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George Lawrence Hosmer.

An historical sketch of the town of Deer Isle, Maine, with notices of its settlers and early inhabitants online

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with the late Benjamin F. Fergerson, Esq.. and after a
dissolution of the copartnership, he was in trade alone.
He died in 1867, or about that time, and his widow sur-
vived him some ten years. His son, Mr. Eben F. Haskell,
occupies the house and homestead of his father and is
proprietor of the tanyard which was his father's property,
in which in former years a considerable business was done.
Joseph Noyes, mentioned as coming in 1804 with Mr.
Hezekiah Rowell, resided here till his death, in 1850, or
about that time. He was a native of Atkinson, New
Hampshire, and was by trade a house and ship joiner and
a very skilful workman. His wife, as we have stated, was
the daughter of Mr. Ezekiel Morey, and she survived her
husband. Their sons were : Mr. John M. Noyes, who
removed to Mount Desert, where he lived many years ;
Alexander N., who removed to Castine, and thence to
Massachusetts ; Henry A., who removed to Massachusetts ;
Joseph, now in Castine ; and Albert O., now in the Terri-
tory of Arizona. Of the daughters, one only remains
here — the wife of Mr. Hezekiah R. Haskell. Another
was the wife of Mr. Joshua E. Haskell, a son of Mr.
Edward Haskell, who removed to Fairfield in this State,
where he was accidentally killed. The others married in



TOWiV OF DEER ISLE, MAIXE. I 55

Other places. Mr. Noyes was a very sensible, capable man,
and he filled several town offices. His homestead is now
the property of Mr. William E. Gray,

Rev. Joseph Brown came here in 1804, or about that
time, and was settled as pastor over the church here as the
immediate successor of Rev. Peter Powers, and he resided
in the house known as the Parsonage House, now the
property of Rev. Hiram Houston. He was educated by
the well-known Lady Huntington at the same place of
instruction, and, I think, at about the same time, as Rev.
Mr. Milton, of Newburyport, who in his day was quite cel-
ebrated as a preacher. He was born in England, in 1760,
or about that year, and continued here till his death. He
was said to have been a preacher of ability and was a man
of education. He brought a family, among whom were
the late Rev. Charles M. Brown, well known in this
vicinity a few years ago. He was settled in Tremont,
Maine, and resided there several years, but a large part of
his later years he made this town his home, as his wife
was dead. In his former years he followed the sea, and
later became a good preacher ; he was a very singular
man. Another son was Philemon. Another was Amer-
icus. Another was Joseph. None of them made this
town his home. A daughter was a Mrs. Davenport,
of Newburyport, and about the family, except Rev. Charles
M. Brown, but little is known. In the time of the War of
181 2 the sympathies of the subject of this sketch were
very strongly in favor of Great Britain, and he carried
them into the pulpit : a practice to be condemned, as it is
of no benefit to a cause and productive of much injury
to religion. This made him many enemies, and many in
the southern part of the town, members of the church and
congregation, dissolved their connection with the church



156 ^A" HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE

and abandoned the place of worship. The result was the
formation of a church of the Baptist order, in what is
known now as South Deer Isle. This affected him to a
great degree and had an effect upon his mind injurious to
himself. At last his church and parish dissolved their
connection with him, which so harrowed him that he died
shortly after, in 18 19. His remains lie in the burying-
ground near the Town House, over which a stone was
placed, but it was removed by his son several years ago,
and where it is now we do not know.

