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

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




Exeter is an excellent agricultural town in the south-western part of Penobscot County. It is 20 miles north-west of Bangor, on the stage-line from Bangor to Dexter, and is the terminus of the stageline from Etna station on the Maine Central Railroad. The town is bounded on the east by Corinth, south by Stetson, north by Garland, and west by Corinna. Its area is about 33 square miles. The surface is uneven, but t.he soil in general is excellent, though it contains almost all varieties. Hay and potatoes are the crops principally cultivated. The rock is chiefly granitic. The prevailing forest trees are maple and cedar. The Kenduskeag is the largest stream, rising in the northwestern part, arid flowing in a curve through the middle of the town. It furnishes in its course eight distinct powers, all of which have been improved and occupied by mills. Not many years ago, there were upon the streams of Exeter, three saw-mills for long lumber, seven shingle-mills, four grist-mills, a machine-shop, a carriage-shop and a tannery. There are now two water-power saw-mills and one steammill for manufacturing staves and short lumber. The other streams furnishing power are Andrewís and Atkinís brooks. Exeter Corners, in the north part of the town, Exeter Mills, in the eastern part East Exeter, and South Exeter, are villages and post-offices, the first mentioned being the largest. The villages have many tasteful residences, and the buildings in the town generally indicate thrift.

The township, which is now Exeter, was granted by Massachusetts to Marbleheal Academy in 1793, and the exterior lines of the town were run the same year by Ephraiin Ballard and Samuel Weston. The township was lotted in 1800, by Moses Hodsdon, of Kenduskeag. Lemuel Tozier and John Durgin did the first chopping on June 6, 1800, at Hillís Corner. The first settlement was made in 1801, by Lemuel Tozier; who was soon followed by Reuben Senvey, Joseph Pease and Josiah Barker. Among the early proprietors were Benjamin Jay and William Turner, of Boston, for whom Dr. John Blaisdell acted as agent. Hence, prior to its incorporation, Feb. 16, 1811, the plantation was called Blaisdelltown. The corporate name was chosen in memory of Exeter, N. H., front which some of the settlers had come. The first school was taught by Ann Stevens in 1804. The first representative to the General Court was Winthrop Chapman. The first mills were built in 1813, by Levi Stevens, where since have stood the Cutler Mills.

The Episcopalians, Methodists and Free Baptists each have .a church in this town. Exeter has thirteen public schoolhouses, valued with appurtenances, at $3,200. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $377,007. In 1880 it was $426,151. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 16 mills on the dollar. The population in 1870 was 1,424. In 1880 it was 1,274.

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