Monday, November 12, 2012

History of Fryeburg, Maine by George J. Varney (1886)

A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886

Fryeburg is an old and interesting town in Oxford County, situated between Bridgton, in Cumberland County, and the New Hamp shire line. These are its eastern and western boundaries; on the north lie Stowe, Lovell and Sweden, on the south-east is Denmark, and on the south, Brownfield. As originally incorporated in 1777, the town was 2,172 rods square. A triangle of 4,147 acres was taken from its south-west corner, when the dividing line between Maine and New Hampshire was run; and a tract was subsequently annexed to the north part, and another on the south—the latter taken from Brownfleld. That on the north was known as Fryeburg Addition. It included the valley of Cold River, and in 1833 was set off and incorporated as Stowe. The extreme length of the town, north and south, is 12 miles, and the extreme width, east and west, about 7 miles. The surface is much varied with hills, plains, ponds and streams. The Saco River forms in the town an immense bow with its curve toward the north, absorbing 31 miles of its length. There is a connection with the sides of this bow through the middle of the town by means of a canal, pond and bog. The river receives the outlets of four large ponds and several small ones, lying wholly or partially within the town. Of these, the largest are Lovell's (area, 2 square miles), Kezar and Kimball ponds, the first in the southern, the second in the eastern, and the latter in the north-western part of the town. Other ponds hear the names of Pleasant, Bog, Charles, Clay, Horseshoe, Cat, Round, Black, Haley and Davis. Kezar River is a considerable stream that comes in on the north-east—the outlet of ponds in Waterford and Sweden. Bog Pond lies in the centre of the town; and between the south-eastern part and Saco River stands the solitary “Mount Zion.” Between the head of Lovell Pond and Saco River, on the west, lies Frveburg Village; and on the river, west of the village, is Pine Hill. The Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad approaches the village from the southeast and turns away toward the south-west, passing between a southern bend of the Saco and Stark’s Hill on the south. Stark’s Hill is 500 feet in height, and is succeeded southward by Long Hill and Bald Peak. Three-fourths of a mile north-east of the village is Jockey Cap cliff, and a mile and a half north of this, on the eastern bank of the west side of the Saco bow, is Martha's Grove Camp Ground. In the western part of the town, on the south-eastern shore of Kimball’s Pond, is Birch Hill. On the north end of Lovell’s Pond, on the eastern side, comes in Fight Brook, upon the meadow, at the mouth of which occurred the famous Lovewell’s Fight, from which the pond and brook take their names. North Fryeburg and Fryeburg Centre are small villages; and these, with Fryeburg Village (Fryeburg post-office), and East Fryeburg, are the post-offices. The principal water-powers of this town are on Kezar River, Ballard and Evans brooks, and at the beautiful Swan’s Falls on the Saco River, within a mile of Fryeburg Village. The manufactures of the town consist of leather, harnesses, carriages, lumber in its various forms, tin ware, cheese, canned vegetables, etc. There are four water-mills and two steammills. READ MORE

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