Zadoc Long's Journal, 1858-60
Source: Alfred Cole and Charles F. Whitman, A History of Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine (Buckfield, Me.: [s.n.], 1915).
[p. 504]1858.May 28—Virgil D. Parris appointed Naval Store Keeper at Portsmouth, N. H.
June 7—Home from Mass. Rode from Mc Falls in a wagon 2½ miles, then on a hand car to the village.
June 9—Some of our old acquaintances have died during our absence. Old Mr. Benj. Spaulding, one of the fathers of the town and first settlers, 90 years old, whom I have known from my childhood, a most excellent old man, died last winter. Don D. Daggett and old Mrs. Caleb Cushman, old acquaintances, died in our absence.
June 13, Sunday—No meeting for religious worship. Mr. Small is absent. Mrs. Haskell, a Spiritual medium, preaches at Chapel. Many go to hear the deluding and deluded creature. Recd. a letter yesterday from Samuel F. Brown, Esq., of Bangor, one of the oldest and most cherished friends I have. We lived near neighbors in uninterrupted friendship and harmony for more than 30 years.[p. 505]June 17—Went to see my father who is now almost 88 years old. I called on my aunt, Miles Holmes's widow, who is nearly 79 years old and very feeble. Yesterday I met James Waterman, one of the oldest inhabitants of the town. He lived 4 miles from the village. He was walking spryly along with a cane. He talked in a lively and intelligent manner. I asked him how old he was. He said he was 94 this year. "Almost as old as my mother," said Mr. Churchill who was standing near us and lives under Streaked Mt. Many persons in this town live to a great age.
June 19—Mr. Small called in the evening. He has a call to preach in Bangor.
June 27—Very warm. Attended church. Mr. Small preached eloquently. At noon 4 or 5 persons baptized, among whom were William Atwood and wife.
July 5—No notice of the Anniversary here. Mr. Andrews, the lawyer, has given me one of the pleasantest chaise rides I ever had. His establishment for riding is most elegant and comfortable and I feel grateful to him for the enjoyment it has afforded me. 11 years ago Mr. Andrews came here, poor and almost a stranger, and commenced the practice of the law, under very discouraging circumstances. He counted me a friend. He is now one of the largest practictioners in the county. He is County Attorney and with a good wife is living in better style than any other man in the village.
July 8—The prospect is that the B. B. R. R. will not run any more. The rails on some parts have been taken up—the bridges and sleepers are rotting.
July 21—There goes by in an old wagon, with a poor old lame horse, a poor old lame man with a wooden leg—78 years old—who comes once a week to the village to peddle herrings which he brings from Harpswell, 40 miles away. He sits up erect, chirrups to his old nag—looks smiling—as he asks this one or that to purchase his fish as he turns their broad, fat sides to the best advantage. Now this poor man is of the same age as the celebrated Humbolt, who is remarkable for the retention of his faculties and his cheerful application of them to scientific research. He is now completing a great work entitled Cosmos. Why is not this poor herring peddler who is winding up his long life in obscurity, penury, misfortune and toil, working patiently and cheerfully for his bread to the last, in a humble but honest calling as worthy of mention as Humbolt?
Aug. 9—Zadoc, John Davis and Percival started with a merry company—Artemas Cole, Captain, for the Lakes, some 80 miles away on a fishing trip.
Aug. 23—Mr. Small leaves Buckfield to-day to settle in Bangor as pastor of a Baptist church there.
Aug. 25—School children have a picnic in Atwood's Grove—a very interesting occasion. John Davis begins his 2nd year at Westford. Art. Cole called to-day to have a letter from some Rochester, N. H., gentlemen, inquiring about the Lakes answered. They wanted him to take[p. 506]charge of a party who are going there. He is a sort of a Leather Stocking of the woods and lakes—a noted character and another Isaac Walton in his skill, experience and fondness for angling. Mr. Cole, Uncle Art., Capt. Cole, Art. Cole as he is variously called, is a man who by great industry and rigid economy acquired $15,000. He belongs to no society, attends no church, reads ancient history, is thoroughly acquainted with Bible history and is a good mathematician. He has fished every year more or less at the Lakes for more than 20 years. Some seasons he has caught and sent to the Boston market many hundred fine fat trout weighing from 1 to 10 lbs.
Sept. 15—A new comet has made its appearance in the heavens. It looks like a kite in the far northwest.
Sept. 26, Sunday—No preaching. The Baptist Society small. Members meet, read and sing. Isaac Bearce and daughter, Mrs. Emily Gleason, visited us. She is my deceased sister, Bathsheba's daughter, who lives in the town of Perry. She is a very smart young woman. She was awarded the highest prize, $40, at the State Fair at Augusta last week in the exhibition of horsemanship or horsewomanship. This equestrian exhibition was the most interesting feature of the fair, 10,000 people present.
