History of East Machias, Maine
From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

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





East Machias lies about midway of the southern shore of Washington County. It is bounded on the east by Marion and Whiting, south by Machiasport, west by Marsh field, and north by an unnamed township. Gardner’s Lake lies on a portion of the eastern boundary, and Macbias River forms the southern line. Hadley Lake extends from south of the centre of the town Into the township on the north. Its outlet constitutes East Macbias River, and furnishes four excellent powers, all within two miles of tide-water. The descent from the pond to tide-water—a distance of three miles—is 47 feet. On Chace’s Stream, the outlet of Gardner’s Lake, are two excellent powers, occupied by two saw, two lath, and one shingle-mill. This pond covers 8½ square miles, and would afford power equal to 840 horse, or sufficient to run 33,600 spindles. The power on the river from Had ley’s Lake to the tide might be made equal to 1,600 horse, or sufficient. for 64,000 spindles. Gardner’s Lake, though scarcely a mile above the tide, is 60 feet above sea-level, The number of saw-mills of all kinds. in the town is nine, of which two are double, and one runs a gang of saws. Other manufactories are two grist-mills, a tannery, four shipyards, etc. The village is chiefly at the head of the tide in the southern part of the town, but extends on both sides of this river and Chace’s Stream to the bay. Jacksonville Village is situated one and a half miles north of East Machias post-office. East Macbias is 4 milesnorth.east of Machias. It is on the stage-line from Cherryfield to Eastport, and is the terminus of the stage-lines to Lubec, Cutler, and Township No. 14. It was set off from Machies and incorporated Jan. 24, 1826. Samuel Scott was the first settler, beitig followed in 1768 by Col. Benj. Foster, W. Foster, J. Seavy, D. Fogg, J. Mansur, and others. At the latter date or earlier, Colonel Foster and his neighbors, assisted by Capt. Ichabod Jones, of Boston (father of Hon. John C. Jones), “erected a double saw-mill against the west shore of the east branch or river, about 100 rods above the head of the tide, where the foundation was laid of the eastern village.” [Williamson’s Hist. of Maine, Vol. II., p. 509.] Rev. James Lyon, a Presbyterian, was the first minister. He commenced his labors in the place in 1771, and a church was organized in 1781. The first meeting-house built in the town is now used for a store. He remained here until his death in 1794.

Washington Academy was established in 1823, and had for its first Principal, Solomon Adams. Among the natives of East Machias who received their academical training at this institution should be mentioned, Samuel Harris, D.D., of Yale College; Prof. Roswefl D. Hitchcock, Union Theological Seminary; William C. Talbot, San Francisco, capitalist; Andrew J. Pope, of the same city, who died in January, 1879, leaving an estate valued at $3,000,00O; Frederic Talbot, New York; Charles H. Talbot, Providence; P. Foster Folsom, Boston; Rev. M. J. Talbot, D.D.; Rev. Henry L. Talbot; Thomas H. Talbot, Brookline, Mass.; Hon. Geo. F. Talbot; Hon. John C. Talbot; Leonard Scott, of the L. Scott Publishing Company, New York; Hon. Stephen C. Foster, member of Congress from Maine, two terms; Stephen C. and Lowell Talbot, New York, and others, if space would allow.

The first Temperance Society in the region was formed at East Machias in 1827, There are now in the town three organized churches, having suitable edifices; the denominations being Baptist, Congregationalist and Methodist. Washington Academy is still fairly patronized, and its scholarship is sustained. The number of publicschoolhouses is eight; these, with other public-school property, being valued at $6,000. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $581,547. In 1880 it was $495,555. The population in 1870 was 2,017. In 1880 it was 1,875.

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