Tilton Letter 70.14.17j1 – Re: The Meeting House 2nd Parish (20 pages).
Also available: The Original Typewritten Transcript
The Meeting House 2nd Parish in Scarboro, was a large building . I know not it’s dimensions with a porch in front- with 3 doors of entry- 2 flight of stairs leading to gallery on 2 sides, with ” Singing seats”in front- 2 other doors lead to side aisles-with pews on each side, some 70 or more pews in the 3 aisles-square, round the walls, and long in the center, with 2 whole length. At the head for deaf people, or those not owning seatsail seats”turned up” and shut noisily after prayers. Aged persons had a high back chair for greater comfort, the pews being narrow seats, without cushions or lining. The pulpit was large with several steps raising it above the platform below, where sat the Deacons, behind the”Communion Table”
There were some 30 or more large windows without a blind except at the pulpit and ministers pew of their own placing-Cushions also to the Southgate pew in broad aisle- a great contrast to present luxurious church sitting! The house was a fine looking structure within, without, for those times- white outside: , no paint within, a large Sounding Board over the Desk, on the desk on red velvet cushion, was a very large Biblei Opposite the pulpit were the “singing seats where the leading ■ musician waved off the time i&ith his right hand, arm in the distance below his wife quavered treble to his tenor sometimes good Dr. David Bacon kept company with his Bass Viol sometimes “later on Watts grand old words were chanted solo by wofthy Deacon Moulton, rather than being without music on the Sabbath as part of regular worship- The Bible was given to a church gathered later in N. part of Scarboro. Around the large square where the meeting house stood Miss Southgate had set out.
When those trees first came into notice, the Lombardy Poplar which flourished well. I won’t attempt to discribe the different occupants bf those pews tho my memory of many of them is very vivid some may find a place further on in these reminissences.
As to prayer meetings, they were not known in that society. , Lecture of Whurs before communion Sun. 1st Sun. in the month and occasional lectures at school houses, in distant localities, to favor aged persons unable to attend Sundays- were all the :: :
religions gatherings I recal, people were too far apart and farming population to weary for eve meetings- labore, not era was mostly in practice, until the invasion of the noisy “Cochranites”. Their nightly gatherings were a reproach upon the word “Christian” Their vocales cardiums could be heard miles on the still air-their god being deaf, or on a journey, requiring a loud appeal.
This disorderly movement disgusted conversative minds and caused discord in families instead of the true religious peace attendant an quiet worship– Thank god that wave of fanatical emotional ignorance has spent itself long ere this– I willnot – but trust
it has been succeeded by reasonable for truth
rather than emotion praciting charity rather than envy-
Social gatherings were frequent in my early days at Dunstan quite a party from 20 to 30, young middle aged, would meet of both sexes in the afternoon, conversation the usual game no tea, “handed round” with the
usual accompamments- After this a stroll outside a general flitting at early hours- When visits were at a distance we went very early giving the hostess timeto prepare, bake biscuit the universal pie, or custard for supper- with table well loaded with edibles well cooked. The farmers in Scar’ were good very hospitable
One old gent whose house was open to city friends-made the remark” when visiting here these- friends par takeabundently- we visit them and tis a cup of tea a cracker then set back”! too true in many cases.
One of the social or ministerial gatherings, was the county “Association of Clergy” held annually at some appr^pri^cfee appointed brother ministers house- those from distance came the night previous- Services were held in the church, usOSgfAy well filled. Abusiness meeting dinner followed, which was a great affair every way – the parish presenting many needed needful articles, even doz clay pipes – various kinds of choice Liquors of some kind- “Scar”- had its strong votaries to Bacchus – but there was less public criminal result from their habits, than we find in later times- doubtles much of the present evil is an inheritance from ancestrial habits, increased by adulterated liquors – sleighing parties in winter to “March^ Tavern near Seth Libbys, of later years, I think were common dancing, a supper, general good time followed til the small hours called to seperate- Friends from Portland, other towns often met at these winter parties.
Previous to 1810, there were 2 larlge well supplied stores of all necessary articles, at Dunston Corner, Mr. Wood kept one, Joseph Emerson Haines kept one sometime before the latter went to Port”, with his family some members residing there now. Mr. E. lived in a largi* house standing now at the corner leading from landing to broad turn road, clay hill so called he and his wife died there leaving 8 children. Rufus in Portland Wm. with Gov. King of Bath Joseph at Limerick Irene the eldest man Mr. Donnell lived at the old place, – kept the stone awhile, also the P office and Tavern, some of his children ewre there lately, he, his wife died there few years ago. Mr Htig^t had a black smith shop near these stores the only one in the place.
