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COMMERCIAL HISTORY OF BRUNSWICK.
|Greatest elevation of land||46 ft. 5 in. 7|
|" depression "||37 ft. 8 in. 0|
|Average elevation "||29 ft. 8 in. 9|
|" depression "||24 ft. 1 in. 0|
|" elevation of whole||5 ft. 7 in. 9|
We have been unable to ascertain if any company was formed, but the canal was never built and probably never begun.
GRIST-MILLS. - Providing for the sustenance of the body is the first thing to occupy attention in a newly settled region, and though probably the very earliest settlers pounded their maize, after the mode of the Indians, in mortars of stone or iron, yet without doubt the first mills erected were grist-mills.
There is no evidence of the existence of any mill hereabouts until after the formation of the Pejepscot Company, and from the small number of settlers antecedent to that time, it is almost certain that there were none.
It appears from the record of a subsequent meeting of the proprietors, held on February 3, 1741, that this proposed mill was never erected, and as Gyles and Goodwin failed to fulfil the conditions of the grant, the right to the stream reverted to the proprietors. Inasmuch, however, as a grist-mill in this new township would be, in the opinion of the proprietors, "of great advantage for the Inhabitants to grind their Corn and tend to promote good Husbandry," they at this meeting passed a vote that the stream and gully already mentioned, together with about an acre of land, exclusive of rocks, and the exclusive privilege of building mills upon it, should be granted to their partner, Mr. Henry Gibbs and his heirs and assigns, with the proviso that he or they should "build a Grist Mill thereon, within two years from the first day of May, 1742, if no war with the Indians and French"; and in case of the occurrence of war within that time, two years was to be allowed after the termination of it, and with the further proviso that the mill should he kept in good repair as a grist-mill for five years, or in default thereof the privilege was to revert to the proprietors.
This privilege was bounded as follows:-
"Beginning at the west bastion of Fort George, thence west two Rods across the two Rod Road thence west and by north twenty-four Rods to Androscoggin River, thence down said River to a Stake standing by said River, thence South to the Northerly Corner of Fort George, thence by Fort George to the Westernmost Corner of the Bastion first-mentioned according to a Plan of the same under the hand of James Scales, Surveyor, bearing date Nov. 16, 1741." This was the origin of what was subsequently known as the "Fort Right."
In 1753 a grist-mill was erected at New Meadows, doubtless on this cove, and another at Maquoit.2
In 1769 there was a grist-mill on Mair Brook,3 where Getchell's mill now stands. There has been a mill at that place nearly all the time since, though of late years it has been not a grist, but a carding mill.
In 1794 John Peterson had a mill at New Meadows. In 1795 there was, according to a plan of Brunswick made at that time by John Given, a corn-mill on the upper dam on the Brunswick side. Reference is also made in the margin of this plan to two other corn-mills, but the map is so defaced that it is impossible to determine their locality, though there is little doubt that one of them was the one at New Meadows and the other upon the lower dam. The first grist-mill with apparatus for bolting the meal was erected in the latter part of the last century by Mr. Benjamin Stone.4
In 1819 a Mr. Quinby had a grist-mill on the bank of the river west of the cotton factory which was run by a windmill. In 1820 there was a grist-mill in operation at the upper dam, under the management of Henry Putnam, Esquire, which was spoken of at the time as being "remarkable for its perfect and ingenious system of machinery." At the same time there was a grist-mill at the end of the bridge where the pulp-mill now stands. In 1836 there were two corn and flour mills within the limits of the village, one of which was on the "Nye" privilege near the bridge, and the other was probably at the upper dam and managed by Charles B. Mitchell. In 1839, Mr. Samuel S. Wing bought a part of the Nye grist-mill. This mill was a two-story building with two runs of stones, one for wheat and one for corn. In 1842 the mill, with all the adjoining property, including the Androscoggin Bridge, was burned. It was rebuilt the next year, and one run of stones added for grinding barley. In 1850 the mill was again destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt the same year,
with three runs of stones, and in 1871 it was again burned, since when there has been no grist-mill on that privilege.
In 1859, D. and C. E. Scribner bought the privilege, now occupied by them at the Brunswick end of the old toll-bridge, and put in machinery for the manufacture of flour, wheat meal, crushed wheat, corn-meal, etc. The capacity of the mill is about two barrels of flour per hour and about fifteen bushels of meal per hour. The mill is kept running almost constantly on flour, but corn and grist work is insufficient to keep that department running all the time. The Messrs. Scribner were the first in these towns to make flour from wheat brought from the West.
SAW-MILLS. - At a meeting, held September 5, 1716, the proprietors voted to employ persons to look out a proper place for erecting one or two saw-mills within the limits of their purchase, and "that the running Gear therefor be provided Seasonably." Also that the small stream in the gully west of Fort Georges hould be granted to Gyles and Goodwin, as has already been mentioned, provided a saw-mill or grist-mill should be built thereon within one year.1
At another meeting of the proprietors, held in the following October, it was proposed, unless more convenient places could be found, that two saw-mills should be built at "Bungamunganock" Falls. On November 28, Mr. Samuel Came, of York, offered to build the running gear for a mill with two saws for £27 and the mill itself for £30. His offer was accepted, and he was desired to prepare running gear for two mills, and to set one up, early in the spring, at "Bungamunganock" Falls, and the other at the most convenient place he could find for timber, stream, etc., and to suit the settlements. To this Mr. Came agreed.
On October 14, 1717, it was agreed that Captain Gyles should be written to "to put our saw mill at Bungamunganock under Improvement till we shall take further order about it."2 From this it would appear probable that one mill had already been erected, and it is not at all unlikely that the other was built soon afterwards, though probably on the Cathance, for on April 28, 1718, it was voted that those of the proprietors who were going to Pejepscot should as soon as posible get the "mills put into good order and under good improvement."3
From a memorandum made upon the cover of the Brunswick Records, in the Pejepscot Collection, it seems that in 1753 there were
On November 14, 1761, Belcher Noyes, the proprietors' agent, deeded to David Dunning and Jeremiah Moulton the mill privilege that has since been known as the Fort Right. Its bounds, as described in the original deed, were as follows:-
"South on a road laid out to the Indian Carrying Place above the Falls, on said Androscoggin River, which is on the west side of said road to Maquoit, adjoining to lot number one, Northerly on the road laid out on the east side of said road to Maquoit to the landing Place on said Androscoggin River (exclusively of what land belongs to lot number one), and on said Androscoggin River according to the Course thereof above the Falls, so as to comprehend the land included within the said limits, exclusive of what land belongs to lot number one (together with one moiety or half part of any Rocks or Islets adjacent thereto) and one half of privilege of Stream." This included all the land north of Mill and Mason Streets, between the town landing and the upper dam.
By a vote of the proprietors, October 22, 1762, the right and privilege granted by this deed was extended so as to embrace the Topsham side of the river. This "right" afterwards became divided among the heirs and those to whom a portion of it had previously been sold, and the larger part of it is now owned by the Cabot Manufacturing Company, although Scribner's flour-mill and the mills in the Cove are located upon it.
In 1767, Esquire Woodside was the owner of a saw-mill,3 which was probably at Bunganock.
About the year 1772 two saw-mills were erected about where the pulp-mill now is, by Joshua Nye and Andrew Dunning. In 1792, Samuel Stanwood had a mill at Maquoit.
In 1795 there were, according to Given's plan of Brunswick, two saw-mills on the upper falls and one on the lower, besides four other
saw-mills, the exact location of which cannot be determined in consequence of the defaced state of the map. One of them was probably the so-called "Folly" mill, which stood about where the Factory Gas-House now stands. This mill received its name in consequence of what was deemed, at the time, an act of folly. The brook which was to supply the water came from the swamp, which then existed where the depot now is, and ran down what is now Union Street and under Mill Street. On or near the mouth of this stream, Mr. Samuel Page built a mill, which of course failed to be of much practical benefit on account of the small and intermittent supply of water.
In the latter part of the last century Captain John Peterson had a saw-mill at New Meadows.
On July 8, 1808, Johnson Wilson received a deed of Shad Island, then called Fishing Rock Island, and not long afterwards he erected a double mill upon it.
On June 10, 1816, Ephraim Jones entered into an agreement with William Frost and Nathaniel Greene, of Topsham, and perhaps with others, to build a saw-mill on this island, sixty-five by forty feet in size, and to have it finished by August 10. The mill was built that year.
There were at the falls, in 1820, including those in Topsham, twenty-five saws. It has not been found practicable to obtain reliable infor-mation as to the exact date of erection of many of these mills. Their number at this time shows conclusively the importance of the lumber business then carried on, and consequently the thriving condition of these places. It was estimated at this time that not less than 500,000 feet of boards were cut annually by each saw. This would amount to 12,500,000 feet in a year, which, at seven dollars per thousand, would amount to $175,000. The greater part of this lumber was shipped by the way of Bath, and the rivers and bays on the south of the town. The revenue to the government from the duties assessed on the lumber in the two towns is said to have been not less than $75,000. A force of about three hundred men was employed in and about the saw-mills:1
There was also at this time a clapboard manufactory, the machinery for which was invented by Mr. Robert Eastman, of Brunswick. The machinery, though simple, was so constructed that it would cut two clapboards in a minute, regulate itself, and cut one hundred and twenty clapboards in an hour, from a block two feet in diameter. About 600,000 could be cut in a season.2
In 1825 a number of these mills were destroyed by what is known as the "Great Fire."
A double saw-mill, which was erected by Jonathan Page near the ruins of the Great Fire, probably this year, was carried away by a freshet in 1827.
In 1831, Mr. Samuel S. Wing, who had for a year and a half previously manufactured sugar-box shooks for a Boston firm, in a mill owned by Benjamin Weld, Esquire, where the pulp-mill now stands, bought out their interest, and commenced the business on his own account. He continued in the business for twenty-five years, a part of the time having three box-machines in operation at the same time. One of these machines was on the lower falls, one on Shad Island, and the other on the upper falls. These three machines manufactured annually upwards of 3,000,000 feet of pine boards.
In 1836 there were twenty saws in Brunswick Village, besides mills of other kinds. The same year Eliphalet P. Pike & Co. built a large saw-mill containing four saws, and a clapboard-mill, on Goat Island. The water was brought from the upper dam by means of a flume, and a bridge connected the island with the Brunswick shore. There was additional space sufficient for four to six more saws. This mill was carried off in 1839. A saw-mill was also erected in 1836 near the toll-bridge.
In 1848, J. C. Humphreys & Co. erected two steam-mills on a point extending into the river about two miles below the village. The machinery of these mills was propelled by two seventeen-inch cylinder engines, which drove one gang-saw, two upright single saws, two shingle, one clapboard, and one lath machine, one machine for making heads for molasses hogsheads, and two machines for making shooks, besides edging, cutting off, and other saws. About 500,000 feet of lumber was manufactured at that time. This company had a ship-yard adjoining their mills. One of these mills was burned in 1864.
