PART II, CHAPTER 10.
STAGES, RAILROADS, NAVIGATION,
TELEGRAPH, EXPRESSES, PUBLIC CARRIAGES.
The first regular stage for the accommodation of passengers is thought to have commenced running about the year 1800. The first four-horse stage between Brunswick and Portland is known to have been driven in 1803 by Henry McIntyre. In 1806, Colonel Estabrook drove a biweekly stage between Brunswick and Augusta.
In 1807, or soon after, Nahum Perkins, of Topsham, drove a through stage between Portland and Augusta.
The first daily stage commenced, in connection with the mails, in 1810. It was between Portland and Brunswick.
A writer in 1820 remarks concerning the stages to and from Brunswick at that time, "From the great eastern, western, and northern routes the stages arrive at twelve o'clock at noon, and so well are they regulated that they often arrive at the same moment. There is no other place in Maine so well situated in this respect. From the east, west, and north, they arrive and depart every day in the week." These coaches were probably run by the Maine Stage Company, as that is the earliest company to which any reference has been found.
On January 1, 1821, William B. Peters commenced running a stage between Portland and Bath, leaving the former place on Monday. Wednesday, and Friday, and the latter on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The Brunswick office was at Hodgkins's tavern. The fare was the same as in the mail stage. This was an opposition line to the regular mail stage. How long it was maintained is not known.
On August 20, 1836, the Brunswick and Turner Stage Company - began running a stage between those two towns, leaving Stinchfield's Hotel in Brunswick, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at eight o'clock A. M., passing through Durham, Danville, Lewiston, East Minot, East Turner, and arriving in Turner at three o'clock P. M. Returning, it left Turner on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at
eight o'clock A. M., and arrived in Brunswick at four P. M. The fare to Lewiston was one dollar and twenty-five cents, and to Turner one dollar and seventy-five cents During the winter of this year, Jacob Harris drove a two-horse team twice a week to Portland, for freight and passengers.
On December 25, 1854, the Brunswick and Lewiston stage line was established, John Holland, Jr., being the agent. A passenger coach, capable of seating nine persons inside, left Lewiston for Brunswick every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and arrived at the latter place in season for the noon train for Bath and Augusta. It left Brunswick on its return at half past nine A. M. It passed through Topsham, Little River, and Lisbon. The fare between Brunswick and Lewiston was one dollar and twenty-five cents. This line was kept up for several years. In 1856 M. K. Marean was its agent. The last stage run to any point accessible by the cars was in 1858. In November of that year, C. M. Plummer commenced to run a daily stage to Bath in opposition to the cars. The fare by stage was forty cents, and by cars twenty-five cents.
There are at present three lines of stages leaving Brunswick. One is a daily stage to Potts's Point on Harpswell Neck; another, thrice weekly, to Condy's Harbor on Great Island; and another, thrice weekly, to Orr's Island. The first stage over the latter route was driven by Ephraim Johnson of Orr's Island, on June 1, 1868.
Among the different lines of stages which have been enumerated, the Maine Stage Company deservedly takes the first rank. The company at one time owned $60,000 worth of stock. Its coaches were large and comfortable, and its horses were of the best The line was well patronized and the profits were large. A quarterly dividend of thirty dollars on the hundred is known to have been distributed. The stages of this line continued running to Portland for some time after the railroad was completed. The fare to Portland by stage was one dollar, and by cars ninety cents, but the stage called for and delivered passengers at their residences, thus saving carriage hire. Among the drivers for the Maine Stage Company were Calvin Gossam, Charles Owen (son of Elder Shimuel Owen), Hiram Tibbetts (father of Mr. J. H. Tibbetts), Jabez Sawin, ------ Savage, Jacob Sands, ------ Stanwood, ------ Plummer, Job Sawyer, ------ Hobbs, and John Beals.
Gossam was a careful driver, prompt in business, attentive to the wants of his passengers, and scrupulously neat in his apparel; his hat, boots, and gloves were always stylish ; when he announced,
"Stage ready," no better dressed gentleman entered the coach. Gossam went to California, where he drove successfully several years before his death.
