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Land titles in old Pittston online

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to "clear and bring to" two acres of land fit for mowing or
tillage within two years, to dwell on the premises by himself
or some person under him for the term of seven years, to
work three days each year for ten years on the highways,
and two days each year during the same term on the minis-
terial house or lot, or the house of public worship, and to
pay each year six shillings "towards supporting such Ortho-
dox minister as shall be obtained to preach the Gospel to the
Inhabitants of such Plantation and approbated by the said
Grantor, or his Heirs."

Five acre Lot No. 1 was the first "settler's lot" deeded
by Silvester Gardiner from his land west of the Kennebec
within the limits of Old Pittston. The deed was dated Nov.
25, 1763, and the grantee was "Joseph Glidden of Gardiners-
town at Cobbiseconte on Kennebeck River, Shipwright."
Feb. 11, 1768, Joseph Glidden, Gentlemen, deeded it to
Henry Smith, Tavern Keeper, using the following descrip-
tion : — Beginning at the West side of Kennebeck River,
about fifty poles Southerly of Cobisconte Stream, and about
two Rods southerly of Doctor Silvester Gardiner's Pot Ash
House, then running W. S. W. seventy Poles, then running
S. 19 deg. E. 12 Poles to Lot No. 2 belonging (to) James
Flagg, then running E. N. E. to Kennebeck River, then
running up said River to the first mentioned Bounds, re-
serving forty feet wide for a High Way, as laid down on a
Plan made by John McKechnie 14th of November, 1763, said
Lot being No. 1, Saving and reserving to James Flagg the
liberty and "priviledge" of the Shipyard now occupied by
said Joseph Glidden for the term of three years from the date



LAND TITLES IN OLD PITTSTON 25

hereof, "to finish and compleat the two Vessels now on the
Stocks", &c.

With Henry Smith occurs a break in the chain of title,
there being no record of any deed from him. But there are
subsequent conveyances of the lot, in parcels, from Henry
Dearbon and from Robert Hallowell Gardiner. As Cren.
Dearbon's title came from Dr. Gardiner, the land must in
some way have reverted to the latter, perhaps by an unre-
corded deed.

The manner in which Dearbon acquired his title is stated
in a deposition by Oliver Whipple, Dr. Gardiner's son in
law, in 1788. This deposition states that Dr. Gardiner,
when his son William requested him to give Dearbon a deed,
declined to do so ; whereupon William (who had authority
to lease but not to sell) gave a lease for nine hundred and
ninety years. Robert Hallowell Gardiner in his autobio-
graphy says that the lease was for ninety nine years, and
that when he came into possession of the Cobbosseecontee
Tract, he confirmed Dearbon in his title.

Gen. Dearbon built a house on this lot, on the westerly
side of the road, occupying the present site of the Public
Library. He also owned a building east of the road, which
he describes as a dwelling house and store, also a wharf and
ferry, as will appear by his deeds which will now be given
with such comments as may serve to render them more in-
telligible.

Feb. 5, 1789, Henry Dearbon deeded to Ebenezer Byram
of Pittston, carpenter, for 11 pounds, a piece of land begin-
ning 58 feet from the S. E. corner of Dearbon's dwelling-
house at a stake on the west side of the road and running
sixty feet on said road to a stake and to extend back W. S.
W. 9 rods, carrying said width of 60 feet ; also another piece
nearly opposite on the easterly side of the road, viz. one
third of the land and beach between the Ferry Road and the
northerly line of five acre lot No. 2, owned by Joseph North,
Esq., meaning the middle third of said piece, it being 32
feet in width at the westerly end on said road. July 26,
1798, he also deeded to Byram a small gore of land adjoin-
ing to the house lot where he (Byram) now lives, beginning
at the northwesterly corner of said house lot, thence running
northerly in the same direction as the westerly line of the



26 LAND TITLES IN OLD PITTSTON

house lot runs 25 feet, thence easterly to the northeasterly-
comer of said house lot on the west side of the highway.
On the land sold by Dearbon to Byram stands the building-
now occupied by A. R. Hayes & Co. for a coal office, on the
extreme southerly side of the lot.

