Zadoc Long's Journal, 1847-48
Source: Alfred Cole and Charles F. Whitman, A History of Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine (Buckfield, Me.: [s.n.], 1915).
[p. 493]1847.Jan. 1—A thaw.
Jan. 31—50 yoke of oxen from different sections of the town have been in the village breaking out the roads.
Feb. 12—Pleasant. Good sleighing. My son, John Davis, playing dominoes with his grandmother Nelson—She is 80 and he 8 years old.
Feb. 16—Very cold. Money plenteous. Provisions rising very much in price on account of the demand in Europe. The repeal of duties in England, the destruction of the potato crop, the chief dependence of the Irish people, have opened a market for provisions from the U. S. to such an extent, that merchants are unable to procure carrying vessels enough for our exports.
Mar. 31—The last day of as cold a March as was ever experienced in this climate. To-day a cold snow storm. There is a mass meeting in the village to-day for the purpose of explaining and having generally understood the object, probable expense and advantage of a railway from this village to Mechanic Falls, 12 miles to meet the Portland and Montreal road. The people of this village have already pledged themselves to take about $17,000 stock in the contemplated road.
Apr. 8—Fast Day. People travel in sleighs. Feb. and March have been the coldest for 30 years. Contributed 9 shillings for the relief of the suffering Irish and Julia and Persis have also articles of wearing apparel priced at 15 shillings.
Apr. 13—The martins appear this morning. They must have made a miscalculation. It is two weeks earlier than they usually come.
Apr. 15—Persis begging old clothes to send to Ireland. With one hand we are sending our ships laden with food and clothing to Ireland, with the other our ships laden with implements of war and blood shed in Mexico.
Apr. 22—Warm and damp. The birds singing. A warm shower with thunder and lightning. The ice is coming over the dam. Men and boys are assembled on the bridge to witness it.[p. 494]May 1—Very cold. The trees are as naked and budless as in January. A meeting in the village to see about the R. R. to Bog Falls. Many attend—some from Portland.
May 2—V. D. Parris, Marshal of Maine, called.
May 3—Have sold a house lot to Virgil D. Parris out of my pasture land—about 3/8 of an acre for $75. Snow storm. Dr. Bridgham calls on me and says that he has visited patients 5 miles distant in a sleigh. He says the snow in some places is very deep.
May 17—Beautiful weather. Trees leaving out.
May 18—My Father has walked up here in the rain to bring me a piece of veal. He was 77 years old last week. My mother, 71 years old, walked up to see me 2 miles and back.
June 6—A goodly number of children attend the opening of the Sabbath School. Mr. James, Congregationalist minister, preaches at Union Chapel at 5 o'clock.
June 15—Mother Nelson died without a struggle at 9 o'clock a. m. She died a Christian, universally beloved and respected, in the 82d year of her age.
June 22—Business of the village, No. of stores, mechanics, etc.: Five stores in operation, Loring & Jewett, Ephraim Atwood & Co., Geo. Bennett, James Murdock, Sam Thomes. Two wagon shops, Amory H. Allen and Aaron Parsons. 2 blacksmith shops, 1 starch factory that makes 30 tons of starch yearly, 1 hoe factory that makes 200 doz. hoes yearly, one tin factory—Mr. Douglass. 1 boot and shoe factory—John Taylor. 1 tannery, Alexander Robinson and Josiah W. Whitten, 2 saw mills, 1 grist mill with 4 run of stones, Artemas F. Cole, 1 cabinet shop, Lloyd Cole, 1 tailor, Samuel Thomes; 1 slop shop, James Murdock; 1 public house for travellers, Sydenham Bridgham; 1 clothing and carding mill, Addison G. Cole. 36 dwelling houses, 3 lawyers doing business in separate offices, 4 physicians, William Bridgham & Son (Wm. P.), Cyrus Coolidge and John S. Drake; 1 harness maker, Ferdinand A. Warren. Business of the village increasing. People are industrious and temperate and though not rich, are generally independent as to property. 225 inhabitants in the village.
July 5—The Pres. of the U. S. was at Augusta last week and at Portland yesterday.
