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

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

Monroe lies in the northern part of Waldo County, 13 miles north of Belfast and 18 miles south-west of Bangor, on the stage-line from the latter city to Brooks. It is bounded on the east by Winterport and Frankfort, south by Swanville, west by Brooks and Jackson, and North by Newburgh, in Penobscot County. The surface is broken and hilly, but the soil yields well on cultivation. Much attention has been given to fruit trees, and the town shows many fine orchards. It is drained by both the north and south branches of Marsh River; and on these are many water-powers. There is one saw-mill for long and short lumber, one grist-mill, a carding-mill, barrel-factory, cheese-factory, and other manufactures common to villages. A few years ago there were in operation in this town the following: “Willis’s Mills,” on a fall of 15 feet on Marsh River, comprising a saw-mill, with the capacity of producing annually 400,000 feet of long lumber and 800,000 shingles, and a grist-mill with four sets of stones. On a fall of 10 feet, half a mile above, were saw, fulling, and carding mills. Half a mile above the last was a lumber and stave mill, and two miles above this were saw and shingle mills. On the outlet of Northern Pond was “Thurlough Mill,” with capacity of manufacturing annually 200,000 feet of lumber. On the outlet of the Thomas Chase bog, was a stone dam unoccupied; and half a mile farther down were board, lath, shingle and stave mills. On the outlet of a pond in Swanville were the “Mayo Mills,” including a first-class grist-mill. On the Emery Mills Stream was a saw and stave mill, a pail-factory, and still earlier, a grist-mill. At the outlet of Jones’ Bog there was a grist-mill. Other privileges have never been occupied, and it is to be hoped that the future will see more of this waste power made useful to man.

The settlements in Monroe commenced soon after those in Frankfort, which was settled about 1760. “Lee Plantation,” was the name by which these were known until 1822, when it was incorporated under the name of Monroe, in honor of Hon. James Monroe, at that time president of the United states.

The centres of business are Monroe Mills, or Village, and Monroe Centre. There is also a post-oflice at North Monroe. The Methodists and Free Baptists each have a church in the town. The number of public schoolhouses is thirteen, valued at $4,500. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $326,835. In 1880 it was $310,155. The population in 1870 was 1,375. In 1880 it was 1,366.

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