Friends of Whitefield newsletter
This a collection of occasional newsletters about Whitefield, Maine. The intent is to celebrate our towns unique characters and characteristics.
Whitefield gets its name from the celebrated British evangelist George Whitefield, who inspired the colonists before the town was settled in 1770. They remembered him when incorporation came in 1809. The earliest organized religious settlement was centered within the bucolic parish of Saint Denis, located on a hill in the Irish Section of town. The area was so reminiscent of the countryside of Ireland that it became home to many from the old country, whose headstones tell of origins in the Emerald Isle. Our fertile and wooded river valley has provided sustenance and energy to woodsmen, farmers, millers, sawyers and their families for decades.
All who plied their trade and practiced their craft were thankful for the power and beauty of the Sheepscot River. The variety of "privileges" has supported over twelve mills through times past. The water wheels that helped produce shingles, beams, boards, barrels, flour, meal, cider and woolens are now gone. What remains are the cool rocked walls that still guide the river currents into pools where Atlantic Salmon and Brook Trout rise to feed in the shadows. The three villages of this quiet pastoral community: King's Mills, Whitefield and Coopers Mills are linked by the graceful Sheepscot River that meanders down the towns very middle. There have been no fewer than eight bridges spanning the river - carrying sheep, hay wagons, narrow gauge trains, logging trucks and parades. Today, Whitefield's population is a cooperative mix of farmers, artists, woodsmen and professionals, all with the independent spirit that gave our town its start. Even now the Grand Army Civil War Veterans Hall, grange halls, churches, volunteer fire departments, health center, townhouse and school are alive with public suppers, dances, plays, ball games, civic events and celebrations. As it has been for 200 years, Whitefield is active, vital yet private and respectful of the individual's character that makes Maine unique. D.
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