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Crouseville

1831

 

In 1831 the members of the Maine Legislature became concerned over the growing Maine/New Brunswick boundary question and took action by sending John Deane and Edward Kavanagh to northern Maine to check on the inhabitants and to assess the extent of trespass, of New Brunswick loggers and others, from their point of view.[11]

 

On Map 1 the future town of Washburn is an area off the map to the left (west). Dean and Kavanagh’s report describes how Nathaniel Churchill had been homesteading first up river from Crouseville (in the area that would later become the town of Washburn) and then down river from Crouseville on Oakes Island:

 

“Saturday, Aug. 13th 1831. ... We now crossed into 13, 3rd range which belongs to Massachusetts.”

 

“Next, North bank, David Freeman, [originally from] New Brunswick has entered on the lot and is building a house. ... Nathaniel Churchill, who now lives below on an Island [down river of the Crouseville area on Oakes Island], began on the place six or seven years ago but sold it to Samuel Nevers, for an old horse. There is an island [Clayton Island] in front of this place that contains forty acres. Next South Bank, William Dalton and family living in a camp and is preparing to move to No.11 fifth range [Ashland] which belongs to Massachusetts, near the bank of the Great Machias. John Kendall began on this place five or six years ago, and sold it to Abraham Hammond, who sold it to Story Hopper.”

 

Nathaniel Churchill, a man key to Crouseville’s future, will finally permanently settle in Crouseville in 1839.

 

Skipping ahead to when John Deane and Edward Kavanagh first entered the Crouseville area:

 

“Next South Bank, John Hickey, Irish, who began on the place five years ago, has a house, barn and thirty-two acres cleared. He is not married, James Rand and family live in the house with him. Rand has a place below [down river] and has cut down three acres.”

 

On Map 1 John Hickey’s property can be located in the southeast corner of Section 3. His property is on the south side of the Aroostook River and is marked “Hickey”. John Hickey settled his Crouseville land in 1827.[12] Subsequently the Rand family apparently moved out of the Crouseville area.

 

“Next [on south bank of Aroostook River], Joshua Christie, [originally from] N.[New] Brunswick, lives on a lot of land purchased of William Dalton; has a house and barn and thirty acres cleared. He has a clearing on the North Bank of the river which is in corn, wheat and grass.”


 

Joshua Christie’s property on Map 1 can be located in the southwest corner of Section 5. His property is on the south side of the Aroostook River and is marked “Christie”. Ferdinand Armstrong’s 1827 deposition stated that Joshua Christie obtained the William Dalton farm. The 1831 report to the Maine Legislature revealed that this same farm was on the south bank of the Aroostook River. Apparently Joshua Christie always lived on the south bank of the Aroostook River. This goes against local folklore which tells of Joshua moving from the north bank to the south bank in order to find higher and drier land. The best explanation for this story is in this 1831 report. Joshua did have a farm on the north bank of the river where he grew “corn, wheat and grass”, but he never lived there.

 

“Next, William Munford [Mumford], [originally from] Nova Scotia, lives on a Island purchased of Joshua Christie two years ago: has a house and seven or eight acres cleared. This Island was over-flowed, last Spring, in consequence of the jambing of ice. The water rose to the eves of his house, and the family were taken from the roof in the morning in canoes. His barn was swept away and his cow with it. He now intends to build on the south side of the River. There are twelve islands in the Township.”

 

William Mumford purchased his island from Joshua Christie in 1829. Mr. Mumford lost his barn and his cow in 1831 during a spring flood. For many years, after Mr. Mumford had moved away, the island was known as Mumford Island. Eventually it was renamed, after its new owners, Churchill Island. Mumford (Churchill) Island can be located on Map 1 as the large river island in Section 6 labeled “Mumford”.

 

“Next South bank Peter Bull, [originally from] New Brunswick, began on the lot nine years ago, and moved on with his family, has a house, barn and fifteen acres cleared. This lot is next to the East - line of Township 12 Range 3 [Mapleton Township]. He also has 25 acres cleared on the island in front, called Bulls Island, which the Township line crosses.”

 

Only the northern tip of Bulls Island is in Salmon Brook Township. It can be located on Map 1 as the northern tip of a large river island in Section 6, immediately down river (southeast) of Mumford Island. The Bull homestead is located in Mapleton Township.


      


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The Early History of Crouseville, 1800-1875, is reprinted with permission, from the book Crouse Family History, 2nd Edition, copyright (c) 1995-2000, Rogue Publishing, Seattle, Washington.