge, is an abrupt elevation of land called Mount Ararat. In the innocence of childhood we long supposed this to be the veritable mount whereon the ark
1. Pejepscot Papers.
rested. Upon the summit of this hill once stood a very respectable observatory, rising higher than the surrounding trees. From the top of this observatory, or from the summit of one of the tallest trees, could be seen in one direction the Cathance River, winding like a silver thread through the evergreen foliage ; in another direction, the bright waters of Merrymeeting Bay ; farther still gleamed the broad line of the New Meadows River and the wide expanse of Casco Bay, the latter dotted with islands and swept by the white sails of vessels of every size. At the west, about sixty miles distant, the White Hills of New Hampshire are distinctly visible on clear days, while a glass reveals the observatory and church spires at Portland.
The scenery of the three towns is widely different. Topsham, on the north or left bank of the Androscoggin, is for the most part hilly ; while Brunswick, on the opposite bank of the river, consists (with the exception of the western and extreme eastern portions) of low, sandy plains. Harpswell is made up of islands, and the long, high peninsula of Merriconeag.
In the western part of the town of Brunswick a rocky elevation is to be observed, extending quite from the Androscoggin to Casco Bay. Many citizens are familiar with the picturesque scenery at Rocky Hill, some four miles up the river road, where this ridge begins. At the deep cut, some three miles west of the village, the railroad passes through a depression of this ridge, but at Oak Hill it again rises to full height.
A few miles farther, another depression is succeeded by Brimstone Hill, in Freeport, which completes the line quite to Harraseekit Landing, on Casco Bay. From Oak Hill and the higher points of the parallel ridge west of it, the sea is usually visible. From all elevated points, for miles around, appear also the spires of the villages of Brunswick and Topsham, the highest among them being the twin towers of King's Chapel. On the approach from up river, Powder-House Hill (at an earlier date known as Sunset Hill) hides much of the villages from view. A bend of the river, with a broad expansion at this point. gives all the effect of a lake, with the accessories of high, rocky banks, green hills, low, grassy shores, and sandy beaches.
At the upper railroad bridge, where the banks of the river approach each other and the compressed waters go rolling on between the firm bounds of rock, the scene begins to change. Here is the beginning of the notable BRUNSWICK FALLS, the finest water-power on the Atlantic coast. This magnificent fall of water, though lacking in the grandeur which attaches to the more famous falls of some other rivers, has
yet a beauty of its own, which should by no means be overlooked. Its numerous cascades afford not only varied and picturesque views, but furnish a motive-power probably unsurpassed in New England within so small a space. The natural bed of the fall consists of coarse graphic granite and gneiss. The rock upon the middle fall projects above the water at several points, serving as natural abutments to the several sections of the dam. Shad Island, the former site of mills, divides the lower fall about midway. There are three
pitches : the first has a vertical descent of about eleven feet, the middle of four-teen feet, and the lower of about fifteen feet. The total height of the fall is about forty-one feet above high tide, which flows to the foot of the fall, causing a variation in the height of the water of about three feet. The whole horizontal distance of the descent is 1,980 feet.
In the Androscoggin River, from Lisbon to Merrymeeting Bay, there are twelve islands, besides numerous rocks at the Brunswick Falls, which have acquired distinctive names.
BEECH ISLAND - probably so called on account of the growth of beech-trees found upon it - is the first island above the upper railroad bridge.
MERRILL'S ISLAND is a short distance above the former. It was named after John Merrill, Esquire, who purchased it in 1768.
GOOSE ROCK is the rock upon which the middle pier of the upper railroad bridge rests. It is not a bowlder, as is generally supposed, but is part of a ledge extending to the shore.1 Why the rock bears its present name is not known ; but it is quite probable that it was so called from a supposed similarity to a swimming goose. It has, how-ever, been suggested that it may have been a resort for fowlers, when after wild geese.
GOAT ISLAND is a short distance above the Factory, or second dam. The origin of its name is unknown ; but it is conjectured that one of the early settlers pastured his goats upon it.
DEVIL'S ROCK is the name given to a large rocky island about mid-way of the second, or Factory dam. The traditional origin of the name is as follows : In the early settlement of the place, a man and his wife occupied a lone house a little way back from the river, on the Topsham side. This man was very superstitious, and probably addicted to the habit of taking both frequent and deep potations. One
1. Survey by C. J. Noyes, Esq.
day during an ice freshet, as he was sitting at his window watching the ice go by, he imagined he saw Satan, in propria persona, floating down the stream on a log, and that he could hear the clanking of his chains as he climbed the rock. He informed his wife of this imaginary occurrence, and after the waters had sufficiently subsided, the pair visited the rock and found the footprints left there by his supposed Satanic Majesty. These holes in the rock - one of which does bear quite a resemblance to a huge footprint - are still to be seen.
FISHING ROCK ISLAND, SALMON ISLAND, SHAD ISLAND. -All these names have been, at different periods, applied to the island at the lower falls, between the long dam and the gulf dam. Tradition gives the origin of the latter name as follows : The law formerly prohibited the catching of shad between sunset on Saturday and sunrise on Monday. Fish-wardens were annually chosen by some towns to see that this law was enforced. One Sunday some men went out and caught several of these fish, and hid them on this island, not daring to be seen carrying them home. Mr. Johnson Wilson and some friends started out after them in boats, pretending to be the fish-wardens, and went ashore on the island, found the fish, and, for sport, carried them away. The joke was discovered, and some complaint made against Mr. Wilson for breaking the Sabbath. Afterwards, when he built a mill, - the first one on the island, - those who had blamed him for taking the fish called his mill the "Shad Mill," and from that the island subsequently became known as Shad Island.
FRESHET ROCK is the name by which the rock between Shad Island and the Topsham shore is known. It is thus called from its being an index to the height of water in the river. It is never entirely covered by water except in freshets.
GRANNY HOLE MILL, STREAM, AND BRIDGE. -The channel which carries the water from the river above the lower falls, around the island in Topsham, was originally only a ravine ; but about 1760 it was excavated so as to afford a continuous flow of water. Tradition gives the following account of the origin of its name : On one occasion, in midwinter, Mr. Thomas Wilson, grandfather of Mr. James Wilson, of Topsham, went over the ice to a fulling-mill near the fort in Brunswick, to obtain a web of cloth. He stayed until after dark ; and while coming home he heard a woman's voice in the direction of a mill which stood just south of where the flour mill in Topsham now stands. Going in the direction from which the sound came, he found a woman named Betty Watts, who had broken through the ice, and was clinging to the edge of it, screaming for help. Having his web of
cloth with him, he held on to one end and threw the roll to the woman, who caught hold of it and was drawn out. In memory of this incident, the mill was called the "Granny-Hole Mill," and the name was afterwards applied to the whole ravine. The "Granny-Hole Bridge" is mentioned a number of times in the town records of Topsham.
