The History of Middlesex County 1635-1885
J. H. Beers & Co., 36 Vesey Street, New York
Pages 229-241
Town of Portland
By Hon. William H. BUELL
[transcribed by Janece Streig]


Portland is one of the two northern towns of Middlesex county. It was first known as East Middletown, being constituted the Third Society of Middletown, in 1714. In 1767, it was incorporated at Chatham, that township also including the societies of Middle Haddam and East Hampton.

In May 1841, that part which was known as the First Society of Chatham was set off as a separate town, with the name of Portland. It is bounded on the north by the town of Glastonbury, on the east by Chatham, and the Connecticut River forms it western and southern boundary. It is nine miles long and three miles wide.

The population of the township at the several census dates has been reported as follows: 1840, included with Chatham; 1850, 2905; 1860, 3657; 1870, 4,694; 1880, 4,156.

The assessors statistics, for 1883, are as follows: Acres, 11,642; valuation of real estate, $788,430; personal property, $1,944,027; polls, $755; school tax (State), $9,211.07; county tax, $387.98; road tax, $2,255.16; poor tax, $5,028.50.

The village is beautifully situated upon the eastern bank of the Connecticut River, where it sweeps around the bend opposite Middletown and Cromwell. Any one looking at Portland, as represented upon a good map, will see at one the significance and appropriateness of its Indian name, Wangunk, "The Bend."

It is celebrated chiefly for its fine quarries of brown or sand stone; these, with the other geological formations, are described at length in another place. There are some fine farming lands, principally near the river. In some places it is very rocky, but well adapted to sheep farming. Its location, in regard to the river, and its other natural advantages, make it, after its rather uninviting approaches are passed, one of the most delightful of villages.

The Main street is about two miles long, and four rods average width. It is shaded by beautiful old elms, and in some places by a double row of maples. It is partly lighted and paved. It has a fine soldiers' monument, six churches, two post offices, stores, two public halls, and nine school houses.

The shipyard of Gildersleeve & Sons is at the upper end of the village called Gildersleeve. This village has a post office and a large brick store. An account of the shipyard, churches, schools, and industries of the town will be found under those respective heads.

Besides the great brownstone quarries for which Portland is famous, it has other quarried, which in other localities might be considered remarkable. The granite quarry on Calling's Hill, now disused, furnished the stone for the railroad bridge across the river.

On this same hill is a chalybeate spring, known for many years, but never much used for medicinal purposes. There is also a spring near the top of Bald Hill, said to be strongly impregnated with iron. In 1789, appearances imbedded in so hard a rock that no efforts were made to mine it. The fine feldspar mine, near Deacon Ralph PELTON's, has been worked by him since 1872. Several thousand tons of the stone have been taken out. A sample of the feldspar taken to the Centennial was pronounced the finest there. Fine beryls, garnets, etc., have been found here. Mica has been mined in several places. Coal of good quality was found at Indian Hill, about 1780. Plumbago has been found in small quantities.

The cobalt mine, at the foot of Great Hill, was opened by Dr. STEPHANNES, but the operations were mostly carried on within the limits of Middle Haddam.

Pacansett Pond and Job's Pond-so named from Mr. Job PAYNE, who formerly owned the land-are the largest bodies of water within the limits of Portland. Job's Pond has been thought very remarkable. It has no apparent outlet, and is in some places 40 to 60 feet deep. Says Dr. FIELD in his history:

"It rises and falls as much as fifteen feet but not from such causes as affect other ponds. It is often the highest in the dry season and lowest in the wet season of the year. When it begins to rise it rises regularly for six or twelve months and then falls for about the same period.

Those, however, who are most capable of judging think that there is nothing mysterious about it; it is probably fed by a very deep springs which are not affected by the rainfall until after a considerable time. This beautiful sheet of water, deeply set between the hills, is now known as Waroona Lake. This appropriate name is the Australian word for "solitude." Great Hill Pond is an artificial lakelet at the foot of Great Hill, covering about 100 acres of marshy land. The highest elevations of land are the Great Hill and Bald Hill. This last with "Mesomesic Mountain" and Raccoon Hill have long been noted as the resort of rattlesnakes. Hundreds have been killed here. In September 1881, Deacon PELTON, who has been very active in bruising the serpent's head, in one afternoon killed fifteen, and the next morning killed four and captured six. The largest was 5 feet 10 inches in length.

The old elm near St. John's Chapel should be noticed as it supposed to be the largest in the State. Two feet above the ground it measures 22 feet, 8 inches girth. It was here when the town was first settled, and was held in veneration by the Indians who held pow-wows under it.

A large amount of hay is annually gathered, the quarries using the most of it. Sheep are kept to some extent. Deacon F. PAYNE and Osmer PELTON cultivate extensive peach orchards. Cardella REEVES is quite an extensive fruit grower.

"Wangunk Meadow" has always been held as a common field on account of the difficulty of maintaining and renewing fences after the annual floods. The boundaries of each man's share are defined, and each has a certain portion of the outside fence to maintain.

The land was granted in March 1698 (two previous grants being annulled) to Sam'll BIDWELL, John HAMBLIN, John BACON, Andrew WARNER, and Will'm CORNWALL jun'r. The first legible entry in their record is:

"March ye 8th 1736-7 William CORNWELL Senior, Sergt. Jas. BUCK, and Joseph WHITE were chosen to order the prudentials of s'd field. Joseph WHITE Clerk, Corp'l Thomas BUCK and Sergt. Ebenezer GIBS chosen fence viewers, Moses CUMMIN, John ROBBINS and John JONES hay wards," "The Proprietors by Major vote Agree that the s'd field shall be free for feeding by the proprietors cattle for three weeks and noe more By Major vote this Meeting was Adjourned to the first Monday in October next at Sun two ours high at Night."

The proprietors now hold their annual meeting the first Monday in March; elect their officers, and arrange for the management of the field the year ensuing; the present officers are: Andrew CORNWELL, H. B. WILCOX, J. E. TRYON, committee; Lucius STEWART, Martin CAVANAUGH, Albert HALE, D. C. HORTON, fence viewers; Titus HALE, S. W. STRICKLAND, Nelson CORNWALL, D. W. CORNWALL, Charles HALL, Benjamin CHAPMAN, Eugene S. STRICKLAND, John E. TRYON, D. C. HORTON, haywards; Luther WILCOX, clerk.


The aboriginal proprietors of Portland were the Wangunks, or Womgoms, a small tribe or fragment of a tribe which had belonged to the great Algonkin race, but in the confusion resulting from the incursions of the conquering Pequots the great tribes were split into large or small bands, under the leadership of their own sagamores, or sachems, and wandered along the banks of the Connecticut River, sometimes settling in a locality which promised to supply their simple requirements, owning allegiance, indeed, to one great chief or king, but with little clannish feeling or national strength. These small clans, comprising all Indians living on the shores of the Connecticut River, within the limits of the colony, were known to the early settlers under the general designation of "River Indians." Their king was Sequassen, the sachem of Hartford, but the particular chief of the Wangunks was Sowheag, or Sequin, who, when first known to the white men, lived at Pyquag, or Wethersfield, but after some quarrels with the settlers he removed to Mattabesett (Middletown).

The eastern shore of the river, opposite Middletown, was at this time a dense forest. Huge masses of stone overhung the river, and trees which were the growth of centuries shaded the banks. The straits were then narrower, and the river consequently wider at this place, forming almost a lake. The main street of Portland was a swamp, inhabited by herons and other waterfowl. The woodlands and meadows farther back were considered good hunting grounds, as they abounded in large and small game. Along the narrow trains through this dark forest the wild beast and Indian hunter alike noiselessly traveled in single file.

Few white men were seen here. Traders, like the SHELINE brothers, who came to barter their brass kettles, glass beads, knives, etc., for furs and fish, made their annual visits, enjoyed the hospitality of their red brothers, and departed; their fathers' schooner laden with a valuable cargo.

In 1672, the town of Middletown bought of Naschegon Sepunnemoe and several other Indians, a tract extending six miles eastward from the river, from Wethersfield bounds on the north, to Haddam bounds on the south. The Indians, however, reserved 300 acres on the east side for their exclusive use, besides the right of fishing where they pleased, cutting sampling, withes for baskets, etc.,

In 1675, Middletown set aside these 300 acres "for the heirs of Sowheag and the Mattabesset Indians." Some confusion has arisen from the fact that the Indians who lived on this reservation were called Wanguns, while the land was set apart for the "Mangunks Indians." The Indians applied names to localities descriptive of the place, beautiful and appropriate, but not capable of arbitrary transference, and they usually took their names from the place where they lived. The word Wongunk, Wangunck, Wangonke, Wongom, Womgog, as it is variously spelled in the old records (each writer spelling it according to his understanding of the sound which fell from the Indian lips). Wangonk, as it is most frequently written, meant in the Aboriginal tongue-as has been said-"The Bend." After the settlement of the Mattabesett Indians on the opposite shore, they were all probably called "Wangunks," meaning simple those living in the bend of the river. There is a record, April 24th 1670, of the

"Indian land at Wangonk, the upland with ten Acres of meadow within that square is thirtie three Acres, being a hundred thirty six rods long on the longest side, beginning at a beach tree by the river side west, a butting on the highway south, and the river, and on the highway east. The depth at the end is 54 Rods wide. The rest of the meadow belonging to the Indians at Wangonk is nine Acres lying in various parcels intermixed among the Englishe's meadow land there and at Deer Island, is six or seven Acres, all which land was given to the Indians, By the Honourable Mr RAINS and Mr. HOPKINS In the yeare fiftie A judged by these Gentlemen as a soficent allowance for them. Thare was also fourtie Acres given to Sansennk & Siana half to each, buting on the boogie meadow north & east and on the swampe south, on the undivided land west."

There was also some land at Indian Hill, and 200 acres south of the town house on "both sides of the highway," in the center of which tract the Third Society of Middletown afterward built their meeting house. The Indians did not seem at first satisfied with the location of their lands, for in 1672 the town appointed Ensign WHITE, William CHENY, and Deacon HALL "to attend the Honoured gentlemen when they come down about laying out the Indian land at Wangonk." The same year, "it was Agreed by the town, to gratifie the Indians, in order to acquit all claims & titles to any lands within our bounds, that they should be either suited with land in undivided land, if they like, or in the land they propound for, so they give us assurance." And the committee were instructed to agree with those whose lands must be taken away to suit the Indians; and to give them other lands or the value of the land in money.

There were numerous petitions preferred to the General Court, on the part of settlers, for permission to buy lands included in the reservation. The General Court exercising a sort of guardianship or protectorate over the aborigines, its consent was necessary to the conveyance of land.

In 1693, the General Court granted Captain WHITE "liberty to buy a smale parcel of land at Wamgom about halfe an acre of land or little more of the Indian squa that is Massecup's wife;" and in May 1697, liberty was granted to "any one of the Inhabitants of Middletown to purchase of the Indians there inhabiting claiming propriety of land at Wangunck Meddowe about one acre of grasse land in the said meddowe."

The wild parties of the other part were also graciously permitted to sell the land which was the free inheritance of their fathers. In May 1711, "Canshamet, Indian man and squa widow of Massecup late sachem, all of Midletown or Glastonbury," were given permission to sell land, and in 1713, upon petition of John CLARK jr., of Middletown, certain Indians, named Siana CUSCHAY and Nannamaroos were empowered to make a legal conveyance of half and acre of land within the meadow commonly called "Wongunck." The Indian, Siana, may be lived at the place we call Siam. David CLARK, of Middleton, in 1715, bought, with permission of the General Court, of an Indian named Conschoy (probably the same as Cuschoy) "two acres of land which Lyeth upon an island commonly called Wongung island."

As has been said, the "Honourable gentlemen" who came from Hartford in 1748 to fix the place for the second meeting house, "Set the stake," nearly in the center of the Indian reservation of 200 acres. In June 1750, it was agreed "to Aply ourselfs to the town of Middletown for a Libberty for this Society to purchase three Acres of land of the Indians joining to and Emcompassing the stake which the last gentlemen the assemblys comite pitched for us to build our meeting house upon." But they soon "supposed that such a body of Indian Land lyeing so neare the centre of said Society was a Disadvantage to the publick Interest of this Parish;" and in 1756 they petitioned "the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut at their present session in Hartford to appoint a Com'tee or guardians for the Indians belonging to said town to assist and direct them in selling their lands in s'd Society into one, two, three, four, five, or six acre lotments to the Inhabitants of s'd Society or such part thereof as s'd committee or guardians shall advise to, at the same time agreed by Major vote that no man should have liberty to purchase more than one of the above said lotments."

This petition (the original of which is in the State Library) states these reasons why this sale of Indian land was considered advisable: that there were two tracts of land belonging to the Indians, in said society, one of which, containing about 200 acres, was in the center of the society, encompassing the meeting house, and lying upon both sides of the highway, running through the parish, and also that the tribe for whom the reservation was intended "have in the course of time suffered the common fate of the Indian natives of this country and are reduced to a very small number."

In 1764, the tribe numbered 30 or 40 persons. Only two squaws and their three children, however, remained in Chatham, the others having removed to Hartford or joined the Mohegan or Farmington Indians.

In 1765, a committee was appointed "to sell the land, and use the proceeds for the benefit of the Indians." They reported that they had on hand funds to the amount of 163 19s. in Continental bills, and about 100 in obligations, not yet collected. By 1772, over 90 of this sum had been spent for the support of old Mary CUSCHOY, one of the two squaws just mentioned, the "blind and aged widow of CUSCHOY, late sachem." The remainder of this fund was doubtless laid out for the benefit of the Indians in various ways.

In 1785, a committee was appointed by the Legislature "to collect all the money due on the Indian lands at Wangonk and pay it over to the proprietors."

The last member of the tribe was "Old Betty," who lived at Pequin or "Betty's Hill" as late as 1830.

For more than 80 years the Indians lived among the whites in this town. While they were the most numerous it dos not appear that they ever used their power to the injury of the settlers. There are no bloody traditions of murdered settlers or burning cabins. They constantly dwindled in number, but remained quiet and gentle, unless under the influence of undue "fire water" or a frenzied "powwow," -amenable to the laws, and treated with kindness and consideration. Much of this part of their history is necessarily but the fain echo of tradition. The number of Indians who settled upon this reservation on the east side is not known. Twenty signatures are appended to a deed dated December 1732, now in the possession of Col BARTLITT. The names are as follow: Mamoson, Betty, Cuschoy, Moses MOXON, James Charles ROBBIN, young Sean, Long Simon, young Betty, Sary, Mesooggosk, Shimmoon, Moses COMSHOT, Jacob, Tom ROBBIN, young squamp, Muschoise, John ROBBIN, Metowhump, and Mequash hest; Siana, Sansennk, and Nannemaroos have been mentioned as owners of Wangunk Meadow.

Tradition says that Mamoson was a great chief, and lived in the lower part of the town. There need be no surprise, therefore, that many communications received through the medium of the once popular Planchette bore his signature.

Cuschoy is mentioned in official documents of 1756 as the "only sachem left" of the Wangunk tribe, "a lame man and not able to travel much."

"Doctor ROBBIN" is also mentioned in the records as the "last sachem of the Middletown Indians." The only son of his daughter (not his son as has been said), was Richard RANNY, "positively the last" sachem of the Wangunks. He was brought up among the whites, who taught him to read and write the English language. He learned the joiner's trade, was baptized (perhaps with the name of his benefactor), and became a professor of religion.

"Long Simon," or "Jo Simon." Used neither the + mark nor his savage totem, like the rest, but wrote a bold signature thus, SIMON. He was probably the Simon CHOYCHOY who was one of the councilors of the Mohegan sachem, Ben UNCAS, and he is frequently mentioned in the Indian papers.

"Sary," or Sarah SIMON is frequently mentioned in the day book of Ebenezer WHITE, in 1744, as also is CUSCHAW and CUSCHOY. These were the old sachem and one of the squaws who were supported by the town.

One of these Indians, at least, must have been of the royal Mohegan blood, as Mukchoise signs with the totem of Oweneco III.

"Young Betty" was probably, the squaw whom some still living can remember as "old Betty;" bent, white haired, her dark skin almost blanched by age, living in a but on the spot still called "Betty's Hill." Every year, while she lived, the Indians of the tribe living in other places used to visit her. One citizen of the town vividly remembers seeing the Indians approaching his grandmother's house, on their way to see Betty. Indians were associated, in his youthful mind, with war whoops, tomahawks, and glittering knives; so he promptly removed his imperiled scalp to the darkest corner under grandmother's bed, whence, after much reassuring argument, he was coaxed to see the Indians prepare their supper. They brought large stones to the house and heated them red hot, them placed them in their kettle, filled it with water, which immediately boiled, and poured from sacks which they had brought on their shoulders in abundance of young turtles; which, when cooked, they scraped from the shells and ate. There is a story extant of old Betty, illustrating the weak but familiar saying, that "the truth should not be told at all times," at least, not too soon after dinner. A gentleman while hunting or looking over his land, dropped in upon old Betty about noon. She was known as a famous cook, especially of fish and game; and her invitation to dine was accepted without hesitation. She placed a dish of savory eels before him, and he ate heartily, and enjoyed the meal; but, alas! He must ask old Betty where she got them. She answered calmly, "plenty black snake on the ledge." Pointing to a pile of heads which were too serpentine to leave room for doubt. "The untutored mind" of the Indian could not apprehend delicate distinctions, and a contemporary remarked that the Indians were very fond of snakes.

One of the Wangunks, known as Indian Thomas, was a soldier in the Revolution, and a pensioner, perhaps a descendant of that Thomas the Indian whom the town of Middletown, in 1657, voted to accept as an inhabitant "if they could agree upon terms."

An Indian named John CUTCHOYUE is remembered to have visited this place from Long Island in 1822.

Not many years ago, a row of Indian "fire places," or rings of stones inside of which they built their fires, still remained at the fish place, showing where their wigwams had stood. It is said that the house of the sachem, or perhaps the council lodge, stood on the corner now occupied by Mr. HUBBARD's house, opposite GILDERSLEEVE's store. The lot back of Newman GOFF's is still called "hot house lot," from its being the place of an ancient Indian "sanitarium," made by digging in the river bank a hole, in which was placed a hot stone, the top being covered with boughs or a blanket, over which the Indian was placed.

After a profuse perspiration had in this way been induced, the occupant rushed out and into the river. This mode of treatment was used by the Indians in nearly all cases of sickness; but however successful it may have been at times, it was manifestly improper as a cure for small-pox, and when this disease raged among them, very many lost their lives by this "hydropathic" method.

Indian Hill was also the burial place of the chiefs after they made their home on this side of the river. One, at least, of the royal Mohegan blood was buried here. Tradition assets that he was visiting the Wangunks and died of small-pox. His tombstone was standing but a few years ago, and was seen by many. The inscription copied by Dr. Field in 1853, was this: "Here lies the body of John ONEKOUS, who died August the 39th 1722, aged 26 years." Three graves were opened on Indian Hill, in the spring of 1808, one of a man and two of children.

"The man was placed sitting, wrapped in a blanket (which was not entirely consumed, but upon exposure to the air, became as brunt straw); in his lap were two small brass kettles, probably filled with soup or succotash at the time of burial, one of which had sunk down into the other, in which were a spoon, knife, phial, and pipe. His arm extended round the kettles, and where the flesh cam in contact with the brass, from the elbow to the wrist, the flesh was preserved. In the hand of one of the children was found a brass cup, of the size of a tea cup, and here again the flesh on the fingers was preserved, where they came against the brass. Around the wrist was wampum, strung on deer string, and near by beads, supposed to have been placed about the neck. In the grave of the other child was a coffee box containing wampum."

Years ago, when the roads were worked, the school children sometimes picked up a pint of these beads at a time. It is conjectured that the point must have been the scene of an Indian battle, so many arrows have been found here. Their burial place was further east, near where Mr. John LEWIS's house stands, under the chimney of which, it is said, is the skeleton of a gigantic Indian, whose bones were not disturbed, though exposed. Indian Hill no doubt has many other graves. Indian arrows, etc., are frequently picked up. Mr. C. NEFF has a fine collection, made within the last two years.

Indian Hill was also the place where they held their grand "pow-wows:" trying by dances and incantations to conciliate or communicate with the evil spirit. As they believed the good spirit was too good to hurt anybody, it was not considered necessary to pay so much attention to him, though they made an annual feast to thank him for bountiful harvests, etc. There is a rock by the river, just by the ice house of GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, always known as "Devil's Rock." It bears a mark somewhat resembling a large footprint, and the legend tells that once, when a great pow-wow was in progress, the evil spirit, being invoked, rushed up from the "Blow hole" in a whirlwind, seized a young Indian and jumped off the rock with him into the river; leaving the impression of his foot upon the rock. There is an account of one of their pow-wows in DE FOREST's "History of the Indians of Connecticut." In 1734, a man named Richard TREAT attempted to educate the Wangunks. He instructed 12 or 14 children, and held also a meeting for religious instruction for such of the Indians as would attend. At the end of four months, however, finding no one disposed to assist or reward him, he gave up his efforts.

He found the Wangunks without the most elemental knowledge of the Christian religion or scriptures. He "was obliged in his controversies with them to appeal to such principles of morality and natural religion as they held among themselves." He was also hindered by their imperfect understanding of English as well as by their aversion to the humbling doctrines of Christianity. He met with many rebuffs and much discouragement. A writer of those days declared that:

"The Indians are famous, especially for there Scandalous Qualities; They are Lazy Drones and love Idleness Exceedingly, they are also most impudent Lyars and will invent Reports and Stories at a strange and monstrous rate; and they are out of measure Indulgent unto their Children, there is no Family government among them."

Soon after his school and religious services had been given up, TREAT visited the tribe, and found them holding a grand funeral dance. There was a great uproar; all were frantically dancing, yelling, and calling upon the evil spirit for some communication in reference to the deceased Indian, who was supposed to have been poisoned or bewitched. Mr. TREAT rushed among them, and by vigorous exertions, corporeal and spiritual, succeeded in breaking up the orgy. Though they at first told him he should not preach, and even threatened personal violence, in order to get rid of him they promised, if he would go to a clump of trees at a little distance, they would come and listen to him. When he withdrew, however, the pow-wowing recommenced. He renewed his remonstrances, and the same transparent ruse was used to insure his absence. But at last the Indians, "wearied by his persistence, or having obtained all the information form infernal sources they desired, desisted, and this has been called their last pow-wow;" but a trustworthy tradition says, that after most of the Wangunks had scattered among other tribes, they would occasionally return and hold a pow-wow under the Great Elm, near St. John's Chapel.

The morning a party of them were removing to the Western Reserve, they told Mr. STEWARD, "Indian spirits cry, cry, in the woods all night." Indian names of places are very expressive and beautiful. Pacansett means, "the place where a strait widens;" naag, "a point of land;" pasinchoag, "meadow on the northside of a creek." Wangunk has been defined Mesawmesick, Mesomesick, and Mesomussuck, &c. Mr. J. Hammond TRUMBULL translates thus: Massa-Monussuck, a hill or declivity; literally, "a great down-going." In Mr. TRUMBULL's book on Indian names, he quotes Dr. CHAPIN's interpretation, viz., "great rattlesnake place," or "abundance of rattlesnakes," a name so appropriate we could wish it more correct. The interpretation which generally obtains among our citizens is this: An Indian was sent to view the place, it having been proposed to the Indians to live there; he returned saying, "me saw me sick."


Land was granted, on the east side the river, to William CORNWELL and Robert WEBSTER, as early as 1653, and John HALL and Nathaniel WHITE owned land there at that time. "Att a towne meeting Ferbarrary 21st 1658 the towne did chuse Samuel STOCKIN, Natt BACON, Ickbord WARNER, fore committee to vewe the upland uppone the east side of the great River, in order to ane equall divition, as the towne shal give them order," and 24 men are mentioned who whould have "them equall proportion of the divition."

In 1666, the town voted "that for this present yere insuing all improved land for corne and gras on the east side of the great river, shall be free from molestation by cattel or cretres belonging to the towne as it has bene heretofore, and cattel which shall treapas heare shall be poundable," and John SAVAGE was appointed pounder for the other side. Some, however, seemed to object to the pound, and a fine was collected of one who pulled it down. Perhaps for this reason it was, in 1670, voted "That ye east side the River should stil be deemed to ly as a common field." But in 1701-2, the pound was erected "near the hous of John GILL," and it was ordered "that this should be the place for branding all horse kind on that side." The owners of these lands may have cultivated them, coming over in boats and returning to Middletown at night. There is a tradition that two men swam over from Cromwell, with their clothes in a bundle on their heads, and back at evening.

There is certainly some reason to suppose that there were several settlers on the east side before the year 1700, but there is only record of three.

