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 * 19211940  
* 1941-1960 * 1961-1980 *  1981-2000 * 2001-2010 * Gazetteer * References

1714-  George Whitefield (pronounced Whitfield rhyming with Pittfield) born to the son of an innkeeper in Gloucester, England.

Indian War begun in Maine with seizure by Indians of 9 families at Merrymeeting Bay 5  - fifteen miles west of what is now Whitefield.


1730 -Samuel Ball Jr. is born at Concord Mass. Jan 17 (later the land we now call Whitefield would be called Balltown after Samuel Ball Jr.)

1735- Samuel Ball Sr. (father of Samuel) moves his family to Alna area. 24

1736 -Ordination of George Whitefield in England’s Anglican church by the Bishop of Glouceter.
             * First successful operation for appendicitis.. 45

1740 - Rev. George Whitefield tours New England villages, preaching his brand of a new vision or wakening -. 12 (his totally new brand of evangelical thinking electrifies the people of the New World)

Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards became the leaders of “New Light”, an evangelical party. His preaching became controversial, and his development of the tenet he called, “Necessity of New Birth “ encouraged separation from “unconverted” ministers and their congregations. 21

1742- Preaching in the field: George Whitefield, used this collapsible field pulpit for open-air preaching because the doors of many churches were closed to him. The first recorded use of the pulpit was at Moorsfield, England, April 9, 1742, where Whitefield preached to a crowd estimated at “twenty or thirty thousand people.” Members of the audience who had come to the park for more frivolous pursuits showered the evangelist with “ stones, rotten eggs and pieces of a dead cat.” Nothing daunted, and he won many converts. It is estimated that Whitefield preached two thousand sermons from his field pulpit.” 64

1744- Rev George Whitefield again tours New England villages, preaching.. 31


Nil desperandum,Christo duce.
Never despair, where Christ is leader.” Was the motto selected by George Whitefield for encouraging William Pepperell from Maine, the
leader of his troops against Louisburg in Nova Scotia, giving the air of a modern crusade. 31 ( Louisburg was a French Catholic fortification in Nova Scotia. Whitefield and Pepperell, of course, were Protestant.)

Whitefield visits York, Wells and Biddeford,
30 (making his most northerly trek into the District.)

1746 - Rev. Whitefield founds the Old South Presbyterian Church on April 7th in Newburyport Mass, where he is now buried in a crypt below . ( Or at least most of him was – his right arm was removed and stolen back to his birthplace – England).      People from this Parish would later move to our Balltown and become active in naming the town when it divided in two.

1747- Samuel Ball Sr. is killed by “the Indians”. 24

* Fifth Indian War begun in Maine with attacks on St. George and Damariscotta.

         1749- Samuel Ball Jr. (for whom Balltown would be named) murdered an unarmed Indian ( Saccarn Harry alias Hegen) in peacetime at Wiscasset, but escaped judgment because no frontier jury would convict a white of such a crime.13 Complicating the matter was the fact, his father had been killed earlier during the Indian War at Alna.

Kennebec Purchase Co. organized as Proprietors to obtain Old Plymouth Company lands.
12 This included land in Whitefield and more importantly, at the Great Falls in King's Mills.

1751 - Samuel Ball escapes in March from the jail in York. 24

         The Great Awakening was highlighted by a wave of religious revivalism in the Colonies during the mid-1700s. Led by spellbinding sermonizers, the movement sought to emphasize brotherhood and the plight of the poor. Playing on fear and stirring passion, The Reverend Whitefield harangued individuals into being empathetic, charitable, and socially responsible. His message appealed to those who were alienated from their various churches and to the democratic-minded who responded to Whitefield's call for Humanitarianism. 47

1759 - Surveyor Jonas Jones worked in this area for the Kennebec Purchase Co. 43

          Rev.Whitefield, it is said, could make people weep or tremble by the various ways he uttered the word "Mesopotamia." 47

1760- Benoni Hunt marries Hannah Pratt in Weymouth, Massachusetts and soon after settles in the northwest part of what will later become known as the Hunt’s Meadow section of Whitefield. 1

William Keating is born in Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland. He served in our Revolutionary war, settled in Whitefield and died in 1830. He and his wife Elizabeth are buried at St. Denis. Their son James would later give the land for the church. 11

1763 - “Whitefield Satirized: George Whitefield acquired many enemies, who assailed evangelicalism as distortion of  the gospel and attacted his and his followers for alleged moral failings. The evangelist endured many jibes at his eye disease: hence the epithet Dr. Squintum  This satire shows an imp pouring inspiration in Whitefield’s ear while a grotesque Fame, listening on the other side through an ear trumpet, makes accusations on two counts that have dogged revivalists to the present day: sex and avarice. The Devil, raking in money below the podium, and the caption raise charges that Whitefield was enriching himself by his ministry. At lower left, Whitefield’s followers proposition a prostitute. Reflecting the line in the caption that “ their hearts to lewd Whoring extend. 64

1764- Joshua Chamberlain and his wife Hannah move from Alna to what will called the King’s Mills section.   Chamberlain brook and Chamberlain bridge by the old school in the village have retained their names from our earliest records.1

1767- Percy Bailey, 1st child of European parents born in what is now Whitefield.

