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

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

Sullivan, in Hancock County, is situated on the eastern side of Taunton Bay, an extensive inlet of Frenchman's Bay. Within the limits of the town are eight islands, named as follows: Capital A., Bean's, Drum, Preble's, Bragdon, Burnt, Black, and Seward. The area of the town is 17,500 acres. The surface is very uneven, yet the soil is generally good. Hay and potatoes are the crops chiefly sought; but the land in general is best suited for grazing. The principal inland sheets of water are Flander's Moraney, Long and Round Ponds. The outlets of the first two ponds, and Gordon's and Simpson's streams, afford power for mills. Sullivan has lông been noted for the first-class coasters constructed in its ship-yards, and for its immense deposits of granite and syenite, The granite contains beautiful veins of felsper green, is of superior quality, splits well, may be wrought into almost any shape, and is suitable for any building. The chief industry of the town now centres in quarrying and mining. Along the shore of Sullivan River. and nearly parallel to it, is located the famous Sullivan lode, which is considered one of the most remarkable silver-bearing veins that has ever been discovered. On this vein several companies are operating. "The country rock in which the vein is found is a slaty quartzite, somewhat talcose, and in some places calcareous and, occasionally porphyritic." Almost every ore of silver is separated in this vein, native silver, argentite, stromeyrite, pyrargyrite, stephanite, and cerargyrite and the black sulphuret, the last predominating. There are now eleven incorporated companies owning mines in the town, most or all of them being operated. Work has been done also in five or more unincorporated mines. There has been completed in the vicinity a concentrating mill and smelting works for reducing silver ore.

On the various streams there are two saw-mills, two stave mills, one shingle-mill, and one grist-mill. Sullivan is 13 miles S. S. W. of Ellsworth, on the stage-line from Ellsworth to Cherryfield. A steamboat touches at Sullivan Falls three times a week.

Sullivan, while a plantation, was called New Bristol. The Indian name was Waukeag, their name for the seal. Settlements were commenced in 1762, by Sullivan, Simpson, Bean, Gordon, Blaisdell and Card. The township had been granted to David Bean and associates in 1761, by the colonial government of Massachusetts, but the King refusing to confirm the grant, the settlers were in 1803 confirmed in the possession of 100 acres each by Massachusetts on the payment of $5. The town was incorporated in 1789 under the name of Sullivan in honor of one of the original settlers. At Waukeag are evidences of an old French settlement. In 1841, an earthen pot, containing somewhat more than $400 in French coin was dug up. They bore the date of 1725. At the commencement of the Revolutionary war half the settlers moved back to York, reducing the families in the plantation from forty to twenty. Nine thousand acres of land in this town were, after its incorporation, given to Bowdoin and Williams colleges.

Sullivan furnished 80 nien to the Union forces in the war of the Rebellion. The Baptists and Methodists each have a church in town. The number of public schoolhouses is six, and the school property is valued at $5,000. The valuation of real estate in 1870 was $141,954. In 1880 it was $193,477. The rate of taxation in 1880 was 1 and 1/8 per centum. The population in 1870 was 796. In 1880 it was 1,023.

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