Samuel Pickering settled what is known as Picker-
ing's Island, not included in our territorial limits, but as
he was in his day well known here, it seems proper to
notice him. Whether he ever resided in the town we do
not know, but all his family known to us, with but one
exception, did so, and died here. His wife was a daughter
of Mr. Elijah Dunham, Sr., and sister to Mr. Elijah
Dunham, who died in 1842. His sons were Mr. Daniel
Pickering, the father of the late Mr, Richard Pickering ;
the present Mr. Thomas Pickering ; and another lived
in Orland. The daughters were the wives of Mr. John
Bray, son of Mr. William Bray ; of the late Mr. Willard
Cole, and of Mr. Nathan Ball. His wife was Miss Mary
Hayden, of a family who then resided here, but of whom
nothing is now known to us. Mr. Daniel Pickering
resided on Greenlaw's Neck, near the place now occupied
by his son. He died not far from the year 1850 ; his wife
dying a few years earlier.

Captain Samuel Pickering was another son of the
family of the subject of this sketch. His wife was a
daughter of Mr. Benjamin Cole, the second of the name,
upon whose land Captain Pickering settled. His former
place of residence is now the property of the widow of the



TOWN OF DEER ISLE, MAINE. I 57

late Mr. Mark H. Bray, and the house occupied by him at
the time of his death is now the property of Mr. Geor^^e
W. Bray. It is near the Town House. Captain Pickering
was a master-mariner, a very active man, and accumulated
property. He died several years ago. His wife survived
him for several years, dying in i860 or about that time.
Their family consisted of two sons and seven daughters ;
the sons being the present Messrs. Aaron D. and Timothy
B. Pickering. The latter is a man of property, owns con-
siderable navigation, and has been in trade many years.
The daughters were the wives of Mr. Willaby N. Bray ;
Mr. William Torrey, before referred to, who died on a
passage to California ; Mr. Nathan W. Sawyer ; Captain
Robert Kelsey ; a Mr. Wilkinson, of Massachusetts ; Mr.
David Torrey, 2d ; and Captain Dudley Pressey, the latter
of whom only now resides here. The others, with the
exception of Mrs. Wilkinson, are dead.

The daughters of Mr. Samuel Pickering, Sr. were the
wives of Mr. William Bray and of a Mr. Davis. The
latter did not reside here. The time of the death of Mr.
Pickering we do not know.

David Sawyer came here not far from the year 1800,
from some place in the vicinity of Newburyport. He was
born on the day of the Declaration of Independence, July
4, 1776, and was by trade a house and ship joiner. In the
latter business he had a good deal of practice and was a
very good workman. His wife was Miss Rebecca Crock-
ett, the daughter of Mr. Robinson Crockett. Their sons
were Nathan W., Admiral G., Mark H., David, and Abel
Sawyer, the first and last of whom are now dead. David
Sawyer, Jr. has for some thirty years resided in Castine,
and Abel, before his death, lived in the town of Sedgwick.
The daughters were the wives of Mr. Ezekiel Marshall,



158 ^^'V HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE

Mr. Samuel G. Barbour, Captain James G. Bray, and the
late Mr. Mark H. Bray, all of whom except Mrs. Marshall
are now (1882) living. The wife of Mr. Sawyer died
not far from the year 1838, and he survived her twenty
years or more. By the death of a brother in Groveland,
Massachusetts, he came into possession of about ten
thousand dollars, and at his death it was divided among
his children. Mr. Sawyer was one of the most singular
men I ever saw. He possessed an extraordinary memory,
was a great reader, and, of course, possessed a great deal
of information, for he retained what he read. A good
mechanic, an honest man in his dealings, his word was
good, for whatever he promised he performed.

Avery Fifield, a native of Haverhill, New Hampshire,
came here not long after 1800, and was at the time an
apprentice to Mr. Jesse Niles, who has been noticed. For
several years after the end of his term as an apprentice
he worked at the trade of a house-carpenter. His wife
was Miss Sarah, the daughter of Micajah Lunt. She was
born February 6, 1786, and is now dead. They had a
family of twelve children, all but one of whom lived to man-
hood and womanhood. The sons were : the late Captain
Joseph Fifield, who died in 1874; Avery, in 1869; Eben-
ezer S. ; Thomas S. ; George, a deaf-mute ; and John J.
The daughters were the wives of Messrs. William Sweet-
sir ; Thomas Small, a son of Mr. Edward Small ; Silvious
Simpson ; Captain Stephen B. Morey ; and Captain Jere-
miah H. Greenlaw; all of whom, with the exception of Mrs.
Simpson, are now living. Mr. Fifield formerly lived near
Small's Cove, but afterward purchased a lot of one hun-
dred and sixty acres lying on the south side of Burnt
Cove. He removed there not far from 1812 ; at which
time there was not a settlement in that part of the