Mr. Sands drove a part of the time between Brunswick and Augusta, and a part between Brunswick and Portland. In 1849, when the steamer Flushing made her daily trips between New Wharf and Portland, he drove a stage connecting with the steamer. He was a careful driver and a pleasant, genial, whole-souled man. Those who desired to relieve the monotony of a stage journey by pleasant, facetious, and ofttimes instructive conversation, invariably chose a seat beside him upon the box.
Concerning the other drivers, nothing has been learned, except what would naturally be inferred, that they were all good "whips " and handled the "ribbons" skilfully.
Accidents were not infrequent in old stage times. In several instances the towns of Brunswick and Topsham were obliged to pay damages to the stage company, in consequence of injuries to their coaches caused by defects in the highways.
One incident is perhaps illustrative of the whole. On November 17, 1829, a stage containing eleven passengers, among whom were Governor Dunlap, and Mr. Charles J. Noyes, of Brunswick, was upset on McKeen Street, and tipped, top down, into a ditch full of water, so that the doors could not be opened. No one was seriously injured, but all were bedaubed with mud. A mother and her babe were among the inside passengers, and the child was found safely preserved on the shelf made by the inverted coach-seat.
The first local project for rail communication from Brunswick was broached some time in 1833. No serious attempt toward anything of the sort was inaugurated, however, until 1835. That year the legislature incorporated Elijah P. Pike, Nathaniel Davis, Alfred J. Stone, Charles Stetson, Roger Merrill, Jordan Woodward, Benjamin Pennell, John S. Cushing, and Solomon P. Cushman and their associates, successors, and assigns, "into a body politic and corporate" by the name of the BRUNSWICK RAILROAD COMPANY. This company was authorized "to locate and construct a railroad from the Androscoggin River, near Brunswick village, to some navigable waters of Casco Bay, with one or more branches," and were invested with all the necessary powers to carry their intention into effect. This corporation met June 4th of that year, and adopted a code of by-laws, and
elected their officers. The road, however, was never laid out, and no other meeting of the company is known to have been held.
The first railroad to enter Brunswick was the Kennebec and Portland, which was incorporated in 1836, and was soon after surveyed. In 1845 the time of building was extended ten years, and of locating, five years. On May 1, 1845, the corporators met and chose a committee to confer with a committee of the Bath and Portland Railroad Company, which had been incorporated a short time previously. The result of the conference was a union of the two roads. On August 6th, of this year, a citizens' meeting was held at the Baptist Church, Maine Street, Brunswick, "to adopt measures in relation to the Portland, Bath, and Augusta Railroad." Honorable R. P. Dunlap was chosen chairman, and John D. Coburn, secretary. Speeches in favor of the road were made by the chairman, and by George Evans, of Gardiner, and P. Sheldon, and a committee was chosen to present subscription papers to the citizens. The town of Brunswick, in 1850, voted to loan its credit, to aid in the completion of this road, to the amount of $75,000. The same year Topsham voted to loan its credit for the same purpose to the amount of $30,000. The first work upon the railroad, near Brunswick, was commenced in 1847.
In March, 1849, Mr. John S. Cushing was called by the directors of the Kennebec and Portland Railroad to take charge of the grounds now occupied by the depot of the Maine Central Railroad Company, and prepare them for the use of the former company; to provide wood and materials for the construction of the road, which was then in process of building; and to pay the gravel-train men, and others in the employ of the company.
On the ninth of June, 1849, a locomotive steam-engine entered Brunswick for the first time. On the fourth of July, 1849, the track having been laid from Bath to Yarmouth, it was decided to put on a train of gravel cars, and with the first engine, the "Kennebec," and with such accommodations as could be prepared, to run the train back and forth between Bath and Yarmouth for the day, giving every one who desired it a "free ride." Though the train was composed chiefly of dump-cars, and the passengers probably paid for their ride in the discomfort attending it, yet it was to them a new and gratifying experience, and such was the delight of the public that many urged the directors to commence running a passenger train at once. To this request the directors acceded, and without any preparation of books, blanks, or tariffs, the train was put on the fifth of July, and continued to run regularly, carrying passengers
to Yarmouth, and there transferring them to the cars of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad for Portland.