The first inhabitant of Portland mentioned is James STANCLIFF. February 24th 1686-7, the town "approved of the agreement made by the selectmen with James STANCLIFF, concerning the building the chimneys, and other stone work, and that when the work is finished the town empower the selectmen to give the said James STANCLIFF legal assurance of a parcel of land upon the rocks, according to their agreement;" and it was recorded to James STANCLIFF, May 3d 1690, "on a small parcel of land on the east side the great River, Lying upon the Rocks, containing fourty nine rods, Lying in a square, being seaven Rods in breath, & seaven Rods in Length, measured from the top of the bank of the River and so easward seaven Rods bounded on the great River west, and on the Common or town land east, north, and south." His house stood there, "founded upon the rock," in 1690. How long it had stood there then there are no means of knowing. The town, in 1696, granted him another half acre, "on the south side his lot not intruding upon the Rocks." This house stood on what is now Middlesex Quarry, and at least some part of it was standing 50 years ago.

John GILL also built a house upon the bank about the same time, as is supposed, south and west of Mr. Frank BRAINERD's. This was also standing in a dilapidated condition, within the memory of some still living. These houses had probably been altered and added to since their original erection, but stood on the same sites.

William CORNWELL settled back of Wangunk Meadow soon afterward. The following is a copy of the deed given to him by his father 100 before the Revolution: "This writing made the fourteenth of November in the yeare on thougalnd, six hundred, seventy, and six, Between Sargt william CORNWELL Senior of Midleton in this county of Hartford and colony of connicttectut of the on part, and his sons william CORNWELL and Samuell CORNWELL of the same towne of Midleton and county of Hartford and colony of conicttectut on the other part; Witnesseth that the fore sayd Sargt William CORNWELL for and in consideration of the full and just sume of eighty pounds sterling to him in hand payd or secured to be payd before the ensealing hereof and for Diuers other good causes him their unto mouing haue granted, giuen, Aliened, bargagned, sould, & confirmed and by these presents Doe fully, clearly, & absolutely giue, grant, aliene, bargaine, sell enfeoff & confirm unto his sons afore sayd William and Samuell CORNWELL and to their heirs for euer on parcel of meadow Land at Womgonk on the east side the great Riuer with the swampe adjoining to it being about twelue Acres Abutting on undevided Land south and north, and on the croked brooke west & on the foote of the hill east, and on parcel of playn land adjoining to the fore sayd meadow and swampe containing abought fifteene Acres Litle more or lesse Abutting on Samuel CORNWELLs Land south & on undeuid land north and on the fore sayd meadow and swampe west a& on undeuided land east and on parcel of meadow at Wongonke commonly called the Round meadow, being Near six Acres or their abought, part within and part without the fence which now standeth and the reuertion & reuertions remainder and remainders Rents & yearly Profits of all & giue these the sayd premises and euery part & parcel their of to haue and to hold the fore sayd parcels of Land with all their appurtances before by these presents bargained, sould, or mentioned intended to be hearby granted, aliened bargained, sould, and confirmed and euery part & parcel thir of unto the fore sayd William CORNWELL junior and Samuell CORNWELL their heirs, Executors Administrators & assign for euer & the sayd Sarg't William CORNWELL at the time of Ensealing & Deliuery of these presents is & standeth Lawfully seesed of the premises & that he hath full power and just right to sell the same and euery part & parcel their of & that the afore sayd parcels of Land with all their appurtances shall from hence forth for euer remain and continue unto his sayd sons William and Samuell CORNWELL their heirs, Executors, Administrators & assigns, fully, freely, & clearly acquitted, exonourated, & Discharged off & from al & all manner of former & other bargaines, salles, gifts, grants, Dowers, jointures, Leases, rents, charges, annuities uses entavls judgements for fitures Executions Instusions, morgages, fines, Isues amersments & Incombrances what so euer had made committed or wittingly or willingly Suffered or done by the sayd Sar'nt William CORNWELL his heirs and assigns or by his or their means, act, consent, purity or procurement or by any other person or persons what so euer Lawfully clayming from by or under him them or any of them and that it is Enroled to him in the Books of records in Midleton and shall be lawful for them the sayd william CORNWELL & Samuell CORNWELL to alter the Enrolment theirof & to record the same to them selues their heirs & assigns for euer in Witness where of the sayd John CORNWELL & John HALL junior by the appointment of their father Sarg'nt William CORNWELL hee being not able to signe it haue signed sealed and Deliuered this writing


"John HALL.

Signed, sealed, & Deliuered in presence of

"John HALL.


"Acknowledged before me,

"Nath: WHITE, Comis'nr."

The spot on which he built his house, and which is included in the above conveyance, is the corner opposite Mr. Den. GOODRICH's on which the sign post stands.

The settlement grew so that in 1710, 27 men, most of them heads of families, signed the agreement to build a meeting house. Their names may be found in the history of the first church. They were all, probably, from the two first parishes of Middletown. To these were afterward added: Lemuel LEWIS, from the county of Barnstable, Mass.; John PENFIELD, from Bristol, R. I.; Joseph BLAGUE, from Saybrook; and John CHURCHILL, from Wethersfield. The record of these first years in included in the history of the first church and society. In May 1714, the town of Middletown and the General Assembly "granted the inhabitants of the east side to be a society by themselves." They formed the Third Society of Middletown, and all the region comprised in the townships of Chatham and Portland was then known as East Middletown.

Its citizens cleared the forests, killed the wild animals, cultivated their fields, and built their houses, churches, and school houses, as all settlers have done. In solemn "society or church meeting-for church and town were one-they decided boundaries, built bridges, and laid out highways, disciplined offenders, elected school committees, provided "firewood for ye youse of ye school," managed "Pacousett field," and "carried on the work of the Gospel in an orthodox way."

In December 1736, it was voted to "prefer a petition to the town of Middletown that we that are the inhabitants on the east side the great River in Middletown might have liberty to be a town with all the priviledges of a town by ourselves and likewise to pursue the petition if the town shall grant us these priviledges to the Gen. Assembly in May or Oct. next."

Buy not yet was the ambitious townlet to be loosed from the safe apron-strong of mother Middletown; although the "great River" rolling between, and the difficulty and danger of its crossing (hindrances to inter-communication which two centuries have not removed) showed that its independence was but a matter of time.

November 29th 1757.-"Capt John FISK, Capt John CLARK, and Joseph WHITE were chosen a committee for to joyn with Middle Haddam and Easthampton in petitioning the town of Middletown for their consent that we on the east side the great River in Middletown should be a township by ourselves, provided the place of town meetings shall never be carried farther Eastward than where Mr. John CHURCHILL now lives." Ten years after this, the desired consent having been obtained from Middletown, a petition was preferred to the General Assembly "that the 3d Society might be a township by themselves, with this condition; that the place for town meetings and to do all publick business Be attended at our own meeting house in ye afore said 3d Society."

The original of this petition for town privileges is now in the State Library in the Capitol at Hartford. It states the difficulty of transaction public business, "ye other side of ye great River, not only on account of ye great distance many of he inhabitants dwell from ye first society, and ye great difficulty that often happens in crossing ye river to ye great hindrance of business," etc., and furthermore declares that there were 420 families within the bounds of proposed town. So "att a general assembly held at Newhaven in Oct. 1767 Chatham was made a town." It took its name from Chatham, England, in reference to its shipbuilding, then an important and growing interest in the town.

The first town meeting was held "Dec. ye 7th 1767. David SAGE, Moderator, Jonathan PENFIELD was chosen clerk and sworn, Capt. Jeremiah GOODRICH, Dea. Benj. HARRIS, Mr. Silas DUNHAM, Mr. Ebenezer WHITE, Mr. Abiel CHENY were the selectmen." There were also elected, constables, listers (assessors) grand jurors, tything men, collectors, a committee to settle with Middletown, highway surveyors, fence viewers, leather sealers, hog haywards, and a committee to lay out the highways. It may be said here that the qualifications for freemen were "that they be of a peaceable and civil conversation and otherwise qualified by law." Town meetings were held at the meeting house of the 1st Society until the 8th of April 1799, when they met in the (then) "new town house," on PENFIELD Hill. This stood on the corner opposite Mrs. Van VECTENS, and it is remembered by a few of our elders as the "old town house." Though small and inadequate, it was used till 1841, when Portland was set off, and the Episcopal society gave their old church edifice to the town for a town house, and it has so remained.

In the old map or chart of Chatham, made by Ebenezer WHITE (1st) in 1767, is found the settlement back from the river on the hills, where now in the pastures may be seen old cellars and patches of lilac and asparagus, far from any habitation. In the woods near Captain Harley CASE's may be seen the ruined foundations of 25 or 30 houses; the owners of which many years ago emigrated to regions more favorable to farming operations. The best preserved of these (though a ruin) is just beyond Captain CASE's, that of his grandfather, and here stood the well whose "old oaken bucket" figured in the Centennial as the bucket from which General Washington drank, while on his way to New York. To return to the old chart, two ferries are marked, one from the foot of the lane by Mr. Joseph GLADWIN's, to Cromwell, which was much more used than at present; the other at Brush Pond-some distance below the railroad track, running to Ferry street, in Middletown. The main road ran from the ferry through Pacasuett, over "Hall Hill" to PENFIELD Hill, and on past Mr. Lucius STEWART's. It is here marked the Pacausett and New London Turnpike. This highway was laid out in 1659. There were two quarries: "Brush Pond Quarry," below the railroad, and "Shailor and Hall Quarry." There were a few houses at that end of the town, but the "main street" was an uninhabited highway. "LEWIS' yard" occupied the place very nearly that GILDERSLEEVE's now does. There were several houses here, as this was then the principal industry of the town. The only "meeting house" (the second built by the First Society) stood upon its hill in solitary state.

Slavery existed to a certain extent. Every prominent family owned one or more Negroes, who were well cared for and kindly treated. "Guinea" was a Negro owned by the Rev. Mr. BARTLETT. When nearly a century old he came back and boasted to an incredulous generation of having himself reaped and threshed four hundred bushels of grain on "Hall Hill." Cato and Phyllis were two servants of Ebenezer WHITE. A sketch of Cato is obtained by snatches, from Mr. WHITE's journal. That he was a favored servant may be inferred from the fact that on several occasions when "Cato's teeth ached" "he did nothing that day." Cato may be followed through the pages of this diary as he dresses flax, goes to Great Hill for shingle stuff, lath stuff, and timber for cart hubs; as he mows, and hoes, and reaps, and cuts wood for ye fires, but on the 4th of June 1781, "Self and Cato went to Hartford. Cato Inlisted in ye Continental Service in ye Connt Line for ye term of three years. I gaue a bill of Sale of him to Capt. Nehemiah LYON of Woodstock and said LYON Gaue him on consideration of his sd Cato Inlisting as one of ye Cota of ye town of Woodstock a Bill of Emancipation." The 8th of June is the entry, "this is the last day Cato worked for me." Every reader will be glad to learn that on the 6th of June 1783, "Cato came home being Discharged from ye Army." After this he took up his old duties, but received wages, and was called "Cato FREEMAN." The following is a bill of sale of a negro girl bought by Mr. Michael STEWART, who was the owner of several slaves: "Know all men by these presents that I Matthew TALCOTT of Midleton in the County of Hartford in the Colony of Connecticut, in consideration of the Sum of Seventy Pounds Current Money to me in hand paid by Michael STEWART of Colchester in the county and colony aforesd the Rect whereof I the said Matthew TALCOTT do hereby acknowledge and Do Bargain, Sell, Convey, and Confirm unto the said Michael STEWART his heirs and assigns one negro girl named Flora aged about eighteen years to have and to hold the said Negro Girl named Flora unto the said Michael STEWART his heirs and assigns to his and their own sole, and proper use, benefit and behoof and I the said Mathew TALCOTT do Covenant for my Self, my heirs, Executors, and Administrators to and with the s'd Michael STEWART his heirs and assigns in manner and form following that is to Say that att and untile the Ensealing of these presents I am the true, sole, and lawful owner of the said Negro Girl named Flora and have good Right to sell and dispose of s'd Girl as afores'd free from all incumbrances, and further more I the said Matthew TALCOTT do promise for myself and my heirs to warrant and defend the s'd Negro Girl Flora unto the said Michael STEWART his heirs and assigns against all lawful claim, it witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this 3d Day of December Anna Dom: 1741.

"Mathew TALCOTT.

"Signed, Sealed and Delivered in presence of


Some idea may be gathered of what it was to build a house in those days, from the old journals before referred to. February 7th 1774, the chimney having first been built, they went to Great Hill to get the frame of the house, and the splitting of lath and sawing of clapboards went on until August 13th, when they were making window frames and lath for "ye negro rooms;" the 17th, they laid the parlor floor; September 26th, Ever STOCKING was laying the chamber floor, lathing, painting, and making "ye closets." It took him one day to make a door. The house was ready for occupancy some time in October. This house, which it took eight months to build with no lack of workmen, apparently has lasted just a century. It is probably the house in which Edgar HALE now lives. Another house was built in 1788, perhaps that now occupied by Mr. KILBY. The old SAGE house belongs to this time. It was built about 150 years ago, and long occupied by Deacon David SAGE. It stands on the hill just east of the Congregational parsonage. The frame of the house in which Mr. D. GOODRICH lives is very old. It was formerly the "old CHURCHHILL place." It has been kept in such good repair that few would think of its century and a half. The oldest house in town is the one in which Mr. Horace WILCOX now lives; it is more than 200 years old. Every nail in its clapboards was wrought by hand. Mr. D. GOODRICHES', formerly the CHURCHILL house, is about as old, at least the frame, but has not been kept in repair. The house now occupied by Mr. Jerry BUTTON is more than a century old.

The first tavern was near Glastonbury, kept by Asaph ABBEY. Zebulon PENFIELD kept one on PENFIELD Hill, a hundred years ago, and the hotel kept by a Mr. WILLIAMS, in the building now occupied by Mr. BRANSFIELD, is of still more recent date; it was given up less than 40 years since. Reverence has been made to the journals of Hon. Ebenezer WHITE, one of the most distinguished citizens of the town in early days. This record covers 60 years of a very busy life. He began when a young man of 28, under the rule of "Our Sovereign Lord, George" etc., and laid down his pen a citizen of a country to the freedom of which he had contributed in many ways. There is but one break in this record, but that an unfortunate one. The books were lent, and when returned the one from 1775 to 1779 was missing. It is thought that a few extracts will be interesting to many. The first given related to incongruous, but simultaneous occurrences. "Daniel White is one year old to-day, and this day is ye terrible fight at Lake George." A month later, October 1755, they were "moeing for Capt SAVAGE" and "planting Sergt GIBBS field for ry." These men were with the army. "First Day of April 1756 now men are a Listing to go into ye War in our Government's service." "April ye 12th I took ye Freemans oath." "ye 26th warning a muster." "May ye 3d Viewing Arms." 6th of May 1782 "Self Drawed attachment for ---- then Drawed Deed for ----- Drawed warrant against-----planted corn. Danl gone to Training this p. m." All this "Drawing" in a day.

"22d of October Self pulling beans, and Tryd Case for profane Swearing." "11th December 1783 this is Thanksgiving Day throughout ye United States for a General peace." "13th September 1785 This day Nabby went on a Voyage to Boston." Just before this great event there was bought in Middletown "4 yards Merene at three shillings a yard," and "two lutestring gowns at Hartford." "15th day of July 1792, Sabbath; Mr. MORTON preached his first Performance in ye pulpit."

Throughout the journals the Sabbath days are marked by a star, and the texts carefully noted, sometimes with a remark, as, "a laboured sermon," a "painful sermon," &c. "17th of September 1793 Rainy forenoon; afternoon training, Captains BIDWELL and AMES with ye Compy meet at ye Meeting House." "4th Day of July 1798. This Day the people make a great Fuz about Independence & Burnt much Powder." "8th of April 1799. This day ye freemen to ye number of about two hundred and sixty met in ye new town house ye first time." "Feb. 22d 1800. Self attending the meeting for celebrating the death of Gen WASHINGTON as recommended by the president. Mr. STRONG delivered a sermon." "10th Day of Aprill 1800 this Day ye Female meeting at Mr. STRONGs with their Compliment." "May 24 1801 Mr. STRONG preach'd a funeral Sermon on ye account of Wm. DIXON jr being drowned by turning ye anker out of ye boat." "7th of July 1803 Dan'l and Bragg mow'd all Siah meadow on ye north of ye great ditch from ye East end to ye old WARNER line; they Soposed they mow'd abt 5 acres." This has come down to posterity as a wonderful feat with the scythe.

"Nov 15th 1804 this day Dan'l a son born wh he calls Ebenezer." "July 4th 1805 this is my birth Day which completes my 78th year." After this, the entries are more scattering, the firm, clear handwriting so familiar to those who study the early records of our town, grow fainter and more uncertain.

Here are few prices gathered from old account books; a bill of 1761:

"Return MEGGS Dr.

"To 22 loads of wood drawed to ye river s. d.
nere HURLBURTS as me a Greed 2 15 0
"Credit to one Beaver hat 1 14 0
"to one Castor hat 1 00 0

"2 14 0"
Two loads of wood were balanced by a pair of shoes:
"Sent by Mr. GILL to New York to be layed s. d.
out in books 3 4 0"
"1 baylies dicionary 2

"WATT's logick
7 6
"Every man his own lawyer.

"One hard and nale of Taffety, 3 5s'" two handkerchiefs "for one own youse," one shilling ten pence apiece. A pound of butter cost three pence. Rum was plenty and cheap; brought from New York it was two shillings seven pence a gallon. In 1780, an ounce of Peruvian bark cost $12, and a "viol of Balsam of honey bought at Hartford $40." These high prices were partly owing to the depreciation of Continental money. Shad could be bought for three pence. "7 wgt of sugar for a hard dollar; one pound tobacco, three pence; two oz. Pepper, one shilling four pence; an iron kettle; seventeen shillings; frying pan, 1; 1 pare shoe buckles, 4s; 10d.; one sword, 3; 10s; 3 yds of blue cloth for a coat at 15s. a yard; 1 pare worsted stockings, 18s.

To close this account of the early history of the town a few weather notes gathered partly from the journals, and party form other sources are given.

In 1755, this section suffered from a severe drought. November 18th 1755, "two hours before day was a terrible earthquake."

The 19th of May 1780, there was "thunder and rain in the morning; it slaked raining perhaps about 9 of ye clock and then came on a Darkness and continued until about ye middle of ye Day; he whole face of ye sky was of a yellowish Cast, and even ye Air to y't Degree as a to Color Cloths that were abroad and so Dark y't ye school was Dismissed, ye children could not see to read. It appeared to be Cloudy, no great wind nor rain, and spoke of as ye most rare Phenomenon, and many much Surprised and put y'm in mind of ye Day of Judgment." This was the "Dark Day" when the Connecticut Legislature refused to adjourn.

Here are a few snow days: January 9th 1780, "so Exceeding deep and drifted was ye snow that not one half was rode to ye meeting and it was most exceeding cold, sharp, and severe that ever I knew." We know it was no ordinary storm which could keep the early inhabitants from the "meeting." It even blocked the wheels of State. "Jan. 12th," writes the honorable member of the General Assembly from Chatham, "I wait at Hartford until night, no Assembly, ye Govenr not come to town and but few of ye members, by reason of ye great snow, and no paths." The next Sabbath even "only a few with great difficulty got to ye Meeting house." This winter is mentioned, by several writers, as unusually severe throughout New England. In July 1779, a sever hail storm passed over Chatham at the time of rye harvest. "It destroyed the grain in its course, broke windows, and left marks on buildings and fences which could be seen a year afterwards." The hail appeared to be uneven pieces of ice, many of them nearly as large as a hen's egg.

May 5th 1780, a frost killed beans and squashes and "ye name of ye corn." The 20th of May 1795, there was also a hard frost, which was credited with killing the canker worms, along with all other tender things. The 8th of May 1803, "was a Storm of snow in such quantity that by 10 o'clock its depth on the ground was four inches. My family rode to meeting in a slay. Remarkable to see fruit trees all in blossom and loaded with snow."

The most remarkable freshets which are recorded as occurring in Chatham are as follows: December 1703, the meadows were "alarmingly flooded." The 11th of February 1781, was an "exceeding high flood." July 13th 1795, there was for 24 hours, "an excessive rain, water covers all ye lower swamp so that ye bridge floats. The upper swamp is covered one foot and a half deep at our west end and ye whole of our meadow except ye highway noles."

From December 14th 1800, the 25th of the same month, there "was no passing across ye meadow."

Twentieth of March 1801, "Last night the water rose as it is said six feet perpendicular; and now ye water is above ye post fence at ye meadow gate. The oldest man Living does not remember such a sudden Rise of water & so great at this time of year."

"The 1st of April the water was found to be two feet deep on the top of the highest knoll, and the waters were so high and violent that they tore the banks to pieces in many places."

There was also a remarkable flood in October 1843, at the time the corn was being gathered in. The water rose so fast that in a few hours the bridges were covered and the meadow was impassible, except by boats. The men worked all night, part of the time in boats, to save the crop of corn.

The freshet of 1854 was the most remarkable within the memory of living men. "Strickland street" was flooded, and the shipyard was under water. John MCKAY, who lived in the house now occupied by Mrs. LAWRENCE, on the river bank, died. William NORCOTT and others took the coffin out of the window into a boat and carried it to Henry CONKLIN's house, where the funeral services were held. The coffin was again put in the boat and rowed to the steps of the eastern (Center) church. At the same time the quarries were flooded, and the water rose to the second story of many houses on the sandbank, and pigs' noses could be seen sticking out of garret windows. In 1816, it is said, there was a frost in some part of the town at least every month in the year. But the last frosts of May 29th and June 1884, were the more distructive and later in the season than any recorded in the town.

The coldest day on record in this town was January 27th 1873. The thermometer indicated a temperature of 29 below zero.


Although this part of Connecticut did not suffer from Indian depredations and cruelty as had other parts, the people here furnished men to assist their more afflicted brethren, rightly considering, says an old writer, "that if the fire of this were not timely extinguished it would endanger their own fabrick." Major John SAVAGE was a distinguished Indian fighter. The old Narrative of the Indian Wars speaks of "Ensign SAVAGE, that young martial spark, scarce twenty years of age, had at one time one bullet lodged in his thigh, another shot through the brim of his hat by ten or twelve of the enemy discharging upon him together, while he boldly held up his colors in the front of his company." He died in Chatham, in 1775. It is said there was a tract of land set off to him, in Virginia, as a reward for his services. The only son of Rev. Mr. NEWELL fell in battle, some time in 1755. How many men went from Chatham to join the expedition against Canada cannot be certainly known. In April 1756, men enlisted in Chatham, and "June ye 16th they marched for Crown Point." Several from this town were at the assault on Quebec. The following letter, preserved in the Sage family, mentioned three of these: "Dec. 24, 1775. To Esqr. Sage.

"I write a word to inform you of us here at Quebeck, the notice is short and David not Present, but he is well and harty; but has been sick, but I think I never saw him for fleshe, father can inform you of our travel and affairs. The men that came from Chatham are all well and harty but Goff and he will soon be so; but I fear the Small Pox will be too frequent among us for good.

"Sam'll COOPER."

Richard STRICKLAND fought at Quebec, and died on the way home, of small-pox contracted camp. Lieutenant David SAGE (who is mentioned in the letter) was wounded at the time of the assault. He afterward died of small-pox, and was buried under the walls. Captain HANCHETT, Lieutenant SAVAGE, James KNOWLES, and others from Chatham, were present at the siege.


At the first sign of the coming conflict with Great Britain the men of Chatham prepared to assist their brethren and assert their own rights by appointing a vigilant committee of 11 to carry out the recommendations of Congress for "non importation, non exportation, and non consumption of British goods." Chatham took prompt action upon all the recommendations of the General Assembly or the Council of Safety, and assisted in the struggle for liberty as well with stout supporters of the government at home, as with fighting men abroad. They took the oath of fidelity to the State as is shown by the records; 62 voters taking this oath at one time, administered by Ebenezer WHITE, and 58 at another time, and by tens and dozens all through the early years of the war. Marcy 17th 1777, the town appointed a committee, and directed them to engage on behalf of the town to provide necessaries for the families of the soldiers belonging thereto, "who shall engage and go into any of the Continental battalions, agreeable to the recommendation of his honor, the Governor and Committee of Safety in a proclamation." Also voted "that the soldiers enlisted into the Continental Army shall be provided with necessaries and committees appointed in every parish to procure such necessaries." It was also voted to provide clothing for continental soldiers.

The selectmen for the year 1777, where Ebenezer WHITE, David SAGE, Col. John PENFIELD, Enoch SMITH, Deacon David SMITH, John HINCKLEY, and William WELSH.

