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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Josiah Biscoe's Diary, While Assisting in Surveying No. 4 (Paris)

Josiah Bisco (or Biscoe) was a proprietor and early settler of Paris, and assisted in laying out lots in the township in 1772. This map — drawn by Captain S. Greenleaf sometime around 1771 — shows the area through which Bisco's company traveled.

"Ramingtown" was the township later incorporated as Raymond and Casco; "Silvester, Canada" is now Turner; and "Bakerstown" roughly comprised the towns of Poland, Minot, and Mechanic Falls, and a portion of the city of Auburn. The peak of Streaked Mountain lies near the point where Paris, Hebron, and Buckfield meet.

Source: William Berry Lapham and Silas Packard Maxim, History of Paris, Maine, from its Settlement to 1880 [] (Paris, Me., Printed for the authors, 1884), pp 779ff.
Josiah Biscoe's Diary, While Assisting in Surveying No. 4.

This Journal is preserved in the family of Charles T. Mellen, a grandson of Josiah Bisco, who kindly permitted it to be copied for this work.
Saturday, Aug. 22, 1772. Set sail from Boston.

Sunday, 23. Under moderate sail.

Monday, 24. Arrived at Casco Bay about an hour before sunrise.

Tuesday, 25. Still at Casco Bay, and at about 5 o'clock, we set out for Gorham town with our stores. Lodged with Mr. Herscalls, who bought our stores.

Wednesday, 26. Set out from Gorham town for Sebago Pond; arrived there about sunset, and camped at the end of the pond.

Thursday, 27. In the morning still at the pond, and about twelve o'clock, Capt. Fuller and Capt. Coolidge arrived at the pond; had fish for dinner. I went out fishing in the afternoon, and we had fish for supper. Camped at the pond.

Friday, 28. In the morning still at the pond, and at about half after eleven, set out for Sungo River. Good weather to Frye's Island, thence the wind blows at the west, we were obliged to put to the shore, with difficulty, about three-fourths of the way over the pond. Staid and refreshed ourselves; struck up a fire. Supposed to be in Ramington. (Raymondtown.)

Saturday, 29. Fair morning. Set out for Sungo river about sunrise; arrived there about sun an hour high. Had fine breakfast of fish and chocolate, with a wood duck; proceeded up Sungo river to the Riplings, about eleven o'clock. I and four others went up Crooked river to discover the passage, but returned after going about four miles to the Riplings. There camped.

Sunday, 30. A fair morning. Fish for breakfast. Disappointed as to our surveying instruments. Shepard and Stenchfield return to Falmouth. We proceed for Kimball's; killed four duck going up. Whitney and Barnard stay at Riplings at Ramingtown. We return to them at about ten o'clock at night. Camp at Riplings.

Monday, 31. A pleasant morning; put our stores on boord, all proceed for Kimball's; arrived there, sun about an hour high; carried our stores to Kimball's house, lodged there.

Tuesday, Sept. 1. At about eleven o'clock, set out for Androscoggin; had a tedious march through woods as far as Crooked river in Yonkerstown; there camped.

Wensday [sic], 2. Set out from the camp at Crooked river for Androscoggin; a very tedious day's travel; arrived at the camp at Stony Brook, after sunset, very much fatigued; had a very rainy night.

Thursday, 3. Very rainy in the morning. Killed two ducks by the camp. Continues a rainy day—one more duck. Camp again.

Friday, 4. Pleasant in the morning. Began our survey upon the southeast part of the town; run two and three-fourths miles the first day; camped upon this line.

Saturday, 5. Run upon the line of ______, then upon the east line, three miles and hundred rods; then camp.

Sunday, 6. Still at camp.

Monday, 7. Proceeded upon the line to the northeast corner. The contents of the second line, 6 and 3-4 miles, 8 rods to the northeast corner, and from thence, two miles and one hundred rods upon the north line. There camp.

Tuesday, 8. Still upon the north line. There take a range line three miles from the northeast corner, proceed from the north line upon the range line, ten lots and two talies; there camp.

Wednesday, 9. Proceed upon the line to the town line, twenty-four lots and forty-six rods, the length of the 8th range line; from the end of the 8th range, we go to our old camp at Stony Brook. Camp there a rainy night.

Thursday, 10. Still at camp.

Friday, 11. Still at camp. Likely for a fair day. Sett out from the camp for the 4th range line, and I saw a bear up on a tree. Shoot at it, but did not kill. We run from the line at the southeast past of the town to the eleventh lot northward. There camp; a rainy night; felt very poorly.