This sudden and unprepared-for event cast a good deal of labor and responsibility upon Mr. Cushing, who at once had tickets printed at the office of Mr. Griffin, for the four stations. In addition to this, freight began to flow on the road, and Mr. Cushing was instructed to fix such rates as he thought proper on all merchandise as it came in.
Mr. Joseph McKeen was the first treasurer of the road, and it was by his request that Mr. Cushing did whatever was necessary to meet the emergencies as they arose, and collect all moneys from ticket sales and conductors, and return to him. Thus Brunswick became suddenly a place of importance as the headquarters of the Kennebec and Portland Railroad Company, and as the place where the first impulse was given to the trains of this road.
The fares between the stations of the Kennebec and Portland Road and Portland were adjusted on the presumption that the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Company (now the Grand Trunk) would gladly receive so large a contribution of passengers at the same rate, twenty-five cents each, at which they transported stage passengers from Yarmouth to Portland. This amount the agent of the Kennebec and Portland Company added to the price of their tickets to Yarmouth, for all Portland passengers. Upon settlement with the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Company, at the close of the month of July, they claimed thirty-five cents, which was their local fare from Yarmouth to Portland, on all passengers coming over the Kennebec and Portland Road. They consented, however, to deduct one half cent from each ticket issued by the latter company, obliging them to pay thirty-four and a half cents on each passenger to Portland, although they had only received twenty-five cents each for that portion of the route. This action of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Company was received with great indignation by the directors of the Kennebec and Portland Company. Two members each said that they would be one among ten to build a new road from Yarmouth to Portland, and it was in consequence of the unjust advantage thus taken of their necessities that the road was built about two years subsequently. This, however, was not the only disagreement between the two companies. The directors of the Kennebec and Portland Company solicited the other company to put down a third rail, and allow their trains (of a different gauge) to run on that road to Portland. This the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Company, speaking through their engineer, declared impracticable. After the new road
was contracted for, however, they offered to give this accommodation, but were told, in reply, that it was then "impracticable." Thus the short-sighted policy of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Company's directors was the cause of the building of the new road into Portland.1
Included in the purchase of the depot lot was a small, one-story, unfinished wooden building, which stood near Maine Street. This was hastily fitted up with ladies' and gentlemen's rooms, and a ticket-office between the two. The L was used for a baggage-room. The accommodations for passengers were small and poorly arranged. The building stood much nearer Maine Street than the present one. After the second depot was built, the first one was moved over to the north, next to the building once occupied by Isaac Center, and, at a later date by Mr. Poland, and was occupied by Ezekiel Thompson, the first baggage-master. It is still owned by the railroad company and leased by them as a dwelling. At the time the first depot was prepared, John S. Cushing acted as station agent, and George French as switch-man. This was the force as organized at Brunswick, which was the headquarters of the road at that time.
The first engine went over the railroad bridge across the Androscoggin, below the falls, on the thirteenth of December, 1850, and cars ran to Augusta not long afterwards. The Topsham depot was erected in 1850-51.
The first large depot in Brunswick was finished in July, 1855. It was one hundred and sixty feet in length and about one hundred feet in width, including the two wings, the main body of the building being sixty feet in width, with a height of fifty-two feet to the ridge-pole. Three tracks ran through it. The north wing was divided into a ticket-office, with public waiting-rooms for gentlemen and ladies on either side, a refreshment-room, and a baggage-room. Space was also left for a stairway into the upper story of the building, where it was intended to have some of the office rooms of the company. The south wing was used for freight. This depot was burned in 1857. The present building was erected soon after. It is much larger now than it was originally, having received additions several times since its erection. Until 1870 there were but two tracks running through the depot, and the southern side of the building, where the third track is now, was used for the freight department. The freight-office
1. This matter, though rather beyond the scope of this History, is introduced here as a matter of interest to our citizens, and because it has never before appeared in print.
and telegraph-office were in the southeastern corner. The waiting-rooms, refreshment-room, and ticket-office were small and inconvenient. In 1870 the present freight depot was built, and the passenger depot was enlarged and improved. Since then the refreshment-saloon and the ticket-office have been still further improved.