In 1857 what was known as the Bourne Mill, in the Cove, was burned. It was built by Abner Bourne early in the present century. In 1856 this mill belonged to R. T. Dunlap, C. J. Gilman, A. B. Thompson, and Ward Coburn.
In 1845, Mr. Abizer Jordan had in operation a machine for planing boards. It is supposed to have been the first one in operation in Brunswick.
In 1859, Messrs. Samson and Eben Colby, of Topsham, bought the Samuel S. Wing Property in Brunswick, at the end of the bridge,
The most flourishing time in this vicinity, so far as relates to the lumbering business, was undoubtedly between 1835 and 1845. In 1839 there were thirty saws in Brunswick alone. It has been found impracticable to give all the changes of ownership in mill property which have taken place within this century. Among those who have been prominently connected with the lumber business in Brunswick, who have not already been named, may be mentioned Paul Hall and Colonel William Stanwood, who owned the Nye mill in 1800 and subsequently; Captain John Dunlap, who was part owner in a mill on the upper dam in 1800, as well as before and after that date; A. B. Thompson and J. C. Humphreys, who formed a copartnership and carried on the lumber business in a mill at the Cove, about 1825, and did an extensive business until they dissolved, in 1850.
About 1820, Abner Bourne, Richard and David Dunlap, William E. Weld, and Charles Weld were engaged in this business. David Dunlap was, doubtless, the largest mill-owner for many years. In 1829 he owned one saw and a half on the upper dam and two saws in the Cove. In 1831 he sold one half his whole interest to Rodney Forsaith, and they continued in partnership until 1836, when Forsaith bought his remaining interest and kept it until 1845, when the co-partnership of Lemont (Adam), Forsaith (Rodney), & Hall (William H.) was made, and continued until about 1858. From about 1830 to 1850, Alfred J. Stone and William H. Morse carried on an extensive business. From 1837 to 1856, Joseph Lunt, 2d, was engaged in this business; Burt Townsend, from about 1818 to about 1838; Phineas Taylor, about 1820; and Ward Coburn and Artemas Coburn, somewhat later, were engaged also in this business.
There are now but two saw-mills in operation in Brunswick. They are in the Cove and are owned, one by C. H. Colby and the other by Hiram Toothaker and Trueworthy Brown.
The stringing together of logs across the river, in order to catch the loose logs that might escape from rafts, or be floated from the shores, was doubtless done in the very earliest period of the lumber business, hut the erection of regular booms and the incorporation of a company for the express purpose of collecting stray logs did not occur until towards the latter part of the last century. These booms were made of wooden piers filled with stone and connected by timbers fastened with irons. Some of the "King's Masts" were put into a boom below the bridge, by Brigadier Thompson. They were afterwards taken out and put into a boom above the bridge, and were some of them still in use as late as March 22, 1856, having stood this service for about seventy years.
The first boom known to have been erected on the river was the Androscoggin Boom, which extended from Ferry Point to Mason's Rock. The proprietors were Samuel Thompson, Esquire, Ezekiel Thompson, Benjamin Thompson, Stephen Purrington, Thomas Thompson, James Purrington, James Wilson, Humphrey Thompson, and James Thompson. They were incorporated February 14, 1789.1
Another company was formed March 15, 1805, at which time the General Court of Massachusetts enacted "that Thomas Thompson, William Stanwood, Elijah Hall, Paul Hall, Humphrey Puriuton, Cor-nelius Thompson, Trueworthy Kilgore, Francis Tucker, and Johnson Wilson, and their associates, successors, and assigns be, and they are hereby constituted a corporation for making, laying, and maintaining side-booms in suitable and convenient places in Androscoggin River, from Androscoggin Bridge to the Narrows of said river, in Brunswick and Topsham, so long as they shall continue proprietors of the fund raised, or which may be hereafter raised for that purpose, and shall be a body politic by the name of THE PROPRIETORS OF SIDE-BOOMS IN ANDROSCOGGIN RIVER, and by that name may sue," etc.
The company was entitled to receive compensation of the owners of logs and other lumber by them rafted and properly secured for the owner, the fees being regulated by the charter.
On February 29, 1812, an additional Act authorized the proprietors of side-booms in the Androscoggin River to extend side-booms above the lower falls.
In 1820 there were six booms above and five below the falls.
In October, 1855, three of these booms, said to have cost about $40,000, were carried away by a freshet. There are now no traces of these booms to be seen below the falls. Above the falls can be seen, at low water, the ruins of several stone piers to which the boom-sticks were formerly attached.
Coming under the general term of mills are several which are usually designated as factories. Of these some were for the manufacture of cotton and some of woollen goods. In early times the manufacture of clothing was quite laborious, as there were then no carding-machines. After the sheep were shorn in the spring the neighbors used to collect for "wool-breaking," as the preparing the wool for the spinning-wheel was called, and after the labor was over the time was spent in amusement and social intercourse.1
The first factory was established by the BRUNSWICK COTTON MANUFACTORY COMPANY, which was incorporated March 4, 1809. Ezra Smith, William King, and Doctor Porter were among the proprietors. The company was formed for the manufacture of cotton yarn, which was shipped to other mills to be made into cloth. The mill did not prove a success, and it is said that the stockholders lost all their capital. No cloth was made in this mill.2 The mill was a three-story, gambrel-roofed, wooden building, and stood close to the river, on the left-hand side of the lane which passes the east end of the present mill.3 The machinery was put in by Robert Eastman and James Jones.
The second mill was that of the MAINE COTTON AND WOOLLEN FACTORY COMPANY, which was incorporated in October, 1812. This company erected a wooden mill about where the blacksmith shop of the Cabot Company now stands. They also bought the building of the Brunswick Company, which they used for a storehouse. Deacon John Perry was the first agent.
In 1820 there were 1,248 cotton spindles in full operation, and two hundred and forty woollen spindles; nine woollen looms, and carding and fulling machines in proportion. 100,000 yards of cotton cloth were turned off in a season, "and the broadcloths, from full-blooded merinos, do not follow haud passibus æquis, those of Manchester." About one hundred operatives were employed at that time.1
Both these mills were destroyed in the fire of 1825, the old building being used at the time as a storehouse. Soon after the fire, a mill for carding wool and dressing cloth was established by John Dyer. It was called the EAGLE FACTORY. It stood on the west side of the Shad Island road, near the end of the present mill. It was removed in 1834 across the road, and is now occupied as a tenement.
The BRUNSWICK COMPANY was incorporated in 1834. The corporators were Isaac Lincoln, Joseph McKeen, Richard T. Dunlap, Abner B. T Thompson, Ebenezer Everett, Nathaniel Davis, John C. Humphreys, David Dunlap, Noah Hinkley, Elijah P. Pike, Narcissa Stone, Robert P. Dunlap, Thomas Pennell, John Dunning, and James McKeen. They were empowered to manufacture cotton, wool, iron, and steel, and other raw material necessarily connected therewith; and to erect mills, dams, works, machines, and buildings on their own land. They were afterwards, by an additional Act, authorized to carry on the manufacturing business in the town of Topsham, as well as in Brunswick.
According to the by-laws, the stock of the company was divided into shares of one hundred dollars each. The following was the property belonging to the company in 1836:-
"1. A new mill of undressed granite, five stories high, 146 feet long, 45 wide, capable of containing 5,120 spindles of cotton spinning.
"2. Four additional mill-sites of equal extent with the last, two dwelling-houses three stories high, one store, a counting-room, stone picker-house, cotton store, and forging-shop, all completely finished, with convenient land for their use, all situated in Brunswick, and four mill-sites in Topsham.
"3. The whole breadth of the river with the islands and dams, thirteen and a half acres of land in Brunswick and Topsham, and water-power sufficient to carry as many saws and spindles of cotton machinery as there is space to erect the mills."
At a meeting of this company, August 10, 1836, the following officers were chosen:--
This firm, after carrying on the business for a few years, failed, and the mill went into other hands.
On July 3, 1847, the WARUMBO MANUFACTURING COMPANY was incorporated. The stock of this company "consisted of mortgages and other claims on the late firm of Kimball & Coburn, which fell into their hands for debts against the said firm, of which they expected to realize nothing except through the earnings of the factory, and of other mortgaged property in Brunswick, subject to an amount of prior encumbrances exceeding $40,000."
The company was organized in the summer of 1848. Who were the directors at that time is not known, but in 1849 they were Abner B. Thompson, John Coburn, Nathaniel Davis, James K. Mills, Thomas Gray, Hollis Thayer, and William Perkins. This company carried on business but a few years before it also failed, probably on account of the encumbrances upon its property and the heavy liabilities it had to meet. The regulations of this company in regard to its operatives were quite strict. Amongst others was one refusing to employ any one "who is habitually absent from public worship on the Sabbath, or who uses profane or indecent language in the mill or elsewhere, or who uses ardent spirits as a beverage."
The Warumbo Company was succeeded by the CABOT COMPANY. This company bought the factory in 1853, but on account of debt and a number of the stockholders failing to pay their assessments, it was sold at auction in 1857. A number of the former members bought up the stock, and organized a company under the name of THE CABOT MANUFACTURING COMPANY, with a capital of $400,000. In 1857 the company had two hundred and thirty-five looms in operation and had expended $40,000. There were 9,000 spindles at work; the mill gave employment to one hundred and seventy-five persons, at a total
The BRUNSWICK WOOLLEN FACTORY was established by Whitten & Meder in 1841. It was situated a short distance below the upper dam, and the water was brought to it through a flume. This mill was not only a fulling and carding mill, but cloth was manufactured in it. The business was carried on by this firm until the mill was burned in 1849. Since then it has been carried on in various localities by the late Mr. William Whitten alone, whose business, however, was confined exclusively to wool carding.
A WARP YARN MANUFACTORY was carried on by Mr. Allen Colby, from 1844 to the latter part of 1846, on the spot where Scribner's flour-mill now stands.
A partially successful attempt has been made to utilize the water-power of the Androscoggin away from the vicinity of the river by using it for the purpose of compressing air which could be sent through pipes to the places where needed. For this purpose the COMPRESSED-AIR COMPANY was formed, and in 1872 pipes were laid and the air-power was used in Dennison's box factory, at Parent & Dufrend's blacksmith shop, at the depot, in the college laboratory, and at the printing-office of the Brunswick Telegraph. After a trial of one or two years the project was abandoned, owing principally to the action of the railroad company, which decided to use steam in preference to the air-power. This deprived the Compressed-Air Company of its principal source of revenue, and it was obliged to suspend operations.
