January 3, 2009

has been named Mason Street.  Many think that it should have been named Chandler Street on account of the untiring efforts of Abiel Chandler, Jr., to obtain its location. O’Neil Hastings our genial former postmaster has gone to Wild River where he will engage in business with his brother – D.R. Hastings, 2nd.

Newry: A widespread feeling of regret has swept the town over the death of G.C. Atherton. The deceased had suffered all summer from prostration of the nerves ad has been despondent. Sunday morning after chores he went into the tie up and cut his throat with his small pocket knife. His wife soon found him in a dying condition.  Dr. J.A. Twaddle was summoned and although Atherton was still alive upon the doctor’s arrival there was nothing that could be done for him.  Mr. Atherton was about 55 years old. He left no children. 

East Bethel: The winter terms of school commenced Monday, November 11, Miss Nellie Leach, teacher. This is her third term here.

West Bethel: Commissioner Abbott with crew put new timbers on the Pleasant River Bridge last Saturday. A.S. Bean has a crew breaking foundation stone for his new barn. The squirrel hunt last Saturday was no exception to the rule – the hunt ended with many rye feelings to flavor the dance and supper.



Bethel: In business and social activity the week has been uneventful but the temperature Thursday noon registered 75 degrees in the shade; at sunset it registered 25 degrees. A town meeting was called in Bethel, Saturday, the 31st last to see what measures the town would take toward building a corn shop near the chair factory. The selectmen are putting a sewer at the west end of the common to take off surplus water in front of Rowe’s block and the residence of Wm. E. Skilllings (in 2005 the Chapman Inn).

Middle Intervale:  Henry Flint from the Hill has been doing some good carpenter work here also putting in one of his heaters; know as Flint’s Fireless Heaters, patented last April. They seem to work well.

Albany:  The Brunswick Fur and Hunting Club of 20 men and as many dogs are again on the war path. They have rented David Jordan’s house and take their meals at the Dresser’s. The dogs give plenty of music but don’t often hear the crack of the rifle which indicates that game is not plenty.

West Bethel: A.S. Bean has commenced landing stone at the site of his coming large barn. He has the addition to his mill completed and ready to receive a board saw; also his new blacksmith shop is nearly completed. D.B. Grover has sold his beef stock to Carter &Hutchinson.

North West Bethel:  New shingles on the school house of District 20.



Bethel: Gould Academy closed a most successful season Friday with a public examination in the forenoon and an exhibition in the afternoon at Ideal Hall. The examination was highly creditable to the scholars and shows Prof. Hall, the principal, to be a thorough teacher, methodical in all his arrangements and decided in his discipline. He incurred some displeasure from some of the scholars and parents due to his opposition to whist parties and dances for the scholars during the term of school but he has the support and approbation of friends of education and good order in his efforts to make discipline. The Whitney Brothers have purchased the Thomas Holt house on Railroad Street. Mrs. J.R. Handley of the Elms started for New York last Friday where she will spend two weeks visiting. The village schools opened Monday, the 18th. Miss May Eames and Miss Mary Chapman are teachers in the upper district and Katie Locke in the lower district. The village corporation held a meeting last Saturday evening to see what steps would be taken for lighting its streets – results of meeting not yet known. Henry Flint is installing a number of his patented heaters in the vicinity. 

West Bethel:  Carter and Hutchinson have been buying beef and working cattle in the area; they pay $4 per hundred-weight for beef.

Gilead:  J. W. Bennett is building a new barn that is 30 x 50 feet hear his old one. The first floor will be filled with horse stalls and the loft for hay.

Albany: The Brunswick Fur Club has broken camp and gone home; they go a few foxes.





Bethel:  Thanksgiving day – the town received eight inches of damp snow. Mr. John Smallwood (a colored man) lectured to a full house at the Methodist Church Friday evening: his topic was “The Negro” what he was, what he is, and what he will be.

Middle Intervale: Nice Thanksgiving turkeys sold for 20 cents a pound, eggs are 20 and 22 cents a dozen and butter is at 20 cents a pound.

South Bethel: The lyceums are progressing nicely with spirited and entertaining debates. The Ladies Sewing Circle is readying dramas to be presented very soon.  G.L. Blake is laying a pipe for an aqueduct to bring water to his house.



Bethel:  At a recent of the Bethel Village Corporation it was voted to appropriate $600 for street lighting next year. The Corp. will put in new lamps and also use the old lamps already installed but not always lit. After careful consideration given to electricity, it was decided to use old lamps and kerosene.

           At a town meeting held Saturday, it was voted to appropriate $2500 to be used for buying a lot and building a new corn shop thereon. A lot of land has been bargained for of Eli Barker, northerly of the railroad but westerly of and near to the chair factory.  The shop is to be leased to the Wyman Bros. for a term of years and will be operated by them.  The buildings will probably cost more than the amount appropriated, the deficiency being supplied by the Wyman’s. Wyman Bros. have operated in the old shop this season and have given universal satisfaction.

          Dr. John G. Gehring and his wife have left for Atlantic City where they will spend the winter.