In the latter part of 1849, Mr. Cushing was taken into the office of Treasurer McKeen as book-keeper, in the place of Mr. George F. Dunning, who removed to Philadelphia.
In 1851, Mr. McKeen resigned his treasurership, and Mr. A. H. Gilman, of Portland, was elected; and in the following year the treasurer's office was removed to Augusta, where Mr. Cushing was continued as general ticket agent and freight accountant until 1857, when he was elected treasurer. In this capacity he has been continued through the different organizations of Portland and Kennebec and Maine Central Railroad Companies to the present time, - a period of twenty years. The length of the Kennebec and Portland Railroad was twenty-four miles in 1849, and that of the Maine Central in 1871 was three hundred and fifty-five miles.1
The LEWISTON AND TOPSHAM RAILROAD COMPANY was formed
about 1853, with Francis T. Purinton, of Topsham, as its president. A road between these two places was surveyed but never laid out, and the company failed to do anything. This company was, however, the forerunner of the ANDROSCOGGIN RAILROAD, work on which was commenced in 1860, and the first trains on which ran regularly in October, 1861.
As illustrative of the difference in travel between the present and former times, it may be stated that in 1819, the time of travel between Brunswick and Boston was ordinarily three days, the very quickest being two and a half days, and the expense attending a trip was twelve dollars. Now, the time required is but six hours, and the expense three dollars and a quarter. Then there was one stage daily in each direction, passing through Brunswick. For a number of years after the railroad went into operation, there was but one passenger train a day each way, and the trains seldom had more than two passenger cars and a baggage car. At the same time a thrice-weekly freight train, each way, was all that was required.
Now, four passenger trains each way are run on the main line, with
1. For most of the facts given in the foregoing account we are indebted to Mr. Cushing, whose connection with this road from its first inception up to the present time renders his statements entitled to the fullest credence.
from two to eight cars in each, and there are two regular freight trains each way daily, besides almost daily extra trains. In addition to these trains, there are on the Bath branch six trains daily, each way, including freight trains, and on the Lewiston branch there are four trains each way daily, including freight trains.
In the very earliest times, before the era of stages or even of the introduction of horses to this region, before roads were even thought of, the travel was conducted exclusively by means of boats and vessels. The pioneer settlers always located themselves at or near the head of some navigable stream. It should be remembered that in those times the streams were all undammed and were all of them navigable for much larger craft than at present. Large vessels might then come to the foot of the falls of the Pejepscot without difficulty, and it was even possible to tow boats over the rapids.1
The earliest provision made for a boat of any size for use in this vicinity was in 1716. At a meeting of the proprietors, held February 21, of that year, it was voted,
"That a proper boat be provided by Messrs. Minot & Watts with sails, oars, etc."2 The intention of this vote may have been to furnish a boat for travel upon the river, but as the proprietors soon after purchased a sloop called the Pejepscot, for the purpose of establishing communication with Boston,3 it is probable that the latter object was what was intended by their vote.
The next vessel to which reference is to be found was the sloop Maquoit, which was built by the proprietors and was used in carrying lumber and provisions between Maquoit and Boston.
There is some uncertainty as to whom belongs the credit of building the first vessel in this region, though it is probable that it was built on the New Meadows River. According to one authority, it was built by John Lemont, in 1745,4 but by another it is said to have been constructed by George Harwood (with others).5 Probably it was the same vessel, and more than one or two were interested in it.
The first vessel constructed at Middle Bay or Maquoit was built previous to the Revolution by Robert Dunning. The exact time is
1. Maine Historical Collection, 3, p. 318.
2. Pejepscot Records.
3. McKeen, MS. Lecture.
4. Lemont, Historical Dates of Bath, etc., p. 52.
5. McKeen, in Brunswick Telegraph, "Gleanings," No. 4.
not known. In 1753 there were three sloops owned at Maquoit and New Meadows.1
In 1767 the schooner Unity, of Topsham, is mentioned in Brigadier Thompson's papers.