He had a large house opposite, a large family of children settled in different parts of Maine. Amos son succeeded his father in shop and homestead. A worthy family Mr. H. was several years represenative from S. to the general court in Boston before the seperation of Me. Dr. Alvan Bacon lived in a square house next Mr. Hight.
His brother Dr. David opposite him in smaller house, after ward belonging to J. Milliken the one David moved to Boston as early 12 or 13 was a prominent “physi” there many years. Dr Alvan was the only “phys” in “Scar” -but sickness took him from his loved profession, to the regret of his extensive circuit of patients. His two sons were M. D’s and died within a few years at Biddeford in good practice- one daughter mar Dr. Larabee who took her Father’s practice – the eldest went to Detroit as wife of Rodney Hill both have passed away.
My early memory of the landing shows the old aunt Eunice… Milliken house on the right very near the river- a large vessel just ready to launch in the stocks.Father took us to see the launch, but it was a failure. I doubt if another vessel was built there- 2 houses on the left belonged to Capt. Snow and brother seaman. I have lost trace of them-Next came the “old King Mansion” standing back in the yard with barn in front, I trust it stands there yet! The original house consisted of one room with bedroom adjoining, a swellery and dresser, small entry, big chimney and oven some six feet brick hearth and low garret!, dark as Erebus.
Appended to this was a large two story structure of two rooms a wide hall very broad stairs leading to Z chambers on first floor and above all plastered but no paint any where a large parlor with sanded floor, wall paper.
Shepperdess playing a reed, four windows, no blinds, smaller room back of this called the study, no libraries then, a door led from the study” to the field back where stood the tall smoke house for curing the hams. A garden or orchard was on the other side joining Snower house. Next on the road, the Coolbrots house, ajlarge family, quakers in believe, as were Jon M. Pillsbury family next on the opposite side the C’s moved on to the road to Saco and scattered- J. Pillsbury was the shoe maker for the community, had a nice family some living at Dunstan now I think. He was a pleasant man, his thee, thou, the wonders of his crafty even the bristles were very attractive to us children to get leather shoe strings or a heel tapped and listen to his stories.
Next came a small house, mother of C. Carle, the return driver of Paine’s Mail Stage between Port- and Boston. Everybody knew, and some feared Charles Carle with such a stalwart frame, red face and ready oaths allways prompt in his duties–.-
Then on right hand of road came the Southgate house, a Dutch style house, windows on the gambel roof stood back in a yard, end to the road. Barns, outhouses farther down in yard, not a large house, but large family, and great many visitors of note from N.Y. Boston, Salem. When crowded at home the ladies filed off to Father’s in the King House to lodge, but in 1809 Judge S. built a large brick house on the Post Road near Dunstan Corner which is still standing, now the Scammon place. The Southgate family consisted of the Judge, wife and twelve children, were buried in the grave yard at Dunstan. Consumption took all but Horatio the eldest son, away before midlife. An old house was on the same side of the road as the S. house, I forget its owner. Next came the small cottage of mine and Rachel Milliken single daughter of Augur Milliken. Their farmer large dwelling stood on the Post road just above the S. new house, and was taken down from age.
At the angle formed by the Post and Landing roads crossing stood the old Meeting House, which I never saw. About the’ corner were the stores, dwellings, described above.
Beyond Dr. Bacon’s house stood a large dwelling of Milliken his name a seaman I think. Opposite this was Col. John Rice who’s widow was a relative of Mrs. King. She was many years the tailoress of the community and aunt to everybody- It was a gala to the children when Aunt Rice came for a week or more to sew for boys and girls both. She was a keen observer of character bright and humorous. Being a relative of the Kings she never spared his persecutors or those supsited as such.
Her daughter’s were Mrs Martin Jose of Scarborough, the second Mrs Haines, 3, Mrs Means of Augusta. Next to Rice’s were small houses then the grave yard as it is now only approved in appearance, and more fully occupied. Then came two families of Coalbrooks, 11 people. Marm C. was a constant church goer her red cloak and hood gave notice of her as she walked ori^and on£ half miles each Sunday to church aged seventy. Her grandson was Rev.Mr. Hughes Unit. Minister of good repute, died a short time since. On the opposite side stood the old schoolhouse where gathered all both great and small of past and present times. I suppose the same old building still stands. In the yard of it was the Chadwick House.
