Readfield Historical Society Newsletter Fall 2002- Winter 2003
Readfield Historical Society Newsletter
Spring ~ Summer 2003

From the President
    I have it on good authority that spring is here –though I have had my doubts about that on several occasions of late. I hope that by the time you read this we will be wearing shorts and complaining about bugs and warm weather – or at the very least more hopeful about the possibilities! In the meantime, please mark your calendars for our special program on May 3rd (read on for more information.)
Have a restful, safe and joy filled summer!

Mace Family  is Topic of Spring Program

    All are invited to gather at Gile Hall at 1:00pm, Saturday May 3rd for a brief business meeting followed by the premier viewing of the Mace family video. Filmed by RHS officers Dale Potter Clark and Evelyn Adell Potter in February – April, 1989, the video has extensive interviews with Everett Mace, and some footage of his son William and their employees. It also encompasses the Mace’s woodcutting and sawmill operations, chicken and cattle farms, some land holdings, construction and maple syrup operations. When the video was produced the Mace farmhouse was still in its original location across from Jesse Lee Church. In another unique section is footage of Carleton Pond and the Augusta Water District property. The Mace family is one of the oldest in Readfield. Everett and son William are currently the largest landowners in town.
Refreshments will be served. Donations are gratefully accepted. The Readfield Historical Society strives to preserve the rich heritage of Readfield and her people.

Readfield appoints new Town Manager
    We are pleased to convey that Ken Knight, the new Readfield town manager has an avid interest in history. He reports, in fact, that the discovery of our Readfield Historical website was a factor he considered when deciding to apply for the position. Through browsing our extensive website he assumed that our townspeople must hold great value for their past. It is our pleasure to share the following message from him with you.

    “It is my belief that for a community to be successful in the future, it must remember it's past.  A strong healthy historical society does not, as some would suggest, fix a community in that bygone age, it instead allows for respect and appreciation of what has come before.  Knowledge of the town's history adds to the vibrant mosaic of the present.  It has been said that, "To know where you are going, you must know where you have been."  Historical societies, museums, and celebrations keep that  "knowing where you have been" alive.  Incorporating the past into the present and future fixes the bonds between generations.  Once a town's, or even a person's, history has been lost, it can never be fully recovered. We must, as a community, protect and appreciate what has come before, but we must do so with our eyes focused on the future.  After all, we can really only truly honor the past by making the future a better place to be”

Ken Knight
Readfield Town Manager

2nd Annual Show N Tell

    Lois Williams Seiglar was one of many who shared artifacts and family history at this year’s Show N Tell. Lois read the Wallace Nutting story in our last RHS newsletter (fall 02 – winter 03 issue) and recalled that in 1938 she had gone with her family to the North Manchester Meeting House to hear Nutting speak. At that time Seiglar’s father purchased two Nutting prints, which she brought to share at our January program. Show N Tell attendees were surprised and delighted when Arlene Rhoades and Effie Nichols both spoke up to say they had also gone to hear Nutting’s presentation on that day so long ago. Apparently Nutting’s appearance created quite a stir and families traveled from many miles around to the event.

Wish List


From the Internet

The following was received by email in February:

    “My father, Alvaro Gordon, was born around 1868 and died in 1944. I was 4 years old and adopted after he died. I don't remember anything much, just what people have related to me. I do not know where he is buried. This is just a stab in the dark. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated since I am not able to come there (from Tennessee) to search for myself. In the town Mt. Vernon where we lived, my father was Fire Chief for a period. I was told that he dealt in wood products of some kind, and that he may have also started something called the mill pond.” Thank you for your interest,
Laurence H. Gordon

    Evelyn Potter, the RHS historian, immediately contacted Marjorie Gordon, a former Mt. Vernon resident. Marjorie remembered that Alvaro Gordon was her grandfather’s half brother, and had family history and pictures to share with Laurence. Thanks to Evelyn and Marjorie this gentleman will reclaim family history he thought to be long gone and forgotten.

And another Internet success story…

    In early April Dale Clark received emails from Claire Fish and her daughter Maribeth Bradley who were on a quest to learn more about their family line. In the exchange of information and messages Dale received a c1925 picture of the Cunningham farm (Read on to see this picture captioned Nathaniel Foord homestead c1790…) An added bonus to the exchange was that Dale’s grandparents once owned the same farm and her family had long sought a picture of the house with barn intact!

Annual Appeal 2003
With this year’s donations we are updating our system for collection and storage in addition to making interior repairs and improvements. If you have not sent in a donation and wish to do so, please mail your check to: Readfield Historical Society, PO Box 354 Readfield, ME 04355
Thank you to all whom
have shown  RHS your
Heartwarming support!!

This picture of the Capt. Dudley Haines house (atop Nickerson Hill) appeared in our last newsletter. We wish to correct an error that appeared in that caption: The Calvin not Omar Norton family occupied this home mid 20th century. Artist and RHS member Beverly Norton Newton, who lived here as a child, has had this painting reproduced onto colored postcards, which are available for purchase at the Readfield Historical Society.