The first vessel launched above the Chops and the second above Bath was built by John Patten, William Patten, John Fulton, and Adam Hunter, of Topsham, about the year 1768. She was a sloop of about ninety tons, and was named the Merry Meeting. She was built for the purpose of coasting to Boston. When she was launched all the people in the neighboring towns came to see her, and were provided with a dinner. Captain William Patten was master of the Merry Meeting. He loaded her with wood and went to Boston and sold it for $1.50 per cord, two thirds of which went to the owners. At other times she was loaded with boards and timber.
Wages at that time were very low. Howard, the shipwright who built the Merry Meeting, received four shillings per day. He lived at New Meadows. Captains in the West India business received four pounds per month; mates, three pounds; seamen's wages were about six dollars. The sails and rigging for the Merry Meeting were purchased of Mr. Hooper ("King" Hooper he was called), of Salem.2
The Defiance was afterwards built and owned, principally, by John Patten. She was employed in coasting to Boston3
The schooner Industry, the first that ever went to the West Indies from the Kennebec. was owned by John Patten, his son Robert, his son-in-law Robert Fulton, Mr. Jameson, and Captain Harward. She was built about 1772. Captain James Maxwell was master. She was loaded the first time with boards, shingles, and four masts. A part of the boards were sawed at Cathance Mills and the rest at Topsham Falls. They were sold for four dollars per thousand. Captain Maxwell went twice to the West Indies in the Industry. She was sold during the Revolutionary war for paper money. Captain Robert Patten's eighth part enabled him to buy a horse and saddle for four hundred dollars.4
About 1790 the Speedwell, a coaster of ninety-seven tons' burden, under command of the Captain McLellan who married Molly Finney, ran between Brunswick and Boston. On one of her trips she landed at Bunganock, and took on board ninety cords of wood for Boston. The price here was three shillings and ninepence, and at Boston,
1. Memorandum on cover of Brunswick Records in Pejepscot Collections.
2. Dr. Ellis. Notes of Robert Patten.
twelve shillings per cord. The crew were four in number, and the average wages of each was seven dollars per month.
Several vessels were owned in Brunswick in 1790. On September 13, 1791, John Peterson made a request to the selectmen of Brunswick for an abatement of the tax on "one of my vessels, as she was cast ashore last Christmas day on Cape Cod, and by that accident I lost the value of one year's earnings of said schooner."1
The brig Hope was built in Brunswick by William Stanwood and John Dunlap, a short time previous to 1800. They sold a portion to Richard Tappan. In January, 1800, she sailed from Bath for Barbadoes, West Indies, loaded with about one hundred and thirty thousand feet of hoards, and one hundred and five thousand shingles and other small lumber. The crew consisted of Richard Tappan, master; John Dunlap, Junior, mate; and Melzer House, John McDonald, Noah Moulton, Thomas Stanwood, and Philip Cornish, seamen. They reached Barbadoes safely, and from thence proceeded to the island of Tobago, where Captain Tappan met with a Mr. Kerr, of Grenada, to whom he sold his cargo of boards at the rate of forty dollars per thousand, and the shingles at four or five dollars per thousand, to be delivered at the island of Grenada. They sailed from Tobago on the third of March, and the same night, between Tobago and Grenada, they were boarded and taken possession of by a French privateer from Gaudaloupe. All the crew except the captain were taken out, and the brig was sent into Basseterre, Gaudaloupe, where she was condemned. The first officer and crew were imprisoned, but through the interference of a Danish merchant they were released and went on board of a vessel which he had purchased there and went with him to Santa Cruz. From thence they went to Saint Thomas, where they waited for an American convoy from St. Kitts, which arrived in a few days. With this convoy was the brig Hannibal, owned by the Dunlaps, commanded by Captain Nehemiah Peterson. This brig had also been taken by a French privateer, but had been retaken by the United States man-of-war John Adams. Captain Tappan and John Dunlap returned home in the Hannibal, the rest of the crew in the Iris, commanded by Captain Samuel Snow.