BANDBOX MANUFACTORY.-From 1850 to 1860, Mr. B. G. Denions carried on the manufacture of bandboxes quite extensively, employ-ing eight or ten persons. The boxes were made in eight sizes and put up in "nests." Three of these nests were put up in one bundle. They were sold in Boston to wholesale dealers in millinery goods. At that time the bandbox was an indispensable article with the ladies, and the manufacture of them was a profitable business. After the modern improvements in trunks came into vogue, they were less used in travelling, and are now almost unknown.
BRICK-YARDS.-At what time, and where, the earliest brick-yards were, has not been ascertained. There have probably been one or more in operation from an early period of the settlement of the town. The earliest yard which has come to our notice was one near Gatchell's Mills, owned by Unite Mariner and Barstow Gatchell. This yard was established about the year 1800, and if tradition is correct, it fur-nished the brick for the first college building, Massachusetts Hall.
In 1817, and previously, John A. Dunning had a brick-yard at the upper carrying-place. In 1830 there was a brick-yard at Mair Point. In 1840, and previously, Forsaith & Williston had a yard on Noble Street, near Union Street. In 1855, and subsequently, Owen & McManus carried on the business near the end of the lower railroad bridge. In 1857, J. W. Owen and John A. Cleaveland had a yard at Oak Hill, and Theodore S. McLellan had one on the new Harpswell road, about half a mile below the colleges. The latter yard was kept in operation until 1870, when Mr. McLellan established his present yard on Federal Street. The business appears to have been the most extensively carried on in 1857, at which time there were three yards in operation. The three together turned out in that year about 700,000 bricks.
CARPET-MAKING. -In 1829, Mr. Robert Pender, "formerly from one of the first factories in Scotland, but recently from the Somers-worth Factory," commenced the manufacture of ingrain carpeting, on Bow Street, "from the most fashionable patterns imported."
The advertisement from which the above is taken goes on to state that "his machinery is on the most approved model, and figures of any kind can be woven to suit the fancy of his employers. Persons wishing to have carpeting woven, by sending to the factory the yarn well scoured and colored can have the same weight of carpeting returned."
CLOCK, WATCH, AND JEWELRY ESTABLISHMENTS. -The first manufacturer of clocks and watches and dealer in jewelry in this vicinity was a Mr. Bisbee, who carried on this business about 1798, and for quite a number of years later. He was a very cunning artificer. His shop was on Mill Street, a short distance west of Bow Street. His sign was a carved figure of a horse with a black boy upon it, with a whip in his hands. When the hour was to be announced, the boy would strike the horse and the latter would kick the bell with his heels. It was a curious piece of mechanism. Subsequent to 1802 his shop stood where Andrew Campbell's store now stands, on the corner of Maine and Lincoln Streets.
About 1805, Robert Eastman established himself in the clock-making business, with James Cary, Junior, as an apprentice. In 1806, Mr. Eastman took Mr. Cary into the business as partner, under the style of Eastman & Cary.
Mrs. J. D. Lamb has in her possession a large standing clock which was made by this firm in 1806, the cost of which was eighty dollars. It has never had any repairs made to it excepting new cords for the weights twice, and it is now, as it ever has been, an excellent time-keeper.
About 1809, Mr. Eastman sold out to Mr. Cary, who carried on the business in all its branches for many years. He was an honest, conscientious workman and trader, and was highly esteemed.
In this connection it will not be improper to speak of one of the most important improvements ever made in the manufacture of watches, and to give a brief sketch of the inventor.
AARON L. DENNISON, the inventor of machine-made watches, was born in Freeport in 1812. His father, Andrew Dennison, moved to Topsham in 1818, and to Brunswick in 1824. Aaron, when quite young, displayed a mechanical turn of mind and much ingenuity in the use of his jack-knife. At an early age he would leave his youthful playmates and steal away to the shop of James Cary and ask permission to be allowed to help repair clocks and watches. In 1830 he was received into Mr. Cary's shop as an apprentice. After he had served his time he went to Boston, where he soon become conspicuous among the finished mechanicians of that metropolis.
It was during the years of his laborious life in Boston that Aaron Dennison evolved a plan for making the works of watches by
machinery, and with such accuracy and uniformity that any given part of one watch should be identical with the same part of every other, or what he called the interchangeable plan. As early as 1840, Mr. Dennison had so fully matured his plan, and was so confident of its practicability, that he predicted to a friend "that within twenty years the manufacture of watches would be reduced to as perfect a system as the manufacture of fire-arms at the Springfield Armory." In 1849, Mr. Dennison, in conjunction with Messrs. Howard & Davis and Samuel Curtis of Boston, established the first watch factory, "The Boston Watch Company," at East Roxbury, Massachusetts. In 1854 the works were moved to Waltham. The Waltham Watch Factory is too well known to need any description here, which would indeed be out of place. The foregoing account, however, of its founder, is due to the master workman of whom he learned his trade and to the town in which his parents and connections have so long lived.
FOUNDRIES. - For four or five years, about 1812, Peter O. Alden, Esquire, had an iron foundry in the rear of the lot now occupied by the new meeting-house of the Free-Will Baptist society, on O'Brien Street. The United States government sent disabled cannon to this foundry, and they were cast into shot, most of which were sent to Portland for use in the war of 1812-14.
In 1827 there was a copper and brass foundry carried on by Paul Powers near the present cotton-mill of the Cabot Company. In 1834, Mr. Powers moved his business to the head of the cove, where he continued for some years.
In 1836, G. & H. Earle had an iron foundry, which was situated on the bank of the river, a short distance east of the Shad island bridge. They were succeeded by Charles J. Noyes. The river-wall of the foundation is still to be seen.
In 1844, J. Colbath had a foundry in the rear of the vacant space between Scribner's flour-mill and Purington's machine-shop.
GAS MANUFACTURE. -The Brunswick Gas-Light Company was incorporated April 4, 1854. The corporators were Adam Lemont, J. D. Simmons, Rodney Forsaith, Nathaniel T. Palmer, A. J. Stone, A. B. Thompson, William H. Hall, and J. W. Forsaith. The first meeting was held October 4, 1856, at the Tontine Hotel, and adjourned from time to time without transacting any business, until the year 1859. At that time the Cabot Manufacturing Company were building gas-works for their own use, and the Brunswick Gas-Light Company made a contract with them to furnish the amount of gas needed. They have continued to furnish it up to the present time.
At the annual meeting in 1859, Benjamin Greene, Benjamin Furbish, John D. Lincoln, Charles J. Gilman, and Samuel R. Jackson were chosen directors. Benjamin Greene was chosen president, and B. G. Dennison, secretary, treasurer, and superintendent. In the fall of 1859, pipes were laid from the factory up Maine Street as far as Pleasant Street. In the summer of 1868 they were extended to the colleges, passing the east side of the Mall. The citizens began using gas January 1, 1860, and the first street-lamp was lighted about 1864.
LIME QUARRY. -Robert Jordan built the first lime-kiln at New Meadows about 1800. It is the same one now in use. Its capacity is about one hundred and seventy-five casks. In 1820 there were 1,500 hogsheads of lime manufactured there. The last burnt was used in the construction of Lemont Hall in 1870 or 1871. This kiln has sometimes been run the whole season, from April to December, by Mr. Isaiah Jordan, the present owner of the quarry.
MACHINE-SHOPS. -In 1827, and for some years previous, Robert Eastman and ---Jaquith had a machine-shop next to the bridge, where the pulp-mill is now situated. About the same time Nahum Houghton established a shop where Scribner's flour-mill now is, and continued the business there for some years, as late certainly as 1836. Purington's machine-shop was established in 1872.
MATCH-FACTORY. -In about the year 1849 the manufacture of matches and match-boxes was begun in a mill on Shad Island, by B. E. Parkhurst, who continued the business until 1854, when the mill was destroyed by fire. The matches were sawed at this mill, and were then sent to Boston, where they were dipped and prepared for market.
MUSTARD-MILL. -About the year 1830, J. C. Humphreys established what was known as the MAINE MUSTARD-MILL, using for the purpose the upper part of his saw-mill in the Cove. For ten or twelve years he did an extensive business in this branch of industry, and the mustard from his mill enjoyed an almost national fame. The mill was burned in 1842, and General Humphreys then abandoned the business.
OIL-MILL. - In 1820 a mill was erected near the factory for expressing linseed oil. It probably existed but for a short time, as some of the older citizens of the town have no remembrance of it.
PAIL MANUFACTORY. - In 1825, and for three or four years subsequently, Nahum Houghton and William Chase manufactured water-pails at the end of the toll-bridge, where Scribner's flour-mill now stands. J. C. Humphreys carried on the same business for a year or two from 1835.
In 1875, B. L. Dennison commenced the manufacture of boxes, taking with him, in the business, Mr. C. J. Perkins, of Portland. This firm of Dennison & Perkins gives employment to twenty-five or thirty persons. The amount paid for labor alone, in this industry, in Brunswick, may be safely estimated as high as $25,000 per year.
PAPER STAINING MANUFACTORY. -About the year 1820, and for several years subsequently, Mr. William Snowdon carried on the business of staining, or printing, wall papers, in a building which stood a short distance south of the college grounds.
PLOUGH MANUFACTORY. -In 1850, Silas Goddard commenced the manufacture of steel and iron ploughs, cultivators, etc., at the Godard homestead, at the extreme western part of Brunswick. The manufacture has been continued to the present time, and some excellent work has been turned out.
PULP MANUFACTORY. -The Androscoggin Pulp Company was incorporated in September, 1870, for the manufacture of wood pulp, box boards, and card middles. The stockholders then were: Samuel R. Jackson, of Brunswick; S. A. Perkins, F. A. Hussey, of Topsham; E. B. Dennison, and C. D. Brown, then of Yarmouth. The capital stock was $6,000. The officers were S. R. Jackson, president, and E. B. Dennison, secretary and treasurer. They commenced the manufacture of wood pulp in the fall of 1871, in Topsham, but removed to the Brunswick side of the river in the fall of 1872. The present capital of the company is $60,000. William A. Russell, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, is president, and E. B. Dennison, of Portland, is the secretary and treasurer. From forty to fifty workmen are employed in the manufacture of wood pulp and wood-pulp boards, both of which are shipped all over the country. There are several mills in different parts of the State, which are operated under a license from this company.
SALT WORKS.-During the war of the Revolution, and down to the close of the war of 1812, salt was manufactured at the New Meadows River. Benjamin Shaw,1 of Roxbury, Massachusetts, and John Bakeman,2 of Castine, were engaged in the business at New Meadows during the Revolution.
