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

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

Northfield lies a few miles south-west of the centre of Washington county, and 10 miles north by north-west of Machias. Marshfield, Whitneyville and Centreville lie on the south of this town. Machias River runs in a south-easterly course through the southwestern part of the town, receiving in its course Old and New streams and Bog Brook, the outlet of Bog Pond, which lies in the eastern part of the town. The size of this pond is 2 miles long by one wide. The stage-road from Machias to Calais passes northward across the eastern part of the town, just west of the pond. The principal settlements are along this road in the southern part of the town, arid on the road south of the pond. The principal water-powers are Holmes’ Falls, on Macbias river, and those on Bog Brook. Others are called Dick’s Falls, College Rips, and Brown’s Rips: On Bog Brook near the pond is a board, lath and shingle mill.

The surface is quite uneven, being broken by ledges and hills. Harmon’s Pinnacle is 500 feet in height, and Elwell’s Mountain, 350 feet. The soil is variable, clay loam in some parts and gravel in others. The crops chiefly cultivated are hay, oats, wheat and potatoes. Rock maple, beech, juniper and pine are found in the still plentiful forest.

Northfield was incorporated March 21, 1838. It was originally No. 24 in Bingham’s Penobscot purchase. The town sent 22 men into the army of the Union in the war of the rebellion, of whom 9 were lost. Three of its inhabitants are above 80 years of age. The neighborhood library here contains 117 volumes. There is a Methodist society in the town, and the Congregationalists have a church edifice. The number of public schoolhouses is 3,—valued, with land, at $600. The population in 1870 was 190. In 1880 it was 161. The valuation in 1870 was $52,947. in 1880 it was $33,311. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 3 3/4 per cent.

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