Towns in northern Aroostook County

For towns in the St. John, St. Francis, and Fish Rivers, go to the Upper St.John River Valley page

Ashland (formerly Township No.11, 5th Range; Dalton)

"This town ... was settled about 1835, mainly by people from the Kennebec Valley. It was organized as a plantation in 1840 and was incorporated as a town on 18 Feb 1862, under the name of Ashland, a title which honored the estate of Henry Clay in Kentucky. In 1869 the name was changed to Dalton, in honor of the first settler, but again took the name of Ashland on 3 Feb 1876. It had earlier been called Buchanan.

"The settlement was begun by William Dalton, who in 1835 made his habitation at the junction of the Big Machias with the Aroostook. Benjamin Howe followed a year or two afterward, and settled on the Aroostook Road a short distance above Dalton. The township was lotted by Noah Barker during the years 1839-1840. The Fairbanks Road leading to Presque Isle was opened at that date. The Aroostook Road extends from the military road, seven miles above Mattawamkeag Point to the north line of Ashland. The Fish River Road, surveyed and opened in 1839, runs from the Aroostook Road north to the mouth of Fish River. There is also a road extending from this point to the Allagash River. ...

"Dalton remained on the lot upon which he had built until 1844, when he sold his improvements to Elbridge G. Dunn and John S. Gilman.

"Titles of land recognized by the Commissioners in their report of 1844 were those of Solomon Soule, Thomas J. Page, John S. Gilman, and Elbridge G. Dunn. In the report of the second commission the names of George W. Smith and Josiah H. Blake were also given as owners of lots. Not many years after Dalton came, Thomas Neal settled on the lot above the mouth of the Big Machias, and Benjamin Howe went a few miles up the river.

"In 1838 a group of men that included George W. Buckmore of Ellsworth, William D. Parsons of Eastbrook, and James McCaron of New Brunswick built a mill and a dam near the mouth of the Big Machias River. This gave encouragement for men to come to the township for lumbering as well as farming.

"Among those arriving in 1838-39 were Luther Butler from Eastbrook, Septimus B. Bearce, Jabez Dorman and Elbridge Wakefield. Micajah Dudley of China came in the fall of 1838 and felled some trees on a lot. He did not remain, however, and in the spring of 1839 Mr. R.G. Kalloch, who was also from China, bought Dudley's improvement and moved in on the lot. There was then no road to the town, and Mr. Kalloch came by team from Bangor to Masardis, where the road ended, and built a raft of boards on which he floated down to his new home. He was a very active citizen of the town, and in 1842 represented the district in the State Legislature. In 1839 Solomon Soule also came in and began clearing up the land where the Orcutt Hotel now stands. He built a house and began keeping a hotel, which changed hands from time to time. In the fall of 1839, a road was cut through from Masardis to Ashland, but was not made wide enough for carriages until a few years later. Mr. D.G. Cook came to Ashland in 1839 and made a clearing a short distance south of Mr. Kallock. The next year he made a clearing at the corner of the Presque Isle road and built a frame house in which he kept a hotel for a number of years." Chadbourne, pp.281-282

Blaine (formerly Township Letter B, 1st Range; Alva Plantation)

"One town in Maine bears the name of an unsuccessful candidate for the Presidency of the United States. ... In 1842 Bartlett W. Chandler came from the town of Winslow to the present town of Blaine and cut the first tree to clear land for farming purposes. With the exception of the winter lumber roads, there was then no road in all this section, and the home of this hardy pioneer was miles from any neighbor and in the midst of an almost boundless wilderness. Some six miles farther north was the home of James Thorncroft, built in 1841 in what is now Westfield, but the entire townships of Easton and Mars Hill were at that time covered with the original forest growth unbroken by a clearing.

"During the few years following, a number of other settlers came to the town; and when Mr. Joel Valley came in 1847 from New Brunswick and started a clearing where the village is now located, there were about ten settlers upon the area. Mr. Valley's lot included nearly all the land contained in the present village. Benjamin Bubar had a small clearing on the west side of the road a short distance below Valley's. Wm. Freeman and Sherman Tapley then lived in a double log house, and one Rideout had a clearing on the west side of the Houlton road with a log house on the opposite side. A short distance below, where the road crosses Three Brooks, James Clark had a log house and a small clearing on the west side of the road, and Wm. Rideout started an opening and built a cabin on the east side opposite Clark's. James Gilman lived in the extreme southern part of the town near the Bridgewater line. About a mile west from where Blaine Corner now is, Wm. Roake and Charles De Merchant had small clearings. These settlers were all the inhabitants here in 1847; the openings were then very small, and very little imnprovement had been made in the new settlement. In the spring of 1848 a number of families came from New Brunswick, and later other families arrived from different parts of Maine. Blaine, then known as Letter B, Range One, was a half-township belonging to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; the land was sold to settlers for one dollar and twenty cents per acre. Later, when the land came into the hands of the State of Maine, the price was reduced to fifty cents per acre, in road labor, and the settlers were credited with the work already done under the Massachusetts agent. ...