About the year 1800 the ship-yard at Brunswick called Skolfield's was constructed, and vessels began to be built there.
About the year 1802 a vessel of sixty-three tons was built at Lisbon by a captain Woodward, launched into the Androscoggin during
1. Pejepscot Papers.
a freshet and brought down as far as the booms above the upper dam. Here she was taken out of the water and hauled on rollers through the woods to what is now McKeen Street, thence down Maine Street to the cove, where she was again launched into the river and did good service for about
twenty-five years. Dean Swift well remembers the circumstance, though but a boy at the time. He says one hundred yoke of oxen were employed in hauling the vessel on the land.
In 1808, Mr. Robert Given built a gunboat for the United States navy, in a yard a little north of the ship-yard of the Skolfields, on Harpswell Neck. The contract, still preserved, was for thirty dollars per ton, the iron to cost twelve dollars and fifty cents per one hundred pounds, the vessel to be heavily timbered, and the gun-deck to be of white oak and yellow pine.
In 1819, George F. Patten & Brothers built the brig Statira, of one hundred and eighty-three tons, at Muddy River, Topsham.
About 1820 there were in the neighborhood of 1,000 tons of shipping in Brunswick and Topsham, and about 2,000 tons in Harpswell, besides numerous small fishing-vessels. On September 20, of this year, the shipping list of the Maine Intelligencer contained the announcement of the arrival at Brunswick of the brig America, Otis, from Martinique, with one hundred and forty-six hogsheads of molasses consigned to the owners, Messrs. Dunlap; of the sloop Eliza, Douglas (regular packet), from Boston; of the brig Maine, Sylvester, with a cargo of molasses and sugar, and schooner Susan, Rodick, from the southward, both to D. Stone and others.
The brig Maine appears to have been a regular packet, as this same list, under date of September 29, mentions its arrival from Boston, together with the sloop Ambition, with freight and passengers. A brig also arrived the same day from Bath.
A wharf was built about this time on the New Meadows River, and one, seven hundred and fifty feet in length, at Maquoit.1
Pennell's ship-yard, at Middle Bay, was built about 1822. Wharves were also erected on the west side of Maquoit Bay about this time.
In 1823 a small schooner called the Elizabeth, which was built about 1793 on Sebascodegan Island, was cast away at the southern part of Condy's Point in the month of February. The crew, consisting of four men, were all badly frost-bitten. They were taken care of by the good people on the island until they were sufficiently recovered to go to their homes in Massachusetts. The schooner was loaded with fruit, groceries, and spirit.
1. Putnam, Description of Brunswick.
About the same year a vessel was built at Durham and hauled over land to Maquoit. It was built by a person of doubtful gender, who at first wore woman's apparel and afterwards changed them for man's, and who was at first called Hannah, but afterwards Stover.
Not far from this time Mr. Robert Labish built a vessel of about four hundred tons in Topsham. He had his lumber all ready at Lisbon to be conveyed to Topsham, but the winter being mild and the roads bare, he was unable to have it carried where he wished. Being a man of energy and determination, he went with a party of men, and, guided by a compass, cut a road through the woods to Lisbon, and hauled his timber through it. This road (not a highway) is still in existence, and is called Labish's Road.
In the winter of 1824, Mr. Godfrey, of Topsham, built a vessel in Lisbon and had it conveyed on runners to Topsham, where it was launched. The experiment was a costly one, as the expense of get-ting her to Topsham more than offset the cheapness of the materials at Lisbon.
October 11, 1825, the sloop Ambition, owned by Samuel Lemont, of Brunswick, and commanded by a Captain Perkins, went ashore at Sandy Bay, on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, on her way to Brunswick, and went to pieces. She had a full cargo of dry goods, valued at $10,000, none of which was insured. A part was saved, however, in a damaged condition. The goods were for Messrs. Stone & Morse, E. Earle & Co., O. Nichols, and William Snowdon, of Brunswick, J. Dwinal, of Lisbon, and the Maine Cotton and Woollen Factory, of Brunswick.