                * Andrew Jackson 7th president of U.S. born (died 1845). 6

1768- Jehemiah Blodgett a freelance surveyor and John McKenie working for the Kennebec Proprietors were surveying lot divisions in Whitefield area.1

          In 1768 Joshua Little (Littell) engaged a surveyor named Nehemiah Blodgett to survey a tract of land for him which is described as “lying on the west side of the Sheepscot River in the survey of the front lots against the rapids so called” and outside the bounds of any town”. One of he first settlers of Whitefield, a farmer, owned and operated a sawmill there. After the incorporation he served in the Massachusetts Legislature. He had 5 children and died in 1821. It was commonly believed that this place was part of the Wild West Farm on The East River Road near the Oxbow. 23 Linwood Lowden in his book “Ballstown West” puts the location of this property in the southmost part of town near what is now “Petticoat” Acres. 1

        Benjamin King’s name is on the Pownalborough tax list. 43

               * Boston citizens refuse to quarter British troops.5

1770- First cow in Whitefield, Brought from Broadbay ( Waldoboro) by Nathan Longfellow.1

              *Rev. George Whitefield dies September 30, and is buried in a crypt under the church he founded at Newburyport, Mass 5 All the bells of Portsmouth tolled from eleven o’clock till sunset. 46

Whitefield’s Death:……..made a deep impression on Americans from all walks of life. Among the eulogies composed for Whitefield was one from an unexpected source: a poem by a seventeen -year-old Boston slave, Philis Wheatley (ca.1753-1784), who had only been in the colonies for nine years. Freed by her owners, Phillis Wheatley continued her literary career and was acclaimed as the “African Poetess.” 64

           * Ludwick Von Beethoven born (died 1827). 7

         1771- Benjamin King settled in what now was to become King’s Mills. 6

          1772- McKecknie Survey of mill lots in Kings Mills is finished 12

         1774- Saw mill operating by water power on the bend one mile above King’s Mills at the current site of Sheepscot Meadows Farm on Townhouse Road. by Turner & Preble. 1

              * Whitefield NH granted to Joshia Moody & others in July 4, soon settled by Major Burns & others population 1810 is 51 and in 1850 is 857. 30

             * Arrival of British troops in Boston to enforce "Intolerable Acts".7

1775 - John Ball enlists in Revolutionary War for 3 years of service.

         First reference to the “Ox Bow”, a sharp bend in the river behind the Wild West farm on East River Road. From a deed of Ralph Chaney of “lot taken in June 1775” surveyed in 1789.1  
Drawing from Linwood Lowden's book "Balltown West"

             click survey to enlarge

            (New road retaining that name goes from Grand Army Road toward the OxBow - named in 1995 by the then landowner Norman Chase.)

1776 -



The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation..............................

1777- Samuel Ball and John Ball each receives a grant of 200 acres of land from the Kennebec Proprietors 26 in the area around Heath, Hilton and Weary Pond roads. 1

         December 17, General Washington led his army into winter quarters on the bleak hills of Valley Forge. Included among his troops there were John Ball, Prince Rogers, Joseph Bartlett and William Carr all from this area , Whitefield.6

         Another highlight in 1777 was the arrival of the Marquis de Lafayette . Upon arrival he befriended General George Washington, and spent that first winter in America with Washington’s troops in brutal conditions at Valley Forge.
Image from Library of Congress Photo Collection at Ancestry. Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge/painting by Dunsmore

           First recorded use of the name “Ballstown”. 1

1781- Moses Cooper was living in the section we know as Cooper’s Mills. 1

1786- Reverend Dennis Ryan is born May 1 at Bramblestown, County Kilkenny, Ireland. 11

1787- “Saturday June 2 1787, Timothy Langdon of Pownalborough in the County of Lincoln & Sewall Longfellow of a place called Hunt’s Meadow in said County, yeomen…..”From Pownalborough Papers L.C.C.H. 34

1788 - Balltown, now the town of Whitefield, a settlement east of K. River, at a middle point of distance between Bowdoinham and Vassalboro, lying on a convenient route from Thomaston to either of these churches, was frequently visited by travelling preachers, and as a consequence, a church was gathered here in 1788, which was subsequently highly beneficial to the Baptist cause in that vicinity. 89

1789- Balltown Church near intersection of Head Tide Road and South Fowles Lane (renamed Hollywood Blvd by some new residents, after the Alna section of Carleton Road) is the first church in the district. 6 The Old School Baptist Church was Organized as First Baptist Church Jan 3 With 14 members. Joseph Bailey ordained pastor, June 20, 1796 remained until 1848. “Father Bailey” was the only settled pastor.

         The First church at Whitefield was organized in 1789, and had 96 members in 1812, according to Benedict's History. At that time the church was part of the Lincoln Association. 73

1790 - First town meeting in Balltown (now Whitefield & Jefferson).