"In 1858 the settlement was organized as a plantation, still known as Letter B, Range One. In 1860 when a post office was established, the name was changed to Alva, which it retained until it was incorporated as a town in 1874 and named in honor of the Honorable James G. Blaine. The present executive mansion in August was his home, the gift of his daughter to the state. ...

"It is probably that some of the first settlers of the present town of Blaine were volunteers in the Aroostook War and had passed through here en route to Fort Fairfield...." Chadbourne, pp.282-283

Caribou (formerly Letters H and J, 2nd Range;Eaton's Grant; Lyndon; Maysville)

"In 1808 Captain William Eaton was deeded 10,000 acres of land in northern Maine, then part of Massachusetts, as a reward for his heroic victory over the Barbary Pirates [in North Africa]. This became known as the Eaton Grant, and now constitutes the southeast section of the town of Caribou, bounded on the north and west by the Aroostook River, and on the south and east by townships of Presque Isle and Fort Fairfield. .... In 1820 settlers began arriving from New Brunswick, taking up tracts of land on the north side of the Aroostook River (Eaton Grant). Among the first settlers were John Dorsey, Samuel Wark, Patrick Connolly, Patrick Kelly, George and David Parks. Jonah Whitnact settled in Eaton Grant on the north side of the Aroostook River. In 1826 George Parks settled in Eaton Grant on the south side of the Aroostook River. In 1827 David Parks settled in the same place. In 1828 Laurence Kelley settled in Eaton Grant on the north side of the Aroostook River. In 1829 Alexander Cochran, a Scotch-Irish Canadian, decided to throw his lot in with the settlers along the Aroostook River and built a grist mill for their convenience near the mouth of Caribou Stream." Other early settlers in Eaton Grant and dates of settlement: John Thompson and Michael Kean, 1831; John B. Wing, 1832; Dennis Sughrue, 1836; William Wark, John Bubar, William Bubar, Jesse Patridge, Collingwood Murphy, 1838; Dennis Hale, 1839; David Doodey and Elias Brown, 1840; James Walton, Stephen Sands, Nathaniel Bubar, 1841. From History of Presque Isle, Maine, "Star City of the Northeast" and Caribou Centennial Magazine of 1959.

"Caribou has a name which derived from a variety of reindeer which were once plentiful in Maine. The town comprises two contiguous townships; the northern was once Forestville Plantation, while the southern comprised Lyndon on the west and the Eaton Grant, lying in the northwestern bend of the Aroostook [river]. The town was incorporated on 5 April 1859.

"In 1829 ... Alexander Cochrane from New Brunswick, came up the St. John River to the mouth of the Aroostook, and up this some twenty miles to the mouth of a stream, where he built a rude mill. Soon one of his boys went out and shot a caribou, even at that time a rare animal. ...

"There were no other settlers until 1843, when Ivory Hardison came from China, Maine. During the Aroostook War in 1839, he had brought a wagonload of soldiers here, and had been so favorably impressed that he came back in 1843 with his family. Very soon other settlers followed, and in 1848, Township Letter H was organized. Eleven years later it was incorporated as the town of Lyndon, but in 1877 the name was changed to Caribou from the stream that ran through the town and had received its name from the incident recorded above. ..." Chadbourne, p.515

"The first settlers and lumbermen came up the St. John River about 1820, all Canadians and most all Irish, and the territory was considered a part of New Brunswick. Alexander Cochran, a Protestant, came from a place in the north of Ireland, though what year he left Ireland, no one seems to know. He came to St. John, N.B. and there he married a girl from this province by the name of Polly Armstrong. ... In going up the Aroostook River he selected a site for his home on the Caribou stream. He built a log cabin on the north bank of the stream near the present site of W.E. Crockett's woolen mill. In 1829 he built a dam across the Caribou stream and erected a grist mill. Then he 'grubbed out' a road up over the steep bank of the Aroostook River on the north side of the stream, to the grist mill. In the early days he had an ox and crude cart and used to go down to the river and meet those who came up with grain in bateaux or canoes to the landing, but it often happened that Cochran was away, and they carried the grain on their backs to the mill. ...

