A Gazetteer of the State of Maine: Orrington (1886)

The following is an excerpt from A Gazetteer of the State of Maine, with Numerous Illustrations (1886) by Geo. J. Varney, author of “The Young People’s History of Maine,” member of Maine Historical Society, etc.

Transcribed by P. Bickford-Duane, August 2016.

Orrington is the most southern town in Penobscot County. It is situated upon the eastern bank of the Penobscot, about six miles below Bangor, on the Bucksport and Bangor railroad. Orrington is bounded on the north by Brewer, east by Holden, and east and south by Bucksport, in Hancock County. The surface is rather hilly and rocky in many parts, but has a fair quality of soil which yields well under thorough cultivation. There are many good farms in this town, and many very attractive residences. A drive along some of its roads is delightful. Orrington Great Pond, formerly Brewer Pond, lies on the eastern line of the town, and with a smaller connected pond on the north, gives a water surface of about 10 square miles. It discharges through Segeunkedunk Stream into the Penobscot in Brewer, just over the north line of Orrington. This stream furnishes at East Orrington power for a saw-mill, and a short distance below for a shingle-mill and tannery; then by successive falls, for two grist-mills and another saw-mill. In the southern part of the town lies Sweet’s Pond, smallest of the three, sending its overflow into the Penobscot at the village of South Orrington. At this place are two lumber-mills and a grist-mill. Other manufactures in the town are drain-tile, earthen-ware, churns, boots and shoes, etc.

The first settlement in Orrington was made by Capt. John Brewer, from Worcester, Mass., in June, 1770, at the mouth of the Segeunkedunk Stream, where he built a mill. He had obtained consent of the General Court to settle here upon condition that he should receive a grant of the territory from the crown within three years; and with his associates, he caused the exterior lines of a tract large enough for a township to be surveyed. They had sent to the king a petition, and a grant was promised; but just then news of the battle of Lexington was received, and the patent was not issued. During the war, Brewer and other settlers were annoyed by the British from the river below to such an extent that they left the place, returning when the war closed. In 1784, the township was surveyed by R. Dodge, and on March 25th, 1786, Captain Brewer, with Simeon Fowler (who had settled three miles below in what is now Orrington) purchased from Massachusetts for £3,000 in joint notes, the lots abutting on the river, to the extent of 10,864 acres. The residue of the township was granted to Moses Knapp and his associates. Many of the first settlers were mariners, who had been forced by the approach of war to seek other business; but navigation reviving on the return of peace, many of these returned to their old pursuits, taking with them their grown-up sons. Previous to its incorporation as a town on March 21, 1788, the settlement had borne the name of New Worcester, or Plantation No. 9. The town was named for Orangetown, Md., but, by a misspelling in the act of incorporation, the name became Orrington. The first representative to the legislature was Oliver Leonard, in 1798. The centres of business are Orrington, on the river near the middle of the town; East and South Orrington, the last being the largest. At Goodale Corners, in the south-eastern part of the town, is an excellent nursery; and the town abounds in fine orchards. There were first erected in Orrington two meeting-houses seven miles apart, and equally distant from each end of the town. There is now a Methodist church at Orrington village, at South Orrington and at the Centre, and a Congregational church at East Orrington. The town has some excellent schoolhouses, the entire number being thirteen. They are valued at $4,975. The population in 1870 was 1768. In 1880 it was 1,529. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $400,839. In 1880 it was $405,898.

1886 Gazetteer of State of Maine, title page 1886 Gazetteer of State of Maine, pg.417

1886 Gazetteer of State of Maine, pg.418

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HAS FEW EQUALS IN MAINE: Little 17-Year-Old Blanche Hinds Has Done Great Things as a Telegrapher

Article from the Boston Sunday Globe

Dated Jan. 18, 1903

Little 17-Year-Old Blanche Hinds Has Done Great Things as a Telegrapher

Augusta, Me, Jan. 17

Members of the legislature and others habituating the state house have already noted, among other innovations, a new telegraph office. It is a neat little affair, bright and shining, adorned with palms and flowers and equipped with convenient desks and devices for the convenience of the patrons. And over it all presides a little brown-eyed girl, seemingly too young for such a place.

But the people who sent little Blanche Hinds to the state house knew what they were doing. She is one of the most competent telegraphers in Maine.

Blanche Hinds learned telegraphy with her letters, and when she was four years old could take by sound any word that she knew how to spell. She has hardly been out of the sound of the clicks since, and she is now 17 years old.

