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The centennial celebration of the incorporation of Waldoboro', Maine online

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CINTBNNIU CUBBKITION

WALDOBORO*
1873.



THE



dei\tei\i\ikl delebfktion






MAINE.



JULY 4, 1873.



Published by Geoi^e Bliss.



BANGOR:
BENJ. A. BURR, PRINTER.

1873. Gk-'^ ■




PRELIMINARY ARRANGEMENTS.



The act of incorporation of what is now the town of
Waldoboro', was granted by the General Court of Massa-
chusetts, on June 39th, i773*

It was suggested by some of our wide awake and pub-
lic spirited citizens that the one hundredth anniversai'y of
the incorporation of the town should receive a proper ob-
servance. Accordingly a public meeting was held at
Union Hall, and it was then and there decided to have a
Centennial Celebration, and a committee was chosen to
perfect all the necessary arrangements for accomplishing
this purpose. As the 29th of June occurred on Sunday,
it was decided to have the Ceremonies held on July 4th.

The following committees were nominated, to whose
untiring labor are we indebted for the Complete success
that crowned their eftbrts.

Upon General Management : — Rev. A. J. McLeod,
Henry A. Kennedy, Henry Farrington, E. R. Benner,
S. L. Miller, L. P. Haskell, George Bliss.

Upon Finances : — Henry Farrington, S. W. Jackson,
E. R. Benner, H. A. Kennedy.

Upon Subscriptions : — S. L. Miller, L. P. Haskell,
George Bliss, E. R. Benner.

Upon Correspondence, Invitations, and Address :
— Geoi-ge Bliss, Rev. A. J. McLeod.

Upon Music : — S. W. Jackson, Newell Winslow,
Mrs. Mary D. Clark.



Upon Dinner: — Mrs. Benj. Roberts, Mrs. Geo. W.
Caldwell, Mrs. Ann Chapman, Mrs. George W. Young,
Mrs. Henry Farrington, Mrs. John Richards, Mrs. J. H.
Stanwood, Mrs. B. C. Mayo, Mrs. Horace Flanders, Mrs.
Milton Mclntyre, Mrs. William Welt, Mrs. Ward Adams.

Upon Procession : — -John Richards, L. P. Haskell, E.
R. Benner, Edwin O. Clark, Herman Kopperholdt, Jr.,
George W. Sproul, S. L. Miller, Almore Kennedy.

Upon Decorations and Mottoes : — Mrs. Alden
Jackson, Miss Celeste Clark.

Upon Grove : — Henry A. Kennedy, Henry Farring-
ton, E. R. Benner.

Upon Fireworks : — L. P. Haskell.

Col. A. W. Bradbury, of Portland, consented to deliver
an Oration. Mrs. Ella A. Oakes, very kindly, furnished
the Centennial Hymn.

Smouses' Grove, on Main street, near the residence of
John A. Benner, was selected as the place for the Public
Services. A large stand was erected, and spacious tables
were built for the accommodation of all the invited guests.
Through the liberality of the good people of Waldoboro',
noted for their hospitalit}^, the tables were bountifully
laden with " good things " for the inner man.

In addition to a general request that all citizens and
former residents should be present upon that day and
take part in its festivities, the following invitation was
sent to all citizens above the age of 70, and to all absentees
whose names were furnished the Secretary, and from
many thus invited, letters were received breathing good
wishes for the success of the celebration, and the long
continued welfare of the town :



5

(Form of Invitation.)
BROAD BAY PLANTATION, 1773 - - - - WALDOBORO', 1873.

CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION.

^ COMPLIMENTARY.

Waldoboro', June 36, 1S73.

To

My Dear Sir :
The citizens of Waldoboro' will celebrate the one hun-
dredth anniversary of the incorporation of the Town,
July 4th, 1S73. Your presence, as one of the aged and
honored citizens of the town, is requested.' Conveyance
in the procession and entertainment at the Grove will be
furnished by the Committee.

If you accept, please notify me, and report at the Bap-
tist Vestry by 10 o'clock, morning of the 4th.

GEORGE BLISS,

Secretary of Committee.

The Waldoboro' Cornet Band, and Goshen Band were
engaged for the occasion.