"At the close of the Aroostook War Cochrane was given by the Maine Commissioners to Locate Grants lots number 3,4, and 9, containing 468 acrres of land in what is now known as Caribou village.

"Alexander Cochrane and Polly Armstrong--his first wife--had two children, John and Mark. Polly died and was buried in the old Kelly flat on the north side of the Aroostook River near the Fort Fairfield town line. Alexander married for his second wife, Olive Virginia Jane Parks who was born in Ireland. To them were born ten children, George, Tom, Ann, Henry, Alexander Jr., Rachel, Lydia, David, Olive and Rosetta. Alexander Cochrane died November 6th 1864 and was buried beside his first wife in the old Kelley cemetery. ... After they disposed of the Caribou property in 1865, Mrs. Jane Cochran (the second wife) and part of her children moved to New Brunswick and located on the Tobique River. They moved the grist mill from caribou to a point about eight miles below Plaster Rock on the east side of the Tobique River. ... Mrs. Cochran opertaed the mills some years, then sold the millstones and machines to Alfred Giberson who moved them to the Monquart stream at Bath, N.B. ..." White, pp.1-3, citing Olof O. Nylander in the Presque Isle Star-Herald March 13th and 20th, 1941.

"The actual settlement of Caribou may be said to have commenced with Ivory Hardison, the first American settler, who drove a span of horses bringing a load of soldiers from Bangor to Fort Fairfield that winter of 1839. The danger of war was soon over, but Mr. Hardison stayed that summer to assist State Land Agent Cunningham in suveying and lotting out land for the settlers who were beginning to come to Aroostook, attracted by the new opportunities made known by the war. Ivory Hardison, being a practical farmer, surmised the wonderful fertility of the virgin soilunder the fine hardwood growth, and decided to make his home in this county. He took up a lot for himself in township Letter H, Range 2 running up from th Aroostook River, and from the Prestile brook south up over the hill to the farm later taken by Winslow Hall. ...

"From this landing place Mr. Hardison 'grubbed' a road through the woods, a half mile or more up the hillside to a spot where he had decided to locate his house. Mr. Hardison then returned to his home in Winslow, Kennebec County, Maine, sold his farm, moved his family to China village, and in the spring of 1840, accompanied by his oldest son, Jacob--a boy of 15--and one or two other men, started again for Aroostook. At that time, the road from Houlton to Presque Isle did not extend much farther than to Monticello, and they took the 'Old Aroostook Road' from Mattawamkeag through Patten to Masardis on the Aroostook River. ...

"The first summer (1840) Ivory and his son spent chopping on their lot, also helping the officials the State had sent to finish the surveying of the township and to locate the road as now travelled from Presque Isle to Caribou.

"Then the Hardisons returned to Kennebec County in the fall, not coming back again until the spring of 1842 when they choped and burned and cleared their lot still more, and planted wheat, corn and potatoes between the logs. They also built during the same year the house of hewn timber, occupied in later years by Ivory Hardison's grandson, George Hardison, until his death in 1941. ... In December 1842, having harveeted their small crops and hauled a good supply of wood to the door, Mr. Hardison and son started back to China to get the rest of the family.

"On February 12, 1843 the family of father, mother and six children started for Aroostook on a two-horse sled, on which was also loaded all their household effects. They were sixteen days on the journey of 250 miles, which means some fifteen or sixteen miles a day, on an average. ... The Hardisons arrived at their new home on the last day of February 1843--16 days, and 'the mother wept with joy that the long journey was ended in safety' as a grand-daughter wrote of her many years later. ...

"This family--Mr. and Mrs. Ivory Hardison and their seven children, Jacob, Dorcas, Oliver,Mary Ann, Martin, Ai, and James were the first American family to settle at Caribou with the purpose of staying and making a home. Mr. Hardison's other children, Harvey, Ida, and Wallace were born after they came to Caribou. Harvey, born February 9, 1844, has the honor of being the first American child born in Caribou.