Long time Kents Hill friends gather for a reunion


    Carroll and Shirley Lane, Medford, Oregon arrived in Maine last June in time to attend Carroll's 50th class reunion at Kents Hill School. Coming across country in the trunk of their car was a lovely wooden chest designed and made by Carroll which he presented to the Historical Society. While the Lanes were in Maine a mini-reunion was planned for them when several Lane relatives, old friends and classmates, gathered for a potluck supper at Giles Hall where the "kids" attended grade school together. Roberta Lane Swift, Carroll's sister, who has a summer home in Wayne, was part of the group.
Carroll is a direct descendant of James Lane who was among the first settlers at Kents Hill c 1780. Carroll and Shirley have 3 sons and 2 grandchildren with "another on the way."

Colorado man researches old Readfield Inns and Hotels


    Tad Pfeffer of Nederland, Colorado visited Readfield on March 4, 2003. Pfeffer, a Professor at the University of Colorado, is preparing a photographic study of seasonal cottages in New England, with special emphasis on small summer-only houses built by local contractors between l890 and 1940. Prof. Pfeffer has received a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts of Chicago in support of his work.
     Prof. Pfeffer, who stated that Readfield was one of the two Maine towns he chose for his research, contacted Readfield Historical Society. Boothbay Harbor is the second town he chose. Prof. Pfeffer plans to return to Readfield in July to further his research.

The Elmwood Hotel at Readfield Corner was one of the well-known hotels in Readfield.
The rear ell is all that remains today, and is the home located
between the Eaton House (library) and the “house with the iron fence.”

~ Early Settler Series ~
by Dale Potter Clark

Nathaniel Ford  1790 census 2-1-4-0-0
Lot # 197
Nathaniel Ford, Sr. was born in Marshfield, Mass. 7-11-1731, the son of Capt.Peleg & Alice Ford, the youngest of
seven children. At age 25 yrs. Nathaniel married Eunice Rogers, daughter of Timothy & Lydia (Hatch) Rogers.
Children of Nathaniel & Eunice (Rogers) Ford:
1. Peleg b.4-19-1757 m.1781 Olive Sampson in Marshfield
2. Nathaniel b.3-20-1759 m1.1780 Abigail Foord  m2.1783 Lydia Simons both in Marshfield
3. Charles b.8-5-1761
4. James b.10-20-1763 m.Sybil Morrison of 30 Mile River Gore (later annexed to Readfield)
5. Eunice b.4-3-c1765
6. Else (Alice) b.9-1768 m.Capt. Dudley Haines whose property abutted Nathaniel Ford’s, and whose homestead is known as the H.O Nickerson house on Nickerson Hill.
7. Lydia b.11-2-1770 m.Caleb Packard s/o Joshua & Mehitable (Allen) Packard, their neighbors to the north.
8. Febe (Phoebe) b.?-7-1773 m.Joshua Packard
9. John b.1-7-1776 m.1801 Ruthey Oldham of Fayette
10. ?Abigail who married Alexander Morrison, Sr. in 1802.

The Nathaniel Ford homestead was built c1790
and is currently the residence of Dennis Wight .
This c1925 photograph is compliments of Claire Fish,
whose husband and children are direct descendants
of Samuel and Lucinda Cunningham -
occupants of this house in the late 19th century.

Christopher Turner 1790 census 2-5-6-0-0
Lot # 160
Turner came from England and built the first frame dwelling in Readfield – later used as a barn by William Harvey who lived on the Lombard Road (now discontinued.) At Readfield’s town meeting in 1791 Turner was elected one of the town’s first three selectmen. He m.Catherine Carlow. He d.11-4-1803 and She d.ae71 in Readfield. Children:
1. Hannah b.1777 m.Benj. Jenness
2. Peggy b.1779 m.James Norcross
3. Catherine b.1781 m.David Huntoon
4. Betsey b.1783 m.Peter Huntoon
5. Christopher b.1785 m.Polley White
6. Jacob b.1787 m.Lovina Eldridge
7. John b.1789 m.Nancy Kittredge
8. James b.1790 d.1814 in battle
9. Polly m.1792 d.1805
10. Sally b.1794 m.John O. Craig grandson of James Craig (see Craig below.)
11. William b.1797 m1.Hannah Babcock m2.Anna Bullen

James Craig   1790 census 1-0-1-0-0
Lot # 212
James Craig who was born in England in 1740, came to Readfield between 1764 and 1770. James Craig built the first sawmill & a grist mill on the lower dam at Factory Square before 1790, and all roads in this area led to these mills. James died in Readfield c.1797 and his son, James, assumed ownership of the mills. In 1790 James Craig deeded part of lot #212 to his son Thomas. The deed reads “1/4 acre of land to build him a house thereon… likewise a barn & barnyard on said lot.”
James, Sr. m. Anna _____.
Five children:
1. Eleanor m.1776 John Hankerson of Winthrop
2. Mary m. Benjamin Allen
3. Thomas b.1764 Deighton, England  m1. Rebecca Brown d/o Unight Brown m2. Rachel Huntoon d/o Peter Huntoon. Thomas Craig died in Readfield March 5, 1814 at age 50. Following his death wife Rachel married Samuel White on July 9, 1816.
Children of Thomas & his two wives:
1. Eleanor b.1784 unmarried
2. Anna Nancy
3. Delia b.1791 m1.1808 A. Cottle m2. Mr. Bodge
4. John Orrinson b.10-20-1793 m.1808 Sally Turner. They purchased the homestead from John’s father.
5. Peter b.4-9-1796 d. Troy, Maine m.Luania Hillman
6. Betsey b.8-20-1798
7. Rosilia b.4-11-1801 d.4-6-1803
8. Thomas Jefferson b.6-5-1803 m. Nancy White of Mt. Vernon, Maine
9. James Sullivan b.2-4-1806 m.Margaret Tasker
10. William Madison b.12-21-1808
11. Charles Pickney b.12-8-1811
12. Mary Jane b.11-16-1814 after her father’s death
4. James, Jr. b.c1766  m1 C. Goud  m2. D. Call
5. William b.c1772 m.Susanna Grover

