ANDROSCOGGIN HISTORY

February, 1997 Newsletter of the Androscoggin Historical Society No. 20

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NAMING OUR TOWNS:

LIVERMORE AND LIVERMORE FALLS

 We continue our series on the names of Androscoggin County towns, with initial emphasis on those named after proprietors. Livermore, incorporated in 1795, was named for Deacon Elijah Livermore, the first settler. Originally the town was Port Royal because it was granted for services in the expedition against Port Royal, Nova Scotia, in the French and Indian War.

Massachusetts granted the township "on the east side and next adjoining the Connecticut River." When it was determined that this was in New Hampshire, another grant was made "to the eastward of Saco River." On August 9, 1771, the proprietors directed Elijah Livermore and Elisha Harrington to explore the country and to select a location in the grant next to Sylvester (Turner).

Elijah Livermore was active in the development of the town, and for a time it was called Liverton. He was son of Samuel Livermore of "a prominent family of Waltham, Massachusetts. . . . Deacon Elijah was the first Representative to the General Court. He was a man of good sense, integrity and kindness, beloved by all."

Crossing the Androscoggin River was extremely inconvenient. Residents petitioned for a bridge, but settled for the establishment of a separate town. East Livermore was set off in 1843 with the village of Livermore Falls in the northwest corner.

 Source: Ava Harriet Chadburn, Maine Place Names (Portland: The Bond Wheelwright Co., 1955), pp. 308-310.

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Dates in Auburn History

1762 Abel Davis made his clearing in Danville, near New Gloucester line.

1797 First settler in village was John Marr, near West Pitch. Joseph Welch built log house at site of the present Goff Block.

 

NEW EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

MICHAEL LORD

 After the resignation of David Richards to accept a position at the Margaret Chase Smith Library, our Acting Executive Secretary since November 20 has been Michael Lord. The Officers and Board of Directors at a meeting on January 23, confirmed Mike’s selection to the position.

A native of Auburn, Mike graduated from Pine Tree Academy in Freeport and from Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, with a major in history. His thesis concerned the Lateran Pacts of 1929 between Mussolini and the Catholic Church to reinstate the Vatican City State. He has completed his courses for a master’s degree at the University of Maine at Orono and currently is working on his thesis on the writings of Friedrich Hayek concerning the Rule of Law.

Mike discovered us in the 1980s while he was doing title searches for Linnell, Choate and Webber in the county building. He saw our sign, came upstairs and was impressed with our collection, and then joined the Society. He has served as chair of our program committee.

Mike is continuing Dave Richard’s work of organizing our holdings. He is currently seeking funding for a computer with which to catalog our materials.

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MEETING NOTICE

 The next meeting of Androscoggin Historical Society is Tuesday, February 25, 1997, at 7:30 P.M., in the County Building.

 Topic: "Margaret Chase Smith Library, Skowhegan, Maine"

 Speaker: Dr. Gregory Gallant, Library Director

 

DIARIES OF WILLIAM CROWLEY

 William Crowley (1864-1922), son of William and Mahala B. (Moulton) Crowley, was a farmer and cattle dealer in South Lewiston. He married Carrie F. Jordan (1866-1958), daughter of George and Sarah Jordan of Bath. The Society has his diaries for 1903 and 1910-1912. Excerpts from 1903:

 Jan. 10 Carrie and Harry [their son, 1894-1985] went up to Auburn to the "Little Helpers Temple."

Jan. 26 Georgie Dingley fractured her hip - thrown out down near Tom Polley's. [See Oct. 20]

Feb. 28 Went to the city on the cars in the forenoon. Carrie + I went to the Democratic Rally in City-Hall in the evening.

Mar. 2 Went to Lewiston with beef, butter eggs etc. Then went to election. W.B. Skelton (Rep.) elected [mayor] by nine majority. Also went to Dr. Garcelon's.

