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

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





Hallowell, in Kennebec County, was incorporated in 1771, and included Augusta, Chelsea and part of Manchester. It was named for Mr. Benjamin Hallowell, who was a large proprietor in the Kenne bec Patent. The settlement here was formerly called “The Hook,” the other village in town being Fort Western, now in Augusta. The latter city was set off as the town of Harrington in 1797, and Man. chester and Chelsea in 1850. Hallowell was incorporated a city in the latter year, and accepted its charter in 1852.

The city is situated on the western bank of the Kennebec River, at the head of steam navigation, having Augusta for its northern boundary, Chelsea on the east, and separated from it by the Kennebec. Farmingdale bounds it on the south, and Manchester on the west. The streets and terraces of the village on the curving hillside form an amphitheatre about a little harbor made by the broadening of the river. The attractiveness of this picturesque village is further enhanced by old appleorchards at various points and shade-trees along the streets. The streams are the Kennebec, which forms its eastern boundary, and Vaughn’s Brook. This brook is notable for its cascades and its historic associations. It was part of the home estate of Benjamin Vaughn, and once, if tradition is correct, served to give a wetting to Talleyrand, the celebrated prime-minister of Louis Phillipe, King of France. The power on this stream is now made useful in running a wire-factory, saw and other mills, near its junction with the Kennebec. The other manufactures are the Hallowell Cotton Manufacturing Company, running 17,000 spindles; two oilcloth factories—Sampson’s and Wilder’s— employing respectively 55 and 30 men; a brass and iron foundry, and the Hallowell Granite Company, which produces about $350,000 worth of wrought stone-work annually. Most of this is from the white granite of the Hallowell quarries. Many notable monuments and buildings have been constructed from this granite, wrought in the shops at Hallowell. Among them are the Soldiers’ Monument, on Boston Common; the Sphinx, at Mount Auburn; the Pilgrim’s Monument, at Plymouth, Mass.; the Fireman’s Monument, at Detroit, Mich.; Garrison’s Monument and the Bridges’ Tomb, at St. Louis, Mo.; the Douglass Monumental Tomb, at Chicago, Ill., and the new Capitol at Albany, N. Y. The number of men employed is about 120, and the monthly pay-roll of the company is about $5,000.

The quarries of this company lie to the west of the village, beyond two or three hill ridges. These quarries and the prevailing rock of the territory is granite. The soil is mainiy gravel, but in the northern part, clay.

The Maine Central Railroad runs through the town near the river, and the Boston steamers are reached at Gardiner. The first settler within the limits of the present Haflowell was Deacon Pease Clark, who came from Attleborough, Massachusetts. His first clearing was near where the city hail now stands, and his house stood on Academy Street. The most prominent of the early residents of Hallowell was Dr. Benjamin Vaughn, who was born in England in 1751, and married Sarah, the eldest daughter of Benjamin Hallowell, Esq. He was a member of the British Parliament at the time of the French Revolution,and becoming compromised in some political movement that brought him into danger, he fled to France, from whence he soon after came to this country, arriving in Hallowell in 1796. Being a publicspirited man, lie did much for the advancement of the interests of the region. He planted a large nursery of fruit-trees, from which sprang many of the early orchards in the vicinity. His large and valuable library had a large influence in the advancement of learning in the State. Charles Vaughn, a brother of Benjamin, caine to Halloweil in 1790. Together with his brother lie ran a large flour-mill and brewery, and was also much devoted to agriculture and horticulture, and the importation of improved breeds of cattle. By his influence, a road was surveyed to the vicinity of Gorham, New Hampshire, with the design of making Hallowell the seaport for the country in that direction. The road was never completed, and many years later the Grand Trunk Railroad penetrated the region, carrying the business to Portland; while the Maine Central Railroad, by its back route, took away much business that the port had before enjoyed. John Merrick, born in London of Welsh lineage, came over as tutor in the Vaughn family, and subsequently married a sister of Dr. Vaughn. He was a man of profound learning, and occupied many important positions. His death occurred in 1861 at the age of ninety-five years. Other noted citizens were Dr. John Hubbard, governor of the State from 1850 to 1853 ; John Otis, a distinguished lawyer; while the well-known authors, Jacob and J. S. C. Abbott, and General O. O. Howard, were residents for a considerable period. The city is remarkable for the longevity of its people. With a population of 3,154, it has eighty-two persons over seventy years old, forty over eighty years, and two over ninety. Hallowell has two national banks, and one for savings. The town hail is a substantial two-story building of brick. The Hallowell Social Library contains about 5,000 volumes; for which a beautiful granite building has recently been completed at a cost of $5,000. Its newspaper, the "Hallowell Register,” published by W. F. Marston, is a valuable sheet. The “Maine Farmer’s Almanac,” published here for many years, has been removed to Augusta. Hallowell’s monument to her fallen heroes in the war of the Rebellion consists of a pedestal with die, and surmounted by an octagon shaft. The whole is of granite, and quite lofty.

The first church was organized in 1772, Isaac Foster being the first pastor. There are now in the city houses for worship belonging to the Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, Free Baptists, Universalists and Roman Catholics. There is one State institution located in the city, the State Industrial School for girls. Hallowell Academy, founded in 1791, was a few years since changed into the Hallowell Classical Institute, a flourishing school under the patronage of the Congregationalists. With this the city maintains a high-school, and has nine schoolhouses. The latter are valued at $15,000. The valuation of estates in the city in 1870 was $1,222,295. In 1880 it was $1,611,320. The population at that date was 3,007. In 1880 the inhabitants numbered 3,154. There is also a pretty Episcopal church.

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