Whitefield can be a fascinating place to study.

Our particular interest seems focused on Whitefield's demographics :

Over time it seems that our town's character has been determined not so much by the dramatic actions of an individual, but by the dreams and motivations common to a particular group of people.


The people who made Whitefield

      Our earliest population was made up of unorganized free spirited opportunists and pioneer squatters - people who had little - except youth, energy, dreams and the can-do spirit necessary to survive in our wilderness. Among these people were the so called "White Indians" characterized in the book "Liberty Men and Great Proprietors" - men dressed as natives who sniped and harassed the surveyors and mapmakers hired by the venture capitalists
( wealthy lawyers from Boston) who wanted control of the forests and the water powers around Whitefield.

The first organized group in town were followers of  the celebrated Rev. Joseph Bailey . From 1796 until his death in 1848, Joseph Bailey was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Whitefield. He had already attracted 96 members by 1812 ! Many of these followers were immigrants from England that had arrived on John Winthrop's ships. Their dreams were based on the promises of a better life described in the new ideas of George Whitefield and John Wesley. These followers settled in the south of town - into Alna and Pittston.
( Choate, Longfellow, Scammon, Crowell, Little, Erskine, Heath, Chaney, Tobey, Noyes, Peasley, Young, Preble, Turner, Palmer  )


The next organized group to call Whitefield home was also invested in religious ideology. They were the Irish arriving from the troubled times in their homeland. They were attracted by the promise of Fr. Dennis Patrick Ryan, the first Catholic priest ordained in New England, who had been directed to establish a church in Whitefield. A church that was to become the 1st large Irish Parish in America. By 1818 as many as 108 Irish families had settled on the West Side of the Sheepscot River along what is now the Huntís Meadow Road in Whitefield and Windsor. The Parish would grow to 1200 souls.  

           (click map to enlarge)
( Mooney, Hickey, Kelley, Doyle, Finn, Keating, Molloy, Breen, Kavanagh, McCormick, Grady, Tobin, Milleney, Nolin, Field, Kincaide, Kinsella, Kinsell, Skehan, Blackman, Reilly, Senott, Donavan, Judge, Welch, Campbell, Ryan, Costello, O'Leary, Nary, McGrath, Meagher, O'Neil, Fox )

Other "groups" would soon follow
(somewhat in their chronological order):

 As is expected, this process of "grouping", despite efforts to be entirely objective, is   quite subjective.. many overlapped and as usual, some are simply misplaced - because   of  my ignorance,,

  *  The water mill entrepreneurs (1770's - 1910's) (Cooper, Partridge, Turner, Clary, King, Ford)

  *  The steam and diesel powered "portable sawmill" operators and their families (1920's - 1955's) ( Creamer, Chase, Dysart, Colby, Libby, Thornton, Boynton, Miller, Potter)

  *  The "rusticators " people from "away" seeking the good life of living in the country...some were lured  by the promises of our WW&F RR (1880's - 1930's) ( Waters, Hutchinson, Fergusson, Kennedy, Chadwick, Benson, Bailey, Hilton)

  *  The Franco Americans - post WW2, people seeking a place to raise a family in a friendly rural setting with reasonably priced farmland.. (1940's - 1960's)  ( Caron, Beaulieu, Doyon, Toussant, Cloutier, Vigue, Cote )

  *  The Hippies, artists, craftsmen and "back-to-the-landers" (1960's - 1980's) ( Mayers, Silin, Curewitz, Kinsley, Robbins, Majorowicz, Benne, Moore, Torbert, Percy, Froleich, Stone, Howell, Bunting, Ekholm, Holm )

  *  The state workers, teachers, preachers and bureaucrats (1960's - 1980's)( Bell, MacDonald, Wright, King, Marple, Hartman, Delvicco, Garcia, Moskovitz, Sacks, Morgan, Prentis, Bryant, Kenoyer, Kellor, Birch, Gotleib,   Ober, Fenderson, Poland, Karass, Faux, Acker, Shaw, Stultz, Smith, Biggs, Bailey )

  *  The retirees (1970's-) ( Sabatine, Burman, Crisman, Schlosser, Atwood, Metcalf, Sell, Townsend, Bradford, Weiss  )

  *  The Amish..(2016 - ) They are coming to Whitefield for all the same reasons their forbearers came ( Miller, Yoder, Troyer, Hostetler, Swartzentruber,,,,)

Shouldn't Whitefield promote itself as a place of DREAMS ?


A Friends of Whitefield presentation..
David Chase