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Ethnohistorical Anthropologist
lakes region of maine
Studying the relationships
of the lake & river
with their human communities through time
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Time & Water Flow, And We All Live Down-Stream Of The Conseqences(tm)
Where & What are We?
Text ©copyright by Alvin Hamblen Morrison PhD 1999-2006. All rights reserved world wide.

Down By The Old Mill Stream--SPAP Report No. W-1
These links open new windows to allow you to view the map while reading these sections
The 1869 List | The Modern Locations in Raymond | Postscript

This map has several layers of information in it. Place your cursor over one of the 8 numbers to see a brief explanation of its modern location; look at the bottom of your browser window in the Status Area for this.

For more information on each reference point, click on the number or area.

Above numbers refer to the following.
See Report Sections for explainations.

1--These mills once were by today's dam
2--This mill probably was by the modern dam
3--Nubble Brook flows southward under Plains Road
4--This mill was behind today's Olde House Restaurant
5 & 6--Little Rattlesnake Pond is now Raymond Pond,
7--"A dam at the outlet of Panther pond..."
8--"On the outlet...of Thomas pond..."

*Gems refers to HISTORICAL GEMS OF RAYMOND AND CASCO by Ernest H. Knight (1996), Raymond-Casco Historical Society, Raymond & Casco, ME. This book and others are available, both to read and to buy, at both Raymond Village Library | | 207.655.4283, and Casco Public Library, 207.627.4541. Mail-order copies may be obtained from Varney's Volumes - P.O. Box 84, South Casco, ME 04077 | | 207.655.4605.


In 1869, the results of a state-wide survey ordered by Maine's Governor Joshua Chamberlain (of epic Civil War fame) were published at Augusta. This survey supposedly listed all of Maine's current and potential water-powered mill sites, town-by-town, alphabetically. The publication was titled THE WATER-POWER OF MAINE, by Walter Wells, Superintendent of the Hydrographic Survey of Maine, Augusta, 1869.

This book is a historian's delight, with its many local details and simple policy intent. Governor Chamberlain clearly hoped to lead Maine's millers in a brave countercharge against the invading future, as he had done so successfully with his Maine soldiers against the Rebel charge on Little Roundtop at Gettysburg. Again, Chamberlain was playing his highest card to seize the moment: bayonets in 1863 when the ammunition had run out; water-power in 1869 as Maine's most basic energy source to tap more effectively.

In the following Report Sections, I have quoted in full what this survey lists for the town of Raymond. Then (with the help of Raymond historian Ernest H. Knight and Casco antiquarian A. Lois Varney) I have attempted to "translate" into today's river-&-brook names these very different stream labels of 130 years ago. I hope that readers will take at least mental field-trips to seek these reminders of Raymond's small-scale industries at that time of a great historical "watershed": the end of the Civil War era and the beginning of America's Gilded Age.

Unfortunately for Governor Chamberlain, most of Maine's rural water-powered mini-industries, instead of developing in place, fell victim inevitably to the twin national trends of urbanization and its maxi-industrialization, which were already underway (elsewhere) by 1870. Some existing Raymond mills lasted longer than others, but the potential new mill sites pointed out in this survey were forgotten as easily as the several schemes for potential canal-routes had been lost in an earlier era. Because of all this, Walter Wells' lists now seem like a roll-call just before a surrender, certainly not a charge - the catalog of a present with a past but no future.

Nonetheless, water-powered mills once were the very makers of our Maine communities, and virtually all of our communities were built on streams because of this simple fact: no water-power, no mills; no mills, no community. If it takes a community to raise a child, surely it took a mill to raise a community. Maine's water-power survey reminds us of our own local heritage in homely details indeed. Time and water flow, and we all live downstream of the consequences.

Nason's Stave & Shingle Mill
on Hayden's Brook
#4 in the above map legend

Photo courtesy of Ernest H Knight and from his Then & Now books about RaymondTown.

See the Raymond Library Section for purchasing these books.

The barrel staves made here were produced mainly for local cooper shops which formed the staves into barrels or hogsheads as they were called. They were then sent to Cuba and returned to America filled with molasses. The shingles were manufactured for local building needs.--from The Olde House restaurant menu.

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