The Thomaston Fire Companies accepted an Invitation
to join in the procession and brought with them the Dam-
arlscotta Cornet Band. Perhaps it would not be amiss in
this connection to express our high appreciation of the
character of the respective Engine Companies from Thom-
aston, who, both by their excellent deportment as visitors
at our Celebration, and as heroic firemen at the scene of
conflagration on the Centennial Day, won universal
respect and commendation.

The Committee on the Procession met with complete



6

success in all of their arrangements. The very full ac-
count in the succeeding pages show how well they merit
the praise awarded them for their efficient services. Their
arrangements were admirable and the Military experience
of the Marshals enabled them to manoeuvre and march
their long lines promptly and without confusion.

At the request of the Committee the Superintendent of
the Knox & Lincoln Railroad granted half fare tickets,
thereby enabling thousands along the line of the road to
enjoy the festivities of the dav.

The Committee on Fire Works made every preparation
for a brilliant display, and had it not been for the violent
shower, their eftbi'ts would have been highly successful.

The difterent committees and citizens generally, labored
zealously to make the occasion one long to be remembered,
and to prepare a fitting reception for the invited guests,
sparing no pains to make the Celebration worthy of them-
selves and a credit to the place.

Their labors were crowned with success, and Waldo-
boro' and her guests had every reason to be satisfied
with her first Centennial Celebration.

As before stated, the anniversary occurred on Sunday,
June 29, 1S73, and the Rev. A.J. McLeod, Pastor of the
1st Congregational Church, deemed it highly appropriate
to the occasion to preach a sermon commemorative of

this event.

He decided to hold the services in the German Lutheran

Church, a building erected one hundred years ago and
now in good state of preservation. This Church was
filled to repletion, and large numbers were outside unable
to gain admittance. Rev. John Collins, Pastor of the
Methodist Church, assisted in the exercises.

As the Sermon contains much that is interesting, by
permission of Mr. McLeod I herewith publish it in full.



CENTENNIAL SERMON.



BY REV. A. J. MCLEOD,

Pastor of the 1st Congregational Church, Waldobnro\
Zechariah, 1st chap., 5tli verse: Your fathers, ivhere are they?

When I received the May number of our valuable and
most welcome visitor, " The Monthly News," I noticed
there an article stating that this day, the 29th of June, was
the Centennial of this town. And as is my custom I im-
mediately looked at the Calendar, and ascertained the fact,
that Commemoration Day would come on Sunday. I
then thought it might not be amiss to preach a sermon or
lecture on that occasion, believing that it would not be
time vmprofitably spent in calling to mind what little can
be gathered of the past. As my residence among you
has been short, and as there has but little been written of
the history of this town, it cannot be expected that I will
bring before you much, if anything, that is new. I am
largely indebted to our Monthly News, Church Records,
and one or two individuals, for what information I have
obtained. The prophecy of Zechariah from which my
text is taken, has reference to the re-building of the temple,
and their returning to worship in the Mount as did their
Fathers, and in consequence of his forcible representa-
tions, the building of the temple was resumed with re-
kindled zeal, and in it, " In the fulness of time appeared
the Desire of all Nations, " — and our prayer is, that from
what may be said this afternoon, there maybe a re-kindling
of zeal in tKe cause of our Redeemer, and a returning to



8

the house of God. If not in this sanctuary, rendered
sacred by the feet of those holy men of God, who, with
untiring zeal, have marched with steady steps to their
home above, to the other Sanctuaries in this village,
where Sabbath after Sabbath, month after month, and year
year after, the truths as they are in Jesus are proclaimed.
I purpose accommodating the words of the text to the
present occasion, and shall suppose them to have direct
reference to this people, and to our fathers. If by so do-
ing I can awaken in the hearts of the people, the same
spirit our fathers exhibited, I shall consider my labor not
in vain. It cannot be expected that much can be given of
the history of one hundred years in one short sermon.
The most that can be done is simply glance at the past.