She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Josiah D. Hinds of South Orrington over on the Penobscot. Mr. Hinds is a veteran of the Civil War, and has for many years been station agent at that place. They are very proud of their daughter.

When she was 3 years old she began to develop a wonderfully keen perception and a faculty for investigating and reasoning out things. Before she was four she had learned every letter of the alphabet from a little ?? and she learned to read while other children were still struggling with their letters. She was a wonder of the little village.

The old ladies shook their heads ?? and prophesied that the child would ever grow up – they said that her brain was so big that her head would not hold it, and that something would surely happen to her.

Mr. Hinds combined the duties of telegraph operator with station agent, and like many operators, contracted the habit of drumming with knife or fork when waiting for dinner. One day, when Blanche was 4 1/2 years old, she surprised her father one day saying:

“Make a ‘papa.'”

Mr. Hinds made the telegraph letter by placing his knife between the tines of the fork making “a” in all sorts of ways. Then the other letters followed, and in a very short time the child knew the entire Morse alphabet. It was her delight and took up most of her play time.

The first appearance of Blanche in public was when she was not quite 5 years old. It was at a church entertainment in the village and Blanche was down for an “exhibition.” The little tot was placed upon a stage of the large hall and her father announced that if everyone would write a message that he would telegraph it to her from the other end of the hall using only a knife and fork, literally a wireless operation.

The village squire volunteered and wrote upon a slip of paper, “Who is the President of the United States?” Quite a message for a 5 year old to read even in plain letters. The hall was quiet as the grave while Mr. Hinds tinked the message, the little girl listening intently, the large audience separating her from her father.

With the last tink came the quick answer: “Who is the President of the United States?”

“Very well, very well indeed,” said the squire. “Now, can you tell me who is the President of the United States?”

“Benjamin Harrison, sir,” came the reply which surprised Mr. Hinds as much as it did the others.

Shortly after, Mr. Hinds, greatly to the delight of his daughter, put up a private line between the station and the house and about all of his spare time was taken up in talking over the wire with his little daughter. When she was 6 years old she could read as fast as Mr. Hinds could send, and copy almost as fast.

Then she began to spend all her leisure at the station listening to the instrument. The line from Bangor to Bucksport was not a very busy one and the operator not expert, so that Blanche soon was talking with the others on the line and asking them if they couldn’t send faster.

About six years ago the late Thomas B. Reed spoke at Bucksport and the best operator in the Bangor office went down and sent about 6000 words of press over the line. Blanche copied the entire message, missing a single word.

When she was 14 years old, she substituted in the Western Union office in Bangor, taking her place with the other operators, many of whom had been in the business long before she was born. Later she entered the employ of the Postal company as assistant manager and chief operator and handled practically all the messages for President Roosevelt and his party during their stay in Bangor last summer.

Later she substituted as manager of the important office at Waterville and of the office at Augusta and when it was decided to open the office in the state house she was selected as the best operator of any of the several hundred operators available.

Besides being an operator Miss Hinds is an accomplished pianist and can also send and receive French as well as English.

The best of all is, the little woman is not in the least affected by the compliments and praise she gets. She does not consider herself at all out of the ordinary.

She is spending her spare time just now in learning the press “code” and hopes to qualify as a code operator.18 Jan 1903 Boston Globe photocopy of orginal article on Blanche Hinds, telepgraph operator, page 4 (1)

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Dean Hill Cemetery Well Pump Donations

The Dean Hill Cemetery well pump is working again, thanks to Ronnie Hanscom of Hanscom Well Drilling in Orrington. Dean Hill is actively managed by an association, which is looking ahead to a more permanent pump solution – a new pump which will last “forever” and won’t need to be removed for winter. DHCA is asking for donations of any amount. Will you help?5-2016 Dean Hill Cemetery vintage pump

Treasurer, Dean Hill Cemetery Ass’n
69 Bald Head Reach
Orrington, ME 04474

The DHCA is also looking for addresses, either mail or email, of people whose ancestors are buried at Dean Hill.

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A Brief Review of Orrington Cemeteries, by Henry Wiswell

Thank you to David Swett for his research efforts.
This text was retyped by Philippa Harvey in March 2011.

          Helen Tupper asked me to give a talk today, and I dragged my feet long and hard because I do not consider myself a good or interesting speaker.  I finally agreed as she said I could speak on town history or my family history, which has been written.  This way it would not require a lot of research on my part as I was not up on the history of cemeteries in Orrington.