March 27, 1830, during a severe northeast snow-storm, several sloops in Maquoit Bay were stranded and a portion of the wharf there was carried away.
What is known now as the New Wharf Ship-Yard was first used as such in 1830. The new wharf itself was built in 1837, by Captain Anthony Chase, Captain William Stanwood, Israel Simpson, Samuel Dunning, Captain Robert Simpson, Captain John Given, David Dunlap, Doctor Isaac Lincoln, and Stone & Morse.1 Its cost was between $3,000 and $4,000.
The earliest reference to what is known as the Alfred White Ship-Yard, in Topsham, is in 1842. On October 8, of that year, the brig Bernard, of one hundred and sixty tons, owned by B. C. Bailey, of Bath, was launched there.
1. Samuel Dunning.
The first regular packet vessel, excepting those under the control of the proprietors, is believed to have been the sloop Friendship. In May, 1814, she was advertised to ply between Portland, Harpswell, Bath, and Brunswick, coming up the New Meadows River to the Turnpike bridge, until she could have permission to go round Small Point, and then she was to run to Hallowell and Augusta, as usual.1 She was, possibly, debarred from going up the Kennebec in consequence of the smuggling carried on at that time beween Augusta and Castine, the latter being then under British authority.
The next packet to which any reference has been found was the sloop Caroline, Skolfield, master, which was advertised on September 9, 1824, to sail from Brunswick for Norfolk and Baltimore. She had "superior accommodations for eight or ten passengers."
On April 1, 1829, the sloop Hope, Captain Connelly, having been completely repaired, was advertised to ply regularly between Bourne's Wharf, at New Meadows, and Boston. The Hope continued on this route for several years.
On March 24, 1830, the packet Maquoit, Captain Anthony Chase, was advertised to ply between Brunswick and Portland. At the same time the sloop Orlando, Captain Dunning, was advertised to go between Maquoit and Boston.
March 7, 1834, the sloop Union, Captain Jordan Woodward, was advertised to make regular trips between Maquoit and Boston. In 1836 the schooner Boston took her place on this route.
In 1842 the "new and splendid" schooner Alice, Captain Robert Chase, made regular trips between Brunswick and Boston, touching at Portland. Her first trip was on May fourth. She was built expressly for this route and contained "superior accommodations for passengers." On June fifteenth, of the same year, an opposition packet, the schooner Accommodation, Captain Anthony Morse, was put upon the same route.
Some uncertainty exists as to the first steamer which ever made its appearance on the Androscoggin. Mr. Dean Swift, who has an excellent memory, and whose statements relative to many other events have been proved by recorded facts to be remarkably correct, says that the first steamer was a small, flat-bottomed one that was built about 1819, in Wiscasset, by a lawyer of the name of Gordon; that he came up the Androscoggin in this little steamer, and then returned to Wiscasset with her. Mr. Swift says, furthermore, that a year or
1. North's History of Augusta, p. 417.
two later Gordon built another small, flat-bottomed steamboat at Brunswick, and went with her to Hallowell and thence to Bath, where he sold her to Jere Hunt, wbo took her to New Meadows, cut her in two, and made two gondolas of her. This statement is undoubtedly substantially correct. Mr. Samuel Dunning, however, thinks Gordon built his steamer on the Androscoggin as early as 1816, and he is positive that it was sold to the owners of Maquoit Wharf, and not to Mr. Hunt.
Lemont1 says that the first steamer which ever went up the Kennebec was the Tom Thumb. He says she was brought down from Boston in tow of a packet in 1818, and steamed up the river; that she was an open boat, about twenty-five or thirty feet long, with side wheels and with her machinery all in sight. He says, further, that the second steamer was fitted up on Governor King's Wharf, in Bath, in 1822, and that she was a flat-bottomed boat, and was called the Kennebec.
This statement conflicts with that of Mr. Swift only so far as relates to the Kennebec River. Very likely the Tom Thumb was the first steamer to ascend the Kennebec, and the fact of a steamer coming from Wiscasset to Brunswick and Topsham a year later may not have come to the knowledge of Mr. Lemont.