During the reign of George II, King of England, Gen.
Waldo, a native of England, who for some time had been
doing business in Boston, Mass., returned to his native
country, commissioned for the purpose of settling the dif-
ficulty which had arisen out of the patent granted John
Beauchamp and Thomas Leverett. He succeeded in so
doing. And as many in our day, so managed the affairs,
as to make the cost cover the patent, and in due time
obtained a title to the whole region known as Muscongus
Patent, his object then was to increase the value of his
land, and so held out sufficient inducement for forty Ger-
man families to leave their native shore, brave the perils
of the sea, in order that they might enter anew upon life
with higher hopes and richer expectations. They were
led to believe that they were leaving a land desolate, with
but few attachments, for one beyond even the grasp of
imagination. But what sad disappointments lay stretched
out before them. In the place of a large and populous
city — a dense wilderness ; in place of fields waving with



corn, rocks of whose rough and hard crests, nothing they
then possessed could penetrate ; in phice of civiHzation
and culture. Savages seeking day by day for the poor inno-
cent and defenceless White man, in order that he might
fall upon them as birds of prey. When I think of the
imposition practiced upon these noble and true patriots,
the land promised them, though a wilderness, but which
they never received, and other things I might name, and
all that for personal aggrandizement, I cannot for one
moment doubt the doctrine of total depravity.

But hardships greater, and trials more difficult to bear
were yet in store for them. In 1746 this little band, after
suffering the hardships of winter, and erecting homes for
their wives and little ones, was attacked by the Indians,
who, as wild beasts had been prowling around their dwell-
ings, killing and carrying them nearly, if not all away.
But Waldo had too much at stake to be discouraged by
savages, and therefore, in 1748, obtained consent of some
twenty or thirty more German families to settle upon these
barren lands. And it is of these we are to speak, as they
are our ancestors. From these sprung our honoretl and
highly respected Conrad Heyer, who for so many years
listened to the truths as they are in Jesus, from this sacred
desk, who Sabbath after Sabbath, was found in his place
in yonder gallery, singing praises to his Redeemer in his
mother tongue, and laying by in store a good hope against
the day of his death. I think I can almost see the old
man, as he stood with his eyes heavenward, and with no
thought in his mind save that which would meet with the
approbation of his Master. And then, after living to an
age to which no other native born has ever arrived, to pass
gently down with a smile of resignation and joy upon his
countenance, bidding farewell to all below, and entering



10

through tlie gate into the eternal City. And to-day, from
his high seat above, he lools:s down upon us as assembled
here, and rejoices anew in the blood of Christ, because
through that blood he has been washed from all his sins,
and made pure and fit for the heavenly Canaan, where
there is no going out, but a continual meeting of those
with whom he took sweet counsel, and associated here
below.

In 1753, Gen. Waldo's son visited Germany, for the
purpose of inducing others to come thither. The induce-
ments held out by him, like those of his father, were of a
sufficient nature to give impetus to some sixty families
more to leave their homes, and cast their lot on this " rough
and rock bound coast." Arriving as they did in the
month of September, they soon found themselves face to
face with one of our rough and hard winters. It is un-
necessary for me to portray their sutler ings, as you all
have of late read the heart rending account in our jour-
nal. After passing as they did through the trials of per-
secution in their German home for the religion of Christ,
and many, doubtless, of their fathers, fell for the cause of
truth and right, (for it is to be remembered those vv^ho
came to this country were followers of Luther and Zwin-
gle,) they must encounter here the same opposers of
truth. The Frencli Catholics, the meanest of Creation,
induced the Indians with whom they had things in com-
mon, and to ivhom they rightly belonged, to fall upon
these defenseless colonists, and the tomahawk and scalp-
ing knife were long wet with the crimson blood of the
slain.

In 1763 peace shed its quickening beams over these
"cast down, but not destro3'ed " colonists. But again
trouble was in store for them. Scarcely had they had



11

time to dream of their once happy days, when the sun
went tranquilly down, when their right and title to the
little spot of land Waldo had given them, was disputed.
This avaricious man, as far as 1 am capable of learning,
believed at this time that he was owner of half of Maine,
and had a right to make a sheep-pasture of the other half.
But there were other men in the world at this time, and
they had a claim ; therefore Waldo's right to this portion
of New England was disputed, and by Massachusetts Leg-
islature its true boundaries fixed. On account of this, many
to whom Gen. Waldo had deeded land, had no legal claim,
ixud therefore their right was gone. The spot of land
they believed to be theirs and over which they had toiled,
and with the sweat of their brow endeavored to earn their
daily bread, now seemed to be taken from them.

In this troubled and perplexing state, these true hearted
men purchased their lands anew. And now another
must put in his claim, and so again they found themselves
in trouble, and so I might go on and show you in many
and various ways how the golden rule was violated
in reference to these early settlers. At last they could
bear it no longei", and so many of these colonists sold
what right they had to the land and left for the south.
Injured, oppressed, they could hold out no longer, and
therefore " shook off the dust of their feet as a testimony
against them." Oppression never meets with the smile
of heaven ; accordingly. Gen, Waldo, like Nebuchad-
nezzar of old, when surveying his possessions, was struck
with apoplexy and died immediately.