April 19th 1779, it was "voted that the Committee of Supply shall have liberty to draw money from the town treasury to provide for families of Continental soldiers," and the town treasurer should borrow money if needful to supply the committee of supply. Capt. Joseph CHURCHILL, Deacon Jeremiah BRADFORD, and John NORTON were this committee of supply.

January 5th 1779, Ebenezer WHITE paid $160 for eight bushels of wheat "for ye Continental service." It was voted that the selectmen of the town should class the inhabitants in as many classes as there were soldiers to provide for, and each class to provide for one. The selectmen this year were Dr. Moses BARTLETT, Col. John PENFIELD, Capt. Joseph KELLOGG, Deacon David SMITH, Capt. Joseph DART, Capt. Silas DUNHAM, Capt. Timothy PERCIVAL.

In the year 1780, 200 a year was voted for the families of those soldiers who had enlisted for the war, and 50 for those who had enlisted for three years only, to be drawn from the town treasury by the committee of supply; and more money could be drawn if this were insufficient. It was also voted to tax the inhabitants of the town to raise a bounty to encourage soldiers to enlist for three years or during the war.

November 14th 1780, was a town meeting "for ye purpose of raising Provision & filling up ye Continental Army." A tax of six pence on the pound on the list of the town was voted to provide provisions for Continental soldiers. A committee was appointed to ascertain the number of soldiers in service and to class the town. This committee consisted of "Cols. PENFIELD and BLAGUE and Lieut. SMITH before mentioned, and Hez'h GOODRICH Doct. Jer'h BRADFORD, Capt. Daniel BRAINARD, Capt. Elijah COOK, Capt. Bryan PARMELEE, Capt. Stephen BRAINARD."

These quotations from the records *[For other extracts from the records see history of the town of Chatham.] are sufficient to prove that Chatham nobly did its part in filling up the Continental armies with good soldiers, relieving them at the same time of all anxiety in regard to the care of their families in their absence, and strengthened the government by every available means.

Now it is purposed to follow, as well as may be by means of vague and meager records, some of the soldiers who left their homes in Chatham to join the Continental armies at the front. At the time of the "Lexington Alarm," in April 1775. Capt. Silas DUNHAM marched whose names have been found on an old pay roll in the State Archives. Timothy PERCIVAL was lieutenant; Isaac KNEELAND, clerk; Marcus COLE, sergeant. The privates were: Stephen OLMSTEAD, Ralph SMITH, Samuel KILBOURN, Samuel HALL, David HALL, Caleb COOK, John JOHNSON, Nehemiah DAY, Silvanus FREEMAN, William WHITE, Samuel SEXTON, Benjamin KNEELAND, Thomas HILL, Daniel CLARK, Amos CLARK, Elijah CLARK, Hezekiah GOFF, Samuel FREEMAN, William BEVIN, Daniel PARK, Elijah BALY, Daniel MARCHALL, Lazerous WATROUS, Nathaniel MARKHAM, Elisha CORNWELL, John NORTON, Ezra ACKLEY, David CASWELL, Ezra PURPLE, Joshua BAILY, James JOHNSON, jr., Nathaniel GANSEY, Ithamar PELTON. They were five days in service on this expedition. In May 1775, the companies of Chatham were joined to those of Middletown to form the Twenty-third Regiment. During the year 1776, many from this town were serving in the army, no less than five drafts being made that year on the militia of Connecticut. Each officer and soldier was to be allowed 1s., 6d. for each gun and bayonet used in the service, and for the use of each blanket, 3s. August 20th of this year, Chatham had an order from the General Court for 300 pounds of powder. February 28th 1776, the governor and council decided that the frigate of twenty-eight guns to be built in this state should be built at Chatham on the Conn. River;" and September 20th of that year the overseers of the furnace at Salisbury were ordered to deliver to the agents for building the Continental ship at Chatham "twenty-four twelve-pounders, and four six-pounders by their paying at the rate of 3., 10s. per hundred weight for the twelve-pounders and 4 per hundred for the less cannon.

In August 1776, the militia companies of Chatham were ordered to New York. They were also ordered to Rhode Island, Long Island, and the western borders of their own State. June 27th 1780, the militia of Chatham marched to defend West Point fort under Captain BRAINERD. They held themselves ready to march at an hour's warning to any threatened point. Great were the privations and hardships of these soldiers, who were called to leave their families and business, even were they permitted to return, but what shall be said of the distress of those who were so unfortunate as to be taken prisoners? The number of those who died in the "Old Jersey" and other British prisons can never be known. Their sufferings can be inferred from the fact that few of those who escaped or who lived to be released, survived long the effects of their terrible imprisonment. Thomas DEAN, a youth of sixteen, died soon after reaching his home "from the effects of a cruel imprisonment;" and there lies in the cemetery near the Center church the grave of Samuel BOARDMAN, "who in 11 days after his Captivity in New York departed this life Jan 12th 1777, aged 20 years." One hundred of the officers and men of the sloop of war Sampson were from Chatham. These were consigned to the Old Jersey, and many perished from cold, and hunger, and the want of the necessaries of life. Timothy CORNWALL, Isaac BUCK, David SAGE, --- BARTLITT, Lemuel LEWIS, and others died from sickness or in prison. Moses PELTON is said to have been killed in the war. It is impossible to obtain the names of those who fell in battle as no list or record of names was kept. At the end of the church record of deaths for the year 1775, of the First Society, is the laconic announcement, "3 died in the Army," and in the year 1776. "13 died in the Army in different States." Yet the full names of all the "infant sons" and "infant daughters" who died at home are carefully set down by the pastor. We who grope too late among the dusty relics of the century gone can only snatch from obivion here a name, there a half forgotten incident. Not one of the grand names of those who first launched our Ship of State should have been lost, yet great-grandchildren scarce know of the heroic sire, whose deeds and sacrifices should bear fruit in a race higher, nobler than common men. Those three who fell at Lexington or Bunker Hill, foremost among Liberty's martyrs, the 13 heroes of '76, we shall never know their names, their only monument shall be the wide, free country for which their lives were the first installment of the great price to be paid.

A list of Revolutionary soldiers who lived to return home, or who were afterward pensioned, is more easily obtained, through not without much research, and it is probably incomplete.

Gen. Seth OVERTON served his country in many ways though he saw little or no active service in the field. He was agent for the government in contracting for the ship Connecticut, which was built in this town.

Col. John PENFIELD died February 22d 1797, aged 66.

Col. Joseph BLAGUE was a Continental officer. He commanded a company in the battle of Saratoga. He then bore the rank of captain, but was afterward promoted for gallant services. General LAFAYETTE gave him, in the presence of WASHINGTON, a beautiful sword as an expression of esteem for him as an officer.

Lieutenant, afterward Captain, Daniel STEWART, served through the war. Through the courtesy of Mr. Lucius STEWARD, the writer has been permitted to examine two of his commissions. The first is copied entire:

"Jonathan TRUMBULL Esq. Capt. General and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's colony of Connecticut in New England; to Daniel STEWART Gent., Greeting,

"You being by the General Assembly of this colony accepted to be Ensign of the Seventeenth Company or Trainband in the Sixth Regiment in this colony;

"Reposing special Trust and Confidence in your Loyalty, Courage, and Good Conduct, I do, by virtue of the Letters Patent from the Crown of England to this Corporation, Me thereunto enabling, appoint and Empower You to take the said Company into your Care and Charge as their Ensign carefully and diligently to discharge that Trust; exercising your inferior Officers and Soldiers in the Use of their Arms according the Discipline of War; Keeping them in good Order and Government, and commanding them to obey You as their Ensign for His Majesty's Service. And you are to observe all such Orders and Directions as from Time to Time You shall receive either from Me or from other your Superior Officer pursuant to the Trust hereby reposed in You.

"Given under my Hand and the Seal of this Colony in Hartford the 19th Day of May, in the 12th Year of our Sovereign Lord George the Third King of Great Britain &c. Annoque Domini 1772.


"By His Honour's Command

"George WYLLIS Secr'y."

The second commission-of captain of the 4th Company or Trainband, in the town of Chatham and bearing date January 1775-is like unto the first with a few slight but very essential changes; it substitutes the "State of Connecticut," and the "Laws of this State," for "His Majesty's Colony," and "Letters Patent from the Crown." It refers to a former commission issued October 15th 1775, perhaps as lieutenant. Captain STEWART was on Long Island, and on one occasion stood near General WASHINGTON when a cannon ball struck the ground under the general's horse. Washington calmly soothed his frightened horse, then rode a little further off.

Capt. John COOPER.

Ensign Daniel SHEPHARD, afterward lieutenant. He died August 22d 1798, aged 76.

Sergeant Eber STOCKING served through the war. His cartridge box is still preserved by his descendants. He used to tell his grandchildren that on one occasion when they had bivouacked upon the field, on awaking in the morning, the forms of sleeping soldiers were marked by mounds of snow which had fallen upon them during the night. Sergeant STOCKING was for some years a pensioner. He died August 26th 1828, at the age of 73.

Seymour HURLBURT served seven years in the Continental army. It was said he was "the first in battle and the last man out."

Samuel KILBOURN was sick with "camp distemper" (dysentery) at the time of the massacre at Fort Griswold, Groton. When it was seen that an attack was imminent the sick were removed to a barn about two miles distant. Here they remained that night unattended, in the terror and confusion of the time. The drink which had been left for them froze on the surface during the night, and they had not strength to break the thin ice. The scars resulting from this illness with the want of proper care, he carried to his grave. He was over six feet in height, of fine appearance.

David HALL was at the battle of Long Island.

Abram SCHELLINX was drafted into the army. He was a chair maker by trade. His apprentice went with him to the war, and at White Plains both his legs were shot off. Abram SCHELLINX was a pensioner, and died October 23d 1821.

Michael STEWART was in the army a short time.

THE WAR OF 1812.

The second war with Great Britain did not call for such sacrifice or make such demands upon this town as the struggle for Independence. If any citizens of what is not Portland took an active part in the fighting the fact has not come down to us. But they did all that was required of them when Col. Daniel WHITE marched away with his men to New London, where the time was spent in patrol and sentry duty, and so much was the stern reality of war softened that it seemed like a prolonged picnic. Elizur ABBY was captain; David CRUTTENDEN, lieutenant; John KAY, sergeant. It is related that one party of soldiers returned from the "scene of war's alarms," ingloriously but comfortably, in an ox cart. Col. WHITE rode a fine charger, Pomp, who lived for many years, and when incapacitated for further service by reason of his age, he would still show a martial spirit, and try to curvet and prance as of old, when he heard the music of the drums on training days.


The old town of Chatham covered a large extent of territory, and as its three parishes increased in population, there was naturally talk of dividing the township. This was advocated as early as 1798. At a meeting of the school society of Chatham, on the 27th of September 1798, "the Question was put whether this Meeting will do anything relative to dividing the town of Chatham? It was voted that this Meeting do approve of the petition which has lately circulated in this Society and is signed by a number of hits inhabitants relative to applying to the General Assembly to incorporate that part of the town of Chatham described in said petition into a distinct town."

The division was made in May 1841; the bounds of the First Society in Chatham being taken for those of the new town. The name first given was Conway, but this was changed to Portland at the same session. This was in reference to the quarries, which resemble in size and the quality of the stone the great sandstone quarries of Portland, England. The first town meeting was held at the Congregational meeting house, the 21st of June 1841, for the purpose of electing officers to serve until the regular town meeting in October. Philip SAGE was clerk, and Henry HALL, moderator. The selectmen appointed were: Edward C. WHITMORE, Lucius E. WALDO, Selden COOK; treasurer, Selden Cook; constable, Samuel WILCOX; grand jurors, Rufus SEARS, Chauncey TAYLOR; tything men, Charles WILLIAMS, Job H. PAYNE, Selden COOK, Edward C. WHITMORE, Ralph PELTON, Enoch SAGE; pound keepers, David SHEPARD, and Jesse GOFF; sealers of weights and measurers, Gilbert GRISWOLD and Daniel Shepard jr.; fence viewers, Agustin OVERTON, Samuel WILCOX, Hiram A. PENFIELD, Guy COOPER, Seth I. DAVIS, Alfred PAYNE, and Whitby FOSTER; haywards, Jacob DUNHAM, Whitby FOSTER, William G. SAVAGE, Ralph GOODRICH; assessor, Selden COOK; treasurer of the town deposit fund, Daniel RUSSEL; highway surveyors and collectors, Whitby FOSTER, Hezekiah G. PELTON, Amos CORNWALL, George M. BROWN, William HALE. It was resolved that the whole of the income of the town deposit fund, the current year, be appropriated to the use of the schools. It was resolved that William R. SMITH, Ralph GOODRICH, and Sylvester GILDERSLEEVE should be the agents or managers of the town deposit fund. Resolutions were also passed relating to alterations of highways if necessary; divisions of town funds with Chatham, and that the poor house should be held jointly with the town of Chatham for the poor of both towns.

It was resolved that the sign posts heretofore established in the Portland School Society should be confirmed and kept in repair; also "that the first annual town meeting of the town of Portland shall be held on the first Monday of Oct. next." Selden Cook was appointed agent to appear for the town in all suits, etc. The selectmen were instructed to ascertain the property of the town of Chatham, and to make division of the same agreeable to the resolution incorporating the town of Portland. The pounds near Wangunk Meadow and at Pacausett were declared lawful pounds of the town of Portland; the earmarks were ordered to be transferred from the records of Chatham to those of Portland. The selectmen were requested to ascertain the liability of the town of Portland to maintain a road from Chuchill's Landing to Glastonbury, through Wangunk Meadow.

It was voted that no money should be paid out of the town treasury without an order from the selectmen; that the town clerk should provide all suitable record books; that the selectmen be authorized to employ some person to clean the meeting house; and the thanks of the meeting were tendered to Mr. HALL for the impartial and able manner in which he had performed the duties of moderator. The meeting then adjourned.

At the first annual meeting, 4th of October 1741, two assessors were appointed, Edward LEWIS and Hiram A. PENFIELD; board of relief, William R. SMITH, Edward A. PENFIELD, Daniel SHEPARD jr.; town clerk, Sylvester STOCKING; treasurer, Edward LEWIS; selectmen, the same as before appointed; constables, Samuel WILCOX, Hiram A. PENFIELD. A highway tax of two cents on a dollar, and a town tax of the same amount, was voted. Highway surveyors were, Hezekiah G. PELTON, Hiram A. PENFIELD, Harley CASE, Ralph PELTON, Benjamin ABBEY; collector of taxes, Hiram A. PENFIELD: grand jurors, Charles WILLIAMS, Alfred MYRICK, Chauncey TAYLOR, Alfred PAYNE; tything men, James W. WHITE, Jonathan FULLER, Job H. PAYNE, Seth I. DAVIS, Chester PELTON, Sylvester STOCKING; treasurer of town deposit fund, William R. SMITH; Hayward, Seth Il DAVIS, Whitby FOSTER, Alfred HALL, Henry S. CONKLING. The same sealers of weights and measurers, and the same pound keepers, were reappointed. Whitby FOSTER, Hiram A. PENFIELD, and David CORNWALL were appointed a committee to divide the town into highway districts. The fence viewers appointed were: Phillip H. SELLEW, Ralph GOODRICH, David CRITTENDEN, Erastus STRONG, Samuel WILCOX, John R. AMES, Seth I. DAVIS, and Daniel F. HOPKINS. The selectmen were instructed to discontinue the highway from Churchill's Landing, through Wangunk Meadow, to Glastonbury. Resolutions were passed relative to the funds deposited with the State, by the United States, in pursuance of Act of Congress, and William R. SMITH was appointed the town's agent to receive the town's share of such funds. April 4th 1842, Kellogg STRONG was chosen the first representative of the town in the General Assembly. The 26th of May 1845, the town voted to accept the old church of the Episcopal society, and the deed thereof was received by the town, and it was voted to hold town meetings there. Some repairs and alterations being made, the town house was first used for a town meeting, October 6th 1845. May 24th 1851, it was unanimously voted to direct the selectmen to petition the Legislature, in the name of the town of Portland, for liberty to loan the credit of this town to aid in constructing the New York & Boston Railroad, commonly known as the Air Line Railroad, within the limits of this State, to an amount not exceeding $20,000.

October 3d 1853, an appropriation of $300 was voted for the erection of a lockup or house of detention, provided the citizens of Portland would raise $200 more by subscription.

Nothing more is recorded than the usual proceedings each year till 1861. January 30th of that year, several resolutions were passed at town meeting, supporting the Constitution of the United States and of this State, both of which as freemen they had sworn to support, and deprecating the agitation of abstract political dogmas, especially by the pulpit and the press. Objecting to the "fanactical efforts of John Brown to overthrow slavery by force," and urging the maintenance of peace, and "hushing the loud call to arms."

July 28th 1862, it was resolved by a vote of yeas 67, nays 55,

"That the Selectmen be directed to pay from the town treasury the sum of $100 to every volunteer who may be ensiled into the regiments now being raised or filled in this State, under the recent call from the President for three hundred thousand more troops. And if there shall not be sufficient funds in the treasury, then the selectmen are authorized to borrow money on the credit of the town to make up the deficiency. This bounty not to be paid to more than our quota under the above call, and on condition that all such enlistments shall be on or before the 1st of September 1862.

It was afterward voted that all who had enlisted in excess of the town's quota should receive the same bounty. August 5th 1863, at a special town meeting, it was voted to pay a bounty of $300 to each person drafted into the service of the United States, and the sum of $15,000 was appropriated for this purpose. September 30th 1863, the town appropriated $10,000 for the support of such of the drafted men's families or dependents as should need such pecuniary assistance. The soldiers and their families also received much aid aside from this. The ladies of Portland met frequently to make clothing, scrape lint, and make gallons of blackberry cordial which was sent with many other comforts and delicacies to their soldiers in the army or in hospitals.

The officers of the town of Portland, elected October 1st 1883, were:

Assessors: William H. BARTLETT, Asaph H. HALE; selectmen: Joseph S. WORTHINGTON, James H. PELTON, Nelson PELTON; board of relief: Charles H. SAGE, Andrew CORNWALL, John H. HALL; registrar of voters: Billings NEFF, James A. BUTLER; town Clerk: William H. BARTLETT; town quarry agent: William H. BEEBE; agents of town deposit fund: William H. BEEBE, Gilbert STANCLIFF; town treasurer: John I. WORTHINGTON; collector: Billings NEFF; auditors of accounts: N. L. CRAMER, Asaph H. HALE; grand jurors: George B. CLEVELAND, Daniel e. DUNHAM. Clark g. SOUTHMAYD, Lucius P. STEWART, David CRITTENDEN, W. S. COE; haywards: Jabez E. JONES, Charles HALL, Reuben PELTON, Norman B. STEVENS, Hudson HALE, Robert A. MITCHELL, Hobart DAVIS; treasurer of town deposit fund: John I. WORTHINGTON; town agent: Joseph S. WORTHINGTON; town registrar: Stephen H. STOCKING; constables: Billings NEFF, John HAYES, John MCKAY, George O. MOSHER, George HILL, Demas CORNWALL, Phillip SAGE; pound keepers: Gordon S. GOODRICH, Henry HODGE, Frederick C. SOUTHMAYD; sealer of weights and measurers: E. I. BELL; town weighers: Ferdinand GILDERSLEEVE, J. B. CAREY, W. S. COE.


Representatives.-The Representatives for the town of Portland have been: Kellogg STRONG, 1842; Erastus BRAINERD, 1843; Archibald KINNEY, 1844; Russell PENFIELD, 1845, 1846; Alfred HALL, 1847, 1851, 1852, 1858; Joseph HALL, 1848, 1865; William H. BARTLETT, 1849; Edward C. WHITMORE, 1850; Enoch SAGE, 1853, 1854; Ralph PELTON, 1855; S. Nelson HALL, 1856; Samuel L. WARNER, 1857; George STANCLIFF, 1959; Jonathan D. CHILD, 1860; Henry GILDERSLEEVE, 1861; Asaph STRONG, 1862, 1863; Henry H. WELLS, 1864; R. S. CORNWALL, 1866; George COX, 1867; Daniel STRONG, 1868 to 1870; William H. BEEBE, 1871 to 1873, 1880; Evelyn WHITE, 1874, 1875; David CRITTENDEN, 1876; George H. TAYLOR, 1877, 1878; Nelson PELTON, 1879; Wellington S. COE, 1881; John M. PENFIELD, 1883; Andrew CORNWALL, 1884.

Town Clerks.-Sylvester STOCKING served from 1841 to 1860, when Ebenezer WHITE was appointed, but on his death, January 12th 1861, Henry KILBY was appointed till the next town meeting. S. GILDERSLEEVE was appointed January 29th 1861. He resigned January 1st 1864, and Joseph C. GLADWIN was appointed till the next town meeting. Henry KILBY was appointed September 24th 1864; Joseph GLADWIN was appointed October 2d 1865; William H. BARTLETT was appointed October 1866, and has since held the office.

Evelyn WHITE has served twelve terms as selectman, and Nelson PELTON fourteen. Want of space forbids a more complete list of selectmen.


The town of Middletown, at a town meeting held January 9th 1701/2, made this grant of land to the inhabitants on the east side:

"Inasmuch as there is a parcel of pond, swamp, and bogga Land about thirty or fourty Acres lying on the east side of the grate River, called Pocowsett, which is not yet Layd out to any person; the town by vote do agree that the neighbors Inhabiting the East side the grate River may clere & improve the said Land until such time as they shall be in A capacity to maintain A schole or a minister, and then the said Land shall be sequestered, and Improved, & ye Income there of shall be disposed of for such publique Use as the town by vote shall ord'r. Att the same meeting the vote above says was Interpreted by vote thus; that it is Intended and to be understood yt ye Land mentioned therein Is to be clered by the neighbors on the east side as sone as may be, and remain to the town's Use in Generall, until they shall have eighter A schole or A minister on the East side settled and then the Income of the land to be and remain for the particular publique use & charg of the East side on the Acct above said."

In March 1711, this petition was addressed to the mother town across the river:

"March 13th 1711 this Day being warned and appointed for a town meeting to agree for the settlement of the town school for the proper Use and benefit of the whole town in generall; we on the east side of the great River being also very sensible of the necessity of the upholding schooling and the benefit thereof and likewise the evil that doth ordinarily follow in the want therof, we do therefore propound these following things on our own behalf:--being very willing to agree in the most equitable and peaceable way with our loving neighbours of the town on the west side of the great River on both sides of the ferry Vizt that Is In all times coming annually that we on the East side keep a school among our selves so much of the yeare as the money Raised of an from our selves shall amount unto, that is to say Raised on our grand List of Estates among our selves, and whether by country or town, and Likewise that we agree with our neighbourhood In a town way In voating and chusing committees that we may by no means hinder the settlement of a town school, or if it may please you best to desist, Either, but we think It a thing most Rationall, Loving neighbours, that our own money be Laid out upon our own children, and in charity we do believe and conclude that if your selves were in our sted you would desire the same, and If we were In your sted we should Readily grant, so we hope we shall not be looked on As those that Lay aside the best Rule but to prevent such an objection as this that we will thereby not keep a school nor pay to your neither which you may call your town or society school, to prevent yt which we never Intend, we desire that a committee may be chosen to Inspect the matter, and upon our failure we shall look on our selves liable to Suffer a compulsion to pay our just proportion to the town or society school or schools as we are accounted formerly to belong unto, not els at present, but hoping you will give just ground to subscrib our selves In token of Love and gratitude your Loving friends neighbours and bretheren &c. who are here unto subscribd.

"John GILL Senr., John SLEDD, wiliam CORNWELL senr., Jonathan WARNER, Samll HALL, Jonathan SMITH, Ebenezer SMITH, Shamgar BARNS, George STOCKEN, Thomas BUCK, Thomas WRIGHT, John MILLER, Richard JILL, Richard GOODALE, Ebenezer HURLBURT, Francis SMITH, John GILL Junr., Ephraim WILCOX, Nathanell SAVIGE.

The settlers were naturally anxious to establish a school as soon as possible, for, said a New England divine, even as early as 1690: "the Youth of this Country are very sharp and early ripe in their Capacities, above most in the world, and were the Benefits of a Religious and Ingenuous Education bestowed upon them, they would soon prove an Admirable People." The petition here quoted being granted by the town of Middletown, we find that,

"At a meeting of the inhabitants on the East side the River in Middletown April 1711 it was agreed that the scool should be kept four months in the summer and two months in the winter; it was also voted that the children from six years old to ten years old shal bare their proportion in upholding the charge of the scool if they shall go or no; and if any go younger or older to pay; agreed that George STOCKEN and Ebenezer SMITH shal be to consult the best way for ordering the scool and John SLEID and Ephraim WILCOCK likewise chosen for the same work.

