History of Fryeburg, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine
By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Fryeburg is an old and interesting town in Oxford County,
situated between Bridgton, in Cumberland County, and the New Hamp shire line. These are its eastern and western
boundaries; on the north lie Stowe, Lovell and Sweden, on the south-east is Denmark, and on the south, Brownfield.
As originally incorporated in 1777, the town was 2,172 rods square. A triangle of 4,147 acres was taken from its
south-west corner, when the dividing line between Maine and New Hampshire was run; and a tract was subsequently
annexed to the north part, and another on the south—the latter taken from Brownfleld. That on the north was known
as Fryeburg Addition. It included the valley of Cold River, and in 1833 was set off and incorporated as Stowe.
The extreme length of the town, north and south, is 12 miles, and the extreme width, east and west, about 7 miles.
The surface is much varied with hills, plains, ponds and streams. The Saco River forms in the town an immense bow
with its curve toward the north, absorbing 31 miles of its length. There is a connection with the sides of this
bow through the middle of the town by means of a canal, pond and bog. The river receives the outlets of four large
ponds and several small ones, lying wholly or partially within the town. Of these, the largest are Lovell's (area,
2 square miles), Kezar and Kimball ponds, the first in the southern, the second in the eastern, and the latter
in the north-western part of the town. Other ponds hear the names of Pleasant, Bog, Charles, Clay, Horseshoe, Cat,
Round, Black, Haley and Davis. Kezar River is a considerable stream that comes in on the north-east—the outlet
of ponds in Waterford and Sweden. Bog Pond lies in the centre of the town; and between the south-eastern part and
Saco River stands the solitary “Mount Zion.” Between the head of Lovell Pond and Saco River, on the west, lies
Frveburg Village; and on the river, west of the village, is Pine Hill. The Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad approaches
the village from the southeast and turns away toward the south-west, passing between a southern bend of the Saco
and Stark’s Hill on the south. Stark’s Hill is 500 feet in height, and is succeeded southward by Long Hill and
Bald Peak. Three-fourths of a mile north-east of the village is Jockey Cap cliff, and a mile and a half north of
this, on the eastern bank of the west side of the Saco bow, is Martha's Grove Camp Ground. In the western part
of the town, on the south-eastern shore of Kimball’s Pond, is Birch Hill. On the north end of Lovell’s Pond, on
the eastern side, comes in Fight Brook, upon the meadow, at the mouth of which occurred the famous Lovewell’s Fight,
from which the pond and brook take their names. North Fryeburg and Fryeburg Centre are small villages; and these,
with Fryeburg Village (Fryeburg post-office), and East Fryeburg, are the post-offices. The principal water-powers
of this town are on Kezar River, Ballard and Evans brooks, and at the beautiful Swan’s Falls on the Saco River,
within a mile of Fryeburg Village. The manufactures of the town consist of leather, harnesses, carriages, lumber
in its various forms, tin ware, cheese, canned vegetables, etc. There are four water-mills and two steammills.
This town is celebrated for the fight to which allusion has already been made. Capt. John Lovewell, the son
of an ensign in Cromwell’s Puritan army, was an able partisan officer of the colonies. In April, 1725, he led 46
men from the frontier Massachusetts towns by a long and arduous march into the heart of the Pequaket country. After
marching over 100 miles they reached Saco (now Lovell’s) Pond, with 34 men, and here they encamped over night near
the chief village of the Indians. In the morning, Saturday, May 8, while they were assembled around the chaplain
on the western side of the pond, and ere the morning devotions had been finished, a gun was heard, and an Indian
was seen on the opposite side. They at once commenced a circuit of the northern end of the pond; leaving their
packs on a small plain among the brakes in the shade of tall pines, and continued on around the eastern side of
the pond in search of the Indian. They soon met him returning to the village. Shots were exchanged and he fell.
Meantime, a party of savages about three times as strong as Lovewell’s, led by Paugus and Wahwa, had discovered
the packs half-hidden among the brakes. Paugus ordered his warriors to fire over the heads of the English, then
make them prisoners. As Love. well led his men back to the little plain by the brook, the savages rose before them,
front and flank, and rushed toward them, presenting their guns and holding out ropes, and demanding if they would
have quarter. “Only at the muzzle of our guns” replied the brave captain. The forces met with a volley, and several
indians fell. Three more rounds were fired at close quarters, and Lovewell was mortally wounded, and 8 of his men
were killed. The English retired, fightiug, to a position among the pines with the pond in their rear, Fight Brook
on one side and Rocky Point on the other. This sheltered position they maintained for eight hours against continued
assaults; and at sunset the Indians retired, leaving 39 of their warriors killed and wounded, including Paugus.
The fight had continued so long that some of their guns became foul with so much firing, and John Chamberlain went
down to the water to wash his Piece. Just then a warrior, supposed to be Paugus, came down for the same purpose,
only a short distance off. They watched each other’s movements, and finished the cleaning at the same time, then
commenced to load.