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This section of Maine was visited at a very early date by fishing vessels from Europe, but no real settlements began before the 1600's.  It is recorded that John Richards bought the island of Jeremysquam in the Kennebec River in 1649 and attended a meeting of landowners to form some sort of government at Merrymeeting Bay in the following year;  but no further mention of this is ever made and no early claim was based on this purchase.

In 1734 George Davie purchased Wiscasset including the island of Jeremysquam from three Indians of the Abnaki tribe, which was later agreed to by the chief, Robinhood, after whom a cove in Georgetown has been named.  Indian Wars soon wiped out all the settlements in this region.  It was not until after 1750 that the permanent settlers began to come in.

The Wiscasset Proprietors, a group of mainly Boston men formed to make money on their investments, had purchased from the granddaughter of Davie the rights to Wiscasset and Jeremysquam, but meanwhile the Kennebec Proprietors claimed the same territory.  This included an area 15 miles each side of the Kennebec River granted originally to the Plymouth Colony for trading rights for beaver and other commodities with the Indians and by which the Plymouth Colony was able to pay its debts, even for the passage to America in the Mayflower.

After much litigation the Kennebec Proprietors kept their claims to Wiscasset and adjoining lands and Wiscasset Proprietors were able to control Jeremysquam, the original name of the island.  This was divided into thirty-four 100 acre lots which were sold to the settlers.  At the same time squatters and others had occupied the same lands and we find such deeds to early settlers in the records at the Wiscasset Courthouse.  Finally in 1815 the State of Massachusetts to which we still belonged ordered each land owner to pay about 71/2 cents per acre for his property and he received a deed to that effect.  These lots were surveyed by Stephen Parsons, whose map giving lot number, name of owner and acreage still exists.

- Bea Harriman

Here are some old Postcards:

Highland House  Steamer Lizzie Snow  Roadway to S. F. Higgins, The Highland House

Rock Hill Inn  Rum Cove  Residence of Mrs. R. P. Colby

 

More to come...

 

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