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wise fifty acres more, if she would come and cook for him and his hired men. David Robbins could not get a deed, or any security for one, of the person who had sold to him in Thomaston; for he had gone off, it was said, as a tory. Accordingly, his father's proposition to him and his wife was accepted. With their children they came in May, 1776, and occupied the loghouse built by Packard, who, in consequence of the Robbins purchase, was obliged to go off. This was the first family which moved into Stirlington. Before the decease of David Robbins, there was standing in Warren or Thomaston only one house, built before he came here. At the time of his coming, there was not another family above Boggs's in Warren. None of the land between them was cleared. There was no road, not even a footpath. Mrs. Robbins1 did not see the face of a woman from the time of her arrival in
May till the following autumn. To this day, people speak of her excessive joy when another female came to reside with her.
At the same time with David Robbins came Philip Robbins and his sons, Jessa and Ebenezer. Philip Robbins settled west and north of the island in Seven-tree Pond, on the place where Stephen Hawes now lives. He brought six men to assist him in clearing his land. During the season he cut down and burned over about twenty acres.
Richard Cummings, from Stoughton, came the same spring in May, cleared a small spot on the farm now owned by Henry Seiders, sowed some spring grain, tarried a short time, and returned to Massachusetts.
In the spring of the same year, Dr. Taylor again visited his township. Having hired Col. Benjamin Burton, afterward an officer in the revolutionary war, Nathaniel Fales, of Thomaston, and others, he built the first frame-house in the place. It was about
1 Probably the first white females ever in the place were two young women of somewhat suspicious character, who, in the spring before the arrival of Mrs. Robbins, came by themselves from Warren in a boat to the Mill Farm, and returned on the same day.
eighteen feet by twenty, and stood on the spot now occupied by Joseph Gleason's house. Gleason's kitchen is over the old cellar, and Taylor's well furnishes the water now used by Gleason's family. This was the only frame-house in Union till some years after the town was incorporated. The boards were brought on the ice from Lermond's Mills, at Oyster River, by Phinehas Butler.
This year, the Butlers, Jessa Robbins, and others, reaped the rye, of which the Butlers had sowed a considerable part in the preceding year. It was the first grain ever harvested in town.
In the course of the same summer, Taylor erected a barn, measuring about thirty-four by forty feet. The posts, beams, and rafters were of oak. The entire male population of Stirlington, consisting of six men and two lads, one seventeen and the other nineteen years old, were present at the raising. The timber was so large and heavy, and the gang, of which Philip Robbins is said to have been the captain, was so small, that two days were required to put up the frame. The flesh was scraped from the arms, and the gang so exhausted by lifting and straining as to be hardly able to work for nearly a week.
It was some time in the course of the year that Richard Cummings built a log-house. Except Packard's, it was the first in town. It was situated about midway between the road and the pond. In the fall of the same year, or in the spring of the next, David Robbins built the next log-house on land now owned by the heirs of his son David. It was between the present house and the pond, so near to the latterperhaps fifteen rods distant-that the water used by the family was brought from it. The top of the house was covered with slabs brought from Mill River in Thomaston. "The house," says Mrs. Dunton, "was caulked with moss. The chimney was on the outside of the house. Mother baked all the bread by the fire, but the next year got along comfortably, as we had a clay oven out of doors."
In the fall, Philip Robbins went to Walpole, and returned with his family. On arriving at the Fort Wharf in Thomaston, they were met by their friends, and came up the river to Stirlington.1
In the vessel with the family of Philip Robbins came Richard Cummings and his family. They landed from Seven-tree Pond, Nov. 2. Before this,
Philip Robbins lived with his son David in the Packard House. When his family came, all for a short time lived together. There were fourteen persons. dwelling together in this small log-house. The first fall, three low bedsteads were set up in the garret. It was necessary to lay the fourth bed on the floor of the garret, so as to crawl over it to get to the others. The ascent to the garret was by steps cut into a log which stood by the side of the fireplace. Another bed, with a trundle bed under it, was in the room below, which was also the kitchen, reception-room, parlor, &c. The members of the household who were unprovided for lay on the floor. This house Philip Robbins and his family occupied probably about four years. Thus the fathers and mothers of the town found it necessary to live and to lodge.
