Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Native Americans – Part 3

A sketch of the Kennebec tribe settling along the Kennebec River. (Internet photo)

by Mary Grow

Three local settlements

The Kennebec tribe’s village at Cushnoc (a word that means head of tide, most historians agree) was on high ground on the east bank of the Kennebec River in what is now Augusta, about 20 miles south Ticonic village (described last week).

Leon Cranmer, in his Cushnoc, pointed out that the high land provided views of river traffic both upstream and down and offered some protection against attack. Canoes could land in a cove at the foot of the bank (now, he wrote, a park and boat landing).

Charles E. Nash, in his chapters on Augusta in Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history, wrote that Cushnoc village had wigwams, cultivated cornfields and open space for young men to practice “wrestling, running and dancing.”

Kerry Hardy, in a nicely-illustrated 2009 book titled Notes on a Lost Flute: A Field Guide to the Wabanaki, argued that Cushnoc was the west end of an important Native American trail that ran from the present town of Stockton Springs near the mouth of the Penobscot River (almost due east of Cushnoc) to the head of tide on the Kennebec River.

Looking at old maps, Hardy traced that east-west trail and found others that converged on Cushnoc, coming from present-day Rockland (on the coast to the southeast), Canton Point (on the Androscoggin River to the northwest) and Farmington Falls (on the Sandy River to the north).

Unfortunately, Hardy did not explain why Cushnoc was the center of a Native American communications network. Instead, he summarized the importance of the British trading post established there (as at Ticonic; and, as at Ticonic, the site of the trading post was later chosen for a fort).

Cranmer offered the theory that Cushnoc was a convenient mid-way place for Native Americans traveling between Canada and the coast to branch off to other parts of Maine.

During archaeological excavations around the trading post site between 1974 and 1987, Cranmer wrote, more than 17,500 artifacts were found, mostly signs of European rather than Native American habitation.

He specifically mentioned a few stone flakes left over as Kennebecs made their edged tools; a stone projectile point that appears from its photograph to be in excellent condition and could be anywhere from 2,200 to 6,000 years old; and a bit of pottery, the remains of what Cranmer called an Iroquoian-like jug or bowl.

If there was a Native American burial ground associated with Cushnoc, this writer has been unable to find a reference to it. J. W. Hanson, in an 1852 history of the area found on line, claimed that “the quiet graves of their [Kennebec tribal members’] fathers clustered around the mouth of each tributary to their beloved river,” but he offered no specific location.

The first British trader at Cushnoc was Edward Winslow from the Plymouth Colony in 1625, Nash wrote (or in 1628, according to Old Fort Western Director Linda Novak’s bicentennial lecture). He and successors traded European goods for Native American products, primarily beaver skins.

By the 1650s, trade and profits were diminishing, Nash said. In 1661 the Plymouth group sold the trading post to four other Europeans, who gave up and closed the operation about 1665.

Novak blamed the decline in trade at Cushnoc on rival traders Thomas Clark and Thomas Lake, who opened competing posts both upriver at Ticonic and downriver near current Pittston. James W. North, in his history of Augusta, blamed “growing Indian troubles” for the decline and said war was the final blow (the first war counted by historians, writing primarily from the Anglo-American point of view, started in 1675).

North listed other problems in the 1650s, including a decrease in fur-bearing animals, the Kennebecs’ recognition that the furs were more valuable than the goods offered in exchange and “the increasing number and avaricious disposition of the traders.”

Cranmer added two more problems that could have contributed to a smaller supply of furs: British settlements expanding into woodlands, and attacks on Maine Native Americans by Iroquois tribes from the northwest (current upstate New York and thereabouts).

In 1655, the governor of the Plymouth Colony appointed Captain Constant Southworth as magistrate at Cushnoc, responsible for administering civil law throughout the colony’s holdings. He had two main jobs, Nash wrote: to prevent other traders from trespassing and “to check the sale of demoralizing liquors to the Indians.”

Nash commented that Joseph Beane or Bane, an Englishman held captive by the Native Americans, reported that remains of the Cushnoc trading post were still visible “among the new-grown trees and shrubbery” in 1692. Novak, however, says the post was burned in 1676, during the first of the serial wars. Either account suggests the Kennebecs had no interest in using the building.