"Ivory Hardison was born in Berwick, Maine in the year 1800 ... He was a wheelwright by trade but settled upon a farm in Winslow, Maine when young and married Dorcas Libby Abbot in 1824. After the family came to Aroostook in 1843 he engaged largely in farming and lumbering and was successful in business. ...Mr. Hardison died May 11, 1875, aged 75, his wife March 7, 1887, aged 82, and they are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Caribou." White, pp.4-9

White gives many more details about Hardison. Other early settlers discussed by White: Winslow Hall from Hartford, Maine and his brother Hiram Hall from Buckfield, Maine; Washington A. Vaughan of Brookfield, Mass. and Samuel W. Collins of Calais, Maine; Abram Parsons of Hartford; Cephas Sampson and his brother George Sampson of Hartford.

Castle Hill (formerly No.12, 4th Range)

"The late Honorable Edward Wiggin, in his History of Aroostook, gives the following informatoin concerning the town of Castle Hill...

The town was settled in 1843 by Jabez Trask. As one approaches the western line of the town on the way to Ashland, the Aroostook River is seen a short distance to the right bending to the form of the huge letter S among the lofty trees and flowing through the fertile meadows. Near the river is a lofty hill from which the town takes its name, a large log building having been built on its summit by the surveyors of the olden time, the remains of which building may still be seen. A considerable stretch of the imagination invested these ruins with the dignity of a castle and from this the township was named Castle Hill. The town was incorporated in 1903.

"Jabez Trask located on the State Road. He was usually called General Trask, having acquired the title in the militia in the western part of the state. About the same time, Ephraim Knights, Caleb Spencer and a man named Seavey made clearings at the mouth of Beaver Brook. Patrick Powers arrived shortly thereafter.

"Others who soon came were Henry Tilley, who kept a hotel, and Daniel Chandler and Aaron Dingle in 1850. Others that same year were Samuel Caughey, G.D. Smith, James H. Tilley, L.H. Tilley, M.K. Hilton and James Porter, who was from Mirimachi, New Brunswick. Robert Porter and John L. Porter arrived in 1851, also Micajah Dudley from China, Maine; John P. Roberts came in 1858; T.K. Dow in 1859. John Waddell came in 1860 from Lubec, Maine, and Edward Tarr in 1861 from Waldoboro, Maine. The latter raised bees and lived at the foot of Haystack Mountain. Other early settlers were A.H. Parker, A.F. Hoffses, and William H. Bird. Here the Honorable J.W. Dudley produced the famous winter apple." Chadbourne, p.511

Easton (formerly Letter C, 1st Range; Fremont Plantation)

Easton's name is from the fact that it lies on the eastern line of both Aroostook County and of Maine. "Easton... was incorporated in 1864. Previous to that date it was called Fremont Plantation in honor of Major General John Charles Fremont, the pathfinder and explorer. He was the standard bearer [presidential candidate] of the young Republican Party of the nation in 1856, when the plantation assumed this name. ...

"Though lying upon the border, it was unsettled at the time of the boundary dispute, and its most ancient archives contain no account of the Aroostook War.

"Eaton was originally a Massachusetts township, but about 1854, like all the other towns in Maine still remaining in the hands of Massachusetts, it was purchased by the State of Maine. In 1855-56 it was lotted by Noah Barker into 160-acre lots, and was opened by the state for settlement. Previous to that time, however, a few settlers had started clearings in the town. The earliest of whom there is any authentic account is Mr. Henry Wilson who first came to Presque Isle and taught school there in a log house about 1847. In 1851 he went into the wilderness and started a clearing near what is now Easton Center. There was at this time a logging road from Presque Isle across the present town of Easton to the St. John's River, a road passable only for teams in the winter season. Mr. Wilson was assisted in building his log house by a number of young men from Presque Isle. Here he and his wife lived for a number of years before any other settlers came. About the time that the town was lotted, in 1855 or so, he sold his improvements to W.H. Rackliffe, Josiah Foster and Theophilus Smith and moved to Mars Hill.

"In 1854 Albert Whitcomb began a clearing about a mile south of what is now Easton Center, and moved to this new farm from Presque Isle the following year, having by then twenty acres cleared and a log house and a frame barn built. the early settlers paid for their land by grubbing out and building the road from Fort Fairfield to Blaine, which in 1856 had been run out but was only a spotted line in the woods. It was not passable for wagons until 1859.