"At the same meeting it was agreed that if any person will send a child or children younger than six years old in the roum of those obliged to go it shall be accepted."

January 20th 1712, it was

"Voted that the School should be kept for the half year ensuing at two places, Viz at or about Thomas BUCK's and at or about Francis SMITH's, and Wm CORNWELL Sr., John GAINS should be a Comity with George STOCKEN to order the Schooll."

February 24th 1713-14, it was "ordered that the comity should have power to fix the school in two or three places." Yearly these "neighbours," when they met to appoint their "prudential committees," and consult for building a meeting house and settling a minister, they also appointed their school committee for the year, and the most influential and responsible men were put upon these committees. That they believed in "rotation in office" is proved by the fact that in 39 committees, appointed from 1711 to 1750, there were 100 persons and 58 distinct names. Usually new men were elected each year; and two or three years elapsed before any of these same men were called upon to serve in the same capacity.

December 27th 1722, it "was granted to the naibours on the back side of Womgog to have there part of money according to ther List to improve for the teaching ther children." This was the present Rose Hill District, and the first to be set off.

December 22d 1727.-"Voted that the south farmers from John PENFIELDS southward and eastward shall have their part of money to Instruct their children in learning, they improving the same with liberty for one year." The "south farmers" were the settlers of Middle Haddam and East Hampton.

February 1st 1741, they divided the town into three school districts:

"The Society, for the encourigment of schooling, Agrees by Major vote as followeth; Viz 1st that the society shall be divided into three parts and the first part to begin at the place where Mr. CORNWELL's and MILLER's grist mill now stands and extend eastward as far as the west side of the hil called COLLINGES hil, and from there both southward and westward to the great River; and the next part to contain all that part which lyes eastward of s'd first part, to the extent of the bounds of the society; and the third part to Contain all that which is northward of the fore said two pats to the extent of the society. 2d that for the futor there shall be eleven months school kept in this society yearly; that is six months of it by a good school master for reading and wrighting and five months by a good Mrs. for reading; and what is wanting more than we are to receive out of the town rate and county rate and by the General Assemblys donation and any other donation to enable the school committee as above said, the said term yearly, the remainder shall be raised yearly on the general list of the society and collected 3dly that the school Committee shall have their instructions to order the school to be kept in each of the above said three parts one after another their proportionable part of the time according to their list of estate for the time being; and that where so ever the said school shall be kept it shall be a society school, and each one in the society shall have Liberty to send their children provided they answer a reasonable part about fier wood: and each of the above said parts shall have liberty to build a school house, and that there shall be one comite man in each of the above said parts yearly, Voted, to raise a rate of one penny on the pound to enable the committee to carry on the schools."

The "grist mill" here mentioned was on the site now occupied by COX's mill. "COLLINGES hil" is just west, so by this division the first district extended from COX's mill and the granite quarry to the river, both south and west, including the larger part of Portland; the second district included Middle Haddam and East Hampton; and the third all the northern part of the (then) society. They now vote to have the school kept eleven months in the year instead of six as had been done. By act of Assembly every town or ecclesiastical society having 70 families must keep a school 11 months in the year, and those with less than 70 families six months. Notice that the schools in these three districts did not hold their sessions simultaneously, but "one after another their proportionable part of the time;" Which would of course shorten the period of schooling in each district, the children in some districts having only perhaps two months schooling during the year, others four or five.

December 19th 1752; it was "agreed that the northward part of the Inhabitants in the neck part of this society shall have Liberty to build a school house & draw proportionable part of school money." This, of course, was the present District No. I.

In 1748, a tax of four pence on the pound was laid; in 1749, six pence; in 1754, it was raised to 12d., probably to build the school houses in the different districts. After this the rate was one penny on the pound.

November 29th 1757, "Agreed that the necessary firewood for the use of the school should be provided by parents and masters according to the poles which are sent to school, whoever shall neglect to provide it shall be added to the penny rate." The question of "firewood" seems to have been a troublesome one; many votes were passed to compel those sending children to provide the wood.

In 1772, the committee were instructed to provide the wood and "raise a rate on ye poles of ye children that go to ye s'd schools." At first the wood was hauled to the school house door by each one sending children; but the tax for firewood was kept up till within the memory of many now living.

In 1765, "Capt. David SAGE, Dea Joseph WHITE, and Lieut Samll HALL were chosen a committee to receive the Donations for the use of the school & particularly what is due to the school from the sale of Norfolk land." This was the General Assembly's grant of moneys from the sale of seven townships (Norfolk, Goshen, Canaan, Cornwall, Kent, Salisbury, and Sharon) in what is now Litchfield county, for the support of schools. This grant was made in 1733, and has been referred to as the "General Assembly's Donation."

November 7th 1768, it was voted that the Southwest School District "shall for ye time being keep their school half of ye time at ye old school house and ye other half of ye time at Pacowsett, until ye money raised by Rate and ye Donation & county money be expended." The "old school house" stood near where the GILDERSLEEVE school now stands, and it was thought too far to send the children from "Pacowsett."

"Voted also to divide ye northeast District in two parts or Districts; Viz ye north district to come as far south as ye south side of Mr. Jonathan WELLES land, that is to say to ye south side of his lott from east to west, and ye other part to extend south to their old bounds."

This was dividing the district next to Glastonbury from No. 5 (Up City).

"Voted that ye southeast district of school shall be divided into three parts, those that line on ye short lotts to be one entire District & those on ye north on ye long lotts to run south to ye south side of Mr. STEWART's lotts, so far south as an east and west line of his lott; & ye other part to begin at ye south line of sd STEWART lott and to extend south to ye extent of their old bounds on ye Long lotts.

"23d Nov. 1784. Voted that the northeast corner of s'd Society shall be made a distinct school district to extend from the east bounds of s'd Society by a north and south line so far west as to include the house in wh. Solomon CHAPMAN now dwels & from Glastonbury Line southward two miles." This was a readjustment of the boundaries of District No. 7.

The 1st of November 1791, Captain Joseph SAGE and Lieutenant Nicholas AMES were chosen to receive and distribute to the several schools, the "forty shillings on every thousand pounds of the grand Levy, from the State Treasurer." This was the State tax.

The last committee mentioned in the records of the First Society, appointed in 1794, were: Joseph WILLCOX, Welles DIGGINS, Jonathan PELTON, Luther GOODRICH, Richard BROWN, and Abel STRICKLAND; Joseph BLAGUE jr., Nicholas AMES, and John ELLSWORTH were appointed a special committee. The schools now passed from the care of the church or ecclesiastical society into that of the school society. In May 1795, an act was passed which recognized the ecclesiastical societies in a distinct capacity as "school Societies," and in May 1798, the school societies were invested with the powers, and subjected to the duties, which the former laws had given to, and required of, towns and ecclesiastical societies, relative to the same objects, and from this date they known in law as school societies. Their territorial limits were sometimes co-extensive with a town, sometimes included only part of a town, and sometimes embraced parts of two or more towns. This paragraph from the Act of 1795, quoted on the first page of the school society's record, sets forth the standing and duties of the school societies:

"That all the Inhabitants living within the limits of the located societies who have or may have a right to vote in Town meetings shall meet, some time in the month of October annually, in the way and manner prescribed in the Statute entitled an Act for forming, ordering, and regulating societies, and being so met shall exercise the powers given in and by said Act in organizing themselves, and in appointing the necessary officers as therein directed for the year ensuing; and may transact any other business son the subject of schooling in Generall and touching the monies hereby appropriated to their use in particular, according to Law, and shall have power to adjourn from time to time as they shall think proper."

The record then begins with:

"Agreeable to the Spirit and intention of the above recited Act of Assembly, the Inhabitants of the first located Society in Chatham met on the last Thursday of Oct., A. D., 1795, at 3 o'clock afternoon, a the meeting house in said society, being Warned by a special Warrant Signed by a justice of the peace together with three of the principal Inhabitants of said Society, Lieut David ROBERTSON was chosen Moderator; Joseph BLAGUE Jun'r was appointed clerk; the usual tax of one penny on the pound was voted; Capt. Nicholas AMES, Joseph BLAGUE Jun'r, and John ELLSWORTH were appointed a committee to Superintend, Order, and Direct the affairs of the school throughout the Society. James STANCLIFT, Samuel WILLCOX, Elisha SHEPARD, Seth STRICTLAND, Samuel BUTLER, and Amos GOODRICH were appointed school committee-men and collectors in the school Districts in which they severally belong. It was voted that the wood expended by the several schools should be paid for by a tax on the polls attending to said schools."

Joseph BLAGUE was granted, "six shillings lawful money for the purchase of a book of records for this Society."

"The next year, 1796, the tax of one penny on the pound was changed to "five mills on a dollar."

The meeting of February 6th 1799, chose "Rev'd Cyprian STRONG, Rev'd Smith MILES, Doctor Moses BARTLITT, Doct. Ebenezer SAGE, Joseph BLAGUE Jun'r, Capt. Daniel STEWART, and Mr. Nathaniel CORNWELL as Overseers or Visitors of the schools." This was in accordance with the Act of 1798-9. The duties were about the same as those of the present acting visitors.

It was voted not to levy the usual tax of five mills "if the interest arising from the sale of the Western Reserve lands should be a sum equal to the whole amount of said tax."

November 4th 1800, Seth OVERTON, Hezekiah GOODRICH, and Enoch SAGE were appointed to "set a stake for the place of setting a school House in the PENFIELD district, (so called)."

In 1801, it was voted that the district committee should cause every master to be examined by two or more of the visitors before he should be employed as an instructor. In 1803, the Northeast District was divided by annexing four families to the adjoining district of Glastonbury, and others to the adjoining district in Chatham. January 1st 1805, a committee was chosen to affix a place to build a school house in the North Neck District.

Doctor Isaac SMITH and Doctor Isaac CONKLIN were added in 1807 to the school visitors formerly appointed, and in 1812, Rev. Eber L. CLARK was chosen in the place of Rev. Dr. STRONG, deceased. Jesse HALL, Samuel HALL, David STOCKING, and Abner SAGE were also chosen school visitors with those already appointed.

It was also voted at this meeting that "the interest arising from the sale of the land which was granted by the town of Middletown in the year 1701/2 to the Inhabitants of the east side of the river for the use of schools, or minister, be applied the present year for the use of public schools." This is the grant of land at "Pacowsett" mentioned in the beginning of the history of schools.

In the year 1815, the three eastern districts were "annexed into one," and "stake was set on the north side of a stone wall 50 or 60 rods westerly on the road that leads from Zebulon PENFIELDS' to Capt David SMITH's." This stood west of the present building, half way to Mrs. ALEXANDER's. In 1817,m an examining committee of 17 members was appointed for "examining and inspecting the schools." It included most of the former school visitors. It is impossible, for want of space, to give all their names.

In 1826, the committee for examining and visiting the schools consisted of Rev. Smith MILES, Rev. Hervey TALCOTT, Sylvester STOCKING, Job. H. PAYNE, David CRITTENDEN, and Archibald KINNEY.

October 5th 1830, upon petition of Penfield Hill School District, a committee was appointed "to designate a spot in s'd district to remove or build a school house that will enable them to receive the donation given to s'd Dis't by Mr. John STEWART deceased;" they established the site for said school house on the east side of the highway, between the dwelling house of Zebulon PENFIELD and the dwelling house of Daniel SHEPARD Esq. This was the present school house, a substantial and handsome brick building.

The same year the Southwest District and Pacausett were divided. The stake for the Pacausett school house being set on lands of Guy COOPER, and the other on land belonging to Joel HALL, the present Pacausett school house. The last mentioned was the second building in the Southwest District, now Second District. It stood where the EDWARDs' block now stands.

The final establishment of the several districts as they are at present-with a few unimportant changes hereafter noted-was made October 3d 832, "Doctor Isaac SMITH being moderator, Rev. William JARVIS, Rev. Harvey TALCOTT, Job H. PAYNE, Joseph GOODRICH, Erastus STRONG, Archibald KINNEY, and David CORNWELL, school societys' committee;" it was voted "that the several school districts shall hereafter be known as follows:

"Whites' school district as No. 1, or First District.

"South or Neck school district as No. 2, or Second District.

"Meadow school district as No. 3, or Third District

"Penfield Hill school district as No. 4, or Fourth District.

"City or North school district as No. 5, or Fifth District.

"Pacausett school district as No. 6, or Sixth District.

"New City (to Glastonbury) school district as No. 7, or Seventh District."

The boundaries of these districts are defined in the school society's record, but it would require too much space to mention in detail. They are the same that now stand except in a few unimportant details. No. 7, which became in the final adjustment the last numbered, though tradition holds that the first school house in Portland stood within its bounds-two years ago in March was set back to Up City, No. 5.

In 1856, school societies were abolished by the State, and their property and obligations passed to the towns. The town elected its first board of school visitors, October 6th 1856, in conformity to the act of the General Assembly just mentioned. The following gentlemen composed this board: Samuel M. EMERY, Hervey TALCOTT, S. G. W. RANKIN, M. PARSONS, Hiram A. PENFIELD, Alfred HALL, Ebenezer B. WHITE, Joseph E. GOODRICH, and James F. BUCK. They held their first meeting, October 13th 1856, when the Rev. Hervey TALCOTT, having been a school visitor for a period of over 40 years, declined acting as such any longer. Henry GILDERSLEEVE was chosen to fill the vacancy occasioned by his resignation, until the next annual meeting of the town. January 28th 1857, they examined and corrected the returns of the enumeration of children, jointly with the selectmen, and divided the amount raised by the one per cent tax among the different districts. They examined into and reported the condition of the schools of the town. They reported that there had been expended on the schools: $1,145.25, State fund; $287.52, town deposit fund; $665.88, town tax; $1,465.94, tax on the time of attendance. District No. 2 also received $7.00 tuition of scholars from other districts, and Penfield Hill District $30 from local fund. The report was signed by Samuel M. EMERY and S. G. W. RANKIN, and at their suggestion a vote was passed by the town regretting the retirement of the Rev. Mr. TALCOTT, and thanking him for his long, able, and efficient service as school visitor. There were then (1857), in District No. 1, 126 scholars; No. 2, 393; No. 3, 52; No. 4, 58; No. 5, 38; No. 6, 118; No. 7, 33.

September 7th 1866, it was proposed to consolidate the school districts and make one union district, which was rejected by a majority vote.

There are seven schools in Portland, some of these consisting of several departments. They are managed by a board of nine school visitors, two of whom are elected annually.

The present board consists of: president, George B. CLEVELAND; secretary, J. S. BAYNE; visitors, C. W. WHITE, C. A. SEARS, F. D. HARRIMAN, H. C. MARKHAM, W. S. STRICKLAND, Albert HALE, and Asaph HALE. The board annually assigns the duties of visiting the schools of the town to one or more of their number, of whom the secretary shall always be one, who shall visit such schools at least twice during each term, at which visit the school house and out-buildings, school register, and library shall be examined, and the studies, discipline, mode of teaching, and general condition of the school investigated. The acting visitors are: Dr. C. A. SEARS, Mr. Asaph HALE, and Rev. J. S. BAYNE. The committee for the examining of teachers consists of Rev. F. D. HARRIMAN, and Rev. J. S. BAYNE. The district committee for the hiring of teachers and the more particular oversight of each are: No. 1, Asaph STRONG, Titus HALE, Allen BUTLER; No. 2, John H. HALL, C. E. HAMMOND, Frank BRAINERD; No. 3, William E. KELSEY; No. 4, Lyman PAYNE; No. 5, William N. SIMPSON; No. 6, H. C. MARKHAM, and W. H. INGERSOLL.

The following account of the school houses of the town may be interesting to many:

District No. 1, a fine large building, erected in 1876. Mr. Sylvester GILDERSLEEVE furnished the money for the second story, and gave it to the district as a public hall. It was named GILDERSLEEVE Hall. He has also contributed a fund for the use of the school.

District No. 2 has had three school houses located in different parts of the district. The first of these stood near where Mr. E. HINCKLEY lives. The second, which was at that time called the Academy, occupied the spot on which the EDWARDs block now stands. The third was the present building, the "stone school house," as it is called. The site was bought of Joel HALL and Samuel HALL for $100.

It was voted that "said district should allow J. HALL and S. HALL to construct and fit up and control the hall in the second story which should be leased to them for 999 years." Mr. Daniel RUSSELL having furnished much of the money for the building of the second story, it was named RUSSELL Hall. The building was finished and occupied in 1845.

In 1856 it was bought by the district, as the room was needed for schools. Mr. F. A. LILLIE has been principal since 1877. There are six rooms which are taught respectively by Misses Hattie E. CULVER, Jennie S. EDDY, Alpha S. HALL, Annie L. STRONG, and Louie S. CARRIER.

District No. 3, or Rose Hill. This is the oldest school house in town; built in some remote period to which the memory of any living runneth not back. There is a well founded tradition that it once stood beneath the sand bank, and was moved to its present position on the hill. It was pronounced "in bad condition" by the first board of school visitors in 1857, but it has been repaired, and probably sprinkled from the fountain of perpetual youth, as it is no worse now than it was then. The present teacher is Carrie A. CRAIG.

District No. 4, Penfield Hill. This fine brick school house was built in 1830, partly with funds left by John STEWART, in his will. An addition was built in 1840. Miss Fannie STEWART is teacher.

District No. 5, Up City, was built in 1857, at a cost of about $1,100. Miss Mary E. SHEPARD is the present teacher.

The house in District No. 6 was built about 1830 or 1831. Mr. H. P. DENNISON has been the teacher of the first, and Miss Alice STRICKLAND of the second room.

The "Bank School" should have been mentioned in connection with District No. 2, in which it belongs. This building was erected about fourteen years ago. There are schools in three rooms, taught by Mrs. Mary FITZPATRICK, Miss Maggie FORREST, and Miss Mary A. FITZPATRICK.

Mr. William INGERSOLL has started a kindergarten school in place of the department formerly the second room of District No. 6.

There is also a private school, for little children, taught by Miss Eunice WHITE, who had taught twenty-six terms in the primary room of District No. 1.

TEACHERS.-Very few names of the first teachers in the town have come down to the present time. The first mentioned is John ELLSWORTH, who taught "over the meadow" in 1779, and a Mr. SELDING taught in this part of Chatham about the same time.

The Madams NEWELL, as they were called, the two daughters of the first pastor, taught at the parsonage; and rewarded their good scholars with bits of fennel, and juicy plums, delicacies at that time unknown in the other gardens of the parish.

William TALCOTT taught in 1819 and 1820.

Archibald KINNEY taught for 20 years. About 1822, he taught the academy, which stood below the present post office. He had a very large school, and was a most successful teacher. He was very kind, and not as rigid in his government as the custom of the time. His scholars loved and obeyed him, and improved rapidly under his instruction. The vacation was in May, at the time of the "Election," and he visited his friends and hoed corn for pastime. He was tall and thin. He had a son and two daughters. He bought a farm in Suffield and retired.

Hiram PENFIELD taught at Pacausett in 1830.

Enoch JACKMAN came to Portland, March 17th 1737, from Vermont. He taught three winters at Pacausett, and three at Rose Hill. He was a successful teacher, and a prominent debater in the lyceums. He still resides in Portland.

Harrison WHITCOMB taught several winters at Penfield Hill, between 1830 and 1840. He came from Vermont, and he is now a physician in Rutland.

Horatio CHAPMAN taught the school at Pacausett several winters.

Miss Maria PAYNE was a loved and successful teacher here for several years, though the greater part of her teaching was done in Middletown. While in Portland she taught a private school for young ladies.

Miss Levantia OVERTON taught several years in District No. 1, prior to 1857.

Miss Mary HOPKINS, now Mrs. MUNN, taught during seven years in Portland, about 1848.

Mr. and Mrs. CUMMINGS are still remembered with affection by many of their former pupils.

Mr. E. A. SUMNER, the organizer and teacher of the Gildersleeve High School from 1879 to 1883, a graduate of Wesleyan in 1878, now practicing law in Springfield, Mass., was a faithful and efficient instructor here.

Mr. W. S. STRICKLAND, in a historical sketch appended to the Report of School Visitors for 1880, gives this list of prominent public men who were once teachers in this town: Hon. Lyman TRUMBULL, of Illinois; Bishops GILBERT and E. O. HAVEN, of the Methodist Episcopal Church; Judge BUTTERFIELD, of the Court of New York; Orange JUDD Esq.; and Rev. Nelson COBLEIGH, D. D., late president of McKendrie College.


EARLY MILLS.-There were two mills in Chatham at a very early date. One of these, on the sit of COX's Mill, now called the Ravine Mills, stood here certainly as early as 1741. This mill supplied the Continental soldiers with flour, which was drawn to New London for the troops stationed there. While almost all the ablebodied men were in the army, the owner, MILLER by name as well as by profession, was spared to run the mill, and perhaps helped as much in this capacity as he would have done with a musket in his hands.

What became of the old mill is not known; but another was built, at the same place, in 1801, by Mr. Enoch SAGE (grandfather of the present Enoch Sage). His three sons, Phillip, Alexander, and Charles Henry, helped their father build the dam.

Afterward Mr. SAGE sold it to John INGRAHAM, a rather eccentric man, who owned it for a time. He kept "bachelor's hall" in a room finished off over the mill. The following anecdote is related of INGRAHAM, who was very positive in his opinion. Soon after the news of Gen. TAYLOR's splendid victory at Resaca de la Palma was received, John was expatiating to a select audience upon the war, denouncing it as unjust and oppressive. Said he, "So old TAYLOR's whipped 'em has he? Its too bad, I don't blame them Mexicans a bit for fighting our folks; I say let them enjoy their religion and don't send men down there to force ours on 'em." "Force our religion on them, John," said one listener, "that's not so." "I say tis so," thundered John, "didn't President POLK send a minister there by the name of SLIDER to force our religion on em? And didn't they send him back?" "But John" replied the listener, "Mr. SLIDELL was an envoy-a minister of State." "I say," roared John; "he was a minister, a Presbyterian minister, and I don't blame them for fighting. I would fight if I were they." John's earnest please for liberty of conscience, though unsound in its premises, was greeted by his audience with "three times three and a tiger." He died January 25th 1848, at the age of 54. Mr. George COX bought the mill of BRAINERD and ADAMS, who settled INGRAHAM's estate, in 1852. The mill being very much out of repair, they expended about $1,000 to put it in good working order. They also built the house adjoining, there being no dwelling there at the time, and the ground was covered with huge boulders. Mr. Isaac COX afterward joined the firm. They have a good, solid dam, which withstood the great freshet of 1869. They have two sets of stones for grain and one for spices. They do custom and mercantile work, but it is largely a custom mill, grinding all kinds of grain, also spices. They put up pulverized sage and other herbs. The old chestnut tree opposite the mill is a relic of the primeval forest. It has been gradually dying for many years.

The other mill, which antedated the Revolution, stood near the present line between Portland and Middle Haddam. It was owned by Lieutenant George HUBBARD, who held his commission from the British government in the old colonial times. The present mill was built by George HUBBARD, grandson of Lieutenant HUBBARD in 1811. He tore down the old one and used the same site. The property descended to his heirs and by them was sold to Daniel and Jabez JONES. From them it passed into the possession of George S. HUBBARD, who subsequently sold it to BAILEY & SHEPARD, who took out the entire milling outfit and changed the mill to a manufactory of coffin hardware. They started their factory in 1854, or about that time. In 1857, Harrison BRAINERD purchased SHEPARD's interest, and the firm was known as BAILEY & BRAINERD, manufacturers of coffin trimmings, etc." They employed from 35 to 40 hands. Z. E. DOWD bought an interest n the business in April 1884, and the name was changed to The Cobalt Manufacturing Company. The power which rives the machinery in this factory and which carried the mills which have stood upon the same site, is mainly derived from the water flowing from the Great Hill Pond.

A year or two before the Revolutionary war there was built by Nathaniel CORNWELL, a full milling and cloth-dressing establishment on COX's Brook, then called CARR's Brook, where the woolen fabrics spun and woven in the town were dyed and finished to take the place of the broadcloths formerly imported from England. The wool was carded, taken home, spun, and woven, and brought back again to be dressed. There is a story that Mr. STRICKLAND, a member of the band in Chatham, sheared the wool from a sheep's back; it was cleansed and carded, spun, and woven; Mr. CORNWELL fulled and colored, pressed, and finished it; it was taken home, the tailoress, Miss Esther HURLBURT, cut and made a suit which adorned the owner at the next training, within three weeks from the time the wool was growing on the sheep. A carding machine was added by David CORNWALL about 1813 or 1814. This mill was afterward used for the manufacture of horn and ivory combs by Ephraim TYLER and Kelley TYLER. These combs were mostly exported to South America. There were no woolen or linen mills, but the loom was set up in many garrets and the spinning wheels were always busy.

