Fall 1990: Volume 16, Number 2


Kirk Mohney, Architectural Historian, of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, contacted us last year and proposed designating a portion of downtown Cherryfield as an historic district. Tom Campbell and Bill Conway met with Mr. Mohney and were able to provide sufficient documentation on the older houses for the application to be accepted at the State level.  The Commission then submitted the application to the National Register of Historic Places, where it was approved on October 1, 1990.

The District is comprised of two areas, one on either side of the Narraguagus River.  The section on the east side of the river encompasses the area from the south side of Church Street (two houses at the top of the hill) to the corner of Park Street & New Street (including Ricker House and the Grant home) and the houses on Campbell’s Hill and High Street.  The section on the west side of the river starts with the G. R. Campbell (Hamilton) house and continues south to the former Baptist Parsonage, the Nash Building and the Masonic Hall.  Many of the houses and other buildings in the district have already been placed on the National Register individually.

The Society is interested in obtaining information on more of the houses and buildings in the district – date built, occupants over the years, businesses connected with the building, etc.

Owners of the houses are entitled to a certificate from the Historic Preservation Commission certifying that the house is in the District.  Owners of the property have received letters from the Society containing further information on obtaining the certificates and requesting data on the properties. A map of the area is printed on the next page of this newsletter.




A genealogy seminar was held this summer at the Cherryfield Elementary School conducted by Ronald Bremer of Salt Lake City, Utah.  Mr. Bremer covered many topics in answer to questions from the audience and provided a wealth of information on research sources and methods.  The Society purchased the Compendium of Historical Sources for reference as a research tool and which can be used by contacting Margery Brown* Some members of the Society also purchased the Seminar Transcript (a transcript of an all-day seminar) which contains many sources and Chaos and Confusion by Vincent L. Jones which is extremely helpful in teaching how to organize notes and other materials.

Approximately thirty people attended the seminar and were enthusiastic about the results.  A full-day seminar will be scheduled for the summer of 1992.


Percy W. Willey, Jr., of Franklin, has been working at copying more census records for us.  He has done an index to the 1850 census which is extremely helpful.  Others that he has completed are 1900 for Milbridge, Beddington, Deblois, Devereaux Township, and Harrington, and 1910 for Harrington; 1880 for Addison, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Mi1bridge and Steuben (these 1ast being incomp1ete because of the poor quality of the microfilm).  Copies of all of these can be researched by contacting Margery Brown.




The New Brunswick Provincial Archives is beginning a microfilming project and will be starting with the Narraguagus Times (1897-1906) newspapers which have been kept at the county courthouse in Machias.

The Society will be purchasing the microfilm as soon as it is aval1able-Microfi1ms require a “reader”, so if anyone knows of one which might be available for purchase or donation, please let us know.



Most of our acquisitions are items which have been donated by persons who are interested in preserving artifacts of local interest. The Society has, however, established a small fund for acquiring items which might be sold at auctions or yard sales which are unique to Cherryfield.  One such item was purchased this summer from an antique dealer – the seal of the Cherryfield Grange, a beautiful item in the shape of a lion’s head in black and gold enamel.  Members who find such items can purchase them and be reimbursed by the Society for a reasonable amount for the item (not to exceed $200.00).


The Boston Post Cane has recently been presented to Howard Strout as the oldest resident of Cherryfield.  The previous holder of the cane was Frank Guy Morse, who will be greatly missed by all of his family, neighbors and friends.


The building was lowered onto concrete posts by our volunteer group headed by Dan Ladrigan.  Painting has been done by Carlton Wi11ey and A1ton (Pete) Grant.  Necessary repairs wi11 be done next year and wi11 inc1ude 1attice work around the bottom. Some progress has been made in obtaining rails and other supplies for setting up a display near the bui1ding — more on that next summer, a1so.


The museum was open all day on June 30th (Parade Day), as was “Pat & Mike’s” frankfurter stand.  The help of so many volunteers to keep the building and the concession going is greatly appreciated. This is our major fund-raiser for the year, so we work very hard on making it a success.  We were ab1e to have the museum open on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons during July and August, also, and will continue to do this annually if sufficient volunteers are available.

The origina1 co1ors of the bui1ding (when we received it, at least) were restored when the building was painted this summer – gray with green trim, which matches the railroad station building.  The previous cream trim had seemed to co11ect dirt terribly and cou1dn’t be cleaned.


