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

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





Newry lies in the western part of Oxford County, just north of Androscoggin River. It is bounded on the south by Bethel, east by Hanover and Rumford, north by Andover, north-west by Grafton and west by Riley. The town is compound in its figure, but is bounded by straight lines. Its area is 26,000 acres. Bear River crosses the midst of the town from north-west to south-east, entering the Androscoggin River where, by a northward bend, it touches the south line of Newry. Near the line on the west side of Bear River, rises Mount 'Will to a height of 1,588 feet. Along the western base of this mountain flows Sunday River, coming from Riley at the west, then turning 8outhward. 'West of this river, and near the southern line of the town is Barker's Mountain, 2,551 feet high. North-west of this is Black Mountain, with another considerable peak south of it. On the western border near the north is Stow Mountain; north-east of this is Sunday River White Cap; south-east of White Cap is Bale Mountain; and on the opposite side of Bear River, in the northern corner of the town, is Great Ledge Hill. In the eastern part of the town is Puzzle Moun. tam. Except where divided by the rivers all these mountains, except the last, join at their bases. Granite ledges are numerous. Along the two rivers are excellent intervals, and the hill slopes afford good pasturage. Hay is the largest crop. There is much forest, in which flourish the trees common to the State. Both the principal streams have falls suitable for small mills; and on Bear River, near North Newry post-office, are a saw and grist-mill. Near the mouth of Bear River, on the Androseoggin, is a steam saw-mill; but it is situated on the south side of the line in the north-western angle of Hanover. The settlements are along the streams. The stage-flue between Bethel Hill and Lake Umbagog runs along the eastern bank of Bear River. The nearest railroad station is that of the Grand Trunk Railroad at Bethel village, near the centre of that town.

The first settlements were made here in 1781, by Benjamin Barker and his two brothers, from Methuen, Mass., and Ithiel Smith, of Cape Elizabeth, Me. These families were plundered by the Canada Indians in 1782, and removed to other parts until after the establishment of peace. The first sale of the township proved abortive, and it reverted to the State. In 1794 John J. Holmes of New Jersey purchased it, taking the deed in his sister Bostwick's name, wherefore it for awhile bore her name. It was also included under the general name of Sudbury-Canada, applied to several towns about here. It was incorporated June 15, 1805, receiving the name of Newry in deference to some of the settlers, who had emigrated from Newry, in Ireland. A person of large observation after a prolonged visit to this town in its early days said "I have travelled over a great part of Europe and the United States, and I believe the people here to be the most honest, industrious and sober of any I ever met with."

There is a Methodist Society in the town and a Union meetinghouse at Newry Corner. There are six public schoolhouses; and the school property is valued at $1,190. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $116,894. In 1880 it was $90,663. The population in 1870 was 416. In 1880 it was 337.

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