TOIVX OF DEER ISLE, MA LYE. 159

town south of the residence of Mr. Samuel Small. His
first house stood not far from the spot upon which
the house of Captain Morey now stands. He afterward
removed to the place now occupied by Mr. Thomas F.
Fifield, upon which he built the house now standing.
After a few years he went into the fishing business,
owning several vessels, and continuing in it till the time
cf his death, which took place in September, 1845, at the
age of si.xty-two years. He was a representative to the
Legislature in 1836 and 1844, and had considerable
influence, especially with those of his own political party.
He was a warm-hearted man, ready to relieve those who
might be in distress, and was one of those men who meant
what they said.

Captain David Thurlow was a native of Newbury,
in the State of Massachusetts, and was born in the year
1775 ; he well remembered the "dark day" in 1780. His
father, ^Ir. Abram Thurlow, was suffocated by going
into a deep well, which had been long disused and
covered up, when the subject of this notice was but a
boy ; and he, with a brother of his wife, a Mr. Boynton,
were soldiers in what is known as the Old French War,
and were at the second attack upon Louisburg. His son
David came here, where he had an aunt, the wife of Mr.
Joseph Colby, Sr., and afterward resided in the family of
Mr, Joseph Colby, Jr., whose wife was his sister. Mr.
Colby for some time resided upon what is known as Thur-
low's Island. He and the subject of this sketch built a
sawmill. There was an excellent privilege on that island
which did considerable business in the sawing of lumber,
as there were in that vicinity logs in abundance con-
veniently near. After a few years Mr. Colby removed,
and Captain Thurlow carried on the business alone, pur-



l6o AN HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE

chasing the interest of Mr. Colby in the island and the mill.
He built several vessels on the island, about seventeen in
all, I believe : one brig of one hundred and forty tons,
two or more coasting-schooners and fishing-vessels, and
at one time owned quite a number. Some of them
were of large size for those days and did a good deal of
business for the times, employing many men. He accu-
mulated considerable property and at one time was one of
the most wealthy men in the town, but in the latter part
of his life became somewhat reduced. His wife was
Mercy, the daughter of Samuel Trundy, and they were the
parents of twelve children. The sons were Jeremiah,
David, Caleb S., Moody, and Paul Thurlow ; the last two
only are now living. The daughters were the wives of
Captain Levi Babbidge, Mr. Aaron Babbidge, Captain
Peter P. Tyler, Captain Nathan Raynes, and afterward
that of Mr. Charles Collier, of Charlestown, Massachu-
setts, and the present wife of Sullivan Green, Esq.
Three of them are now living. He was a captain in the
militia at the time that station was considered an
honor, and from that circumstance he was always styled
Captain Thurlow. He died in 1857, at the age of eighty-
two years. He and his wife, who died in i860, were very
charitable, and in the days of their prosperity they
remembered the poor, for which their names are still
respected. He was a very observing and sensible man,
although he had but little education, possessed a sound
judgment, was one of the selectmen of the town, and in
1829 represented the town in the Legislature.