North wrote that the 1725-1744 interregnum in the Kennebec Valley wars was a genuine peace, during which the Kennebecs interacted peacefully with the British traders, who he suggested treated them fairly and even generously, and with early settlers. In 1732, Massachusetts Governor Jonathan Belcher and “a large retinue” toured the coastal settlements. The governor met with an unspecified group of Native Americans at Falmouth, and told them that he planned to establish three missionary stations in the province, one to be at Cushnoc, “where a town and church were about to be built.”

North offered no evidence of such a town, or of any pacifying influence from missionaries, before the final defeat of the French at Québec in 1759. Instead, continued Native American resistance delayed the growth of European settlements around Cushnoc for another generation.

* * * * * *

Besides the settlements at Ticonic/Winslow and Cushnoc/Augusta, Kennebec tribal members lived elsewhere along the Kennebec River, its tributaries and other nearby water bodies. Some of the town histories on which this writer relies describe evidences of pre-European occupation from Fairfield and Benton through Waterville/Winslow and Vassalboro/Sidney to Augusta.

The current Town of Benton has frontage on the Kennebec River, and the Sebasticook River runs (almost) north-south through (almost) the middle of town. The Sebasticook, like the Kennebec, was a major travel route for Native Americans.

Benton historian Barbara Warren says because of the rapids in the Kennebec above Ticonic (until Waterville manufacturers’ dams calmed them, beginning in 1792), upriver travel was via the Sebasticook to Benton Falls, about five miles upstream from the Kennebec, and a portage back to the Kennebec at Fairfield. The Sebasticook was also a connector between the Kennebec and Penobscot valleys, according to another source.

Kingsbury wrote that “the relics found many years ago at the foot of the hill overlooking Benton Falls are now the only traces of the original possessors of the soil.” The “hill” – high land – is the east bank of the river where Garland Road runs through Benton Falls Village. Warren remembers as a child walking along the river and finding artifacts like shards, grinding tools and “a stone weight for a fishing net.”

Warren says a state-listed archaeological site on the west side of the Sebasticook near the dam includes a burial ground. State preservation officials are protecting the exact location of the site. Your writer surmises there was a Kennebec village, at least seasonally for fishing and perhaps year-round for farming and hunting, on the east bank with the burial ground across the river, as at Ticonic.

A 1992 University of Maine at Farmington study of the banks of the lower Sebasticook, between the dams at Benton Falls and Fort Halifax, found 30 archaeological sites along that part of the river, dating from the Archaic period (in Maine, between 10,000 and 3,000 years ago, according to Wikipedia) and the early contact period in the 1600s.

A 2004 archaeological survey related to the Unity Wetlands covered the banks of the Sebasticook in Unity and a small part of Benton and found 16 riverside Native American sites. Ten of the sites were either near rapids or near a junction with a tributary stream.

In the 2004 study, the site at Benton Falls was described as having been used during the Archaic and Ceramic periods. Wikipedia says in Maine, the Ceramic period was between 3,000 and 500 years ago, or from about 1000 B.C. to about 1500 A.D.

Both the Farmington study and a Biodiversity Research Institute publication by C. R. DeSorbo and J. Brockway, found on line, mention pre-European fisheries for migrating river herring. Warren says there is evidence suggesting Native Americans built a two-tier stone fish trap where Outlet Stream from China Lake runs into the Sebasticook in Winslow, within a mile of the Kennebec.

In neither Benton nor Fairfield are there well-known evidences of pre-European settlement along the Kennebec. The Fairfield bicentennial history says Native Americans made arrowheads in an area called the sand hills in Larone, in northern Fairfield. Evidence cited included arrowheads, broken and unbroken, and chips from making the arrowheads (although collectors had picked up most of the chips).

The type of rock used to make the arrowheads was not found locally, the writers said. They surmised the Native Americans brought the rock from Moosehead.

In Alice Hammond’s 1992 history of the Town of Sidney, she quoted Dr. Arthur Speiss, of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, saying there had been Native Americans in Sidney since “at least 5,000 years ago.” By 1992, Hammond wrote, the Historic Preservation Commission had found 11 pre-European sites along the Kennebec River and eight along Messalonskee Lake’s eastern shore.

