A glance at the map of the western part of Washington County will show that any treatment of the early settlement upon the Narraguagus River, necessarily involves more or less of the histories of Steuben, Milbridge, Harrington and Cherryfield. Steuben was formerly township “No. 4, East of Union River,” and No. 5 comprised the territory now included in the towns of Milbridge and Harrington. The town of Cherryfield is composed of No. 11, Middle Division, Brigham Purchase, and of the northeastern part of what was formerly Steuben. All that part of Cherryfield lying south of the mills on the first
Location: Washington County ME
A brief historical sketch of Narraguagus River Valley in Maine.
Among the very early settlers at Steuben was Lemuel Baker, who came from Roxbury, Mass. He must have come about, or soon after, the time that the Leightons came. He married a Tracy, sister of Mrs. Thomas Leighton, 2d, and Mrs. Deacon Stevens. He settled near the shore of Joy’s Bay, on what is known as Baker’s Point, afterwards near where the George Baker house is. By his first wife he had four children. George, Nabby, Rhoda, and Dolly. After the death of his first wife, which occurred while these children were young, Mr. Baker moved to Massachusetts and there married Abigail Griggs, and by her had two children, Susanna and Eli F., both born in Roxbury, and while they were young again moved to Steuben, where Lemuel and Abigail lived for the remainder of their days.
The Dunbars of Narraguagus Valley Maine are all descended from Obed and Abigail Dunbar, who were early settlers in Steuben, and came from Taunton, Mass. Their children were Merrill, Caleb, Polly, Peter, Humphrey and Abigail.
Isaac Lovett, a young Englishman, came to this river with Joseph and Benjamin Wallace. He was clerk and bookkeeper for Major Joseph for several years. He was a fine penman, as shown by the old books that he kept, some of which are yet in existence, and a man of considerable education. He married Annie Sawyer, daughter of John Sawyer of Jonesport. Their children were Daniel, Annie, Rebecca, Ruth, Elizabeth, Jane and Mary.
Josiah Sawyer, about 1757, came from Cape Elizabeth and settled near the river in what is now Milbridge Maine. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Jesse Brown. There were born to them four sons and four daughters, Josiah, Jr., William, George B., John, Lydia, Sally, Jane and Hannah.
Samuel Wakefield and his wife Mary Burbank, came from Kennebunk in 1756 or 57, and settled at the head of the bay on the lot now comprising a considerable part of Steuben village. Their children were Samuel, Lydia, Ruth, Benjamin, Phebe, Hannah and Sally. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Wakefield m. a widow Small, and their children were James, Myriam and Daniel.
The Fosters of Milbridge, Cherryfield, Sullivan, etc., are descended from a Mr. John Foster, who, with his wife, came to the Narraguagus river valley from Cape Elizabeth soon after the close of the Revolutionary War. He and his wife were English born; came to Halifax, thence to Cape Elizabeth and thence here. He had three sons, James, Robert and John.
Some time between 1766 and 1768, Alexander Campbell removed from Damariscotta to Steuben, and built a mill at Tunk, now called Smithville, on the east side of the river. It was the first mill there. In 1759, he married Betsey Nickels, who was born in Ireland and came to Lynn, Mass., with her parents when about six years old. From Lynn, she came with her brother, Capt. William. Nickels, to Damariscotta. Children of Alexander and Betsey Campbell were: James, Frances, Hannah, Peggy, Polly, William, Samuel, Alexander, and Betsey.
About 1760, two brothers, Thomas and Samuel Leighton, came from Falmouth to this River. Samuel settled on the lot now in possession of Richard P. Willey. His sons were Theodore Leighton, Isaac Leighton, Parritt Leighton and Phineas Leighton. Thomas Leighton, the brother of Samuel Leighton, settled upon a lot at the head of Pigeon Hill Bay. He had a family of six sons and five daughters. Robert, Joseph, Thomas, Annie, Molly, James, Ross, Abigail, Betsey, Sarah and Benjamin. Nearly at the same time that Thomas and Samuel Leighton came and settled, Thomas Leighton 2d came from Dover, N. H., to Gouldsboro. His wife was Lydia Tracy. It is not known that there was any relationship between these two Thomas Leightons. From Gouldsboro, Thomas 2d soon removed to Steuben and settled upon the lot afterwards known as the Henry Leighton lot. He had ten children, Jonathan, Mark, Charity, Alexander, Hatevil, Pamelia, Isaiah, Daniel, Israel and Asa.