History of New Portland, Maine
From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine
By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886
Transcribed by Betsey S. Webber



New Portland lies on the western border of Somerset
County 20 miles north-west of Skowhegan. Lexington bounds it on
the north, Anson on the south, Embden on the east, and Freeman, in
Franklin County, on the west. The township is square in its form,
but somewhat larger than the standard size of six smiles square. The
surface lies in large swells, but generally without the steepness that
precludes cultivation. The soil is of granitic origin, and yields well
with good dressing. Gilman Pond Mountain, rising northward from
the northern border, has a considerable height. Gilman Pond lying
on the northern line has an area of about one-half a square mile. Lily
Pond, on the western line, is still smaller. The principal stream is
Seven Mile Brook or Carabasset River, which rises about the base of
Mount Abraham at the north-west, and flows into and through the
town in a general south westerly course. It receives as a tributary in
the eastern part of the town, Gilman Stream, flowing south from Gil-
man Pond, and in the south-western part, Lemon Stream. The powers
are at North New Portland, on Gilman Stream; at West New Port-
land, on Lemon Stream near its junction with the Carabasset; and a
East New Portland, near the junction of Gilman Stream with the
Carabasset. The manufactories at these different points are as follows:
at North New Portland are a lumber-mill, a grist-mill, hand-sled, salt-
mills, churn, cloth-dressing, carriage, boot, shoe and moccasin factories.
The town has much attractive scenery, and the villages wear an ap-
pearance of thrift. New Portland is on the stage-line from North-
Anson, terminus of the Somerset Railroad to Dead River.

The township, with that of Freeman on its west, was granted by
Massachusetts to the sufferers by the burning of Falmouth (now Port-
land) by Mowatt in 1775. It was organized as a plantation in 1805,
and as a town in 1808, receiving its name from the town whose mis-
fortunes it partially remedied. David Hutchins, of Chelmsford, Mass.,
was the first settler, probably, in 1785. In 1786 Josiah Parker arrived
from Groton, Mass. He had served in the fourth regiment of Mas-
sachusetts militia, in the war of the Revolution, and was honorably
discharged at West Point; and he subsequently bore an honorable
and arduous part in the affairs of this town. He was ninety-six years
of age in 1856. Another valued citizen was Andrew Elliott, who was
one of the earlier settlers, a very public spirited man, who lived to the
advanced age of one hundred and three years. Ebenezer Richardson,
from Sedgewick, came in the same year, and John and William
Churchill, from Bingham, in 1788. Later came Eben Casley, from
Gorham, Samuel and Benjamin Gould, Solomon Walker, Charles
Warden, from Woolwich, and John Dennis, from Groton, N.H. The
town, in 1809, voted an invitation to Beniah Pratt to become the
parish minister, which he accepted, but was not settled. In 1815,
Samuel Hutchins, son of the first settler, was called and settled, and
had a portion of the ministerial lands. Both these divines belonged to
the Free-will Baptists, who were the principal sect at first. The
churches are now two Free Baptist, a Methodist, a Universalist, a
Union, and a Congregational Union church. The number of public
schoolhouses is sixteen, and the value of the public school property
$3,500. The population in 1870 was 1,454. In 1880 it was 1,271.
The valuation in 1870 was $400,590. In 1880 it was $466,250.

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