Mar. 7 Went to the City in the forenoon with butter eggs. eggs 20˘ Carried Harry to the Temple. Went to the City in the eve to get shaved.

Mar. 20 Very hot - A record breaker. 90° in the shade. At five o clock a cold wind sprang up and the thermometer dropped to 40°. Henry and I split logs with powder in the forenoon. Henry stuck lumber in the afternoon. I went up to help move the mailing room Moved it to B. Clough barns - eight horses.

Mar. 21 In the afternoon went to the hauling 16 horses. rained hard. twelve minutes moving it.

Mar. 25 Carrie + I went to Genevieves in the eve. 32 there The Good Templars.

Apr. 6 I cut Easter trees for Janelle.

Apr. 7 I went to Lewiston with the trees and veal. Sold the veal to C.H. Cloutier to put in the window for Easter 100 lbs @ 10˘ . . . Ed Perkins came here and hired out for a year.

Apr. 9 Frank Tibbetts shot himself in the evening

May 6 Dr. [Alonzo] Garcelon [former governor] celebrated his 90th birthday by speaking before the Medical Convention at New Orleans, La.

May 12 Went with Harry in the eve to hang a may basket for Agnes Sawyer.

May 19 Ed hung a may basket for Edith Clough

May 31 In the afternoon Carrie + Harry + Ralph went to church A Sunday School was organized by the Y.P.C.A. of the Baptist Church of Lewiston . . . Not but one cloudy day in May. The dryest [sic] New England I ever knew.

June 3 A "Yellow day" on account of the smoke Business nearly suspended in some places in N.Y. Boston Harbor vessels didn't dare venture out.

June 5 Forest fires are raging and Kansas is flooded

June 9 The crows pulled up all sweet corn so I went to Lisbon and got strychnine and soaked corn and put on the ground.

June 10 Went down in the woods at 4 o'clock to shoot crows - got two - hung them up on the corn ground. Went to the City to get powder + shot. In the afternoon planted the corn over.

June 14 Uncle Briggs went up to East Auburn to Bill Briggs - Harry + I went too "Bill" took us up to the Fish Hatchery and Deer Rips - Had a nice time. Harry's birthday 9 years old.

June 18 Father carried Harry and Carrie over to the Ferry school to the graduation Flora Dingley - teacher

July 4 A Glorious Fourth . . . Carrie, Harry, Edd and I went up to Perryville to the fireworks in the evening.

Aug. 11 Harry and Carrie went to Lake Grove to the Grange Field Day.

Sep. 2 Herbert and Carrie and I went up to City hall [to State Fair] in the evening. Baby Show in the morning. Marnie Clough's baby Harold [Harold Clough Cole] took the second prize for the best all around baby.

Sep. 8 Harry's school began Emma Davis began teaching here.

Sep. 28 I picked up twelve bushels of potatoes this forenoon and in the afternoon took them to the City to Simard's and got a bbl. of flour - "Washburn's Gold Medal."

Oct. 12 The heaviest rain for the Fall - and Summer. Much needed. rivers very low. wells dry. Mills run on short time four days a week.

Oct. 20 Georgia Dingley's case against the Town of Lisbon sued for $2000 [for accident caused by ridge of snow left on Moody Road (Lew. Eve. Journal, Oct. 20-22)]. Carrie went to court.

Oct. 21 The jury brought in a verdict in the Dingley vs Lisbon $1266.66 for Georgia D. Georgia Hartfords case began - Kilgore vs. Hartford [Prince J. Kilgore, age 9, sued Coburn School teacher for injuries when she strapped and scratched him (Lew. Eve. Journal, Oct. 21-23).]

Oct. 22 Kilgore vs Hartford case continued today went to the jury at noon. Verdict - "Not Guilty - Verdict set aside by the court and a new trial ordered.

Nov. 27 Took the carriage up to Mrs. Lucy Coombs for storage.

