« PreviousContinue »
and invested the money in groceries, and such other goods as they needed. The price of cod-fish was seventy-five cents a hundred pounds, and of halibut two and one-half or three dollars.
At the side of the saw-mill was the fulling-mill, owned by the True family. In those days some of the young men who "followed the seas" remained at home during the winter, and a class of them was taught navigation, in the fulling-mill, winter nights.
Just above the mills, there is a road-way to the river. At that point the first bridge was built, landing on the intervale. Here now are Col. True's tenter-bars, and just there, at the upper end. stood Lebbeus Bailey's foundry, where he cast his clock-movements and sleigh-bells, and anything else that came in his line. Uncle Bailey was skillful in his art, and could make ont of metal any article called for. He always had the best garden in the neighborhood, and the best fruit.
The Stockbridge house was built in the latter part of the 18th century, by Joseph Stockbridge, who established the mercantile. house that continued till the death of his brother, William R., in 1850. In early times, the stable stood 150 feet back from the street, in line with the elm-tree, and from the side of the stable a shed and back store extended to within a few feet of the corner of the house. The store was in the north half of the house. The hay-scales stood under the elm-tree. There was a long, two-story, extension to the house, which was purchased by James Field, Jr., and hauled to a lot north of his father's house. The next house, now owned by Mrs. True, was owned and occupied by Capt. Buxton, whose son, David Buxton, will be remembered as a faithbook-binder in Portland.
At the corner of the road leading to the paper-mill, was Samuel Warren's tannery. In those days every shoe-maker had a little tan-yard of his own.
The first building above Mr. Kinney's house, was Chesley Hatch's black-smith's-shop. Here was made the iron-work for Hiram Hatch's carriages and wagons. Beyond Hiram Hatch's house, was a two-story building in which Joseph Barstow trimmed the carriages made by Mr. Hatch.
The shoe-maker's-shop of Samuel Warren stood on the line of the street, next to Capt. Larrabee's garden. And just here is one of the greatest institutions in our school-district,-the never-failing well. There was the old-fashioned well-sweep, and would have been "the moss-covered bucket," if the bucket had time to gather
On the premises of Uncle James Field, was his shoe-maker'sshop, for he was a cord-wainer, as well as farmer. How well I remember his hoary head and smiling face, as he sat in the corner pew at church. In front of Uncle Field's house was a large lawn,
on which I have often seen the Light Infantry parade. That was a crack company, always handsomely uniformed and well commanded.
The next building above the Isaiah Mitchell house was a very old one, two stories high, and commanded a magnificent view of Casco Bay and the islands. In my childhood the house was occupied by "Aunt Jenny Mitchell," a little old woman who wore a red cloak when she came to visit my Grandmother Ames. Possibly she was the mother of D. Mitchell who lived across the road, and whose son, after the death of the old lady, tore the house down and built a smaller one.
Returning now to the bridge, we go up into the Jenks neighborhood. The oldest store there was between Thomas Chase's and the tavern, and was occupied for a long time by Samuel Sweetser. The post-office was in that store for many years, Maj. Mitchell being post-master.
Opposite Mr. Woods' house was a low, gambrel-roofed house which was occupied by Solomon Winslow.
The house at one time occupied by Thomas Chase was built by John Sargent, the tailor, and he resided in it till he moved to Bangor.
Samuel Gilman, son of "old Parson Gilman," occupied the house that is now owned by Paul Blanchard.
The house on the brow of the hill, once occupied by Samuel Sweetser, was for a long time the residence of Dr. Gad Hitchcock; it is my impression that it was built for him.
Down the Portland road, the house of Col. Seth Mitchell was a famous hotel in its day. It had a large hall for dancing-parties. When the "west end" of the town became Cumberland, there was a great law-suit about it, and the trial was held in that hall.
One of the oldest stores at the Falls was at the head of Long Wharf, and in my childhood was kept by Capt. David Drinkwater. For a time the post-office was kept in that store, Capt. Drinkwater being post-master.
Passing along the road to the "old ledge," and just before the turn of the road to the left, we find, on the right hand, an old, two-story house, that was owned by Capt. DoDrinkwater, and afterwards by his son-in-law David Gray. That was a garrisonhouse; and its defense was a barricade of logs placed at a convenient distance from the sides of the house.
Further along towards the ledge, out in the field stood a house that must have been very old from the fact that my Grandmother Ames was born in it March 26, 1753. The family name was Mitchell, and the house was occupied by a tall man who was always called "Cash Jerry."
