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

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

Prospect lies on the Penobscot River, in the eastern part of Waldo County. Frankfort bounds it on the north, Stockton on the south, and Searsport on the west. It is about six miles in length, east and west, and three miles in width. Perhaps one-fourth the land is suitable for tillage, while the remainder is rocky and mountainous. Heagen Mountain in the north-east and Mack's in the northern part are the highest elevations. Others are French's Hill and Eustis Mountain, in the south-eastern part of the town. Half-moon Pond, on the northwestern border is the largest pond. Others are Seavy, Ellis, etc. Grant's River, or the south branch of Marsh River, runs by a very winding course north-easterly through the town. Upon this stream, at the village near the centre of the town, are a lumber mill, and another manufacturing lumber and cooper's ware. Near by is the Prospect and Stockton cheese factory. The rock along the river is porphyritic. There is much old growth forest still remaining. In the north-eastern part of the town is a marsh, having an area of two or three hundred acres. In the vicinity of Fort Knox, a short distance above the ferry to Bucksport, lead ore has been exhumed. A superstition prevailed here, many years ago, that valuable treasures had been hidden by pirates at "Cod Lead," a gravel mound near the north line of the town, directly east of Mosquito Mountain; and there was an immense amount of digging without profit.

Prospect is 14 miles north-east of Belfast and Bangor stage-line. This town was incorporated February 24, 1794. The name was suggested by its beautiful views. As incorporated, it was about 17 miles in length from north to south. In 1845 a large proportion of the town on the west and south-west was set off from Searsport; and in 1857 Stockton was formed from the southern portion of the remaining territory.

The first notable event in the history of this region was the construction of a small fortification called Fort Pownal on the spot now known as Fort Point. Stockton now embraoes this locality. The fortification was garrisoned with 100 men; but on the downfall of the French power in the north, the number was reduced to a mere guard. At the opening of the Revolution, the fort was in charge of Colonel Goldthwait, who was superintendant of the valuable traffic with the Indians of this place. In March, 1775, Captain Mowatt, notorious for his cruel bombardment and burning of Falmouth (Portland), a few months later sailed up the river, and transferred to his vessel all the heavy guns and the ammunition.

The first inhabitants, some of whom had been soldiers in the French and Indian wars, settled near this fort. John Odom, who built the first mill on the Penobscot River, settled at Sandy Point about three miles above the fort. Other early inhabitants were a Mr. Clifford, Mr. Treat two or three named Colson, and Charles Curtis, from whom Curtis Point has its name.

"Captain John Odom, a grandson of the pioneer of the same name, was a resident of this town. He was born March, 1787, and followed the sea 45 years. He was impressed, when a young man into the British service, and was present at the battle of Corunna, in Spain, when Sir John Moore was killed. In this battle he was useful in carrying off the wounded and attending to their wants. He obtained his release from the British service soon after and returned home in 1811. Coolidge and Mansfield's History and Description of New England. Art. Prospect."

The National government a few years before the war of the Rebellion erected at East Prospect a superior fortification of stone, which received the name of Fort Knox,* in honor of General Knox, who had been so large a proprietor in this region. The principal villages and the postoffices are Prospect village and the Ferry.

The principal religious society in this town is the Free Baptist. The number of public schoolhouses is seven, valued at $4,400. The population in 1870 was 886. In 1880 it was 770. The valuation in 1870 was $184,492. In 1880 it was $166,224.

* Fort Knox has no garrison. It is in charge of old Sergeant Walker, a veteran who was a favorite of General Scott, and is therefore kept in service. The fort is constructed of granite from Mount Waldo, and it is massive and solid as the rocks on which it rests. Begun in 1846, it is not yet completed, as work on it has long since ceased, and will probably never be resumed. Costing about a million dollars, it stands a monument of human folly; for the recent advance in the science of war is such that it would be scarcely more effective in time of danger than an ancient feudal castle of the Middle Ages. A walk through its winding passages and long encircling rifle-gallery is interesting to the visitor, if not wearisome.-Crocker & Howard's Hist. of New England, p. 126, note.

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