History of Winslow, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine
By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886
Transcribed by Betsey S. Webber

Winslow, in Kennebec County, is situated upon the eastern
side of the Kennebec River, opposite Waterville. It is bounded on
the east by Albion, on the north by Benton, and on the south by China
and Vassalboro. Pattee Pond, near the center of the town, is the
principal body of water. Sebasticook River runs south-westward to
the Kennebec across the south-west corner of the town. The stream
which forms the outlet of China Lake enters the Sebasticook near
Winslow village, half a mile below Ticonic Falls, on the Kennebec.
This village is small; but it is well shaded by trees, and has much
natural beauty. The eastern trunk line of the Maine Central Railway
passes through this village, crossing the river to Waterville, a short
distance above. The manufactories of Winslow consist of a small
woollen-mill, two grist-mills, two saw-mills, and a shoe-peg factory.
The principal rock in town is slate. The soil of the parts bordering
on the river is a sandy loam; farther back, it is slaty and gravelly.
The chief employment of the people is agricultural, and the principal
crops are hay and potatoes. The usual forest trees are found in the
woods, while on the public ways there are many elms and maples,
some of which are very old. Reynold's Hill is said to be the highest
elevation in town, affording fine views of the Kennebec and a wide
expanse of landscape.

Winslow, which formerly embraced the territory of what are now
Waterville and West Waterville, is the ancient Tacconnet (Ticonic).
It was a part of the Plymouth Patent; and the original proprietors
were mostly from Plymouth Cunty, Massachusetts. Among the early
settlers were persons bearing the Old Colony names of Howard, Wins-
low, Taylor, Bradford, Delano, Warren, Otis, White, etc.; and de-
scendants of these are still found in the town. In 1754-5 a fortifica-
tion was erected by Governor Shirley, at the junction of the Sebasti-
cook with the Kennebec as an outpost, which was named Fort Hali-
fax. A single block-house of this fort is still standing a little to the
north of the bridge over the Sebasticook, and may be seen from the
cars, looking toward the Kennebec. The settlement was slow, the
first being about the fort. The first farming attempted was upon the
flat below Fort Hill, by Morris Fling, about the year 1764; which was
for a long time afterward known as Fling's field. In 1676, the second
year of King Philips's war in Maine, Abraham Shurte, the magistrate
at Pemaquid, held a parley with the Indians near where Fort Halifax
was built about 75 years later. He was received by the Indians in
the “great wigwam” or fort; but he was unsuccessful in his attempt
to end the war.

The town was incorporated in 1771, being named in honor of Gen-
eral John Winslow, who had command of the force employed in the
erection of Fort Halifax. As a plantation, it had been called King-
field. At the first town meeting of Winslow, held April 3, 1771, Eze-
kiel Pattee was chosen clerk and treasurer; and Mr. Pattee, Timothy
Heald and John Tozier, selectmen, and Solomon Parker, constable.
Other minor officers were Robert Crosby, Nathaniel Carter, Francis
Dudley, and Peter Crosby. Names of honored citizens of a later
period are Hons. Joseph Eaton, Thomas Rice, Joshua Cushman, David
Garland, and Lemuel Paine, Esq. In 1802, all that part of Winslow
lying west of the Kennebec was set off and incorporated as the town
of Waterville.

The Congregationalists, Baptists, and Methodists each have a
church in town. Winslow has fifteen public schoolhouses valued at
$3,500. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $470,002. In 1880 it
was $503,269. The rate of taxation in 1880 was 18 mills on the dollar.
The population in 1870 was 1,437. In 1880 it was 1,467.

Return to [Maine Towns]

Blind Counter