SOAP FACTORY. -In 1820 there was a manufactory of soap in the Cove, carried on by Dean Swift, at which 12,000 pounds of hard soap was annually made, and shipped to the West Indies. In 1874, and for a few years previously, Levi F. Andrews had a similar factory in East Brunswick, and L. H. Bryant now carries on the business a short distance from the village, on the road to Bath.
TOOL MANUFACTORIES. - For five or six years, about 1844, Mr. E. Hazen carried on the business of manufacturing hammers, and produced some excellent articles. In 1854, J. P. Storer manufactured ship-joiners' and spar-makers' tools, and in 1856 he added to it the manufacture of planes.
OTHER INDUSTRIES. -It is not at all probable that all the various branches of industry that have from time to time been carried on in this town have been specified, or that all the parties have been named who have been engaged in those pursuits which have been mentioned. Enough has been given, however, to show that the town will compare favorably, in respect to its trade and manufactures, with other towns of its size in this State. It will, moreover, be seen that, though the location of Bowdoin College in Brunswick has been, in various ways, a great and undoubted benefit to the town, yet the statement so often made, that the college supports the town, is untrue.
In ante-revolutionary times the principal business here, besides farming and fishing, was the shipping of wood to Boston. A great deal of it went from Bunganock Bay. At one time during that period, a vessel took over ninety cords. The price here was from 3s. 9p. to 4s. 6d. per cord, and it brought in Boston from two dollars to two dollars and fifty cents per cord. At that time bark was worth here 9s., and at Boston three dollars.
During old colonial times, especially between 1766 and 1776, when the Province of Maine was under the control of the crown officers of Massachusetts, all trees suitable for masts for the royal navy were, by royal decree, held to be the property of the crown, and commissioners were appointed by the king to look after their preservation. This interfered seriously with the profits of the settlers, as it was the custom of the commissioners to put the royal mark on all the good timber, leaving only the poorer stuff for those who in reality, perhaps, had the most equitable right to the best. As a natural consequence the settlers paid comparatively little attention to the royal decree, and cut the wood as they pleased. This brought about frequent collisions between them and the officers of the crown. Such was the state of affairs in the Province of Maine generally, and it is fairly presumable that the citizens of this town and vicinity shared in these troubles, though no mention of such fact has been found.
In January, 1822, Abner Bourne and others petitioned the legislature for incorporation as a bank. The Act incorporating them was passed, and in 1825 the UNION BANK, of Brunswick, went into operation. David Dunlap was the first president, and Ebenezer Everett the cashier. The latter served in the same capacity, with great acceptance, for fourteen years, and was then succeeded by Joseph McKeen, who served until the affairs of the bank were wound up. Mr. Dunlap resigned some time before his decease, in 1843, and was succeeded by Major William Frost, of Topsham.
The BRUNSWICK BANK went into operation August 15, 1836, and the bank building was erected that year. Richard T. Dunlap was the first president, and Moses E. Woodman the cashier. The directors were Richard T. Dunlap, George F. Richardson, Alfred J. Stone, John C. Humphreys, and Gardiner Green. Mr. Woodman held the office of cashier until 1839, when he resigned in consequence of ill health. He was succeeded by Phineas Barnes, who resigned in 1841, and was succeeded by Augustus C. Robbins. The latter served from November 1, 1841, until December 31, 1850, and was then succeeded by John Rogers, who remained until the closing up of the bank in 1857. The capital stock of this bank was $75,000, fifty per cent being paid at the outset.
THE SECOND UNION BANK received its charter in July, 1850, and commenced operations January 1, 1851. Joseph McKeen, Esq., was its president to October 14, 1863, and was succeeded by Adam Lemont, who served until the closing of the bank in 1865. Augustus C. Robbins was cashier from the opening of the bank to September 9, 1857. He was succeeded by Bartlett Adams, who served until July 1, 1865, at which time the bank was changed to a national bank. The capital stock was, up to May 1, 1858, $100,000. After the latter date it was $50,000.
The MAINE BANK was incorporated April 22, 1857, and went into operation on the eighteenth of June. Its capital stock was $50,000. Samuel R. Jackson served as president from June 18, 1857, to December 9, 1862, and again from October 19, 1863, to December 17, 1863. Nathaniel T. Palmer was president from December 9, 1862, to October 19, 1863. Augustus C. Robbins was cashier from June 18, 1857, to November 1, 1859; and Ai Brooks, Jr. from November 1, 1859, to December 17, 1863, at which time the bank ceased to exist as a State bank.
The PEJEPSCOT BANK went into operation October 2, 1857, with a capital stock of $75,000, of which one half was paid in. The officers of this bank were Joseph Badger, president; John Rogers, cashier; Joseph Badger, William Barron, Alfred Skolfield, T. S. McLellan, and H. C. Martin, directors.
In June, 1865, this bank was changed into a national bank. The capital stock was $50,000. William Barron was the first president of the national bank. He was succeeded in January, 1866, by William S. Skolfield, who served until 1875, when H. C. Martin was elected to that office.
John Rogers, who was cashier of the Pejepscot Bank, continued as cashier of the Pejepscot National Bank until August, 1871, when he was found to be a defaulter to the bank, and was arrested and sent to the State prison for the crime. In November of the same year Mr. L. H. Stover was elected cashier, which office he still holds.
The FIRST NATIONAL BANK of Brunswick (formerly the Maine) was organized December 17, 1863, with a capital stock of $50,000, which was increased in 1864 to $75,000, and in 1865 to $100,000. Samuel R. Jackson was president from December 17, 1863, to January 10, 1871, and was then succeeded by Nathaniel T. Palmer, who still retains the office. Ai Brooks, Jr., was cashier to July 1, 1868, when he was succeeded by John P. Winchell, the present incumbent.
The UNION NATIONAL BANK (formerly the Second Union Bank) was organized in July, 1865, with a capital stock of $100,000. Adam Lemont served as president till May 22, 1872, when he was succeeded by William Decker, who is the present president of the bank. Bartlett Adams served as cashier from July, 1865, to May, 1868, when he was succeeded by H. A. Randall, the present incumbent of that office.
The BRUNSWICK SAVINGS INSTITUTION was incorporated March 20, 1858. The following is a list of its presidents since then:--
Amherst Whitmore. elected May 11. 1858; Robert Bowker. elected November 1, 1859; John W. Perry, elected May 6, 1862; John L. Swift, elected May 5, 1863; Benjamin Greene, elected May 7, 1867; C. C. Humphreys, elected May 21, 1868; John L. Swift, elected March 4, 1875.
The present Board of Trustees are: Henry Carvill. president; Henry Carvill, Benjamin Greene. A. H. Merryman, Alonzo Day, and John Bishop, trustees; J. M. Winchell, treasurer.
The deposits of the institution in May, 1877, amounted to some over $313,000.
The TOPSHAM AND BRUNSWICK TWENTY-FIVE CENTS SAVINGS BANK
The trustees of the bank in 1875 were Robert Skolfield, 0. B. Merrill, Daniel H. Stone, J. F. Whitney, George Barron, E. D. Toothaker, and Wildes P. Walker. The bank is in a prosperous condition.
THE BRUNSWICK MUTUAL MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY was formed in 1856. It had a guaranteed fund of $260,000. The officers were Robert McManus, Abner B. Thompson, George F. Mustard, John C. Humphreys, Rodney Forsaith, Samuel Dunning, Robert Bowker, Adam Lemont, Clement Skolfield, Francis T. Purinton, Nehemiah Larrabee, Robert Spear, William S. Skolfield, James Ross, William Decker, directors; Adam Lemont, president; J. W. Forsaith, secretary.
This company was not successful and was obliged to make three assessments upon its stockholders, one of five per cent, one of ten per cent, and one of nine per cent.
In 1865 the affairs of the company were placed in the hands of trustees, Nathan Webb of Portland and C. C. Humphreys of Brunswick, by whose order the last assessment was made and the business of the company was then wound up.
Some account will now be given of the regular occupations of the citizens of Brunswick, and of those who were engaged in trade at an early period or who have been particularly prominent in their several avocations. It was intended to give as complete a list of all in each trade as could be obtained, but the size which this work has already attained renders it imperatively necessary to omit the names of all now in business and to speak only of the earlier ones.
AUCTIONEERS. - The first of whom there is any account was John Lee, who was in this business in 1821. After him, in 1829, was John Coburn. Charles Weld was soon after this engaged in the business for a few years. Longer in the business than any one else was J. W. For-saith, who followed it from about 1837 until 1876.
BAKERS.-The first baker in town is believed to have been Frederick Trench, who came here from Boston about the year 1792. At first he lived at Maquoit, but afterwards he occupied a small house near the colleges, where he baked gingerbread and brewed spruce beer, which he sold to the students and allowed them to keep the accounts. He
In 1802, and for a few years subsequently, Colonel Thomas Estabrook carried on the business in a building which stood on what is now the road between the meeting-house of the First Parish and the college grounds.
About the year 1812, Ezra Drew had a bakery near the top of the hill which leads to the Androscoggin Bridge. He carried on the business there and elsewhere for ten or a dozen years, the latter portion of the time being in the gambrel-roofed building, still standing on Centre Street.
Francis Card had a bakery in 1819, and carried on the business until 1827, when he sold out to William Harmon, wbo continued the business until about 1845.
BARBERS. --"Billy " Morrison was, according to tradition, the first barber and hair-cutter in Brunswick. He carried on the business early in this century, but precisely when is not known. Nicholas Juitt was in the business as early as 1827. Among his successors were J. H. Rogers in 1836; John Hill, 1836; Farrow & Chavrous, 1845; Henry Robinson, 1848; and J. H. Tebbetts, 1849, and to tbe present time.
BLACKSMITHS. - Mr. Andrew Dunning, who settled at Maquoit in 1717, was a blacksmith by trade, and undoubtedly pursued that avocation for many years.
The next person engaged in this business of whom we have any account was Colonel William Stanwood, whose shop stood on what is now the nortbwesterly corner of Centre Street, about on tbe site of the building now (1877) occupied by Larkin Snow, grocer, and J. H. Brackett, tailor. Colonel Stanwood carried on the business for some years previous to 1790. James McFarland, who learned his trade of Colonel Stanwood, took the sbop about 1790 and continued the business until 1797, when he moved away and the shop was torn down. About tbe same time that McFarland carried on the business Calvin Barstow had a shop, and in 1795 Theodore Stone worked at this trade. Since then the business has been carried on by a large number of persons, among whom may be mentioned Nathan Woodard, about 1809; James Jones, about 1810; Jones & Hunt, in 1825; Daniel Coombs, on Mason Street, for many years previous to 1825; Joseph Dustin, about 1820; Barker & Stinchfield on Maine Street, about 1825, said to have been superior workmen; John Noble, Mill Street, 1825 to 1838; Benjamin French, 1838 and subsequently;
In addition to the above, there was, early in the present century, though the exact date is not known, a blacksmith shop on the corner of Federal and Water Streets, where the Nehemiah Larrabee house now stands. Trueworthy Murray occupied it at one time, and before him was William Hunt.
