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

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





Brownfleld is situated in the south-western part of Oxford County. Denmark lies on the east, Fryeburg on the north, Hiram and Porter on the south, and the New Hampshire towns of Eaton and Conway on the west. The Saco River comes down through the northern part, then turning eastward, forms part of the eastern boundary. The Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad passes through the town, following the general course of the river. There is much fine interval land along the course of the Saco, through the eastern part of the town, and along the course of its tributar, the South Branch, through the middle of the town from the south west. The poids are Burnt Meadow, Dyer’s and Rattlesnake, each about half a mile in diameter. From near the centre to the southern line is occupied by a group of seven hills. Burnt Meadow Mountain, near Brownfield Centre, is the highest, variously estimated from 500 to 2,000 feet. South Mountain is next in size. On the opposite side of the stream, in the northern half of the town is a line of three mountains. Frost’s Mountain, the eastern one, being estimated variously from 300 to 1500 feet in height. The western in this line is Tibbet’s Mountain, and the middle one is Peary’s Mountain. Whale’s Back is a solitary eminence near the south-western angle of the town. These mountains are much fre quented in the season by the lovers of picturesque and extensive views.

Farming is the principal occupation, yet there are many fine water powers in the town and many mills. The manufactures are long lumber, staves, shooks, tubs and kits, basket-bottom rocking-chairs, meal and flour, clothing, carriages, sleighs and harnesses, etc. The principal business centresq are Browufield Centres, (Browufield P.O.), and Browufield Depot (East Brownfield P.O.) An eye has been had to beauty as well as comfort in planting many shade trees, chiefly elm and maple, both in the villages and about single residences. Brownfield is connected with Portland, 41 miles distant, by the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad, and with Bridgton by stage line

Brownfield was conveyed by Massaehutetts in three several grants to Capt. Henry Young Brown in consideration of his services in the French War. He was to settle 38 families therein by June 10, 1770; and in three years from that time to have a minister settled in the plantation. He made the first clearing of land in 1765. The settlement was organized as “Brownfield Plantation,” in 1787, and incorporated as a town in 1802. The name was in honor of the proprietor. At the opening of the war of 1812 the populaton was less than 900, yet 25 persons, including 1 captain and 3 lieutenants, entered the American army. Of these, 4 died in the service from sickness, and 18 returned, 2 of whom were wounded. The first settled minister in Brownfield was the Rev. Jacob Rice, a graduate of Harvard College, who was ordained in 1805. “Master Simon Colby, the first schoolmaster, taught seven years in the single school-district, and was ever after held in reverence in the town. Eminent names of a later date are Daniel Bean, Isaac Spring, Joseph Howard, Samuel Fisher, Daniel Goodnoe, Rufus K. Goodnoe, Judge Joseph Howard, et als. There are women now living in the town at above ninety years of age. Several other persons are over eighty-five. The Congregationalist, Uniiversalists and Free Baptists each have a church in this town. Brownfield has fourteen public schoolhouses, valued, with other school property, at $7,000. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $249,166. In 1880 it was $252,346. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 2½ per cent. The population in 1870 was 1,321. In 1880 it was 1,229.

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