Narraguagus Valley Some Account of its Early Settlement and Settlers

Foster Genealogy of Narraguagus Valley Maine

The Fosters of Milbridge, Cherryfield, Sullivan, etc., are descended from a Mr. John Foster, who, with his wife, came to this river 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. The tradition is that his position at Halifax was made unpleasant by reason of his strong sympathy with the Americans in their struggle for Independence. He settled upon the lot now occupied by John Bailey and built a house on the high point of land near the river. He had three sons, James, Robert and John.

  1. James Foster m. Lydia Stevens. James built the house afterwards owned and occupied by Jonathan Upton, at Milbridge. Their children were:
    1. Clarissa Foster m. Reuben Smith,
    2. Eli Foster m. ____ Wallace and raised a large family at Milbridge.
    3. Cynthia Foster m. Col. Henry Sawyer and moved to Augusta.
    4. Rhoda Foster m. Birdsey Lewis,
    5. J. Simpson Foster m. Emma Ingalls and is still living in Sullivan.
    6. Enos Foster m. Maria Ingalls and is yet living in Boston.
  2. Robert Foster m. Polly Campbell, who lived but a short time, and 2d Jane Alline, and raised a large family of sons, all of whom have gone west except one family at Calais. Robert, Sr., built a house on the site of John Bailey’s present house, which was long well known as the John Upton tavern. Mrs. Foster lived to a great age and died a few years ago at G. E. Church’s in Cherryfield.
  3. John Foster m. Peggy Campbell. John built a large house a short distance north of Robert’s, where George Collins’ house was burned some years ago. John and his wife died in 1803. Their sons were:
    1. Alexander Foster.
    2. Robert 2d Foster.

Just before the embargo, James and Robert Foster began the building of a large brig on the river, and in doing so became largely indebted to Robert and Jeduthan Upton of Salem. The embargo, followed by the war of 1812-15, coming on before they had completed the vessel, the enterprise proved disastrous and ruinous. It is said that the brig — no spars being set — was hauled into the creek north of the Elias Fickett place, which was then wooded with large trees to the water’s edge, and there, so covered with brush, as not to be seen by persons passing up and down the river. The Uptons, in payment or part payment of their claim, received title to, and entered into possession of the real estate of the Foster brothers. Jonathan, a son of Robert Upton, came and occupied the James Foster place, and John, a son of Jeduthan, took possession of the Robert Foster place. Such is the reason or occasion of the migration of the Uptons to the Narraguagus river. After the loss of his property, James Foster moved to Great Falls (Deblois) and lived for a time in a house built by Otis Pineo, on the hill where Bartlett Leighton lives. 1 From Deblois, James Foster removed to Steuben and built the house lately occupied by Gen. S. Moore, and thence in his old age, he went to Sullivan to live with his daughter, Mrs. Henry Sawyer. He died in Augusta.

The unmarked grave of the senior John Foster lies somewhere in the field near the river, on the lot upon which he settled, and that of his wife on the William. B. Leighton lot in Deblois.Citations:

  1. Pineo had been sent to Great Falls by Gen. Cobb to build a mill and begin a settlement the further history of which the writer has no knowledge.[]

Milliken, J. A. The Narraguagus Valley: some account of its early settlement and settlers. Covers towns of Steuben, Milbridge, Harrington and Cherryfield. Machias, Maine: 1886; reprinted A. J. Huston, Portland, Maine, 1910.

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