THE GOLDEN PIPE - This was a natural drain or outlet for what is now a stagnant pond in front of Flagg's brick-yard, in Topsham. It crossed Summer Street just west of Mr. Cyrus Flagg's residence, and so kept on till it entered the Granny-Hole Stream. In times of freshet, the water from the river flowed across the sand-bed through the Golden Pipe into the Granny-Hole Stream, which afforded an opportunity for lumbermen to run logs that way and save them from being carried down river and out to sea. The benefit thus derived from this channel doubtless gave rise to its name. When Summer Street was laid out, a portion of the drain was filled up and the street raised high enough to prevent the water from crossing it except in unusually high freshets. This drain is referred to in the town records under the name given above.
GREAT ISLAND is the name given in the Topsham town records to the island formed by the Granny-Hole Stream and the main river. It has also been called Thompson's Island, because it was at one time owned by Brigadier Thompson. It is usually called simply "The Island."
MIDDLE ROCK is the name of the rock upon which one of the piers of the Androscoggin Bridge (formerly the toll-bridge) rests.
MASON'S ROCK. -There are two traditions accounting for the name of the large rock below the falls, known as Mason's Rock. One is, that a Mr. Mason was once saved from drowning by getting upon this rock. The other is that, while upon the rock, he was killed by the Indians. There are no, means of determining which of the two traditions is most reliable. "Samuel Mason" occupied lot number ten (within the present limits of Brunswick village) in 1717. He occupied it less than three years, and what became of him is now unknown.
FERRY POINT is the point of land at the Topsham end of the iron railroad bridge. It is so called from the fact that, previous to the erection of the toll-bridge, a ferry was maintained between this point and the "Landing" in Brunswick.
TERRAMUGUS COVE is the name applied in honor of an Indian chief, Terramugus, to the cove between Ferry Point and. the Granny-Hole Mill. It is probable, however, that the river formerly covered the
low land where the town landing used to be, back of the residence of Mr. Samuel Jameson, and that the name was applied to that particular part of the cove.
OLD SUNDAY. -About midway between Mason's Rock and Ferry Point, but nearer the Topsham shore, is a large stone, now seldom exposed to view, which was placed there by Brigadier Thompson to form the anchorage for a boom. Tradition accounts for its name from its being placed there by the Brigadier on Sunday.
COW ISLAND is the name applied to the island just below the pres-ent iron railroad bridge. The name was given early in the last century, and was doubtless suggested by the fact of its affording good and safe pasturage for cows. It was owned, prior to 1797, by John Sandford.1
THE NARROWS, where the river is compressed into narrow limits by two high rocky points, are about two miles below the Falls. The point on the Brunswick side was formerly occupied by Humphrey's steam-mill and ship-yard.
BAXTER'S ISLAND, FREYER'S OR FRIAR'S ISLAND, MUSTARD'S ISLAND. -These are different names for the island near the Topsham end of the Bay Bridge. The island was deeded in 1717 to the Reverend Joseph Baxter of Medfield, Mass., who came here as a missionary to the Indians. The name "Freyer's Island" is laid down on some of the maps of a recent date, but the origin of the name is unknown. It is called
"Mustard's Island" from its present owner, Mr. John Mustard, of Topsham.
HUNTER'S ISLAND is the large island at the foot of the Narrows. In Steven's deed from the Indians, in 1675, it is called "Stave Island." It may have borne other names, but we have not been able to ascertain them.
PLEASANT POINT lies between the Androscoggin and Muddy Rivers, extending into Merrymeeting Bay. Although this name is appropri-ate, and has the prestige of antiquity, yet it would appear still more appropriate to perpetuate the name of its original owner, the first settler in Topsham, by calling it Gyles's Point.
CATHANCE POINT is the point of land in Bowdoinham formed by the bend of the Cathance River near its outlet into Merryrneeting Bay.
FULTON'S POINT and PATTEN'S POINT are names which have been successively applied to a point on the eastern side of Cathance Point, by former residents of the vicinity, -.James Fulton having been one
1. Deed to Brigadier Thompson.
of its earliest occupants, and John Patten, its owner at a later period.
CENTER POINT, formerly called Moffitt's, and still earlier Somerset Point, is the point of land between the Abagadusset and Cathance Rivers. In a deed from Sir Ferdinando Gorges to Sir Richard Edge-comb, dated 1637, this point was called " Somerset Point."1 The name has often been spelled "Samoset," and the explanation has been given that it was named in honor of the Indian chief of that name ; but it is evident that the latter name is a corruption of the former. In the last century, the point was occupied by a family named "Moffitt," for whom it was named ; and in like manner its present name was given because of its occupation for many years by a family named Center. It is in the town of Bowdoinham.
ABAGADUSSET POINT is the striking name which attaches to the last projection which engages our attention on the north side of the bay. It lies between the Kennebec and Abagadusset Rivers, and is a part of the town of Bowdoinham. The meaning and derivation of the name have already been given in Chapter I of Part First.
OAK HILL is about four miles north of Topsham village. The origin of the name is obvious.
In Brunswick the following localities are more or less familiar : -
FISH-HOUSE HILL, upon which stands the residence of Miss Narcissa Stone, received its name from the fact that there was once a fish-house upon it, where salmon and sturgeon were cured and packed for shipment.
EATON BROOK-- the first brook west of the village - bears this name from Daniel Eaton, who lived near it in the last century.
HARWOOD'S BROOK was named for George Harwood, one of the early settlers, who built a house and attempted to clear a farm on what was afterward the "Captain Adams Place," which included the very noticeable hill, with the large house at the top, on the west bank of the Androscoggin, about a mile above the village.
SANDY GULLY-- as its name indicates-is a sandy ravine on the River road, where it crosses Harwood's Brook.
ROCKY HILL is about four miles from the village on the road leading up the river. It is the beginning of the broad, rocky ridge to which reference has been made. The scenery of the locality is the boldest of any in the three towns.
THE PINNACLE is the name of a hill, probably the highest in the three towns, situated on the north side of the Durham road, at the
1. Pejepscot Papers.
extreme western border of Brunswick. It is well covered with trees, except a space on the east and south, the latter side being marked by a precipitous ledge of light-colored granite.
BALD ROCK is a massive projection of ledge on a western slope of the ridge of which Oak Hill is a spur on the eastern side, nearly opposite.
OAK HILL is a spur of the granitic ridge which extends from the Androscoggin River to Casco Bay. It is on the Portland road, about four miles west of the village.
GROWSTOWN, a neighborhood about two miles west of the colleges, derives its name from the numerous families named Grows who for-merly resided in the vicinity.
BUNGANUCK LANDING is the western side of Maquoit Bay, near Freeport. The origin of the name is given elsewhere in the volume.
WHARTON'S POINT, at Maquoit, was named for Thomas Wharton, who owned the lot in 1717. It was afterwards sold to William Wood-side.
