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

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

Jonesborough is a seaport town in Washington County, at the head of Mason’s Bay, and 7 miles west of Machias. It is on the Bangor and Calais stage route. Chandler’s River, the principal stream, has two good powers,—” Great Falls,” and “The Mills” at the village at the head of the tide. There are now in operation in the town one mill for long lumber and one lath and shingle mill. Granite and syenite are underlying rocks in some parts. The soil is clay loam. The principal crop is hay. Birch, spruce, and fir constitute what forest remains.

This town was contained in the grant by Massachusetts to John C. Jones and others in 1789, of 48,160 acres. Judah Chandler is supposed to have been the first settler. He arrived in 1763 or 1764, building a house and mill in the latter year, near the site of the Whitney mills. Joel Whitney, father of Captain Ephraim Whitney, came from Portland about 1767. Captain Whitney was a member of Massachusetts Legislature two years, of the convention in 1820 to form a constitution for Maine, and represented his district in the legislature of the new State. Captain Samuel ‘Watts, from Falmouth, removed here in 1769, and Josiah Weston in 1772. The latter married Hannah, the daughter of Captain Watts, in 1774. This noble woman is intimately connected with the history of the town, especially by her remarkable night journey to Macbias to bring powder to the patriots for the capture of the British armed schooner, 3iargaretta. She died in 1855, in the 97th year of her age.

The town was incorporated in 1809; its name being chosen in honor of the leading proprietor. Previously it had borne the name of Chandler’s River. The section at its settlement was remarkably well wooded. The first ship was sailed up the river in 1785, by Captain Locke, for purposes of trade.

Near the village are the agricultural grounds and buildings, where the fairs of the West Washington Agricultural Society are held. Jonesborough furnished 16 men to the Union forces in the war of the Rebellion, and lost seven. There is a neat church in the town used by the denominations in common.

The number of public schoolhouses is six; and the school property is valued at $2,500. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $86,990. In 1880 it was $80,000. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 42 mills on a dollar. The population in 1870 was 522. In 1880 it was 552.

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