Act of Incorporation – Organization of Fryeburg, Maine

In the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy six.

An Act for erecting a Tract of Land Coold Fryeburg of two thousand one hundred and seventy two Rods square Lying in the County of York, which was granted as a Township to Joseph Frye, Esq., Anno Domoni seventeen hundred sixty-two and Confirmed Anno Domoni seventeen hundred sixty-three into a town by the name of Fryeburg.

Whereas the Inhabitance of that tract of Land Consisting of Proprietors & non Proprietors Promiscuously settled thereon Having lately been united in ordaining a Minister of the Gospel among them, are Desirous of a unity in the Expense of his Support of Building a Meeting House and other Public Charges of the place, but Cannot Lay a Tax upon themselves for those Purposes till said Tract of Land is incorporated into a Town.

Therefore be it enacted by the Council and House of Representatives in General Court Assembled and by the Authority of the same that the aforesaid Tract of Land originally Bounded as Followeth viz: at the South Corner to a Spruce Tree marked thence running (?) North forty-five Degrees west, (by the needal) two thousand one hundred and seventy-two Rods to a Beach Tree marked thence North forty-five Degrees East, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two Rods to a Maple Tree marked thence south forty-five Degrees East, two thousand one hundred and seventy-two West to the first mentioned Bounds-Be and hereby is erected into a Town by the Name of Fryeburg, Excepting and Reserving their out four thousand one hundred and forty- seven Acres of Land lying in the West Corner thereof, of which the Great and General Court in Compliance with a Petition of the above Named Joseph Frye Resolved to receive back and in lieu thereof Granted him the same quantity of Governments Land with Liberty to lay it out adjoining to the northwardly or Northeastwardly part of his Township as by said Resolve Dated June the twenty-fifth, Seventeen Hundred and seventy-two will appears and the Inhabitants of said Tract of land (Except as above Excepted) Bee and hearby are invested with all the Powers, Priviledges and Immunities which other Towns in this Coloney do Enjoy.

And be it further Enacted that Tristram Jordan, Esq., be and hearby is Impowered to issue his Warrant Directed to some Principal Inhabitant of said Town, Requesting him to warn the inhabitants there of who have a free hold according to Charter to Meet at Such Time and place as shall be theirin set forth to Choose all Such Officers as are or Shall be Required by Law to manage the affairs of said Town.

In the House of Representatives January 100, 1777, This Bill having had three several Readings Passed to be Enacted. Samuel Freeman speaker, P. T.

NOTE-This tract, now the southern half of the town of Stow, was designated as “Fryeburg Addition” until incorporated under its present name.

In Council January 11, 1777, This Bill having had two several Readings passed to be Enacted. John Avery, Dp’y Sec’y. Consented to by the major part of the Council–A true Copy Attest. John Avery, Dp’y Sec’y.

The above is a verbatim copy from the town records.

As directed in this act Tristram Jordan, Esq., of Pepperillborough (now Saco) issued his warrant dated March 17th, 1777, and directed to “Lt. Samuel Osgood, Gentleman” calling the legal voters of the described tract to assemble at the dwelling house of the Revd. Wm. Fessenden on Monday, March 31st, at ten “of the clock” in the forenoon.

At this meeting the following board of town officers was elected. Dea. Richard Eastman, moderator; Lt. Richard Kimball, clerk; the meeting was then adjourned for two hours, during which time Lt. Kimball went to Conway where he was “sworn to the faithful discharge of his duties” by Esquire David Page; Dea. Richard Eastman, Isaac Abboot (Abbot), Nathaniel Merrill, Dea. Simon Frye and Ezra Carter were chosen selectmen; Richard Kimball, Moses Ames, Stephen Farington, Ezekiel Walker and Benj. Russell a committee of safety “etc.;” Wm. Wiley, constable; Samuel Walker, Nathan Ames and David Evens (Evans), fence viewers; John Farington, John Charles, Jr., and John Bucknal, field drivers; Isaac Abbot, sealer of weights and measures; John Evans, Moses Day, Peter Asten (Austin) and Benj. Russell, surveyors of highways; Moses Ames and Daniel Farington, tything-men; Ebenezer Day, Hezekiah Asten and Nath’1 Merrill, wardens; James Parker, s’lr of leather; Isaac Walker, Abraham Bradly and Benj. Russell, Hogreves; Dea. Simon Frye, “Dear Reave;” Ezekiel Walker, treasurer; Isaac Abbot and Peter Asten, pound keepers; John Walker and David Evans, surveyors of lumber. These were the principal men then in town, and were the sounders of most of the later families.

A vote was then taken to have swine go at large and the meeting was adjourned.

The next important town meeting was called to assemble at the same place on April 17, for the purpose of settling Rev. Mr. Fessenden as minister of the town. A vote was taken to that effect, and under the next article forty-five pounds “lawful money” was raised “for his first years service in the ministry beginning at the eleventh of Oct. 1775, as agreed on by the Proprietors of this Township at their meeting of Oct. 5th, 1774.” Fifty pounds was voted for his second year, Oct. 11th 1776 to Oct. 11, 1777, and an increase of five pounds per year until seventy pounds be reached; his salary to continue at seventy pounds so long as he should continue in the pastoral relations to the church. One third part of this salary was to be paid in Indian corn (@ 3 shillings per bushel) and rice (@ 45).

Benj. Russell, Wm. Wiley and Lt. Isaac Walker were chosen a committee to examine accounts presented to the new town for payment, and a bounty of one pound was voted for catching or killing a wolf in town.

By the act incorporating Brownfield in 1802, a portion of Brownfield plantation was set off to the town of Frye burg, with the following bounds, viz:-Beginning at the south corner of Fryeburg at a stake and stones thence running north forty-six degrees and a half west, eleven hundred seventy-five rods on Fryeburg line to a pine stump on the line of New Hampshire; thence south six and a half degrees west, nine hundred and ten rods to a beach tree marked H Y B; thence north seventy-six degrees and a, half east, nine hundred and eighty five rods to the bounds first mentioned, about 2600 acres. The western boundry of Fryeburg finally passed through the present village of Fryeburg just west of the Gov. Dana place and crossed the Saco near Westin’s Bridge.

In the year 1847, portions of Fryeburg and Denmark west of Upper Moose pond were set off to the town of Bridgton.


Barrows, John Stuart. Fryeburg, Maine: An Historical Sketch. Pequawket Press. 1938.

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