MAIR POINT, MARE POINT, MERE POINT. - These are the varied spellings of the name applied from a very early date to the peninsula which extends into Casco Bay and Maquoit Bay. The derivation, and consequently the spelling, of the name has been the subject of some discussion, and there still exists a difference of opinion concerning it. In the earliest deeds and other documents which we have seen, the name is spelled Mair ; and for this reason we have so spelled the name whenever reference is made to it. We incline to the opinion that some time previous to the Pejepscot purchase, a man named Marr (or Mare) lived on the point, and that "Mair " is a corruption. Williamson 1 states that John Mare was an early settler on Mare Point. Some are of the opinion that at a very early period the point was occupied by French settlers, who gave it the name of Mer Point, which in English would be Sea Point. There is no proof, however, that the locality was ever occupied by the French.
NEW WHARF is the name of a wharf at Middle Bay, built in 1837. It was then spoken of as "The New Wharf," and never having received any other name, it is still called New Wharf, though now old and dilapidated.
PENNELLVILLE is a neighborhood near Middle Bay, which includes a number of families of the name of Pennell. Much ship-building has been done in this vicinity.
MAIR BROOK rises a short distance west of the Twelve-Rod road,
1. History of Maine, 1, p. 564, note.
and crossing that road about half a mile below the colleges, thence runs in an easterly direction and empties into Harpswell Harbor, between Prince's Point and Harpswell Neck. The origin of the name is unknown, but it is doubtless the same as that of Mair Point.
THOMPSON'S BROOK, in the eastern part of the town, was named after Cornelius Thompson, an early settler, through whose lot the brook ran.
COOK'S CORNER, two miles east of Brunswick village, on the road to Bath, was named for Stephen Cook, who resided there in 1764 and probably earlier.
PRINCE'S POINT extends into Harpswell Harbor, between the Neck and Great Island. It received this appellation after a family named Prince, who have lived on the point many years.
HAM'S HILL, near New Meadows River, on the upper road to Bath,was named for Tobias Ham, who settled upon it previous to 1742.
BULL ROCK is a rock in New Meadows River, upon which rests one of the piers of the bridge below the railroad.
The following are localities in Harpswell : -
HARPSWELL NECK is what was formerly and is now, often, called MERRICONEAG.
The "GREAT ISLAND" is the English and SEBASCODEGAN the Indian
name for the largest of the islands included in the township of Harpswell. Richard Wharton, in 1683, speaks of it as "Sebacoa, alias Chehascoa diggin."1
ORR's ISLAND is the name now applied to what, in 1758, was known as LITTLE SEBASCODEGAN.2 It received its later name from one of its first English occupants, Joseph Orr, who owned nearly the whole island. Orr's Island and Bailey's Island were, also, prior to 1683, called "The Twins."3
BAILEY'S ISLAND, situated south of the Neck, is the present name of what was called WILL'S ISLAND in the Act of Incorporation of Harpswell. Captain James Sinnett, now upwards of eighty years of age, who has resided upon the island all his life, gives the following account of the origin of these names. The first settler upon the island was a man named Black, who, with his wife and a boy, moved there from Kittery. They were of mixed breed, having in their veins the blood of the Anglo-Saxon, Indian, and African races. Black and his wife died and were the first persons ever buried upon the island. Their son, Will Black, lived to old age and became generally known
1. Pejepscot Papers.
2. See Act of Incorporation of Harpswell.
by the name of Uncle Will. The island consequently took its first name from him. Afterwards, Deacon Timothy Bailey, of Hanover, Mass., purchased the island and moved there with his family. The Blacks were squatters, and, having no legal claim to the land, they moved to Orr's Island, and settled on the lot now owned by Mr. Ralph Johnson. Thereafter Will's Island was called Bailey's Island.
NORTH YARM0UTH ISLAND is situated south of, and in close prox-imity to Sebascodegan, or Great Island. The explanation of its bearing the name of a distant town is probably as follows:-
The town of North Yarmouth formerly embraced, the peninsula of Mair Point and Harpswell Neck, with Sebascodegan and the lesser islands within the limits indicated by these points. When the town of Harpswell was formed, all the larger islands intended to be set off from Yarmouth for the new town of Harpswell were named in the Act of Incorporation, with the exception of the one now under consideration. The omission was probably unintentional; yet this island -nearly the most remote of all - still remained the legal territory of North Yarmouth. This anomaly among the islands led to its acquirement of the name of the town to which it belonged. At a later period it was annexed to Harpswell.
DAMARISCOVE ISLAND, now called "Haskell's Island," lies opposite Potts's Point. In the Act of Incorporation of Harpswell it was called Damariscove Island, but assumed its present name after its purchase by a Mr. Haskell.
FLAG ISLAND is said to derive its name from the fact that large quantities of flags grew upon it.
WHALE-BOAT ISLAND is, perhaps, so called from its fancied resem-blance in shape to a whale-boat. It lies west of the lower part of the Neck.
GOOSE ISLANDS-two of them-lie west of the middle of the Neck. At the southeast of the lower one are a pair of small islands called " The Goslings."
SHELTER ISLAND, in Middle Bay, probably received its name from its affording a place of refuge for the settlers on Mair Point and vicinity in times of Indian hostility. Tradition says that this island was for many years the resort of smugglers, who obtained their goods in the British provinces, and stored them on this island if so fortunate as to escape the customs officers along the coast. The name was probably given by the smugglers.
BIRCH ISLAND, between Mair Point and the Neck, was doubtless so named for its abundant growth of birch-trees.
WHITE'S ISLAND, near Mair Point, was named for Nicholas White, who occupied it as early as the year 1675.
POTTS'S POINT, at the lower extremity of the Neck, was named for Richard Potts, its first occupant, who settled there previous to 1672.
THE PRONGS are the three points at the lower end of the Neck, which bears a resemblance to the form of a fork.
LOOKOUT POINT, on the western shore of the Neck, is so called because it affords an extended view of the bay. The scenery at this locality is very picturesque.
CONDY'S POINT is the southeastern extremity of Great Island, and, with the adjacent harbor, takes its name from William Condy, who settled there in 1733.
BOYLE'S POINT is the northeastern extremity of Orr's Island. It was probably named for the Reverend Matthew Byles, who had one hundred acres of this island set off to him by Joseph Orr, in lieu of his previous claim as heir to Honorable William Tailer.
The following are the names of the smaller islands of Harpswell.which are mostly uninhabited. There are a few others, without estab-lished name by which they might be recognized, and of which we therefore have made no special record.
ROGUE ISLAND is southeast of Condy's Point.
JENNY'S ISLAND is south of North Yarmouth Island.
LONG LEDGE is south of Jenny's Island.
POLE ISLAND, SMALL ISLAND, and SNOW ISLAND are situated in
the eastern part of Quahaug Bay.
ELM ISLAND is east of the lower part of Orr's Island.
RAW ISLAND is east of the north part of Bailey's Island.
CEDAR LEDGES, five in a row, - seven or more in all, --are east of Raw Island.
POND ISLAND is east of the middle of Bailey's Island.
RAGGED ISLAND is east of the lower part of Bailey's Island. Its municipal connection has been disputed.
JAQUES'S ISLAND, south of Bailey's Island, receives its name from Lieutenant Jaques, who resided on the Neck opposite, and who was one of the officers in the final expedition against the Indians at Norridgewock.