Rev. Samuel Allen came here not far from 18 10.
He was a native of the town of Columbia, in the county of
Washington ; and was, we believe, the first or one of the
first pastors of the Baptist Church here, continuing in



TOIVX Of DEER IS/.E, MAIXE. i6l

that capacity for several years, often preach ini,^ on Isle
au Haut and at other places in this vicinity. He was for
a time quite popular and had many friends, but for some
reason many became dissatisfied, and he ceased to be their
pastor, and for many years he did not preach. He was
born in 1778. His wife was Miss Lois Look. They
had four sons — George, Daniel, Samuel, and William.
George died at sea, and Daniel married his widow for his
second wife and afterward removed to Levant, near Ban-
gor, where he purchased a farm, and sailed as master of a
vessel out of Bangor. Samuel died some ten years ago.
William a few years since moved to Portland. The
daughters were : Hannah, the wife of Mr. Isaac Crockett,
and afterward of Mr. Samuel W. Emerson ; Ann, the wife
of Mr. Reuben Small, whom we mentioned as being-
burned to death in 1827: afterward she became the wife
of Mr. W'ard, of Addison, Maine ; Louisa, the wife of
Mr. Thomas Crockett, who moved to St. Andrew's, New-
Brunswick ; and Sarah, the wife of Mr. Levi Scott, — only
the last of whom resides here. Mr. Allen died in 1833,
at Levant, at the age of fifty-five years, his wife surviving
him more than thirty years. He was a man of much
natural talent, and for many years was a successful
preacher although his education was limited, antl if he
had had advantages might have taken a comparativelv
high rank in his profession. He lived at what is known
as Allen's Cove, near Green's Landing.

J.VMES DuNCAX came here as earl)' as 1800, or not long
after. He was a native of Massachusetts, and was born in
1779. His wife was the eldest daughter of Captain Ben-
jamin Stockbridge, whom we have noticed, and he settled
at what is now known as Green's Landing. There had
been but one person who had lived there, who was named



l62 - ^-V HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE

Grover, who left shortly after Mr. Duncan went there, so
that we may consider the latter as its first permanent
settler, although Thurlow's Island near there was
occupied before that time ; and, from the south side of
Crockett's Cove by the southern shore of the island as far
as Webb's Cove, his was the only dwelling-house for some
time. He was engaged for a while in the manufacture
of salt from sea-water, the process of which has been
described, and was engaged in chopping wood and proba-
bly did more of that than any other man in the town ever
did. He took up quite an extensive tract of land and
afterward built another house about two hundred rods
from the shore, where he spent nearly all the rest of his
life. His wife dying, he, after her death, resided with his
children, and died in the family of his son in Rockland,
when nearly ninety years of age. The children of the
family were,: James, the son just referred to, now dead ;
Mary, the wife of Mr. Robert Barter, who resided on what
is known as Wreck Island, within the limits of the town
as established in 1868 ; Elizabeth, the wife of Captain
John Barter, of Isle au Haut ; Abigail, who was first the
wife of Mr. John Sellers, who was lost in Chaleur Bay
with Captain David Colby, in the schooner Georgiaiia of
Castine, in 1S39: afterward she was the wife of Mr.
Stephen Colby ; and Sarah, the wife of Mr. Levi Weed,
who several years ago removed to Rockland, and afterward
to South Thomaston, where he died not many years ago.
All the daughters are living except the wife of Mr. Colby.
Mr. Duncan was for several years before his death afflicted
with shaking palsy and was always a hard-working man.
Moses Gross came here not long after 1800 from
Boston, and was by trade a mason. He was known as
Mason Gross, to distinguish him from Mr. George Gross,