Oct. 9, 1797, Dearbon deeded to Seth Gay, Esq., for $150,
a piece beginning about six feet northward of the N. E. cor-
ner of Gay's dwelling-house, thence running W. S. W. to
the highway, thence across the hig-hway and continuing the
same course 17 2-3 rods from the first bound to a fence,
thence N. N. W. 43 1-2 feet, thence E. N. E. by Ebenezer
Byram's line to the highway, then crossing the highway to-
a stake 33 feet northward of the first bound, then E. 16 1-2
degrees N. to the bank of the river, thence southerly to the
first bound.

The dwelling-house mentioned in the foregoing deed was
what was afterwards known as the Old Post Office. The
land between Hayes & Co.'s office and the Cobbossee Inn
was included in Seth Gay's purchase.

May 31, 1799, Dearbon deeded to Dudley B. Hobart, Esq.,
the undivided half of the southerly half of a dwelling-house
and store with the ground on which the same stands, said
building standing on the easterly side of the road leading
from Benjamin Shaw's to Seth Gay's, and on the northerly
side of the road laid out to said Dearbon 's ferry; said build-
ing is 44 feet in length easterly and westerly and the one-
half width is sixteen feet, and is tA^o stories high, being the
same said Hobart now lives in; also one undivided half of
the southerly half of a wharf between said building and the
channel of Kennebec River.

Dec. 24, 1803, Dearbon deeded to Rufus Gay of Gardiner,
merchant, a piece of land, with the buildings thereon, be-
g-inning on the west side of the county road and the north
line of Ebenezer Byram's land, then running N. 16 1-2 de-
grees E. 34 feet by the west line of said road, then S. 87 1-4
degrees W. 63 feet, then S. 16 1-2 degrees E. 34 feet to a
stake on the N. line of Byram's land, then N. 87 1-2 degrees
E. 63 feet on Byram's N. line to first bound. Feb. 14, 1845,
Rufus Gay deeded the same premises to Nathaniel M. Whit-
more. Many will remember the ugly brick building which



LAND TITLES IN OLD PITTSTON 27

Stood on this lot, a little south of the Library, and which
looked as if it were protruding into the street. The land
now belongs to the Gardiner Library Association.

Dec. 24, 1803, Dearbon conveyed to Joseph Bradstreet and
Joshua Lord of Gardiner, traders, the rest of the land which
we are now considering, with the exception of a passage
way, 20 feet in width, to his ferry. The description in the
deed is substantially as follows: — Beginning at a post on the
westerly margin of Kennebec River at the northeasterly cor-
ner of lot No. 1, thence running on the northerly line of said
lot S. 67 1-4 deg. W. 6 rods and 7 feet to a post on the west-
ern line of the county road, thence N. 22 3-4 deg. W. by
Said road 6 feet to a post, thence S. 9 deg. W. 14 rods to a
post on the N. line of lot No. 2, thence N. 67 1-4 deg. E. on
said north line 6 rods to a post, thence N. 22 3-4 deg. E. 5
rods 7 links to a post, thence N. 78 1-2 deg. E. by N. line of
Ebenezer Byram's land 4 rods 24 links to a stake, thence N.
16 1-2 deg. W. 34 feet to a stake, thence N. 87 1-4 deg. E.
63 feet to a stake on westerly line of said county road, thence
S. 60 deg. E. 4 rods obliquely across said road to a post on
the east side of said road, thence N. 84 deg. E. 2 rods 20
links to a post at high water mark on Kennebec River, thence
northerly up said river to first bound, containing one and
one-fifth acres more or less, with all the flats and water priv-
ileges adjoining, &c., said piece of land being a part of lot
No. 1.

Nov. 16, 1843, a Deposition in Perpetuam was taken which
relates to the Dearbon land and also contains some personal
and historical information which is worth recording. For
these reasons some extracts from it will be given here.

