History of Brewer, Maine
From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

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




Brewer is situated in the southern part of Penobscot County, on the eastern side of the Penobscot River. Its dimensions are about 6 miles along the river, with a width of 3 miles. Holden bounds it on the east, Orrington on the south, and Bangor lies on the northwest, with the Penobscot as a dividing line. The surface is quite even, the soil generally a clayey loam, and considered good for agricultural purposes, especially along the river. The principal crop is hay. The highest eminence is Meeting-house Hill. The streams are the Segeunkedunk Stream, emptying into the Penobscot at the southern part of the town ; Felt’s Brook, flowing through the middle of the town to the river; and Eaton Brook, discharging into the Penobscot, near the north part of the town. The centers of business are Brewer, on the river near the middle of the town; Brewer Village, at the mouth of Segeunkedunk, at the south of the town, and North Brewer, near the northern line. The first two villages have each a post-office. Brewer has seven water-powers, all on the Segeunkedunk Stream. The height of the falls, beginning with the first on tide water, are 20, 14, 4, 12, 10, 14 and 12 feet respectively. There are five saw-mills in the town, one using steam-power. These cut in the aggregate about 4,000,000 feet of long lumber annually. There are at Brewer Village two grist-mills; and here and in other parts are shingle and clapboard-mills, two planing and moulding-mills, three or more shipyards, two mast and spar makers, one boat-builder, thirteen or more brickyards, two makers of brickmachines, three carriage-makers, a churn and spinning-wheel factory, one machine-shop, one tannery, three shoe manufacturers, two stove and furnace makers, three ice companies, a marine railway, etc. At the beginning of the present decade, Brewer Saving’s Bank held deposits and profits amounting to $39,922,07. Brewer is on the Bangor and Bucksport Railroad, and is connected with Bangor with a covered toll-bridge.

The territory of this town was taken from Orrington and incorporated in 1812. The name was in honor of Col. John Brewer, who, in 1770, made the first settlement at what is now Brewer Village. Other settlers of this period were Isaac Robinson, Elisha Skinner, Lot Rider, Beodat Brastow, and Benjamin Snow, the Holyoke, Farrington and Burr families. At the date of the Revolution there were already 160 inhabitants. The first post-office was opened in the village in 1780, with Colonel Brewer as post-master,—-an office which he held thirty years. The mail was then carried on horseback, and but one vessel was owned in the town. The “Brniimer Flats “ opposite the mouth of the Kenduskeag River, is supposed by some to have been the site of the mythical Indian city, Norumbega, of which early voyagers to the Western Continent spoke rather indefinitely.

Among former residents of Brewer we should not forget to mention General Joshua L. Chamberlain, formerly governor of the State, now for some years president of Bowdoin College; also Mr. Quimby, editor of "Detroit Free Press"; Dr. B. F. Teift, well known in the northern part of the State; Mr. B. A. Burr, publisher of the “Whig and Courier,” Bangor. Brewer has erected a monument of Italian marble in memory of her soldiers who fell in the war for the union.

The Congregationalists have two churches in the town, and the Methodists one. The number of public schoolhouses is eleven; and the value of the entire property is estimated at $11,000. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $669,867. In 1880 it was $735,169. The population in 1870 was 3,214. In 1880 it was 3,170.

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