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

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




Searsmont is situated in the southern part of Waldo County bordering on Knox Couuty. Its greatest length is north-west and south-east, nearly 10 miles; and its greatest width is about 5 miles. The south-eastern part is very hilly, with some hills on the webst also; while a long range from Appleton penetrates the southern side nearly to Searsmont village. The town was formerly noted for its pine forests, of which it is said there was a larger quantity than in any other town of the Waldo Patent. General Knox himself carried on lumbering here. From the north-eastern side Quantabacook Pond extends nearly to the village. Its area is 1.25 square miles. This pond is the source of the east branch of St. George's River. Moody Pond, in the south-eastern part of the town, is about one half the area of the first, and discharges into that pond, through a stream and a smaller pond between. St. George's River, west branch, has its source among the hills and in the ponds of Montville. On this stream, in Searsmont, are eight waterpowers, and on the east branch and its tributaries are seven others. At the village are three lumber and cooperage mills a sash, blind and pump factory, four carriage factories, a tannery, a boot and shoe factory, a coffin and bedstead factory, etc. At North Searsmont are two lumber-mills. The soil of this town is productive and the buildings have generally the appearance betokening thrift. Searsmont is 10 miles south-west of Belfast, which is its nearest railroad connection.

This town originally formed a part of the Waldo Patent. Later, it became the property of Sears, Thorndike and Prescott, wealthy Bostonians, and large proprietors of lands in this region. The first settlement was made in 1804, and the township was surveyed in 1809. It was incorporated February 5th, 1814, taking the name of the chief proprietor. A pioneer and singular character of Searsmont was known as Uncle Joseph Meservey familiarly called "Uncle Joe," who had lived to see a flourishing village grow up where seventy years before he had hunted with the red man, the moose, deer, bear and wolf.*

The religious societies in town are those of the Methodists and Baptists. The public schoolhouses number twelve, and are valued at $4,000. The population in 1870 was 1,418. In 1880 it was 1,320. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $300,418. In 1880 it was $365,949.



* A writer in an old newspaper printed 30 years ago, says of "Uncle Joe Meservey," then living; "He has always preserved his youthful predilection for the forest and the stream. Among the earlier recollections of Mr. Meservey, is that of a Mr. Braddock, who lived in a camp alone near the head of the pond. There he died, and by his own request, made to these only companions he knew, he was buried upon the small island of which we have spoken. The beautiful place of his resting is known to very few ; and this is all the world knows of him, who he was, except by name, and why he chose the solitary life of the forest * * How many romances have had a less romantic foundation than these simple circumstances." But Mr. Braddock was not Searsmont's only hermit. Mr. Timothy Barrett was another of a later period. He had his abode at the head of "Hook's Mill-pond." where lie slept in a hollow log or in a cave for nearly 35 years. Civilization advancing too near him, he retreated up the west branch of George's River, to the head of "True's Mill-pond" in Montviile, where he lived in solitude until his death. See article on Montville.

Return to [ Maine History ] [ History at Rays-Place ] [ Rays-place.com ]

Maine Counties - Androscoggin - Aroostook - Cumberland - Franklin - Hancock - Kennebec - Knox - Lincoln - Oxford - Penobscot - Piscataquis - Sagadahoc - Somerset - Waldo - Washington - York