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Richard Tripp’s Family


On a little knoll a short distance from the lake in West Poland, which has, since borne his name (Tripp pond) once lived Richard Tripp and his wife Jane Gustin. It is not known precisely when they moved there but it was probably about the year 1780 for they were among the first settlers. Little is known of these people beyond the fact that they were honest, industrious and very respectable. Richard Tripp purchased his land of a proprietor who agreed to take his pay in baskets of any size Mr. Tripp desired to make.

Traveling in those days being chiefly confined to oxen and a journey of twelve or fifteen miles in winter taking several hours he conceived the idea of making a basket large enough to cover over a whole sled. This he constructed with a tight fitting cover and it was used a vehicle in cold weather for moving some of the early families. It is said William Emery’s family which consisted of his wife and five small children were placed in this giant basket packed in straw and warm blankets in the month of March 1796 and transported from Gloucester to Megquire Hill Poland, a distance of fifteen miles. Mr. Emery drives the oxen. It required one whole day to make the journey. This basket made more than one hundred years ago is said to be still in existence and carefully preserved by some member of the Emery family, probably the last relic of the handiwork of Richard Tripp. In these later years of pride and fashion the inhabitants of West Poland have tried to change the name of this beautiful lake to one more romantic but all in vain, for invariably reverts to the original Tripp. And may it be known by this name for all future time as a lasting memento to the courage, honesty and kindliness of this prolific family! They lived in an age when large families were popular, and wishing to keep abreast of the times Mr. Tripp and wife had nineteen children. We are able to give the names of fourteen of these and it is probable that the others died young. Among the number were two pairs of twins. The list is follows:

Abigail born April 1 1786.

Pecie born June 13, 1787.

Mary born Feb 12, 1789.

David born April 28, 1791.

Reuben born Jan 27, 1793.

Ebenezer born November 13, 1794.

Sarah born March 26, 1796

Joanna born April 24, 1798.

Abel born April 26, 1800.

Abner born April 30, 1802.

Jane born March 30, 1804.

Eunice born unknown.

Hannah born April 24, 1812.

Dr Burbank t family physician offered Mrs. Tripp one hundred dollars if she would become the mother of the twentieth child, but the records prove that this offer was of no avail.

At one time in the school district at west Poland fifty scholars were contributed to the school by five families, the Tripp family being one of them. On the occasion of the death of Richard Tripp William Schellinger then a boy was passing the house when the old lady called to him saying " Tell your folks to come to the funeral at ten o/clock for the old man wants to be off with himself." He afterward learned however that she had reference not to her dead companion but to the minister. The Tripp’s have long since passed away but there memory still survives.

It was learned from one of our oldest citizens that the family was nearly all buried in the Old Staples burying ground on the south slope of Black Cap Mountain, a cemetery ling since neglected and forgotten. It was only by diligent search was it found. Here on a little knoll sloping to the south ready to catch the first gleams of the rising sun. It is covered with pine and birches in the midst of a forest lie the ashes of Richard Tripp and his wife Jane. There is nothing at the head of the nameless grave here to indicate who lies in the lonely and secluded spot. Nothing but plain stone marks them and they has become moss covered and drifted over with leaves. It probable that more than one hundred were buried in this sad and gloomy sepulchre.