Spring 1990: Volume 16, Number 1


The April meeting each year is the one at which officers are elected for the ensuing year.  The meeting was held at the Alexander Campbell House, home of John and Pat Brace.  The following officers were elected: President, Margery Brown; Vice-president, Florence Boorse; Secretary, Joanne Willey; Treasurer, Cheryl Brown.  Allen Savage, Reuben Wood and John Brace were elected Directors.


Pack #139 is sponsored by the Congregational Church and has both a Cub

Scout Den and Webelos Den in Cherryfield.  Other dens are in Milbridge and Harrington.  Some of the boys will be old enough for Boy Scouts next year, so leaders are needed.  Contact Cheryl or Larry Brown (546-2841) if interested in volunteering.  Eight of the boys will be going to Cub Scout Camp this summer.


This edition of the newsletter was mailed by first class mail (rather than the usual non-profit mailing).  Efforts to maintain correct addresses on the mailing list are not always successful, so every few years a “first-class” mailing is done.  Undeliverable mailing is returned and those names can be dropped from the mailing list.  It is extremely important to notify the Society of an address change as the non-profit mailing is not forwarded.  This edition also contains information on the 200th anniversary of the Alexander Campbell House, so prompt delivery seemed to be a top priority.  Another important item in this edition is the genealogical seminar scheduled for August – early notification gives plenty of time for making plans to attend.


This seminar will be held at the Cherryfield Elementary School on Saturday, August 4th from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.  The seminar is entitled “The World of Genealogy” and will be conducted by Ronald A. Bremer of Salt Lake City, Utah.  It will include such topics as: Introduction & Organization; Speeding up your Genealogy? Little Known Sources; Laws & Rules of Genealogy; and Questions & Answers.  Mr. Bremer is a very dynamic speaker,  is well versed in all aspects of genealogical research, and has over 40 years experience in the field.  His lecture covers all phases of research from serious to humorous.  Don’t miss this opportunity to attend the seminar and to ask questions.  A $1.00 donation per person is requested to cover the use of the facilities.  Please feel free to bring a tape recorder or video camera.  Refreshments will be served after the meeting and Mr. Bremer will have copies of his various publications available for purchase.


The quarterly meeting will be held on Saturday, June 23rd at Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor from 8:30 a.m.  to 3:30 p.m.  This is the first meeting of the Maine Genealogical Society in this area.  The MDI Chapter of MGS is the host for this event.  Research in Eastern Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada will be the focus of the meeting. Margery Brown,  President of C-N HS has been invited to speak on Western Washington County Research.  These meetings are always very interesting and informative, so try to attend.


WLBZ-TV will again sponsor this event which will be held on Saturday, June 16th at the Pickering Square Parking Garage in Bangor.  This sale is open to booths from non-profit organizations only.  Although a small number of items were available for sale last year,  the Society made a tidy profit. Items can be donated anytime up to the date of the sale (call Margery [546-7979], Joanne [546-7937], or Larry [546-2841]) and arrangements will be made to pick them up at your convenience.  New items are not allowed; good second-hand items are allowed; books and records are always good; flea-market items are not allowed – keep this in mind when donating.

Since this is an all-day affair, volunteers are needed who are willing to spend an hour or two at the Society booth.  Contact Margery, Larry or Joanne if you are interested in helping with this event.


The restoration project halted suddenly when Mother Nature took us from “Indian Summer” to “Dead of Winter” with such speed.  The concrete posts are in place under the building and the next step is to lower the building onto them.  Dan Ladrigan is in charge of this project and will be glad to hear from any volunteers. Once the building is firmly set onto the posts, the other restoration work can begin; repairing clapboards,  installing the signal arm, chimney work,  painting, etc.


Alexander Campbell came to the Steuben area between 1766 and 1768 and built a lumber mill on the Tunk River.  He later moved his mill to the Narraguagus River in Cherryfield and, by 1775,  had acquired over 200 acres of timberland in the area.  Following his service in the American Revolution, he returned to Cherryfield and,  in 1790, built his home on Campbell’s Hill in Cherryfield.  Alexander Campbell died in 1807.

Samuel Campbell (1775-1833), son of Alexander, was the next occupant. After his death, the house was remodeled for two families.  Samuel’s widow, Rebecca, and their son, Francis,  lived in one part; their son, Alexander and his family, in the other part.  Rebecca died in 1870 and Francis died in 1872,  leaving the entire house to Alexander.  About 1880, Alexander built a large home across the road to the south and gave his old home to his son, Fred I. Campbell.

The bay windows were added to the house in 1889 by Charles Allen, a well-known builder of the area.  Fred I. Campbell died in 1909; his widow, Josephine lived there until her death in 1932.  The home was then used by the descendants of Fred and Josephine as a summer residence for many years. In 1975, John Brace (grandson of Fred; great-great-great grandson of General Alexander) became the sole owner of the home where he and his wife, Pat, now reside.