"In 1854 Wm. Kimball also started a clearing north of Mr. Wilson's and was one of the most prominent of the early settlers of the town. In the same year came Solomon Bolster, Dennis Hoyt, Emmons A. Whitcomb and A.A. Rackliffe. Mr. Hoyt soon sold his improvements to Wm. D. Parsons. Jacob Dockendorff also began a clearing in 1854 in the western part of the town which became Sprague's Mills; he himself came to live there in 1857. In the spring of 1856 Josiah and George Foster settled near the center of the town; John L. Pierce took the lot adjoining Albert Whitcomb's, and John C. Cumming settled near the Fort Fairfield line. In the fall of 1856 Ephraim Winship and Israel Lovell took up lots next to Presque Isle in the northwest corner of the town. ..." Chadbourne, pp.458-459

Fort Fairfield (formerly Letter D, 2nd Range and Plymouth Grant)

"Named after the Fort, which was named for Governor Fairfield. First settled from the Provinces, 1816. Incorporated March 11, 1858." Coe, Maine: A History, p.851

Garfield Plantation (formerly Number 11, Range 6)

"Organized for election purposes 13 April 1885." Coe: Maine: A History, p.855

Limestone (formerly Letter E, 1st Range)

"Limestone ... was settled in 1849 by General Mark Trafton of Bangor, then Cusoms House Officer at Fort Fairfield. The town was incorporated in 1869 and named for deposits of lime found there. Other first settlers, in addition to Trafton, were Benjamin Eastman, Barry McLaughlin and George A. Nourse. ... In the year 1845 General Mark Trafton conceived the idea of building a mill upon the forest tract norht of Fort Fairfield, for the purpose of manufacturing clapboards to be shipped to the Boston market. The township was then known as Letter E, Range 1 and was wholly in its original wilderness state. A strong flowing stream passed through the township and emptied into the Aroostook River, a short distance above its junction with the St. John ...

"General Trafton associated with B.D. Eastman of Washington County who was at this time living in Fort Fairfield and had previously obtained from the State Legislature a grant of sixteen hundred ares of land to aid in the builiding of the mill. They started in 1845 to clear a tract of land on the bank of Limestone Stream, where they proposed to place the building. Mark Trafton, Jr., the son of the general, was also admitted to the enterprise. A large clearing was made during the summer of 1846, the new mills were erected, a substantial dam was built across the stream and upon this dam was erected a saw mill containing an up-and-down saw, clapboard and shingle machines and a grist mill. ...

"In the fall of 1846, the mill was completed and the business of sawing clapboards was begun. A road was cut through from the mill to the St. John River at a point called Merritt's Landing, about ten miles below Grand Falls; and over this road the clapboards were hauled during the following winter ... In 1847 the Tranftons sold their interst in the enterprise to Mr. George A. Nourse of Bath. In 1848 Nourse and Eastman built another small clapboard mill, and tried to drive pine clapboards in bunches, the failure of which resulted in loss of nearly all the clapboards, and in 1857 the firm failed. There was no business at the mills for a number of years.

"In 1847 the township was lotted and opened for settlement, the first settlers who came with the purpose of farming. Orrin Davis and Andrew Phair and Bernard McLaughlin took up lots. They were located about a mile from the mill on the road leading to the St. John River. Lots were selling to actual settlers for about $1.25 per acre, fifty cents of which was to be paid in money and the remainder in road work. When General Trafton became a member of the State Legislature, he helped to change some of the laws concerning settling lands; the price was reduced to fifty cents per acre and the enire amount might be worked out on roads. There were hard years for the settlers after the failure of the mills. ...

"The plantation of Limestone was originally organized in 1848, lost its organization, but was reorganized in 1858 and incorporated as a town in 1869." Chadbourne, pp.502-503

Mars Hill

"'Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars Hill and said, 'Ye men of Athens I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.'

"Although the town of Mars Hill was not incorporated until 1867, it was in 1790 that a British Army chaplain of a surveying party read this verse as part of a religious service held on the hill which now bears the name and from which the town's name was later derived. It was upon the hill in Athens dedicated to the god of war, Mars, that the Apostle Paul declared the unkown God to the Athenians.

"Mars Hill in Maine was a noted landmark in the settlement of Maine's northern boundary line between the United States and Great Britain, which was the subject of so many long and troublesome disputes. In addition to the British surveying party of 1790, already mentioned, the commissioners under the Treaty of Ghent in 1814 caused trees to be felled and a spot cleared on each of the peaks; and their astronomers and surveyors ascertained that the south peak was 1519 feet and the north, 1370 feet above the tidewaters of the St. Lawrence. It was not until 1842, under the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, that the fixing of the boundary line made the settlers in this section secure in the knowledge of their allegiance to America.

