Kathadin Iron Works Township, Maine
Katahdin Iron Works, Piscataquis County, Maine
Compiled from the History of Piscataquis County, Maine, by Rev. Amasa Loring, c1880
These are situated in Number six, Range ninth, and were named from Mt. Katahdin. One-half of this township was granted to Warren Academy in 1808. It was divided by an east and west line, and the north half belonged to the Academy. The west branch of Pleasant River flows through the township, and upon its banks some excellent intervals were found. As early as 1814, Icabod Thomas of Sidney bought one-half of this northern part containing these intervals, and Eber Davis if Fairfield, 1000 acres adjoining Mr. Thomas' purchase.
Mr. Thomas and his sons and Joseph Davis commenced clearing, and, in 1815, moved their families there.
Their openings were three miles above the present furnace, and full ten miles above the nearest settler in Brownville, but they had a road from Sebec through Barnand to their homes.
They remained there till 1821, there being 12 residents in 1820, and then exchanged their estates with Moses Brown, for farms in Brownvile. The hay has been cut year after year, but no families have dwelt there since those hardy occupants removed. At the present time, 1880, these farms are possessed by J. Herrick and sons, the hotelkeepers at the Iron Works.
In the year 1877, they harvested from 80 tons of hay, 800 bushels of oats, 600 of potatoes, 50 of beans, 30 of wheat, and a large amount of garden vegetables.
Sometime since, a mine of iron ore known as "bog ore," was found upon the northern half of this township. It is at the foot of Ore Mountain, near which the west branch of the Pleasant River flows. In 1843, work was commenced to develop this mine, and to build these Iron Works.
Edward Smith of Bangor was the organizing and active agent. He and his brother, Samuel, had been previously known among the enterprising businessmen of Bangor, during the period of its rapid growth. In the spring of 1843, Walter Smith of Newmarket, NH, the father of the above named, brought the half township which contained this bed of ore, and Edward cut out roads, put up buildings and built a furnace.
Then Warren Academy had sold out all its land and its several owners conveyed their respective tracts to Mr. Smith.
The furnace was completed, the ore proved unexpectedly good, losing only half of its weight in smelting. But the Smiths run it only for a short time. In January 1845, they sold all the land they there owned, with the furnace and other buildings, to David Pingee of Salem. Messrs Pingree & Co. prosecuted the work with energy till 1856, and then let the furnace fires go out. A large amount of iron had been produced, 2350 tons the last year it was operated, but the hauling of it by teams to Bangor had been quite expensive.
Previous to this, a hotel and several houses had been built, to accommodate workmen. For six or eight years, all was left desolate, except one dwelling and the hotel; this was kept open to entertain lumbermen, explorers and visitors.
The property then passed to the creditors of Pingree and Co. Hinkley & Edgerly of Bangor had large claims. They bought out the smaller owners, and out the furnace again in operation. War times were not favorable to such industries, and they also closed up. Other partners came in and it was started again, O.B. Davis Jr., being the treasurer and chief manager. It has once suspended both payment and business, but it is now (1880) in successful operation.
When running it gives employment to a large number of woodsmen, in cutting and hauling wood to supply to furnace with charcoal, and in hauling the products to the railroad, and in carrying back a species of limestone used in smelting.
Other valuable minerals - paints and coppeas - are obtained there in paying quantities, while the ore improves in quality and gives no sign of exhaustion. In November, 1879, an explosion occurred in the upper room of the furnace, as there were drawing off the melted ore below, by which two of the hands were instantly killed, and serious injury done to the building. Work was suspended for a few weeks, until this could be repaired. It soon resumed business, and now it is in full blast in all its departments.
History of the Katahdin Iron Works
Orneville Township, Maine
Orneville, Piscataquis County, Maine
Compiled from the History of Piscataquis County, Maine, by Rev. Amasa Loring, c1880
Orneville, Number 1, 6th Range, 23,040 acres. Includes Alder Brook and Dead Stream. There are good falls and a steady water supply. In 1805, General J. P. Boyd was the Proprietor.
Eben Greenleaf lotted out the east half, after which the township was resurveyed by Japeth Gilman. The west half was lotted by D.W. Bradley, 1820-1825. There was a county road through the township from Milo to Bradford.
Surnames of the first settlers included Hoxie, Philpot, Ewer, and Hamlin. An early built industry was Huntington Mills. James Porter & Sons owned a sawmill and shingle mill. On Alder Brook the MacGregor Mills successfully operated until 1873, when the mill burned and not rebuilt. Near a dam in the township, was a shingle mill owned by J.W. Hall.