Dec. 7 A double tragedy in Lewiston. Daniel Hill of Barkerville shot his son and then shot himself at about six o'clock A.M. The father died instantly The son not fatal.

Dec. 19 The Lewiston car barn [near Bleachery] burned to the ground. 23 cars burned. - all the snow plows, picks + shovels, etc. Cars began to run regular about 10 o'clock

Dec. 23 Flora Dingley was married and went to Crowleys Junction in a hack on their wedding tour.

 

JAMES GOFF OF AUBURN

 From the Lewiston Journal Illustrated Magazine Section of January 26-31, 1901, we reproduce excerpts from an article about an early Auburn merchant, James Goff, as recalled by his son Dana:

 Mr. [Dana] Goff was born in 1819, in what was then known as Minot. His father, James Goff lived on the old farm where Gamage avenue now it [sic]. When Dana was two years old the family moved to Stevens Mills, where for a short time the elder Goff engaged in trade.

In 1822 the Goff family moved into the city proper which was then but a straggling hamlet. Mr. Goff went into mercantile business with his brother-in-law, Jacob H. Read, but in a short time he bought his partner out and conducted the business alone. The old store of Goff & Read was located where the fine Goff block now stands [corner of Court and Main Streets].

It was a country store and located in a country place. Mr. James Goff built a little one story house on a lot where the shoe and leather bank is now located [79 Main St.]. This house and another little building used as a hotel, and standing where the Maine Hotel now is [133 Main St.], were the only buildings used for dwelling purposes in the place. Then came Jonathan Raynes and Samuel Manning and built houses and the place began to take on hamlet airs.

About this time young Dana had reached an age where he began to take an interest in things himself and as his memory stretches back to this point it will be well to let him talk for himself. His story to the Journal will be an interesting one:

"O, yes, I can well remember those old days in Auburn. My father bought lot 102 on Main street and lot 202 on Court street. The land extended up to where Auburn hall now stands, and on this land our store and house were located.

"One of the principal things sold in a country store in those times was rum, and as molosses [sic] always went with it, it is useless to state that we always did a rushing business in those articles.

"My father quit selling rum in 1835. This was a strange thing for a trader in those days to do, but I will tell you how it happened. He had built a two-story addition to his place in 1830 and from that time on his trade was increased. In 1835 he was elected to the legislature, and he employed William R. Frye, an uncle of Senator Frye, to run the store during his absence. This Mr. Frye had been a manufacturer and had also taught school here and in other places. He could talk faster than William P. Frye ever thought of talking. He was a very popular man and could have had any office in the gift of the people that he wanted.

"Well, when father moved around on Court street, and after his election to the legislature, Frye took charge of the store. He was a strict temperance man and didn't want to sell rum, so father told him to go ahead and drop that part of the business. It astonished everybody, but not a drop was sold in our store after that.

"Father didn't like to sell rum himself, so it was a good excuse and a good chance to drop out of the business entirely, but here comes the funny part of the thing.

"When it was found that they could get no more liquor at the store the temperance people came to father and wanted him to keep some for medicine. He knew that if he did they would be sick altogether too often and he refused. He wouldn't have anything to do with it.

"My father died in 1873. He had gone out of business in 1850 for reasons that were strong. Trade had changed in its character and younger men had come in with very different methods. The all-around country store had gone out of date, and each trader now dealt in some one line of goods. When the specialty store came in father went out. He had accumulated considerable property and was considered well off for those times.

"Father owned one hundred and sixty-five acres of land on Gamage avenue and a small farm on the hotel road, so called, near Young's Corner. He also had a seventy-five acre farm where the Lewiston Bleachery now stands, so you see he was pretty well off for land. In fact, his property was largely in land.

"From Minot avenue to where Tascus Atwood's house now stands [320 Court St., corner of Prospect St.] was all father's. There were ten acres in that lot, and he bought it for seventy dollars. He also owned all the land that is now known as Goff, James, Field, Woods and Cliff streets, as well as Highland avenue, Beacon avenue and Western promenade. There were forty acres in that strip and he paid Josiah Little $600 for the lot. Then he owned a five-acre strip up where the reservoir now is.

