The town of Scarborough is rich in history. Winnocks Neck, the area that includes Olde Millbrook, shares in that richness. We are fortunate that Bill Tolman, one of our neighbors who has lived here longer than any other and the Editor of the neighborhood newsletter, is active with the Scarborough Historical Society and has done much research and writing about the Winnocks Neck area. He has generously agreed to allow it's publication here.
THE SAGA OF OLDE MILLBROOK
In the 1887 Atlas of Cumberland County, the following is found :
"SCARBOROUGH- Is situated on the line of the Portland, Saco and Portsmouth Railroad, about seven miles distant, in a southerly direction from Portland. It was named after Old Scarborough, England, being formerly known as Black Point and Blue Point. It has a large tract of salt marsh adjoining the sea. The interior is sand, and other portions clay or loam, and upon the rivers is good interval. The charter of the lands by Gorges was confirmed in 1684 to Joshua Scottow, Walter Gendell and others by President Danforth. The first settlement was made about 1630. The early settlers suffered much from frequent incursions of the Indians, and the place was burned in 1675. The Town records are continued from 1681-1688. In 1682 there was a vote of the town to raise 2s Id on each person for the Lord, and in another vote to build a meeting house on the plains near the fort, which, after some controversy, was erected agreeable to the determination of Edward Tyng and Francis Hook, two of the provincial council."
"A few years after Robert Jordan settled at Spurwink, a Mr. Thorpe who had been preaching at Black Point and boarding with Jonas and Elizabeth Baylie was asked to leave their home because he had been drinking and using language not becoming to his profession." "In several homes Mr. Thorpe had, in the presence of a group of people, accused Mrs. Baylie of being a witch."
"On July 4, 1659: At a court houlden at Yorke for this County: Mr. John Thorpe psented by the Grayne Jury as followeth: 1. Wee prsent Mr. Thorpe for excess in drinking. 2. Wee prsent Mr. Thorpe for abuseing Mr. Robert Jordan in his owne house in soe much yt Mr. Jordan was forced to comand his owne servants to tume him out of doors. 3. Wee prsent Mr. Thrope for teach'mg unsound doctrine." "Mr. Thorpe was examined by the County Court, was warned, and, upon payment of officers' fees, was discharged."
"Hearing that a cow belonging to Mr. Jordan had died, Mr. Thorpe thought of a way by which he could get even with Mrs. Baylie. He had heard that she planned to go to Falmouth the next day, so he told the men who worked for Mr. Jordan that if they would let him burn the cows carcass, the fire would bring the witch who had caused the cow's death." "When Mrs. Baylie came along, Mr. Thorpe stopped her and accused her of causing the poor animal's death. On hearing the commotion, Mr. Jordan appeared and wanted to know what was going on. He would have none of Mr. Thorpe's theories, but told them all that the cows death was due only to the carelessness of his own employees." "Thus witch hunting was nipped in the bud at Scarborough."
CUMBERLAND COUNTY HISTORY "..in consequence of the inconvenience of holding Courts in one corner of the County, a petition was sent from Falmouth at the January Session of the General Court, the (then York) County be divided and anew one be established with Falmouth as the shire town. Here the Superior Court was directed by law to hold an annual term on the 4th Tuesday in June, and the Inferior on the 2d Tuesday of May and September. The County then embraced Androscoggin, Franklin, and parts of Oxford, Kennebec and Somerset.
In 1658, the Town of Scarborough contained large areas of unclaimed and unoccupied common lands. People built mills and houses in spots that suited their needs. Occupying a piece of land established ownership. At this early time, there were no Freemen listed in Maine so there were no voting rights. There was now a complicated state of affairs. Massachusetts had purchased Maine as an independently chartered province. It was not part of their commonwealth. A solution was found by appointing Thomas Danforth, President of Maine, as a Massachusetts possession." July 26, 1684 Danforth took over. In 1691, the William and Mary Charter declared the Province of Maine subject to the laws and statutes of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. This act was known as The Province Charter and did not give outright ownership of the lands. They were to be held "in free and common soccage," that is by definite rental. At this time in history, determination of land ownership was almost a hopeless complication from a legal point of view. Since the French and Indians were in almost complete possession of the land, the Province Charter had little effect. All English settlers North of Wells were driven away. According to the book Grandfather Tales of Scarborough, "This occupation by the French and Indians, though feebly disputed, remained until the peace of Utrecht in 1713 at the close of Queen Anne's War, though after 1702 settlers had begun to return with additional immigrants. "The Scarboro town records, which apparently were only random fragments, afterwards copied into the town book, had been sent to Boston for safe keeping during the period of abandonment."
