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

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

Litchfield is the most southerly town in Kennebec County. On the north and north-east it is bounded by West Gardiner, the Cobbossee Contee stream. forming the boundary line for most of the distance. Moninouth forms the western boundary for the northern part, and Wales in Androscoggin County for the southern part. Bowdoin and Richmond in Sagadahoc County lie on the south and east. Pleasant Pond connected with the Cobbossee Contee, separates it from the latter. The Purgatory Ponds lie on the north-west side, adjoining Monmouth, furnishing water-power for several mills. These are at Litchfield, Village, or Purgatory Mills, and comprise an excellent gristmill and a hoe and fork factory. The post-offices are Litchfield, South Litchfield Litchfield Plains and Litchfield Corner. The surface of the town is uneven, but not greatly broken. The highest eminences are Oak Hill and Nealís and Lentís hills. From their tops may be seen sonic charming views. The Purgatory Ponds in the western part of the town are the members of a chain of nine ponds, whose outlet is into the Cobbossee Contee. Loon Pond is a beautiful sheet of water. There are several attractive glens and cascades in the town.

The soil is well suited to agriculture, and yields good crops of hay, potatoes, corn, wheat, etc. Much attention has been given to fruit culture, also. The annual fairs held at Litchfield Plains are among the best town shows in the State. Litchfield Corner is the seat of Litchfield Academy, founded in 1845, where many excellent teachers have been educated. There is also a public schoolhouse and several fine residences.

The plantation name of the township was Smithfield, from two brothers named Smith, who, together with a Mr. Tibbetts, were the first settlers. Others of the early settlers were the Emersons, Metcalfs, Hutchinsons, Lords, Potters, Neals, Owens, Dennises, Snows, Rogers, Jewells, Robinsons, and John and Daniel True, whose descendants have ever been prominent in the town. The land titles are from. the Plymouth Company. The town was incorporated under its present name in 1795. In 1859 a portion of the territory was set off and annexed to West Gardiner.

There are in town church edifices of the Congregationalist, Baptists, and Free Baptists, two each of the two last. Litchfleld has fifteen public schoolhouses, valued at $5,000. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $496,908. In 1880 it was $454,330. The rate of taxation in 1880. was 15 mills on the dollar. The population in 1870 was 1,506. According to the census of 1880 it had fallen off to 1,310.

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