The Bethel Journals  Donald G. Bennett, PO Box 763, Bethel, Maine 04217

The Bethel Journals

Bethel Maine History

September 16, 2013








Bethel area history  - an online collection of  publications and photos























Clark Edwards

Margaret Tibbetts





JOURNALS 1886-1897


1886  Journal—Bethel Chair Factory approved, building begins; Col Clark Edwards is Democrat’s candidate for Governor; Bethel had 22 school districts.

1887  Journal—Voters OK town school system to replace  districts;  deaths of Dr. N.T. True and Rev David Garland.

1888  Journal—Last corn canning year for NY importers Wolff and Reesing; Bethel village water system planning begun; Rumford steam boat reaches Bethel and returns; Bethel votes for Benj. Harrison for President.

 1889 Journal—Wyman brothers of Millbridge, ME, purchased corn canning factory from Wolff and Reesing; town votes $2,500 to build new corn canning factory. State legislature charters Bethel Village Corp. and Bethel Water Company.

1890  Journal—Bethel village water system installed from Chapman Brook to the village; Wyman’s beginning corn canning in new location by railroad; Bethel Water Co. ready to provide fire protection in village.

1891  Journal - Sept 18 Methodist Church demolished by cyclone; fire destroyed Locke’s mill; Riverside Trotting Park opened; inaugural opening of Bethel Agricultural Fair.

Click Rebuild to read more about the quick response to restoring the church in 1891’s Journal, Part 2

Links to more Journals and Citizen Annual News Reviews





1891 Bethel Fair Riverside Trotting Park and Bethel Agricultural Fair opened with great success on land leased from Moses A Mason

Bethel Agricultural Fair and Riverside Park by Yvonne Nowlin

Henry Boyker (1878-1961) Bethel selectman; Maine legislator; Bethaven Inn and 190-1934 Bethel Fair owner

Jacob A Thurston (1843-1917) Errol, Newry then Bethel; Thurston Farm now River View Resort

The Mason Farm Home to three generations; now identified by the Norseman Inn and old fair grounds barn

More about Mayville








Riverside Farms –dairy, milk route; pasteurized, homogenized milk

Thurston Farm 1950s most modern dairy barn

Bethel Regional Airport In operation since 1945

David Garland, Rev. (1815-1887) Only pastor of Mayville’s 2d Congregational Church; died in pulpit of First Congr. Ch.

Bethel Riverside Cemetery First burial Curatio Twitchell, 1791; adopted by 2d Congregation until 1890; Riverside Cemetery Assoc from 1904

Mayville area maps—1858, 1880 and 1914



Bethel Village historic images—The Common—created about 1800 by the village founder, Eleazer Twitchell, it was deeded to the  West Parish for public use  in 1823  More images and  story click Common

Bryant’s Market on Main Street, Bethel was a four generation meat and grocery business dating from 1876 to 1968. Click Bryant’s Market to read the story.


Bethel House

Lovejoy House

Chapman House—The Elms

Bethel Inn

Maple Inn—Hotel Sudbury

Bethaven Inn

Photo—Bethel House and Chapman House



Stephen Spurgeon (S.S.) Abbot, John Barker , Jarvis C. (J.C.) Billings, Calvin BisbeeSamuel A. BrockJames H. Barrows,  Alpheus S. (A.S.) Bean, Gilman P. Bean,  Nathaniel F. Brown, (1843-1917). Abiel Chandler, Jr., (1837 – 1898),  T.A. (Timothy Appleton) Chapman , Timothy H. ChapmanWilliam Rogers Chapman , Col Clark S. Edwards, William Russell (W.R.) Eames, Col Clark S. Edwards,  Henry Farwell , Hon. Enoch Foster, 1839-1913, Rev. David Garland (1815-1887) , Dr. John G. Gehring , Samuel F. Gibson,  Alvan B. Godwin, Albert Wellington (A.W.) Grover, (1841 – 1908 , Gideon A. Hastings, 65 in 1886, John Decatur (J.D.) Hastings, in 1886 age 61 , Addison E. Herrick, age 39 in 1886, lawyer , Eben Shaw Kilborn , Charles Mellen (Chas. M) Kimball, William B. Lapham, (1828 – 1894)Elmer L. Lovejoy (1862 - ?) , William F. Lovejoy ,  Moses Ayers Mason, (1826 – 1904). ,  Enoch W. Woodbury , John M. PhilbrookSamuel Delano (S.D.) Philbrook, ,William E. Skillings (1843-1910), Jacob A. Thurston (1843-1917) , Joshua G. Rich ,1820-1897 , Dr. Nathaniel T. True, (1812 – 1887)Calvin Turner , Samuel Barker (S.B.) Twitchell, (1829 – 1905) , Horatio N. Upton,  Alfred Wilber (A.W.) Valentine ,   Seth Walker,  Goodwin R. Wiley , Cyrus M. Wormell,


Click  Names in the News  for brief profiles of the people listed above.



North Newry Days 
Kellogg Nature Camps (video)
Kellogg Camps in 1996
Charles Kellogg at Odeon Hall
Poplar Tavern
Slide Show Tour of Kellogg Camp area in 2009 
Doris Fraser’s Poplar Tavern Album
Dorothy Ficken – Summers at Poplar Tavern

Pole Paddle and Paw

Tube and Scavenger Race

1931 Indian Raid Sesquicentennial

1896 Bethel Centennial Celebration

See more on the Events Page



Bethel Chair Factory

Corn Canning—1880-1927

Dowels and novelties

Maine Energy Systems

Click the Album to Open It

Text Box: Honor  Roll  Dedicated—November 11, 1944
233 Bethel and Mason Men and Women Honored
The Honor Roll which was erected this fall beside the soldiers monument was dedicated Saturday afternoon, November 11, 1944. , with a special dedication program.

1958  Headline News Wildcat Ski Area opens—Sunday River Skiway Corp created—Barker Mt trails laid out—skating rink at Crescent Park school—Bethel Furniture Stock opens  Bethel Area Development Corp formed

1964  Gould will end accepting public school students

Androscoggin: clean up by 1973

First Living Nativity presented

June announcement from Gould’s trustees was to start a major change in Bethel’s school structure

Read more



1940, Hanover Co. Buys Stowell Mill

February 1, 1940


The Hanover Dowel Co. deal follows some two months negotiations following the destruction of the company’s mill at Hanover by fire on the afternoon of Nov. 25.


Sudbury Inn

December 22, 1911


“Maple Inn is the sign at the new house opened on Main Street. Mr. and Mrs. Kilgore formerly of Poplar Tavern, Newry, are the landlord and landlady”


1950’s photo

Bethel’s Aviation History, Progress and Development







Around 1925 two men came to Bethel on “barnstorming” tours. One was William Turgeon, who kept his plane on a field near the Lincoln Cummings house, Vernon Street. Eva Bean, “East Bethel Road”

Huge celebration and huge crowd


In 1966, the Bethel Historical Society was established to collect, organize,  interpret and publish all forms of historical material dealing with not only the Town of Bethel but the surrounding region. Due to continuing widespread support and interest it has grown to  be one of the most respected institutions devoted to history in Maine.


This journal is almost wholly dependent on the Bethel Historical Society’s archival collections as sources for its articles.


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