TOIV.V OF DEER ISLE, MAINE. 163

who, as has been statetl, was known as Citizen Gross : but
they were not relatives. He at one time did considerable
business at his trade in Boston, but becoming somewhat
reduced in circumstances, he moved from that place here.
He was for much of the time employed at his trade
here, doing nearly all the work in his line. He died in
1822, at Castine, while employed upon a block of brick
stores there. His wife was a native of Boston, and was
born in 1773, about the time of the destruction of the tea
in Boston Harbor ; she died here in the family of her
daughter, Mrs. Pressey, in 1862, at the age of eighty-nine
years. After the death of her first husband, she, in 1830,
or about that time, became the wife of Ignatius Haskell,
Esq. Her children were Samuel P., James, Isaac, the late
Mr. Frederick A. Gross, and Margaret, the wife of Mr.
John Leman, of Boston. After her death he married her
sister Martha. Mary was the first wife of Captain Jere-
miah Thurlow, and Harriet is the wife of Mr. Sylvanus G.
Pressey. Another daughter never married. Of the family
Mrs. Pressey is the sole survivor. Her son, Mr. Samuel
P. Gross, followed the occupation of his father. James
was a master-mariner and died after a very short illness in
1828. Mr. Frederick A. Gross died in 18S1.

JoxATii.xN ToKREV, 2d. — In noticing the family of Mr.
Jonathan Torrey, I briefly noticed his sons. One of them
was the subject of this sketch, who in his lifetime was as
well known as any other person in the town. He was one
with whom I was very well acquainted. He was born here
in 1774, and his wife was Miss Prudence, daughter of
Captain Belcher Tyler. He followed the sea for many
years, and for nineteen consecutive years he was master of
a vessel employed in the Labrador cod-fishery, the last
year being 1824, as the fisheries then had failed to



164 ^^' HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE

that extent that it was no longer a profitable business.
He continued to follow the sea, sometimes in the fishing
and sometimes in the coasting business, till 1832 or 1833,
when he abandoned it and turned his attention to his
farm, which, as we have stated, was the one occupied by
Mr. John Billings, adjoining that of William Eaton on
the Reach shore. He was a man of integrity and enter-
prise, and the time and cause of his death have been stated
in the notice of his father, and his sons mentioned. His
widow outlived him about twenty-five years. The real
estate owned by him is now in the possession of his heirs.

David Torrey was the eldest brother in the family,
and lived for many years near the road leading from the
Northwest Harbor toward the Reach. He was a very
eccentric man, and died in 1858 at the age of ninety years.
His wife was Mrs. Martha Robbins, a daughter of Mr.
Charles Sellers, and they had no children. She had three
by her former husband, none of whom remained here.
She has been noticed in the sketch of the family of her
father as dying in 1879, at' the great age of ninety-seven
years.

Captain John Torrey was another of the sons of Mr.
Jonathan Torrey, and he was for many years a master-
mariner, and made several voyages in the Labrador fish-
ing. He was a capable and intelligent man. His wife
was Miss Dorothy, a daughter of Captain Jonathan Has-
kell, and a sister to the wife of his brother Mr. David
Torrey. They had no children, but adopted a daughter of
Mr. Josiah Gray when she was very young, who took their
name and was afterward the wife of Mr. Joshua Pressy,
2d. She is now a widow, and occupies the homestead
of her adopted father. The other members of the family
of Mr. Jonathan Torrey have been dead, with the excep-



TOWN OF DEER ISLE, MAINE. 1 5c

tion of Mrs. Eaton, for several years, and have been quite
extensively noticed. The limits of this work would pre-
clude any further sketches, as the persons who would be
the subjects of most of them have passed out of the
memory of most of the persons now living here.

William Raynes, 2d, the son of Captain John Raynes,
was in his day very well known, not only here, but in
other places, as he for many years was a master-mariner,
and throughout his long life maintained an unblemished
reputation, which was well known wherever he was
acquainted. He was born in September, 1778. His wife
was Miss Ruth, the daughter of Captain Edmund Sylves-
ter. He followed the sea until sixty years of age, and
resided upon the farm first taken up by Mr. Samuel
Raynes, which was purchased by Ignatius Haskell, Esq.,
of whom it was purchased by the subject of this sketch
not long after 1800. He built a house upon the lot, which
is now in a state of decay. The children of the marriage
were: William, who died in 1832, aged twenty-three
years ; Edward S., whose first wife was Mary A., the
daughter of Mr. John Howard, and the second a Miss
Small, of Ncwburyport, in which place he now resides ;
George, who died in 1836, in New York; Abiel who
was shipwrecked on Martha's Vineyard, in 1846, being
one of the crew of the brig Li/ico/n of this town. He
died shortly after reaching the shore, and was there
buried. He married Susan, the daughter of Captain
Henry Lufkin, Jr., a sister of the present Captain H. T.
Lufkin. She afterward became the wife of Mr. Robert
Clark, of Castine, where she is now living. Another
brother was the late Mr. Aaron B. Raynes, whose wife
was Miss Mary M., a daughter of the late Mr. Thomas
Sellers, of Bangor, a son of Mr. William, and brother to