          I made the mistake of asking David Swett if he knew where information on the cemetery that was near the old meeting house might be.  He gave me two large, 500 page books transcribed from Historical Society papers and a hundred pages that he had transcribed from the town clerks’ Book #1.  He also gave me his transcriptions of the gravestones of Orrington cemeteries.  WELL!  I am President of the North Orrington Cemetery Association and had wanted this information on the Marston Cemetery to make our files more complete.  I put all this data along with our cemetery data on a spreadsheet and alphabetized it.  Mary Bowden and Abigail Williamson checked it and corrections were made.  I could not seem to stop so I have done the same to all the cemeteries in town, active or not.  The data on the other cemeteries is being checked and these files will be up-graded.  That info, along with cemetery plans, is here for you to look at if you wish.  What a job Helen got me into.  But then, this is the way that most of the jobs that are supposed to be of little effort turn out to be.

          Most of the material I will be presenting this evening is information from David Swett’s research.  Not enough can be said about the effort and determination that he has put into this.  He has or is in the process of copying items about Orrington up to the early twentieth century.  These records include but are not limited to: town clerk records, historical society papers (two volumes), registry of deed records, court records, probate records – and David even went to the county seats of Wiscassett and Ellsworth to do this.  I have arranged the cemetery information from his work chronologically, hoping that it makes sense.

          Orrington was incorporated in 1788.

          In 1780 Joshua Chamberlain (grandfather to Civil War Joshua Chamberlain of Brewer) deeded to the town for $45.00 one hundred fifty square rods, or just over nine-tenths of an acre of land, for a meeting house near where the Town Pound is located on the Main Road with the stipulation that it would be used only for a meeting house, outbuildings, and sheds.

          In 1799 the town elected a committee to see to clearing a road on the town lot to the burying ground and to clear the same.  It is hard to tell if this reference is the meeting house or the Old Settlers Cemetery, but in any case the first cemetery by name or location is from a deed dated 1803, again from Joshua Chamberlain.  It looks like the same lot, only he waived the Meeting House only requirement and allowed a burying ground to be located there.  By 1806 Joseph Rooks, who apparently owned the land on the other side of the road, deeded four-tenths of an acre to the town for $24.37.

          In 1809 the town voted to look into the question of a cemetery located on Benjamin Snow’s property (this had to have been Baker Hill) to see if the town had the title.  Apparently they did not because nothing else is written for this cemetery.

          In 1811 the town bought the private cemetery which is now called Dean Hill from Rev. Enoch Mudge.  They bought one-fourth acre for $75.00.  This was a triangular piece not bordering the road.

          By 1826 the town chose a committee to look into buying a lot from Mr. Wheelden.  This is the Old Settlers Cemetery that is no longer active.  A committee was to procure a deed and fence it in.  The next year the town voted to fence the cemetery near Ephraim Goodale’s.  This must be the now discontinued cemetery on the Goodale Road, which is also discontinued.  In 1828 the town voted to purchase and fence the Old Settlers Cemetery. I believe that your group has recorded the names of these two cemeteries previously.  Swett’s list agreed very closely with yours.

          Again in 1829 the town voted to fence in the burying ground near the meeting house.

          In 1834 a piece of land was bought from Samuel Swett for a cemetery.  This plot became the Oak Hill Cemetery.

          In 1836 the town again raised the question of whether to fence the Meeting House cemetery and the new one purchased from Samuel Swett.

Some of the expenses paid on the cemeteries work were as follows: 

          One day myself on fence ………. $1.00

          A boy for four hours …………….. $.12

          A horse ………………………………..$.12

          In 1850 the selectmen were requested to lay out a graveyard in the vicinity of Nathaniel Marston’s property.  By that fall the selectmen had made a deal with Mr. Thomas Barstow to purchase one and one-fourth acres of land opposite old Mr. Marston’s house.  The property measured ten rods on the road and twenty rods deep.

          In 1855 a committee on burying grounds was appointed, and they finally got down to business.  They (J.H. Nickerson was chairman) purchased eight or ten acres of land from Warren Nickerson Esq. for $500.00 to be paid for over a three year time frame.  Notes and deeds were taken in a private capacity.  The chairman reserved two and one-fourth acres for the burying ground (this abutted the previous lot purchased from Mr. Mudge) and sold the rest for $525.00 with $250.00 down and the rest to be a note for three years.  After deducting $5.00 for interest the town ended up with the cemetery and $20.00 to boot.

