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

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

Freeport is situated in the eastern part of Cumberland County, and at the north-eastern extremity of Casco Bay. Brunswick bounds it on the east, Pownal on the north, the latter and Yarmouth on the west, and Casco Bay on the south. Cousin’s River forms the dividing line between Freeport and Yarmouth for about half the distance of their boundary. The Maine Central Railroad runs through the town, having a station at Freeport Corner, 17 miles from Portland. Other business centres are South Freeport, Mast Landing and Porter’s Landing. The surface of the town is varied, with but moderate elevations and depressions. The soil is chiefly clay loam, and generally productive. The largest crops are hay ‘and potatoes. Harraseeket River is the principal stream. The long basin at its mouth constitutes a harbor navigable by large vessels, arid its openness through the year is supposed to have given the town its name of Freeport. This harbor is formed by Wolf’s and Mitchell’s necks. Flying Point forms tho south-eastern angle of the town. There are upwards of a dozen islands within the corporate limits. The largest of these are Bustin’s, Silver, Lanses, French, and Cab islands.

The manufactures are ships and boats, shoes, clothing, harnesses, canned food, etc. The shipbuilding points are Mast Landing, Porter’s Landing and South Freeport. Freeport Corner is a pleasant village, with elm-shaded streets and several elegant residences. Most of the houses have ample grounds, and some ornamental shrubbery. Orchards, with fine old as well as young trees, and choice fruit, are a feature of the village. The Pownal and South Freeport roads continue these attractions, and afford agreeable drives.

The town was formerly a part of North Yarmouth, but was set off and incorporated in 1789. It then included Pownal, which was set off in 1808. The name of its principal stream, Harraseekit, was formerly applied to the town. The first church in Freeport was formed December 21, 1789, by ten members dismissed from the first church, North Yarmouth, and the Rev. Alfred Johnson was ordained the following week. He was dismissed in 1805, being succeeded by Rev. Samuel Veazie, who died at the age of thirty years, of consumption, the night after he was carried from his burning house, February 6, 1809. Rev. Reuben Nason was his successor (1810—15). He came to the office of pastor from Gorham Academy. He is said to have been an excellent Christian man, yet with much of the Puritanic sternness. He was prompt to punish offences, yet quick to appreciate a joke. The boys of the academy once put a donkey in his place at the recitation. Instead of becoming enraged, he simply told them that he thought they had shown excellent taste in selecting a suitable instructor—” a donkey to teach donkeys “—and retired. This ended all their fun of that sort with him. Rev. John S. C. Abbott, the historian, also preached in Freeport for a time. There are now two Congregationalist churches, one of which is a very handsome edifice. The Methodists, Baptists and Free Baptists also have each a church.

Freeport has an excellent high-school at the Corner. There are in the town seventeen public schoolhouses, valued at $25,000. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $912,053. The rate of taxation in 1880 was $1.17 on $100. The population in 1870 was 2,457. In the census of 1880 it was 2,279.

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