The Town of Sidney’s 2003 comprehensive plan gives the number of pre-historic sites as 23. Maps show four areas along the Kennebec and three more on Messalonskee Lake. The plan explains that the exact locations are not publicized to protect the areas.

Hammond wrote that there was no valid way to estimate how many Native Americans lived in Sidney, nor are there individuals’ names or information on when the last groups left. She surmised they could have been gone by the 1740s.

Sidney does, however, have its legend, retold in Hammond’s history and in other sources, including Maine Indians in History and Legend.

According to that version, Messalonskee Lake is named from the Native American word “Muskalog,” or “Giant Pike,” a big, voracious fish that lived in the lake. The name further recognizes that 14 other water bodies empty into the lake, “which like the Giant Pike was never satisfied.”

A heroic brave named Black Hawk and a sneaky brave named Red Wolf both loved a lovely, lively maiden named White Fawn. White Fawn chose Black Hawk.

The evening they were formally engaged, White Fawn and Black Hawk stole away from the celebration for some private moments on a clifftop overlooking Messalonskee Lake. Red Wolf followed them, killed Black Hawk, whose body fell into the lake, and tried to kidnap White Fawn.

Screaming, she jumped from the cliff into the water. The rest of the tribe rushed to the scene. Red Wolf cried out “Messalonskee! Messalonskee!” As the avengers closed in on him, there was an earthquake and an avalanche swept him, too, into the ever-hungry lake.

Series of lectures available online

A series of 10 lectures on early Maine history presented at Old Fort Western in 2021 is now available for viewing on line. Topics include Native Americans, Fort Western and Fort Halifax and trading posts on the Kennebec River. Speakers include Dr. Arthur Speiss and Leon Cranmer, mentioned in this article. The series can be found by searching for Old Fort Western or Maine bicentennial lectures.

Main sources

Cranmer, Leon E., Cushnoc: The History and Archaeology of Plymouth Colony Traders on the Kennebec (1990).
DeSorbo, C. R. and J. Brockway, The Lower Sebasticook River: A landowner’s guide for supporting one of Maine’s most unique and important ecosystems. (2018).
Fairfield Historical Society, Fairfield, Maine 1788-1988 (1988).
Hammond, Alice, History of Sidney Maine 1792-1992 (1992).
Hardy, Kerry, Notes on a Lost Flute: A Field Guide to the Wabanaki (2009).
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Maine Writers Research Club, Maine Indians in History and Legends (1952).
North, James W., The History of Augusta (1870)
Warren, Barbara, email exchange.

Websites, miscellaneous.

Davidoff announces for District #61 seat

Amy Davidoff

Amy Davidoff has announced a bid for House District #61 (Vassalboro and most of Sidney). She retired in 2019 as a Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine after a productive and fulfilling research and teaching career. She moved to Vassalboro with her partner Mary, where they built a high efficiency home with numerous solar panels.

Having sailed the coast of Maine for most of their lives, they have witnessed the adverse effects of climate change. Amy’s political philosophy has been formed in part based on her professional career in health sciences and a life time love of the sea. Amy has been involved in seeking solutions about solid waste disposal in Vassalboro, and expanding broadband access in Kennebec County.

A healthy environment that supports health and safety among all people is one of her top priorities and includes being a good steward of the planet as well as our community.

Area residents named to University of New England dean’s list

The following students have been named to the dean’s list for the 2021 fall semester at the University of New England, in Biddeford. Dean’s list students have attained a grade point average of 3.3 or better out of a possible 4.0 at the end of the semester.

Olivia McPherson, of Albion; Valerie Capeless, Zinaida Gregor, Jessica Guerrette, Brooklynn Merrill and Julia White, all of Augusta; Sidney Knox, of Benton; Alden Balboni, Kierra Bumford and Tyler Pellerin, all of Oakland: Sarah Kohl and Olivia Roy, both of Sidney; Julia Steeves and Dawson Turcotte, both of Skowhegan; Lauren Boatright, Noelle Cote and Richard Winn, all of South China; Libby Breznyak and Lauren Pinnette, both of Waterville; and Juliann Lapierre and Justice Picard, both of Winslow.