1 66 AN HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE

the present Mr. Amos Sellers. Mr. A. B. Raynes was
formerly one of the selectmen, and- represented this town
in the year 1871 in the Legislature. In that year he
removed from this place to the State of Missouri. He
afterward came East and resided in Norwich, Connecticut,
where he died in 1881, at the age of fifty-nine years.
Another son is the present Captain Eben E. Raynes,
whose wife was Miss Elizabeth, daughter of the late
Benjamin F. Ferguson, Esq. He is the only member of
the family now residing here. The youngest son was Mr.
Benjamin Raynes, who went from here in 1854 to Cali-
fornia, afterward returning, and now resides in Gloucester,
Massachusetts. The daughters were : Susan, the wife of
George L. Hosmer ; she died in 1868. Elizabeth, the wife
of Mr. Charles S. Torrey ; she died in 1853. Caroline, the
wife of Mr. Jason Webb ; she died in Gloucester, Massa-
chusetts, in 1857. Of the family of twelve children but
three are now living. Captain Edmund S. Raynes the
second son, was for many years an active master-mariner,
making several voyages to the East Indies. The date of
the death of Captain Raynes has been stated and also
his age. His wife died in 1852.

The second son of the family was Captain John Raynes,
who, as we have mentioned, moved to Newburyport. We
have before given a brief notice of him, and, as he was for
the most part of his life a resident of that place, we do
not deem it necessary to notice him any further, except
to state that he returned to this place a few years prior to
his death, which took place in 1862, at the age of seventy-
eight years. He was twice married, but left no children.

Joseph Raynes was the third son in the family, and
his wife was Betsey, the daughter of Mr. Nathan Johnson.
Two of their sons, Captain John J. and Horatio G.



TOWN OF DEER ISLE, .VALVE. 167

Raynes, now reside in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, and one,
Nathan Raynes, resides here. One married daughter,
Mrs. Lucas, is a resident of Methuen, Massachusetts, and
one is a resident of Hyde Park, the wife of B. B. Haskell.
One is single, who makes the house of her deceased father
her residence in the summer, while the rest of the time
she lives in Boston. Captain Raynes followed the sea and
the fishing business many years. Both he and his wife
died within forty-eight hours of each other, in April, 1859,
and their remains occupy one grave.

Benjamin Raynes was the remaining son, and his wife
was Miss Sabrina, the daughter of Mr. Joseph Whitmore,
Jr., who, as has been stated, lost his life in 18 14, by
drowning, at the same time with Mr. John Eaton. Of
the family two now remain. The eldest daughter was first
the wife of Captain Henry I. Lufkin, who was master of
the brig Baron De Castiue of Castine, and died on board
her on the coast of Africa, in i860. She afterward was
the wife of Mr. Israel B. Grindle, of Penobscot. She
died in May, 1881. Another was the wife of Mr. Edward
P. Haskell, and is now dead. The others reside in Auburn,
Maine. One is the wife of Mr. Alvin B. Saunders ; the
other is unmarried. In 1846 Captain Raynes, then master
of the brig Lincoln of this town, was wrecked on Martha's
Vineyard. The brig being heavily loaded with lumber,


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