BOAT-BUILDERS. -The only person in Brunswick who is known to have made the building of boats a regular occupation was Wyman Bradbury. He was engaged in this business about the year 1740.
BOOKBINDERS. - The earliest bookbinder in Brunswick of whom there is any record was Benjamin B. Hazeltine, who carried on the business in 1820. He was also a manufacturer of pocket-books, military belts, and blank books. He was succeeded by Henry K. Adams, who carried on the business until 1828, when he was followed by Edward Town, who worked at the trade for about one year. Benjamin G. Dennison had a bookbindery from about 1833 until 1855, when he sold out to H. J. L. Stanwood.
BOOT AND SHOE MAKERS. -Anthony1 and William2 Vincent, one or both, are said to have been engaged in this business prior to 1760. The former is said to have been engaged in it about 1735. No date is given in regard to the business of the latter, but he is said to have pursued it at the fort. Tobias Ham, according to a family tradition, was a shoemaker, as well as tanner, and carried on the business, with his farming and tanning, about the middle of the last century. Joseph Jack worked at the trade about 1802, and Jesse P. Mitchell some years later than that. Ebenezer Nichols had a shop about the year 1800. The number of shoemakers since that time is too great to admit of enumeration.
BUTCHERS. - There were, probably, persons engaged in this occupation very early in the settlement of the place, but the first person known to have made it an exclusive business was Samuel Beal, who carried on quite an extensive business a few years subsequent to 1802. Somewhere about 1820, Jonathan Pollard carried on the business. Ebenezer Swett, who in his advertisements styled himself "Knight of the Cleaver and Professor Of Grease," was engaged in the business in 1840, and for many years subsequently.
CABINET-MAKERS. - The only persons known to have been engaged in this business were Shimuel and William Owen, in 1802; John Owen, 1804;
CHAIR-MAKERS. - In 1825, Andrew Dewey carried on the manufacture of chairs in a building a few rods south of Elm Street, about where the Brunswick House now stands. In 1845 the same business was carried on by Samuel Owen and son, on Maine Street, a few rods north of Elm Street.
CARRIAGE-MAKERS AND WHEELWRIGHTS. - In 1802 and for a number of years previously and subsequently, Timothy Weymouth carried on the business of making cart-wheels in a building which stood on the site of the present meeting-house of the First Parish. He is believed to have been the first in the business here.
Spollett & Johnson were the first in Brunswick to make wagons and carriages, commencing the business about 1820 and continuing for some years together. In 1830, James Spollett had a shop alone, and was engaged in the business for some years, and was succeeded by his son, Augustus F. Spollett. Others have worked at this trade at different times, but none so continuously as the Spolletts.
CARPENTERS AND JOINERS. -There must have been those among the very early settlers who understood this trade and worked at it as occasion required. The earliest reference which has been found to any one who worked exclusively at the trade is to Robert Pearse, who worked on the first meeting-house in 1735. Thomas Neal worked at his trade about the same time, and Robert Smart in 1752. It would be impossible to enumerate all who have worked at this trade since then, but there are two persons, who were particularly prominent in the business in the early part of this century, to whom allusion should be made. Samuel Melcher, 3d, was a superior workman, and built many of the better class of buildings during that period, among which may be mentioned the second meeting-house of the First Parish, which was erected in 1806 on the site of the present edifice; Massachusetts Hall, the old college chapel, Winthrop Hall and Appleton Hall, the houses of Professor Cleaveland, Professor Upham, Professor Newman, and that now occupied by Professor Packard. His last work was the present college chapel, which he superintended in the eightieth year of his age, doing the nicer work himself. He also built, in Topsham, the Baptist and Congregationalist meeting-houses, the Doctor Porter house, now Mrs. Susan T. Purinton's, and the Veazie house, now the residence of Mr. Woodbury B. Purinton.
Mr. Anthony C. Raymond was engaged in this business between the years 1816 and 1839, during which time he built a large number
of public and private buildings, among which were the Tontine Hotel, the Town House, the main building of the Cotton Factory, Maine Hall, of Bowdoin College, and four churches, namely, the old Universalist Meeting-House on Federal Street, the meeting-house on Federal Street now occupied by the Catholics, the Union Meeting-House at Growstown, and the Free-Will Baptist Church in Topsham.
CORDWAINERS. - The only person engaged in this business whose name has been met with was Joseph Morse. He carried on his business either just before or during the Revolution.
DAGUERREAN ARTISTS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS. -The first daguerrean artist is believed to have been Charles E. Blake, in 1845. He was succeeded by a Mr. Upton, who carried on the business for several years about 1852. Others in the daguerreotype or photographic business were H. S. Cook, about 1854; J. O. Durgin, 1854; G. S. Smiley, 1854; Mansfield & Hall. 1856; and William Pierce, from 1853 to 1875.
DENTISTS. -The first professional dentist to make his appearance in town is thought to have been D. S. Grandin, in 1844. Of course the mere extracting of teeth had been done before that time by individuals who, from sufficient experience, had acquired knowledge and skill enough to warrant them in making it somewhat a specialty. Since then there have been, J. Matthews, about 1845, J. W. Cook, about 1854, and others since.
GUNSMITHS. -James Cary, Senior, was the first to work at this trade, which he did for some years previous to 1800, and for a short time subsequently. His shop was on the site of Day's Block, about where E. F. Brown's jewelry store is now. P. Powers, about the year 1828, worked at this business.
HAT AND CAP MAKERS.-This business was first established here in 1791, by Lemuel Swift. His shop was in a small building, just north of the Rodney Forsaith house, on Maine Street. Major Swift continued the business until about 1820, when he died, and Joshua Lufkin, who had learned the trade of him, returned from Bath, and carried on the business for his widow for a time. He afterwards carried it on for himself in the same building. He next occupied the wooden building which stood on the site of the brick store now occupied by Barton Jordan. Here he manufactured and sold hats, caps, furs for ladies, sleigh-robes, and skins of various animals. Many of the older inhabitants can remember the stand of hats, wrapped in tissue paper of different colors, which stood at the side of the door to attract the notice of passers-by. Mr. Lufkin made several different
styles of hats for men and boys, and sometimes for ladies' wear, military hats for trainers, fancy caps for students, and tarpaulins for sailors. William P. Fowler was in partnership with Mr. Lufkin, about 1844, for a short time; and with David Dexter and Richard Holland at other times. Mr. Lufkin continued in the business until about 1848. Mr. Richard Holland also carried on the hat-making business from about 1833 to about 1840.
MASONS. -The first mason to have a permanent residence in Brunswick is said to have been Thomas Pool, who came here from Portland in 1802 to build the first college building (Massachusetts Hall). He remained in town and worked at his trade for many years thereafter. A short time after Pool came here another mason, named Chase Wiggin, established himself in the business. The number of those who have worked at the trade since then is quite large.
MARBLE WORKERS.-In 1844, Richard Adams carried on the business of making gravestones and doing other work in marble. He was succeeded by his son Francis, now a well-known lawyer in Bath. Edward Melcher, now of Bath, and others have worked at this trade since then.
NAIL-MAKER.-About the year 1795 a man named Richardson had a shop on the site of the store now occupied by Barton Jordan, a few doors south of Centre Street, where he made shingle and clapboard nails from iron hoops taken from rum-barrels ; and as rum-barrels were then very plenty, he had no difficulty in obtaining hoops sufficient for his purpose. He continued the business for about a year, when he was obliged to abandon it in consequence of the bursting of a cannon, which he fired at a muster in 1796, by which he lost an arm. It is worthy of note that the gun which exploded was one which had formerly been used in Fort George.1
PAINTERS.-Until after the Revolution there were no painted houses in Brunswick, and consequently there were none who made painting an occupation until after that time. Jack Robertson, an Englishman, established himself here about the year 1800. and is said to have been the first painter in town. The number of those in the business since then is quite large.
Mr. Dean Swift was undoubtedly in the business for a longer period than any one else, having begun in 1818. Sign-painting was his specialty, and in that branch of the business he excelled. He painted for Jackson & May, in 1818, the first gilt sign ever painted in
POTTERS.-J. Barker, 2d, is the only person known to have had a pottery in Brunswick. He was in the business about 1823 and subsequently.
SADDLERS AND HARNESS-MAKERS. - The first person known to have carried on this business in Brunswick was a Mr. Brooks, who came here from Vermont, and who was engaged in it in 1802, and probably for some years previous and subsequent to that time. After him were Stephen Lee, about 1808, and John Lee, his son, who succeeded his father; Edward Ryonson, 1827 to 1858; Prince Dinsmore, in 1829; and others.
STABLE-KEEPERS.-From a very early date innkeepers were accus-tomed to putting up the horses of their guests, but no one is known to have made it a business to keep horses to let until about the year 1808, when a man, whose name is forgotten by our informant, opened a livery stable on Maine Street, a few rods south of Mill Street. After a few years Stephen Lee bought the stable and continued the business for some time. In 1820, John Beals opened a livery stable on the hill opposite the tavern. After him were Nathaniel Springer in 1824, and subsequently; Wyatt & Mitchell in 1836; Robert Bowker and others at a later date.
TAILORS. -The only tailors living here in the last century, whose names have come down to us, were Mr. John Miller, who worked at the houses of his customers about 1765, a Mr. Robinson, and a Mr. Hammond. Where the shops of the latter were and when they were in business has not been ascertained. From about 1792 to about 1800 a man named Manning worked at this trade in a building on Mason Street. Mr. Caleb Cushing was engaged in this business from about 1796 to 1830, at which time he sold out his tailoring business to his son, Louis T. Cushing, who had for five years previous been in partnership with his father, and who continued it until his death in 1838. In 1825, and for some years after, Lawrence Joyce carried on the business. Benjamin Mason had a tailoring establishment here from before 1820 to 1830 or later. John L. Swift, John W. Perry, Joseph Hinkley, J. H. Nichols, and others were in the business at a later period.
TANNERS. -The earliest tanner of whom we have any account was Tobias Ham, who had a tan-yard at New Meadows, near "Ham's Hill," in 1747 and subsequently. His tan-pits were in the low lands
TOBACCO MANUFACTORY. - About the year 1800, Doctor Charles Coffin carried on the business of making tobacco into "figs" and "pigtails," in a building which stood on the lot now occupied by the residence of Mr. Benjamin Greene, on the corner of O'Brien Street. He carried on the business for abont three years. He did not him-self work at the business, but employed men to work for him.1
WEIGHERS OF HAY, ETC. -Previous to the year 1816, hay had not been weighed in Brunswick. It was the custom to guess at the weight by the size of the load, and when the seller and the buyer could not agree upon the quantity, they called upon their neighbors to act as referees.