The old mill near Mr. Horace WILCOX's was formerly a wagon manufactory and casting shop. The plows made here were considered the best of their kind.

SORGHUM MILLS.-there was a sorghum mill, built in 1865, near St. John's Chapel, by a few farmers and the Rev. A. C. DENISON; Mr. H. KILBY being manager. The machinery was bought in Cincinnati. The total cost of mill and fixtures was about $1,800. It possessed a capacity of 200 gallons, the average product of one acre, per day. The business bade fair to become one of the leading enterprises of the town, when in 1868, one the 23d of September, a very severe frost ruined the entire crop, which was more than double any ever raised here before.

THE FELDSPAR MILL, near Deacon Ralph PELTON's, was built by him in 1877. The grinding is done by two stone chasers about five feet in diameter, moving around upon a bedstone of the same material. The crushed feldspar then passes to a revolving sieve, and thence to a cylinder, containing 3,300 pounds of Norway pebbles, of 18 revolutions per minute, where it is finely pulverized.

THE VALLEY MILLS were built by Taylor & Strong in 1871, as a planning mill. In 1876, they were bought by E. J. BELL, and turned into a flour and feed mill, with one run of stones, and a capacity for grinding 500 bushels of corn and oats per day. Four or five persons were employed. The mills were destroyed by fire March 10th 1884. Mr. BELL is now erecting buildings and making preparations for opening an extensive steam stone years. The works when complete will cost about $10,000. A steam engine of 35-horse power will be used, and two gang saws and a rubbing bed.

THE GILDERSLEEVE STEAM SAW MILL was built in 1868. The mill is 26 by 80 feet; the engine house 24 by 30 feet. There is a 50-horse power engine, and a 54-inch circular saw. Capacity, 20,000 feet per day. The lumber sawed at this mill is mostly chestnut and oak, furnished by farmers in this and adjoining towns, during the winter, sometimes by raft in the summer. Logs from three feet long and four inches through, to sixty feet long and four feet through, are sawed here. A portion of the timber is used in the shipyard. The remainder is used for building purposes, in this and other towns. In addition to the manufacture of native lumber, pine lumber is brought from the West, and dressed in various styles and shapes, according to the directions of the carpenter, for houses and other buildings. Nearly all the spruce handled by this concern comes from Bangor, Maine. A full assortment of building materials is kept; scroll sawing, turning, planning, and matching, and various kinds of wood work are done here. Mr. Henry KILBY has been the efficient manager from the time it was first started. In connection with the mill are wagon works, under the superintendence of Mr. Frederick GLADWIN. The building is 24 by 70 feet. All kinds of wagons are made and repaired here. Blacksmithing for vessels, and horse and cattle shoeing are carried on.

THE BUCK CARRIAGE MANUFACTORY, from 1812 to 1825, made many carriages and wagons, which were mostly sent south. They employed 25 to 30 hands. James BUCK was the last owner.

UNITED STATES STAMPING COMPANY.-The extensive works of the United States Stamping Company are situated a short distance from the main street of Portland, and directly on the line of the New York & Boston Air Line Railroad. They are said to be the largest of the kind in the United States. The old method of cutting out and soldering the various articles of tin ware is now superseded by the stamping process. A single piece of tin, of any size desired, is, by a single operation of the press, stamped into shape. After passing through other machinery it comes out an article more perfectly formed than the most skillful workman could accomplish after hours of labor. The company manufacture plain, japanned, and stamped tin ware, patent street lamps, patent self-righting cuspadores, etc. The buildings are mostly of brick, and cover over an acre, and the dies and machinery cost several hundred thousand dollars. From 300 to 400 hands are employed, and the goods are shipped to every part of the world. The buildings are heated by steam and lighted with gas, and particular attention is paid to their hygienic condition, while everything that can conduce to the comfort of the operatives has been carefully provided for. The business was formerly conducted by the HEATH & SMITH Manufacturing Company, which was organized in 1869. The present company was organized in 1879, under the general law of the State of New York, with a capital of $200,000, and bought out the former company. The incorporators were: Lorin INGERSOLL, A. S. COMPTON, J. e. INGERSOLL, J. P. AUSTIN, and A. P. CRUIKSHANK. The officers were: Lorin INGERSOLL, president; A. S. COMPTON, secretary; J. E. INGERSOLL, treasurer. When the business was first started the goods were all trucked to the ferry and shipped by the river steamers. The New York & Boston Air Line Railroad now runs directly through the property of the company. In 1873, the company, at a cost of $1,500, erected a fine depot, not only for its own accommodation but for the use of the people of Portland. The company owns some 40 acres, on which it has erected several dwellings for the use of the operatives. In order to keep up the supply of water for the several buildings, an enormous reservoir with a capacity of 85,000 gallons was sunk in the solid rock to a depth of 12 feet-20 by 30, through the center of which is a well 26 feet deep and 10 feet in diameter. The town voted to abate the taxes of the company if they would continue their business here. The company are now putting up new and handsome brick buildings.

THE J. R. PICKERING COMPANY.-Attached to the buildings of the United States Stamping Company are the works of the J. R. PICKERING Company for the manufacture of the "PICKERING Governor," for steam engines. This is a private corporation, established in New York city in 1864. The business was removed to Portland, and the building erected in 1870. Fifty or sixty hands are employed, mostly skilled laborers.

TANNERIES.-During the last century and the first part of the present, there were several tanneries in Portland. Daniel SHEPHARD had one at Great Hill Pond; another, owned by Capt. Daniel SMITH, was near Mrs. ALEXANDER's, on the road to Penfield Hill. One, a little distance east of Titus HALE's, was owned by Elizur GOODRICH. Capt. SMITH's was the last one in operation in the town. It was given up early in this century, since which time there has been no tanning in Portland, and the "leather sealer," once an important town office, has become obsolete.

DISTILLERIES.-Early in the present century there were two distilleries in Portland. They made cider brandy. One, run by DAYTON & CONVERSE, stood near Mr. D. CRITTENDEN's; the other was on CARR's or COX's brook, kept by Noah STRICKLAND. These also have become obsolete.

SPECTACLES.-About 1834, Mr. Gilbert GRISWOLD began the manufacture of gold and silver spectacles, making gold spectacles principally. He also dealt in watches, clocks, jewelry, small arms, and cutlery.

MATTRESS FACTORY.-A mattress factory was carried on for some years by Mr. Barnard SAVAGE, in a building in GILDERSLEEVE's shipyard. A few years ago the business was removed to New Haven.

TOBACCO PACKING, ETC.-Charles ABBEY had a cigar manufactory at GILDERSLEEVE from 1867 to 1878. He employed, in favorable times, 20 to 25 men.

Asaph STRONG was a raiser of tobacco previous to 1861. That winter, in company with Titus HALE, he bought and packed about 400 cases. During the next ten years he bought on his own account and packed on commission for growers from 500 to 800 cases per year. In 1871, he commenced buying and packing for M. H. LEVIN, 162 Pearl street, New York, and is still his agent. The amount packed per year has ranged from 1,000 to 3,000 cases. As many as 125 men have been employed, some winters, sorting and packing. Other seasons not more than 35. The amount packed and the length of season causing the variation. Some year the business starts as early as November, other years, from various causes, there is nothing done till January. The season closed about April, but sometimes lasts a little beyond that time.

John DAY packs, on an average, 500 cases per year, 350 pounds in a case. Joseph E. LORD is superintendent of his packing house, which is a fine large building erected in 1881.

Charles WHITE has two warehouses, the larger built in 1874, the smaller in 1867. He packs and ships, on an average, 1,000 cases annually, 370 pounds to a case. His cigar manufactory, begun in 1864, continues to the present time. He employs a good times 40 to 50 hands.

C. R. & E. S. HALE began packing tobacco in 1876, since which time they have packed from 300 to 400 cases per year.


For more than a century and a half shipbuilding has been the chief industry of that part of Portland now called GILDERSLEEVE, and it was for a time the most active business in the town. Early in the last century, George LEWIS built vessels on the present site of the GILDERSLEEVE yard. The first vessel built in Portland was launched here in October 1741. It was a schooner of 90 tons. During the Revolution, several ships of war were built at the shipyard which occupied the BRAINERD Quarry. It was owned by a man named BUSH. The Trumbull was one of these, of 700 tons, 36 guns, and the Bourbon, 900 tons, and 40 guns. This last was not armed on account of the occurrence of peace. The frigate Connecticut was built by Philip GILDERSLEEVE, master carpenter, at the yard near STEVEN's wharf, at the end of Shipyard lane, in 1798. She was 514 tons; 20 guns; and was commanded by Capt. Moses TRYON. The contractor was Gen. Seth OVERTON.

Shipbuilding was begun at CHURCHILL's yard in 1795. Two vessels by the name of Holker were built here. The first, built 1813, 350 tons, 18 guns, was driven ashore by the English at Narragansett, and lost. It was said that the Holker's captain was an Englishman, and choosing rather to risk the punishment of the Americans for deserting his vessel, than to meet the certain vengeance which awaited him if he were captured, he took to his boat and escaped. The second Holker, built in 1814, of 400 tons, 20 guns, was cast away in a severe snow storm on the coast of Long Island; having overrun her reckoning. Tradition says that he keel was laid on a Friday. The Macedonian, same size, was built the same year. The Saranac and Boxer were built for the government in 1815, the former 373 tons, the later 367 tons, each 16 guns. In CHURCHILLs' yard, 12,500 tons of shipping were built between 1806 and 1816. Charles and David CHURCHILL employed from 40 to 50 men. The name of "CHURCHILL's Landing" was given tot hat part of the Meadow where they built. At one time this was looked upon as the business locality of the town, with prospects of becoming a large village, notwithstanding the freshets which every spring covered the whole vicinity with water. Here was the largest store in town, here was the ball room for assemblies, here were brought immense logs from Somersic, 80 feet long, straight, first growth. The yard was sold to S. GILDERSLEEVE in 1828.

Elizur ABBEY's shipyard was in the meadow near the stone bridge. He built 35 vessels from 70 to 300 tons, the last being the schooner Charles H. Northam, built in 1853.

David and Daniel WHITE also carried on the business of shipbuilding in the meadow, at the same time as Captain CHURCHILL, their yard being situated between CHURCHILL's Landing (now called Siam) and the GILDERSLEEVE yard.

Sylvester GILDERSLEEVE began shipbuilding near the present yard in 1821; November 20th 1838, he purchased the LEWIS yard from Abel, son of George LEWIS. The first vessel built here was a sloop, The Boston Packet, of 70 tons, Seth OVERTON jr., of Chatham, captain.

In 1836, he built the schooner William Bryan, the first vessel sailing as a regular packet from New York to Texas. From this arose the New York and Galveston Line. Between 1847 and 1850, five ships belonging to this line were built at the GILDERSLEEVE yard, the largest, 700 tons. They are named after the Texas patriots: Stephen F. AUSTIN, B. R. MILAN, William B. TRAVIS, J. W. FANNING, William H. WHARTON.

In 1854, the ship S. GILDERSLEEVE was built. She was burnt by the Alabama, while on a voyage to China, and paid for out of the "Alabama fund." In 1861, Mr. GILDERSLEEVE built the steam gunboat Cayuga, for the United States Government.

The marine railway of S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons was constructed in 1877, at a cost of nearly $8,000. The track is 400 feet in length, laid on piles two feet apart. The gearing and chains are of heavy metal, the latter having been subjected to severe tests. The whole is in very respect substantially built, and is of sufficient strength for handling vessels of 800 tons and under with ease and safety. These railways have been in constant use since they were first laid, for repairing and rebuilding vessels.

The shipyard, saw mill, etc., of S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, give employment to a large number of persons. Many vessels of various kinds are sent here for repairs. A list of the vessels built here is appended.


No. Date Rig. Name of Vessel Name of Captain Names of Owners Ton-nage Valua-tion
1 1821 Sloop Boston Packet Seth OVERTON jr. Seth OVERTON, of Chatham 70 $3,500
2 1823 Sloop Caravan Seth OVERTON jr. Seth OVERTON, of Chatham 50 2,500
3 1824 Sloop Gordon G. WHITMORE Gordon WHITMORE and others 80 3,800
4 1826 Schooner Stranger H. CHURCHILL Joel HALL and others, of Chatham 175 8,000
5 1826 Sloop Emily Seth JOHNSON Joel HALL and others, of Chatham 120 5,800
6 1826 Sloop Mary C. BRAINERD Joel HALL and others, of Chatham 105 5,000
7 1827 Sloop Planter Edward HALL Joel HALL and others, of Chatham 110 5,300
8 1827 Sloop Albany Wanten RANSOM Joel HALL and others, of Chatham 125 6,000
9 1828 Schooner China H. CHURCHILL Joel HALL and others, of Chatham 180 10,000
10 1828 Schooner Aspasia Norman PEASE Norman PEASE, of Hartford 180 9,000
11 1829 Schooner Boston Daniel WEBER Joel HALL and others, of Chatham 155 7,500
12 1829 Sloop Niagara W. RANSOM Joel HALL and others, of Chatham 135 6,500
13 1830 Sloop Jane Robert WILLIAMS Joel HALL and others, of Chatham 115 5,500
14 1831 Schooner Deborah
S. GILDERSLEEVE; BIGELOW & BANGS, of Boston 135 6,000
15 1831 Sloop Jane Maria R. CAREY Joel HALL and others, of Chatham 115 5,000
16 1831 Brig Frances Ann N. PEASE Norman PEASE, of Hartford, Conn. 225 10,000
17 1832 Sloop Franklin HUNTINGS Allen STEWART and Captain HUNTINGS 100 4,500
18 1832 Brig Statira
S. GILDERSLEEVE; R. T. HICKS, of New York 190 9,000
19 1833 Schooner Mary S. HALL Henry CHURCHILL, and others, of Chatham, Conn. 160 7,500
20 1833 Schooner Lydia N. PEASE Henry CHURCHILL, and others, of Chatham, Conn. 160 7,500
21 1833 Schooner Mary Shields Levi STEWART Levi STEWART and others 125 6,000
22 1834 Schooner Brace W. RANSOM Joel HALL and others 160 7,000
23 1834 Schooner Mary Jane A. WILCOX Joel HALL and others 160 7,000
24 1834 Schooner Erie NYE Asaph and David HALL 140 6,000
25 1835 Schooner Henrietta WHITMORE Joel HALL and others 160 7,000
26 1835 Sloop Amelia JOHNSON Joel HALL and others 125 5,500
27 1835 Sloop Julia HILLARD Seth OVERTON and others 70 3,000
28 1835 Sloop Orion CHENEY RUSSELL & HALL 125 5,500
29 1835 Schooner Henrietta Jane
RAIN & MORGAN, of New York 160 7,000
30 1836 Sloop Mary Elizabeth A. STRICKLAND Asa STRICKLAND and others, of Chatham, Conn. 100 4,500
31 1836 Schooner Octavia H. CHURCHILL Henry CHURCHILL and others 200 10,000
32 1836 Sloop Joel Hall J. I. WORTHINGTON Joel HALL and others of Chatham, Connecticut 125 5,500
33 1836 Schooner Wm. Bryan J. J. HENDLEY Wm. And J. J. HENDLEY, S. GILDERSLEEVE and A. KEITH 150 8,000
34 1837 Schooner Marion F. GOODSPEED RUSSELL & HALL, Chatham, Connecticut 125 6,000
35 1837 Schooner Shoal Water S. JOHNSON S. JOHNSON and others, Chatham, Connecticut 60 3,500
36 1838 Schooner Eliot B. MURLY Ebenezer FLOWER, Hartford, Connecticut 125 6,000
37 1838 Brig Isabella
S. GILDERSLEEVE; J. W. ALSOP, New York 250 11,500
38 1839 Sloop Samuel Hall Wm. LAWRENCE Joel HALL and others, Chatham, Connecticut 100 5,000
39 1839 Sloop Phoenix Evelyn WHITE Evelyn WHITE and O. G. TERRY 100 5,000
40 1839 Schooner Robert Mills J. J. HENDLEY Wm. HENDLEY & Co., and S. GILDERSLEEVE 200 10,000
41 1840 Sloop Henry Henry BACON Daniel RUSSELL and others, Portland, Connecticut 100 5,000
42 1840 Brig Sterling RISLEY Chas. PERRY and others, Southport, Connecticut 400 20,000
43 1841 Scow Star Warren TAYLOR BROOKS, JACKMAN and others, Cromwell, Connecticut 50 2,000
44 1841 Brig Mary
Wm. W. WAKEMEN and others, Southport, Conn. 280 14,000
45 1841 Schooner Cornelia HINCKLEY J. W. DAVIS and C. PERRY, Southport, Connecticut 250 12,500
46 1842 Barque Star Republic J. J. HENDLEY Wm. HENDLEY & Co., S. GILDERSLEEVE and others 476 22,000
47 1843 Ferry Boat Middletown BROOKS BROOKS & DAVIS, Middletown, Connecticut 25 2,000
48 1844 Sloop Lone Star KNAPP Wm. HENDLEY & Co. and S. GILDERSLEEVE 85 5,000
49 1844 Brig Empire LEWIS Z. B. WAKEMAN and others, Southport, Conn. 350 17,500
50 1845 Ship Hartford SIMERMAN J. GODFREY, W. W. WAKEMAN, & others, Southport, Ct. 700 30,000
51 1845 Schooner Silas BRAINERD Geo. HILLIARD E. & S. BRAINERD, Portland, Conn 125 6,000
52 1846 Schooner J. G. McNeil TENTERTON Wm. HENDLEY & Co., and S. GILDERSLEEVE 90 5,000
53 1846 Ship Marion ROBERTSON Henry PERRY and others, Southport, Conn. 600 27,000
54 1846 Schooner Nathan Shaler John MCCLEVE SHALER & HALL Quarry Co., Portland, Conn. 135 6,500
55 1846 Schooner Uncle Bill SHEFFIELD Wm. HENDLEY & Co. and S. GILDERSLEEVE 90 5,000
56 1847 Ship Harmonia Henry CHURCHILL DUNHAM & DIMON and others 950 35,000
57 1847 Ship Stephen F. Austin D. N. MORSE Wm. HENDLEY & Co., S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, & others 625 28,000
58 1848 Ship B. R. Milan A. M. ALLEN Wm. HENDLEY & Co., S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, & others 650 29,000
59 1848 Ship W. B. Travis J. B. BOWLES Wm. HENDLEY & Co., S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, & others 850 33,000
60 1849 Ship J. W. Fanning Peter NORRIS Wm. HENDLEY & Co., S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, & others 500 25,000
61 1850 Ship Wm. H. Wharton Gurdon GATES Wm. HENDLEY & Co., S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, & others 1,000 37,000
62 1850 Schooner Joseph Hall W. S. COE Middlesex Quarry Co., Portland, Conn. 155 7,500
63 1850 Schooner Freestone Martin BROOKS E. & S. BRAINERD and others, Portland, Conn. 140 6,800
64 1851 Schooner George Gillum J. B. CARY Middlesex Quarry Co., Portland, Conn. 145 7,000
65 1851 Barque Harvest NICHOLS E. SHERWOOD and others, Southport, Conn. 550 23,000
66 1851 Schooner Frederick Hall RUSSELL Owners of BRAINERD Quarry, Portland, Conn. 155 7,500
67 1851 Schooner Ellen M. Duffield Geo. HILLARD Owners of BRAINERD Quarry, Portland, Conn. 150 7,500
68 1851 Schooner Joseph Rodgers J. I. WORTHINGTON Middlesex Quarry Co., Portland, Conn. 150 7,500
69 1852 Schooner Hannah E. Chave Dwight JOHNSON Owners of SHALER and HALL Quarry Co., Portland, Conn. 135 6,500
70 1852 Ship Ravenswood Cooper N. JOHNSON S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons; Wm. NELSON & Son, of N. Y. 1,000 38,000
71 1853 Schooner Lion
WHITEHEAD, North Carolina 175 8,500
72 1853 Schooner Eagle
WHITEHEAD, North Carolina 175 8,500
73 1853 Pilot Boat S. N. Williams L. M. HITCHOX L. M. HITCHCOX, Galveston, Texas 75 5,000
74 1854 Schooner Jane M. Brainerd Henry RUSSELL Owners of BRAINERD Quarry, Portland, Conn. 145 7,000
75 1854 Ship S. GILDERSLEEVE Cicero BROWN S. & H. GILDERSLEEVE, Wm. & J. J. HENDLEY, J. H. BROWER, C. BROWN 1,400 59,000
76 1854 Barge E. M. Clark Amos CLARK O. G. TERRY, Hartford, Conn. 300 8,000
77 1855 Schooner James Lawrence
J. GODFREY and others, Southport, Conn. 400 17,000
78 1855 Barque J. Godfrey
J. GODFREY and others, Southport, Conn. 600 25,000
79 1856 Propeller Parthenia Evelyn WHITE GLEASON & WILLARD, E. WHITE, S. & H. GILDERSLEEVE 275 20,000
80 1856 Schooner Annie J. Russell Chas HODGE Middlesex Quarry Co., Portland, Conn. 170 8,500
81 1857 Ship National Guard Geo. GATES J. H. BROWER & Co., S. & H. GILDERSLEEVE, Wm. & J. J. HENDLEY 1,500 55,000
82 1859 Barque J. C. Kuhn D. N. MORSE S. & H. GILDERSLEEVE, Wm. & J. J. HENDLEY, J. H. BROWER & co. 1,100 40,000
83 1859 Steam Ferry Boat The Spare Boat H. LEONARD Middletown Ferry Co. 45 3,500
84 1860 Schooner Free Wind E. R. JONES S. & H. GILDERSLEEVE and others 260 10,000
85 1861 Steam Gunboat Cayuga U. S. Government 500 125,000
86 1862 Propeller Dudley Buck Hartford & New York Steamboat Co. 350 35,000
87 1862 Brig Rival APPLEGATE Wm. W. WAKEMAN and others, Southport Conn. 600 26,000
88 1863 Steamship America SHARE WAKEMANN, DIMON & Co. & S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons 900 85,000
89 1864 Steamship United States Gurdon GATES WAKEMANN, DIMON & Co. & S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons 1,600 150,000
90 1864 Schooner E. F. Meany J. O. WILCOX Middlesex Quarry Co., Portland, Conn 200 14,000
91 1864 Schooner J. I. Worthington J. S. WORTHINGTON J. I. and J. S. WORTHINGTON & S. & H. GILDERSLEEVE 325 19,500
92 1865 Schooner Helen Augusta John MCCLEVE S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, H. G. HUBBARD and others 250 17,800
93 1865 Schooner Emily S. GILDERSLEEVE John CARROLL H. G. HUBBARD, S. GILDERSLEEVE and others 325 21,700
94 1866 Schooner Florence H. Allen H. FULLER H. FULLER, S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons and others 500 33,400
95 1866 Schooner Henry Harteau W. S. COE Middlesex Quarry Co., Portland, Conn. 200 16,500
96 1866 Schooner David Carrie S. PADDOCK Owners of SHALER & HALL Quarry Co. and S. G. & Sons 260 21,500
97 1867 Schooner Mary E. Rankin Lewis CROSBY Lewis CROSBY and others 425 28,000
98 1867 Schooner Marcia S. Lewis Enoch LEWIS Enoch LEWIS 325 28,000
99 1868 Barque Savine Lewis BREAKER S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, C. H. MALLORY 1,300 65,000
100 1868 Schooner F. G. RUSSELL R. CLARK Middlesex Quarry Co., Portland, Conn. 250 18,000
101 1870 Barque Brazos H. FULLER S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, C. H. MALLORY & co., FULLER and others 1,500 67,500
102 1870 Steam Ferry boat Portland Chas. HAMILTON Middletown Ferry Co. 300 30,000
103 1871 Ice Barge Protection
Consumers Ice Co., New York, N. Y. 80 20,000
104 1871 Steamer J. W. Allison Wm. CHURCHILL E. BRAINERD, S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, CHURCHILL, &c. 175 18,500
105 1871 Steamer Middlesex J. N. BUELL Middlesex Quarry Co., Portland, Conn. 260 27,000
106 1872 Steamship City of Dallas
C. H. DELAMATER & Co. and S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons 1,100 110,000
107 1873 Schooner Louise Pl Mallory H. H. STETSON S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, A. J. BENTLEY, C. BROWN, and others 550 28,300
108 1873 Ice Barge H. J. BEAN
Consumers Ice Co., of New York, N. Y. 800 22,000
109 1874 Schooner Ruth Robinson N. F. ROGERS S. GILDERSLEEVE, H. G. HUBBARD, C. BROWN, and others 725 34,000
110 1874 Schooner Leona GORDON J. H. BROWER, New York, N.Y. 350 2,000
111 1874 Schooner Ada G. Shortland H. B. DOANE S. F. SHORTLAND, S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, C. BROWN, &c. 425 24,800
112 1874 Ice Barge Minot F. Winch
New York City Ice Co., N. Y. 800 20,500
113 1875 Ice Barge Wm. Kemp
New York City Ice Co., N. Y. 800 30,500
114 1875 Ice Barge Wm. Nelson
National Ice Co. of N. Y. 800 20,000
115 1876 Ice Barge J. W. Mason
National Ice Co. of N. Y. 800 19,000
116 1876 Ice Barge Robert Burns
National Ice Co. of N. Y. 900 19,000
117 1876 Lightship No. 41
U. S. Government 300 45,00
118 1877 Oil Barge Nameless
Chas. PRATT & Co., New York, N. Y. 300 3,000
119 1879 Schooner Rebecca R. T. SPAULDING S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, and others 250 12,500
120 1880 Oil Barge Nautilus
Chas. PRATT & Co., New York, N. Y. 300 5,000
121 1880 Oil Barge Neptune
Chas. PRATT & Co., New York, N. Y. 300 5,000
122 1880 Oil Barge Navigator
Chas. PRATT & Co., New York, N. Y. 300 5,000
123 1880 Oil Barge Novelty
Chas. PRATT & Co., New York, N. Y. 300 5,000
124 1880 Oil Barge Nimrod
Chas. PRATT & Co., New York, N. Y. 300 5,000
125 1880 Oil Barge Nymph
Chas. PRATT & Co., New York, N. Y. 300 5,000
126 1880 Lighter Chas E. Goin
C. H. MALLORY & Co., New York, N. Y. 300 4,000
127 1880 Lighter C. F. Deering
C. H. MALLORY & Co., New York, N. Y. 300 4,000
128 1881 Lighter P. C. Golder
C. H. MALLORY & Co., New York, N. Y. 325 4,500
129 1881 Lighter S. A. Walker
C. H. MALLORY & Co., New York, N. Y. 325 4,500
130 1882 Lighter Hotchkiss
C. H. MALLORY & Co., New York, N. Y. 325 4,500
131 1882 Schooner Emily Shepard E. COGGINS S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, N. SHEPARD, and others 325 16,000
132 1883 Lighter Sam'l B. Baker Jr.
C. H. MALLORY & Co. 400 6,00
133 1883 Schooner Emily F. Northam H. H. STETSON S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, Capt. STETSON, N. SHEPARD, and others 650 25,500
134 1884 Ice Barge S. T. W. Sandford
National Ice Co., of New York 825 16,000
135 1884 Ice Barge Wm. De Groot
National Ice Co., of New York 825 16,000

49,620 $2,406,700


Previous to 1665, the inhabitants of Middletown, though the knew of the great masses of brown stone, which overhung the river on its eastern ban, nearly opposite the town, and though they made use of this easily obtained material in various ways, had no conception of the vast treasurers which lay hidden around and beneath "The Rocks," as the huge detached masses were termed. At first the loose fragments were used for building purposes and for gravestones by the neighboring settlers, but soon persons from other places sought these stones, and quarry work was begun on the cliffs which jutted out over the river in places. The inhabitants of Middletown began to realize in some degree the worth o these immense deposits of a stone which was everywhere found valuable and in increasing demand.

