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

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




Richmond, the most northerly town of Sagadahoc County, is situated on the west bank of the Kennebec River, 17 miles south of Augusta and 12 miles north of Bath by water. The Main Central railroad passes through the town near the river, having a station at the village in the south-east part of the town, and flag stations at Iceboro' and the Camp-ground. Gardiner bounds it on the north, Bowdoinham on the south, Dresden on the east and Litehfield on the west. In dimensions, the town is about 5½ by 6 miles. The surface is rolling with moderate hills. Preble, Wilson, and Mount Tom hills are the principal elevations. Cobbossee Contee, or Pleasant Pond, with its southern feeder, forms the western boundary of the town. The pond is about five miles in length, hut is scarcely more than half a mile wide at its widest part. Abagadasset River rises in the north western part and runs south. ward through the town. Mill Brook is the principal stream in the eastern part of the town, discharging into the Kennebec at the village, in south-eastern part of the town. Richmond Mineral Spring is highly esteemed by some. The rock is generally granitic in its character. The soil is largely clay, and rather hard to work. Hay and potatoes constitute the chief crops for export. Oak, beech, birch, maple, elm, spruce, fir and pine are all abundant. Elm, maple and willow are numerous along the village streets. At the village are the shoe factory of Richmond Manufacturing Association, employing when full 600 hands, a brass foundry, a large saw and planing mill, four ship-yards, a furniture factory, a sail-loft, bakery, edge-tool shops, etc. Here, also, is a good library of above 2,500 volumes belonging to the Richmond Library Association, but accessible to the public. Richmond has the usual social and charitable institutions, and there is also a loan and building association, which has aided to increase the buildings and business of the town. There are one savings and two national banks.

In 1649, one Christopher Lawson purchased of the Indians a tract of land on the western side of the Kenebec, extending from the mouth of the stream falling into the river near the head of Swan Island. (town of Perkins) to the mouth of the Cobbossee Contee, and back from the Kennebec 10 miles. In 1650, this tract was sold by Lawson to Clark and Lake. It is about ejually divided between Richmond and Gardiner. In 1719-20 a fortification bearing the name "Fort Richmond," was erected within the present limits of Richmond Village, which was dismantled in 1754, when the forts Shirley, Western and Halifax were built further up the river. Its purpose was to facilitate trade with the Indians, and at the same time to afford security to the settlers against them. It was sharply assailed by the savages in 1722, and again in 1750. On the incorporation of Bowdoinham in 1762, the territory now comprising Richmond was embraced in it, which brought on a violent contest between the claimants under the Plymouth Patent and those who held under Lawson's purchase.

Among former residents of note were Nathaniel Langdon, William Pitt, formerly the owner of nearly all the territory of the town ; M. S. Hagar, Ezra Abbott, Robert B. Street, P. M. Foster, noted lawyers of their time; F. R. Theobald, William H. Sturtevant, J. T. Harward. Jabez R. Blanchard, Ambury Southard, successful ship-masters; J. C. Boynton, D. W. C. Chamberlain, physicians; John Toothaker, Thomas Spear, William Patten, extensive ship-builders; Geo. H. Hatch, Geo. H. Thomas, J. J. Hathorn, Charles White, Henry Darrah, merchants; Low Curtis, Ambrose Curtis, Samuel Harlow, Benj. Randall, James B. Beedle, wealthy farmers. The centenarian of the town, was Frederick Bates, who died a few years since at the age of 100 years and 3 months. Aaron Davis, Nicholas Gauhert, Nathaniel Tebbetts, James Woodworth, Charles Blanchard, Peter Cooper, Samuel Allen, soldiers of the war of 1812, and pensioners, are now living and upward of 80 years of age. There are nine other persons above this age, and the number who are between 70 and 80 is large.

The Congregationalists, Free Baptists and Methodists each have a church in town. Richmond has thirteen schoolhouses, the total school property being valued at $7,200. Richmond Academy, incorporated in 1861, is still sustained in connection with the town high-school. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $1,242,040. In 1880 it was $1,221,354. The population in 1870 was 2,442. In 1880 it was 2,658.

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