I have already said these colonists were true men, for
during the revolutionary struggle they stood out boldly for
liberty. Not a groan was borne along on the breeze from
this colony during that struggle, but with heart and hand



12

united, with the roar of the cannon on either side, with
sword gleaming in sunhght, ready to drink their blood,
yet firmly they stood, resolved for fi-eedom, and with their
efforts combined with others it was accomplished. And
these are the men who were persecuted on every hand.*
These are the men \Yho had not where to lay their heads.
These are the men whose wives and children were obliged
to serve as slaves for the purpose of enriching the coffers
of others.

As vet I have said nothing as to the religion of this peo-
ple. Among them we find the followers of Luther and
Zwingle, the two great German reformers. They did not
come thither like our Pilgrim fathers, for the purpose of
worshipping God, but rather for increasing their
worldly goods. But no inducement held out could have
an influence until provisions had been made for the
preaching of the Gospel. But this, like all the other prom-
ises, was broken ; but their trust in God through Christ
could not be broken, and so they assembled vSabbath after
Sabbath for the worship of Jehovah, choosing John Ul-
mer as their leader. Out of their scanty means they
erected a house of worship, and in 1763 the house was
dedicated. Methinks I can almost see these servants of
God as they assembled at this house for the first time, to
hear the truths as they are in Jesus. How earnestly they
gaze at the preacher. How eagerly they catch the truth.
How comforting the thought as it reaches the heart of
these poor, heavy laden souls. " Come unto me, all ye
that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me ; for I am meek
and lowly in heart ; and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
The return of spring, after the hardest and most dismal
winter they spent on this rugged coast, was not half so



13

gratefully received as was the sound of the gospel ia this
new log-church. Although their Minister did not
prove true, yet God often brings good out of evil. But
I must pass on.

In 1773 the inhabitants of this plantation, then known
as Broad Bay, had so increased by emigrants from Ger-
many, and the descendants of the Pilgrims, that it was
thought best to incorporate it into a' town. Accordinglv,
June 29th, 1873, by an act of the Massachusetts legisla-
ture, their request was granted, and the town incorporated
by the name of Waldoborough ; and in the church held
dear by the people, the tirst town meeting assembled.

It is in honor of the act of the incorporation of this
town, that we have assembled here to-day, and for the pur-
pose of reviewing the past century. I purpose dividing
this century into decades, and shall simply call to vour
mind some of the more important events. The first dec-
ade is fraught with consequences of the most vital impor-
tance to this town, and to the whole republic.

The Revolutionary war, that great struggle for liberty.
I need but remind you of Lexington, April 19, 1775, when
the mist which for a long time had been hanging over this
country was lifted, and the great struggle was in full view.
Probably the youngest present is acquainted with it. The
cause of right and liberty was then at issue, and God
from his high seat, above looked down and smiled with
complacency, and the victory was ours. And where were
the oppressed inhabitants of this town ? They could not
be found in the companies reserved, neitht-r could they be
seen in the supernumerary rank ; but as men. filled with
the spirit of right, fired with love for their adopted country,
they were to be seen foremost in the rank. And at the
sound of the bugle, and the beat of the drum, forward



14

they marched with firm and stead}' step^ until the goal
they reached ; and the banners they flung to the breeze,
and the shout of victory which went up on the air has
coursed its way to the remotest parts of om- world, and
nations have already arisen, and nations will yet be born
to bless our Independence Day.

During this decade nothing of interest appears in the;
church ; a death-like sleep seems to pervade it, and Zion
had occasion to '• hang her harps on the willows and
mourn because so few come to her solmen feasts," and all
through the so-called minister. The next decade enters
comparatively with a calm. Ship-building seemed to be
advancing, and a prosperous village was rearing itself on
both sides of the river ; nature seemed to wear her loveli-
est dress, and all appeared joyous and happy. But the
little Zion was not yet out of the wilderness. And here
I ought to say what needs to be said somewhere, — that
this people had erected another house of worship, on the
opposite side of the river — -whether they had abandoned
their first chuixh or not I do not know.

