Text Box: Text Box: A Brief History of Sunday River
Sunday River News
March 1, 2009

January 1886

St. John Hastings is thinking of adding 28 feet to his barn and putting in a silo.

Spring 1886

Logs are out of Bear River; Sunday River is full from its source to its mouth. A large number of men are improving the driving pitch to get the logs into the main river.

We have had no rain since April 4th and the roads are dry and dusty, grass is suffering for want of rain – the Androscoggin River has fallen six feet and the logs in Sunday River are on dry ground.

Summer 1886

  Riley Plantation: Mr. T.J. Sargent of Newry went to his pasture in Riley recently to find that a nice pair of his two year old steers were dead – no explanation for the cause of death

     Riley Plantation: The apiary of Mr. Mason is doing finely. Mrs. Isabel Verrill, wife of Edward Verrill, takes charge of the bees. She has raised and shipped 22 queens and has orders for 8 more to be shipped to Cuba. They have at the present time some 18 swarms.

Ed Verrill is making a trout pond; he intends raising trout for market. A.T. Kelliher’s men have been cutting bushes by the side of Sunday River and are going to blasting stone and putting in roll dams just below the large dam for log driving next spring. He intends putting in three million feet next winter for the Androscoggin Water Power Company of Lisbon Falls.

May 1888

Ice left the Androscoggin River on April 26. About 40 men from Berlin, N. H. left Bethel for Grafton to drive logs down the Cambridge to the lake (Umbagog).  Some 40 men are at the headwaters of Sunday River waiting for conditions to float logs. Man killed breaking a jam on Sunday River last Sunday

September 1888

Newry: weather continues to threaten frost. There is talk of a new birch mill going up on Sunday River.

October 1888

The death of Andrew Jackson of  Newry (Sunday River) has removed one of our oldest and trusted engineers from the Grand Trunk Railroad. 

The Bethel village schools are in the charge of Henry Hastings, a student in Bowdoin College, and son of St. John Hastings (Sunday River) and Miss Mary Chapman in District No. Fifteen.

December 1888

Messrs J. A. Thurston and Isaac Morrill received a 40 hp boiler and engine from Erie, PA Iron Works Friday; they moved them to Riley Plantation with ten horses. Eight inches of snow fell then rain took most of it. 


April 2, 1889

The logging camps in Ketchum are being deserted. Two million feet of spruce are lying at their landings on the head waters of Sunday River and their branches. The maple trees have started running their sap.

April 23, 1889

The thermometer registered 90 degrees in the shade at Bethel, Friday. Sunday and Bear Rivers are at good driving height and the drivers are improving it. 

Two weeks later: On Sunday River they made good progress a few days but the water is so low now it is slow work running logs.


June 1889

(J.A.) Thurston and (Isaac) Morrill have four, four horse teams hauling their spool strips out of Riley along Sunday River.

Fifty horses are employed hauling spool strips from Newry to Bethel depot. The Androscoggin Water Power Company of Lisbon Falls has contracted with William McPherson of Bethel to put in another dam on Bull Branch, Riley Plantation.


Fall 1889

 T.G. Lary  of Gilead has contracted with the Androscoggin Water Power Co. to land 600,000 feet of spruce on the (Androscoggin) river this winter from his lands in Riley.

  St. John Hastings considers his silo his most profitable investment on his farm. He cut 110 loads, 55 bushels to the load of corn on less than two acres.


February 1892

The lumber teams in Riley, Andover and around the lakes, which take their supplies from Bethel, are doing a good business in hauling from the “yards” to the river and lakes.

Thurston’s steam mill at Riley started up last Monday but they are still bothered to keep a crew on account of the grippe.

Alonzo Fifield, an old resident of Riley died Tuesday of grippe (flu). 


October 1892

George Blanchard and Cash Twitchell (a New Hampshire company) are building a railroad through from Berlin. They have about five miles completed and cars running on the line.  They will extend the road through to the Grafton line this season and say they will haul 12 million of spruce from Riley and Grafton this winter and the coming spring to Berlin.  They intend to have forty horses in one barn and fifty or more men to tend them.

May 1895— Mr. Henry Williamson of Brookline, Mass., and his sisters are visiting their mother who is quite ill and not expected to live.

August 1895—The Bethel News—Sunday River

Robert L. Foster sold five fine lambs to (Milton) Penley last week.  Ed Verrill and family spent Sunday with his father in law, S. Foster.  Charles E. Robertson arrived in town last week. He is a guest of  C.B. Foster.  Avis Foster, who is attending school away from home, is at home on her vacation. About 5 o’clock Friday morning Robert Foster and his started in search of his cows which had laid out over night. In their search they came across a large bear , which on being startled, arose and with the fleetness of a deer started for the woods, while they quite as fleet started in the opposite direction.

Milton Penley was a local butcher who sold all cuts of meat from his meat cart which made at least weekly trips up the Sunday River Road. 

August 14, 1895—The Bethel News—Sunday River

Among the arrivals here last week was Miss Penniman of Boston. Mr. and Mrs. Richard Trask of Andover were  visiting her mother, Mrs. Atherton, here last week. Mr. John Eames accompanied by his son Albert and a party of friends went on a fishing excursion to the Lakes, Saturday. Mrs. Seth Mason and daughter of Northwest Bethel and Mrs. George Boothman of Woodsville, NH, spent Thursday at Mr. Herbert Kendall’s.

June 17, 1896 Bethel News—Sunday River

Leonard Leavitt has gone to Magalloway.  O.P. Littlehale is building a new barn.  Jotham Chapman (Mayville) is painting C.B. Foster’s new barn.  Mr. Fred Atherton and wife of Portland, arrived in town last Friday.  Mrs. Mary  Bean and Fred Bean were visiting at C. D. Bean recently.  Nathan Frost has purchased and moved to the farm recently owned by J. F. Coolidge. Richard M. Williamson went to North Newry, last week to assist in making the money tax.  Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ames and little daughter visited their father James F. Eames last Sunday.  T. F. Hastings was in this section last week in the interest of the Buckeye Mowing Machine.  Greenleaf Emery, Mrs. Sarah Jackson and Richard M. Williamson have each purchased a Home Comfort Range.