TURNIP ISLAND is west of Jaques's Island.
GREAT MARK ISLAND is south of Haskell's Island.
LITTLE MARK ISLAND is south of Great Mark Island.
EAGLE ISLAND is west of Haskell's Island.
LITTLE BIRCH ISLAND is southwest of west prong of Harpswell Neck.
HORSE ISLAND is east of Little Birch Island.
BARNE'S ISLAND is between the west prong of the Neck and Great Whale-Boat Island.
LITTLE WHALE-BOAT ISLAND is northwest and near Great Whale--Boat Island.
IRONY ISLAND is east Of the Goslings.
BRAINING'S LEDGE is between the Goose Islands.
LOOKOUT ISLAND is adjacent to Point Lookout.
LITTLE BIRCH ISLAND is northeast of Birch Island.
SCRAGG ISLAND is east of White's Island.
LITTLE IRONY ISLAND is south by southwest of Scragg Island.
CROW ISLAND is southwest of New Wharf, at head Of Middle Bay.
CLARKE'S ISLAND is east of New Wharf.
BOMAZEEN ISLAND is between Brunswick and Great Island.
Other localities in Harpswell are:-
HIGH HEAD, On the east side of the northern part of the Neck, and
JAQUES'S HARBOR, at the southern extremity of Bailey's Island.
HARPSWELL HARBOR is on the east of the Neck, between it and
Great Island and Orr's Island.
CONDY'S HARBOR is on the east side of the point of the same name, south of Great Island.
QUAHAUG BAY extends into Great Island from the south and nearly divides the island.
ASH COVE is west of Potts's Point, between the eastern and middle prongs of the Neck.
MILL-POND BASIN is between the western and middle prongs of the Neck. It furnishes a tide power of great value, from its accessibility by sea, the depth of water admitting the passage of vessels of several hundred tons, quite to the dam. Upon it there is now a large grain mill.
LONG REACH is an extensive cove in the western side of Great Island, opening northward.
LONG COVE nearly divides the northern half of Orr's Island.
LOWELL'S COVE is on the southeast side of Orr's Island.
MACKEREL COVE is on the southern part of Bailey's Island.
WILL GUT is the passage between Orr's and Bailey's Islands.
THE GURNET is the name of the point in Brunswick opposite to Great Island, Harpswell. Between the point and island is the Gurnet Bridge.
In the English Channel there are several headlands bearing the name, having taken it, probably, because of the number of gurnet fish found in the neighborhood, and it is probable that the name was given
to the point in Brunswick from a fancied resemblance to one of the English headlands referred to.
From the varied character of the region about Brunswick Falls, comprising sea-shore and forest, sandy plains, granite hills, and rich intervales, this narrow territory, prior to its occupation by the English, must have drawn a numerous representation of almost the entire fauna of the State. Among the MAMMALIA formerly found here were bears, wild-cats, loup cerviers, wolves, moose, beaver, and otter. Cathance Pond is said to have been once a great resort for the latter, while traces of beaver-dams are found on almost every stream. Of the carnivora, wolves were the most common. The town many times voted bounties for the destruction of these animals, which prowled about the premises of the settlers in search of food, and sometimes even followed the settlers themselves.
About the year 1786, Mrs. Thomas, wife of Lewis Thomas, walked from Harpswell to Brunswick, bearing her baby in her arms, and in addition carrying half a quintal of fish. While coming through the woods near Middle Bay, she was followed by wolves. With remark-able presence of mind, she threw down a single fish, which the pursu-ing pack stopped to devour, while she pressed forward as rapidly as possible. The animals soon resumed the pursuit, and she threw down another fish, and again they stopped to make a quarrelsome meal. This operation was repeated at intervals until she reached her home. Ephraim Thomas was the name of the man who, when a babe, made this dangerous journey. He died in Greene, Maine, in 1849, at sixty--three years of age.
In 1792 Samuel Stanwood, who then lived on the site of the present residence of Mrs. Joseph McKeen, had a saw mill at Maquoit at which he worked during the day, carrying his dinner with him. One day, desiring to accomplish all he could and not feeling very hungry, he did not stop to eat the dinner which he had brought with him, but took it back with him when he started for home at night. When he reached Mair Brook, a wolf came out of the thicket, looked at him a moment, then went back and uttered his hideous yells, which soon brought four or five others of his species to the scene. Stanwood, finding he was pursued, threw out a handful of meat, and while the wolves were fighting over it he hastened forward, soon, however, to be over-taken by the animals, to whom he again threw fragments of food. This operation was repeated until, when nearly to his home, the last
fragment of food was gone and the wolves were in hot pursuit of him. He screamed to his wife to open the door. Fortunately she heard him and flung open the door, just in time to secure his escape from the wild beasts at his heels.
Mr. Dean Swift says that when he was a boy and living with his parents in the house which is now the residence of Mrs. Rodney Forsaith, on Maine Street, he has many a night heard the wolves howling a short distance east of the house, in the woods which then extended to Federal Street.
Reverend Samuel Veazie, in 1767, purchased the farm adjoining the old Harpswell Island Meeting-House, and cleared a place for the erection of his dwelling. Back of his house there was a dense growth of wood, and in this the wolves sometimes collected in large numbers during the winter season, making the night hideous with their howls. The wolves would remain on the island until just previous to the breaking up of the ice, when they would leave it for the mainland. It is stated that they never failed to make the removal before the breaking up of the ice, seeming in this matter to show an intelligence akin to reason.1
Bears, never so troublesome as the wolves, have hardly been heard of within the limits of our three towns for many years. Some time in the last century Johnson Stover pastured hogs at Goose Island, and one day, hearing an unusual squealing, he found a bear holding one of the pigs in his paws, and occasionally nipping it with his teeth.
Alcot Stover once, while lying on his bed, saw one looking in at the window, but before he could get his gun his wife accidentally frightened it away.
About 1775 a woman, known as Granny Young. went to Bomazeen Island after berries. After filling her dishes, she started for home, having only a stave for a paddle. Hearing a noise in the water behind her she turned, and saw that a large bear was swimming after the boat. She plied her awkward paddle as vigorously as possible. but the bear overtook the boat and attempted to upset it. She fought him with the stave, striking him upon the head and nose until he was stunned ; then she held his head under water until he was dead, when she towed him ashore.
The latest appearance of bears in Harpswell, of which we have the date fixed, was in 1800, when three were killed on the farm now owned by W. S. Purinton.
1. Mrs. Price, ninety-two years old; formerly a resident of the island.
The common red deer must have been quite numerous in this region at the time of settlement. Even now they are occasionally met with. As late as 1858 two were seen in Brunswick,-- one, a full-grown animal, at New Meadows ; the other, a fawn, on the old Freeport road. On Oct. 20, 1859, three were shot on Topsham Plains. Some sixteen years ago caribou were seen at the western border of Brunswick by several persons, and in two instances some pursuit was made.
Raccoons are still caught every year in one quarter or another of the town. A live one was found in the Factory yard in Brunswick in 1844.
