One hundred twenty-five years ago, George J. Varney summed up the origins of Eddington in “A Gazetteer of the State of Maine.”
“This township, at the recommendation of Congress, was granted to Jonathan Eddy and 19 others,” Varney wrote, “in consideration of their services and sufferings in connection with the Revolution. They were residents of Nova Scotia, but fled thence in 1776, on account of the persecution of the British. This grant was made in 1785, and the place was immediately settled. The town was incorporated in 1811, taking its name from Col. Eddy, the principal settler.”
Eddy had led a failed expedition to take Fort Cumberland in Nova Scotia. But, history notes, the effort kept 2,000 British busy in Halifax, preventing them from joining their forces in the American colonies.
But how much land did Eddy receive, and who were the so-called “19 others?”
Sue Dunham Shane refers the historically minded to Carolyn Wood’s “Reflections from Eddington,” the booklet written for the Eddington Bicentennial Committee in 1976, celebrating the country’s 200th birthday.
Wood, Dunham Shane explained, took much of her information from “Historical Sketch of East Eddington Area,” published in 1938. That source was authored by Burdock Rube, who actually was Oliver Harrison, also known as O.M. Harrison.
The grantees, and the amount of land they got, were listed as:
• Jonathan Eddy — 1,500 acres.
• Ebenezer Garner — 1,000 acres.
• Phineas Never — 1,000 acres.
• Zebulon Rowe — 750 acres.
• William Maxwell — 750 acres.
• Robert Foster — 550 acres.
• Parker Clarke — 550 acres.
• Atwood Fales — 450 acres.
• Elijah Eddy — 450 acres.
• William Eddy — 300 acres.
• Nathaniel Reynolds — 300 acres.
• Seth Noble — 300 acres.
• Samuel Rogers — 300 acres.
• Thomas Lockner — 230 acres.
• John Day — 230 acres.
• Anthony Burke — 150 acres.
• Beckford Carpenter — 150 acres.
• John Eckley — 150 acres.
• Jonathan Eddy Jr. — 150 acres.
• William Howe — 150 acres.
The first United States Census was taken in 1790, five years after Eddy and compatriots received their grants. The heads of household for Eddy Town, and the number of people in each household, were:
• John Phillips, five.
• Eleazar Blackman, two.
• Elias Eddy, five.
• Jonathan Eddy, three.
• James Nickolls, six.
• Ibrook Eddy, eight.
• Thankful McMann, six.
• Stephen Bussell, nine.
• Patrick Mahany, nine.
• Patience Rowell, five.
• Daniel Mann, five.
• Samuel Grant, five.
• Alexander Grant, two.
• Stephen Grant, seven.
• Jacob Oliver, eight.
• Phillip Spencer, six.
• Daniel Spencer, five.
• Nathaniel Spencer Jr., three.
• Nathaniel Spencer, nine.
Several settlers were already living in what became Eddy Town before the 1785 grants: Alexander Grant, Steven Grant, Daniel Mann, Stephen Buzzell, Jacob Oliver and Patrick Mahoney under a claim of “pre-occupancy.”
These settlers, according to a 1788 act of the Legislature, were entitled to pay $5 and obtain a 100-acre lot including the property they had improved.
More settlers came in 1800 to East Eddington from Oxford and Charlton, Mass. — Samuel Davis and sons Samuel, Caleb and Ebeneezer and four sons-in-law, Johnathan Sibley, Joshua and Right Stockwell and Abijah Campbell. The Comins family arrived in 1803, as did the Rich family and the Kidder family in 1804.
Eddington will hold its Bicentennial Friday through Sunday, July 22-24. The parade, “200 Years of Eddington,” will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, on Route 9 between Merrill Road and Rooks Road.
Participants will “Remember Our Founders” at 10:15 a.m. Sunday at East Eddington Community Church, and at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at North Brewer-Eddington United Methodist Church. After services, take a walk in the Eddy Cemetery off Hill Street (just off Route 178), or Settlers Cemetery behind New Hope Hospice, to pay homage to town founders. For information on Bicentennial activities, visit www.eddingtonmaine.gov.
The monument to Jonathan Eddy is on Monument Drive, which is off Route 178, and within view of the river. It reads:
“Jonathan Eddy 1726, 1804. A captain in the French and Indian War; a colonel in the Revolutionary War; a representative to the Massachusetts Great and General Court 1783; first magistrate on Penobscot River. This town of Eddington named in his honor and part of original grant to himself and soldiers. This memorial erected by his descendants in 1892.”
The Penobscot County Genealogical Society will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at the Hampden Historical Society, 83 Main Road South, Hampden, weather permitting. The event will be the annual barbecue.
The Orrington Historical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at 103 Johnson Mill Road. The meeting will feature a potluck supper and a “Christmas in July” theme.
The annual meeting of the Old Broad Bay Family History Association will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, in the downstairs conference room at the back of the Knox-Lincoln County Cooperative Extension of the University of Maine, 377 Manktown Road, Waldoboro.
A brief business meeting will include elections to the executive board and the board of directors. Peg Kearney will give a program at 10 a.m. on “An Imperfect Union: The Eighteenth Century Origins of the Two Maines.”
Kearney will discuss the Charter of 1691, the Waldo Patent and the political, social and legal controversies arising from these documents in Waldoboro and throughout Maine.
Jean Lawrence will speak about her new book, “Citizens Who Heard the Call to Political Service: Waldoboro, Maine 1773-2010.”
There will be refreshments and snacks and time for the exchange of genealogical information. A $5 donation to cover costs will be accepted at the door. All are welcome.
The Oakfield Historical Society will hold its annual Railfan Day event 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at the Oakfield Railroad Museum. Dinner will be held 4-6 p.m. at the Community Center.
Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; or email queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.