"I, Rufus Gay of Gardiner, aged seventy three years, on
oath depose and say, that I removed to Gardiner the year
1786 ; that Gen. Henry Dearbon, late of the City of Boston,
deceased, at that time resided in said Gardiner, and had a
ferry between Gardiner and Pittston across Kennebec River,
which I understood had been established the year previous-
ly. The ferry on the Gardiner side was in front of Gen.
Dearbon's dwelling house on Lot. No. one at the distance of
ninety nine feet from the dividing line between Lots No. one
and No. two. The passage from the main street in Gardiner
to the ferry landing was forty feet in width, and was then all



28 LAND TITLES IN OLD PITTSTON

on the the north half of said Lot No. one. The land between
said passage way and Lot No. two was divided into three
Lots, of thirty three feet each in width, being- the southerly
half of said Lot No. one, east of the road. The middle lot
of these three was subsequently sold to Ebenezer Byram late
of said Gardiner, and the southerly one to vSeth Gay. In the
year either 1796 or 1797 the ferry and passage way leading
to it were removed southerly thirty three feet occupying: the
northerly lot of the three above mentioned and embracing
also seven feet in width of the first mentioned passage way.
This last mentioned space being forty feet in width was then
known as and denominated the Ferry Lot. In the year 1796
or 1797 a double wooden store was built by General Dearbon
and Major Gannet on the north half of Lot No. one, and
north ... of the Ferry Lot. . . . This store was forty
feet northerly of the land sold to Ebenezer Byram. . . .
Previously to the removal of the Ferry ways and landing
.... a wooden store had been standing on the northerly
lot of the three before mentioned, occupied by the late
Nathaniel Kimball, which was then removed to make way for
the accomodation of said last mentioned ferry ways and land-
ing. In 1803 Gen. Dearbon sold to Joshua Lord and Joseph
Bradstreet his dwelling house, the double store aforesaid and
all his land on the east side of the road aforesaid excepting
a space twenty feet in width on the road, which was reserved
for the accommodation of his ferry, and at the same time
sold them certain lands on the west side of said road. The
twenty feet reserved by him . . . was the southerly part of
the northerly lot of the three before described. The ferry
ways and landing were continued upon the last mentioned
reserved twenty feet up to the time of the establishment
of the Horse Ferry by the Kennebec Ferry Company. I
married into Gen. Dearbon 's family and after his removal
from the state in 1801, I had charge of his Ferry and busi-
ness and so continued up to the period of his death in 1829.
.... In 1831 I commenced building the Ferry ways for
the horse boat, under direction of Gen. Joshua Wingate, a
son in law of Gen. Henry Dearbon, who had become a prop-
rietor in the Kennebec Ferry Company, intending to sink it
on the Ferry lot reserved as aforesaid, as run out by said
Adams and Mann. Mr. Bradstreet came to the landing and



LAND TITLES IN OLD PITTSTON 29

objected to its being placed there. It being- necessary to
have it constructed immediately I removed it further south

and sunk it where it now remains "

The deeds of the westerly part of five acre Lot No. 1, as
has been already stated, were given by Robert Hallowell
Gardiner. Dec. 20, 1803, he deeded to Nathan Bridge a
lot of land bounded easterly by land of Joseph Bradstreet
and others, "southerly by Lot No. 2 owned by Seth Gay,
westerly by land conveyed by me to Joseph Lamson, and
northerly, bv Lot Z which I this day conveyed to said
Bridge." Bridge subsequently bought the Lamson lot, and
thus became owner of all of No. 1 which was not included in
Dearbon's purchase, as well as of Lot Z. The deed of the
latter refers to a plan made by Dudley B. Hobart in Nov.,
1809, and the land is described as being north of Joseph
Bradstreet's land, and "on the West side of the road lead-
ing through that part of said Gardiner called Cobbissee."
This application of the name Cobbossee to what is now the
southerly end of Water Street is very frequent in old deeds.
The lot described above which he purchased of R. H.
Gardiner in 1803, Nathan Bridge deeded to Edward vSwan
Dec. 3, 1806, and on this lot the grantee built the Swan
house where J. Walter Robinson now lives. The house is
said to be more than a hundred years old.