From 1622 to 1684, the history of our area refers to many names that are familiar today. A few are Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Captain John Mason, Alexander Rigby, George Cleeve, Capt. William Wentworth, Aaron Plumer, William Plummer, Mills, Skillings, Libby, and Thomas Danforth President of Maine as a Massachusetts possession. Let Ye Olde Ed know if he has stepped on your family's toes or any omission.
Let's look at some of the more extensive land holdings in Scarborough in 1681:
- Mr. Jordan's Nonesuch, 60 acres of Marsh and 100 acres of land.
- Mr. Phillips Foxwell, 150 acres of Marsh and 140 acres of land.
- Mr. Richard Hunwell, 60 acres of land.
- Mr Joseph Winick 40 acres of Marsh and 50 acres land.
- Mr. John Mills, 100 acres Marsh and 200 acres upland
- Mr. John Moulton, 16 acres Marsh and 50 acres of land.
- Mr. John Libby, Sr., 30 acres Marsh and 70 acres of land.
- Mr John Libby, Jr., 12 acres Marsh and 50 acres of land.
Scarborough was incorporated in 1658. Before this a sizeable Indian Village was on Winnocks Neck. In 1703, Thomas Cammock was the first proprietor in Scarborough who, according to historical records, with eight men, drove off 500 French and Indians from Owascoag (The Indian word translates into "Place of much grass").
Interesting area and family names appear, in early deeds and other records. Winnick's Neck, Plummer's Neck, and Millses Neck, were all former names of Winnock's Neck. Families such as Hunnewell, Elliot, Pickering, Whinick, Crockett, Libbey, Plaisted, War- wick, Libby, Milses, Hazely, Wentworth, Phillips, Plummer, Moulton, Mins and others are recorded.
Small houses of fishermen and workers sprung up on the Neck. "These people had their share of troubles, along with the rest of the townspeople. Mortality was high. It was not unusual for the parents of a child who had died to bury it after dark near the house, listening all the while for the stealthy step of their enemy the Indian. In 1690, when the Indians burned Scarborough, the only way of escape for them was by reaching Pine Point by boat, then walking to Dunstan and joining the others who were leaving town."
"In 1736 ..Aaron Plummer bought one half of Millses Neck, and hired the rest from Capt. Wm. Wentworth, for three years at 20 pounds yearly." "As the population grew on Plummer's Neck, more houses were built. Richard Hunnewell's grandson "one-armed Roger," bought two acres of land from Moses Plummer for 5 pounds. 6 shillings. 8 pence. Eleven years earlier, in 1747, he had bought from James Libby 7 acres of land on the opposite side of the Nonesuch River, next north of the Causeway bridge and road, of with the house and barn and fences thereon situate." Three year after buying the Plummer two acres he gave a deed of it for 50 pounds to James Libby, Moses Plummer and his brother, Richard Hunnewell, "to-gather with the dwelling house and barn standing on said land." This was a deed of trust or for security.
In the book Scarborough Becomes A Town by Dorothy Shaw Libbey, (Available at Scarborough Public Library and Scarborough Historical Society and Ye Olde Ed's library) the Plummer name is found on twenty different pages. Much of this "Saga" will be found in those pages.