Endicott College announces local dean’s list students

Endicott College, in Beverly, Massachusetts, the first college in the U.S. to require internships of its students, is pleased to announce its Fall 2021 dean’s list students.

The following students have met these requirements:

Alana York, of Palermo, majoring in business management, is the daughter of Cheryl York and Andrew York.

Kristen Dube, of Sidney, majoring in nursing, is the daughter of Sarah Dube and Robert Dube.

Area residents named to dean’s list at University of New England

The following students have been named to the dean’s list for the 2021 fall semester at the University of New England, in Biddeford. Dean’s list students have attained a grade point average of 3.3 or better out of a possible 4.0 at the end of the semester.

Olivia McPherson, of Albion; Valerie Capeless, Zinaida Gregor, Jessica Guerrette, Brooklynn Merrill and Julia White, all of Augusta; Sidney Knox, of Benton; Alden Balboni, Kierra Bumford and Tyler Pellerin, all of Oakland: Sarah Kohl and Olivia Roy, both of Sidney; Julia Steeves and Dawson Turcotte, both of Skowhegan; Lauren Boatright, Noelle Cote and Richard Winn, all of South China; Libby Breznyak and Lauren Pinnette, both of Waterville; and Juliann Lapierre and Justice Picard, both of Winslow.

The University of New England is Maine’s largest private university, with two beautiful coastal campuses in Maine, a one-of-a-kind study-abroad campus in Tangier, Morocco, and an array of flexible online offerings. In an uncommonly welcoming and supportive community, we offer hands-on learning, empowering students to make a positive impact in a world full of challenges. We are the state’s top provider of health professionals and home to Maine’s only medical and dental colleges, a variety of other interprofessionally aligned health care programs, and nationally recognized degree paths in the marine sciences, the natural and social sciences, business, the humanities, and the arts. Visit une.edu

Endicott College announces local dean’s list students

Endicott College, in Beverly, Massachusetts, the first college in the U.S. to require internships of its students, is pleased to announce its Fall 2021 dean’s list students. In order to qualify for the dean’s list, a student must obtain a minimum grade point average of 3.5, receive no letter grade below “C,” have no withdrawal grades, and be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits for the semester.

The following students have met these requirements:

Alana York, of Palermo, majoring in business management, is the daughter of Cheryl York and Andrew York.

Kristen Dube, of Sidney, majoring in nursing, is the daughter of Sarah Dube and Robert Dube.

Rep. Perkins announces local projects in Maine DOT work plan

State Representative Mike Perkins R-(Oakland) is pleased to announce that the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Work Plan for Calendar Years 2022, 2023 and 2024 is available. The estimated value of work in the plan totals more than 2,316 individual work items with a total value of $3.17 billion. This represents a substantial increase from last year due to anticipated federal funding.

The MDOT Work Plan for House District #77 includes projects in Oakland and Sidney. They include:

• Drainage Maintenance on Route 11 in Oakland,
• Highway Paving on Middle Road in Oakland,
• Bridge and Structural Maintenance on the Town Farm Brook Bridge (Route 104) in Sidney, and
• Highway Paving on Middle Road in Sidney.

“I am pleased to see several projects scheduled for out area over the next three years and throughout Maine,” said Rep. Perkins. “I wish that additional federal dollars would allow DOT to do more. Unfortunately, the federal money will mostly offset the runaway inflation we are experiencing, not go toward the chronic underfunding of our roads and bridges. I understand that, like the rest of us, DOT is trying to do more with less.”

The full work plan, searchable by municipality, is available at the Maine Department of Transportation’s website: https://www.maine.gov/mdot/projects/workplan/search/.

Endicott College announces local dean’s list students

Endicott College, in Beverly, Massachusetts, the first college in the U.S. to require internships of its students, is pleased to announce its Fall 2021 dean’s list students. In order to qualify for the dean’s list, a student must obtain a minimum grade point average of 3.5, receive no letter grade below “C,” have no withdrawal grades, and be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits for the semester.

The following students have met these requirements:

Alana York, of Palermo, majoring in business management, is the daughter of Cheryl York and Andrew York.