In 1816, Russell Stoddard erected the first scales in Brunswick at a point about opposite Green Street, in what is now the Mall. These scales were similar in construction and appearance to those described further on as in use at Topsham. Of late years there have been quite a number of scales in different parts of the village.
STORE-KEEPERS. - In the following account of the traders of Brunswick, mention is made of those only who were in business at an early period, or who were particularly prominent as traders at a later date.
All of the early stores were what were termed variety stores, con-taining a general assortment of dry and fancy goods, boots and shoes, groceries, liquors, china, glass, earthen, and hard ware, stationery, etc.
In 1715 there was a storehouse connected with Fort George, for depositing goods, and it is probable that the settlers were supplied from it with such articles as their immediate necessities required.
Mr. Woodside likewise had a building, a few years later, at Maquoit in which he traded.2
Samuel Standwood and Samuel Moody were licensed retailers prior to 1758. Those early stores were not kept open constantly, but were only opened when customers came to purchase anything.
As early as 1780 old Esquire John Dunlap sold West India goods
in a building which stood in what is now the yard in front of the office of the late Dr. Lincoln. It is related that there was an unfinished attic over the store, into which a small scuttle-hole opened from the store below. Esquire Dunlap had no money-drawer, and was accustomed to throw pieces of coin received from customers up through the hole into the attic. That was all the safe the times demanded.
Previous to 1800, Benjamin Stone kept store in a building near the northerly corner of Maine and Mill Streets.
In 1798, Veazie & Stone kept store on what is now the northerly corner of Maine and Dunlap Streets, in a building which was owned by Captain John Dunlap. The building was burned that year, but was soon rebuilt and is now standing. The chimney is the original chimney. In 1802, Robert D. Dunning and Josiah Noyes traded in the same store after it was rebuilt.
John Schwartkins, a native of Holland. kept a store in an old building which stood on the site of the present McLellan Block between the years 1796 and 1822. John Peterson kept a store at New Meadows previous to the year 1800. The building is still standing, but in a dilapitated condition. Doctor Charles Coffin had a store on Maine Street in 1800, and for some seven or eight years later. It was on the corner of O'Brien Street, on the site of the residence of Benjamin Greene. He was a physician, but did not practise, but kept a small stock of medicines.
In 1802, Colonel William Stanwood, Richard Tappan, John Perry, Charles Ryan, and a few others had stores. Mr. Perry continued in trade until about 1830. Daniel and Jotham Stone each had a store as early as 1802. Daniel's first store was in a building which stood about where the foot of the Mall is now. Subsequently he erected the building still standing on, Maine Street, on the edge of the cove, about opposite the factory store, and which is now painted green. There he traded for many years. Jotham Stone's store was on Maine Street, on the southerly corner of Mill Street. Here he kept until 1820, or later, doing a large amount of business. His store was considered the best in town.
In 1803, Henry and Frederick Quimby erected a large building where the Tontine now stands, and they kept a store there until about the year 1818.
Nathaniel Poor began trading here about 1808, and continued for many years, a part of the time being in partnership with John Coburn. David Dunlap, on the corner of Maine and Dunlap Streets, and his brother, Richard F. Dunlap, on the corner of Bank Street, where
Joseph and John McKeen began about the same time, and were in trade for a long series of years. Joseph was on the corner of Maine and Cleaveland Streets, where is now the store of Charles Townsend; and John was on the corner of Maine and Noble Streets, where is now the residence of Doctor Asher Ellis.
Nathaniel Badger was in trade in 1813, and for many years subsequently. At first his store was in a building which stood on the site of the present store of Mr. Barton Jordan; later he occupied a building on the southern corner of Centre Street, where the store of Mr. A. G. Poland now is, and at one time in a building on Pleasant Street, about where the Methodist Church is. He had a good trade.
From 1816 to 1820, and perhaps a little later, L. T. Jackson and Charles May, under the style of Jackson & May, kept a store in the building on Maine Street which is now the residence of Mr. B. G. Dennison. About 1818, Ezra Drew kept a store on Maine Street, in a building on the side of the cove, a few rods south of the Daniel Stone store. He remained in trade only a few years. In 1818, Ephraim Brown and J. C. Humphreys formed a copartnership, and kept a store for a number. of years on the southern corner of Mill and Maine Streets.
In 1820 there were at least thirteen stores. Among those in trade that year, who have not already been named, were Waterhouse & West, who were in trade together and singly until about 1828. Jere O'Brien kept store in 1820, and for a few years subsequently. Stone & Morse did a good business between 1820 and 1836. James H. Mills had a store in the old Stanwood Building on the north corner of Maine and Centre Streets, from 1820 to 1830. Roger Merrill was in trade in 1820 and for a few years subsequently on the corner of Maine and Mill Streets. Abner Bourne, in 1820 and subsequently, kept where is now the store of Barton Jordan. A. B. Thompson and A. B. Thompson & Co. in 1820, and for six or eight years; was on the east side of Maine Street on the side of the cove. Joseph Demeritt in 1820, and subsequently Demeritt & Stone, until about 1830. Ethan Earle, on the north corner of Mill Street, in 1820 to 1836, did a large business. Noah Hinkley from 1820 to 1829, on the northern corner of Maine and Mason Streets, where Day's Block now stands, had a large stock and did a good business. Jacob Johnson, from 1820 to 1836, or a few years later, was on the northern corner of Centre Street.
In 1824, John Coburn kept store in Hinkley's Block. In 1825,
In 1828, Caleb Cushing and his son, Francis D. Cushing, opened a variety store in a building on the corner of Maine and Pleasant Streets, where Lemont Block now stands. The building had been erected by Mr. Caleb Cushing about four years previously. The firm of Cushing & Co. continued the business until 1835, when Francis died, and Mr. Caleb Cushing thereafter conducted the business alone until his death in 1838, when the store passed into the hands of his youngest son, John S. Cushing, who occupied it until it was destroyed by fire in 1849. For nine years previous to taking his father's store, the latter had been in trade at the lower part of the town. For many years previous to the establishment of this store, Mr. Caleb Cushing had carried on the tailoring business in a building a few doors north of Pleasant Street, about where is now the store of G. B. Tenney. Thus for more than fifty years did he or his sons do business at or near the corner, and, until within a few years, the locality was known as Cushing's Corner.
Among those in trade subsequent to 1830 should be mentioned George Earle, 1830 to about 1844; William S. Murray, 1836 and subsequently; Isaac Center, 1845 to 1859; Samuel Webb, 1840 to 1870.
The foregoing list embraces only a small portion of those who were in general trade during the first half of this century. In addition to the foregoing, mention should be made of those who have been engaged in special branches of trade.
The first APOTHECARY in Brunswick was George W. Holden, 1820 to 1832. After him was Henry M. Prescott, 1832 to 1840; and others. Of all who have been in this business in Brunswick, Doctor William Baker was engaged in it the longest, from 1836 to his death in 1867, a period of thirty-one years.
The first BOOKSTORE in Brunswick was established by the late Joseph Griffin in 1822, and he continued in the business until his death in 1874 Among others in the business were Nathaniel Davis, from 1825 to 1866, and William Johnson, from 1845 to about 1860.
The first person to deal exclusively in BOOTS AND SHOES in Brunswick was a Mr. Nichols, who kept a shoe store on Mill Street in 1823, and for a few years later. Of his successors Mr. Lorenzo Day was doubtless engaged in the business longer than any other.
The first person to deal exclusively in DRY GOODS was Mr. Daniel Elliot, who has been in the business from 1838 to the present time.
The late Alexander F. Boardman was in the business from 1840 until his death in 1876. Prominent among others in the business since 1840, and who are not now in trade, were Gould Jewell & Co., Henry Carville, and James G. Collins.
The first FURNITURE STORE was established about 1845 by Robert L. Dodge, who subsequently sold out to Harvey Stetson.
The first person who engaged in the MILLINERY business in Brunswick is thought to have been a Mrs. Moody, who had a shop as early as 1820, and perhaps earlier. In 1820, Mrs. L. T. Jackson advertised that she carried on the straw manufacturing business in all its varieties, and that old bonnets could be made over. After her was Miss Mary Humphreys and a Mrs. Whitmore. From 1821 to about 1827, Miss Eliza Nichols had a millinery establishment, and Miss M. Nichols in 1833 or thereabouts.
About the year 1825, Miss Dorothy Giddings and her sister, Mrs. Boardman, came to Brunswick, and opened a millinery store in a wooden building which stood on the north corner of Maine and Green Streets. Here they remained for at least five years, and then removed to a building which stood where the Mason Street Church now stands. Subsequently Mrs. Boardman moved into Dunlap Block, in the store now occupied by B. G. Dennison, where she continued for many years in the millinery and dress-making business, adding to her stock a large variety of dry goods. At the same time Miss Giddings, "Dolly" Giddings as she was called, traded in an old building which stood on the corner of Maine and O'Brien Streets, where is now the residence of Mr. Benjamin Greene. Here she traded until her death in 1870. Her stock was always large and of superior quality, and comprised not only millinery goods, but almost every conceivable article of feminine apparel. Her counters and shelves were piled promiscuously with all sorts of articles and apparently in the greatest disorder, yet she could always quickly find any desired article, no matter how deeply it might be covered with other things. After her death the goods were sold at auction, and many were the articles of ancient costume which were brought to light and sold for a small sum, which once would have cost much and could have been purchased only by the more wealthy citizens. Of those at a later date Miss Harriet N. Houghton, about 1854, and Mrs. B. G. Dennison, 1838 to 1866, should be specially mentioned.
The first TIN SHOP of which there is any record was that kept by G. W. Coffin, opposite the colleges, in 1821. After him were William Prescott, H. M. Prescott, Horace P. Hubbard, and others. Of all
who have been in this business in Brunswick, Mr. Benjamin Furbish is justly entitled to the first rank, he having been engaged in it from 1835 to 1866, a period of thirty-one years. His business was, at first, that of the manufacture of tinware, to which was afterward added the sale of stoves, hardware, agricultural implements, crockery, and glassware. He was the inventor and manufacturer of one of the first cooking-stoves made in the country. He was the first person in Brunswick to keep a general assortment of hardware.
An account of the various trades and occupations of the settlers having been given, it will be appropriate here to mention the prices which have prevailed, from time to time, of the necessaries of life and the wages paid for labor.
The earliest mention of the price of live stock is in 1635. At this time the current price for good oxen, in New England, was £25 each, for the best. It is not probable that any were owned here at that time.