The wild-cat, though heard of occasionally in neighboring towns, has not been reported within our limits for many years. The "luci-fee" (loup cervier), or Canada lynx, is believed still to haunt, occasionally, the extensive woods at the west of the town.
Foxes are alternately numerous, then rare, and seem to be some-what migratory, according as mice, grouse, and hare are plenty.
The rabbit exists in favorable situations through the towns. but is not common enough to do much damage to the crops. A few young trees are each spring found with the bark gnawed from the trunk near the ground, but this has usually been laid to the mice.
Both the common and the star-nosed moles are occasionally met with, but are not sufficiently numerous to be regarded in any degree a pest, as in some localities southward. Gray, red, and striped squirrels are frequent, but not troublesome. The flying squirrel is not often seen, but still haunts the old woods. The weazel is infrequent ; and its cousin, the mink, puts in an appearance in the vicinity of brooks with just sufficient frequency to incite the boys to unprofitable attempts at trapping. The muskrat seems equally, but sparingly diffused The skunk still taints the air with his mephitic odor each season, in many localities. Woodchucks are rare, but here and there a farmer complains of their ravages among his early bean-plants.
Probably a list of the birds occurring in this vicinity, a century or two ago, would not differ from one of to-day, except in a few instances. It is certain, however, that certain species were vastly more numerous. The golden eagle is said to have been found upon our coast in the earlier days of its settlement ; but the bird is not now known here, even as a visitant. On the other hand, there is not, that we are aware, any evidence that the eider duck was found upon our shores a century since, while it is now quite regularly a winter sojourner. Yet the
seasons have not been growing colder, neither can we think them to have grown greatly warmer, though another bird associated with a higher temperature has become a habitué
of this vicinity, as well as of other localities in the State. It has been said that the Baltimore oriole was an unknown bird until within a few years, yet it may be that the change of the country by human occupancy, rather than any change of climate, is the cause of its immigration. The scarlet tanager, also regarded as an inhabitant of mild climates, is occasionally seen here as early as May.
Among winter visitants are the grosbeaks, -the pine and the rose-breasted, - the pine finch, the Arctic or snowy owl, the Canada jay, and perhaps one or two others. The common birds are, no doubt, the same here as in most other portions of the State. The cuckoo is said to have been unknown in Aroostook until within three or four years. but here it has been observed for a generation, at least. It is, however, reported to have become more numerous in this vicinity of late. This, if a fact, may be owing to an increase of its insect food, for it is believed by some to feed largely on the caterpillar. Another bird, one of the woodpeckers. known as the sapsucker, has become rather rare of late years, from the relentless war waged upon it by the guardians of young fruit orchards. The crow, the pest of cornfields, in scornful disregard of public opinion, persists in making itself very much at home among the farms. Hawks in the usual variety, though reduced in numbers, are found in all the more rural quarters of the towns.
The several sorts of owls common in the State are met with here, their number in any locality seeming to depend more on the frequency of hollow trees, which afford them congenial shelter, than on any other condition. The blue jay, eminent for its disagreeable voice, its striking appearance, and remarkable foresight, is a frequent inhabi-tant. Ruffed grouse (here commonly called partridges) are frequent, but not numerous. Woodcocks, from their retired habits, are an almost unknown bird to our people, yet are really much more plentiful than grouse. The plovers, sandpipers, snipes, and quails are not usually numerous. Wild pigeons are frequent, but not to the hundredth part of their former numbers.
Of the birds that seek the neighborhood of human habitations we have the usual variety, the common dove, three or more kinds of swal-lows, and the martin. The last has diminished in number, the others appear to have increased. The robin is, perhaps, more numerous than any other single variety. Others of this family are the wood-thrush, whose vocal expression is the long, pensive, but musical
whistle and trill heard in almost every wood in early summer; and Wilson's thrush, which is less common. Another songster, the brown thrush, or the brown mocker, is found, it is said, in only one locality of our towns, and this is in the western part of Brunswick.
The song sparrow, that frequents cool ravines, and sings all through the season, and the white-throated sparrow, are familiar to the ears of our inhabitants, if not well known to the eye. The chickadee, or black-cap titmouse, and the kingbird, are also quite common. Some-thing like the last in appearance and voice is the kingfisher, present on most of our larger streams during the summer.
About the marshes on these streams the great blue heron is some-times seen, but it is more frequent about the salt marshes and sea-shore. Around the sea-shore the coot is more numerous than any other of the large birds. Our water-fowl generally are not different from those found in other sections of the State. On our fresh-water ponds, as well as on the salt-water, are found in spring and autumn the wild goose, the black duck, teal, sheldrake, and merganser, while the wood-duck and the pintail or whistler, make their habitat all over our territory ; yet they are not abundant. There is a tradition that at the period of settlement, wild fowl sometimes congregated in certain localities in our vicinity in such numbers, and made so much noise in the night, that the settlers were unable to sleep until they had driven the intruders away. It is said that to accomplish this they sometimes found it necessary to fling firebrands among them. Merrymeeting Bay was formerly a great resort for wild geese. The middle portion of the bay was, at low water, a sand-bed covered with a species of reed, on the roots of which the geese were supposed to subsist from about the first of September until the extreme cold weather sent them southward. The loon is met with at the proper season ; the gulls and fish-hawks are quite common, and the white-headed eagle is frequently seen.
Of INSECTS, the chief food of our feathered friends, but often the bane of our orchards and growing crops, we probably have the same variety that is to be found in the rest of the State. Our list of REPTILES and AMPHIBIANS is not extensive. Turtles are not often met with, except the variety found in muddy ponds. Our serpents are the striped snake, the little brown snake, the green snake, the black snake, the milk snake, and the water snake. The water snakes are believed to have poison fangs; in regard to the brown and milk snakes we have no knowledge ; the others mentioned are not deemed venomous.
The bull-frog, pickerel-frog, and green frog inhabit all our fresh waters, and the leopard-frog is to be found in the meadows, and the delicate, pale brown wood-frog is of frequent occurrence in our forests. The common toad is found in all cultivated lands, and tree toads in all our localities. There are few persons who have not listened to the multitudinous cry of the latter during hot summer nights.
We have no lizards ; the creature sometimes called so is the salamander. There are several species, varying much in size and color. They are found only in moist places, while some are amphibious.
Of CRUSTACEANS, our principal species are the king crab (or horse-shoe), the common crab, and the common salt-water lobster, the last abundant and of well-known value.
Our chief MOLLUSKS are the fresh-water clam (unio) and the vari-ous snails; the common clam, abundant in our salt-water flats, and familiar as an article of diet ; the hen, or sea clam, found only at unusually low tides ; and the quahaug, infrequent, except in Quahaug Bay, in Great Island.