Lot No. 2 was deeded by Silvester Gardiner to James
Flagg, Feb. 10, 1764. On this lot was built a dwelling
house which afterwards became a store and post office, and
still later a workshop and a storehouse. It its latter days it
was still known as the Old Post Office, and will be well re-
membered by many. It stood near the apex of the acute
angle made by Water Street and the road leading to the
Steamboat Wharf. Hanson says that the house was built by
Dr. Gardiner, but as his deed to Flagg makes no mention of
a building and was for the usual nominal consideration of
five shillings, it seems to me that it must have been built by
Flagg. Aug. 24, 1765, Flagg mortgaged it to Joseph North,
who married his sister, and North probably got title to it un-
der the mortgage, as no other deed from Flagg to him is on
record. In that "mansion", as one writer calls it. North,
who was very prominent in the history of Gardinerstown,
lived from 1772 to 1780, when he moved to that part of



30 LAND TITLES IN OLD PITTSTON

Hallowell which is now Augfusta. He was subsequently ap-
pointed one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas for
Lincoln and later for Kennebec County. Dec. 1, 1790, he
sold the whole of Lot No. 2 to Seth Gay, who built on it a
dwelling' house now used as a club house and known as the
Cobbossee Inn. It is said to be the oldest building' now
standing: in Gardiner, and to have been built in 1805. He
located it near the north line of the lot, but, as has already
been stated, he had purchased of Gen. Dearbon a strip on
that side thirty three feet in width.

Mar. 20, 1807, Seth Gay deeded a part of his lot to Jacob
Davis of Gardiner and Benjamin Davenport of Hallowell,
Hatters. It beg'an at the S. W. corner of Gay's g-arden on
the N. side of a road running- from the River road to a road
at the head of the five acre lots (School Street), measuring
123 feet on the road and about 83 feet in the other direction
to the vS. line of Lot No. 1. It will be seen from this deed
that School St. passed through the center of Lot. No. 2.
Davis and Davenport were partners, but the partnership
was dissolved Apr. 10, 1812, and Davenport then conve:ved
his interest in the land to Davis, who afterwards built a
house on the lot where he lived for many years. This Davis
house was where the residence of Mrs. Annie M. Blish now
stands.

Sept. 24, 1808, Gaj deeded to John Haseltine a lot measur-
ing 94 by 256 feet, on which Haseltine built the house now
occupied by Henry Richards. John Haseltine and Harriet
Byram, danghter of Ebenezer, were married in 1814, and it
is not unlikely that the house was built about that time.

Lot No. 3 was deeded by Silvester Gardiner to William
Bacon of Gardinerstown, Blacksmith, May 29, 1766, and
Bacon deeded it to Stephen Jewett Nov. 5, 1789. The
Jewctt house was on the west side of the road, on the bluff
'east of the house where F. S. Smith now lives. The land
there afterwards belonged to William R. Gay. Apr. 13,
1795, Stephen Jewett deeded to Rev. Joseph Warren half an
acre from Lot No. 3, beginning at "the northeastly corner of
William Barker's fence", that is, on the north line of Lot 4.
Warren sold in 1797 to Allen Gilman, and Gilman in 1798 to
Rufus Gay, who built and lived in the house still standing
there, now the property of Mrs. Harriet E. Gilmore. Gay



LAND TITLES IN OLD PITTSTON 31

sold to Parker Sheldon in 1827, and Sheldon to Benjamin
Shaw in 1841. From Benjamin Shaw it passed to his wife
Jane, probably by will, and Charles Danforth as adminis-
trator of her estate conveyed it to Mrs. Gilmore July 28,
1863.

Lot No. 4 was deeded by Lydia Burrill of Boston, widow,
to James Stackpole of Gardinerstown, Apr. 29, 1778. I
have been unable to discover how it became Mrs. Burrill's
property, but the hyopthesis of an unrecorded deed is always
open to one. It may have been some defect in the record
title which led Robert Hallowell Gardiner to give to William
Barker, Stackpole's grantee, a quitclaim deed of this lot in
1803. The date of Stackpole's deed to Barker is Dec. 16,
1782.