Kristen Dube, of Sidney, majoring in nursing, is the daughter of Sarah Dube and Robert Dube.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Wars – Part 5

by Mary Grow

Left, In 1780, at the age of 15, Samuel Downing joined the Continental Army. He served with the 2nd New Hamp­shire Regiment guarding forts on the New York frontier. Center, Lemuel Cook enlisted in 1781 when he was 16 years old. He served at the Battle of Brandy­wine, was present at the Surrender at York­town and was selected by Baron von Steuben to join the New York City campaign. Right, Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Albert Gallatin served as a volunteer under Col. John Allan, commander of the fort of Machias in Maine, according to his obituary. He later served three terms in the Pennsylvania House of Repre­sentatives. He also became the Secre­tary of the Treasury, served as the U.S. Minister to France and helped to established New York University.

The Revolutionary War ended in 1783 and photography was invented in the 1820s and 1830s, so most of the veterans of the war didn’t live long enough to have their portraits made. A handful of them did. In 1864, 81 years after the war, Rev. E. B. Hillard and two photographers embarked on a trip through New England to visit, photograph, and interview the six known surviving veterans, all of whom were over 100 years old. The glass plate photos were printed into a book titled The Last Men of the Revolution.

These are three of the Revolutionary War veterans who were over 100 years old when photographed.

Palermo, Sidney, Vassalboro

Palermo, Sidney and Vassalboro, like the central Kennebec cities and towns in the previous two articles in this series, had Revolutionary War veterans among their early settlers.

The grave of Isaac Worthen.

In Milton Dowe’s Palermo history, he identified Isaac Worthen (March 4, 1762 – March 1, 1841; later the name became Worthing), one of two brothers who moved to Palermo (then Great Pond Settlement) from New Hampshire, as a “hero of the Revolution.” An on-line search suggests he took the phrase from an article about Worthen, written by Samuel Copp Worthen (probably a descendant), in the Sprague Journal of Maine History, Vol. XII, No. 1, January-Mach 1924.

According to the article, Isaac’s father, Major Jacob Worthen, was a lieutenant in Captain Titus Salter’s company at Fort Washington, on Pierce Island at the mouth of the Piscataquis River, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The fort was designed by Capt. Ezekiel Worthen, Jacob’s father and Isaac’s grandfather.

Isaac Worthen was in Salter’s company by May 1777, when he was 15. The history article says he wanted a berth on the USS Raleigh, which was going to France to buy ammunition. Turned down as too young, he jumped aboard as the ship sailed; the captain let him stay and made him a marine effective Aug. 1, 1777.

Worthen served for the duration of the war in different companies. Millard Howard added in his town history that Worthen was a corporal in a militia unit before his 17th birthday; Dowe wrote that one of his posts was West Point, in 1780.

In 1782, he married Judith Currier and they came to Palermo, where, an on-line genealogy says, their son Jonathan was born in 1785. An on-line photo of Worthen’s gravestone in Palermo’s Old Greeley Corner Cemetery shows his name; the words “Marine Continental Marines Rev War” on four lines; and his dates of birth and death.

Howard identified another Revolutionary veteran, Sir John Bradstreet, who was “nearly 40 years old when he came to Palermo with his family in 1786” and settled at the north end of Sheepscot Pond. His descendants included Clair Bradstreet, who chaired the town select board for more than 40 years in the 20th century. Bradstreet and his wife Freda (Worthing) Bradstreet lived in the Worthing House, on North Palermo Road, now owned by the Palermo Historical Society.

Thaddeus Bailey (1759 – 1849) is identified in a genealogy found on line as a Revolutionary War veteran who lived in Palermo, Albion and Palermo again. Born in Newbury, Massachusetts, he enlisted at 18 as a private in the Massachusetts militia company that spent three days at Pownalborough in September 1777 “in the defense and retaking of a mastship in the Sheepscot River.”

In 1778, he was in a unit that enlisted from Lincoln County and served in Providence, Rhode Island. From June 30 to Sept. 25, 1779, he was a private in Colonel (later Brigadier General) Samuel Rogers McCobb’s Lincoln County militia regiment and participated in the unsuccessful attempt to oust the British from Fort George, in Penobscot Bay.