Of the MARINE MAMMALS, the seal is quite frequent in our bays, and sometimes ascends the rivers for short distances. In 1868, one was seen near the Toll Bridge, and being pursued in boats, was captured near Cow Island. It weighed two hundred pounds. The porpoise is quite common, frequently disturbing the schools of various fish upon which the fisherman counts for his gain. Whales are rarely seen, but not unknown. The blackfish, or round-headed dolphin, is common off shore in its season. It was probably this species about which the Androscoggin Free Press gave the following account:-
"On Monday, Oct. 6, 1828, a shoal of dolphins, called by the sailors 'blackfish,' seventy or eighty in number, made their appearance near Orr's Island. The inhabitants, to the number of twenty--one men, in nine boats, armed with muskets and axes, went out to attack, and, if possible, catch them. After four or five hours of hard fighting they had been able to despatch but six or seven, but they had learned that the dolphins could be driven with as much facility as a flock of sheep. It was finally decided to attempt to drive them into a narrow cove which penetrated to the distance of a mile into the interior of Orr's Island, and which there terminated in a circular basin. In this design they were successful. All of the boats pressed closely upon their retreat and cut off all possibility of escape.
" Captain John Curtis, being in advance of the little fleet, caused his boat to be rowed alongside one of the largest dolphins, himself standing with one foot braced on the bows of the boat and the other
on the back of his antagonist. He had taken this position to make the attempt of splitting open the head of the fish; but., the boat veering in its course, he must either fall into the water or jump upon the back of his intended victim. He did the latter, and in the next moment the company saw their gallant captain riding off astride upon the back of the dolphin. A full quarter of a mile was the hero thus borne over the water by this novel mode of navigation, when he safely alighted upon a vehicle of a more artificial construction.
"Captain Curtis did not, however, like Arion, entertain his dolphin with harmonious strains of godlike music. So far from this, in fact, he was constantly inflicting blows with his axe deeply into the monster's blubber.
"As the tide ebbed away, the dolphins began to drag themselves heavily through the mud, and it became advisable to find some more expeditious way of destroying them. Before sunset the whole number were despatched. About one hundred and thirty barrels of oil were obtained from the fish, realizing about $2,000.
"This singular fish is not the common dolphin, but the round-headed dolphin, being much larger. Those captured at Harpswell varied much in size. The largest was twenty-three feet long and eighteen feet in circumference. There were some that measured not, more than six or seven feet in length. These were probably pups, as some of the females yielded large quantities of milk, resembling very much cow's milk."
The FISHES, inhabiting the salt water of our bays and off our shares, are the cod, haddock, hake, pollock, cusk, mackerel, blue-fish, herring, menhaden or porgy, sun-fish, sword-fish, rock-cod, sculpin, ling, flounder, cunner, frost-fish, and tom-cod. Our fresh waters contain brook-trout, pickerel, perch, chub, sucker, bream or kiver, bull-head, and others of lesser note. Among the fish that frequent both the fresh and salt water are the smelt, alewife, salmon, and sturgeon. In early times the last two were very abundant in the Androscoggin, but their number has greatly diminished. Since the construction of fishways in the dams a few years ago, there has, however been a manifest increase in the number of salmon, and it is to be hoped that by careful diversion from the waters of all matters deleterious to fishes, the river may again become abundantly stocked.
The universal underlying rock of this region, extending to unknown depths, is gneiss. This is easily distinguished from granite, which consists of the same minerals, - mica, quartz, and feldspar, - by its appearance of stratification.
The layers or strata of gneiss are curiously bent and twisted, as if, while in a soft and plastic condition, at some early period of the earth's history, they had been crumpled like pieces of cloth by some gigantic force. This folding of the strata is well exhibited in a railroad cut on the Topsham shore, near the Lewiston bridge. In general, however, they dip to the southeast.
Intersecting these layers, in immense veins or dikes, is found the granite. The granite dikes have clearly been formed by the filling of vast chasms in the earth's crust, probably at a high temperature.
Withstanding better the wear of time than the gneiss, these dikes now form prominent features of our landscape at Powder-House Hill and the hills of Topsham, and have been the cause of the rapids which furnish our villages with their magnificent water-power.
The granite dikes are here an extensive source of building material, and, farther north, of the feldspar ground for the glazing of pottery and the quartz crushed for sand-paper. In these dikes, too, are found the crystals that have rendered the vicinity so famous for its mineral wealth.
On Powder-House Hill and other places, and probably throughout the village of Brunswick, were it accessible, the surface of these hard and almost imperishable rocks is found deeply scored and furrowed in lines parallel with one another, and having the direction of northwest and southeast. These it is well known, and has been abundantly proved, have been formed by the action of an immense glacier which once extended over the whole northern part of the United States.
Over four thousand feet in thickness, covering all but our highest mountains, as Washington and Katahdin, this stream of solid ice moved slowly southward with crushing force, grooving the surface, grinding down the hills, and transporting the huge bowlders that were, later, stranded in our fields. By this same agency were formed the deep fjords or inlets of our coasts and the islands that stud Casco Bay.
Following the period of ice came a period of thaw. At the same
1. This description is by Professor Carmichael of Bowdoin College, and though written with especial reference to Brunswick and Topsham, is undoubtedly equally applicable to Harpswell.
time the coast of Maine, which once had been higher than now above the ocean level, sank below its surface, and an arm of the sea flowed over the highest building sites of Brunswick. Then were deposited the beds of brick clay which immediately cover the solid rock and crop out at the brow of the "Hill."
In sinking wells in different parts of the village, not unfrequently mussel-beds (Mytelus edulis) are met with in this day. Their perfection and disposition prove that here they have lived and died.
Other shells, as Leda truncata, which is not found to day south of Spitzbergen, attest to the coldness of the salt waters which then covered the lowlands.
Two bison teeth, a fragment of a walrus tusk, a large and curious tooth resembling that of the walrus, found in a clay bed of the same period at Gardiner by the late Mrs. Allen, and deposited in the Museum of Bowdoin College by Mrs. M. Allen Elton, prove at this early day, long before Adam walked the earth, strange beasts occupied the morasses and briny waters of the Kennebec and Androscoggin valleys.
At a later period, immense streams of water from the still melting ice flowed southward through the Androscoggin, forming the high ter-races of which six, one above the other, may be seen on the Brunswick, and two upon the Topsham shore.
Then was deposited the expanse of sand forming the arid plain surrounding the village of Brunswick. Happy the agriculturist on whose land the Leda clay breaks through the barren terrace sand!
Ice, then, is the sculptor to whom we owe all the physical features of our vicinity. It carved out our hills, valleys, and river-beds; brought bowlders and gravel from afar, and supplied the water which formed the terraces upon which the town of Brunswick has been built.
This region is remarkably rich in the number of its minerals.. The attention of the Pejepscot proprietors was early attracted to this fact, and with prudent forethought they passed the following vote, Jan. 15, 1718: -
" Voted, that if it shall so happen that there be any Mine or Mineral found out within any Proprietor's or Inhabitant's Lott ; that the Said Mine or Minerall shall be held in common to the Proprietors : The Person in whose Lott it shall fall to have the same Quantity of good land elsewhere."1
1. Pejepscot Records
The following list of the minerals of this region, and the localities where they are chiefly to be, found, is furnished mainly by Professor Carmichael:-
FELDSPAR is found in large and handsome crystals in Cobb's quarry. In Topsham, crystals a foot in diameter have been found in Sprague's quarry. Fine crystals of Amazonian spar from an old feldspar quarry are found on the banks of the Cathance River.
