History of Stockton, Maine

From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

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




Stockton lies at the head of Penobscot Bay on the western side of the river in Waldo County. Prospect bounds it on the north, and Searsport on the west. On the opposite side of the riveer are Wetmore Isle (Verona), Orland and Penobscot. The area is about 18 square miles, with 8 miles of shore. The surface is generally level, and without a high hill. The rock is generally granitic in character; and the soil, though rocky, is productive. The forests are of rock maple, beech, birch, spruce and some hemlock. The streams are small, and there are no considerable ponds. The manufactures consist of Stockton shoe factory, Stockton and Prospect cheese factory, a door, sash and blind, lime-cask and fish-barrel and clothing factories. The postoffices are Stockton and Sandy Point. The town is about 10 miles north-east of Belfast, on the stage-line to Bangor. The buildings in this town are in very good repair, and the roads and bridges in fine order.

There are good harbors at Sandy Point, Fort Point Cove and Cape Jellison. The latter is a large Peninsula extending southward. Fort Point is a smaller peninsula extending eastward from Cape Jellison, now occupied by an excellent hotel for summer visitors. The Indian name was Wasaumkeag. The point has its present name from the fort built here by Governor Thomas Pownall in 1759. The site is about 25 rods from the waters edge, where some vestiges are still to be found.

This fortification was in form of a square, the east side facing the water, and at each corner were flankers. The dimensions were 360 feet, or 90 feet on each inner side of the breastwork, which was 10 feet in height. This was surrounded by a moat or ditch 15 feet wide at the top, 5 at the bottom and 8 in depth. Each exterior side of the ditch, or the glacis, was 240 feet. In the middle of the ditch were palisadoes quite around the fort, except at the portcullis, or entrance, at the eastern side, where a drawbridge crossed the ditch. In the ditch at the foot of the wall was a line of pickets. Between the fort and the river were the houses of the commander and others, Indian attacks being usually from the mainland side. Within the walls was a square block-house, 44 feet on a side, with flankers at each corner, of diamond form, 33 feet on a side. The whole was constructed of squared timber, dove-tailed at the corners, and treenailed. The height of the block-house, in two stories, was about 22 feet, the roof was square or hipped, and had a sentrybox upon the top. On the roof was mounted several cohorn mortars; and on the area between the breastwork and walls ot the block-house 20 feet in width, three or four cannon were mounted. The upper story of the breast-work jutted over the lower about three feet, the space being covered with loose plank. easily removable. The lower story was used as barracks: and in the upper one, where 10 or 12 small cannon were mounted, garrison exercise was performed in stormy weather. There were two chimneys, one in the north-west and one in the southwest corner. After the war, there was a large trade carried on for many years between the garrison and the Indians. An aged gentleman says “I have seen one of the flanker-rooms as full as it could well be stowed with the first quality of furs, beaver, otler, sable, Soon after Majorbiguyduce (Castine) was occupied by the British A.D., 1779, Colonel Cargill came from Newcastle, and burnt the blockhouse and curtilage; and subsequently by order of governmant, he again appeared at the head of a party, and labored indefatigably till almost exhausted with toil and hunger, in filling the ditches and levelling the breastwork. Yet some of the cavities are now to be seen (1830) Williamson’s History of Maine, vol. 2, p. 337.

A light-house erected on this point in 1837 marks the entrance of Penobscot Bay. It was refitted in 1857. The tower is square, constructed of brick arid painted white. The focal plane is 27 feet above the ground and 103 feet above sea level. It has a flashing white light.

Stockton was set off from Prospect and incorporated March 13, 1857. It was first settled about 1759. C. S. Fletcher and N. G. Hitchborn were valued citizens of this town. Stockton sent between 60 and. 70 men into the Union army during the late war, losing about onethird of the number. A granite monument has been erected to their memory. There are Congregationalist and Universalist societies here, the latter having a church edifice. Stockton maintains a high-school and has nine public schoolhouses, with school property valued at $8,800. The population in 1870 was 2,089. In 1880 it was 1,548. The valuation in 1870 was $880,220. In 1880 it was $401,446. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 31 mills on the dollar.

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