(General McCobb [Nov. 20, 1744 – July 30, 1791] was born and died in Georgetown, Province of Maine. He served throughout the Revolution, at least part of the time with the Lincoln County Militia. He was a captain at Bunker Hill, a colonel on Benedict Arnold’s expedition to Québec and in charge at Penobscot after the British finally left in 1784.)

After the war, Bailey returned to Pownalborough until 1795, when he bought 100 acres for $110 in Sheepscot Great Pond (now Palermo). He and his wife Mary, whom he married in 1783 and who died before 1810, had 11 children. Census records from 1810 through 1840 show him living in Albion; a record of Revolutionary War pensioners lists him in Palermo in 1841. His pension, which started May 3, 1831, was $30.65 a year, according to the genealogy.

* * * * * *

Alice Hammond claimed to have found another Isaac (besides Isaac Worthen) who enlisted as a teenager: in her history of Sidney, she said of Isaac I. Cowan (March 14, 1758 – July 19, 1828): “At age fourteen he went into the Revolutionary War and served three years.” However, by this writer’s reckoning Cowan would have turned 15 in March 1773, two years before the fighting at Lexington and Concord.

An on-line site lists yet another young volunteer who ended up in Sidney: Massachusetts-born Jabez Rollins or Rollings (about 1767 – Oct. 4, 1842, or Oct. 28, 1847 [sources differ]) joined the New Hampshire Line in 1782, when he was 15. After the Revolution, he was in a Massachusetts regiment from February through June 1787 and helped suppress Shay’s Rebellion, the website continues; but since Shay’s Rebellion, an uprising by farmers protesting economic hardship in western Massachusetts, was suppressed by February, his role must have been limited.

On July 15, 1792, Rollings married Lydia Haskell (or Harskell) in Bradford, Massachusets. By 1795, they were in Mercer, Maine; by 1780, in New Sharon; and from 1810 on in Sidney. They had at least five children.

Capt. Abiel Lovejoy

Captain Abiel (or Abial) Lovejoy (Dec. 16, 1731 – July 4 [probably], 1811) was one of Sidney’s best-known veterans; Hammond referred to him as “Squire Lovejoy, the old slaveholder.” Born in Andover, Massachusetts, he married Mary Brown, in Charlestown, in December 1758. He was part-owner of trading ships, and later owner and captain of a small fleet based in Charleston. Hammond wrote that his ventures extended north to “the Bay of Fundy and south to the West Indies,” and that Mary sometimes sailed with him.

In 1760, Hammond said, he bought land in Pownalborough; in 1761, he and Mary and their first two children moved to what became Dresden, where he was a merchant, a ferry owner, a shipbuilder and “involved in public office and in land transactions.” In June 1763, Hammond wrote, he was one of the first three men to receive land in Sidney (then Vassalboro) from the Kennebec Proprietors.

In 1764 Lovejoy, in partnership with Mary’s father Nathaniel Brown, bought “half a saw mill and adjoining land and a half interest in a dam” on what was later Hastings Brook. In 1776, the Lovejoys moved to a farm in Sidney overlooking the river.

Hammond wrote that Lovejoy was in the Massachusetts militia from 1755, and from 1758 to 1771 his assignment was in Lincoln County, in what is now Maine – hence, presumably, his interest in acquiring land there. She added, “He also served in the American Revolutionary War.”

But she gave no details of his Revolutionary service, instead listing wartime activities in Sidney: in 1777 petitioning for an extension of the postal service and in 1778 serving on a committee to choose the post rider; in 1781 becoming Justice of the Peace; and “between 1776 and 1798” holding many other local offices.

A detailed on-line source adds that in 1776 he was a member of the pro-Revolutionary Committee of Safety and Correspondence, and in 1779 on “a committee to settle with the women on account of supplies ordered to the soldiers [sic] families by the General Court.” He was also highway surveyor in 1776 and 1777; selectman in 1779 and 1780; in 1780 town meeting moderator in 1780; and town treasurer and a county convention delegate in 1781.

