Readfield, Maine Once Rich In Industry




                                                                                       Potter Photo
Beans Mills is located at the head of
Torsey Pond in Readfield, Maine
 Joshua Bean, a Quaker originally from Gilmanton, N.H., settled in Readfield with his family before 1790. According to THE  HISTORY OF KENNEBEC COUNTY Joshua built a bark mill and tannery before 1815. These businesses were "located on the stream that crossed the stage road at the foot of what used to be called Cameron Hill" (now Kents Hill).
They were in operation until after 1840.
Joshua's son, Joel, built a fulling mill on the same stream, and it was run by his sons Philo and Rueben  This area of mills were known as those "on the upper dam", and since the upper dam created the man made Torsey Pond, it was first called Joel's Mill Pond or Bean Mill Pond. According to Book 66, Page 67 in the Kennebec County Registry of Deeds, Joel Bean sold his fulling mill for $1,000.00 to Nathaniel Mayo ( Rebecca Bean) of Readfield, and Nathaniel Bartlett, clothier, of Hampden in the County of Penobscot, Maine. The sale included Joel's fulling mill, carding machines, the buildings they were in, and the water priviledges. According to the deed, Joel was occupying and improving a sawmill and gristmill, and was using a mill for the purpose of manufacturing, carding, and drying woolen cloth. At that time, Joel Bean was "calculating to raise the dam somewhat higher, and would keep the aforesaid Mayo & Bartlett's hamlets from the same".This transaction took place c1823. According to Book 48, Page 100 dated May 21, 1823 Joel Bean sold
1 7/8 acres and premises "for $150.00 paid by Nathaniel Mayo and Nathaniel Bartlett, both of Readfield,  joint partners in the clothing & carding business." Joel Bean died in 1828.
Mayo & Bartlett were carding wool and coloring and pressing cloth there in 1825, but I do not know at this time when they actually sold their mill. According to THE HISTORY OF KENNEBEC COUNTY, pub. 1892, "Dean Smith bought the old factory, which did its last work in 1843."
Foundations of the mills are still visible on the Torsey Pond outlet stream.

Milton Bean House circa1808. Photo taken c1930

THE READFIELD REGISTER, 1903, by H. E. Mitchell

H.E. Mitchell self-published a Readfield, Maine Directory in 1903.  In his introduction, Mr. Mitchell made special mention of several Readfield residents  who assisted in gathering facts for this publication. They were:  John M. Benjamin; Esq. Benjamin Harriman; Esq. Alice J. Henderson; Miss Eva Smith; Mrs. Nellie Morrill; G.W. & M.W. Manter; and F.I. Brown
Mr. Mitchell included a brief history of the town in this directory in addition to adds from many businesses operating in Readfield at that time. 
Please note that these adds do not reflect a complete listing of businesses in Readfield in 1903.
The adds were listed as follows.
    1. J. Grant Henry, Readfield Corner
For blacksmithing & job work of all kinds.
    2. Dr. S.H.Chase, Dentist, Kents Hill
At Mt. Vernon, second Monday of each month remaining through the week. Readfield, at Dr. E.S.Hannaford's the first Monday & Tuesday of each month. Kents Hill the remainder of the time.
    3. Wilbur F. Berry, President, Kent Hill 
The Maine Wesleyan Seminary & Women's College offers unexcelled educational advantages in art, oratory, music, both vocal & instrumental, in its business college, in its college preparatory college courses, its two seminary courses, and its women's college. Expenses low
    4. G.W. & M.W. Manter
The best place in Readfield, Maine to do your trading for: 
Dry goods, groceries, provisions, chinaware, crockery, fancy goods, etc. is at the store of G.W. & M.W. Manter. The best goods, the finest qualities, the lowest prices. It is a pleasure for us at all times to show our goods. Coming once means coming at all times. Our drug department is composed of  a full line of medicines, toilet articles, perfumery, etc. Prescriptions given special attention. Choice confectionary, tobacco & cigars.
    5. Dr. J.S. Milliken, Readfield 
Physician & Surgeon - Telephone connections
    6. B.W. Harriman, Kents Hill
Dealer of carriages, sleighs, harnesses, blankets. Farming impleaments of every description. Fancy sewing machines. Maine apples. Live stock of all kinds. Telephone Connection. Life & Fire Insurance.
    7. H.E. Mitchell, Kents Hill
Life & Accident Insurance 
Telephone Connection
    8. Leighton Brothers, Readfield Corner
Dealers in high grade boots, shoes & rubbers. Tobacco & cigars. Confectionary. Soda Fountain in season. Telephone Connection
Dealer in Dry & Fancy Goods, Underwear and General Merchandise.
    10. Folsom & Masterman, 
             Readfield Corner
Dealers in Meats, Groceries, Provisions and Hardware. 
Masonic Block. Telephone Connection.
    11. C.H. Mallett, Readfield Corner
Have your haircutting & shaving done at Mallett's Barbershop. Open Day & Evening
    12. H.E. Mitchell, Kents Hill
Every merchant, every professional man, and every farmer has papers which, if destroyed, could not be replaced in any case without large expense, and in many cases could not be replaced at all. Why risk papers and other valuables worth many dollars, when a small outlay will purchase a first class safe.
    13. L.O. Tebbetts, Readfield
Your eye buys the goods - Your eye will find the goods at Tebbetts' Tailor. Dealer in hats, caps, gents furnishings, gloves & mittens, suit cases, and trunks, horse blankets, umbrellas, etc. The only place in Readfield where you can buy genuine saranac buck. Gloves for $0.50. Telephone Connection
When at Readfield Corner, call the Old Reliable Grocer and find a full line of the best Groceries and Meats. Hardware & General Stores. We wish to make money, but we are in no hurry about it. Our motto: Good equal to best, at prices as low as any. 
Give us a call. Telephone Connection
    15. C.M. Brown, Kents Hill
Our motto:" Good Goods at Lowest Prices" 
We have a full line of choice groceries, fine canned goods and general supplies. Do not go out of your own community for household supplies when you have them at only a few steps from your own door. Give us a call. 
No trouble to show goods.Post Office

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