In 1823 the steamer Patent, Captain Porter, which had just been put on the route between Boston and Bath,2 touched at Pennell's Wharf at Commencement time at Bowdoin College. In 18243 she ran between Boston and St. John, Nova Scotia. In 18254 she was advertised to run between New Wharf, in Brunswick, and Portland. It is thought she made but a few trips to New Wharf before her landing-place was changed to Bourne's Wharf, at New Meadows, where a stage for Bath connected with her.5
The first and only steamboat that ever made regular trips to Middle Bay was the Flushing, Captain Robert Chase, which plied regularly between Portland and New Wharf from 1846 to 1849. J. S. Cushing was the agent. No steamboat is known to have ever run regularly from Maquoit.
The steamboat Rough and Ready used to go up and down the Androscoggin, about 1847, on excursions.
On May 12, 1855, the steamboat Victor, built by Master Sampson, and owned by John R. Hebberd, F. T. Littlefield, and Mr. Woodside,
1. Historical Dates of Bath, etc., pp. 71. 72.
3. History of Camden, p. 153.
was launched at Topsham. She was well modelled and thoroughly built, was eighty feet long and twenty-four feet beam. Her engine was rated at forty horse-power. John R. Hebberd commanded her. She was intended for pleasure excursions and for a tow-boat. She made her first pleasure trip about the first of June. She was the first steamboat ever built in Topsham, and the second built on the Androscoggin.
In 1856 the pleasure-boat Elijah Kellogg, twenty-two feet in keel and seven feet in beam, built by John Given, was advertised to take pleasure parties from Pennell's or Chase's Wharf. She was built expressly for this business, and is thought to be the first of the kind built here. There are numerous pleasure-yachts owned here at the present day.
The first movement for a telegraph office in Brunswick was in 1853. On August 6, of that year, a meeting was held at the Tontine Hotel to take some action relative to securing the establishment of a telegraph office in the town. Remarks were made by General A. B. Thompson, Honorable C. J. Gilman, and General J. C. Humphreys. Messrs. W. G. Barrows, C. J. Noyes, and T. S. McLellan were appointed a committee to procure the necessary information upon which to proceed, and the meeting adjourned to be called together again by the chairman, Colonel A. J. Stone, whenever the committee were ready to report. There is no report of another meeting, but the exertions of this committee undoubtedly led the way to the establishment of an office in town. The telegraph office was opened for the first time to the public in Brunswick, in January, 1854.
The line was owned by the Maine Telegraph Company, and its wires extended from Boston to Calais. This line was afterwards leased to the American Telegraph Company, and still later to the Western Union Telegraph Company.
The first operator in Brunswick was M. H. Prescott. The office was situated on the corner of Maine Street and the depot grounds. It was afterwards removed to the depot, where, with the exception of a single year, it has remained.
The only opposition line east of Portland, previous to 1877, was that of the International Telegraph Company, which established an office in Brunswick in 1867. In 1872 the line was sold to the Western Union Company, and the instruments were removed to their office.
In 1877 the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company opened an office in Brunswick.
EXPRESSES AND HACKS.
Upon the completion of the railroad in 1849, Carpenter & Co. estab-lished an express route and opened an office in Brunswick on the first day of August of that year. Mr. A. L. Stanwood was appointed agent, and the office was in his store under the Mason Street Church. Subsequently the company consolidated with other companies under the name of the Eastern Express Company. In 1852 the office was moved to a building which stood on the lot opposite the foot of the mall, where Eaton's harness-shop is now. A few years later the building and office were removed to their present location adjoining the Tontine Hotel. Mr. Stanwood has continued the agent up to the present time, and it is worthy of record that during all this time he has not been absent from duty for any cause, excepting for one day about the year 1854.
The first public carriage other than stages was run to the depot by a Mr. Bean, upon the first opening of the road in 1849, and for a few years subsequently. Mr. Ephraim Griffin began during the same year, and has served the public faithfully as a hackman from that time to the present. Other persons have owned or driven public carriages for a longer or shorter time.