Thomas Craig c1790. Located on Church Road

Joseph Williams  1790 census 1-0-6-0-0
Lot # 137
Born c1753. Came to Winthrop (Readfield) between 1784 and 1787.  In 1816 he owned two lots in Readfield. One was 80 acres and neighbored Dudley Haines. The other was two acres with house and barn near Page’s mill. He d.1827 ae74y. children:
1. Luta b.1779 Brentwood, NH
2. Liberty b.1781 m.1808 Edward Fuller
3. Lucia b.1784 Kingston, NH
4. Laura b.1787 Winthrop, ME
5. Lovina b.1789
6. Joseph b.1796
7. David Clifford b.1799 at Hallowell
8. George Washington b.1801

Francis Fuller 1790 census 1-5-4-0-0
Lived in East Readfield, and his lot later became part of Manchester. He was b.1749 Barnstable, Mass. s/o John & Temperance Fuller. Both were Mayflower descendants. Fuller m.1772 Hannah Cobb He d.Vassalboro 1844 ae95y and she d.1816 ae64y. Both are buried in Case Cemetery East Readfield. Francis was a Revolutionary War veteran. Occupation was as a farmer.  Children:
1. Hannah b.1773 m.Peter Haines
2. Mary b.1775 m.John Weymouth
3. Sarah / Sally b.1778 m.Richard Hilton
4. Francis b.1780 m.Sarah Dinsmore
5. Edward b.1782 m.Temperence  Fuller
6. David Crocker b.1785 m1.L.Esty m2.M. Lovejoy
7. James Blossom b.1786
8. Gorham b.1788
9. William b.1791 m.Nancy Melvin
10. Temperence b.1793 m.Isaac Russell of Fayette
11. Ebenezer b.1795 m.Eliza Williams d/o Seth Williams

Unight Brown 1790 census 2-1-3-0-0
Lot # 64
Brown was one of the firsts to come to Winthrop in 1769 and settled on the west side of Maranacook – then referred to as the Mill Pond – on lot # 66. He m. Rebecca Arnold. Winthrop historian Thurston records his family as follows:
1. Rebecca m.Thomas Craig
2. Jeremiah b.1793 m.Polly Dailey of Winthrop
3. John m1. Hannah Oldham m2.Abigail ?Peterson
4. Dorcas m. Alexander Thompson
5. Joseph d.young
6. Polly m.Solomon Towle
7. William m.Polly Cochran
8. Dorothy m.Rueben Ham Jr. of Wales
9. Betsey m.(probably) Luther Marrow

William Brown s/o Unight b.1777 m1.1800 Polly Cochran and had three children m2.1836 Hannah Gazelin and had four more children. William lived on the homestead with his father and d.1860.
1. Jenney b.1800 m.Jacob Bradley of Vienna
2. James 1802 m.Celia Pitts of Readfield
1. Lucinda b.1828 m1.Layfayette Huntoon he d.1861 and she m2 Samuel Cunningham b. 1835 and d. 1900. She d. 1904. Both are buried in Readfield Corner Cemetery. They lived in the present home of Dennis Wight on Old Kents Hill Road – this was also the homestead of Nathaniel Ford, Sr.
2. George Washington b.1830
3. Atinella b.1833
4. Charles Henry b.1835
3. William b.1805 m.Melinda Hopkins
4. Hannah b.1837
5. James Madison b.1839
6. Clarissa b.1841
7. Harriet b.1844

Francis Hunt
Lot # 68
Francis Hunt b.1773, and settled on present day Winthrop Road where he established a brickyard somewhere near the old Bryant house. Among the buildings in town made of Hunt’s bricks is the Union Meetinghouse. According to History of Kennebec County Hunt’s are the first bricks made in Readfield. m.Nancy___ b.1777 He d.1866 she d.1860
1. Francis Jr. b.1796   2. Elias b.1798  3. Eliza b.1800
4.    Jane b.1802   5. Caroline b.1805  6. Merrill b.1807

Sources for this issue’s Old Settler Series:
Stackpole History of Winthrop
Readfield VR’s
1790 census
Readfield Cemetery Records
History Kennebec County
Maine Families in 1790 Volumes 2, 5, 7, by Maine Genealogical Society, published by Picton Press

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