"At a town meeting September 4th 1665, it was Voted-That whosoever shall dig or raise stone at ye rocks on the East side of the Great river for any without the town, the diggers shall be none but an inhabitant of Middletown and shall be responsible to ye town 12 pence per tunn for every tunn of stone that he or they shall dig for any person whosoever without ye towne, this money to be paid in wheat and pease, to ye townsmen or their assigns, for the use of the towne, within six months after the transportation of said stone."

"It was also agreed; That the Inhabitants do freely give Mr. RICHARDS this first freight which skipper PLUMB is now taking in."

Here is probably the first quarryman recorded to have shipped a vessel load from these quarries, though undoubtedly much stone had been carried off in scows and boats of different kinds. It would be impossible now to ascertain at what time the high shelving rocks had disappeared, and the stone must be procured farther inland and by digging below the surface of the ground. Perhaps as the stone lying upon the surface were removed the townsmen became alarmed lest the supply should fail, for all transportation was soon prohibited.

"At a Town Meeting March 4th 1715 the town by Voat doe prohibit all persons getting any stone in the town Quarry on the East side of the Great River for transportation out of the town, and whosoever shall presume to get and to transport any stone for the future contrary to this act of the town shall forfeit the sum of 20 shillings a stone for every stone by him or them transported out of the town, or sold in order to transportation (one half to him who complains and prosecutes the other half to the town)."

Ebenezer GILL was appointed to take charge of the town's quarry on the east side the river, and December 29th 1726 the town appointed and empowered the selectmen "annually to take effectual care of the rocks and quarries on the east and west sides the Great River." They were also empowered to lease or to grant liberty to particular persons to get stone, but it was declared that no inhabitant should be debarred from getting any stone for their own particular use.

As early as 1690, James STANCLIFF owned considerable land on the "Rocks," partly bought of the town and partly granted to him in consideration of his services as a stone mason "in building the town's chimneys." It was about six acres, and lay in the rear, and is now a part of the BRAINERD Quarry. His house stood near here in 1690.

THE OLD SHALER & HALL QUARRY.-The quarry which was first opened in this vicinity was afterward disposed of by the town to various parties, and at length passed into the possession of SHALER (or SHAYLOR, as the name is spelled in an old chart of Chatham) and HALL. This was in 1788. They began the active work of quarrying, and carried it on vigorously for some years, and this was long known as the "SHALER & HALL Quarry." In 1791 this firm bought the ground now known as the SHALER & HALL Quarry. In this first quarry, from 1810 to 1820, thirty hands were employed eight months in the year and from four to six teams. "The quantity of stone prepared for market was then regarded as very great, though small in comparison with what is now prepared."

THE TOWN QUARRY.-In 1796, as there still remained quarry land which had not been disposed of, "At a meeting of the proprietors of the common and undivided lands of Middletown and Chatham it was voted: that what remains undivided of the two quarries in Middletown and Chatham remain for the use of the inhabitants of said towne to get stone for their own particular use, or for the general use of their of said towns."

At a proprietors' meeting, April 14th 1812, a committee was appointed to give a deed of the quarries to the towns of Middletown and Chatham equally. This committee failing to act, January 29th 1822, Joshua STOW of Middletown, and Seth OVERTON, of Chatham, were appointed to execute a deed of the quarries in favor of the town of Middletown and Chatham. A committee was also appointed to investigate titles. March 18th 1822, these deeds were accepted by the towns interested, and by an act of the Legislature passed at the May session of the same year, all individual rights were extinguished. June 17th 1822, a number of hands, under the direction of a committee previously appointed by the town, commenced opening the quarry in Chatham, and the work was continued without interruption other than the winter season, and occasional disputes in relation to boundaries, etc. It was estimated by the committee that the value of the quarry had increased to the same amount as money had been expended on it; which sum was stated to be not less than $1,000. April 21st 1824, it was.

"Voted, to give to Washington College the net profits and rents of our interest in the Quarries at Chatham and Middletown until the net profits and rents of said Quarries shall amount to $20,000 on condition that said College be located and continue in said town.

September 6th 1824, the town of Middletown leased to John Lawrence LEWIS the town quarry at Chatham for a term of five years for the purpose of quarrying stone to erect buildings "to be occupied by Capt. PARTRIDGE as a scientific and military academy." Capt. PARTRIDGE's school having been given up in 1829, June 19th 1830, the quarry was leased to Joel HALL and E. & S. BRAINERD for a term of five years. Before this time expired, and while inducements were being held out by the town of Middletown and vicinity to Wesleyan University to locate in Middletown, it was voted (on the fourth Monday in November 1833),

"That the interest of the town in the town quarry at Chatham should be appropriated to the use and benefit of the Wesleyan University for the period of forty years, on condition that when the net amount of the avails thereof shall equal the sum of ten thousand dollars within said period said grant shall cease."

The benefit of this grant was enjoyed till 1860, during which time the fine university buildings which are the pride of Middletown, were erected of the stone taken from this quarry. The "Town's Quarry," which was a little over two acres in extent, was held and managed by the town until August 1884, when it was bought by the two adjoining corporations, The BRAINERD Quarry Company taking two-thirds of it and the Middlesex quarry Company one-third. The price paid was $20,000, which was divided between Middletown, Cromwell, Portland, and Chatham. This quarry had been worked to the depth then considered practicable. For some years past it had been leased by the BRAINERD Quarry Company for a scrappling ground or place of deposit for stone, partly also on account of the river frontage. They built a freshet wall at an expense of $20,000, six feet in width at the bottom, laid on the solid rock.

The "Town's Quarry," in which any of the townsmen had for nearly 200 years the right to dig stone for their cellars, steps, walks, etc., has thus become extinct, and with it the office of town quarry agent; the last incumbent of this office being William H. BEEBE.

THE BRUSH POND QUARRY.-Some time prior to 1767, a quarry was worked below the present bridge of the Air Line Railroad, near where the Middletown ferry was then located. It was called the Brush Pond Quarry, and for some reason was soon abandoned.

THE BRAINERD QUARRY.-In 1783, HURLBURT & ROBERTS began work here. They sold the quarry to Erastus and Silas BRAINERD, brothers, who came here from Middle Haddam. From about 1812 to 1884, the business was conducted under a partnership firm, and was managed by Erastus and Silas BRAINERD & Co. during the greater portion of this period; the firm name being E. & S. BRAINERD till 1857, then Erastus BRAINERD & Co. Silas BRAINERD died in 1857, and Erastus BRAINERD sen. Died in 1861. The business was managed by the surviving partners till 1884, when the "BRAINERD Quarry Company" was organized and incorporated. The officers of the company are: Erastus BRAINERD, president and general manager; Robert G. PIKE, secretary; Benjamin F. BRAINERD, treasurer.

This company employs upward of 300 workmen, 45 yoke of oxen, and 36 horses. They also employ from 12 to 16 schooners in transporting stone to various markets along the coast. Large quantities are also shipped by rail to the interior and to the Western States. Four steam engines are used in hoisting stone, and in pumping water from the quarry. One 60-horse power engine carries a large double-acting cylinder pump capable of discharging from 15 to 20 hogsheads of water per minute. Excavations have been made to the depth of 200 feet. The amount of stone produced annually is about 300,000 cubic feet. This stone is shipped to all parts of the country, and is used for elegant private residences, churches, and other public buildings, monuments, bridges, docks, piers, etc.

A large old elm stands before the office of the company. When this tree was a sapling, it stood on the bank of the "Great River," which now flows many feet distant, and boats were then fastened to rings in its trunk. The retirement of the river is due to an artificial formation made from quarry waste, along the whole front of the quarries, by the labors of the last 80 years. It varies in depth from 14 to 28 feet. The trunk of this elm was 21 feet high before the branches began. It now stands 28 feet below the present surface of the ground. Stones piled around its base, and continued upward, allow some circulation of air. There was a shipyard here in early times, owned by Captain Moses BUSH, who built ships for the government during the Revolution. Where the present "quarry pit" is was a hill called Shipyard Hill, and the boys of 70 years ago coasted from its summit across the frozen river. The old house now standing on the brink of the quarry is the "BUSH house." Tradition says that the office was in the boughs of the elm tree mentioned above, and was reached by a ladder, and here all hands were regularly "piped to grog" in the old nautical style. There is also an old elm in the SHALER & HALL Quarry, which stand 14 feet below the present surface.

THE MIDDLESEX QUARRY.-In 1819, a quarry was opened by Robert PATTEN and Daniel RUSSEL above the old SHALER & HALL Quarry. The firm at first was PATTEN & RUSSELL and afterward became RUSSELL & HALL. In 1841 this quarry was united with the original SHALER & HALL property, and the firms were incorporated under the name of the Middlesex Quarry Company. Their present officers are: F. W. RUSSELL, president and agent; Charles A. JARVIS, secretary and treasurer; Henry CORNWELL, superintendent; directors, F. W. RUSSELL, Ferdinand GILDERSLEEVE, Henry GILDERSLEEVE, J. I. WORTHINGTON, C. F. BROWNING. Thomas MURDOCK is general engineer and W. J. STUART is in charge of locomotive. This quarry employs 45 yoke of cattle and 16 horses, and sends its stone to market in five schooners and one steamer, owned by the company, hiring other vessels when required. They have recently laid a railroad track to run entirely around the quarry, and placed thereon an engine and six cars, which will be used in carrying stone, quarry waster, earth, rubbish, etc., thus doing away with the expense and trouble of keeping oxen, which have been used for this work heretofore. They have several steam hoisting engines, cranes, pumps, etc., with the most improved machinery. The largest engine was made by T. R. PICKERING & Co., of Portland. The Middlesex Quarry Company have filled out 75 feet for a wharf.

THE SHALER & HALL QUARRY.-This is sometimes called the "Lower Quarry," being the first seen on approaching from the railroad or Middletown ferry. The ground was bought by SHALER & HALL in 1791, while they were carrying on quarrying in their upper property, then known as the SHALER & HALL Quarry." When this title was dropped, in consequence of the incorporation of the Middlesex Quarry Company, it was carried to the new field of operations. The SHALER & HALL Quarry Company was organized in April 1844. The first directors were: Joel HALL, Samuel HALL, Samuel RUSSEL, Edwin F. JOHNSON, and Ebenezer JACKSON. Joel HALL was president, and Samuel HALL, secretary.

They have excavated to the present time five acres, to the depth of 150 feet. Three hundred men are employed annually in quarrying and dressing the stone. Five steam derricks are used in hoisting the stone from the pit, and 22 pair of cattle and 14 horses are used in drawing stone to the vessels and cars for shipment. Eight vessels of various tonnage are employed in carrying stone to different markets; besides large quantities shipped by cars. Stone sales are annually about $200,000.

The present directors are: Elijah H. HUBBARD, Philo BEVIN, Edwin BELL, Titus HALE, George W. HARRIS. The officers are: Elijah H. HUBBARD, president; Charles H. SAGE, secretary and treasurer; Oliver W. MACK, agent.

THE OLD GRAVE YARD.-The old grave yard which crowned a hill nearly in the center of the quarries and was until recently a strange and anomalous feature of its busy precincts, was granted by the town of Middletown to the inhabitants on the east side in 1712; "one acre between the land of James STANCLIFF and the Great River for a burial place." The first person laid here was Samuel HALL, who died February 22d 1712. Perhaps the inclemency of the season, or the breaking up of this river at this time prevented interment on the other side of the river, as had before this been the custom. Afterward it continued to be used by the First Society as a place of burial until land for a cemetery was bought nearer the church and laid out in 1767. Even after this an occasional burial took place, the last, that of George BUSH, being as late as 1843. Thus, for many years, the old grave yard remained, silent in the midst of noise and clamor, a desert island set in an ever flowing and ebbing tide of laborers and cattle, green and blossoming with wild roses or golden rod amid the prevailing somber tint, a quiet, peaceful spot to look upon, yet the subject of much dispute and litigation, the battle ground of courts and corporations; elbowed on every side by busy Labor and his master, Enterprise, who looked with practical eyes at the treasurers of stone beneath the scanty five to ten feet of soil, in which, under the carven cherub heads, slanting at unseemly angles, had reposed for nearly two centuries the dust of the pioneers, "Lying low,

'Neath the daisies or the snow;

What care they, they cannot know."

The vexed question was finally settled, and the Middlesex and Brainerd Quarry Companies became the purchasers; the First Ecclesiastical Society receiving $6,000.

The Legislature ordered the removal of the remains and appointed O. H. PLATT as commissioner for that duty. The earth was removed to a depth of several feet and deposited on land bought for that purpose in the real of the Episcopal cemetery. The stones were then carefully replaced in their original order, an exact record having been made of the inscription on every stone. This mode of procedures cost the quarry companies a large sum. William SELLEW superintended the removal.

THE WORK OF QUARRYING.-A brief description of the methods of working the quarries will doubtless prove interesting to many. Few people beside those actually employed in the quarries are familiar with these methods, and some even who have lived all their lives in the vicinity have only a vague idea of this great industry. The work of quarrying begins about the last of March, or as soon as the river is open to navigation, and is steadily pursued until the close of November. The stone, when first taken out, is saturated with moisture, or "sap," as the quarrymen call it, and if it is exposed to the action of frost before it is dry, it becomes disintegrated and worthless. For this reason time is allowed for the stone to season before freezing weather, as, once seasoned, frost cannot affect it; and the surface of the rock, where exposed, is covered with soil. "The work of excavation is materially assisted by the rocks being broken up into natural beds by parallel or nearly parallel fissures extending downward to an indefinite depth, verging slightly from the perpendicular, and in some instances sloping to an angle of 25 degrees." These fissures are called by the quarrymen "joints." At right angles to these joints are "keys" or cracks extending to one or more strata, so that the blocks of stone "lie in the beds from two to twenty feet thick, from 20 to 100 feet wide, and from 50 to 300 feet long, with generally a southeasterly dip." These joints and keys facilitate the work of quarrying. The earth and rubbish are first removed until the rock is exposed. It is then split by wedges and hammers when cut parallel to the strata. If contrary to the strata, greater force must be used, and blasting is resorted to if the strata are very deep and close. The large mass being broken up the stone is readily cut.

Blasting is quite generally done by means of electricity. From two to four holes are drilled in the rock intended to be blasted, according to its size and depth. These are charged with powder and connected with a battery by copper wires, protected from the weather by a covering of gutta percha. By a simultaneous discharge, the whole mass is moved without tearing it to pieces. The larger pieces are tilted over and hurled to the bottom, together with the debris. The large blocks are hoisted to the surface by the steam derricks. They are then hauled by the ox teams to the scrappling grounds, "where they are cut as straight and even as their irregular outlines will allow, the greatest care being taken to break them as little as possible." This work is under the supervision of men experienced in the business, and every stone is carefully measured before it leaves the quarry. The descent into the "pit" is in some places made by ladders, which are securely fastened to the rock, and the horses, oxen, and wagons are let down and raised by derricks or cranes. The animals are led into a huge box, a bar put in place, and they are swung off the brink, to be lowered 150 feet into the quarry, and they appear too well accustomed to this mode of reaching their work to show the least fear. The oxen are very large and splendid specimens of their kind, but sometimes 12 or 14 yoke are seen dragging the immense blocks of stone. There is a blacksmith shop in each quarry, and extensive barns for the accommodation of the horses and oxen. The stone, after being roughly dressed as mentioned above, are piled near the river bank and shipped as required, by the different vessels employed for that purpose. Each quarry has its wharf, cranes for loading the vessels, etc. As the cuttings in places reach many feet below the bed of the river, each quarry has a steam pump to carry off the accumulation of water. The great freshet of May 4th 1854, rising above the level of the quarries, completely filled them. They were emptied in ten days by the pumps, some of which threw a column of water 130 feet long and 2 feet in diameter every minute. It will be readily seen that these quarries must employ a small army of workmen. These would form an interesting study of themselves. Nearly all nationalities are represented. The majority are Swedes, who are strong and reliable and not given to strikes. The wages, hours of labor, etc., are regulated by agreement between the quarry companies. The workmen are cutters, rockmen, or teamsters, etc., according to their employment. There are also bosses, measurers, timekeepers, etc. Every place where quarrying is carried on has its "rock boss," who oversees the gang of workmen, has charge of the blasting, etc. There are usually seven or eight rock bosses, each with his gang of workmen, at work at once in the same quarry. Some of the men have been working here more than half a century.

The supply of stone is practically inexhaustible. Good stone has been found in several directions in sinking wells, etc.; and the piers of the Air Line Bridge across the river, it is said, rest upon a solid foundation of brown stone. It has been ascertained by means of the diamond drill that the stone is found, corresponding in quality and color with that now quarried, at the great depth of 313 feet. An interesting experiment tried in the Middlesex Quarry, at the joint expense of the three companies, revealed the fact just stated. The stone varies in all the quarries from fine to course, stones from the same stratum sometimes showing a difference in quality. The strata extend through all the quarries, with a southerly dip. The pitch from the BRAINERD to the SHALER & HALL Quarry is about 20 feet. Any one who has seen the Portland quarries will not forget the sight. The immense blocks of stone, the magnificent oxen, the cheerful activity everywhere manifested. The sheer walls of rock from 100 to 150 feet in height with the black, sullen pools of water at their base hint at tragic possibilities, though the fact is that accidents are few, and usually due to intoxication. The most interesting feature of the quarries to scientific visitors is, of course, the "tracks," where the gigantic birds or animals of prehistoric times left in the soft sand untold ages gone. These are comprehensively treated of in another place. Stories are told of toads having been found as much as 25 feet below the surface in a joint lying close upon another.

DURABILITY OF THE STONE.-The firm texture and great durability of the Portland stone is now well known. It is also susceptible of receiving and retaining polish. It has steadily risen in the estimation of the public from the first. But its greatest recommendation to those who use it for building or for monuments to the memory of the dead is its enduring quality, which defies the action of time and weather, and renders it well nigh as imperishable as the everlasting hills from which it is taken. In this respect it has been pronounced equal to granite. An association was formed in Hartford in 1836 to "repair the waste of time and accident among the monuments erected as memorials of their deceased ancestors" in the old grave yard of that city which had been abandoned for about 30 years. In the prosecution of this work:

"All the monuments were reset, in number about five hundred, and the tables-many of which had been suffered to fall-were rebuilt, supported by solid masonry, and when the monuments were broken they were repaired by being fastened with iron clamps. During the Revolutionary War some use was made of the Bolton stone; these had decayed somewhat in the ground. All or nearly all the marble monuments of 30 years standing, by the effects of the climate and the weather, were very much decayed; the upper parts of them being decomposed and crumbling to pieces. It was found very difficult to repair such of them as were broken, as they were not strong enough to bear the force of drilling. A large proportion of the monuments were of the Portland freestone. Some of these were over the graves of such as had been dead 190 years and were not in the least affected by the weather, nor had any of this description been injured by the seasons."

As the persons in charge of these repairs had the best opportunity to note the waste of time and accident and the damage caused by the alternations of the seasons to the various monuments, more convincing testimony to the durability and permanent value of the Portland stone could not be given. The account just quoted (which was written in 1852), adds "the obelisk erected in the old cemetery, in connection with these repairs is therefore wisely built of the Portland stone, bearing the venerated names of the early settlers of Hartford."

The oldest gravestones in the cemeteries of Portland are of the native brown stone, and when the moss of nearly two centuries has been scraped away the carving is found sharp and distinct, every work of the long epitaphs being easily read. The gravestone of the first person buried in the town, bearing date 1712, is found thus perfect. That this stone also resists the action of fire better than any building stone known, was proved in the great fires at Chicago and Boston. It was fitting then that the block sent from Connecticut, as her contribution to the monument erected to the Great Father of His Country, at Washington, should have been of Portland stone. It has already been placed in position in that structure. The graceful arch which stood near the Connecticut building on the grounds at Philadelphia will be remembered by many who visited the Centennial. For carving and all kinds of ornamental stone work, brown stone is particularly adapted.

The Soldiers' Monument in Portland is a fine example of the capabilities of brownstone in lending itself to artistic expression. While many might prefer the dazzling whiteness of marble, there is something in the soft, quiet tint of brownstone which makes it harmonious to all surroundings; while its durability renders it particularly appropriate for the decoration of parks and pleasure grounds, in statues and fountains. It is well known that oiling stone prevents decomposition, and brown stone is now sometimes oiled to preserve it for a greater length of time; but whether oiled or not its great durability beyond all doubt.

PROMINENT BUILDINGS.-The old HANCOCK house at Boston was built of stone taken from these quarries, in 1737. The contract being between Mr. Thomas HANCOCK, of Boston, and "Thomas JOHNSON of Middleton in the County of Hartford and Colony of Connecticut in New England, Stone Cutter," and JOHNSON was to receive the sum of "Three Hundred Pounds in Goods as the said Stone-cutter's work is Carryed on." The house was removed not many years ago and the stone found to be as good as when first used. A list of the modern buildings include some of the handsomest structures in the country. The palace built by William H. VANDERBILT, on Fifty avenue; the mansions of Frederick GALLATIN and R. L. STUART, on Fifth avenue; that of George M. PULLMAN, Chicago; and George H. CORLISS, Providence, R. I.; with the Union League Club House, Philadelphia, are composed entirely of brownstone, decorated in many cases with the most elaborate carving. Stone is now being sent from the Middlesex Quarry for the magnificent residence of James FLOOD, in San Francisco. The blocks are sent from the quarry to Newark, N. J., where they are dressed, carved, etc., ready to be put into the building; they are then boxed carefully and sent by sea around Cape Horn. There are 14 columns, 13 feet 2 inches high, and 22 inches square. The steps are 23 feet long. Two stones now at the quarry, not yet shipped, weigh 18 tons apiece.