MICA, BIOLITE, PHLOZOPITE, in crystals, are found at the railroad cut near the upper bridge, and at the Tarbox quarry, Topsham. Near the Old Feldspar quarry slabs have been found a foot wide. Green mica is found at New Meadows. The green mica extensively exchanged by the late Professor Cleaveland was found in a bowlder near the river.
LEPIDOLITE is found at Topsham.
QUARTZ. -At Sprague's quarry large crystals, and at the Old Feld-spar quarry crystals a foot in diameter are found. Decahedral quartz and smoky quartz are found in various quarries.
BERYL. -At Cobb's quarry, small but perfect crystals, with interest-ing pyramidal faces, are found in the railroad cut near the upper bridge. At Fisher's quarry, Topsham, crystals of a hundred pounds' weight have been found.
The EMERALD is said to have been found in a cut near the upper fishway, in Topsham.
GARNET. -Small but fine crystals are found in Cobb's quarry. A fine, perfect specimen, nearly as large as a man's fist, in the Museum of Bowdoin College, was found in Sprague's quarry. At Fisher's quarry are fine, large specimens. Large quantities of crystals, of medium color and large size, have been taken from a quarry near the road, beyond the Old Feldspar quarry. The most ordinary form is the ikositetrahedron modified by the octahedron and dodecahedron.
MAGNETITE is found in many localities. Crystals over two inches in diameter have been taken from Sprague's quarry.
TOURMALINE. -Large masses are found at Rocky Hill. Fine, large, perfect hemimorphic crystals are found at Tarbox's quarry, Topsham. Brown tourmaline is found at New Meadows, near the railroad bridge.
COLUMBITE. -Large and perfect crystals have been found at Fisher's quarry. One specimen weighed upwards of two pounds. It is found also at the railroad cut near the upper bridge.
GALENITE and IRON PYRITES are found (good specimens) near Cathance River.
APATITE is found near Cathance River, and crystals are also found at New Meadows, near the railroad bridge.
TITANITE is found at Cobb's quarry, and small but fine crystals
are found near Miss Narcissa Stone's house.
CHLORITE is found at Cobb's quarry.
BISMUTHENITE is found at Fisher's quarry and at Tarbox's quarry,
associated with columbite.
AMPHIBITE is found at Sprague's quarry.
SPHALENITE is found at Cathance River.
MOLYBDENITE is found in the bed of the river near the Topsham
paper mill, at New Meadows, and at the Old Feldspar quarry.
GOHNITE is found in a quarry near the road, beyond the Old Feld-spar
The following minerals have also all been found in some one or more of the three towns, though the exact locality we are unable to
designate : COPPER PYRITES, MALACHITE, CALCITE, HEMATITE. CUP-RITE, EPIDITE, and MOLYBDITE.
TUNGSTITE is supposed to have been found, but it is not known with certainty.
SOIL AND CROPS.
The soil of Topsham is, for the most part, a light, sandy loam, with some clay at the northwestern and northeastern parts. In the main, it is tolerably productive. The best farms are on what is called the Foreside, and on Cathance stream.
The soil of Brunswick varies from the sandy loam of the plains to a gravelly loam at the westward. Rich loams and heavy clays are found in a few localities. Peat has been found in the low ground east of Miss Narcissa Stone's house and has been used by her. The best farms were formerly1 (and probably are now) at Middle Bay and Maquoit. The land is said, however, to have been much more fertile in former times than at present.2
Harpswell can hardly be considered an agricultural town, though portions of it are very productive. Some excellent farms are to be found upon the Neck and upon some of the larger islands. The soil of the Neck is largely granitic rather than a gravelly loam, with small tracts of clay loam. On Great Island the soil varies from a hard, tenacious clay to a sandy loam, while in some localities are found a fine sand, and in others slaty and granitic soils. Most of the farms are equal to those on the Neck, being excellent hay and grazing land, while the higher parts are suitable for corn and wheat. Orchards do not flourish well.
1. McKeen, MSS. Lecture. 2. Maine Historical Society Collection, 3, p. 318.
Potatoes, barley, wheat, oats, and beans are the crops chiefly cultivated hereabouts. The mode of cultivation has improved very much of late years from what it was in Revolutionary times, when people "banked up their corn very high, and placed their potatoes very deep in the ground, and raised but little of either."
The flora of this region is, in general, like that of other similar localities in the central and coast region of Maine. The description here given is confined solely to the trees found here. At the time of the first settlement the wood growth was very different from what it is now. At that time there is said to have been an oak grove where the depot now stands in Brunswick, and the plains were covered with a growth of beech, instead of pine as at present. Then the prevailing growths were of hard wood. Among the forest trees now commonly met with are the alder, beech, birch, cedar, fir, juniper (or hackmatack), hemlock, four varieties of maple, two of oak, four of pine, and poplar, spruce, and willow. Those which are less commonly found are the ash, cherry, elm, horse-chestnut, larch, and arbor-vitae.
CLIMATIC AND METEOROLOGICAL.
The climate of this region is somewhat different near the sea-coast from that a few miles farther inland. In Harpswell, and around the bays of Brunswick, the temperature is as uniform as it usually is on the coast of Maine. Topsham, from its greater elevation, is cooler than Brunswick in the summer and, probably owing to its southern slope, is slightly warmer in the winter. The following meteorological statement is from the Annual Report for 1867, of the Smithsonian Institution : -
"Between the years 1807 and 1859 inclusive, meteorological records were made with great regularity by the late Professor Parker Cleaveland, of Bowdoin College, at Brunswick, Maine, and after his death were consigned to this institution for reduction and publication. The observations, though not intended by their author to be of a strictly scientific character, were yet found sufficiently valuable to warrant the expenditure of considerable labor in preparing them for the press.
"The observations were made at 7 A. M., 1 P. M., and 6 P. M., and relate to indications of the thermometer and barometer, direction of the wind, state of the weather, amount of rain and snow, character of clouds, occurrence of thunder-storms, fogs, frost and hail, earthquakes, auroras, etc. The observations present, during a period of 52 years,
a mean temperature of 44° 4' Fahrenheit, which reduced to the level of the sea becomes 44° 6'.
"The lowest mean temperature for any year occurred in 1859 and was 40° 31', and the highest was in 1840, 51° 60', giving a range of 11° 29', which is considerably larger than at places farther south in the United States.
"According to the average of 52 years, the warmest day falls on the 22d of July, or 31 days after the summer solstice, and has a mean temperature of 67° 7'.
"The coldest day, on an average, is the 18th of January, or 28 days after the winter solstice, having a temperature of 19° 9' Fahrenheit.
"On an average, the 20th of. April and the 24th of October have the same temperature as the mean of the entire year. The lowest record for the whole time is 30° below zero, and the highest 102° above.
