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

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




Freedom lies on the western line of Waldo County, 18 miles W. N. W. of Belfast. It is bounded on the north by Unity, east by Montville, south by Palermo, and west by Albion, in Kennebec County. The surface is uneven. The principal hills are Beaver and Sandford. The ponds are Sandy and Duck. Both are situated in the eastern part of the town, and supply Sandy Stream, which runs northward through Freedom Village to Unity Pond. The area of Sandy Pond is about 850 acres, of Duck, 200 acres. On Sandy Stream near the village are five powers. On these are a flour-mill, a corn-mill, a saw-mill for long lumber, a shingle-mill, a shovel-handle factory, a carding, clothing and woollen mill, and a tannery. The village has several handsome residenees, and the streets are pleasantly shaded with maple and elm trees. The nearest railroad station is that of the Belfast branch of the Maine Central at Thorndike. As an agricultural town Freedom ranks at tbout an average. The soil is chiefly gravelly loam. The chief crops are hay and potatoes. There is some ledge and many granite bowlders. The usual variety of trees are found in the forests, but these are mainly of the hard woods.

Freedom was a part of the Plymouth Patent. The first opening was made in the forest in 1794 by Stephen Smith, a soldier of the Revolution. With the assistance of his brothers, he also built the first house in the town in the latter part of the same year. It was located a short distance south of the burying-ground in South Freedom. The next June, John Smith, subsequently known as Father Nehemiah, settled in the township. Then followed Rev. Aaron Gould, Isaac Worthing and James and Joshua Smith. Other prominent names of a little later date are Jason Wood, Frost Gerry, Gideon Robinson, Colonel Drown, Benjamin Comings, Bradstreet Wiggins, William Sibley and Rev. Reuben Keen. Still later well-known names are honorables Robert Elliot, J. D. Lamson, N. A. Luce, William Sibley, esquires; and of M.D.'s, Itahmer Bellows, Varney Blackstone and Aaron W. Gould. The plantation name was at first Sniithstown, afterwards Beaver Hill. In 1813, during the last war with Great Britain, the town was incorporated under its present name, which was the choice of the inhabitants and had a political significance.

The Congregationalists have the only church-edifice in the town. Freedom Academy was incorporated in 1836. It has furnished a part of their education to many who have become prominent in their callings. Freedom has nine public schoolhouses, valued, with their appurtenances, at $2,500. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $191,505. In 1880 it was $177,241. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 13½ mills on the dollar, cash tax. The population in 1870 was 716. In 1880 it was 652.

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