Saturday, 12. Still at camp; foul morning and a rainy day. Still at our camp; night comes on; still rainy; camp as before.

Sunday, 13. A very pleasant day. Remain still at our camp on the 7th range, and eleventh lott; felt something poorly; feel a little better at evening. Camp as before.

Monday, 14. A pleasant day. Proceed upon our 7th range to the head of our town. Brought up our head line and turned upon our sixth range, two lots; there camp.

Tuesday, 15. Proceed upon our sixth range to the 19th lot, and there camp.

Wednesday, 16. Proceed to the southeast line, and to our old camp, arrive there at about ten o'clock; a fine dinner of trout cooked; hazzy [sic]; conclude to camp as before.

Thursday, 17. Ushered in by smart rain, and continues a rainy day. Still at camp.

Friday, 18. Sett out upon the 4th range line, run to 17th lot.

Saturday, 19. To the upper end of the township, and turned upon the 5th range and run over to the 13th lott, and there camp.

Sunday, 20. Sett out for our old camp; arrived there about three o'clock in the afternoon, when one of our company had just arrived there and had killed a moose. We went and brought it in; had moose steak for supper.

Monday, 21. Pleasant; still at camp. I take a tour to the southward; see very good land; return to camp as before. (Johnson tanned his moose hide.)

Tuesday, 22. Pleasant morning. Sett out on our north range line, went as far as 11th lott, and camped there.

Wednesday, 23. It began to rain about an hour before sunrise, and continued a very rainy day.

Thursday, 24. Set out on our range as before. Got to the head of the 6th lott, turned on our 10th range. Came down to the 16th lott and camp.

Friday, 25. Pursued our range and return to our old camp about twelve o'clock. Continued at the camp the remainder of the day; camp.

Saturday, 26. Pleasant in the morning. Set out for a view of the intervale, (one remark on the preceding night); a very frosty night; camp at our old camp.

Sunday, 27. Set out to traverse the river to the southward of our township; returned to the old camp a little before sunset; camp as before.

Monday, 28. Pleasant in the morning; sett out for Silvester, Canada; went to [sic] miles upon our southeast line, then took a course south 68 east, two miles, which brought us to the foot of Streaked mountain, where we dined. Went to the top of the mountain for a view, had a very pleasant prospect from the mountain over the country each way. Came down and continued our course a little different from the above, about three miles, and there camped near what is called Bogg Brook.

Tuesday, 29. Pleasant in the morning, proceed for the corner. Clouds up—looks like rain; we find the corner about noon; begins to rain; we set out from the corner for New Gloucester; find the road; travel as far as into Bakerstown; there camp; a rainy night.

Wednesday, 30. A rainy, dull day; pursued our journey from Bakerstown to New Gloucester, as far as Mr. Stenchfield's; arrived there about one'o'clock; continued there the afternoon; lodged at night; set out in the morning of the first of October. Dull weather; pursued our journey from Gloucester to Falmouth; as far as ______. Disappointed as to meeting the rest of our company; tarry there the night.

Friday, Oct. 2. Set forward on our journey; dined at the Milliken's in Scaborough; from thence we arriv [sic] at Jefford at Wells, there lodged.

Saturday, 3. Set out about an hour before sunrise; breakfast at Littlefield's in Wells; pursued our journey; arrive at Portsmouth Ferry about half before three o'clock; pass the ferry and travel as far as Greenlands at Pickering's, sup up and lodge there.

Sunday, 4. Set off before sunrise; travel as far as Exeter; breakfast at Folsom's near the bridge; travel to King's just as service was over for the forenoon. Called at Abbott, from thence to Haverhill; pass a ferry a little before sunset; to Bradford; lodged at Chandler's by the river side.

The com. Fuller, Coolidge, Whitney and Bisco, employed assistants, and their time as follows: Capt. Coolidge, 19 days; Capt. Fuller, 36; Whitney, 36; Bisco, 37; Shepard, 34; Barnard, 37; James Stenchfield, 35; Kimball, 3; Eaton, 3; Kneeland, 6; Clark, 3; Lovejoy, 3; Johnson, 17 279 days. Arrived at Casco Bay, Aug. 24, 1872 [sic]. Paid freight of eight bls, at 7s, 6p pr bbl, and for other things, 4s, 6p; amt. to 3£, 4s, 6 pence. Paid for storage at Preble's, 15s, 6p. Paid for transporting stores from Falmouth to Sebago Pond, 6£, 6s.


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