Lot No. 5 was deeded by Silvester Gardiner to John Denny
of Gardiners Town, Cordwainer, Sept, 23, 1765. Denny
conveyed it to James Stackpole Apr. 4, 1778, and Stackpole
to William Barker, together with No. 4, Dec. 16. 1782, ex-
cept one acre sold by Denny to Smith. Barker built a house
and store on Lot 5 and lived there. I am told that his house
was on the east side of the road. By his will, dated Apr. 7,
1814, probated Oct. 28, 1823, William Barker devised to his
grandson William B. Grant, called in his will William Grant,
"the house where I now live and land under and adjoining
the same with the store and buildings on the same, being
about ten acres;" also the store which he had lately pur-
chased of Joshua Lord : to his grandson Samuel Grant the
north half of the lot last mentioned and a sum of money
sufficient to build a store of the value of that purchased of
Lord ; and the rest of his estate to his daughters Nancy
Grant and Elizabeth Lord. The house in which William B.
Grant lived, nearly opposite the freight station, is still known
as the "old Grant house."

Lot No. 6 was owned by Rufus Gay, but I have not been
able to find out how he came by it. June 22. 1814, he deeded
a small portion to Sanford Kingsbury, together with the right
to take water, by aqueduct or otherwise, from a spring,
situated near the south line of said Lot No. 6. The Swan-
ton house, now owned by W. H. GHdden, is on this lot. I
think that it was built by Rufus Gay and that he lived there
the last of his life.



32 LAND TITLES IN OLD PITTSTON

Lot Nq- 7 was deeded by Silvester Gardiner to Peter Hop-
kins of Gardinerstown Sept. 12, 1768, but Hopkins deeded it
back to Gardiner Dec. 12 of the same year. Under Dr.
Gardiner's will it descended to Robert Hallowell Gardiner,
who deeded the north half lyingr west of the road to Sanford
King-sbury, Attorney at Law, Nov. 8, 1805. Judge King-s-
bury had a house where that of Mrs. Ellis now stands.
Kingsbury sold to Ebenezer F. Deane, and in 1844 Deane
conveyed to Harrison G. Lowell about sixty square rods at
the corner of Water and Kingsbury Streets. Mrs. Anna
Ellis purchased the Lowell property and built the house
where she now lives. Lowell's deed to her is dated Mar. 15,
1864.

The north half of No. 7 was deeded by Robert Hallowell
Gardiner to Samuel Haskell of Gardiner, Clerk, Dec. 20,
1803, and Jan. 16, 1805, Gardiner deeded to Haskell the
northerly half of the front of No. 7, between the road and
the river. Haskell conveyed both parcels to Joshua Lord
June 14, 1811. Col. Lord was a son in law of William Bar-
ker, and he had a two-story house on the east side of the
road. On the opposite side of the road, where the Merriam
house now stands, were his barn and cider mill, "where",
says William W. Bradstreet, to whom I am indebted for
these particulars, "I have been and sucked cider through a
straw." Ebenezer F. Deane purchased of Joshua Lord in
1835.

Lot No. 8 was deeded by Silvester Gardiner to James Cox
of Gardiners Town, Housewright, Feb. 10, 1764, and he
conveyed it to James Stackpole Mar. 2, 1779. It then passed
successively to David Berry, Robert E. Nason, Henry Dear-
bon, John Codman, and Robert Hallowell, who deeded it to
John Gardiner Sept. 5, 1801. John Gardiner conveyed the
north half to Joseph and Simon Bradstreet Sept. 11, 1801,
and the south half to Joseph Bradstreet Dec. 9, 1803, and
Aug. 15, 1806, Joseph quitclaimed his interest in the entire
lot to Simon. The Simon Bradstreet homestead was the
house now owned by John E. Cunningham, between the
Merriam and Cooke houses. The Cooke house is also on No,
8. The lot on which it stands was conveyed by the heirs of
Simon Bradstreet to Ellen R. Cooke Oct. 28, 1870.



LAND TITLES IN OLD PITTSTON 33

Lot No. 9 was deeded by Silvester Gardiner to Abram
Wyman of Gardinerstown Aug". 1, 1764. The deed is not
on record, but is referred to in deed of Wyman to Abiel
Lovejoy of Pownalboroug-h dated, Apr. 29, 1766. Abiel
Lovejoy of Sidney and Mary his wife conveyed to John
Gardiner Nov. 15, 1796, and John Gardiner to Joseph Brad-
street by an unrecorded deed dated Sept. 30, 1825. Joseph
Bradstreet conveyed the lotto Abby J. Bradstreet June 29,
1831. Abby J. was the wife of William Bradstreet and
William was the son of Joseph. William and Abby J. were
the paients of Peter G. and William W. Bradstreet. Peter
G. Bradstreet was the next owner and he resided there until
his death. Mr. William W. Bradstreet says that the house
was built while Rev. Joel Clapp was here. Mr. Clapp's
pastorate was from 1832 to 1840. The lot is now owned by
Mrs. Alice White.