          At some point in 1855 the committee examined the burying ground near the old meeting house.  They found very little good ground left and there was no opportunity to enlarge.  They also recognized that the fence was out of repair so they recommended discontinuing this ground.  They also found the graveyard at South Orrington was about all occupied, and it too had no room for enlargement.  They looked around and could not find any other area that would justify paying the price being asked.  A very depressing report was given for the condition and status of all the burying grounds in town.  The committee recommended having one large centrally located cemetery in town.

          Also in 1855 an article was placed in the town warrant in which the committee recommended the corpses be removed from the Meeting House Cemetery.  Friends of the deceased would be consulted to see where they would like the remains moved.  In September of that year the committee was instructed to move the corpses of those for whom consent had been given by the survivors.  Other corpses would be moved to condense the yard, and they would fence in the same.  The Committee on Graveyards gave their second and final report at the September meeting in which they stated that much pains were taken to consult the friends of the deceased and that all had finally consented to have the corpses removed.

          Forty were moved to the upper yard in town. (No doubt Marston)

          Three were moved to Brewer.

          The remaining thirty-eight were moved to the Dean Hill lot. 

          There were one hundred eighty-one moved total.

They were instructed to build a fence around the Dean lot, which they did and described it very well in their report.  Some of the fence from the old yard was used for this.  They also reported that they were able to find suitable land in South Orrington for a cemetery from Mr. Wheelden at $1.50 for two acres, which became Pine Hill Cemetery.  The total cost listed by the Committee was:

          Lot purchase at South Orrington ……………………… $1.50

          Fencing the same …………………………………………….$95.78

          Blasting and digging stones ………………………………$132.71

          Moving one hundred, eighty-one corpses …………..$160.34


Note:  This does not add up to the mentioned figure so no doubt there is something left out.  The labor for moving the corpses was typically billed at three days labor at $5.50.  For the next few years several bills were submitted to the town for digging stones and blasting rocks in graveyards.

          By 1859 it appears that one of the old graveyards on Center Drive between Johnson Mill Road and East Dow Road was dug up and the bodies were taken to Oak Hill.   

          It would seem miraculous today if we could get a cemetery moved from conception to completion in the span of one year, but it was accomplished then.

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A WWII Letter


Dear Harvey, Fran and kids,

Just a few lines to let you know that I am still O.K. and think of you folks often. Not much news over here, at least that I can write about. I meant to write more often and received your letter with Jane’s and Mary Ellen’s but we moved out at that time so I couldn’t get to it. This is about the first time I’ve had since then. They are keeping us pretty busy but we aren’t kicking because time passes more quickly that way.

At present I am sitting outside my dugout enjoying the sunshine – the reason – the inside is full of water and besides we don’t get much sun to enjoy. If anyone had told me I would be living like a ground hog, I wouldn’t have believed them but I am now, and liking it. 

I hope Harvey hasn’t been called up yet and that he won’t be, but the Army does funny things so no one knows. I should think it would be much better to take these single men who have these so called defense jobs and like to strike so much. But I am not paid to think so my opinion isn’t worth a damn. I wish they would give us fellows a chance to swap places with the strikers though. If a guy goes on strike over here, it’s his own neck. Well, I guess I’ve mumbled on enough for this time so until next time so long and write when you can.

Love to all,


Donald Holyoke of Brewer married Dorothea Crook of East Orrington on August 17, 1941. He was still a Lieutenant when this letter was written and a Captain when he died. The letter was sent to his wife’s brother and his sister-in-law who lived in Orrington – all Orrington mail had a Brewer address at that time.

This letter was submitted by the Crook family and transcribed by Donna Lathrop.

Circa 1940, Donald Holyoke with Dorothea Crook at the Crook farm, EO before they married in Orrington August 17, 1941 Killed in action 23 May 1944

Don't stone at Mt. Hope Cemetery

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The Life of Raymond L. Perkins, Jr.

The following article has been republished from a 2008 issue of Paper Talks Magazine, “Penobscot County Servicemen and Women Joined the Allied Forces During World War II.”

Raymond L. Perkins, Jr. was born on May 29, 1921, the son of Raymond, Sr. and Gladys Hillier Perkins of Orrington.
He enlisted in the National Guard on 03/12/40, serving with the 152nd Field Artillery, Battery E as a truck driver and machine gunner in the Pacific Theater. He was in combat for 2 months and contracted malaria – losing 40 pounds in 2 months. Ray was medically discharged on 11/02/43 and was honored with the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon with 2 Battle Stars.
Raymond settled in Orrington where he returned to the family farm. He worked for the sheriff’s department for 12 years and was employed as an R.F.D. carrier for 24 years.