Apparently he was a delegate to the Massachusetts General Court during the Revolutionary years, too, because the on-line sources says he “had been elected year after year” before he was challenged in 1781 and 1782, partly on the ground that he was not a supporter of independence.

The unnamed author of the on-line piece disagrees, calling Lovejoy “a fiery American patriot.” Evidence cited includes Tory Parson Jacob Bailey (mentioned in the history article in the Jan. 13 of The Town Line) naming him an instigator of mobs that attacked Bailey and other Loyalists, and Lovejoy’s willingness to give officers and soldiers in Benedict Arnold’s 1775 army hard money in return for their already-depreciating paper currency.

“Captain Abiel Lovejoy lost some $30,000 this way and afterwards papered a room in the Lovejoy homestead with this ‘worthless money,'” the on-line account says.

The Lovejoys had eight children before they moved to Sidney, and Hammond wrote six more were born there. The family lived in an elaborate house and owned several slaves, three of whom were buried in the small family cemetery on their farm, which Hammond called the “oldest cemetery in Sidney.”

Hammond also wrote about the Reynolds family. Nathaniel Reynolds IV, Esquire, settled in 1779 on the south end of West River Road in what was then Vassalboro, with his family. He served in the Revolutionary Army and “loaned money to the government for the cause”; and five sons “were all Revolutionary soldiers,” Hammond said.

* * * * * *

One of Vassalboro’s pre-war settlers and veterans was Charles B. Webber (January 1741 – Nov. 20, 1819). Born in Old York, Maine, he fought in the French and Indian Wars in 1757 and 1759. During the Revolution, an on-line genealogy says he is recorded as serving as second lieutenant in the Second Lincoln County Regiment of the Massachusetts militia, which was organized in 1776 and sent to Riverton, Rhode Island, in 1777.

Webber married his first wife, Hannah Call, in 1761 in Dresden. In 1765 they moved to Vassalboro, settling in the Riverside area. The on-line genealogy says their second child, a daughter named Sarah, was the first white child born in the town.

The same website says Webber was Vassalboro’s first treasurer, in 1771, and served again in 1776, when he was also the third town clerk; in 1773 and from 1792 to 1796 was a selectman and in 1790 was one of the committee that laid out Vassalboro’s first nine school districts.

A search for Webber’s name in Vassalboro’s extremely valuable on-line cemetery database confirmed his burial site in the Webber Family Cemetery at Riverside.

One of Webber’s company commanders was Dennis Getchell (1723 or 1724 – early January 1792), who bought land in the Riverside area of Vassalboro in August 1770.

Getchell was born in Berwick and is identified first as a major, perhaps from service in the French and Indian Wars. He must have moved to Vassalboro as soon as he bought his land, because the website says he was elected selectman at the first town meeting, April 26, 1771, and many times thereafter.

On July 23, 1776, he was commissioned a captain in the Second Lincoln County Regiment, and led his 50-man company at Riverton in 1777. In 1786, he was elected a member of the Massachusetts General Court.

Amos Childs (July 5, 1764 – Feb. 19, 1847) was a Massachusetts native who spent at least part of his time in the Revolutionary force as a drummer. He served three years and was honorably discharged in 1783. On Nov. 1, 1801, he married Hannah Webber (born in 1780 in Vassalboro, Charles and Hannah [Call] Webber’s daughter) in Vassalboro; they had “at least two children,” an on-line source says.

Hannah died Feb. 14, 1860; she and Amos are buried side by side in the North Vassalboro Village Cemetery.

Main sources

Dowe, Milton E., History Town of Palermo Incorporated 1884 (1954).
Hammond, Alice, History of Sidney Maine 1792-1992 (1992).
Howard, Millard, An Introduction to the Early History of Palermo, Maine (second edition, December 2015).
Robbins, Alma Pierce, History of Vassalborough Maine 1771 1971 n.d. (1971).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Sidney resident inducted into Honor Society for First-Year Success

Saint Anselm College student Christopher King, of Sidney, a biology major in the class of 2024, has been accepted into Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society for first-year success, for the 2020-2021 academic year, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

To be eligible for invitation, students must be enrolled full-time at an institution with an active chapter of Alpha Lambda Delta and have a 3.5 grade point average or higher in their first semester or first year.