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

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

Porter is the south-western town of Oxford County. Hiram bounds it on the east, Brownfield on the north, Parsonfield in York County, on the south, and Freedom, in New Hampshire, on the west It is 6 miles in length by 4½ in width, having an area of 18,500 acres. The Great Ossipee River forms the boundary line on the south, while on the southern half of the eastern line lies a chain of ponds, of which Stanley’s, the largest, is about one mile in length. Spectacle Pond, nearly the same size, lies in the south-eastern part; Long Pond, of equal area, lies in the south-west, and (Jolcord Pond, the largest (area, about a square mile), lies near the centre of the town, with Bickford Pond about a mile to the south-west. In the north-eastern part are several high elevations, bearing the names of Bald Ledge, Devil’s Den, Pine Hill, Burnt Meadow Mountain, and Mount Eagle. The surface is generally uneven, but the hillsides afford excellent pasturage, and many cattle are raised. The town has also long been noted for its orchards. Originally, it was thickly wooded with pine, and white and red oak. At the south-eastern corner of the town is Kezar Falls village; and on the Ossipee, at the mouth of the outlet of Colcord and Bickforcl Ponds, is Porter Village. The outlets of the various ponds afford several good water-powers. Coleord Pond has a saw-mill and grist-mill at its outlet; Bickford Pond has a saw-mill; a mile below is another, and Porter Village has a third saw-mill. At the latter place are also furniture and bobbin factories. At Kezar Falls are three sawmills, a spool, woolen, and a boot and shoe factory. This town is 50 miles south-west of Paris. It is 35 miles from Portland, on the stageline to Freedom, N. H., and terminus of the line to Wakefield, N. H., on the Great Falls and Concord Railroad.

The township which is now Porter was purchased of Massachusetts, in September, 1795, by Dr. Aaron Porter, of Biddeford, Caleb Emery, of Sanford, Thomas Cutts, of Peperellborough (now Saco) and others, for the sum of £564 lawful money. It was also provided in the grant, that they should appropriate 320 acres for schools, the same number for the first-settled minister, and a similar lot for the support of the ministry; also 100 acres to each man who should settle in the township before the 1st day of January, 1784. This condition was met by the following settlers: Mesheck and Stephen Libby, from Rye, N. H., John Libby and James Rankins. These were all until 1787, when Benjamin Bickford, Jr., Samuel Bickford, from Rochester, N. H., and Benjamin Ellen wood, from Groton, became settlers. About 1791, David Allord, Joseph Clark, and Moses Drown, from Rochester, N. H., became permanent residents. Most of these were soldiers of the Revolution.

The territory of Porter was part of the Pequaket territory, and extended quite to Fryeburg; but at its incorporation, Feb. 20, 1807, about two-fifths of its northerly portion was annexed to Brownfield.

Kezar Falls has a Free Baptist and a Methodist church, and Porter Village, a Union church. The number of public schoolhouses is 13; their value with lots, being placed at $2,500. The population in 1870 was 1,104. In 1880 it was 1,095. The valuation in 1870 was $275,469. In 1880 it was $279,359.

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