Truly Portland has contributed in no small degree to the building up of our country; and her contributions to the general good, not "clocks and wooden nutmegs" but the imperishable product of uncounted ages, lifted from its mysterious bed by appliances of modern skill, carved by the art which is the supreme inheritance of the century; these "hewn stones after the similitude of a palace" shall be poured forth from our quarries, till the cities of the New World also stand "blossoming in stone."


The physicians now resident in Portland are:

Cushmann A. SEARS, a native of East Hampton. After a course of medical lectures at Pittsfield he studied one year with Dr. STOCKING. He then attended the medical department of the University of New York, and graduated in March 1862. After three years practice in Glastonbury he removed to this place in 1865.

C. E. HAMMOND, born at Ellington, May 7th 1824. He was a private student of Dr. Alden SKINNER, of Vernon. He graduated from the medical department of New York University in 1848. He practiced medicine with Dr. SKINNER, his former preceptor, for four years then settled in Glastonbury, where he practiced 17 years and came to Portland in 1870.

E. B. MORGAN was born at GOODSPEED's Landing in 1853. He studied one year with Dr. TURNER, of Chester, and graduated at the Long Island Medical College in 1881. He has practiced in this place two years.

Dentists.-Dr. WEIGH was here several years.

Dr. Edwin DAY came here from Middle Haddam about 1876. He removed to Ellsworth, Kansas, and is now mayor of that city.

Dr. H. J. FISK was born at Heath, Mass., was educated at Bloomfield, Mass., studied dentistry in New York city, and came to Portland, October 19th 1878.


Elihu BARTLETT, son of Rev. Moses BARTLETT, graduated at Yale in 1804. He intended studying theology, but his health did not permit. He settled in East Guilford, now Madison, where he died in 1779, aged 36 years. (Transcribers note: The above years are what are listed in the book.)

Asahel Hooker STRONG, son of Dr. STRONG, born in Portland, ranked among the very first of his class. He was a distinguished special pleader at the bar.

Dr. Ebenezer SAGE, a physician, literary and political man, a member of Congress, settled in Hog Harbor, L. I.

Daniel SHEPARD, graduate at Trinity, in 1836, was a clergyman and teacher in Delhi, N. Y., where he died September 29th 1846.

Rev. William PAYNE, D. D., graduate of Trinity College, 1834, a distinguished clergyman of the Episcopal church. Rector of a church in Schenectady, N. Y.

Nathaniel Ogilvie CORNWELL, Trinity, 1839, teacher and physician in South America.

Frederick HALL, Yale, 1841, merchant.


From the very first the bank of the river and the low lands of our town have been the lurking places of malarious disease. In old times people built their houses back upon the hills to avoid the "shakes." Their descendants live among it and learn to endure it as "malaria." We do not find, however, any longer proportion of deaths in respect to the population now than then. In 1758 "thirty or forty" are said to have died with dysentery near Chatham quarry.

In 1777, the small-pox prevailed to a great extent. It was probably brought by soldiers returning from the army. The church record shows eight deaths at about the same time, 1777, from this disease. It was also prevalent in 1781. Pest houses were built in retired localities, and several hospitals were advertised, where persons could be inoculated for the small-pox and go through it surrounded "with every possible care and attention." This was esteemed a "safe and easy method."

February 20th 1800, we read of the departure of a party of seven to be "inoculated for ye Small Pox at ye MESAWMESICK house." Three days afterward their minister called upon them there. As to enter the house and go back to his parish would have spread the contagion among those unprepared for it, he probably "blessed them afar off." A few days after, a lady went out and returned with the report that they had "plenty of it." All but one of these patients, went through with the disease, were thoroughly "disinfected," and returned to their homes in two weeks. In March 1801, a great number were inoculated for the small-pox, on CHURCHILL Hill. The older citizens still remember these pest houses, fenced off from the public road, with the ominous sign displayed; with their arbitrary nurses who dictated the diet and kept the patients away from the fire. A two weeks' residence at these rural resorts was considered a small price to pay for immunity from the constant dread of contagion.

November 8th 1795, "Capt. BIDWELL's son John died as supposed of ye Philadelphia fever." This was probably the yellow fever, which raged in Philadelphia in 1793. Its character was not at first known. A letter from a gentleman in Philadelphia, published in the Middlesex Gazette, calls it "a fever highly putrid and contagious, in its operation very violent and rapid." It is not known whether any other cases of this fever arose from the one mentioned. It was noticed that "persons who caught the Distemper at Philadelphia died without communicating the Infection to their friends, who in most cases were unapprised of the nature of the Distemper." Chatham also suffered from yellow fever by direct importation from Cape St. Nicholas in 1796. The disease, however, did not spread beyond Middle Haddam.

Summer diseases of children seemed also quite prevalent the latter pat of the last century, and the newspapers of that day contained many extraordinary recipes for prevention and cure. "Very old cheese powdered" and "Santa Cruz rum" seemed to be considered efficacious.

About 12 years ago, the small-pox revisited the town, and there were several fatal cases.


Portland post office was established in 1827. It was first kept in the building now occupied by BRANSFIELD, afterward in the "brick store," now C. BELL's, in the building at the corner of Main street and Waverly avenue, and then removed to its present location in the EDWARDS block. The postmasters have been: George B. SMITH, from 1827 till June 20th 1833; his widow, Anne B. SMITH, from June 20th 1833 till February 3d 1844; Charles Henry SAGE, from February 3d 1844 till April 11th 1849; John Payne, from April 11th 1849 till his death, July 21st 1852; William S. STRICKLAND commenced July 1st 1852; Captain George H. TAYLOR served four years; Guy COOPER, four years, till 1861; Richard EDWARDS, from 1861 till his death, in 1864; his widow, Mary J. EDWARDS, from 1864 till her resignation, October 1st 1879; Charles H. EDWARDS, since October 1st 1879.

The post office at Gildersleeve was established in 1872. Ferdinand GILDERSLEEVE was at that time appointed postmaster, and has held that position ever since.


FIRST NATIONAL BANK.-The First National Bank of Portland, Connecticut, was chartered February 28th 1865. It has a capital of $150,000, and a surplus of $30,000. The first board of directors consisted of Sylvester GILDERSLEEVE, Joseph HALL, Erastus BRAINERD, William R. SMITH, F. W. RUSSELL, William T. GLEASON, Wellington S. COE, John I. WORTHINGTON, James T. PRATT, Charles L. STRONG, and Hiram VEAZEY. The present directors are: Erastus BRAINERD. W. S. COE, J. I. WORTHINGTON, George STANCLIFF, Nelson SHEPARD, LeRoy BRAINERD, W. W. COE, Charles H. SAGE, F. GILDERSLEEVE, H. GILDERSLEEVE, and John H. SAGE. The successive officers have been: Presidents, Sylvester GILDERSLEEVE, Ferdinand GILDERSLEEVE, and William W. COE; vice-presidents, Joseph HALL, F. W. RUSSELL, Ferdinand GILDERSLEEVE, W. W. COE, and Erastus BRAINERD; cashiers, Joseph WOODS, William W. COE, and John H. SAGE.

FREESTONE SAVINGS BANK.-This institution was incorporated in June 1865, the incorporators being Sylvester GILDERSLEEVE, Henry GILDERSLEEVE, Daniel RUSSELL, Joseph HALL, Erastus BRAINERD, George GILLUM, William T. GLEASON, John I. WORTHINGTON, George STANCLIFF, George H. TAYLOR, F. W. RUSSELL, Franklin PAYNE, Hezekiah PELTON, Hiram VEAZEY, Andrew CORNWALL, Phillip SELLEW, Charles C. TYLER, Nelson SHEPARD, William R. SMITH, S. H. STOCKING, Charles H. SAGE, Joseph B. CARY, Gilbert STANCLIFF, Benjamin F. BRAINERD, Wellington S. COE, Joseph WOODS. O. C. BUCKLAND, Joseph HALL jr., Jesse HALL, and F. A. PARKER.

The first officers were: S. GILDERSLEEVE, president; F. W. RUSSELL, vice-president; W. W. COE, secretary and treasurer. The present officers are: Evelyn WHITE, president; W. W. COE, vice-president; John H. SAGE, secretary and treasurer. The amount of deposits is $247,219.81; surplus, $9,000.


There were, in 1815, in Chatham, first society, the Chatham Library, established 1787, containing 322 volumes, and the Republican Library, formed in 1793, 200 volumes.

The Portland Library was organized April 7th 1884. The incorporators were Rev. J. S. BAYNE, Rev. R. POVEY, O. W. MACK, G. B. CLEVELAND, C. A. JARVIS, H. J. FISK, J. H. HALL, A. N. HALE, Rev. F. W. HARRIMAN, F. A. LILLIE, T. R. PICKERING. J. M. MURDOCK, R. N. PASCALL, W. A. CHAPMAN, and W. H. EDWARDS. The directors are: C. A. JARVIS (also president), F. A. LILLIE, A. H. HALE, T. R. PICKERING, and F. W. HARRIMAN.

Secretary and treasurer, W. H. EDWARDS; librarian, H. F. FISK. There have been 350 volumes donated, and 100 purchased with the legacy bequeathed by the late Miss Maria PAYNE. The library is located at Dr. H. J. FISK's dental office. All persons paying a subscription of $1.00 are entitled to use the library for one year. There are 54 subscribers at present.


Waverly Hall was built about 1868. It has a seating capacity of about 270. It is fitted with a large stage, scenery, etc., and dressing rooms.

Gildersleeve Hall was built in 1876, and presented to District No. 1 by Sylvester GILDERSLEEVE. It is of sufficient size to comfortably seat about 200 persons. It has a stage, and is well lighted and heated. It is at present occupied during the school houses by the Gildersleeve High School.


This is the same building which was formerly the almshouse for the town of Chatham and for some time after Portland was set off it continued to be used by both towns. It was formerly the custom on the 20th of March of each year to farm out the town poor for one year. A new ell was built last year and the old one pulled down. There are now eighteen or nineteen persons supported in the institution. Mr. Titus S. MARKHAM has charge. The care of its poor cost the town of Portland for 1883, $5,028.50; of this sum $1,361.86 was almshouse account, $2,973.35 expended for poor out of the almshouse, $179.76 for poor in other towns, and $513.53 for the insane poor.


At a special town meeting, September 9th 1871, it was voted "that we erect a brown stone monument to the memory of our dead soldiers." The monument was to cost $4,000, and to be enclosed with a suitable fence. The committee to select a site and to superintend the erection were: Frederick A. PARKER, Asaph STRONG, John I. WORTHINGTON, Seth I. DAVIS, and Ferdinand GILDERSLEEVE.

The monument is a graceful shaft of native brownstone, 33 feet in height, surmounted by a life-like statue of a soldier standing at rest. It is placed in the northern part of the village near the First Congregational Church. The cutting was done at BATTERSON's in Hartford. Few towns possess so elegant yet imposing a monument to their fallen heroes. It cost $4,500 in all. The front is ornamented with an eagle and shield. The inscription reads:

ERECTED MAY 30TH 1872 BY THE TOWN OF PORTLAND TO THE MEMORY OF HER BRAVE SONS, WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN DEFENCE OF THE UNION DURING THE WAR OF THE REBELLION 1861-65." It bears the names of Samuel N. GASTON, Grove L. BELL, Owen CHAPMAN, John GASMAN, Samuel POTTER, Samuel SALISBURY, William DEBANK, Herman DEMAY, William FOSTER, Edward F. PELTON, Patrick SCALON, Joel SMITH, all of the 20th Connecticut Volunteers; James SMITH and Charles E. TRYON, of the 13th Connecticut Volunteers; Thomas KENNEDY, William MCEWIN, Sidney VALENTINE, and Sherman VALENTINE, of the 7th Connecticut Volunteers; Daniel SULLIVAN, 3d Connecticut Volunteers; Ezeriah HALE, 16th Connecticut Volunteers; George EDWARDS, 21st Connecticut Volunteers; Patrick BARRY, 24th Connecticut Volunteers; Michael FLANNIGAN and William J. HALL, 1st Cavalry Connecticut Volunteers; George I. SMITH, 7th New Jersey Volunteers; William MAHAR, 10th New York Volunteers; John COLTER, 99th New York Volunteers; Dwight SIMPSON, 37th Massachusetts Volunteers; William MATTHEWS, United States Navy.

Two of these soldiers died at Andersonville, others fell at Procter's Creek, Va., Beaufort, S. C., New Orleans, Petersburgh, Va., Carlton, La., Ashland, Va., Cold Harbor, Va., Peach Tree Creek, Chancellorsville, Chesterfield C. H., Baton Rouge, Brashear City, La., Stevenson, Ala., Stafford C. H., Va., London Valley, Va., Silver Run, N. C.


There are in Portland several fine collections of stuffed birds, etc. The first of these is that made by W. W. COE. It is contained in a large and handsome room well adapted to the purpose. Two large cases, eight feet high, with armory between, fill the end of the apartment. There are about seven hundred specimens in all; among them many rare birds, albinos, etc, including the mythical "white blackbird." The birds are so skillfully stuffed, and the natural attitude so well preserved in mounting, that there is no stiffness, as sometimes noticed in such collections. There are also many nests, and at least 5-eggs.

Mr. John SAGE has also a fine collection, some beautifully mounted, but the greater part of bird skins, scientifically arranged. He has also a variety of nests, and a large collection of eggs. Mr. SAGE has some very choice tropical birds.

Mr. Charles NEFF has about 125 varieties of mounted birds, together with a large number of bird skins from different parts of the world, and 150 varieties of bird eggs in sets. Mr. NEFF's collection of Indian relics, a very fine one, as already been alluded to.

Mr. James LORD has also a collection of stuffed birds, to which he is constantly adding.


Formerly Portland was connected with the opposite towns of Middletown and Cromwell by two ferries. The second, now discontinued, had its landing on this side at the end of "WORTHINGTON Lane." Later the landing was at STEVEN's wharf or the "Navy Yard," so called, and the ferryman was William NORCOTT. In more recent times the landing was made at the old place, WORTHINGTON Lane, and the ferryman was General STOCKING, as he was called. There has been no regular ferry here for some years.

For years after the swift darting canoe of the Indian crossing the river to hunt the deer had disappeared, the only communication between Middletown and her eastern suburb was a clumsy "scow." Then it became a flatboat, propelled by horse power. In 1847, the Legislature was petitioned to remove the landing to the termination of the Main street, at Connecticut River. Prior to this the landing had been made much father down, HALING was the last ferryman here. June 31st 1852, the town voted to change the horse boat ferry to a steam ferry, and the steam ferry boat Mattabesett was built and placed thereon. The steamer Portland was built in 1870, and is still running.


The ice house of S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons was built in the all of 1878, at a cost of about $10,000. It is 150 feet front, 100 feet deep, and 33 feet high, with two compartments, making a storage capacity of 10,000 tons. It is fitted with steam engine and endless chain elevator, capable of hoisting a tone of ice per minute. About 75 men, with teams and ice tools, are employed from two to three weeks in filling it, the length of time varying according to the weather; This is the only ice house on the Connecticut River for shipping ice to New York and other ports.


There have been more large fires in Portland the past year than in the ten years previous. The United States Stamping Company has been particularly unfortunate in this respect. On the evening of March 1st 1881, their large factory and other buildings were destroyed by fire, which it is supposed originated in the drying room. A large quantity of finished goods was destroyed or injured, and all of the machinery disabled. The total loss was estimated at $247,000. August 14th, the stables were burned, together with two horses, hay, harness, sleigh, and buggy; loss, $4,350. August 28th, another building was burned, with 300 bales of hay, and the case used at the Centennial with most of the goods which formed their exhibit; loss $2,200.

James LAVERTY's wholesale liquor store was burned on the afternoon of June 4th 1884. It was quickly consumed, together with a shop, livery stable, and Mr. LAVERTY's house. Spreading in the other direction it destroyed eight other buildings, mostly houses belonging to the BRAINERD and SHALER & HALL Quarries. The progress of the fire was checked by pulling down the house adjoining Mr. LAVERTY's.

The Valley Mills were burned at about 2 o'clock A.M., March 10th 1884. The loss was nearly $15,000, partially covered by an insurance of $8,000.

Portland Fire Company was incorporated in 1884. The officers are: John H. HALL, president; Lorin INGERSOLL, vice-president; W. A. CHAPMAN, secretary and treasurer; Richard PASCALL, foreman; L. O. BROWN, engineer. The company has a new fire engine, hose carriage, and 600 feet of hose, which cost $1,750. The engine house cost $700. The town appropriation for the fire company was $3,000.


(BY Rev. John S. BAYNE)

Prior to 1700 there were but three houses in Portland. James STANCLIFF had built upon the river bank, opposite Middletown; farther back lived John GILL; while at the base of the hill beyond the Wangunk Meadow, on the left going toward Rose Hill school house, resided William CORNWALL. In 1710, nine other families joined them, forming the nucleus of a society.

The oldest record now extant, kept by Samuel HALL, gives an account for the first meeting of the inhabitants on the east side of the river, March 2d 1710, for the building of a meeting house for the preaching of the gospel. A building committee was appointed, and 20 men pledged themselves to pay their equal proportion, according to their estates, in a bond of 20. This agreement was signed by John GILL, William CORNWALL sen., Samuel HALL, Nathaniel SAVAGE, Ebenezer SMITH, Shamgar BARNES, Ephraim WILCOCK, William STANCLIFF, Jonathan GLEED, Richard GILL, Coriah BACON, Thomas WRIGHT, John BEGIN, George STOCKEN, David STRICKLAND, Thomas BUCK, Joseph WARNER, Ebenezer HURLBUT, and John MEER.

In 1712-13, one acre of land was granted the inhabitants "ye East side ye great river" between the land of James STANCLIFF and the river for a burying place. This was the old quarry burying ground, the remains of which have been removed and located east of the present Episcopal Cemetery.

The General Assembly at the May session 1714 granted to the inhabitants on the east side of the river parish privileges. The following is from the society records:

"Whereas, the Honorable Assembly held at Hartford, May the 13th Anno Domini 1714, granted to the inhabitants of Middletown on ye East ye great river liberty to be a society of themselves, we then propose as forthwith, June 3d, at a Society's meeting that Samuel HALL should be clerk and that the place of the meeting house should be at the east end of Mr. John HAMBLIN's lot or thereabout; that the broad axe men shall receive for their labor two shillings sixpence per day, and the narrow axe men two shillings."

It was voted that the meeting house should be 40 feet long, 26 feet wide, and 16 feet between joints. The next two years were spent largely in determining the site. There was quite a settlement in the northeastern part of the town beyond Mesomesic Mountain. The settlers probably came from Glastonbury. An old chart locates some 60 families in that section; and the ruins and foundation stones of some 30 houses can be seen to-day in the woods, a thick undergrowth of young timber having grown up around them. From the early records there seems to have been considerable strife between the people at Mesomesic and the people on the Neck, as to where the meeting house should be placed. Seven or eight society meetings were held, and sometimes it was voted to build in the eastern and sometimes in the western, part of town. At length, it was wisely left to the judgment of a committee, who fixed the place for building at the corner of Samuel HALL's lot, commonly known as "HALL Hill," where the roads cross at right angels, near the residence of Gordon STEWART. The people at Mesomesic went so far as to put up the frame for a meeting house, though it was never inclosed. The underpinning may be seen to-day, in the woods, a mile and a half north by east of the residence of Captain CASE. Some now living recall hearing their grandparents speak of the crowds of people that used to gather upon the green for worship on the Sabbath, around this meeting house.

Samuel HALL, Joseph WARNER, and Nathaniel WHITE were chosen a committee to procure a minister, with full power to agree with him on as easy terms as they could, and it was voted, December 13th 1720:

"To give Mr. Daniel NEWELL a call to preach the Gospel among us; to give him for the two years ensuing, 50 a year and his wood, and in the future to add something to it, as the Society find themselves able; also to bestow certain lands, partly given and partly purchased at 30 shillings per acre, so long as he continues in the work of the ministry among us."

It was also voted to build Mr. NEWELL a house 40 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 14 feet between joints; to finish the lower rooms, he finding glass and nails. This was the first parsonage and was located opposite the first meeting house. The meeting house was n the corner of the field now owned by Gordon STEWART, and the parsonage was on the left, in the corner of the field now owned by Titus HALE. The old asparagus bed of the parsonage garden has yearly sent forth its growth.

October 25th 1721, Rev. Daniel NEWELL was ordained pastor of the church. It was this year ordered that those who paid the minister's rate in grain should pay good wheat at five shillings per bushel, rye at three shillings, and corn at two shillings. At the same meeting there was granted a rate of eight pence on the pound for defraying the charge of building the minister's house, and Ensign SMITH and Sergeant GAINS were chosen to give Mr. NEWELL a deed of the land on which the house stood.

March 20th 1722, William CORNWALL sen., and Jonathan JUDD were chosen "tithing men" to look after the disorderly in time of exercise and between the meetings, and two years later, Ensign SMITH and Joseph WHITE were added to that responsible committee. December 3d 1722, it was voted "to buy a basin for the carrying water for baptizing children." This is the first sacred utensil spoken of.

The names of those appointed on the committee of trust during Mr. NEWELL's ministerial service were: Joseph WARNER, Richard GILL, Ensign GAINES, Ebenezer HURLBUT, Sergeant HALE Ebenezer GILL, Joseph WHITE, Nathaniel WHITE, Jonathan WILCOCK, and Sergeant SAVAGE. Samuel HALL, formerly deacon in the North Church, of Middletown, and clerk of this church during all of its early history, was elected to the office of deacon, and publicly ordained January 17th 1724. He served until his death, which occurred March 6th 1740. January 23d, following, Joseph WHITE was also chosen deacon.

Rev. Daniel NEWELL became pastor of this church at its organization. He was a native of Bristol, and graduated from Yale College in 1718. He died in 1731, aged 31 years. In the inscription on his grave stone it is said that he was a learned, zealous, and faithful minister of Jesus Christ. During his ministry there were 237 baptized, 53 admitted to the church, 51 owned the covenant, and 10 united by letter. The following are the names of those who signed the covenant, and they are the original members of the church, the majority of whom probably brought letters from the churches of Middletown and Cromwell: Daniel NEWELL, Samuel HALL, Ebenezer SMITH, John GAINS, Richard GOODALE, Samuel EGGLESTON, John RANNEY, Shamgar BARNES, Thomas BUCK, Thomas WRIGHT, Nathaniel WRIGHT, Joseph WHITE, Jonathan JUDD, Esther CORNWALL, Elizabeth WARNER, Elizabeth STOCKING, Mary Smith, Esther SAVAGE, Naomi GAINS, Mary GOODALE, Sarah WARNER, Patience EGGLESTON, Hannah RANNEY, Susanna BEVIN, Mercy MILLER, Sarah HURLBUT, Elizabeth WRIGHT, Mehitable WHITE, Hannah JUDD.

June 1st 1732, it was voted to give Mr. Moses BARTLETT a call; to give him 250, to be paid in the three years ensuing, he settling and continuing in the work of the ministry among them. At the same meeting it was voted to give Mr. BARTLETT four score pounds a year for his salary and the use of the parsonage added. The church which stood on HALL Hill was attended at that time by all the people of the town. They came from what is now East Hampton, a part of Westchester, and Marlborough, Middle Haddam, and Cobalt, as far north as Glastonbury. June 6th 1733, Rev. Moses BARTLETT was ordained pastor. During the second and third years of Mr. BARTLETT's ministry there seems to have been an unusual degree of religious feeling, and numbers were added to the church; but it was during the year 1741 and 1742 that there was the greatest revival. It was these accessions and the general prosperity of the church that suggested and effected the passage of the following resolution:

"At a meeting of the Society on the east side ye Great River, February 3d 1746, thirty-six of the inhabitants of the society present in said meeting and qualified to vote, did by their votes declare that they judged it necessary to build a Meeting House in this Society and they that voted in the negative were but seven."

"October 4th 1748, it was voted to proceed to build a meeting house 56 feet in length, 42 in breadth, the posts to be 25 feet long. The first church edifice had stood 32 years, and was doubtless too small, for the second meeting house was 16 feet longer, 12 feet wider, and 11 feet higher. The General Assembly appointed a committee and they located the house, but the people were not pleased, and a second appeal was made to the Assembly, and after a protracted delay a second committee of gentlemen arrived and the new meeting house was located across the street from Colonel BARTLETT's.

December 15th 1848, David SAGE was chosen and ordained deacon of the church. June 4th 1750, it was agreed to apply to the town of Middletown for liberty to purchase three acres of land of the Indians "joining and encompassing the Stake which the last Assembly's committee pitched for us to build our Meeting House;" and Deacon David SAGE was chosen to treat with the town of Middletown and take a lawful deed of the Indians. The deed with the Indian signatures affixed is still preserved among the society's papers. It is shown by the records that at this period the society laid out the roads and built the bridges.

