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Sunday River was given its name by a surveying party that spent a Sunday (at work) along its banks. *


Newry: an offer too good to refuse:


In 1805, James  Beatty, a resident and maybe an agent for the plantation owner Sarah Bostwick,  was a distiller of fine spirits (made from potatoes) ; he was also a native of Newry, Ireland.  Beatty asked for the voters to choose Newry for its town name.  In return Beatty would charitably offer a certain amount of his product as his token of appreciation. **


Riley Plantation was named in honor of Luke Reilly, another well respected Irish adventurer – also from Newry, Ireland. About 1790, Reilly arrived in the valley, and was probably  guided up river by Sunday River’s first settlers. ***


Bethel:  The original grantees had chosen Sudbury Canada as the name for their plantation in 1768. In 1796, Rev. Eliphaz Chapman who had come from Methuen, Mass (like the Sunday River Barker families and Martha Fifield Wilkins) nominated Bethel or “Beth-el”, the biblical name for the house of God, to be the proposed new town’s name in the plantation voters’  petition for incorporation as a town government. ****



* Newry Profiles 1805-1980

** Newry Profiles also

*** Sunday River Sketches

**** William Lapham’s History of Bethel, page 65.

Text Box: A Brief History of Sunday River
Naming Towns and Rivers