"It was in the year 1767 that Jeremiah Plummer, with his fathers help, built the new house that was to be for his bride from Truro, Cape Cod. Although Sarah Eldridge was older than he was, her smiling eyes and quick wit had captured his heart. After the new house was finished, Jeremiah, with the help of his neighbors, built a new road down over "Ridge Hill" and across the marsh to the water's edge, where he and his father had already built a wharf. It had taken many days to cut the spruce and trim it down, then it had to be hauled and laid as the foundation of the new road. After these logs were laid, many loads of light gravel were hauled to make a good topping. Twelve pairs of oxen were used to do this." (Ye Olde Ed wonders if the logs are still down deep under the road.) "Sarah and Jeremiah lived a happy married life on their farm for fifty-five years before Sarah and the children lay Jeremiah down in the grove where in the past he and Sarah had buried four of their little ones." "Sarah died at the age of ninety-six years and nine months, and was buried with Jeremiah."
A family named Oliver purchased Jeremiah's homestead in 1845. If you have read this far, you probably know that the house referred to is now on a road designated as High Point Road! In putting this story together, different points of reference were a bit confusing to Ye Olde Ed. More than once he has been urged to get the facts and remember the source. That's a requirement in Historical and Genealogical research. Now for a bit of folk lore that relates to the times and our general area.
Aaron Plumer, Jr., was born in Rowley, Mass. in 1730 and was baptized there on May 24, 1730. He was a house-wright and lived at the old homestead on Winnock's Neck until he moved to Raymond, about 1771. Aaron married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward and Sarah (Mills) Skillings of Scarborough, July 9, 1752, and she died and he married Lydia Libby October 5, 1770; she died and he married Eleanor Davis. His children Sarah, 1753; Lucy, 1754; Edward, 1755; William, 1756; Uriah, 1758; John, 1760; Samuel, 1762; Sarah (dy), 1763; Elizabeth, 1765; Sarah (dy) 1766; Aaron, 1768; Hannah, 1770; Sarah, 1777; Lydia, 1787; Polly, 1794; Dorcas, 1775; David, 1776; Elliot (no date); Carey, 1787; Lemuel (no date); Jane (no date); Olive, 1787; Abner, 1787 (Lost at sea); Eleanor, 1787; and Deborah, the last child, was his 25th (no date). Aaron was around 57 years old when his last child was born! Some of the above dates are baptism and not birth dates.
When Falmouth was burned in 1775, Jeremiah Plummer was among the 21 men who went from Winnock's Neck to help. Jesse, his younger brother, was sent home by way of Stroudwater, to get food for the men. As he came through Stroudwater Village he came upon a hand cart someone had left behind, partly filled with clay pipes. Seeing no one around who seemed to own it, he helped himself to pipes, carrying home all he could. For years many of "Jesse's clay pipes" were used around the Neck.
Over the years, it has become necessary to have several cemeteries in town. There are 47 of them including Scarborough Memorial, Dunstan, Black Point North Scarborough or South Gorham, Hasty, Eben Libby Farm, Plummer & Libby, Hunnewell, Libby, Seavey, Skilling, Waterhouse, Harmon, King, Libby & Mitchell, Richards, Collins, Jose, Carter, Moulton, McLaughlin, Larrabee, Burnam, Carter, Fenderson, First Church, Fenderson and Marshall, Libby, Jones, Buggie, McKenney, Johnson, Nielsen, Tibbetts & Hunnewell, Berry, The Great Grave. (Maps showing the diagrams of these cemeteries are available for reference at the Scarborough Historical Society). An old Indian burial ground has disappeared from within the boundaries of Olde Millbrook but we still preserve the Plummer family plot on Sandy Point.
Here's a scanned copy of information about Richard King's son. This is from Southworth's History of Scarborough.
Rufus King, eldest son of the preceding, was a native of this town. After completing the preparatory course of studies at Byefield Academy, he entered Harvard College, where he graduated in 1777; he then removed to Newburyport where he studied law with the distinguished Judge Parsons - His career as a lawyer, Senator in Congress, and Minister of State, is well known. It is no small honor to Scarborough to have been the birthplace of a statesman who honored our whole country by his life. Ex Gov. King of Bath, lately deceased, was the third son of Richard, and was born in this town Feb. 9th,1768. Cyrus the fourth son, and youngest of the children, distinguished himself at the Bar, and in the halls of Congress. He died in Saco April 25, 1817.
