An Illustrated Timeline of Whitefield, Maine 
another Friends Of Whitefield project
by David Chase

Prehistoric * Historic-1700 * 1701-1800 * 1801 to 1850 * 1851-1900 * 1901-1920 * 1921-1940  
* 1941-1960 * 1961-1980 *  1981-2000 * 2001-2010 * Gazetteer * References

1,500 AD (500 BP)
- Beginning of Historic Contact 32

272 - Denis, also known as Dionysius, Denys, Dennis and Dionis and his two companions, Eleutherius and Rusticus who lived with him on an island in the middle of the Seine, in what is now known as Paris, France were sent by Saint Clement to convert Gaul, where they were beheaded at Montmartre ( Martyr’s Hill) . It is said that the headless Denis stood up, collected his head, and walked to the abbey (a burying place of King’s), which was immediately named for him. He is Patron of France and Bishop of Paris and one of 7 champions of Christendom. The cult of St. Denis was fueled by the Benedictines in the Middle Ages and gained momentum in the 9th century. ….St. Denis Feast Day is October 9. Saint Denis, of course, became the Patron Saint of headache sufferers. 48


Another version has it that:

Saint Dennis, Healer of Headaches

Saint Paul converted Dennis to the Christian faith and made him bishop of the church in Athens. Dennis, however was persecuted and ordered to be put to death. Legend tells that his faith was so strong that he suffered several martyrdoms; he was tied to the stake and a fire was lit, but he would not burn. He was put on a cross and beaten, but he would not die. Thus, in the last attempt to kill him, his head was cut off, but it is said that he picked up his own head and walked several miles guided by an angel to the place where he wished to die.

In case of severe headache, the petitioner can dip a white ribbon into rainwater, and place in its center a few carnation petals , some crushed garlic, and a pinch of powdered cinnamon. The ribbon can then be tied around the head and the following prayer said:

Blessed Saint Dennis,
Please intercede on my behalf with the Supreme
and cure this headache
which is burdening my spirit,
so that I may also be,

like you were in your martyrdom,

clear in my thoughts
and be able to venerate our Lord.

The Offering

when the headache has been cured, the ribbon with garlic and cinnamon must be kept for three days. The ribbon can be thrown away, but the garlic must be preserved in pure water and wrapped in a green sachet or cloth This will be a strong amulet to prevent future headaches. 51

One thousand five hundred and forty six years later, The Reverend Dennis Ryan will be somehow motivated to name his new Irish parish in Whitefield, for the hapless Frenchman Saint Denis, ignoring quiet accusations of his egotism.

1524 -

Giovanni da Verranzano became the first confirmed European to explore the coast of Maine.

1625 -

* Deed of land from the Indians to John Brown “of New Harbor” of land in Maine which included most of the present towns of Bristol, Nobleborough, Jefferson and part of the town of Newcastle; earliest settlement called Pemaquid.

1629- 1629 - Area now Whitefield included in Plymouth Company Grant which specified land to 15 miles both sides of the Kennebec to the “ outmost limits of Cobbosseecontee.”

* Colony of Massachusetts founded. 7

1630 - The first of the Scammon family ( later will produce some of Whitefield’s most famous citizens) arrive in Boston from England via Barbados. 44

1635 - Joseph Peaslee sailed from England and settled in Salisbury Massachusetts. He was the great, great grandfather of the five industrious Peaslee brothers who came to Whitefield just before the Revolutionary War , about 133 years later. 1

1636 - First of Chase family arrive in the “New World” from England on the same ship with Gov. Winthrop and his colony.

1652 - 1658-    
Maine is annexed by Massachusetts 83


* The King’s Commissioners organized territory on the west side of the Sagadhoc (Kennebec) River which they named Cornwall. 5

* Plague in London. 80,000 people, perhaps 1 in 5, die. - Thames freezes. - Isaac Newton develops calculus. 81