History of Greenville, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine
By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Greenville is situated at the southern extremity of
Moosehead Lake, in the western part of Piscataquis County. It is the starting point and base of supplies for lumberers,
explorers, fishing parties, hunters and tourists. The township was a public grant to Thornton Academy, Saco, which
received the south half from Massachusetts, and to Saco Free Bridge, which had the northern half at a later date
from the State of Maine. Nathaniel Haskell, of Westbrook, who was the first settler, purchased the Academy Grant,
on which there was some very good farming land, and commenced its settlement, moving his family into a completed
house in 1827. Wilson's Pond lies within the town, and Wilson's Stream, which forms its outlet, has several beautiful
cascades, and some very good mill-privileges. The surface of the town is quite hilly. The highest eminences are
Indian Hill and Simpson Hill, which afford beautiful views of the lake and mountains of Somerset and Franklin Counties.
The bed-rock crops out in numerous places. The soil is a yellow loam in most parts, but the northern portion still
has considerable timber. The trees include the usual varieties found in Central Maine. In 1829 the Messrs. Varney,
two brothers from Windham, built a saw-mill on Wilson's Stream, and the next year Mr. Haskell, aforementioned,
put in a small grist-mill. With Mr. Haskell was associated Oliver Young; and William Cummings, Isaac Sawyer, Mr.
Shaw arid Mr. Tifts were the next corners. A few years later came Saniuel Cole; in 1831, Edmund Scammon; and John
Gerrish soon after. Samuel Cole and Isaac Whitcornb built a saw-mill on Eagle Stream in 1832; and Mr. Cole, at
a later date, put one up on Bog Stream. Mr. Hogan put a small steamboat for towing logs upon the lake in 1836.
Others for passengers have since been added. Henry Gower made the first clearing on the site of Greenville village
in 1835, on the spot where the Lake House now stands. Mr. Gower was also the first to open a store in town, which
was done in 1836.