Winthrop (Me.).

An account of the centennial celebration at Winthrop, Me. online

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WINTHROP, ME., MAT 20, 1871,


Historic Address and Foem in Full.

" Sweet clime of my kindred, blest land of my birth,
The fairest, the dearest, the brightest on earth;

Where'er I may roam — how'er blest I may be,
My spirit instinctively turns unto thee."






Origin and Prior Arrangement.

On the fourteenth of March, 1871, by invitation of Rev. Edward
P. Baker, there assembled at a private interview, a few citizens of
Winthrop village, to consider the question of celebrating some-
time during the current year, the one-hundredth anniversary of
the town's incorporation or first organization.* At this meeting
it was agreed that it was desirable to have such a celebration, that
the twentieth of May following was the most suitable day for it,
(that being the day, one hundred years ago, when the first town
meeting assembled,) and that the first step to be taken in the
matter was to secure some prominent gentleman from abroad to
speak on the occasion. Subsequent correspondence procured a
promise from Ex-Governor Chamberlain to be present on the day
of the proposed celebration and address the assembled people ; and
thereupon, in obedience to a call issued by the Selectmen, there
assembled a mass meeting in the Town Hall, April 6th, to formally
consider and decide the question of a celebration, and to inaugu-
rate whatever measures might be deemed desirable in the case.
This mass meeting voted to celebrate the twentieth of May follow-
ing, as the one-hundredth anniversary of the town's first organi-
zation, and elected a central Executive Committee to make out the
plan of the celebration and carry the same into execution, empow-
ering it to raise funds, appoint sub-committees and fill vacancies.
The following persons were chosen on this Committee :

At Large — Rev. Edward P. Baker.

District No. 1 — Cyrus S. Robbins, Mrs. C. S. Robbius.

* At the annual town meeting, held the day before, a vote had been passed to have such a celebra-
tion, and appropriating likewise $150 towards defraying expenses, which vote was subsequently
rescinded, ou the ground that the town could not legally appropriate money for such a purpose.


District No. 2— Josiah Snell, C. N. Maxwell, Mrs. B. P. Briggs,
Mrs. H. A. Stanley, (resigned.)

District No. 3 — Edward P. Whiting, Mrs. Martin A. Foster,
(resigned) Edwin S. Briggs, (resigned) Mrs. Edwin S. Briggs,

District No. 4 — F. H. Mclntire, A. P. Snow, Henry Woodward,
L. P. Moody, Mrs. J. B. Fillebrowne, Mrs. E. P. Baker, Mrs.
Cyrus Bishop, Mrs. J. M. Benjamin.

District No. 5 — Joseph R. Nelson, Mrs. Joseph R. Nelson.

District No. 6 — Nathan Kimball, Mrs. Nathan Kimball.

District No. 1 — T. W. Stevens, Mrs. Samuel Crane.

District No. 8 — John K. Lowell, (resigned) Mrs. B. W. Chan-

District No. 9 — John P. Putnam, Mrs. Albert Sturtevant.

District No. 10 — Nelson Packard, Mrs. Nelson Packard.

Subsequently added, Mr. Abial Robinson, Mrs. Abial Robinson,
Mr. Samuel Jackson, Mrs. Samuel Jackson, Mr. B. P. Briggs,
(I'esigned) Mr. Albert Sturtevant, (resigned) Mr. J. E. Brainard,
Mrs. J. P. Putnam, Mr. Bradock W. Chandler.

The Executive Committee held its first meeting April 8th, and
organized by choosing Dr. A. P. Snow, Chairman,* and L. P.
Moody, Secretary.

The plan for the celebration finally agreed upon was (concisely
stated) as follows :

A Salute of one hundred guns, fifty at sunrise and fifty at sun-
set, accompanied by the ringing of all the bells in the village ; a
procession, consisting of all the schools in town, in appropriate
costume ; antiquarian and symbolic representations and the trades ;
literary exercises at the speakers' stand ; music, both instrumental
and vocal ; dinner under a tent, toasts and after-dinner speeches.

For the execution of this general plan the following sub-Com-
mittees were appointed :

* Resigned the office of Chairman, May 11th.


Committee on Invitations and Literary Exercises. This Com-
mittee, among other things, issued the following circular :


The citizens of Winthrop, Kennebec County, Maine, are proposing to
celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the town's first organization, on .
the twentieth of May next. Extensive arrangements are being made so to
observe the day that it shall suitably mark the lapse of a century.