July 20—The charter for a Branch R. R. to Mechanic Falls received from the Legislature.
July 26—Went with Zadoc, John Davis and Carroll Loring to Streaked Mountain blueberrying. Hay is abundant this season.
Aug. 1—Sunday—Warm. No meeting in the village to-day.
Aug. 13—There are 2 factories in Buckfield where great quantities of powder are made.
Aug. 15, Sunday—Went to East meeting house where we were much edified by a sermon by Elder Phinney, a very fluent Free Baptist preacher.
Aug. 18—People talking about the Buckfield Branch Ry. It is now nearly certain that the enterprise will go into effect.[p. 495]Aug. 21—Books opened for subscription for stock in the Buckfield Branch Railroad.
Aug. 27—$32,000 of stock in the railroad is subscribed for.
Aug. 31—The Universalists have an association meeting in this village to-morrow.
Sept. 6—It is sickly. People are troubled with fevers and cold.
Nov. 25—Thanksgiving. We have had a powerful rain. The weather is now warm as summer.
Dec. 1—Extremely cold. No snow on the ground. School has commenced under charge of Lucy Robinson.
Dec. 15—Julia Davis was married to her half-cousin, Nelson D. White by Mr. Butler.1848.Jan. 1—Warm as summer. Ground etirely bare. The grass looks green around my buildings.
Jan. 13—Extremely cold. Good sleighing. The month of Dec. averaged 5 degrees colder than for 30 years.
Jan. 24—I am summoned to attend the trial of Valorus Coolidge for murder at Augusta to-morrow.
Jan. 26—Started to go to Augusta. Went 20 miles and heard of the adjournment of the trial to March.
Feb. 3—Mild—little snow. It has thus far been the mildest winter known in this climate.
Mar. 13—Rode in a double sleigh with Squire Brown, Mr. Loring, Elder Thomes and Josiah W. Whitten to Augusta.
Mar. 14—Trial of Coolidge commenced in the largest church in the place which was filled with people.
Mar. 15—Very cold. Trial continues. The prisoner appears well. House crowded—galleries with ladies.
Mar. 25—We hear that Valorus Coolidge was convicted of murder and sentenced to be hung after one year's solitary confinement at hard labor in the State's Prison.
Apr. 22—Martin birds arrived to-day. Road nearly settled. People plowing.
May 7—Delightful. Earth and heavens full of beauty, music and gladness.
May 29—Mr. Walker from Indiana gave us a ranting specimen of Western stump oratory yesterday p. m. which did no great credit to him or his state.
Aug. 23—I have bonded to Levi Cushman ¼ acre of land opposite Mr. Jewett's for a house lot, price $250. Land for building lots is high in this village. Mr. Loring sold a piece 40 ft. square near his store on the Hebron road for $125.
Sept. 20—Rented my house, stable and garden to Seth B. Horton for 5 years at $225 per year to be kept for public entertainment.
Oct. 18—Cattle show at the village. Rain.[p. 496]Oct. 31—Summer-like weather. This is a proud day for Buckfield. We celebrate the breaking ground for the Railroad. Elder Chase was appointed to invoke the blessing of Heaven upon the work. We procured a large carriage and 3 horses to carry oldest citizens to the ground at the head of a long procession with martial music and the firing of cannon, 13 old men whose average age was 84 years, 5 of them Rev. soldiers whose average age is 90 years. After a short and appropriate speech by Mr. Parris, President of the Company, Mr. Chase, 87 years old, who has been a minister of the Gospel one-half a century, made a prayer. Mr. Jonathan Record, 98 years old, who helped make the first road in Buckfield, struck the first blow on the railway. After the ceremonies on the ground, the old men were escorted to the Nezinscot House kept by Seth B. Horton and a dinner was given them. 113 guns.
Nov. 16—Thanksgiving Day. Beautiful weather.
Nov. 17—Old Zack Taylor, so-called Whig, is elected President of the U. S.
Nov. 25—Capt. Horton put up his sign for the Nezinscot House.
Dec. 14—The addition to my house for hall and dressing room nearly completed.