The following inventory of the Pejepscot proprietors' stock at Brunswick, their list of goods for sale, and the cost of the provision made for their cattle in 1715, will serve to show not only the cost, but the character of the articles in town at that date. Where more than one article of the same kind is given, the reader can make his own calculation as to the price of each.
The lime which stands at the head of the list was sold in hogsheads containing one hundred pounds, and the price was twenty-one shillings per hogshead, probably exclusive of the barrel.
The following is the list of the STOCK AT BRUNSWICK:-1
|40 hhds of Stone Lime||£50 4 4|
|2 Yoke of Oxen||29 0 0|
|1 Cart horse||7 5 0|
|Cart, Collars & tackling||8 12 0|
|2 Cows with Calf||9 0 0|
|4 Swine||7 0 0|
|1 Canoe & 2 boat oars||2 5 10|
|James Irish our Serv't man||9 1 6|
|Books of Accts & Records||1 2 6|
|1 Plow 20/ Timber chain 28/||2 8 0|
|Silvanus Davis' Land of Nelson||40 0 0|
|15 Axes||4 1 6|
|2 Iron Crows||1 5 0|
|6 hoes / 6 Hatchets 21/||£2||6||0|
|3 Spades 22/6: 3 Shovels 12/||1||14||6|
|4 mauls 10/ 1 fork &c 10/||1||0||0|
|1 Grindstone 6/ Rope 30||1||16||0|
|1 peck & 1/2 peck||0||3||0|
|Smiths tools as per bill||£9||13||6|
|1 Tierce Rum||10||12||0|
|1 bbl Molasses||3||16||7|
|1 Tierce Sugar||10||6||4|
|4 Jackets & Breeches||4||0||0|
|1 bb: of roll'd Tobacco||3||18||9|
|2, 1, 12 of Iron at 40/||4||14||10|
|2 bbs of salt||1||16||6|
|1 doz yarn hose||1||6||0|
|6 mill'd caps||1||1||0|
|2 gro. short pipes||0||8||0|
|10c hard soap||0||6||8|
|3 Bundles screwed hay||£20||6||0|
|4 load of salt hay||4||0||0|
|20 bushells oats||2||3||4|
|Keeping hogs in Town||0||10||0|
|1 hhd Indian Corn||3||8||3|
|1 hhd of Oats||1||8||9|
|2 bush. Corn & Bag||0||11||0|
|Getting Cattle on board||0||6||0|
In 1730 the Pejepscot proprietors paid for lumber as follows:-
|To 700 boards||£2||2||0|
|To 600 feet Merble & 500 ft refuse boards||2||11||0 1|
During Revolutionary times it cost one man the labor of half a month in haying-time to buy a pair of shirts. Men made it a condition in their contracts, at that time, that, if they hired near the falls, they should not have salmon to eat oftener than five days in a week, or if they hired near the salt-water bays, that they should not have wild fowl, clams, or fish more than three fourths of the time.2
A similar statement is often made in relation to other towns, and it is not at all improbable that such provisions were often, in olden times, inserted into the contracts between laborers and their employers quite generally throughout New England.
In 1777 a list of prices for labor, provisions, etc., was fixed by a committee chosen by the town in accordance with an Act of the Gen-eral Court of Massachusetts, entitled ''An Act to prevent Monopoly and Oppression." In order that the present generation may know somewhat of the expenses and mode of life of their forefathers, this list is inserted in this connection, just as it appears upon the records:-
"Common Labour from ye first of April to the last of Nov 3/ pr day and found as usual, and at other seasons of the year in proportion.
" Mowing and Reapinq 3/8 pr day and found as usual.
"Carpenters & Joyners 4/ pr day & found as usual.
"Men taylers 3/ pr day & found.
"Oxen 2/8 pr day.
"Good Marchantable Wheet 7/6 per Bl
"Good Rye 5/ pr Bl.
"Oates 3/ pr Bl.
"Good Indian Corn or Meal 4/4 pr B1.
"Good Sheeps wool 2/ pr pd.
"English Hay 3/ pr Hd.
"Salt Hay 2 / pr Hd.
"Good fresh pork well fatted 6d pr pd.
"Salt Pork 7d pr pd.
"Good Beef 3d pr pound and Beef of an inferiour kind in proportion.
"Raw hides 3d pr pd.
"Calve Skins 6d pr pound.
"Sole Leather 1/3 pr pound and upper leather in proportion.
"Good Marchantable Salt 10/ pr Bll.
"Salt made from sea water in the State 12/.
"Good West India Rum 6/8 by the Hd including the Cask & 6/10 by the Barrell exclusive of the Barrell. 7/8 by the single gall and 2/ by the Quart & so in proportion for a smaller quantity.
"New England Rum 3/10 by the Hd or Bll exclusive of 13/4 for the Hd & 4/ for the Bll, 4/6 by the Gall with a reasonable allowance for transporting it from where it is Distild & smaller quantity in proportion.
"West India toddy 1/ pr mug.
"New E. Do 9d pr mug.
"Oates 3d pr quart.
"Horse Keeping 1/10 pr night.
"Good Flax 1/ pr pound.
"Spanish Potatoes" 1/2 in the fall 1/6 in the Spring or Sumr.
"Other Potatoes 1/6 in the fall & 2/ in the Spring or Summer.
"Beans 6/ pr Bll.
"Butter 10d pr single pd & 9d by the firkin.
"Good Cheese manufactured in this State 6d pr pound.
"Good Brown Sugar 3d pr Hundred & 8d pr the single pd
"Molasses 3/4 by the Hogd inclusive of the Hd & 3/8 by the Bll exclusive of the Bll and 4/ by the gallon.
"Good Yarn Stockens 6/8 pr pair.
"Mens Shoes made of good neat Leather of the Best Common Sort 8/ pr pair and for others in like proportion according to their size and quality.
"Good Salt Beef 31/2d pr pound.
"Cotton Wool 3/8 pr pound.
"Good Coffy 1/4 pr pound.
"Good yard wide Cotton & Linen 4/ pr yd and other widths in proportion.
"Good Mutton, Lamb & Veal 4d pr pd.
"Good White Pine Boards 36/ pr thousand.
"Good Marchantable White Pine Shingles 8/ pr thousand."
Men were allowed for work on the highways thirty dollars each per day. The use of a plough was five dollars per day. The price of a pair of army shoes was set by that of seven pecks of corn, and the price of a blanket by that of four bushels of corn.
In 1778 provisions were still dearer, and one man said that he had to pay three silver dollars for one bushel of corn.1 This excessive
price was not, it will be seen, due to the depreciation of the currency. It was owing to the fear of a famine, and was not lasting. Yet there was a very great and rapid depreciation in the value of the currency between 1777 and 1781, which caused much financial distress. On January 1, 1777, one hundred dollars in silver was worth but one hundred and five dollars in currency. In 1778 the worth of the same silver had increased to $328 in currency; in 1779, to $742; in 1780, to $2,934; ands in February, 1781, it was worth $7,500.
The following bill for repairs, made upon the east meeting-house in 1785, is inserted in this place to show the cost of labor and the prices of carpenters' materials, etc., immediately after the close of the Revolutionary war. Mr. Peterson, who made, or superintended, the repairs, probably prepared the boards and other lumber used at his mill at New Meadows River. The amount charged for grog is quite reasonable, considering that the labor lasted for four if not five days, and that the customs of the time allowed an almost unlimited use of this beverage.
May ye 25. 1785 the town of Brunswick Dr to John Peterson|
for James Wookfields Bill
|to 4 m of shingles at 12/ to 1/2 m of Claboard Nails 3/||2||11||6|
|to 1/2 m in Duble tens 7/ 500 board most Clear 30/||1||17||0|
|timber for the porch & scaffold 6/1/2 Day work with team 6/||0||12||0|
|2 m shingle nails at 4/ 300 feet Boards 12/||1||0||0|
|paid for one & half Days work 10/ Grog for Carpenters 1/6||0||11||6|
|350 feet boards for staging 15/ 40 feet pine timber||1||1||0|
|halling timber & boards 3/ 2 m shingle nails 8/||0||11||0|
|1 m Claboard nails 6/ 8 1/4 pound of shingle nails 10/||0||16||0|
|4 3/4 m of shingles at 12/||2||17||0|
|8 1/2 pound Dubble tens 7/ 7 pound Shingle nails 8/||0||15||0|
|12 pound more of Shingle nails 3 & 1/2 m||0||14||0|
|5 gll fish oyl at 2/8||0||13||4|
|3 Day work of my self & Weston at 3/||0||18||0|
|1 1/2 Day work more my self||0||6||0|
|2 mugs Grog for Carpenters 1/6 1 1/2 mugs more 1/2||0||2||8|
"JOHN PETERSON."From a day-book of Mr. Jotham Stone, kept in 1806 and 1807, the following interesting facts are obtained:-
A common laborer, in those days, received seventy-five cents for a
day's work, -from sunrise to sunset. Female help received four shillings a week. A seamstress or dress-maker received twenty-five cents a day; a tailoress, two shillings. These avocations, with spinning and weaving, constituted the whole range of female labor.
Very few dress goods were sold; people wore those of their own manufacture, of cotton and wool. A calico or a cambric were the go-to-meeting dresses for the masses. It was only the rich who sported silks, and those were heirlooms.
The largest quantity of calico sold by Mr. Stone to one person, during the year, was to Mr. Samuel Melcher, twenty-three yards, at a cost of ten dollars and fifty cents. This made four dresses- large patterns, too!,
The only ready-made clothing for men was dye-pot blue woollen pants (they were called trousers then), just as the cloth came from the loom, at one dollar and seventy-five cents per pair.
Among the goods sold by Mr. Stone were bonnets at from one dollar and twenty-five cents to five dollars and fifty cents, muffs and tippets, laces and ribbons, silks, shawls, silk hose, books, hardware, provisions, groceries, and what was then considered an indispensable necessary of life and a test of hospitality in every house, rum, brandy, gin, and wine. Nearly every customer, from the Rev. Mr. ----------- to the tenant of the gutter, had it charged to him. Liquors were then cheap. Good old Santa Croix was only one dollar and seventeen cents, and brandy and gin one dollar and fifty cents per gallon.
Next to liquors it is surprising to note the quantity of cheese sold at eighteen to twenty cents per pound.
Sugar, tea, coffee, and tobacco were the next most prominent articles.
There was a kind of tobacco done up in a cord and wound into balls, like wicking, which was called ladies' twist, and a coarser kind called pigtail, both of which were sold by the yard.
Of flour very little was sold. The people lived on home-grown grain. During the year there were but two whole barrels charged. One of these was to Reverend B. Titcomb, ten dollars and fifty cents; and the other was to Reverend J. McKeen. Two half-barrels were sold to two individuals; two others bought each one dollar's worth, being fourteen pounds. Doubtless, some flour was paid for on delivery, but probably very little, as nearly everybody had an account in those days.