Balltown officially organized as a plantation with 76 votes (disputed by some who say there was never incorporation, indeed they resisted the idea  1) ,population 1,072

         Silas Hunt living in area that is now known as Hunts Meadow. 6

* Benjamin Franklin died (born 1706). 7

1791 -Road built to Ezekiel Stearns' mill on Stearns brook, just West of Weary pond, and striking the “old road below   the Alarm Post”. Linwood Lowden places this important landmark near the junction of Jewett and Weary Pond roads. 1

Balltown records refer to the Pelton house near Weary Pond. The name Pelton appears nowhere else in the old records. 6

         Townhouse & Sennot roads laid out (accepted in 1792). 1

         Two thirds of Balltown’s settlers had no horses for conveyance. There were 190 taxpayers.13

        Average taxpayer here possessed 138 acres, only 7 of which was improved for use as pasture or mowing. 13

        The Methodist Episcopal society was organized at East Pittston with many Whitefield members. Regular services were held at Union church, North Whitefield prior to 1860.

1792- First reference to Chamberlain brook and bridge in King’s Mills. 6

          County Commissioners accept a petition to alter the road from “Choate’s Mills” in Balltown at the Great Falls to the road to the north line of Pownalborough at the Head of the Tide, signed by Dearborn, Jewett, Dutton, Drummer and Ballard as a petition of Toby and Little. 83

         Pittston Road laid out. Heath Road accepted as a bridle path.1

1794- First record of sheep in Whitefield (Jonathan Bartlett estate). 1

1795- Masts for "Old Ironsides" (USS CONSTITUTION) cut above Cooper’s Mills and dragged through Balltown to tide water in Alna. (Lydia Atwood Chase’s father, John Atwood worked on its reconstruction in 1920’s – his work was cutting the Paul Revere copper rods and original wood into artifacts to sell to raise money for the reconstruction ).

        Balltown’s settlers warned surveyor Benjamin Poor to be gone, explaining that “ they were determin’d that no surveyor should run any line there at present, for the Plymouth Company was endeavoring to take their land from them, that they, meaning the inhabitants of Ballto[w]n and the vicinity, had fought for it once and were determined to fight for it again.” 13

        “..a surveyor reported that when the settlers of Hunt’s Meadow began to waver, their Balltown neighbors threatened “ to come and take their cattle to support their army and then come and burn their barns.”” 13

        “ ..ten armed men burst upon the campsite in Balltown of Ephraim Ballard’s survey party for the Kennebec Proprietors, awakening them just before dawn with deafening shots into the air. Pressing a loaded musket to Ballard’s chest, the leader bellowed, ‘Deliver up, deliver up all, God damn you, deliver the compass, deliver up the canister, God damn you, take nothing out, if you do you are a dead man’. Ballard delivered.” 13

  1796- Nathan Longfellow Junior His Bible brought of Orchard Cook in the year 1796 price 2/17 cents …. Nathan Longfellow Jr. This book God gave him this (?) in to read and understand so learning is better than house or lands…….Steal not his book for fear of shame for here you see the owners name…… Nathan Longfellow Junior His Bible“

           Inscription in a well worn and much repaired Bible owned by one of the earliest settled families in Whitefield. Inside is an accounting of the family births up to 1809…found in attic of Sheepscot Meadows Farm in Whitefield where a later Longfellow relative had lived. It was most likely used at the meeting described in 1797 note.

1797- Heath & Head Tide roads laid out as three rods wide. 1

         In 1797 the Rev. Paul Coffin made a missionary tour through Maine. On October 19 he rode “nine miles in Patrick Town and then seven in Ballstown to Abram Choates. He stayed there two days. He described his host’s residence as being on the West side of the Sheepscot River, 4 miles above N. Milford (Alna) “ or the head of the tide, and 14 as I think above Pownalboro”. He describes the river at this point as “considerable”, but with a good bridge over it. Mills were located at Choate’s door. Patrick Town was sparsely settled; there were more houses in Balltown where the road was “tolerable, but rocky.” He decided the settlements near Choat’s had been made “since the war”. While in Ballstown he met “ a Nathan Longfellow……preached in the evening. A good auditory were satisfied. A Mr. Turner thanked me abundantly. Mr. Choats is a kind family.” - Collection of Maine Historical Society 23  Choate’s is located at 32 Wiscasset Road overlooking the falls. 

For a fascinating look at this family and
their home in Massachusetts before they moved to Whitefield (see this important presentation). It is fascinating to see the similarities between  their Ipswich home (which was dismantled and moved to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington.) and the  house they built overlooking the "Great Falls" at King's Mills.

                * John Adams inaugurated President. 5

1798- A party of Irish fishermen sailed from Trepassey, Newfoundland in the boat ”Peggy”, finally landing at Wiscasset. From that boat, members of the families:  Finn, Molloy, Breen and later, Kavanagh came to Whitefield and brought farms in 1805. 11

1800- Samuel Ball dies at age 70. 24

New bridge built across outlet of Pleasant Pond (Clary Lake) paid for by the plantation. 1