It is expected there will be, among other things, an address from ex-Gov.
Chamberlain, a historic sketch of the town, a poem, music, a dinner, a proces-
sion of the schools, and antiquarian representations.

It is hoped that all natives of the town, all former residents, all particularly
interested in the place, and especially all to whom this circular is sent, will
make it convenient to be present and enjoy the day's festivities.

T^' * 1. T,' f Committee

Edward r. Baker, > /. ,, ,
^ /-, » Tir V for the town.

C. A. Wing, ) '

Winthrop, April 20, 1871.

About five hundred copies of this circular were sent by mail to
natives of the town, former residents and friends living in other

Committee on Band Music, — which Committee was also made
CoMigTTEE ON Railway Trains ;
" " Vocal Music;

" " Salute;

" " Procession ;

" " Dinner;

" " Speakers' Stand and Tent;

" " Guest Table ;

" " Antiquities ;

" " Arches ; »

Besides the sub-Committees above referred to, there were Com-
mittees appointed in the several districts, who had charge of
spficial departments, «uch as costumes, banners and dinner table.

Much effort was put forth outside of committees. The citizens
of the town contributed largely to defray the expenses of the cele-
bration. The amount of money contributions was, in round num-
bers, $800, to whicb should be added contribution of time, labor,



influence, and pi'ovisions for the table, which were far more in value
than the contributions of money. There was interest felt in the
enterprise outside of Winthrop. The newspapers cordially noticed
the coming celebration, and the Maine Central Railroad Company
•made special arrangements to run extra trains, at reduced fare, on
that day, to accommodate the people.

The oflScers of the day, elected by the Executive Committee,
were :
'President of the Day — Henry Woodward, Esq.

Vice Presidents — J. P. Putnam, J. R. Nelson and J. B. Fille-


Chief Marshal— C. A. Wing.

Ex-Governor J. L. Chamberlain had already been engaged to
give an address.

Hon. S. P. Benson of Brunswick, and J. W. May, Esq., of
Auburn, both natives of Winthrop, had been likewise engaged to
deliver the one a historic sketch, the other a poem.

The speakers' stand was erected in the space in front of the
Town Hall, and the tent (capable of seating one thousand, and
affording standing room for a much larger number) was pitched in
the yard of the Congregational Church. Tickets of admission to
the tent to the number of sixteen hundred were distributed to
the people of the town, and about four hundred special tickets
to invited guests.

The officers of the town appointed for the occasion a special
police force, for the preservation of order.

Public interest in the celebration steadily deepened as the time
drew near, and it was generally conceded for days previous that
on the coming 20th, should the weather be favorable, Winthrop
would witness a gathering of people in its streets such as it had
never seen before, and would probably never again.*

* On the evening preceding, Chandler's Band of Portland, gave a concert of rare artistic music, in
the Town Ilall, which was well filled with a select and appreciative audience.


The Day

Was the finest of the spring, — a summer day in fact, as regards
temperature and beauty. A gentle shower of the preceding night
had laid the dust and enlivened the air. The "weather-wise who
'had for weeks before been predicting that the day woul.d be rainy,
were this time shown to be false prophets.

The hour of sunrise was signalized by the firing of fifty guns on
Town House hill, (a brass twelve pounder having previously been
obtained from the polite and patriotic Commandant of the U. S.
Arsenal at Augusta) and the ringing of all the bells in the village.

The hours of early morning witnessed the advent of the citizens
of Winthrop and their families to the tent, bringing provisions for
the tables, the gradual accumulation of people in the streets, and
the hurrying to and fro of officers and committees in the discharge
of their respective duties.

At nine o'clock, the procession commenced to form, under the
supervision and direction of Chief Marshal C. A. "Wing, aided by
Marshals L. P. Moody, C. B. Fillebrowne, B. S. Kelly and A. C.
Carr ; it began to move about ten o'clock, and proceeded the fol-
lowing route :

Starting from the Railway Station, it moved south along Main
street ; thence east into street leading by Oil Cloth Factories to
Royal street ; thence north on said street to Main street ; thence
down Main street into Bowdoin street; thence along Bowdoin
street into Causeway street ; thence into the new street west of the
railroad ; thence to the Railway Station, again into Main street ;
thence along Main street into Elm street ; thence up Elm street,
round through Bowdoin into Main street again, and thence to the
speakers' stand in front of the Town Hall.*

* On its final passage through Main street, its centre being opposite the hotel, the
procession halted to receive into its ranks the officers of the day, the orator, poet and
distinguished guests. Among the gentlemen present, were His Excellency, Gov. Per-
ham ; Ex-Gov. Chamberlain ; Mayor Garcelon of Lewiston ; Judge May ; Hon. S. P.
Benson ; Brown Thurston, Esq., of Portland, son of "Father Thurston"; W. S. Noyes,


The procession was three-quarters of a mile in length, and
moved in the order of the School Districts, as follows :

1. Winthrop Brass Band.

2. Twelve aged citizens of the town, riding in a carriage, bear-
ing a banner inscribed — " 18th Century."

3. Town ofiScers, bearing a banner inscribed — " 19th Century."

4. A banner inscribed with the names of the officers chosen at
the first town meeting, borne by a lineal descendant of Timothy
Foster, one of the first selectmen.