          Rev. R. Alder Temple of the National Division of the Sons of Temperance held a meeting at the Methodist Church for the purpose of establishing a division of that order in town. For some reason residents did not take kindly to the project, even those supporting temperance and the project to gain approval. There was elegant skating on part of Rowe’s meadow last week on Wednesday; a crowd of 120 were there; bonfires gave light and heat. The firm of S.D. and J.M. Philbrook cattle dealer in the village have been very active recently n the dealing of working oxen. Last Thursday, J.M. arrived in Bethel with a drove of 26 head which sold immediately - in all the sold 20 pairs that day. The Grand Trunk depot is shipping out large quantities of poplar and other lumber. A.S. Bean’s mill in Albany is sending large loads of spool strips. People are also taking advantage of the snow to haul wood to the village. Overall the start of winter logging and hauling is occurring throughout the valley towns.

Mason: I doubt if even the oldest inhabitants can recall a colder morning than the morning of December 5th, 1889. Our rivers are thoroughly bridged (frozen) and it looks as if winter is here to stay.

West Bethel: On the morning of 4 and 5 December the thermometer registered 2 and 6 degrees below.  Edward F. Wheeler is teaching in J.F. Hapgood’s district. About six cars are loading daily on the siding daily – pulp wood and spool stocks.

Newry:  H.S. Hastings has 100 sheep for sale which he brought from Prince Edward Island.

South Bethel:  G.L. Blake has completed his aqueduct and now has good running water in his house.



Bethel:  The Congregational society is making preparations for a fair and entertainment which will occur at Ideal Hall next Tuesday the 17th.  W.E. and J.P. Skillings have just completed a telephone line from their mills to the depot. There are quite a number these lines in our village and more are being considered.  The Union Temperance meeting was held at the Universalist Church Sunday evening the 8th. There was a full house.

Albany: Winter business reports: There are five items concerning lumber hauling, mills opening, etc. Chicken pox is raging in the Songo district.

West Bethel: Several students from West Bethel are going to Gould Academy this winter – more intend to enroll in the spring and have made boarding arrangements. Prof. Hall is fast gaining an excellent reputation as an impartial worker in his calling.

Newry: Christmas celebration preparations are underway at the Corner and at the Branch.

There are two unanswered questions about the telephone system installed by the Skillings. Can we assume that the railroad telegraph company permitted this private telephone line’s wire to be strung on the telegraph poles?  Question two is: Did the mill have an internal telephone line operating between the mill and the office.  Since there was a rail siding for loading freight cars at the mill, it would make sense that when loaded cars were ready for pick-up that the mill would call the depot to arrange pick-up by a switch engine or the local way freight.



Mason:  Logging news and woods activity reported: A.S. Bean’s steam mill started up yesterday; birch is being hauled in rapidly. J.H. and F.I. Bean are cutting slabs into firewood by water power.

East Bethel: Rain continues – no river crossing – no good sleighing. H.H. Bean returned here form the State Grange in Belfast.

Bethel: J.C. Billings is doing a fine business selling sleighs; has sold 18 or 20 new ones so far this season.  (Billings had front page advertisements in the Oxford County Advertiser each week of the winter.)  Benjamin R. Bryant is hauling a large lot of nice pine for E.S. Kilborn to his mill. Some 60 new street lights are up.  Gould Academy students celebrated the 82nd birthday of the poet John Greenleaf Whittier.

West Bethel:  A.S. Bean will soon have his new board saw up and running and will do custom sawing for the people. It is still mild and pleasant for the season.

Newry:  In logger’s parlance two-sledding means hauling logs from the yard on two sleds.


The last edition of 1889 contained mostly reports of holiday celebrations from all towns and villages. 




1889 Town Reports


Summary of the Annual Report:  Town of Bethel 1889 for the year ending February 15.

Town Meeting held at Ideal Hall (Opera House condos in 2005).

Town Report printed at the office of the Oxford Democrat in Paris, Maine.

Town Government:

           Selectmen: A. W. Grover; C. M. Kimball; E. S. Kilborn ; Town Agent:  A. E. Herrick; Tax Collector:  T. H. Chapman ; School Committee:  E. G. Wheeler and J. Gayton Abbott; Auditor:  Enoch Foster.

Summary of the warrant:

             Moderator of the annual town meeting was William E. Skillings.

           Standard items pertaining to the election of officers; road maintenance and the opening of roads.

           Art. 13: To see if the town will vote to provide a suitable building for a town office and lock-up, combined or either separately and raise and appropriate a sum of money for the same.

           Art. 18: To see what disposition the town will make with the property at the toll bridge, consisting of the toll house and its belongings. (Note: tolls ended December 31, 1888.)

           Art. 19: To see if the town will vote raise money for repairs on school houses and how much.

           The selectmen will be in session at Ideal Hall, at 9AM on the day of town meeting to revise list of voters.

                                                                              1889                       1888

           Valuations:  Real estate………………. $582,347                  $577,505

                               Personal estate……………  144,303                  134,072

                                                                          $ 726,650               $ 711,577

Increase over previous year:  $15,073


           Number of polls: 548 @ $2.00

           Number of dogs: 176 @ $1.00


           Total amount: $11,808.82


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1889 Summary

March to June

June to September

September to November


Town Reports

Town Reports, Names in News

School Rep & Gould Academy