History of Blue Hill, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

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

Blue Hill is situated on Union River Bay, in the southwestern part of Hancock County. It is 14 miles S. S. W. of Ellsworth, and 36 miles from Bangor, and is on the stage-lines from Bucksport to Sedgewick and from Castine to Ellsworth. Surry bounds it on the north-east, Penobscot on the north-west, Brooksville and Sedgewick on the south-west. On the south-east are the waters of Union River Bay, from which Blue Hill Bay pushes up into the town. The name, Blue Hill, comes from a commanding elevation of land near the centre of the town. The ascent begins at the shore of the bay, continuing in a gradual ascent for about a mile, and thence is quite abrupt to the huge mass of rock which forms the top. The height above high water is 950 feet,—so that the hill affords extended and charming views on every side. It was formerly covered with trees—principally evergreens— which, at a distance, gave a very dark blue tint,—whence its name. The soil of Blue Hill is clay loam and gravel. The principal rock is granite. There are also extensive deposits of manganese and limestone. Other minerals found in town are fluor spar, iron ore, copper ore, gold, lead ore in a form of galena, wolfram, the ore of tin, hydrate of silica, used in the making of fire-proff brick, phosphate of lime, etc. The town has an excellent quality of granite, of which at some times large quantity have been quarried. In 1876, these quarries afforded employment for 30 yoke of oxen and 300 laborers. East River Bridge, at New York, was constructed of Blue Hill granite. At the Present time there are also 22 mining and smelting companies owning territory in the town.

McHeard's, Norris, First, Second, Third and Fourth are the principal ponds, being from half a mile to a mile in diameter. The outlets of these ponds furnish power for several small saw and gristmills. One of the bridges, constructed of wood and granite, is 200 feet in length.

Blue Hill was first settled in 1762 near “Fire Falls,” where Blue Hill Bay communicates with a salt-water pond. The pioneers were Capt. Joseph Wood and John Roundy. The third family in town was formed by the marriage of Capt. Wood’s daughter with Col. Parker, who had served at the siege of Louisbourg. The family of Samuel Foster was the fourth, and the next were Col. Nicholas Holt, Ezekiel Osgood, and Nehemiah Hinkley. The first child, Jonathan Darling, was born in 1765; the second child, Edith Wood, in 1766. Several citizens of Blue Hill served in the Revolutionary war. Christopher Osgood, one of the first setlers, was at the battle of Bunker Hill. Nehemiah Hinkley served through the war, and was honorably discharged at West Point. The town furnished 196 soldiers to the Union army during the Rebellion, and paid out in bounties $17,995. Among the notable citizens of a later period, but now deceased, were John Peters, Eben. Floyd, Nathan Ellis, amid Andrew Witham. There are several residents above eighty years of age, and one over ninety.

The township was first known as “Number 5.” The plantation name was “Newport.’ It was incorporated as a town in 1789. A Congregational church was formed in 1772, and a Baptist church in 1806. There is now an additional Baptist church, at East Blue Hill. The first post-office was established in 1795. Jonathan Fisher was the settled minister from 1796 to 1837. He was somewhat eccentric, but a worthy minister. Blue Hill Academy was incorporated in 1803, being endowed by a grant of one half of Number 23, in Washington county. This property was sold in 1806, for $6,252. The academy has a library of about 500 volumes. The income from the fund (now about $5,000) and tuition fees sustain instruction for about half the year. Blue Hill has an excellent academy, and seventeen public schoolhouses, the school property being valued at $7,800. The valuation of real estate in 1870 was $397,620. In 1880, it was $449,497. The rate of taxation the latter year was 16½ mills on the dollar, including the highway tax. The population in 1870 was 1,707. In the census of 1880 it was 2,213.

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