The date of Saturday, August 18,  1990, has been set for an anniversary celebration for the house.  Current members of the Society and guests are invited to attend the party from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.  Since space is somewhat limited, a reply section is included with the order form at the end of this newsletter – this is for tentative plans only and not to be considered a firm commitment.  The Brace’s will be acting as hosts for the party with assistance from members of the Society.


The Methodist Episcopal Church was built on property obtained by its trustees (William Burnham, James A. Campbell and William B. Nash) for the sum of $100.00 from William B. and Tryphena Nash.  The lot contained thirty-nine and one-quarter rods and the deed was recorded in Vol. 50, Page 444,  Washington County Registry of Deeds, June 10,  1843 at 7:00 a.m. This lot is the site of the present American Legion Hall.

Among the other papers contained in a box donated by descendants of William B. and Tryphena Nash was a paper giving permission to David W. Campbell to enter upon the lot of the Methodist Meeting House in front of said Meeting House to lay an aqueduct in and across said lot for the purpose of conveying water to the house of David W.  Campbell and to enter upon the lot at all suitable times for repair of said aqueduct so long as he or his heirs and assigns shall maintain the same.  Witnessed the 5th day of May 1868: Daniel E. Nickels, William B. Nash and Alfred Small.

This must have been the same aqueduct line that was dug up by Joseph Sproul at the time the parking lot was put in behind the Union Trust Company bank. We have a section of that line in our museum.  The water line must have run from a spring on the hill behind the Academy Building,  in front of the Methodist Church,  behind the Baptist Church and the Cherryfield House Hotel (present site of the Union Trust Company)  to reach the Campbell House, now the home of Barbara Patten.  Several springs, some from as far away as the southwestern slope of Willey Hill, were piped into houses along Main Street.


Bill Conway and John Brace have met with Fred Wieninger, of Wieninger Monumental Works, and discussed the straightening and cleaning work to be done at the Old Cemetery.  Fred made a very reasonable offer for doing the necessary work by dividing the cemetery into sections and working on one section at a time (the reduced rate offered was to be considered Fred’s contribution to the project).  The Society voted to spend the money to have one section done last fall,  but the early onset of winter prevented that from happening.  Charles Tenan offered a load of gravel – to be delivered as soon as it stopped raining – the rain,  however, was followed by a blizzard.

The present plan is for the committee and all available volunteers to right and reset the stones for cleaning in the fall when Fred has some spare time.  Any unbroken stones can be reset once the ground thaws making them easier to clean.

Bill Conway, Chairman of this project,  is recovering from recent open-heart surgery.  If you wish to volunteer for the project, please call Margery (546-7979), Eleanore Mueller (546-2883), or John Brace (546-2101).  We wish Bill a speedy recovery.


The Maine Historic Preservation Commission is interested in designating the area which comprises Park Street, New Street, Campbell Hill, High Street and Main Street (to the Upper Corner and beyond), and some portions of the West Side of the River as an Historic District.  Kirk Mohney, Architectural Historian, will be in town this spring to document the houses.  Bill Conway and Tom Campbell are working on this project.


Marjorie Allen, a graduate of Cherryfield Academy and resident of Portland, Maine, won the gold coin which was raffled at the time of the 225th anniversary celebration of the Town of Cherryfield.  The coin has now been donated to the Society and is a very much appreciated addition. Two hundred and twenty-five silver coins were struck and each was numbered. Five hundred pewter coins were made and a few of those are still available.


Charlotte Ricker, daughter of Mark & Florence (Dean) Ricker and niece of George Ricker (Cherryfield’s blacksmith for many years) died in October of 1989.  She had been a member of this Society since 1977 and, although she lived in Haverhill, Mass., had kept continuous contact with her family roots in Cherryfield.  She and her sister, Virginia (who died in 1986), had attended the open house at Ricker House (one of the old family homes) in 1985 and displayed a scrapbook which Charlotte had been compiling on the family history.

Charlotte and Virginia had acquired many items from the Annie Ricker house on Church Street and the Abbie Ricker (Helen and Lucy Emery) home when the estates were settled.  Charlotte felt that those items should be returned to Cherryfield and made arrangements for donating them to the Society where they will be displayed later.

A 38-year employee of AT&T Bell Labs, Charlotte was also an organist and choir member of her church, member of many historical and genealogical societies (including the Maine Genealogical Society and the Maine Old Cemeteries Association) and a dedicated genealogist.

In addition to the items of Ricker historical value which have been returned to the Society,  Charlotte made a gift to the Society in her will of $10,000.00 which will be used for acquiring historical and genealogical data of the town and surrounding area.  These funds will enable the Society to pursue this goal much more actively and will continue work which Charlotte had accumulated on the Ricker family.



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