"One of these lots, where Mrs. Chas. E. Wing now lives [259 Court St., corner of Goff St.], he sold for four hundred dollars. He also soon began to sell off more and made considerable money in this way as the land sold at a large advance of the price he paid. That land has been advancing and increasing in price ever since."

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The individual names of the Goff family are inseparably connected with that of Auburn. Goff street [and Goff Hill] is, of course, the family name. James street was named for the father, and Charles street for the brother of Dana Goff, while Highland avenue was named by Mr. [Dana] Goff himself.

 

SKINNER TRANSCRIPTS

 We continue to catalog Ralph Skinner's transcripts of his radio addresses that are available in the Society's files.

 1965

May 1 Auburn Shoes in a New Century

May 8 The Lunn and Sweet Saga

May 9 The Later Years of Lunn-Sweet

May 15 The National Shoemakers

May 16 Shoe Manufacturers' Associations

May 22 The Age of Cement-Process Shoes

May 23 Shoemaking Methods Come and Go

May 29 Shoe Firms with Place Names

May 30 Related History of Shoe Firms

June 5 The Shoe Changes Jim Saw

June 6 How the Heel Business Got Going

June 12 Heel Business Mushrooms

June 13 Plastic Heels Push Ahead

June 19 The Ault-Williamson Story

June 20 A Great Enterprise Goes Down

June 27 "And They Still Do"

June 28 Infants' Shoes Went Big

July 3 Turning Points in the Shoe Industry

July 4 The Old Ways Were Crude

July 10 Men's Shoe Manufacture Reduces

July 11 The Senior Shoe Factory

July 17 Enter Knapp Brothers

July 18 The Disruptful

July 24 Start of the 1937 Shoe Strike

July 25 Strike Action Steps Up

July 31 The Strike Hearings Start

Aug. 1 Highwater Mark of the '37 Shoe Strike

Aug. 7 The Merry Strike Month of May

 Aug. 8 Strike Action and Court Cases

Aug. 14 LASPA vs. CIO

Aug. 15 NLRB Hearing Start

Aug. 21 Maine's First NLRB Hearing

Aug. 22 Legal Angles of the Shoe Strike

Aug. 28 NLRB Decision for Manufacturers

Aug. 29 The Strike is Called Off

Sep. 4 The Work That Wasn't There

Sep. 5 A One-Sided Election

Sep. 11 A Second NLRB Hearing

Sep. 12 LASPA Says "So What?"

Sep. 18 Outcome of a Big Strike

Sep. 19 LASPA Comes to Life Again

Sep. 25 LASPA Takes Over

Sep. 26 For Workers and the Industry

Oct. 2 LASPA Stays Independent

Oct. 3 Three Firms that Stayed

Oct. 9 Peoples' Practical Cyclopedia

Oct. 10 Old Times Remedies

Oct. 16 Weak nerves -- And Fresh Air

Oct. 17 How to Run a Meeting

Oct. 23 Pines and Pioneers

Oct. 24 The New Land Up River

Nov. 6 The Belle-Moc Story

Nov. 7 Seven Shoe Factories in a Former Mill

Nov. 13 Belgrade Moxees

Nov. 14 Auburn Shoes at Mid-Point

Nov. 20 An Old Mansion in New Use

Nov. 21 That Fine Clifford Home

Dec. 4 Pauper Costs in Old Times

Dec. 5 Lo, the Poor Soldier

Dec. 11 For a Larger Ladd Memorial

Dec. 18 That Man Bates

Dec. 19 Benjamin Bates: Man of Good Name

Dec. 26 When the Bates Wove Wool

 

 

Douglas I. Hodgkin, editor

Androscoggin Historical Society

County Building

Auburn, ME 04210

 



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