In this year Philip Robbins put up a timber-house. The timbers, twelve by twenty inches in size, were dovetailed, or locked in, at the ends. The roof was covered, but there were no doors or windows; nor
1 Mrs. Susan Mero says, that, when they arrived at the Fort Wharf, her uncle Gregory, of Camden, met them, and insisted on carrying her, then a girl eight years old, to his home. Accordingly, she mounted his horse behind him. On the way they went through an almost impassable swamp, in which the horse sometimes sank two or three feet. After a week's visit, her uncle brought her to Taylortown. Guided by spotted trees, they came up on the east side of Seven-tree Pond. The bushes and limbs were so thick that she frequently was in imminent danger of striking her feet, and being turned and thrown from the horse. At Crawford's River, there being no bridge, Taylor's men were hailed across the stream. They went to the pond, and rowed round its mouth instead of crossing it. The boat was then rowed back, though at first she hesitated about "getting into a thing that looked so much like a hog's trough.' Shortly afterwards, she was carried across the pond, about five-eighths of a mile, to her father's.
was it inhabited for three or four years. "It was so built that the Indians could not shoot through it." Into this the family put their effects when they came in November.
In the fall of this year, Philip Robbins got out a frame for a barn, which he put up in 1777. It was in this year also that Taylor put up the frame of a sawmill, a little below the present mills on Crawford's River.
A grist-mill was afterwards put under the saw
PLANTATION HISTORY, 1777, 1778.
1777, Phinehas Butler enters the Army. -Purchases by Abijah Hawes; by Ezra Bowen; by Jonathan Amory; by Joel Adams, Jason Ware, and Matthias Hawes. - Settlement of John Butler. 1778, Suchfort the Hessian.-Blacksmithing. - Calamitous Fire. Suffering for Food.
IN February, 1777, Phinehas Butler, who was acting as Taylor's agent, enlisted in Stirlington under Col. Benjamin Burton, and joined the army.
In June came Abijah Hawes, the first settler from Franklin, Mass. He had received continental bills in payment for services in the revolutionary war. bills were depreciating, and he resolved to purchase a farm with them. In order to save his means and buy
1 Col. Burton's bill shows the value of labor at the time:
Novbr. 22 1776 St Georges
PHILIP ROBINS Dr
To Hughing of a fraim for a Barn O. T. [Old Tenor] £22 10 0
27 00 0
27 00 0
24 6 6
100 16 6
2 Col. Burton died in Warren, May 24, 1835, aged 86.
as many acres as possible, he performed the journey from Franklin to Stirlington on foot and alone. He selected the farm now owned by his son, Whiting Hawes, on the west side of Seven-tree Pond, supposing that it would be the more salable from the circumstance that David Robbins had settled on the one side of it, and Ezra Bowen, who, after having worked for Taylor a year or two, had the same month selected the farm on the other side. Bowen's is now owned by Capt. John Pearse Robbins, and is next to Warren line. Hawes and Bowen began to chop the trees on their respective lots on the same day.
July 4, a deed was executed by which "John Taylor, of a new plantation called Sterlingtown, in consideration of the sum of £2,000 lawful money, conveys to Jonathan Amory, of Boston, merchant, a tract of land in Sterlingtown, with a dwelling-house, barn, gristmill, and saw-mill thereon standing, containing about 6,500 acres more or less, bounded thus: Beginning at a maple-tree marked, at the most south-westerly corner, which is on the line between the town of Warren and said plantation; thence east by said town-line, till it comes to Camden line; thence by said Camden line north-westerly, till that line strikes St. George's River; then on the east side of said river, till it comes to the first-mentioned bounds."
By this deed, and the one to Philip Robbins, Taylor disposed of all the land in Stirlington east of St. George's River, and south of the line which ran westerly from the mouth of the Cashman Brook.
At the time of Burgoyne's surrender, Oct. 17, 1777, it is said there were but three families in Stirlington. They must have been the families of Philip Robbins, David Robbins, and Richard Cummings.
From a plan drawn by David Fales, and dated Thomaston, Nov. 15, 1777, it appears that in this year Joel Adams bought of Philip Robbins the tract of land which was divided between himself, Jason Ware, and Matthias Hawes. Ware and Hawes probably visited this town at the same time and returned.