Lot No. 10 was deeded by Robert Hallowell Gardiner to
James Tarbox of Gardiner, Joiner, Dec. 20, 1809. Space
for a road was left between Nos. 10 and 11, but it was never
laid out and the land was finally fenced in by the adjacent
owners, one half by each. The house and lot lately con-
veyed by William W. Bradstreet to Mrs. Arthur Stilphen is
on the north side of No. 10, and the rest of the lot belongs
to the heirs of Mr. Bradstreet, the heirs of L. S. Davis and
Mrs. Mary B. Lapham.

Lots 11 and 12 were deeded by Silvester Gardiner to James
Burns of Gardinerston, Brickmaker, June 17, 1764, and by
James Burns to Joseph Burns Nov. 17, 1768. Joseph Burns
conveyed No. 11 to John Gardiner June 21, 1802, and the
latter to Simon Bradstreet July 30, 1806. It was sub-
sequently purchased by Capt. Hiram Waitt, who lived there,
and whose heirs sold it to Fred S. Thorne.

Lot No. 12 was deeded by Joseph Burns to Jeremiah Col-
burn Sept. 1, 1798, and by Colburn to Rufus Gay June 25,
1799. Mr. William Bradstreet, desiring; to purchase it, em-
ployed Robert Thompson to make the barg-ain, and we ac-
cordingly find a deed from Gay to Thompson and one from
Thompson to Bradstreet bearing" the same date, Feb. 15,
1847. Mr. Bradstreet conveyed it to his son, William W.
Bradstreet, Mar. 24, 1859. The latter informed me that the



34 LAND TITLES IN OLD PITTSTON

house, in which he was then living, was built by himself and
his father about the time of his marriage, which occured Jan.
12, 1848.

Lot No. 13 descended to Robert Hallowell Gardiner. Ex-
tending it to Dresden Street, he divided it by a line half way
between that street and the River Road. The western part
he conveyed to Henry B. Hoskins in 1832, and the part be-
tween the line and the River Road to Eleazer Tarbox in
1839. Hoskins conveyed his part to William R. Gay in
1838.

Lot No. 14. The first reference which I find to this lot
describes it as belonging to the heirs of John Moore. I have
been unable to ascertain the origin of Moore's title, or to
learn how it passed from the Gardiner ownership. There is
a quitclaim from George R. Moore to John T. and Seth G.
Moore of his interest in the lot, and also of his interest in
No. 15, dated Aug. 25, 1851. Seth G. and John T. Moore
deeded it to John Dunphy July 2, 1880. The two Dunphy
houses are on this lot. John Moore was a son of Reuben
Moore, and George R., John T. and Seth G. were all sons
of John.

Lot No. 15 was deeded by Silvester Gardiner to Jonathan
Oldham of Gardinerstown, Mason, Oct. 11. 1766, and by
Oldham to Reuben Moore Mar. 25, 1796. Oldham had given
a previous deed, in 1785, to Gardiner Williams of Pittston,
Trader, but it does not seem to have taken effect. Moore
deeded quarter of an acre, at what is now the corner of Cot-
tage street and River Avenue, Oct. 19, 1799, to Harlow Har-
den. This was conveyed to James Tarbox in 1823 and by him
to. Eleazer Tarbox, Jr., in 1826. Two of Eleazei's children,
John E. and Ann M., now live there. Of the rest of the
lot there are deeds from some of the other heirs of Reuben
Moore to John T. and Seth G. Moore, and I think they ulti-
mately owned most or all of it. The south bound of this lot
was a road which is now known as Cottage Street. In old
deeds it is called Cow Lane, or Cow's Lane, and in one in-
stance Carr Lane. The last name is probably due to an
error made in copying from another deed.

Lot No. 16, the first lot south of Cottage Street, has the
distinction of having had more successive owners than any


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