There lived in nun like seclusion the widow and 3 single daughters of Rev B. Chadwick the former pastor of the 2nd Church. Fear of the S. children shut them in like prisoners. Nabby the eldest taught school in other locations – and several years they were favored with the Village P.office til its patrons complained that its door never opened wide enough to take in or hand out any mail matter. Some way above this stood a large brick house several barns, outhouse of Capt. Mulberry Milliken, the only tavern in the place many years. Travelers of any respectability made the clergymen’s house their Inn, til it was changed to greater distance from the Post road. Mr. Milliken was a substantial man, brought up a large and worthy family, two sons six daughters, heirs of some reside there now. Dr. Bacon’s wife was Lis eldest. The late D.J. Milliken of Scarb. his g.son-opposite this place was two large houses Carter of Port, one son – Phebe the eldest daughter was sent to England the first Morman Missionary. I cant say if others of the family were of like belief. The place now belongs to A. Moulton. Mr. Carter was a Tanner by trade, only one in town – near here the Blue Point road.
There were Boothby’s, Seaveys, Burbanks on the road to Saco above these houses. But I turn again to Dunstan Broad turn road – on the brow of Clay Hill stood the little shanty of the only colored persons in Scar. Reuben and Nabby Jackson, whether they were slaves of Mr. King, I cant say but think Nabby may have been the sick slave under whose bed he and when that mob burned and his stores – they were
factotums in the South family on all occasions very worthy neat, pleasant, we children delighted to stop in on the way and have Nabby say, “Ruby dear fetch a cheer for Jonny”. Reuben was the village slayer of hogs – chores-the old grave has their dust – more pure in soul than many while remain lying beside theirs – The clay hill extended quite a distance and a brook and bridge at its foot on the road – on a mound just inside the pasture were the graves of Mr. Mrs. King, he requested to be laid there = some 30 yrs after her death, Mrs. King was brot from her dau’s at Topsom and laid beside him.
There has been talk of erecting some tablet over these graves -also of removing their dust, but I think neither has been done -on the right hand going from Dunstan up, next came the house of Deacon Amos Andrews-one of those who subrosa persecuted Mr. King-next was Gideon Rice – shoemaker – a stiff democrat, as were the majority of Scar. – especially a large ignorant class enemies of law and order.
Mr left no child – disliked progress, “the old ways were good enough for him” better grow potatoes then spend time on roses” – was his advice to Father on seeing him trimming bushes in front yard, “best to do both as I do was the reply” – Next was house of Capt Pillsbury an escentric old seaman – the almanac batometer of the vicinity – but genial pleasant neighbor, fond of long yarns, late hours. He watched from gallery window in the church the encounter of the “Enterprize and Boxer” off Port, harbor during the war of 1812, he was very proud of his glass -his eyes also – he left 8 sons worthy citizens 1 dau. who died of late 90 yrs .
Thomas Fendersin’s house was opposite a sturdy farmer whose land reached to the yard of M± house, a fine grove of willows lined the road to the next house of Mr. Stuwart – on rising ground opposite Mt house, or just above.
This place my father bought in 1810 as convenient to church and occupied til 1833. The land reached the turn of roads to Nonsuch, on left, rocky hill right so termed, tho both crest the river – Reuben Fogg lived at this corner house a most worthy man, family of 2 dau. on right hand, house of Eben Burnham or Bremen B. so called from his voyages to that port – an enterprising man with large family – In 1830, Gov. E. Lincoln took this farm in exchange for better farming landcat Garlond, the family went there, some members are living there yet -Gov. Lincoln was repairing the house, had moved his large library in when he went from our house to deliver a lecture and died suddenly. __ My Father, Brother took the place =
after Father died brother went to Minn-ta and lived prosperously til within few yrs – he and his wife died, 4 dau. survive = 2 in Minn, near anoka, 2 in Wt.
I cant say if anyone administered, on his estate – it will be useless to look for books or records of business, it would be difficult also to follow the steps of some 30 pupils who left the preceptor in 1828. Some were with us 3 yrs, some 3 mo -several became active businessmen in N. York, in Boston and in Saco. 8 of the Cutts relatives – 2 Greenes 2 Piersons, Shannon, Snow, Hye, from Saco – 1 Cutts of the above from Berwick, 1 from Mass, White from Newberry, 2 Harmons, Usher from Boston, Keating and Adams from Portland, Boyd also Meserve 2 Storors, Board from Scar. Burnham Fabyn and Carter day pupils are what I recall by name of only one of these, he was my pet, did we ever have a sad report, several came as ungovernable else where, but never rebelled while with us, they,./treated as gent and taught to govern themselves. But many boys freaks were carried on unnoticed, when harmless. But few children went abroad to school. Judge Soothgates dauh to Boston, Port. 2 sons to Bowdoin.
