History of Brooks, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

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

Brooks is situated near the centre of Waldo County. Monroe and Swanville bound it on the east, Waldo on the south, Jackson on the north, and Knox on the west. The area is about 25 square miles. The hffliness renders the scenery quite varied and pleasing. There are several fine bluffs, and some very beautiful views. Among the highest elevations may be mentioned Sprout and Oak hills, estimated to be from 500 to 800 feet in height. The ponds are Passagassawakeag, Half-moon, Corson and Clements. The first is the largest, having an area of about one mile in length and half a mile in width. It is the source of the river of the same name, which empties into Belfast Bay.

The rock is generally mica schist. The soil is a granitic gravel loam, and quite fertile. Hay and potatoes are the largest crops, but apple orchards yield well. The forests comprise a variety of trees,- maple, birch, beech, ash, hemlock, spruce, fir, cedar, oak, basswood, poplar, &c.

The post-offices are Brooks and South Brooks. There are several small saw-mills on Marsh, Sawyer and Ellis streams. At Brooks village is a clothing manufactory, a grist-mill and saw-mills. The Brooks cheese-factory is well supplied by the farmers, and sends out large quantities of excellent cheese. South Brooks has mills manufacturing staves, shingles, long lumber and barrels. The Belfast and Buruham branch of the Maine Central Railroad passes through the town, having a station at Brooks village, a little north of the center of the town.

The territory of Brooks was embraced in the Waldo patent. Its plantation name was Washington. It was incorporated in 1816, and named in honor of Governor Brooks, of Massachusetts. Joseph Roberts, from Buckfield, who built the first mills in town, was said to have been a resident here in 1700. In 1801, he, with his two brothers, John and Jonathan, were settled in town. Not long after Benjamin Cilley, with his sons, Benjamin, Peter and Simon, from the same town, took up their residence here. The first lawyer was Phineas Ashmun, who came as agent for Thorndike, Sears and Prescott, proprietord of most of the land in this and adjoining towns. He was also the first post-master. Jacob Roberts was the first physician. This town was awhile the home of Hon. Woodbury Davis, formerly a judge of the Supreme Court. of Maine. It is claimed for Brooks that no town of its size has done more for the cause of freedom and temperance.

The religious societies in Brooks are the Congregationalist, Baptists, Methodists and Friends. The town has seven public schoolhouses, and its total school property is valued at $2,000. The valuation of estates in 1870, was $200,176. In 1880, it was $229,437. The population in 1870, was 868. In 1880 it was 877.

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