From the same day-book the following list of prices in 1806-7 is made up, which is compared with another list, obtained from the
Brunswick Telegraph in 1853. The reader can make his own comparison with the prices of the present day.
|Butter, per pound||.20-25||.20-25|
|Broadcloth, per yard||$4-8.||$2-4.|
|Bar soap, per lb.||.17||.06-08|
|Beef, per cwt.||4.50||5-7.|
|Pork, round hogs, lb.||.10-12||.07-08|
|Pork, clear lb.||.20||.12|
|Brown sugar, cwt.||14.||6-7.50|
|Loaf sugar, lb||.28-30||.09-10|
|Hyson tea, lb||1.50||.67|
|White lead, lb.||.25||.08-09|
|Linseed oil, gall.||1.50-1.75||.80|
|Wrought nails, per 100||1.00||.25|
|4p. and 6p. nails per lb.||.17||.05|
|10p. nails per lb.||.10||.05|
|Cuba coffee, lb||.40||.10|
|India cotton, yd||.30||.05|
|British cotton, yd||.58||.13|
|Glass, per 100 ft.||15.00||4.50|
|Glass, 8 by 10, per light||.10||.03|
|Lamb and mutton, lb.||.06-07||.06-07|
|Cotton wool, lb.||.35||.07-08|
|Cask raisins, lb.||.17||.12|
|Box raisins, lb.||.25||.17-20|
|Cranberries, qt.||.12 1/2||.10|
|Hay, 100 lbs||2.00||$1.00|
|Nutmegs, per oz.||.67||.08|
|Dry cod-fish, lb.||.06||.05|
|Black and white cambric||1-1.50||.17-50|
|Apples (per bushel)||25 to 37 cents|
|Butter||14 " 16 "|
|Barley||16 " 70 "|
|Beef||4 " 6 "|
|Corn||70 " 80 "|
|Cheese||6 " 10 "|
|Oats||37 " 42 "|
|Pork, fresh||5 " 8 "|
|Poultry||6 " 10 "|
|Potatoes||28 " 33 "|
|Wood, per cord||$2.00|
|Lumber, merchantable||$7.00 to 8.00|
According to tradition, the Indians used to come from the headwaters of the Kennebec, and even from Canada, to gather the blueberries upon our plains. This crop has always been a source not only of pleasure to the housewives of this vicinity, but of real profit to the town. How much the sale of this berry has aggregated during the past half-century it is impossible even to approximately judge, but the statement of the Brunswick Telegraph in 1872, that Mr. C. E. Townsend alone had bought of one family, during the previous summer, berries to the amount of one hundred and twenty-five dollars, will show that the value of the crop is by no means to be undervalued.
In the earlier days of all our New England settlements the use of ardent spirits as a beverage was a common habit with all classes, and the town now under consideration offered no exception to the rule. On the contrary, the sale of liquors in this town was, as the following statement shows, immense.
AMOUNT OF LIQUORS SOLD AT BRUNSWICK
FROM APRIL, 1812, TO APRIL, 18131
|John Swartkin sold in one year:--|
|W. I. Rum||557|
|N. E. "||344|
|D. & R. Dunlap sold in one year:--|
|----||1,782 ==||2,382 00|
|Sold by N. Poor in six months:---|
|W. I. Rum||125|
|N. E. "||120|
|Capt. Tappan sold in one year|
|W. I. Rum||215|
|N. E. "||105|
|Amounts brought forward,||3,873||$5,853 50|
|Sold by Nath. Badger in one year:---|
|W. I. Rum||440|
|N. E. "||500|
|Sold by J. Stone in one year:---||432|
|----||432 ===||530 00|
|Sold by D. Stone & Co. in one year:--|
|W. I. Rum||819|
|N. E. "||585|
|----||1,644 ===||2,292 00|
|Sold by J. McKeen in one year:---|
|W. I. Rum||505|
|N. E. "||592|
|----||1,314 ===||1,664 60|
|Thos. S. Estabrook sold in one year:---||100|
|----||100 ===||400 00|
|Total||8,593 ===||$12,339 00|
In the opinion of the dealers, one third of the liquor sold was carried out of town. The foregoing statement was probably prepared at the instance of the Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell Society for the Prevention of Intemperance.
In 1819 there were ten stores in the town, at all of which ardent spirits were kept for sale. It is said that "even respectable women claimed their right to take a social glass around the hogshead, turned up for a table, in the retailer's store." It must be remembered that this custom of public drinking prevailed at that time throughout the whole country. A few years later, the respectable traders, with but one exception, quit the business. Captain Daniel Stone was the first one who refused to sell liquor by the glass. The first store where no liquor was sold was kept in about 1825 by Jesse Pierce, from Monmouth.
The traders in Brunswick at this time were the moneyed men.
Nearly all the money of the place was in their hands, and consequently many young men, who came here between 1820 and 1830 to enter upon business, failed in consequence of giving their debtors too much scope.1
Since the amount of business transacted in any town bears some relation to the population of the place, the number of citizens in Brunswick at different periods is here given, in order that the reader may be able to form a correct judgment as to the comparative prosperity of the town at different times.
Two years before the incorporation of the town, there were between thirty and forty persons in town.2 Assuming the rate of increase to have been uniform between 1735 and 1790, the population of the town in 1740 may be set down at one hundred and sixty. The following is the census of the town for every year since 1740 that we have been able to obtain it, down to 1810. From the latter date to the present, the census is given for each ten years.
In 1765 there were 173 families, 139 males under sixteen years of age, 149 above sixteen, 114 females under, and 98 over sixteen, and four negroes. The total, exclusive of Indians, was 506.
In 1771 there were two slaves; the number of whites is not given.
In 1776 the population was, white, 867.
In 1778 there were males above sixteen, 198; Revolutionary soldiers (who enlisted for three years), 33.3
In 1790 the population was 1,387; 1810, 2,682; 1820, 2,931; 1830, 3,547; 1840, 4,259; 1850, 4,976; 1860, 4,723; 1870, 4,727.
Under this heading is given the valuation of the town at such periods as we have been able to ascertain it.
In 1758 the valuation of the east end of the town was: Polls, 44; real estate, £521 12s. 8d; personal property, £452 1s. Total, £973 13s. 8d.
The richest man in that portion of the town was Aaron Hinkley, whose property was assessed at £91 4s.
The valuation of the west end of the town was: Polls, 48; real estate, £820 3s. 4d; personal property, £652 4s. Total, £1,472 7s. 4d.
The richest man in that section of the town, and in the town, was Samuel Stanwood, whose property was assessed at £151. Next to him in wealth was John Minot, whose property was assessed at £146 10s. Captain James Thompson, Cornelius Thompson, -Nathaniel Larrabee, and Isaac Snow, at the east end, and John Smart, John Orr, the Widow Simpson, Samuel Clark, Thomas Skolfield, the Widow Dunning, Captain William Woodside, Robert Spear, and David Dunning at the west end, were each possessed of property valued at over £50.1
The total valuation of the whole town at this time was £2,560 6s. 6d.
The following is an inventory of the taxable property in 1762:-2
|East End||West End|
|Marsh Hay (?)||102||89|
The valuation of the town in 1765 was : Polls, 149; east end, £1,477 14s; west end, £2,292 5s. Total, £3,769 19s. As certified to by the assessors, it was £3,732 2s.; but this difference is probably due to an error on their part in summing up their totals.
Thomas Minot was the richest man in town at that time, his property being valued at £123 6s.3
The number of houses that year was seventy-three.
In 1771 the valuation of the town was: Polls, 172; real estate, £422 2s.; amount of money at interest more than the parties paid interest for, £33 13s. 4d.; the value of personal property not given.
The valuation of the town in 1776 was: East end, £7,990 7s.; west end, £11,966 13s.
Benjamin Stone was the richest man in town at that time, his property being valued at £712; John Dunlap's at £700; William Stanwood's at £605; Vincent Woodside's and Aaron Hinkley's, each at £548; David and Andrew Dunning's, Samuel Stanwood's, Thomas Skolfield's, Cornelius and James Thompson's, George Coombs's, and Nathaniel Larrabee's, each at from £300 to £400.
In 179l the valuation for the east end was: Polls, 321; real and per-sonal estate, £6,934 16s.
The richest person at that time in that part of the town was Captain John Peterson, whose property was estimated at £830 1s. 8d.
The valuation for that year of the west end has not been found, but the following is an inventory of the taxable property of that section of the town that year : Polls, 87; houses, 44; shops, 3; barns, 43; mills (taxed here), 1 +; acres of tillage, 1661; of English mow-ing, 381; of fresh meadow, 5; of salt marsh, 53; of pasture, 306; of unimproved land, 4,279; tons of vessels, 400 ; horses, 48; oxen, 112; neat cattle, 237; cows, four years old, 191; swine, 77.
Of the improved land Thomas Skolfield, Senior, Thomas Pennell, and Daniel Given each owned twenty acres. Captain Thomas Skolfield owned more unimproved land and pasture than any one else, his quantity being two hundred and seventeen acres. Of the horses, Doctor Goss, Thomas Pennell, Thomas Skolfield, and Benjamin Chase each owned two. Of oxen, Robert Spear, Thomas Pennell, Samuel Hewey, John Crips, Benjamin Chase, Lewis Simpson, Joseph Melcher, and Vincent Woodside, Senior, each owned four. Robert Spear also owned fourteen neat cattle, eight cows, and five swine. Thomas Pennell also owned eight cows.
The subsequent valuations of the town were as follows: --
The most prosperous period in the history of the town, unless the present may be called so, was undoubtedly between 1820 and 1850.
In 1820 there were more than twenty stores, well filled with goods, and numerous mechanic shops of different kinds. There were one hundred and twenty-five houses in the village, besides five hotels and five places of public worship.1
The eastern part of the town, New Meadows, was at that time gaining rapidly in commerce and fisheries. For the three years between 1820 and 1824, the number of buildings erected in the village was sixty-four. Probably this was as large a number, in proportion
to the population, as has ever been erected here within that space of time. Of this number, twenty-three were handsome dwellings and seven were stores. The remainder were mechanic shops, etc.
In 1836, Brunswick Village contained the colleges, the cotton and woollen factories, nearly four hundred dwellings, forty stores, three printing-offices, two banks, two hotels, one iron foundry, two machine-shops, two flour-mills, and twenty saw-mills. Seven stages arrived and departed daily, and often three or four extra ones. Union Street contained about a dozen houses; O'Brien Street, three or four; and Pleasant Street was filled nearly to Powder-House Hill.1
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