Louise Smith became his wife on December 12, 1943, and they raised three children – Gerald of Orrington, Peter of FL and Diane Mallory of NH.
Mr. Perkins continues to live in the home in which he was born, in Orrington.*

*Raymond Perkins passed away in 2011. 

An album of photos relating to the Perkins family can be found on our Facebook page.

zRaymond L. Perkins, Jr.11172014_0001

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Higgins Inventory of Household Goods

Transcribed by Ro Stewart.

Know all men by these presents that I, S. H. Higgins of Orrington Penobscot Co. Maine in consideration of one hundred dollars paid me by Evelyn Higgins of said Orrington, hereby sell and convey to said Evelyn Higgins the following household goods now in my house at said Orrington viz:

One black haircloth parlor set consisting of one sofa, 4 chairs, two easy chairs,  one cloth covered; one centre table, one organ, one pine chamber set, one lounge, one ash writing desk with drawers, one extension table six chairs, two featherbeds, two mattresses, two rag carpets and one manila carpet.  Also all the dishes and all other furniture in said house belonging to me. And I hereby put the said Evelyn Higgins in possession and ownership of said property by delivering her this indenture.

Dated at Orrington Maine this 26th day of August, 1886.

Signed: S. H. Higgins

Witness:  J. W. D.

26 Aug 1886 Inventory of household goods from Higgins to Higgins, cr

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Orringtons Illustrated Monthly News, 1910

Provided by Sharon (Bennett) Caron. Transcribed by Anne B. Allen, June 2015.

This letter is believed to have been written by Delia Cottle Smith, Sharon Caron’s grandmother. Delia was Beulah Hardison Smith’s mother-in-law. She was the mother of Vernon Vanbuskirk Smith and his sister Adria, the letter’s other author.

Orringtons Illustrated Monthly News

March 9th, 1910

My dear Boy.  I entended to write to you Sunday but was called out at 3 in the morning –   Ferd came after me and about 4 a dear little [baby] was born – a little girl and looks like Ethel – she is so pleased with it – there nurse was sick and couldnt come so I stayed until today Monday p.m. until they got someone & I got $2.00 for it.  Yesterday was a lovely day – as I went out at the back door there set three [boys] by the side of the house – Arthur K Harold E and Donald B – Adria said Don came in here to see you and was surprised to find you away – he wanted your address but papa couldn’t find it so he said he would write to Whitman – you better send him your address – this has been a terrible day, been raining [pitchforks] all day and the snow is nearly all gone and the ice is not safe now – big holes and I guess it will go out early this spring.

Nattie K is going out of the hen business.  I guess he can make more money at his trade  – he has sold all of his [hens] – it is no use for anyone to try to keep hens if they have a trade – I wish we had his nice hen house down here.  Edd Crowell is still killing [pigs] – he killed 4 last week.  I dident sleep much last night – the baby was fussy until 2:30 this morning so I slept from that untill 6 oclock and I am so sleepy I will have to go to [bed] now and finish this tomorrow.

Tu morning – I will try and finish the news today to send out tonight – you know the old chairs I was going to have you remodel for me – well I got papa at it – he sawed them in two and made me the cutest little [table] like this one – only I put little pieces of dishes on the top into the putty and you cant think how pretty it looks – he done a good job – I have got to guild the edges today and varnish it and it will be done and ready to put my [plant] on.  I do hope you wont get a cold this spring working out in all kinds of weather – there are lots of people around here that have been sick with colds but so far we have all escaped them.  Vida Grenon was real sick Saturday with tonsilitis – the minister and wife went down to Bucksport – he came home and she stayed down over Sunday and she and Vida came up on the 9 train yesterday in all that rain.  I hope she didn’t take more cold but Mrs. Grenon said they couldn’t stay there.

Well we hear the RFD [mail wagon] is coming back to the corner.  They say he can’t go anywhere down there – only to card clubs – he cant get to the theaters so easy down there as he can up here – they are going to move into Grace Reeds house – well now I must go to cooking and your sister has got the dishes washed and wants to write a while so I will give this up to her.

Isent this kind of letter writing fun, the next news will be that Mr. Scogden has bought a 2 years old [horse] – he had him harnessed up and he went good – he is dark red with a white strip in his face.  I had my birthday party and I had a pair of [gloves] for a present – they are tan kid – it is a lovely day today and Ethel Bowden is down here to spend the day, papa is out in the barn making a thill for his gigger – when mama went to Bangor to get my gloves she got papa a [fiddle] record, a medley – it is real pretty – I have had such a nice time to practice on the organ – I expect to be a lovely player by the time you get back – I have read that book The True Hero, do you play on your [harmonica] any.

