|Maine House||District 89|
|Maine Senate||District 13|
|Area sq mi||(total) 20.9|
|Area sq mi||(land) 18.1|
Total=land+water; Land=land only
[EJ-kum] is a town in Lincoln County, incorporated on March 3, 1774 from Freetown Plantation. Settlers, including Samuel Trask, had arrived in 1744. After years of disputes over rights to the land, all claims were settled and the inhabitants named the plantation “Freetown.” It was later named for the British Lord Mount Edgecomb, who had shown friendship to the Americans in the early stages of the Revolution.
In 1828 it ceded the island of Jeremisquam to form the town of Westport.
The population has grown significantly, more than doubling, during the decades 1970-2010, surpassing its 1880 population of 872 in 1990.
Located on Route 27 between Wiscasset and Boothbay, Edgecomb is bounded on the east by the Damariscotta River and on the west by the Sheepscot River.
Overlooking the Sheepscot River and the Narrows at the entrance to Wiscasset Harbor, Fort Edgecomb’s tower has a 360 degree view of the water and countryside. The fort was built in 1808 and became important during the War of 1812 when it housed some British prisoners and was a potential target of the British navy. The war ended before it could be attacked.
In addition to the main village in the center, two others, North Edgecomb in the northwest, and East Edgecomb in the southeast, form the communities of the town.
Gove, Nathan. Account Book, 1846-1891. (Cataloger Note: Nathan Gove was a resident of Edgecomb, Maine, and served as postmaster there from 1845 to 1852. . . . [includes his business transactions] It also records the costs of goods sold; many sales involve the purchase of beef, lamb, or veal, as well as items such as molasses, fish, tobacco, calfskins, etc.) [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]
Owen, Katherine Chase. Early Edgecomb, Maine. North Edgecomb, Me. K. C. Owen. 1986. (Vol. 2, 1988)
Isaacson, Dorris. Maine:A Guide Downeast, pp. 324-325.
*Maine. Historic Preservation Commission. Augusta, Me. Text and photo from National Register of Historic Places: http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/text/xxxxxxxx.PDF, http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/photos/xxxxxxxx.PDF
Congregational Church: 87000923.PDF
Fort Edgecomb: 69000020.PDF
Moore, John, House: 79000155.PDF
Parsons, Stephen, House: 83003648.PDF
Varney, George J. A Gazetteer of the State of Maine. 1886. pp. 215-217.
National Register of Historic Places – Listings
Congregational Church of Edgecomb
[Cross Point Road, North Edgecomb] This 1881 church is the most architecturally significant church building in this small rural community. The composition of its round arched door and window openings lend it a distinctive Italianate style character. It was built by local carpenter/builder William Henry Decker. Edgecomb’s Congregational Church organization is thought to have been in existence as early as 1783. Reorganization took place on September 30, 1807 when the society was incorporated under the name of the First Congregational Society in Edgecomb. Services were held in the town hall until 1860 when the congregation relocated to the former Eddy School. The church building was dedicated in 1882.*
[on Davis Island in the Sheepscot River] This interesting octagonal wooden blockhouse was built on Davis Island 1809 to protect the seaport of Wiscasset. In those days, Wise-asset, with one of the deepest harbors in Maine, was one of the busiest shipping centers in New England. The Federal Government surveyed the coastal defenses of Maine and Fort Edgecomb, where the channel of the Sheepscot River narrows, received major expansion. Across the river on Jeremy Squam (Westport) Island, in 1812, earthworks were created and called Fort McDonough. Fort Edgecomb was patterned after old English forts. On August 2, 1808, Secretary of War Henry Dearborn came to Davis Island and gave building directions. General Dearborn, a prominent Revolutionary and War of 1812 soldier, who marched to Quebec with Arnold, was land agent for the Bowdoin family and represented Maine in the Continental Congress.
The first floor is pierced for the use of muskets, and the second has portholes, like the deck of a warship. The blockhouse stands as built except for necessary repairs. The stockade was rebuilt in 1961 and the powder magazine was, as a safety measure, filled with sand.While there was no military activity here the War of 1812 proved that wooden blockhouses were not adequate for the national defense. The only time the 18 pound guns were fired was on March 4, 1809 for the inauguration of president Madison.* [See photos above.]
Moore, John, House
[southwest of Edgecomb on Cross Point Road; N43° 58′ 34.56″ W69° 38′ 56.76″] One of the earliest houses in the Edgecomb-Wiscasset area, it was built by John Moore prior to 1741 on land granted to him in 1736. It is remarkable structurally as a Cape. When John Moore sold the house in 1764 to John Grey, the latter, requiring more space for a large family, literally “raised the roof” to provide a heightened ceiling for the second floor and to add small windows on the front.
Spectacularly sited on the crest of a hill overlooking the tidal estuary of the Sheepscot River, the house is an important local reminder of the earliest settlement in the region.
In the 1880s the house was owned by Captain William Manson Patterson, skipper of the Jefferson Borden three masted schooner, at the time of a celebrated mutiny in 1875. On a run from New Orleans to London, the first and second mate,Patterson’s brother and cousin respectively, were both murdered by the crew. The Captain alertly turned the tables on the mutineers and brought the ship in.*
Parsons, Stephen, House
[southwest of Edgecomb on Parsons Creek] Apart from its obvious significance architecturally, with its barrel ceiling, lofty door enframements and interesting stenciling, this house is important as the home of Stephen Parsons, its builder. A model of early 19th century upward mobility and entrepreneurial skill, Parsons (1778-1862) came to Edgecomb in 1801 with his wife, Margaretta Frederick Randall, daughter of Benjamin Randall, founder of the Free Will Baptist denomination.
His career from that point was marked by continuous success for most of the rest of his life. Beginning as a surveyor, he quickly became a community leader and at the age of 26 was chosen as a selectman and moderator of the town meeting. He built his beautifully sited house in 1806 and on the nearby creek constructed a tidal grist mill, a shipyard and a brick yard. He also purchased the schooner Diamond which proved a very profitable investment.
He was an active worker for Maine statehood and served in 1818 and 1819 as a representative to the General Court of Massachusetts. When statehood was accomplished in 1820 he became the first state senator from his district.
By this time he had achieved position, prosperity and was surrounded by a fine family. Only after the death of his oldest son, lost at sea at the age of 33, and of his wife in 1854, did his good fortune seem to decline. Nevertheless, until his death in 1862, he was cared for by two adoring spinster daughters who caused his stone in the family burial plot to be inscribed with the epitaph: MARK THE PERFECT MAN.* [Frank A. Beard photo]