In 1832 Judge Henry Orne selected and purchased from Boyd an elevated and pleasant tract of land with a splendid view of the lake. After a depression, Spencer Horne was materially responsible for the recovered prosperity of the town. Later, the mills passed to Judson Briggs.
In 1841 the township was named Milton, then changed to Almond; in 1842 the name was changed to Orneville. In 1870 the population was 575, with the valuation $80,062.
Became Boyd's Plantation: 1805
Incorporated as Milton: January 30, 1832
Changed to Almond: 1841
Changed to Orneville: 1842
Deorganized: March 8, 1945
Ebeemee Township, Maine (formerly T5 R9 NWP)
Williamsburg Township & Barnard Township, Maine
Williamsburg & Barnard, Piscataquis County, Maine
Compiled from the History of the Piscataquis County, Maine, by Rev. Amasa Loring, c1880
Williamsburg and Barnard were Number 6, Range 8th and adjoined Brownville on the west. Originally, they had an area of 22,304 acres. A fair proportion was good for agriculture; the northern part not cleared. Williamsburg is well watered. Pleasant River passes through the northeast corner of the township and Roaring Brook empties into it from the western side, both affording good mill privileges. Near center, Whetstone Brook another tributary of Pleasant River where a saw mill and shingle mill was erected.
A large quantity of slate is probably concealed beneath its soil. Moses Greenleaf Esq. early discovered this, had its quality tested, and led the way to working of all the quarries in the County.
Proprietor, William Dodd of Boston early purchased this township of the State, hence came the name "Williamsburg." As to the first settlement, the names of the early settlers are unknown, also the precise date of their entrance. Probably its settlement began soon after that of Brownville. Near its eastern border, John Crommett had settled there as early as 1808, Moses Head in 1810, and Mr. Greenleaf may have also been there at that time. Mark Pitman and others by this date settled in the west part, now Barnard.
There were two families early settled, one in Williamsburg and the other in Brownville whose names were Hemmingway and Downing. By 1811 there were 71 persons in the township; more than Milo, Foxcroft, or Guilford. Williamsburg is where the first map of Maine was plotted and the first book in the county was written. In 1816, Moses Greenleaf published both. The book title was Statistics of Maine and had 154 pages. Later, Greenleaf enlarged the volume to 468 pages and renamed the book, Survey of Maine.
In June 1819, Williamsburg Plantation was organized. When Maine became a State, Eben Greenleaf, plantation clerk, helped the plantation to incorporate, June 20, 1820. The State of Maine referred to the township as the Town of Williamsburg. It was the 2nd town to incorporate in the state, Kennebunk being the first.
In 1828, Proprietor, William Dodd died. After which there was a noticeable slump in the town's growth. Soon immigrants from Brunswick arrived, and prospects were rising. In 1831, it was voted to search for a minister. In 1830, this changed as a Congregational Church was added, with the Rev. Joseph Underwood as pastor. There was a stipulation that he spend half of his time in Sebec. He didn't remain long in the area, his land was relinquishednd, then town neglected to plan ahead to support the ministry or schools.
In 1833, a line of separation was run through the low land that naturally divided the township. The town poor was assigned to a portion of each part. The town was to hold equal part of the reserved lots. Eventually, 54% was allotted to Barnard and 46% to Williamsburg. This was approved by state legislature in 1834. The present Williamsburg is closely connected to Brownville from a business point of view. Even though A.H. Merrill resided in Williamsburg the Merrill Quarry is in Brownville. Another company in the area was the Piscataquis Central Slate Company, Inc, 1874.
Barnard in the west part of the original town of Williamsburg. It resources include agriculture, timber of hemlock, spruce, and cedar in abundance. The town included two quarries with a rich vein of slate. the town is well watered, with Bear Brook running north to south. Mill privileges were available.
Barnard's first settlers entered by the way of Sebec Mills about 1808-1809. Mark Pitman, John Thompson, Benjamin Miller, B. Bunker the earlier of them. The town includes a large swamp. Barnard was incorporated in 1834. At one time A.J. Merrill operated a good slate quarry, sold in 1835. He then moved to Williamsburg. For trading, Barnard with 1 store and a lumber mill was near Sebec for trading.
In 1877, Barnard became a plantation, by 1880 disorganized. The slate quarries were in operation during the time Barnard flourished.
Incorporated: June 21, 1820
Barnard Removed: February 8, 1834
Deorganized: April 1, 1940
Land: 16,314 Acres
Incorporated: February 8, 1834
Reorganized as Plantation: March 15, 1895
Deorganized: April 1, 1982