December 27th 1766, Rev. Moses BARTLETT died, aged 58. On the monument erected to his memory by his people he is called a "sound and skillful divine, a physician of the body and the soul." He was born in Madison, graduated from Yale College in 1730, and studied theology with his distinguished father-in-law, Rev. Nathaniel FISK, of Haddam. During his ministry there were 809 baptisms, 88 joined the church on profession of their faith, 24 by letter, and 255 assented to the covenant.

January 26th 1767, a committee was appointed to see that "ye pulpit be supplied by some of ye neighboring ministers and to seek out some young candidate to come amongst us on probation for settlement," and soon afterward it was voted to invite Mr. Cyprian STRONG, who had been supplying the pulpit for some time, to become their settled pastor at a salary of 100 per year, but the parsonage was retained for the use of Mr. Bartlett's family the ensuing year.

November 5th 1765, it was recommended that the committee, consisting of Captain Jeremiah GOODRICH, Captain David SAGE, and David ROBINSON, "be empowered to purchase a piece of land for burying our dead," and a year later they purchased of William BARTLETT an acre and a half of land for 5, 5 shillings (the present cemetery, lying east of the Central Church), the deed bearing date January 24th 1767.

From the incorporation of the town of Chatham in 1767 till April 8th 1799, until the completion of the new town house on Penfield Hill, all town business was transacted at the meeting house of the First Society of Chatham.

November 7th 1783, Moses BARTLETT was chosen Clerk, and sworn. October 17th 1791, Dr. Moses BARTLETT and Hezekiah GOODRICH were chosen deacons, and Josiah WHITE was chosen Chorister. November 25th 1803, Deacon David SAGE died, aged 86 years. For 55 years he had been deacon of the church and during this period, in spiritual power and influence, was second only to the pastor. He had been elected under Rev. Mr. BARTLETT's ministration, and when the young pastor in the midst of his multifarious duties heard the summons and went up higher, all eyes at one turned to Deacon SAGE for counsel and spiritual comfort, and during those years when the church was destitute, he was, ex officio, their pastor. It was at his house, still standing intact, the first back of the present parsonage, that the learned council convened to examine Rev. Dr. Strong, and from which the next day they reverently wended their way to the church and installed the young pastor.

November 19th 1811, Rev. Cyprian STRONG died, aged 67 years. Says his immediate successor: "It is recorded by one who had the means of information concerning him that he was highly and deservedly esteemed for his good sense, his thorough acquaintance with theology, and his uniform and blameless conversation. In the midst of numerous trails he was calm and resigned. The prominent features of his character are happily expressed on his monument: "In morals exemplary, in doctrines uncorrupt, in reasoning profound, in declaring God's counsel perspicuous and solemn, and in death peaceful." A number who have been engaged in the ministry, pursued their theological studies under his direction. During the 44 years of his connection with the church, 201 were added to it, 24 owned the covenant, and 720 were baptized.

June 17th 1812, it was voted to invite Rev. Eber L. CLARK to settle as pastor among them, at a salary of $500 per year, provided that he would admit people (in certain cases) to take the bonds of the covenant, and that he would baptize their children. The invitation was accepted conditionally, and, September 24th 1812, a council was convened, and Mr. CLARK was installed pastor of the church. He was dismissed November 7th 1815. During his ministry, 29 joined the church on profession of their faith, and five by letter. He afterward settled in the parish at Granby. In 1820, he was settled in Winchendon, Massachusetts, and from 1838 to 1855 he was pastor of the Congregational church at Richmond. He was a native of Mansfield, and a graduate of Williams College.

From 1774 to 1790, Deacon Ebenezer WHITE, Captain Samuel HALL, Colonel John PENFIELD, Colonel Joseph BLAGUE, and Jeremiah GOODRICH were empowered to manage the affairs of the church, and from this time down to 1812, William DIXON, Jonathan BROWN, Aaron WILCOX, David WHITE, Jesse JOHNSON, Joseph WHITE, Daniel WHITE, Amos GOODRICH, David CRITTENDEN, and Samuel PENFIELD served, at long intervals, in the same capacity. November 6th 1804, Moses BARTLETT, who for some years had been clerk and deacon, was chosen treasurer, and held those office till his death, in 1810. Hon. Ebenezer WHITE, who represented Chatham at 32 sessions of the Legislature, was at the convention that ratified the Constitution of the United States, and was associate judge of the County Court, succeeded his father, Joseph WHITE, as deacon, and held that office till his death, July 29th 1817, a space of 49 years.

October 3d 1816, Rev. Hervey TALCOTT was ordained pastor of the church. At a meeting held November 3d 1812, measures were taken for establishing a permanent fund for the support of the gospel ministry. A subscription paper was circulated, which elicited 42 subscriptions, and, including other funds, made the sum total of $6,075. Mr. TALCOTT received a salary of $500 per year, with a settlement of $500 to be paid in two years from the time of his ordination. April 16th 1822, Erastus STRONG was appointed clerk, and sworn, and Deacon Jonathan BROWN became treasurer of the society. During the following year (1823) occurred the most remarkable revival of religion that this church ever witnessed. From the first Sabbath in May to the first Sabbath in January following, 60 persons were admitted to the church on profession of their faith. February 26th 1824, it was voted that the seating committee be discharged, and that each one should sit where he pleased. In 1827, it was voted "that the committee procure a load of wood for the use of the stove in this house the present winter." Dispensing with the seating committee and bringing into the meeting house a stove were among the fruits of the revival of 1823.

At a regular church meeting, November 2d 1821, Job H. PAYNE and Joel STRICKLAND were chosen deacons of the church. During the year 1824, the meeting house was repaired at an expense of $500. At the annual meeting in 1826, it was first voted to sell the pews to the highest bidders; and John PAYNE was made auctioneer, and also elected treasurer of the society. At the first sale the pews ranged from $3 to $20. August 28th 1843, it was voted "that in the opinion of this meeting it is expedient to build a new house of worship," and P. H. SELLEW, J. R. AMES, and J. H. PAYNE were appointed a committee to examine and select the site for a new meeting house. November 18th 1843, it was voted "that it is expedient and desirable that the corporate name of this Society should be altered from 'First Ecclesiastical Society of Chatham' to the 'First Ecclesiastical Society of Portland,'" and this change was confirmed by an act of the Legislature at its session the following May.

At the annual meeting in 1845, difference of opinion prevailed as to the location of the prospective new church, and accordingly a committee, consisting of Deacon Job H. PAYNE, Philip H. SELLEW, and Ebenezer B. WHITE, were appointed to select two or more judicious and disinterested persons as an advisory committee, to consult together and report. The next year, by a vote of nine to fifteen, it was determined to place the new edifice on the old site, but it was decided by the moderator (one of the deacons of the church) to be no vote. At a meeting soon after it was voted thirteen to seven to build on "Meeting House Hill." This was likewise decided by the same moderator to be no vote. It is presumable that the foregoing decisions were reached by the moderator, in view of the smallness of the number present, the general want of enthusiasm, and possible lack of requisite pledges. Three years elapsed, when, November 6th 1849, it was voted twenty-six to nine, three not voting, that the meeting house should be erected on the lot owned by John I. WORTHINGTON, situated between the dwelling houses of Harlord H. CASWELL, and George H. PETTIS, and William H. BARTLETT, Ebenezer B. WHITE, Henry E. SAGE, Philip H. SELLEW, and Reuben PAYNE were appointed a building committee. The present church edifice was built in 1850, and on the 18th of December of the same year was dedicated. It is of Gothic structure, 70 by 39 feet. The building cost $6,200; the site, bell, furniture, and other accommodations, $1,450; total, $7,650.

The following are the names of the society's committee from 1812 to 1850: Daniel SHEPARD, Samuel PENFIELD, David CRITTENDEN, Daniel WHITE, Asahel PELTON, William DIXON, Seth OVERTON, David WHITE, Dr. Isaac SMITH, Nicholas AMES, John H. PAYNE, John PAYNE, Erastus SHEPARD, Erastus STRONG, Henry E. SAGE, Philip H. SELLEW, Ebenezer B. WHITE, John R. AMES, Joel STRICKLAND, and Joseph E. GOODRICH. The following occupied other responsible positions: Elisha BROWN, David WILLIAMS, Edward LEWIS, Alfred PAYNE, Luther WILCOX, Joseph ABBEY, Joel BARTLETT, and Abel LEWIS.

February 7th 1851, George C. H. GILBERT and Franklin PAYNE were elected deacons. January 6th 1861, Rev. Hervey TALCOTT resigned his pastoral office, but was nominally the pastor until his death, which occurred December 19th 1865, in his 75th year and the 50th of his ministry. During his ministry 231 were added to the church, of which 175 united on profession of their faith, and 102 were baptized.

Mr. TALCOTT was succeeded by Andrew C. Denison, who resigned the pastoral office December 28th 1867, having received a call to become president of Biddle Theological Institute, North Carolina. Losing health and wife at the south, he came North the following year, and has since been acting pastor of the church at Middlefield. During his ministry of some six years at Portland there were 21 baptisms, 28 united with the church on profession of their faith, and 18 by letter.

In July 1867, the society received a munificent present from Sylvester GILDERSLEEVE-a handsome and valuable clock for their church tower. Owing to the removal of Deacon G. C. H. GILBERT to Waterbury, and his resignation in consequence, J. Edwards GOODRICH was elected deacon August 3oth 1867.

It was during the succeeding interim in the pastorate that subscriptions were solicited for the building of a parsonage, and under the superintendence of F. A. CHAPMAN, Evelyn WHITE, and William H. BARTLETT-a committee appointed by the society-a commodious, elegant, and convenient house was built opposite the church. The ground and house, together with barn and additional buildings, cost about $5,500.

October 14th 1869, Isaac C. MESERVE, a recent graduate of Hartford Theological Seminary, was installed pastor of this church. January 8th 1870, Francis A. CHAPMAN was elected deacon in place of J. E. GOODRICH, and held the office until his death, January 30th 1876. The Rev. Mr. MESERVE having received a call to the State Street Congregational Church, Brooklyn, resigned and was dismissed July 6th 1871. May 7th 1874, he became pastor of the Davenport Congregational Church, New Haven. During his pastorate in Portland, there were nine children baptized, three admitted to the church on profession of their faith, and eight by letter. January 19th 1872, Rev. Samuel HOPLEY became acting pastor, and served in that capacity for a short time.

Rev. William B. LEE was installed pastor May 8th 1873. Under Mr. LEE's pastorate, there were 7 children baptized, 24 united with the church on profession of their faith, and 19 by letter. He was dismissed April 28th 1875.

May 18th 1876, Rev. John S. BAYNE was installed pastor of this church. During his ministry thus far, 17 children have been baptized, 21 have united with the church by letter, and 45 on profession of their faith in Christ. The present membership is 138.

In the fall of 1877, a fine pipe organ, costing $2,000, was purchased and placed in the church. In the summer of 1878, the church, parsonage, and barn were repainted; and in 1883, the church building was reshingled, and seats recushioned, the floors newly carpeted, and the walls newly frescoed, involving considerable expense, but promptly met with liberal subscriptions and soon canceled.

Those who have acted on the society's committee since 1850 are: Joseph E. GOODRICH, Ebenezer B. WHITE, Franklin PAYNE, Francis H. CHAPMAN, William H. BARTLETT, Edwin BELL, Dr. GILBERT, Edward E. WHETMORE, Steven H. WHITE, Reuben PAYNE, Horace B. WILCOX, George B. CLEVELAND, Bilings NEFF, Henry KILBY, and William CHAPMAN; treasurers: Ebenezer B. WHITE, Dr. GILBERT, and Evelyn WHITE; clerks: Erastus STRONG, Lyman PAYNE, and Demas CORNWALL. Those who have occupied other official positions of responsibility are: Sylvester STOCKING, Edward LEWIS, Adonijah STRONG, Chester BROWN, Benjamin ABBEY, William C. RANNEY, Theodore F. LEWIS, James W. WHITE, Henry E. SAGE, Ellery B. TAYLOR, Andrew CORNWALL, Charles AMES, Daniel CRITTENDEN, Dr. SEARS, Henry KILBY, and Frederick GOODRICH.

In the study of those evens which compose the warp and woof of the history of this church, the organization and success of its Sabbath school deserve mention. It was organized in 1820, and during the first 30 years Deacons Job PAYNE and Joel STRICKLAND alternately officiated as superintendents. The following have served as superintendents since 1831: Dr. GILBERT, I(or J). Edwards GOODRICH, Horace B. WILCOX, Henry KILBY, Reuben PAYNE, Lucius STEWART, and John LEWIS.


On the 24th of September 1788, a company of citizens to the number of 37 signed a document agreeing to maintain services, according to the Book of Common Prayer, for one year; and then, having informed themselves of the doctrines and customs of the Episcopal Church, they were to be free to continue or desist, as they might choose.

This may be regarded as the founding of the parish, although its forma organization was deferred until April 17th 1789, when a meeting was held, with the Rev. Abraham JARVIS, rector of Middletown, in the chair. Nathaniel CORNWALL was chosen clerk, and it was voted to raise funds by taxing each member two pence on the pound, according to his rating in the civil list. The same year was signalized by the baptism of 10 adults and 81 children, by Mr. JARVIS, in one day, June 24th being the festival of St. John the Baptist. A church edifice was begun at once, and occupied as early as 1790;but it was never consecrated. It still remains standing (in 1884), a substantial wooden building, 50 feet long and 36 feet wide, without any tower or porch. It is now used as a town hall, having been presented to the new town of Portland soon after its separation from Chatham, which occurred in 1841.

The second edifice occupied a site on Main street, nearer the ferry. It was begun in 1830, opened for divine service, January 20th 1832, and consecrated by Bishop BROWNELL, May 15th 1833. The material was brown freestone. It was 70 by 48 feet, had two towers, and cost $8,000. It was demolished in 1874, to make way for a nobler structure, which stand upon the same ground. This was long in reaching completion, for the financial stringency of the times delayed contributions.

The chapel, which constitutes a transept, was occupied in 1874; but the main building, though roofed and slated, stood unfinished till 1882, when it was finally consecrated by Bishop WILLIAMS, July 13th. It is a beautiful specimen of gothic architecture, with massive walls of Portland freestone, varied by many gables and porches, a tower, two torrents, and an apsidal chancel. Inside are columns of stone, a stone alter, an eagle lecturn of brass, a carved stone fount, and a fine organ, besides the usual pews and furniture of black walnut and butternut. All the windows are of rich stained glass, from English manufacturers. They contain pictures of Bible scenes, and bear inscriptions commemorating relatives of the donors. A full description of this church cannot well be given in this brief sketch; but visitors pronounce it one of the finest buildings (of its size) in Connecticut. It seats about 500, besides 125 more in the chapel, which can be connected by lowering the sashes in a stained-glass screen. It has cost $75,000 already; and lacks one or two features of the original design, which may be added hereafter.

For the first two years the parish was under the care of the Middletown rector, Rev. Abraham JARVIS; and again from 1793 to 1796. The settled rectors of Portland were as follows: Rev. Tillotson BRONSON, 1791 to 1793; Monoah SMITH, 1796 to 1828; William JARVIS 1829 to 1837; Samuel Moody EMERY, S. T. D., 1837 to 1870; James Field SPALDING, 1872 to 1879; Frederick William HARRIMAN, 1880.

Mr. BRONSON and Mr. MILES divided their ministrations between this parish and others in the neighborhood, until 1820, when Portland secured the whole attention of Mr. MILES. During the vacancy between Dr. EMERY and Mr. SPALDING, the Rev. David H. SHORT, D. D., supplied the services.

The rectory stands opposite the church, and is a large, comfortable frame house, with about an acre of land. It was purchased in 1874; former rectors having occupied houses of their own.

The parish has received legacies at various times from Joseph BLAGUE, John SHEPARD, and Alexander SAGE, to constitute a permanent fund, which now amounts to $13,000. The interest only can be used to support the services.

It is noticeable that the office of parish clerk has been held by only three persons: Nathaniel CORNWALL, 1789 to 1823; David CORNWALL, his son, 1823 to 1866; and Charles A. JARVIS, from 1866 to the present time.

Certain parishioners in the district known as "Rose Hill," desiring services for their own neighborhood, an edifice was erected there, and named "The Chapel of Saint John the Baptist." Its corner stone was laid June 24th 1870; and it was consecrated by Bishop WILLIAMS, soon after. It is a gothic building, of wood, with stained glass windows, and all the furnishing of a complete little church. It cost about $3,000, and is held in trust by Trinity Parish. Services are maintained by lay readers from the Berkeley Divinity School; and the record makes a monthly visit to administer the sacraments.

Services are also held in the same manner as the "Free Mission Chapel," at Pacausett, which is open to all denominations.

At the present time, 1884, Trinity Parish as 280 communicants, and 160 families. It maintains five services and two Sunday schools every Lord's Day. Its property amounts to nearly $100,000, estimating lands, buildings, &c., at cost. It sends three delegates to the Diocesan Convention. It is a conservative parish, loyal to church principles, and at peace in itself. A quiet growth continues to bless it with prosperity.


In 1835, a Methodist class was formed, called "Chatham Methodist Episcopal class." Mr. Selden COOK was the appointed leader. The class was reckoned as part of Chatham circuit, on the New London district of the New England Conference. The presiding elder of the district was the Rev. Daniel DORCHESTER; the circuit preachers, Rev. Freeman NUTTING, and Rev. Amos SIMPSON. The class numbered, including the leader, 25 members, only one of whom is now left in the church-Mr. Chester HURLBURT, who was for several years leader of the old class. In 1845, the circuit preachers' names were Rev. Edmund A. STANDISH and Rev. W. O. CADY. The latter is now a resident of Portland. The class in the above year, numbered 50 members. The New England Conference being divided in 1841, the class became part of what was called the "Providence Conference," which name has of late given way to New England Southern Conference. In April 1851, Portland class was created a separate charge, and the Rev. F. W. BILL was stationed as preacher in charge. Twenty members of the Methodist Episcopal church in Middletown, who resided in Portland, joined the Portland Society. The services were held in the town house. Up to this time, the society had worshipped in what was called "the old church over the meadow."

Rev. F. W. BILL succeeded in raising a large subscription toward building a church in a more central location. In February 1852, a lot of land was purchased of Mr. Frederick A. PARKER and deeded to the following gentlemen, who formed the church board of trustees, viz: Edward GRAHAM, Chester S. HURLBURT, Kellogg STRONG, Sherman KELSEY 2d, Harrison CHAMBERLAIN, Oliver W. MACK, and Thomas B. SPENCER. The Rev. W. KELLEN succeeded the Rev. F. W. BILL, and the new church enterprise was commenced. The Rev. A. H. ROBINSON followed, and at the close of his term the building was nearly completed. In April 1853, the Rev. George W. WOODING was appointed preacher, and during his term the church building was finished. It was opened and dedicated to the worship of God, July 27th 1853. Mr. WOODING was followed by Rev. Robert PARSONS for two years, since which time the following have officiated: Rev. John WHEAR, four months; W. J. FOSS, seven months; Rev. I. G. BIDWELL, two years; Erastus BENTON, seven months; Albert WYAT, five months; L. W. BLOOD, two years; F. J. WAGNER, one year; R. DONKERSLY, two years; W. O. CADY two years; W. H. COOK, and Rev. B. GILL, students, two years; E. M. ANTHONY, two years; John HOWSON, one year; E. B. BRADFORD, one year; A. W. SEAVEY, three years; Walter ELA, two years; J. H. NUTTING, one year; O. H. FERNALD, three years. R. POVEY is the present pastor. He resides in the Methodist Episcopal parsonage.

The church property has been increased in value by the addition of a pipe organ and choir gallery, a new chapel, and extensive repairs. Its present membership is 101. The following names of class leaders and circuit preachers not already mentioned were received after the preceding history of the church was written: class leaders, S. COOK, Henry E. COOK, Ralph PELTON, H. PENFIELD, and F. MILLER; circuit preachers, 1836 1837, Rev. D. TODD, Rev. __ WILCOTT, Rev. J. F. BLANCHARD; 1838, Revs. T. NICHOLS and S. CUSHMAN; from 1841 to 1850 inclusive, Revs. C. C. BARNES, Abraham HOLWAY, L. PIERCE, J. ARNOLD, --BLAKE, A. H. ROBINSON, J. R. VAIL, I. G. POST, and W. LAWRENCE.


The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Zion's Church, of Portland, Conn., was organized in June 1874, with a membership of 136, at the close of the same year. The first elected deacons were, Mr. J. DANIELSON, O. HALLBERG, and C. OLSSON. The first elected trustees were, Mr. J. HALLBERG, J. HOLMGREN, and J. LUNDELL. The ministers in charge of the church have been: Rev. T. O. LINELL, now of Pontiac, R. I.; Rev. John MELLANDER, now of South Bend, Ind.; Mr. J. HOLMES supplied the pulpit for some months. The present pastor, Rev. D. P. AHLQUIST, from Marshalltown, Iowa, was installed over the church December 11th 1883.

The house of worship, a frame structure, on Waverly avenue, was erected 1879. Its size was 46 by 31 feet. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 1883, its present size being 80 by 31 feet. This edifice will seat 500 persons.

The membership of the church is at present 500; the communicants numbering 317. The Sunday school has its ten classes, about 100 children. The superintendent of the school is Mr. Andrew LINDHOLM. Other officers of the church at present are: deacons, Adolph GULL, John LARSON, John LUNDELL, Samuel ANDERSON, Andrew LINDHOLM, and Adolph MONSON; trustees: Adolph ANDERSON (president), John G. FORSBERG (secretary), Andrew BENGTSON (cashier), August LUNDELL, Carl G. JOHNSON, and Frank J. JOHNSON. The secretary at parish meeting is Mr. Charles ERICSON. The organist and leader of the choir is Mr. John SEGERSTRAND.

Connected with the church is also the Scandia Temperance and Aid Society; the officers being, Andrew LINDHOLM, president; Adolph GULL, secretary; and Adolph Anderson, cashier.

The Swedish Lutheran Zion's Church is connected with and under the supervision of the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod of North America.


A Baptist church was formed in the northeastern part of this town in 1783. Part of the members were from Glastonbury. It ceased to exist many years ago.


St. Mary's Catholic Parish, Portland, was formed in 1872, and the Rev. William E. DUFFY was appointed pastor. Anterior to this time, the people were under the jurisdiction of the pastor of St. John's Church, Middletown. Rev. William E. DUFFY died, and the Rev. Dennis DESMOND was given charge October 1st 1876. He began the erection of the present church edifice, located on Freestone avenue, the corner stone of which was laid April 15th 1877. The church is of brick, cruciform in shape, and has a seating capacity for over 1,000 persons.

There is also, in connection with the church, a very handsome pastoral residence. Father DESMOND remained with the congregation until he saw the completion of all this good work, then the Right Rev. Bishop MAHON placed him in a few field with greater responsibilities-St. John's Parish, Middletown.

Rev. J. FLEMING, the present pastor, succeeded him September 2d 1881.


In 1850, a part of the first society, dissatisfied with the site chosen for the erection of a new meting house, began building another, some distance east of the old meeting house. Thirty-eight members of the old church applied for dismissal in February 1851, and organized a new church, taking the name of Central church. Joel STRICKLAND and Job H. PAYNE, who had been deacons in the old church, and were included in the number dismissed, were elected deacons of the new church, September 5th 1852. Rev. W. G. W. T. RANKIN was their first pastor. He received his classical education at Ripley college, and his theological at the Lane Seminary. He remained 10 years. He now resides in Glastonbury. Mr. WASHBURN succeeded him; then the pulpit was supplied for a time by students from Hartford Seminary. Mr. WHEELER then preached for three years, followed successively by Mr. HANNAH, Mr. COLTON, Mr. PARMLEE, Mr. PECK, Mr. CHASE, and Mr. HARRIS. Rev. Norman SQUIRES then occupied the pulpit for five years. Afterward, Mr. C. TRANTOR, Mr. HOLDEN (three years), and Mr. BERRY; Mr. LITTLEFIELD has preached for the last three years, and Mr. HORTON has lately commenced his labors among them. The five last named were all students from Wesleyan University. The deacons have been: Joel STRICKLAND and Job. PAYNE, already mentioned; after their deaths, William GOODRICH and Ralph PELTON were elected, and afterward William KELSEY and Silas PAYNE. The superintendents of the Sunday school have been: Rev. S. G. W. T. RANKIN, Enoch SAGE, Sherman GOODRICH, Lucius STEWART, Gordon GOODRICH, and William KELSEY. The Central Church has about 70 members. The building is of wood, 60 feet by 40, and it cost $4,000.



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