Well Adria has stoped writing and is playing with Ethel – she has been sick just as you were when Adria was born – she is better now.

Delmont has found a chum – he is with Paul Blare the most of the time – he has never been here but once since you went away.  I don’t miss your presents as I did but I miss you in the pantry – the cake hangs on so long and the baked beans we have hard work to get them eaten and I don’t bake so many either – had Tomy brought Nichols [wagon] when you went away – he says he likes it and I heard today that he was going to move to So Orrington – that is the place for him as he goes down there every morning.

The ice is so poor – lots of holes in it today.

Every one that asks for you says I am so glad for him – not one has said they were sorry you had gone so you see how glad everyone is to have you gone – oh some did say they would miss you.

It is a lovely day so I guess we will go to the Grange tonight all right – have not been since you went away – have you been to see [                ] and [                    ] yet – you can take this illustrated news to him as it will only be published once a month, hopeing to hear from you soon – ever the same with love, Mother & Adria.


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Transcribed by Anne (Bowden) Allen from Henry Buxton’s column for the Bangor Daily News.

Feb. 22, 1937


“In 1816, John Brooks constructed the first steamboat ever built in Cincinnati–the first to operate on the Ohio river.  He became a wealthy man and invested most of his money in Cincinnati real estate.  Later Nicholas Longworth, grandfather of the late Congressman Nicholas Longworth, who married Alice Roosevelt, laid claim to this real estate.  There followed a series of law suits which extended over a period of years.  Finally Longworth won and John Brooks became a ruined man.  He died in 1822.

“James Brooks, a son of John Brooks, a native of Orrington, migrated to New Albany in Indiana, established a grocery store, and later was the organizer and president of the first railroad from the Ohio river to the Great Lakes.  This transportation line was known as the New Albany and Salem railroad, and to accomplish its construction it was necessary to build a road 228 miles long through a country which had not yet entirely emerged from the conditions of pioneer life.  But this indomitable man succeeded beyond the wildest expectations of his more sanguine backers.

“When the Civil War broke out, James Brooks was appointed by Secretary of War Stanton, as quartermaster general of the western federal army and the gunboats on the Mississippi river.  He purchased the old Mississippi river flat floats and supervised their conversion into the Yankee gunboats which were a big factor in demolishing the Confederate forts on the Mississippi.  Under the direction of James Brooks supplies were accumulated at Louisville for the use of General Sherman in his historic march to the sea.  At one time during the war, James Brooks loaned the Federal government $240,000 from his private fortune.  He was later reimbursed.”

In tomorrow’s column Mr. Brooks will tell the story of the ancient pottery in the Bangor district.  This is a story which should appeal to many of the old timers who can remember when tinware was practically non-existent and the utensils such as milk pans, jugs and pitchers were made from Penobscot river clay.


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Transcribed by Anne (Bowden) Allen from Henry Buxton’s column for the Bangor Daily News.

Feb. 22, 1937 


“George Brooks’ gift as a craftsman revealed itself almost immediately after settling in Orrington.  He built himself a blacksmith shop and did all kinds of blacksmithing for his neighbors.  I have some of his tools made from iron imported from England.  he also tanned leather for the other settlers, and set up a Dutch windmill.  In company with a neighbor, Simeon Fowler, he made a kiln or two of bricks every year.  He manufactured his own charcoal, and made all of his own nails.  He built the first grist mill in Orrington.

“He was a strong, capable character all around, according to the records that have come down to me, and there was much grief at his death in Orrington, December 15, 1807.  Before he died, he built a comfortable farmhouse for his family.  After his death his widow was married for the third time to Deacon Mark Hatch of Castine.  She was famed over the countryside for her grace and beauty.  She died March 2, 1817, at the age of 68 years.

“After my great grandfather’s death, my grandfather, James Brooks, took over the farm and carried it on.  On the place he built a substantial brick house in which I was born.

“John Brooks, a shipwright, who was my grandfather’s brother, and my great uncle, married Sallie Dean, and in 1814 heard the magic call of the west.  He built an immigrant wagon and transported himself and family from Orrington to Cincinnati, where he built the noted brig Cincinnati in 1815.  This ship was loaded with ears of Ohio corn and cleared for Boston via New Orleans.  John Brooks arranged that some of this corn be sent to his old neighbors in Orrington.”

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