District No. 1.

1. A banner, on which was inscribed — "District No. 1, the
Earliest Settled."

2. A carriage with Bobbin's nest, containing the four little
children of Mr. C. S. Bobbins, a descendant of the first settler, in
a carriage with banner bearing these lines :

" The best laid schemes o' mice an' men

Gang aft aglay,"
*ut Bobbins sing and build their nest
Tor our centennary.

3. Carriage containing school children of the District, the girls
wearing blue sashes, and the boys with a blue stripe on their
pants and figure "1" in blue on their shoulders. The carriage had
a banner with this inscription, " We are A, — No. 1." Across the
carriage extended this motto, the only Latin motto in the pro-
cession, " Hoec olim meminisse juvabit."

4. A plain carriage, in which rode the elder people of the Dis-

5. A hay-rack on wheels, containing an old well-curb, sweep
and bucket, a girl playing a melodeon, and people around singing
the song of " The Old Oaken Bucket."

Esq., the publisher of the first newspaper issued in Winthrop ; A. S. Washburn, Esq.,
of Hallowell ; B. H. Cushman and A. B, Farwell, Esqs., of Augusta ; Col. F. M. Drew
of Brunswick, and many other gentlemen of prominence. It was the intention of Hon.
James G. Blaine to be present, but he was unexpectedly called to attend to business in
the Middle States.


6. An old and noted fisherman of the town carrying a banner
which had for tassels on each lower corner, a cluster of one-half
dozen or so of very little fish, inscribed with the words, " Codfish
Aristocracy." " A few fish in town better than any caught out."

District No. 2.
Seventeen girls dressed in white, with blue overskirts, and
white hats, trimmed with red ; twenty-two boys, with blue sashes,
a gilt star on the left shoulder, and fastened with a rosette of
red, white and blue. They rode in a four-horse and two-horse
wagon, arched with evergreen trees, and elaborately trimmed ;
both horses and wagons decorated with flags, carrying a banner
with "Fidelity" inscribed thereon.

District No. 3.
The girls of this district, riding, wore white dresses, blue
sashes, and the figure "3" on the bosom. The boys, on foot, wore
a figure "3" in their caps, a rosette of Red, White and Blue, on
the left shoulder, and blue sashes. The banner was white, with
gilt lettering, and trimmed with green. Its inscription was —
" 1771—1871." " We cherish the home of our Fathers."

District No. 4, (Village District.)

1. District banner borne by a young man on foot. On this was
inscribed — " Our Common Schools. The tree our fathers planted
we will nourish and protect."

2. An Indian family in a wigwam. The wigwam was con-
structed of evergreen trees and boughs, also surrounded by trees.
In the center was a couch made of boughs and covered with a
wolfskin robe. The family consisted of two chiefs, two squaws
and three pappooses. The women were making baskets, and the
children played with and fed the dogs, while the men stood look-
ing on, with bows and arrows in their hands. All were dressed in
true Indian style.


3. Eight young men, dressed as pioneers, with axes over their

4. The Primary School, accompanied by its teachers, in a car-
riage trimmed with evergreen. The girls were dressed in white,
with blue sashes around their waists, and white hats, trimmed
with red. The boys wore white pants and shirts, blue sashes
over the shoulder, and red Scotch caps. On their banner was
inscribed — "We are a happy band."

5. A man going to mill, on foot, with the grist on his shoulder.
He was dressed in ancient style, and, although the bag contained
nothing heavier than bran, he plodded along as if read}"^ to drop
under the burden.

6. A barge carriage drawn by oxen, in which were represented
the mothers and daughters of It'll. One was spinning on a large
wheel, another reeling yarn, another combing flax, one carding
wool, one at a quill wheel, another doubling yarn, two knitting
and one mending. All were dressed in ancient costume.