Its time to put your thinking caps on. From the following progression of the
population of Scarborough, how has the recent growth of our Town affected your family?
Formerly known as "Black" Point and "Blue Point" our current name is from "Old Scarborough, England". Here goes with the population:
1681 - 56, 1791 - 2,235, 1850 - 1,887, 1860 - 1,807, (Civil War Time) 1870 - 1,692, 1880 - 1,847, 1890 - 1,794, 1900 - 1,865, 1910 - 1,945, (WW 1) 1920 - 1,832, 1930 - 2,444, 1940 - 2,842 (WW 11) 1950 - 4,600, 1960 - 6,4l8, 1970 - 7,845, (OLDE MILLBROOK BEGINS) 1980 - 11,347, 1990 - 12,518, 1994 - 14,148, 1996 - 14,148, 1998 - 14,800 and today, about 15,500.
About 1968, the development firm of Jordan and Hammond purchased 250 Acres of land owned by Paysons. Today we know the parcel as Olde Millbrook! Land for Olde Mill Road was purchased from a Mr. Webber who built Coachlantern East & West. (Ye Olde Ed's estimated facts)
- 3/24/76 Revised subdivision was approved.
- February 9, 1982 No apartment construction in OMB without a zone change or ordinance amendment.
- February 27, 1982 Side yard setback in original 1 st phase 7 1/2' all others 15'.
- April 27, 1982-84 Unit apartment area discussed with Town Engineer as shown on subdivision plan.
Let's look at a few of the conditions stipulated by the Town when approving the subdivision plans.
- Condition #3 No development in designated open spaces.
- #5 Waive requirement for sidewalks. Traffic not substantial and utilization would be slight.
- #5b 28' roadways modified to 22' paved, eliminate 8' curbside parking.
- #5c Curbing requirement not needed for traffic control or storm drainage facilitation.
Here's a quotation from the early advertising flyer, available when only 10 homes were in Olde Millbrook.
"Olde Millbrook is Maine's newest professionally planned community offering heavily wooded homesites on 250 spectacular acres in the seaside town of Scarborough. Each homesite is served by underground utilities (water, telephone and electric, plus town sewer) to preserve the natural beauty of the area. Gently curved streets serve private homesites in cul-de-sac and pipestem streets.
Olde Millbrook will offer recreational opportunities unlimited. A small boat marina that opens to the sea on Mill Brook, large community pool, horse barn and paddock with seven miles of riding trails, tennis courts, a softball field, sliding hill and nearby game preserve.
Choice of homes is limitless ranging from two bedroom starter homes in the spectacularly designed Young Modern series to Five Bedroom traditional Garrisons for established families. "
Prices from $14,900 to $19,900
JORDAN & HAMMOND, INC.."
Note that Ye Olde Ed has deleted the actual advertised prices to protect the feelings of recent buyers! Plans for the small boat marina hit a snag when it was realized a bridge over Mill Brook precluded access to the sea.
Let your imagination run wild when another part of the early plans indicated Tall Pines Road was roughed in, and try a walk down ROUGHED IN Tall Pines Road, on Mother's Day, in 1971. Then ask the Tolmans what it was really like!
When the First Tolmans, of Olde Millbrook, bought 7 Bayberry Lane, in 1971, the office for the new development was on Olde Mill Road. If you missed the office, you could not turn left on Tall Pines Road. Walking the rough cut roadway required watching where you stepped! Squishy and uneven put the description mildly. Pavement at that time was Olde Mill Road, then right on Tall Pines Road, and as far as the first pipe stem on Bayberry Lane. That's all the paved area at that time.
April 1971 was the date of the 10th home to be sold in Olde Millbrook. OURS!
Sometime in 1971 the idea for a neighborhood bulletin was hatched. Issue #1 has disappeared but issue #2 refers to the previous bulletin. Maybe some day the archives will come through.