"The northwest wind on an average reduces the temperature 4° 6'. The north lowers it 3° 1', and the northeast 3° 8'. The southwest wind, on the contrary, elevates the temperature above its normal value, 2° 6'. In summer the effect of rain and fog is to lower the temperature 6° 5'. In winter, snow, sleet, or rain increases the temperature 4° 3'. From 54,097 observations, the following is the proportional number of winds in 1,000: -
"From this it results that the most frequent are the northwest and southwest, the former in winter and the, latter in summer.
"The least number of days in which rain fell was in February, the greatest in May. The greatest number of days in which snow fell was in January. The earliest snow occurred on the 26th of September, 1808, and the latest on the 8th of June, 1816. On an average, snow falls in Brunswick on some day in May once in five years, and in October once every other year. The average number of rainy days is 64, the average number of snowy days is 30.
"The average amount of rain and snow is 44.68 inches. The greatest amount of rain during any one day was 8 1/4 inches, November 4, 1845. The greatest fall of snow was on the 10th of March, 1819, and measured 30 inches.
"The greatest number of rainfalls occur while the wind is from the
northeast, and the least number while it is from the west. The north-east wind in winter is almost constantly accompanied by rain or snow, while in summer the southeast surpasses it as a vehicle of rain, - a result evidently due to the position of the place of observation with respect to the ocean. The number of storms of thunder and lightning recorded during 51 years is 472, or about 9 a year. The greatest number occurred in July and August, the least in January and February. The total number of fogs is 1,135, or 22 in a year, the most dense of which occur in summer, the least dense in winter.
"July is the only month in which no frost is recorded. The ear-liest frost observed was August 3d and the latest June 19th. On an average, the spring frost ceases after the first week in June, and the autumn frost commences after the first week in September.
"There were 34 hail-storms, -the greatest number in January, the least in August. The records notice the occurrence of 7 earthquakes and 86 auroras, the greatest number of the latter in September and October.
"The aurora also exhibits a maximum and a minimum. The maxi-mum occurred in 1808, 1818, 1830, 1838, 1848, 1857, giving differences of 10, 12, 8, 10, and 9 years. This indicates an average period of about 10 years.
"Unfortunately, the temperature of the barometer is not given, and therefore a reduction on account of the expansion of the mercury is not possible, and consequently the only use which has been made of the record has been to exhibit the monthly extreme values, together with their annual variations. The barometric maxima reach their greatest value in December, and their least value in June. The min-ima occur in August. The monthly range is the greatest at the period of greatest cold, in January, and the least range at the period of greatest heat, in July."
The coldest season ever experienced here was probably in the winter of 1780-81. It was, however, nearly, if not quite, as cold in 1751. As early as January 14 of that year (1751), Parson Smith gives an account of an excursion he took with his wife and others from Falmouth to Brunswick on the ice, "passing over Harrasicket Bay a-going, and venturing on their return to come directly from Brunswick across the Bay without Maquoit Island to New Casco,1 and over thence to the Beach home."2 In 1780 Casco Bay was frozen over as far into the
1. Near where the United States Marine Hospital now stands at Falmouth Foreside
2. Smith's Journal.
sea as the island called the White Bull, and was travelled upon from Harpswell to Portland.
The mildest winter was that of 1838. On January 8, of this winter, David Johnson ploughed all day on Goat Island, Harpswell.
Destructive gales and thunder-storms have not been of exceptional frequency in this vicinity. The earliest one of any severity, of which mention has been found, occurred June 29, 1809, when there was a violent thunder-storm. The Gun House was struck by lightning, which struck also in twelve other places in that vicinity. On June 7, 1814, about 8 A. M., there was heard a report in the air resembling that of a gun, and gradually dying away. There was no storm at the time ; it was doubtless the bursting of a meteor. April 1, 1815, various sized balls of snow were found in the woods. They were from less than one inch to fifteen inches in diameter, of an oval or globular shape, loose and uniform in texture, and very irregularly distributed. The tracks could be seen where they had been rolled over the surface of the snow by the wind. On May 7 and 21, 1816, there were severe thunder-storms. On the latter date the storm was accompanied with hail, the form of which was very remarkable. The hail-stones were in hexangular pyramids, sometimes half an inch in length. In some the base was almost transparent. On August 6, 1834, there was a severe thunder-shower, during which the vanes on Professor Cleaveland's and Captain Given's barns were struck by lightning. August 20, 1835, there was a severe hail-storm, and hail-stones which measured three inches in diameter were picked up at Mustard's tavern. September 3, 1845, there was a violent thunder-shower, during which Common's Hall was struck by lightning. May 6, 1850, there was also a violent storm. The lightning struck Captain Minot's buildings at Mair Point, and in several other places. February 18, 1853, probably the severest storm of all occurred. The lightning struck in over twenty different localities ; among others, Deacon Perkins's house on the island in Tops-ham. October 30, 1866, the steeple of the First Parish Meeting-House in Brunswick was blown off.
In 1869, on September 7, a terrible gale began at seven o'clock p. m., and lasted for several hours. In the Lemont woods fourteen trees were blown down in one spot, and over two hundred trees were blown down in David Marriner's woods. A large number were also prostrated in Topsham. The depot woodshed in Brunswick, and two chimneys on the Medical College, were also blown over. A great deal of damage was done, of which the above constituted but a small portion. August 16, 1867, there was another severe storm,
during which seven and one half inches of rain fell. Seventy-five feet of an embankment on the Androscoggin railroad in Topsham was washed out. It was twenty-five feet deep. July 15, 1868, a severe thunder-storm occurred, during which two houses and a barn in Brunswick, and an old wooden warehouse in Topsham, were struck by lightning. June 23, 1874, the Jordan House in Brunswick was struck by lightning.
Accounts have been preserved of some ten shocks of earthquake which have occurred here since the first settlement of Brunswick. The first and severest was the one which was felt throughout New England, and is called the "Great Earthquake." It happened on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 1755, at about a quarter past four o'clock A. M. The undulation of the earth's surface in this vicinity was so violent as to rock houses, and throw down chimneys, log fences, and crockery from the shelves. The chimney of Reverend Mr. Dunlap's house fell in, and some of his children narrowly escaped injury. The inhabi-tants generally were greatly alarmed, and viewed the occurrence as an omen of evil. Reverend Mr. Dunlap preached a sermon with especial reference to this event.1 The other earthquakes were much less severe, though some of them were sufficient to cause a degree of trepidation amongst the timid. They occurred Nov. 22, 1755; June 12, 1805, at 7.30 A. M. ; June 26, 1808, at 2.51 P.M.. ; Nov. 28, 1814, at 7 P. M. ; the oscillations moved from north to south, lasted fifty seconds, and were followed by an explosion ; May 23, 1817, at
3 P. M., -lasted one minute ; March 7, 1823, at 10 A. M. ; July 25, 1828, at 6 A. M. ; Aug. 26, 1829, at 9 P.M. and at 9.15 P. M.. ; and Oct. 17, 1860.
1. Pejepscot Papers.