"The original settlers were from New Brunswick. Moses Snow was the first comer; he arrive in 1844. Mrs. Gladys Tweedie, in Mars Hill, Typical Aroostook Town, gives a vivid account of the courage with which the Snow family met and conquered the almost unbroken wilderness. Mr. John Ruggles was the second settler, moving here in 1847 and erecting a log house for his family. About that same year Mr. John Brawn, the third settler, came and built his first house near the Snows. Then came Holland Bridges who built the first frame house in the present town." Chadbourne, p.422

Masardis (formerly No.10, 5th Range)

"First settled in 1833 by Thomas Goss of Danville, Maine, followed in 1835 by John Knowlen. In 1838-39 several families from Old Town, Maine, moved in. Roswell T. Knowlen was the first child born in the town. Once called No.10, R.5. Incorporated 21 March 1839. Coe, Maine: A History, p.852

Nashville Plantation (formerly No.12, 6th Range)

Organized 17 April, 1880, main industry: lumber. Coe: Maine: A History, p.855

New Sweden (formerly Township No.15, Range 3)

"Settled by fifty colonists from Sweden, under the direction of the Hon. W.W. Thomas, Jr., Commissioner of Immigration, 23 July 1870. Organized into a Plantation 6 April 1876,; incorporated as a town 29 January 1895." Coe: Maine: A History, p.853

Perham (formerly No.14, 4th Range)

"Settlement commenced in 1860 by citizens from Oxford and Franklin counties. Named in honor of Governor Sidney Perham of Paris, Maine. Organized as a Plantation in 1867; incorporated 26 March 1897. Main industry: Lumber." Coe: Maine: A History, p.853

Presque Isle (formerly Letters F and G, 2nd Range; Maysville)

Incorporated 4 April 1859. Maysville annexed 14 February 1883.

Wade (formerly No.13, 4th Range; Garden Creek Plantation)

"Wade lies on the Aroostook River in Aroostook County where the early settlements were made in 1846, in the southeastern part of the township. It was first organized in 1859 as Garden Creek Plantation, then lost its organization in 1862, but regained it on May 2, 1874, when it was named for an early proprietor. Though Township 13, Range 4, was organized as Wade Plantation, it was generally known as Dunntown. In 1890 the northern part of the township was owned by the Farnham brothers and the southern part by the Dunns. At this time settlement was encouraged; lots were available at $3.00 per acre with no reservations for timber.

"Ashby, in his compilation of Aroostook towns, says that as early as 1840 settlers from New Brunswick built homes along the river in this township. It was finally incorporated in 1913." Chadbourne, p.372.

Washburn (formerly No.13, 3rd Range; Salmon Brook Plantation)

"The town of Washburn lies on the Aroostook River, in the third range of townships from the New Brunswick border. Two fine streams, the main stream and the west branch of Salmon Brook, unite in one strong flow of water above its junction with the beautiful Aroostook River. On the charming plain on the west side of Salmon Brook is situated the principal part of the village of Washburn which also extends across the stream. The town of Washburn was formerly known as Township No.13, Range 3.

"The first settlers on the township, like those of nearly all the towns on the Aroostook River, came up the stream from New Brunswick many years ago and settled along the river banks. Nathaniel Churchill was the foremost man of the first colony which came from New Brunswick about 1829, and settled near the mouth of Salmon Brook. Three of his sons, Job, Joseph and John, and their descendants, also settled here. The rich lands in the river valleys attracted the settlers.

"In 1837 Thomas McDonald came from Miramichi [New Brunswick] and settled about a mile below the original lot of Nathaniel Churchill, which Isaac Wilder and Wilder Stratton took up very soon after Churchill had moved farther down the river. The first settler and pioneer businessman in what is now the village of Washburn was Isaac Wilder, who came to the Aroostook from the town of Pembroke about 1840. He came first to Fort Fairfield, then pushed up the river and built a saw mill in the dense wilderness on the banks of Salmon Brook. In 1844 there were twelve settlers: Bulls, Churchills, Curriers, Dunns, Hickey, Farrel, Stratton, Elizabeth Mumford, Christie, Harris and Esty. The town was then owned by Massachusetts which owned each alternate township. In the winter of 1844-45, the township was organized as the plantation of Salmon Brook, having been surveyed by W.P. Parott in 1842. Settlers came slowly for a while, a few made clearings on the new road toward Caribou and quite a number came after the Editorial Excursion in 1858, the reports of which made the country better known to the outside world. The town was incorporated in 1861, and named for Israel Washburn of Orono who was then governor. The town received from him, in recognition of the honor, a present of a library of two hundred choice volumes. ..." Chadbourne, pp.259-260.

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Last revised 11 Aug 2003
© 2003 C.Gagnon