1. Visiting in the last century. A gentleman and lady on
horseback ; the lady riding on a pillion, and both dressed in very
ancient style; he carried a wooden bread trough before him, to rep-
resent the story in the " History of Winthrop," of Mr. Fairbanks
and Mrs. Wood, — the gentleman being a lineal descendant of the
hero of that story and carrying the identical bread trough.

8. A carriage with a canopy, supported by pillars, all profusely
decorated with evei'green. In this were the "Seasons" and "Day"
and "Night." "Spring" was dressed in white, with evergreen trim-
mings ; "Summer" wore white, with pink trimmings, flowers crown-
ed her head, and a large cornucopia filled with flowers, hung at her
side ; "Autumn" was dressed like a harvester, and carried a sickle,
while at his feet were corn, wheat, and a basket of fruit ; "Winter"
was clothed in fur ; "Day" was dressed in white, with blue drapery,
while "Night" wore black covered with stars, a black veil studded
with stars falling over her. On their banner was the inscription —


" Seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, day and night, shall not

9. A woman on horseback, going to mill, dressed in antique

10. The Portland Band.

11. "WiNTHROp" represented by a young lady dressed in pure
white, with a crown upon her forehead, bearing the word " Win-
throp.' She was standing in an open carriage, and supported a
banner, on which was inscribed — "Winthrop welcomes her friends
on her 100th birthday."

12. Intermediate School, in a large boat on wheels, drawn by
oxen. The boys wore white pants, blue shirts and tarpaulin hats ;
the girls were dressed in white, with blue shawls and aprons, and
hats trimmed with blue. They carried a banner with the inscrip-
tion — "We look to Maine for our seamen."

13. A carriage, with boys, carrying the Maine coat of arms.

14. "Going to church in 1771," was represented by a gentleman
and lady on horseback ; the lady rode on a pillion, and both were
dressed in the fashion of 1771. They were followed by a gentle-
man and lady dressed in the latest style and riding in a nice top-
buggy, representing "Going to church in 1871."

15. A country store, bearing the sign of "Nathaniel Bishop,"
the first storekeeper in town. It contained a great variety of
articles, dress-goods, hardware, confectionery, groceries, &c., &c.
The merchant, dressed in very ancient costume, was busily en-
gaged sweeping his store, in imitation of his worthy ancestor.

16. A carriage with a busy company engaged in domestic em-
ployments peculiar to ancient times. One man was cobbling,
another stripping a broom. One woman was dipping candles in
an old-fashioned iron pot ; the candle rods were ancient, having
belonged to one of our first settlers. Another woman was spinning
on a flax wheel, and a neighbor was making a call upon them,
wearing a scarlet cloak more than one hundred years old, and a
huge bonnet and veil to correspond.


17. The first "Temperance Pledge" in Winthrop, drafted and
signed in 1829, and containing four hundred and forty names, was
nailed to a staff, and carried by a temperance veteran, on foot.
The names were written in double columns, and the whole docu-
ment was about six feet in length.

18. An ancient parson and lady, riding in an old-fashioned
chaise. He wore a three-cornered hat, big wig, muslin bands and
knee-breeches. She was dressed in a style to correspond.

19. An ancient doctor on horseback. He, too, wore a three-
cornered hat, a big powdered wig, ruffles at his wrists, and knee-
breeches. His saddle-bags were very conspicuous, thrown across
the back of his horse.

20. Fishermen, carrying rods, lines and spears.

21. A hay-rack containing a husking party. They were em-
ployed in husking the corn and finding the red ears.

22. The Grammar School accompanied by the teacher. The
boys walking, dressed as Robin Hood's archers, in white pants,
green tunics, and straw hats trimmed with evergreen, each carry-
ing a bow and arrow. They were preceded by their standard
bearers. On their banner was inscribed :

" Bend the bow and wing the dart,

Let it reach each foeman's heart ;
But the enemy must be,

All that's bad in you and me."

The girls of the school rode in a carriage drawn by oxen, and
trimmed with evergreen. They were dressed in white, with green
waists, pink sashes and hats trimmed with pink. They carried
bouquets in their hands. On their banner was the motto —
"Flowers are the alphabet of Angels."

23. An old-fashioned quilting party, in a carriage roofed and
trimmed with evergreen. Eleven ladies were seated around a
quilt, plying the needle busily, while their tongues kept time with
their needles. All were dressed in ancient style, puffed hair, high
combs, large caps, short waists and big sleeves. One of their
number represented a Quakeress.



