January 3, 2009

East Bethel: J.M. and Z.W. Bartlett and their teams are at work for Tebbets Manufacturing Company, Locke Mills. Members of the Alder River Grange attended Pomona Grange at Bethel on June 4th.

 Wilsons Mills: John Olson, Robert Story and F.T. Pennock went to Berlin for supplies and Ernest Bennett went to haul up the new road machine.



 Maine News: “A certain Augusta lumberman says there are 20,000,000 board feet of logs of the Kennebec drive hung up on the Moose and Dead Rivers and the streams and will not come down this year.” The town of Brunswick celebrated its 150th Anniversary of incorporation. (Brunswick’s importance to Bethel had diminished since its days as Sudbury Canada’s main (only in many cases) trading center.)

Bethel: Your correspondent, Abial Chandler, has a pension of $30 a month and seventeen hundred dollars back pay. (State pension for war of rebellion service?) W.E. and J.P. Skillings are driven with orders at their spool mill. Business is booming around Bethel depot. N.S. Thurston has six horse teams hauling spool strips to Bethel Station depot. Thurston and Merrill have four, four horse teams hauling their spool strips (Sunday River). Jordan, civil engineer, of Portland was in Bethel last week; he was employed by the corporators of the Bethel Water Company and was looking over the plant of the company.  Arrangements have been made to have the vestibule train which is to run between Chicago and Portland over the Grand Trunk line make a stop in Bethel.  J.M. Philbrook has just returned from Montréal and vicinity bringing with him a number of horses which he purchased for the firm of S.D. and J. M. Philbrook-horses are at the Philbrook stable.

Wilsons Mills: The county commissioners were here the 6th and laid out a road from the brook near H.G. Bennett to John Olson’s preparatory to building a bridge across the river, we may hope, in the near future.

 Newry: Great weather for grass (much rain); teams hauling spool strips are idle-timber is so soaked. The Branch Bridge has been taken up and repaired under the supervision of the selectmen. Roads very muddy-recent repairs were damaged by heavy rains.

 South Bethel: the second nine of the baseball club played the “Rattler” of Bethel Saturday, June 8th, and were badly beaten.

 West Bethel: The boys are pocketing money from the crow bounty. Treasurer O. H. Mason pays over the money when evidence is presented as the law requires.

Gilead: At a special town meeting the town voted to buy a road machine. Rob Hastings has built the Wild River rood all new with the road machine. The water wheel in John Wight’s mill is squat.



 Bethel: Fifty horses are employed hauling spool strips from Newry to Bethel depot. The Androscoggin Water Power Company of Lisbon Falls have contracted with William McPherson of Bethel to put in another dam on Bull Branch, Riley Plantation. S. D. Philbrook has purchased the Kimball place on Park Street; he is repairing it in preparation to add the house to a number he already owns for rental purposes. His tenants speak highly of his high standards in rental houses. Mr. Henry B. Flint of Bethel has recently been granted a patent for a heating apparatus. It is a device to use waste chimney heat to provide heat to upper floors of building. A young folks Chautauqua Club has been organized in this place.

 Albany: Dr. Wiley of Bethel has several patients in town. He is the oldest physician in the county and probably in the state – has practiced in this vicinity for about sixty years.

  South Bethel: Baseball is all the rage now.





Gilead: Rob Hastings is sending away large quantities of downs, some going to Scotland.

Bethel: The Philbrook’s have sold two car loads of horses this spring and are expecting the third car load this Saturday morning.

Newry: June 27th, green peas and new potatoes- how’s that for this northern land.



Bethel: It rained on the 4th of July but a fine celebration anyway. W. E. Skillings and the Hastings Brothers entertained the citizens with a fine display of fireworks on the Common in the evening. The “Rattlers” beat the Gorham “Mascots” on June 28th by a score of 24 to 14. Summer boarders have begun to come in and soon the hotels and summer houses will be full. Alpine House is undergoing a series of additions and repairs.

 Newry: Hanover was the only nearby attraction to celebrate the 4th – rain dampened many family holiday intentions.  Gilead: Wet and quiet day on the 4th – many from here attended picnics in Shelburne and West Bethel. Milton Penley ran his meat and fish cart through here twice a week-furnishes the best of everything.

West Bethel: A lively game of baseball on the 4th.  Commissioner (county) Abbott is assisting the Village Improvement Society on making a sidewalk on Main Street.



Bethel: Miss Mary True of Portland was at Bethel a few days last week.  The Howorth Comedy Company played in Ideal hall to a fair audience. The village school closed the 3rd. The “Rattlers” beat West Bethel in a game on the Common  21-9. 

Newry:  The 4th was celebrated at Poplar Tavern with a fine display of fireworks provided by the boarders.



Bethel: The village is well filled with visitors.  A party is understood to be taking the vestibule train from here to Chicago departing on Sunday the 21st.

West Bethel: The Village Improvement Society are having a concrete sidewalk laid on the north side of Main Street from W. H. Merrows to the depot.

 Mason: The McIntire Brothers of Waterford were in town buying lambs-one lot bought of A. S. Morrill averaged 70 pounds a head.