Cherryfield Grange #256 was organized September 28, 1888 and probably closed in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s.  The Grange Hall was 1ocated just west of Wayne Smith’s dairy farm on the Wi11ey District Road.  Cherryfield had a second grange, Washburn Grange #91, located on the Ridge Road.  This grange was organized sometime around 1912 and has just recently merged with Osceola Grange of Harrington.

The Cherryfield news in the Bangor Daily News of April 1918 lists the election of officers of Narraguagus Grange which probably was located in either Beddington or Deblois, as the names of the officers would indicate: “Saturday evening April 26, Master, Wilbur Merritt: Overseer, Cora Cakes: Steward, J. W. Schoppee: Lecturer, Mrs, Bertha Grant: Chaplain, Carrie Lancaster: Treasurer, Leander Grant: Secretary, Evie Oakes: Assistants, Hazel Wilson, Helen Oakes: Gatekeeper, Ward Torrey: Mertie Wi1son, E11en Smith and Mer1e Norton, court officers” More information on this grange would be gladly received by the Society.


A letter dated April 18, 1844 from J. W. Moore to his son, Sam, contains the following passage: “I feel poorly today having been summoned to witness at two o’clock 1ast night the burning of A, Campbell & Co. Mills at Stillwater.  The fire is thought to originate from overheating some of the boxes be1ow …… was not noticed by the workmen when they 1eft the mi11.  The Gang, Single Saw and Lath mill and some small machinery, all that was located on the Western End, was entirely consumed – and some lumber.  Loss to them of $20,000 and as much more to the 1abouring community”.


The Society voted to spend some monies on the cleaning and straightening of stones in the Old Cemetery near the Town Hall. The Selectmen approved a portion of the money from funds available for such work.  Fred Wieninger, of Wieninger Monumental Works, did as much work as possible for the funds provided.  The stones are much improved in appearance and the Society plans more work for future years.  Bill Conway and Ed Mueller were able to straighten some stones, also, but found it a very time- consuming project.  Two hundred and nine individuals are listed on the some 175 stones in the cemetery – very few descendants are left in the area.  A sign has been installed indicating both the present name and the original name (Hill Cemetery) used when the land was still in Steuben.

The ADOPT-A-PLOT program is still in progress since the total cost of cleaning and straightening stones in the entire cemetery may run as high as $4,000 – $5,000 (the cemetery had been neglected for so many years that the stones are in terrible condition – some broken beyond repair) and help from any source will be appreciated.  Once the stones are cleaned, a thorough and proper washing every few years will keep them in good condition. A considerable amount of filling of holes and uneven places needs to be done, also.  Anyone who wishes to make a financial donation should send it to the Society and specify that it is for the Cemetery Fund.

Kathy Upton adopted the Jeduthan Upton lot and began research on the family.  Jeduthan was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.  Kathy traced his family back to Salem, Mass. and found that he was descended from the same immigrant as her husband’s family which had migrated to Canada.  She also found that Jeduthan, and later his son John, were inn holders in Cherryfield.  This type of information could later be compiled into a book for publication about the various families who are buried in the cemetery.


Each year, we try to ascertain the oldest and youngest descendants of Ichabod Willey now living in Cherryfield as of July 4th. This year the oldest is Herbert A. Willey and the youngest is Briania Santerre.


Bangor Daily News, April 1918, Cherryfield News item:

“The war relic train will he at the Cherryfield station on Thursday, May 1, arriving at 4:14 pm and leaving about 6:30 for Ellsworth. There will be many war trophies and five speakers accompany the train”. (It would be interesting to learn more about this.)

Narraguagus Times, probably early 1900’s:

“The most lively runaway occurring this season was witnessed from the TIMES office Wednesday morning when a span of horses attached to a jigger came running wildly down Campbell hill.  The team, owned by Geo. Lawn, of Harrington, was in the yard of Dr. Nickels taking on the Doctor’s outfit for Point Ripley where his family will pass the season.  By some means the horses became frightened and before the driver could reach the lines were on the way out of the yard into the street.  When part way down the hill the jigger unshipped and the runaways with the front wheels turned the square and continued up street to the Upper Corner where they were brought to a stop.  The outfit, which was a miscellaneous stock of groceries, canned goods and trunks of clothing, was scattered along the route in a badly damaged condition, and for nearly an hour a shower of granulated sugar continued to fall in front of the TIMES office.  The doctor says he would give five dollars for a picture of the ice chest as when he saw it descending to earth from up among the prophets”.



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