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
Whitfield rhyming with Pittfield)
born to the son of an innkeeper in Gloucester, England.
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.)
Samuel Ball Sr. (father
moves his family to Alna area.
-Ordination of George Whitefield in England’s Anglican church by the
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
the bells of Portsmouth tolled from eleven o’clock till sunset.
* 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
taken in June 1775”
surveyed in 1789.1
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.)
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
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
“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
Collection of Maine Historical Society
is located at 32 Wiscasset Road
overlooking the falls.
* 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