Gilead: A new ferry boat has been put in at West Bethel – a great convenience as there has been no way to cross a team for some time.



Bethel: M.A. Mason has cut about 75 tons of hay-barn filled to the ridgepole-about 125 tons of old hay was still in the barn. Contractors who put in an electric light plant in Dixfield have been to Bethel looking over the ground with view of establishing a light plant here. Sweet corn (crop is) ahead of last year. (But report from East Bethel says sweet corn on the intervale does not look very promising.)




Page 3 news from its town correspondents is printed under the headline: “The Oxford Bears”.  Due to a rainy week at the height of haying time, the column starts this week saying: “A wet week in haying time makes them (the towns) growl.”

Bethel: “The steamer, North Star, built by the Androscoggin Steamboat Company, Charles L. Kimball of Rumford, Pres., J.B. Roberts of Hanover, Secretary and Treasurer, is lying at her pier at the mouth of the Alder River, Bethel.” The boat is 47 feet in length and 10 feet in beam and draws 13 inches of water. It is propelled by a steam wheel six feet in diameter driven by two non condensing engines, 13 horsepower. She now runs from her pier in Bethel to Hastings Ferry and returns every forenoon, and in the afternoon is at the service of pleasure parties.  She accommodates 50 people comfortably. The gentlemanly commander, Capt. A.G. Howe, and her engineer in charge, J. G. Elliot are winning golden opinions by their courtesy and attention to visitors and patrons. “The company is bound to revolutionize the freight and passenger business to Rumford, Hanover, Andover and the upper lake region. Bethel instead of Bryant Pond will become the distribution point and the passage will be made by boat instead of by stage to Hanover, avoiding the ferriage at Hanover and enhancing the pleasure and comfort of the trip. Every day since last Saturday rain has fallen at Bethel-potatoes on the load lands are ruined. Corn is pushing along wonderfully.  The selectmen again reviewed the proposed location of the new street leading from Broad Street to Chapman Street last week. It looks now as if we should soon have the street. Bethel House is well filled with summer boarders and visitors among whom area number of young men from Boston, some of whom are clerks in the store of Jordan, Marsh and Company. The boys are lively and are evidently enjoying their outing.

           The Bethel correspondent submitted a list of Bethel taxpayers whose 1889 real estate tax bill was greater than $50. Fifty-four men and businesses are named. I have edited the list to show only those who were billed more than $100.



A. S. Bean


Samuel D. Philbrook


Ceylon Rowe


Edwin C. Rowe


Woodbury & Purington


Calvin Bisbee


R. A. Chapman, Heirs of


T. H. Chapman


Pinckney Burnham


Bethel Steam Co.


Moses A Mason


Col C. S. Edwards




Newry: Thurston’s mill at the Corner shut down last Saturday to give the hands a chance to go blueberrying. Mason: The A.S. Bean barn recently purchased from Elbridge Morrill burned about 9PM Saturday. It might have started from spontaneous combustion due to just being filled with hay and some of it was in a moist condition. Rain has rusted potato vines and rot has begun.

 Bethel: Many summer social activities were reported. The Cecilia Club entertained on the lawn of Mrs. Dr. Gehring. Friday, the young people’s Chautauqua Circle under the direction of Mrs. William E. Skillings entertained their friends and the public with readings, recitations and declamations. On August 17, the (young American Prima Dona) Phila May grand concert will be given at Ideal Hall.  E.A. Wyman of the firm J. and E.A. Wyman (which had purchased the corn canning business from Wolff & Reesing) was here looking after the interests of his firm. He reports that the outlook is good for this season.  F.H. Lovejoy is here from Mass. Mr. Lovejoy is one of the proprietors of the Bethel House; and he is doing much to increase the already great popularity of this house as a resort for tourists.



 Bethel: Mr. A.D. Hall formerly of Beverly, Mass. high school has been appointed principal of Gould Academy. He is a classical scholar graduate of a leading Pennsylvania college. He will have two assistants. Fall term opens September 3rd.  Rain has retarded grain harvesting. Corn factory plans to start up at the end of the month with prospects of a large business. The village corporation met Tuesday and appointed a committee, Judge Foster, A.E. Herrick and G. R. Wiley to survey the requirements and costs for fire hydrants for fire protection.

Newry: We weather continues; farmers are weeks behind in their haying.

Gilead reports similar conditions.



Maine news: There is little doubt that the Phillips & Rangeley Railroad will be speedily built.  Bethel: The Road Commissioners of Bethel finished their road machine work Friday and sold their four oxen to S. D. Philbrook. They have worked the machine 80 days and made more rood road than I have seen in my 17 years living in Bethel.  The Second Congregational Society of Bethel held their annual fair at the house of Miss Valentine. A large company was present and a goodly sum was realized from the sale of various kinds of articles. Gilead: Some of our farmers have dropped their haying and are harvesting their potatoes.





Bethel: The corn factory began operations Thursday (nearly two weeks ahead of last year) with prospects of a large supply (of sweet corn). A. M. “Gus” Carter is contained in charge in the new

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