Now to come to personals: in my childhood there was a harm
less lunatic, "Crazy Butler," who was received into people's houses, and was permitted to indulge in the queer freaks that his disordered brain suggested. Some of these freaks were to turn the chairs to face the wall, stand the fire-shovel, tongs and hearth-brush topend down. His insanity was caused by the sudden death of two children, while he was absent from home.
The succession of lawyers was as follows: W. Barrows, whose office stood just above the Grand Trunk Railway station, near the spot on which Dr. Lewis Whitney built a house. This office was the same that was afterwards occupied by Grenville Mellen, near the academy-lot. John W. Mellen followed Mr. Barrows. Then came Grenville Mellen, Philip Eastman, Joseph Stockbridge and Barnabas Freeman.
It seems to me that a description of "old times" would be imperfect without some reference to the way the young people found enjoyment. The singing-school took the place, in large part, of the modern party and ball. We had parties, but seldom; and all our pleasures were of a wholesome kind. The winter singingschool gave us a good sleigh-ride; and occasionally we drove to a school miles away from our village. Once or twice in the winter, we had a sleigh-ride,-usually to Freeport Corner,- on a moonlight night. We always had a good time, kept good hours, and the health of no one was put in jeopardy. Once or twice during summer, we sailed down among the islands and had a chowder-party. Not one of the young men among my associates, relapsed into dissipated habits.
It is said there is just at much drinking in Maine as ever; the Maine law has not changed the habits of the people. Let us see: In my boyhood, spiritous liquors were kept in every house in town. In our house, there was the best liquors the Boston market could supply; an such liquors were invariably offered to visiting clergymen, and I never knew or heard of one declining to take something. Ship-builders, farmers, and other employers, furnished their workmen with grog. Rum was a part of every ship's stores. There was not a man in town who sold groceries, who did not also sell spiritous liquors. It was not an unusual thing for boys when playing base-ball, to play for rum. Ten cents would buy a quart of rum, with enough molasses to sweeten it, and of that we made grog. I have frequently purchased that mixture for the boys, that being part of the duty of the boy who "kept tally" by cutting notches in a shingle. In those days there were a few habitual drunkards in town, and not a few more who were occasionally intoxicated.
Are any of these customs in existence in the Yarmouth of today, or in any territory that was once a part of North Yarmouth? (8 12 '80)
(Continued from page 493.)
Mar. 15 Elizabeth Mason, daughter of Jonas.
Susannah Mitchell, daughter of Noah.
June 14 Sarah and Mary Cloff [Clough] daus. of Ebenezer. 21 George York, son of Benj. (New Casco.) July 5 William Wyman, son of Francis.
12 Jane Thorne, daughter of Joseph.
Bethiah Baker, daughter of Samuel.
Sept. 6 John & Anne Wyman, children of Samuel Buck
* 13 Martha & Joseph Chandler, children of Edmond. Oct. 11 Richard Grant, son of Abraham.
William Stubbs, son of Richard, Jr.
Nov. 1 Leah, Elizabeth & Joseph Man, child. of Gideon.
29 Mary Gooding, daughter of James.
Dec. 13 Els[i]e, Gilbert, Elisabeth & Isachar, children of Widow Mary Winslow.
Jan. 3 Elizabeth Bucknam, daughter of Samuel.
Elizabeth Burnal, daughter of Joseph.
Mar. 21 James Tuttle, Jr.
Thomas Mitchell, son of Seth.
Apr. 25 Phebe Tuttle.
. Rhoda Gray, daughter of Andrew. May 2 Abigail King, daughter of Edward.
16 Hannah & Anna Tuttle & Judith Getchell.
July 4 Naomi Bailey, daughter of Robert.
25 Jeremiah Fogg Thoits, son of Jonathan. Susannah Fogg, daughter of Sarah. Deborah Ring, daughter of Andrew.
Aug. 1 Elisha Lake, son of Benjamin.
15 Samuel Cloff [Clough], son of Ebenezer. Sept. 5 Moses & John Soul, sons of Barnabas. Greely, son of Philip.
26 Hannah Ware, daughter of Peter. Dec. 12 Judah Merrill, son of Samuel.
19 Deliverence Berton, daughter of Pennewell. 1743. Jan. 9 Lucretia Loring, daughter of Nicholas.