From L. Whitman's Agricultural Works, were six teams. The
first was drawn by oxen, and carried farming implements of
ancient style. Among them were an old-fashioned flax-break, a
winnowing-mill of the old style, a wooden toothed harrow, a plow
and a wheelbarrow fastened together with withes. Two men were
breaking flax. This was followed by a horse team with farming
implements having all the improvements of the age. The next
two teams carried a threshing machine. Following these was a
spring rake, and the last was a revolving rake.

L. P. Moody's tin shop. This contained tin ware of diff'erent
kinds, while a young man was busy manufacturing articles. Their
motto was — " Labor is honorable."

H. E. Morton furnished for the procession a shoe shop of the
last century, the sign reading " Butes and Shues Maid and
Fixed." One man was cutting leather, another stitching with the
bristle and waxed end, using clamps of ancient date, while still
another was sitting on a bench with a lapstone and strap, soleing
a boot.

Blacksmith's shop of S. Davis. A huge forge and bellows were
in operation, and men hard at work.

John Mcllroy, Agent, of Winthrop Mills Company, put into
the procession a team carrying the difibrent kinds of cloth
and blankets which they manufacture. In the centre was a tall
pine tree, a large eagle perched in the top, and on the tips of
the branches were fastened bunches of cotton and wool.

C. M. Bailey's Oil Cloth Works were represented. Specimens
of the various patterns manufactured there were displayed, while
workmen were busily engaged in stamping oil cloth.

District No. 5.
1. The school childrea of this district appeared in the proces-
sion on foot, the girls wearing white dresses, blue Spanish waists,
white sailor hats, trimmed with blue, and the boys wearing black

1> — r—


pants with a white stripe on the side, white waists, blue badges,
and blue caps. The banner was white, trimmed with blue, and
ornamented with silver stars, and bore the inscription — " District
No. 5 — Always Ready."

2. Domestic farm-work. A team carrying two ladies, the one
churning, the other making cheese.

District No. 6.

1. A log cabin six feet by four, mounted on a cart, constructed
of rough sticks, the crevices filled up with moss, and the roof
covered with hemlock bark. Visible just inside the door was a
man pounding coffee in a old wooden mortar, and a woman knit-
ting, both dressed in the old style.

2. The school children of this district were on foot in the pro-
cession, the girls wearing white skirts, red sacks, and sailor hats
trimmed with red, and the boys white pants, dark jackets and red
caps. The banner, which was white, trimmed with red, bore the
inscription — "In God we trust."

District No. 1.
The school children of this district, rode in a wagon, deco-
rated with a tree in each corner, a flag of blue and white in the
centre, and having a small banner inscribed with the word,
"Friendship." The girls wore red overskirts trimmed with
white, red regalia, and shade hats trimmed with red and white.
The boys were dressed in regalia of red and white.

District No. 8.
This district went in procession with District No. 5.

District No. 9,
The children of this district were conveyed in a wagon drawn
by four oxen, the vehicle profusely adorned with evergreens,
bearing a flag and banner on which was the inscription, "St.
Mary's— District No. 9."

District No. 10.
This district went in procession with District No. 4.


The procession having arrived, about 11 o'clock, at the space in
front of the Town Hall, and there massed, and the Chief Marshal
having called the multitude to order, and introduced the President
of the day, there followed the

Exercises at the Speakers' Stand,

which were a brief Introductory Address by the President of the
Day, H. Woodward, Esq. Prayer by Rev. Edward P. Baker of
the Congregational Church. The Centennial Hymn read by Rev,
Mr. A. Bosserman of the Universalist Church, and sung by the uni-
ted choirs of the town, led by Mr. Samuel Thurston of Portland.
Reading of ancient documents by L. P. Moody, the Town Clerk.
Singing the poem, " Marching Along," by a choir of children, led
by Rev. A. Bryant of the Baptist Church, East Winthrop. Historic
address by Hon. S. P. Benson of Brunswick. Poem by J. W. May,
Esq., of Auburn, and an address by Ex-Governor J. L. Chamber-
lain ; the exercises interspersed with excellent music from the
Winthrop and Portland Bands. The parts were all well sustained,
and were listened to with interest by a large concourse of people,
who for three hours stood up beneath a scorching sun.

The multitude then having formed in procession, headed by the
Portland Band, repaired from the Speakers' Stand to the tent, to
partake of

The Dinner,

which was bountiful and elegant, having been spread upon five
tables, each one hundred and fifty feet long, occupying the main
tent, and one table, sixty feet long, occupying a wing tent.
These tables were literally loaded with almost everything that

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Online LibraryWinthrop (Me.)An account of the centennial celebration at Winthrop, Me. → online text (page 1 of 6)