History of Pittston, Maine
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

Pittston is the south-easterly town of Kennebec County, lying
on the eastern bank of the Kennebec River, 6 miles south by south-
east of Augusta. It is bounded on the north by Chelsea, east by
Whitefield and Alna, south by Dresden, and west by Gardiner. The
first settler is supposed to have been Alexander Brown; who built his
house on an interval then known as “Kerdoormeorp,” cleared up a lot
for tillage, and was employed for several years in procuring sturgeon
for the London market. In 1676 he was killed by the Indians and his
house burned. In 1716 Dr. Noyes, agent of the Kennebec proprietors,
built a fort near Nahumkeag Island, which was also destroyed by the
Indians. Captain John North, assisted by Abram Wyman, laid the
town out in lots in 1751. Soon after the conquest of Canada a number
of persons from Falmouth settled in Pittston. The town was in-
corporated in 1779, being named in honor of William Pitt, Earl
of Chatham, the friend of the American colonies. The corporation
included Gardiner and West Gardiner until 1804. General Henry
Dearborn was the first representative to the General Court, in 1799.
The first list of town officers extant is as follows: clerk, William
Wilkins; selectmen, Seth Saper, Samuel Berry, and Thomas Agry;
treasurer, Samuel Oakman; constable, Henry Smith. Some of the
names of other prominent citizens in the modern period are Eliakim
Scamman, Stephen Young, John Jewett, George Williamson, Nicholas
Cooper, William Stephens, John Scott, and John Blanchard. The
town is somewhat remarkable for the longevity of its inhabitants,
there being twenty-two persons in town who are eighty years of age
and upwards, several being over ninety.

Pittston as at present constituted contains an area of 21,300 miles.
It is about seven miles long from north to south, and five miles from
east to west. The surface is well diversified with hills and valleys,
ponds and streams. Beech Hill, estimated from 500 to 600 feet above
tide water is the highest eminence. The “Pebble Hills” on the
“Haley Farm” in the south-western part of the town, consist entirely
of small pebbles drifted into eminences; and although excavations have
been made to the depth of about 80 feet, nothing else has been found.
The usual forest trees flourish; but when the town was first settled, a
large proportion of the timber was of white oak. The soil is a clay
loam, and yields good crops of hay and potatoes. Nahumkeag Pond,
situated near the center of the town, has an area of about 400 acres;
Joy's Pond, at the north-eastern corner, has an area of about 100
acres. The Togus stream passes through the north-western part of the
town to the Kennebec. On this stream, near the river, on a substantial
stone dam, is a saw-mill capable of turning out 500,000 feet of long
lumber, 1,000,000 shingles, and clapboards and laths in proportion. The
Eastern River, having its principal reservoir in Joy's Pond, runs south-
ward through almost the entire eastern part of the town; furnishing
at East Pittston the power for a saw-mill and a grist-mill.

The principal village - which bears the name of the town - is beauti-
fully located on the Kennebec; having a connection with Gardiner and
the Maine Central railway by means of an excellent wooden bridge
899 feet long.

Aside from agriculture, the principal business is connected with ice.
Along the Kennebec River are numerous houses for the storage of this
product, nearly a dozen different companies and firms carrying on the
business in town.

The Congregationalists and Methodists have one or more churches
each in the town. At East Pittston there is an excellent local academy.
In addition Pittston has seventeen public schoolhouses, valued at $7,500.
The valuation in 1870 was $648,353; in 1880 it was $669,688. The
rate of taxation in 1880 was nineteen mills on the dollar. In 1870, the
population numbered 2,353; which, according to the census of 1880,
has increased to 2,457.

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