The date of the erection of this building is not known,
but probably not far from the Incorporation of the town.
There seems also to have been a change of pastors. Mr.
Croner ministered to them four yearrs, but his life was of
such a nature that the Redeemer's cause could gather no
life from him, and therefore remained in the same lethargic
state. But the third decade presents new life for this
persecuted and oft deceived people. Providence often
tries us. Christ tested the sincerity of the Syrophenician
woman, and then granted her request ; so he tested this
people, and then gave them the desire of their hearts.
But before speaking of the Rev. F. A. R. B. Ritz, I wish
to call your attention to the house in which we are assem-



15

bled to-day. Somewhere during the close of the last and
the beginning of this decade, the church deemed it best
to have a more central place of worship. Accordingly
they took down the building erected on the East side of
the river, and removed it to the spot where we to-day have
assembled'; so while this building has not been here one
hundred years, yet its timbers and nails have been conse-
crated to God more than a century, and could we meet in
a more suitable place on this day.'' As I look upon these
walls to-day, I am carried back to the days when our fa-
thers suffered persecution. I think also of the processions
that have passed in and out of these portals ; the young,
the old, the gay, the beautiful, the care worn, the earth
weary. All our public buildings combined would not be-
gin to hold them. This altar, how many have come at
the three great epochs of life, the babe for baptism, the
youth for the bridal, the white haired man or woman for
the last sad rites upon earth. How many a saint in glory
took their first step heavenward within these consecrated
walls. Unseen worshipers conie flitting in and out of her
doors, a silent, ghostly number. On earth, in bodily pres-
ence, they are seen no more. And how soon will the
same be said of us all. Only in the second temple of the
New Jerusalem, shall congregations never break up. This
old Church stands here to-day a monument of her former
greatness. As one gazes on these straight back pews, on
the jaiL-like pulpit in which I find myself, .with its sound-
ing board suggesting the sword of Damocles suspended
by a single hair, and looking as if it might at any moment
topple over on the preacher's head ; I say all these things
carry us back to the days of our fathers, and my prayer is
that as long as nails will fasten wood together, although
the living truth may not statedly be heard witliin these



16

walls, yet may she remain, and may those in whose care
she is intrusted ever feel it not only a duty, but a privilege
to bestow upon her the care necessary for her preserva-
tion.

I now come to the settlement of F. A. R. B. Ritz, who
upon the recommejidation of the Pennsylvania Synod, was
called to the pastorate of this Church in 179=^. He was
a man who had not only a liberal education, but had it
sanctified by the Spirit of the Redeemer. Unlike his
predecessors, he had the love of souls at heart. He deter-
mined to know nothing save "Jesus Christ and him cruci-
fied." The little flock, though long deceived, soon saw that
Gt)d had sent them a man after his own heart, and the
song of joy and gladness was now beginning to be sung.
Zion had not longer to mourn, and her harps were soon
taken down from the willows. The mourning was no
longer heard because so few came to her solemn feasts,
but Sabbath after Sabbath the courts of the Lord were
filled, and sinners were heard enquiring their way. Joy
was heard among the angels because sinners Were turn-
ing to God. The new Pastor's heart was encouraged, for
he saw that the people were hungering and thirsting after
the word of life. The next ten years presents some hard-
ships again for their Zion. The first eight are years of
growth and prosperity. The people are encouraged, the
town prosperous, and as far as the mind of man is capable of
determining, nothing but prosperity for the future, seemed
to await them. But in iSir their beloved Pastor was
taken from them bv death. This bereavement and disap-
pointment was sudden. They expected that he was to be
with them to the end, as is generally the case, l)ut God
works for his own glory, and they must submit to disap-
pointment.



17

But while he is taken from them, his good life and acts
live on. And as we look at his life and Works we can
but say :

" Servant of God, well done !

Rest from thy loved employ ;
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master's joy."

But God, had not ordained to leave this flock without a
shepherd long, for the next year he sent them Rev. J. W.
Starman, with whom many of you were acquainted. In
this decade, also, the Congregational Church was formed,
1807, Aug. 6, and John R. Cutting was ordained and in^
stalled pastor, Aug. 19th. " He remained its pastor five
years. During those years there seems to be little or no


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Online LibraryWaldoboro (Me.)The centennial celebration of the incorporation of Waldoboro', Maine → online text (page 1 of 4)