Dr. Bacon 2 da to Port – eldest brother to Exeter and Harvard, and Gorham 3 Brunswick and Woodstock Med. schools, all three have passed away. My sister, the widow of James McLaughlin with whom I live myself only survive. James McLaughlin was from Beach Ridge, Scar. The Port. Argus was the chief news paper, taken by very few, and ^as by no means a reading community in those days – Republicans were few, and religious papers were not the fashion till later. In fact S. was a sleepy place, hard work on sterile soil for food was the general occupation. Some could take sound n naps – “under the droppings of the sanctuary”.
I well remember Mr. N. Libby of vinegar fame , so sound asleep at the hjrad of his pew in broad aisle that his family passed out and left h im. When Father went by he touched him, when roused he was very anem –his family no doubt realized their joke. He was as acid as h is noted vinegar from which a road was named to designate and his labor in obtaining it.
I recall another amusing incident in church. Father was urging his hearers to make public profession, so called of religion, and in orratorial florish he paused, looking in cartain direction, ” he says after giving some pleas for neglect”, What says that man yonder quite a rustle was heard when saintly, Mr John Jose rose and said, ” I didn’t hear him say anything Sir”. He sat down and the preacher took up his subject. Mr. Mrs. Jon Collins, whose farm was above the intervale and Rocky Hill, claimed notice as being marked chatacters, for simplicity, kindness.^ hospitality. They had no children but brought up several of both sexes. Some of whom married remaining with them. They were Aunt and Uncle Colly to the community. Devoted to each other in a long life together and in death not divided. Mr C. died suddenly, falling from his chair his wife threw herself beside him, in her distress crying out “Speak Colly, speak, if youre alive, if youre dead holler!” She never rallied, but joined Colly and they were laid at one time in the tomb’ they had prepared on their own ground near their house.
They were greatly lamented, his brother came from Cape Cod, heir to his property. He was of the same type of character their word was their only surety. Never having used a written note Mr. C. and wife sat side by side at table and twas said ate from one plate, food was all served from one large pewter platter, meat flanked by vegtables. Their dresser was resplendent with bright pewter of all sizes.
I recall but few old servants, Molly Richards, a faithful attache in the Southgate home, Becky and Sophy Milliken, dau’s of Aunt Eunice at the landing, they »®re excellent in their calling. Becky was a strong sturdy woman, could take up a full barrel of cider and move it. She was in general demand on all occasions, either of company or sickness. She had 2 sons by different names. Sam Chesley went to N.Y. prospered and took his mother home in her old age. She made an impression on visitors with us, who would inquire for Becky Milliken. Her mother was a sub. to Dr. Bacon in certain cases, her sons Mulbery and Fred lived at Dunstan. Many of the residents were employed at the ships, owning a house and some land upon which they toiled after laying by the broad axe. From that generation has ever luted a more active and aspiring class of characters now living at Dunstan I hope.
Weddings,always demand notice, I remember one or two that were some what marked, at the King house when living there. A couple from the village desired to avoid publicity but the gent’s friends thinking it mean in them found out when it was to take place and where, and resolved to be witnesses-Just as Father was sobmeying the bards, there rushed in some doz men disfigured with mud and other marks. Greatly to the . surprise and discomfort of all, especially the bridal party and the groom begged to make compensation for the dirt and extra trouble but mother declined. Next morning came a handsome note of apoligy from the young bloods who carried out their escapades and with it a liberal supply of liquors and goodies. Another time 2 carriages drove up with a bridal party from Port. Father had gone to see his hay cut on the dyke marsh 2 miles away, the best man offered to go for him if tz.e could have a guide to point him out. So I, 5yr. oldcwas dispatched in search, found brot him home, when the bards were soon united having waited so long and come so far mother after the ceremony offered cake and wine,
They partookand the groom who was a whole souled sailor had followed mother and insisted upon giving a second fee in return for their treat, which she wouldnt accept.
Weddings at the house always interested us children causing no little excitement and grief when coming after our bed time hours. I know of no houses burnt one removed from Rocky Hill to Blue Point by Capt. Snow, whose wife was a Collins from Cape Cod. The house opposite the church where we lived 30 yrs has been taken down and ajlarger one built. It stood on a knoll of fellspar with earth just sufficient in front, to bear fine roses and Hive us a well of choice drinking water. From the chamber windows on moon light nights I could see the ocean at Old Orchard and always heard it’s roar previous to a storm. It has changed greatly in late days only one house near the beach in 1829 when I last bathed in its restless waves.
Capt. Roger Libby was noted for his style of language when drilling his command “March up to that cow pat, turn, contention the whole and listen to the distractions the general court has sent us”. That was previous to seperation from Mass.