Oct. 3, Sunday—No preaching. A sermon will be read. Few attend. Our little church bell rings mournfully and calls up memory of sorrowful changes which have happened to us—the removal of our minister and many a dear friend.
Oct. 8—Clear and pleasant after rain. Picked up one large spice apple that had fallen and been gathered. The tree is much respected on account of its age—its early and excellent fruit. It is probably the oldest apple tree in Buckfield. Its trunk girts 6½ ft. and its branches are of corresponding size and spread. It bears some years 30 bushels of apples. It has probably produced since it began to bear not less than 1000 bushels.
Nov. 1—The Baptist Church Society has given Mr. Pray a call to supply Mr. Small's place in the pulpit. Mr. P. appears to be a very pious and amiable man—a graduate of Harvard—36 years old, of infirm health. He has a wife and 3 children and will preach for a salary of $400. Baptist people here generally poor.
Nov. 7—Nathan Morrill and Carroll Loring spend the evening with us. Danville Bisbee died this afternoon.
Nov. 17 and 18—Universalist convention to-day at Union Chapel.
Nov. 21, Sunday—Pleasant as summer. Ground bare. No preaching in the village. A sermon is read at the Baptist church and the Universalists meet at Union Chapel to see about reviving religious worship in that house. Perhaps it would be well that this should be done. A very large proportion of the people will not attend the Baptist meetings, prejudiced against the exclusiveness of regulations and the doctrines they preach. If more liberal worship be not established here, they will follow after spiritualists or stay at home on the Sabbath. I think it would be honorable and profitable to this community to substitute enlightened Uni-[p. 507]versalist preaching for that of trance mediums, who have been here and have had large attendance the year past. While Mr. Small was here and before this delusion appeared, I felt it to be my duty to give my undivided support to the Baptist society, I having been somewhat instrumental in getting Mr. Small here and believing though far from being a Baptist, that it was the best thing I could do for the general religious interests of Buckfield. Mr. Small has taken himself away, giving us liberal Christians—outsiders as we are called—to understand by his farewell sermon that the church and society, which he had established here can stand and be supported without our help, thus releasing us from any obligations to give them our continued and exclusive aid.
Dec. 5—John Davis attended Baptist Church a. m. and went in the afternoon to hear Rev. Mr. French, Universalist, at Union Church.
Dec. 12—Church bell tolling for Mr. Richard Fobes. Mr. F. was buried at East meeting house.
Dec. 24—Joseph Tuttle died this a. m.1859.Feb. 14—Jacob W. Browne, Esq., married to Widow Bisbee.
Mar. 5—Percival and his daughter, Margaret, start for Boston at half past 8 o'clock in an old lumber wagon, drawn by an old feeble, worn-out horse—the meanest stage team that ever went out of the village. What a reduction in our accommodations for travel in 2 years from the time we were carried to and fro in a handsome passenger car propelled by a $10,000 engine.
Mar. 6—Mr. Pray preached a funeral sermon for Ephraim Ricker, Jr.
Mar. 7—Annual town meeting. The Democrats elect their candidates by large majorities.
Mar. 16—A child of Ephraim Atwood's died last night of canker rash.
Mar. 20—Funeral in the afternoon of Orville Bridgham's child at Union Chapel. It died of canker rash. This disease appears to assume a more malignant form as its prevalence continues.
Mar. 29—A powerful rain. Grist mill dam carried away.
Apr. 10—Funeral for Orville Bridgham's child.
Apr. 22—Elder Seth Stetson is with us. He is 82 years old and is as spry as a boy—walks 6 miles at a stretch—preaches at different places.
Apr. 24—Father Stetson preaches at Union Chapel.
June 6—We had a destructive frost last night. Ground in my garden froze ½ inch deep.
June 12—Another frost last night.
June 19—Funeral of Mr. Waldron.
July 1—Our mail by order of Government will come but 3 times a week.
July 4—Mr. V. D. Parris called to see me. He brought a flag that belonged to the U. S. Frigate Constitution in time of the last war. It is now flying in the strong N. W. breeze between E. Atwood's and Mr. Loring's stores.[p. 508]July 29—We have a daily mail again by private contribution for pay for extra carrying. I pay $4 per year.
Aug. 4—The people here are interested in the matter of enlarging and fencing into respectable condition our burying ground. A corporation is being formed denominated the Buckfield Cemetery Corporation, in order to proceed legally in this contemplated project.
Aug. 13—John Davis returned from the White Mts. last eve and arrived on foot about 9 o'clock. He was gone from home but 2 days. He made a quick trip of 90 miles and back in 36 hours and a night spent on Mt. Washington, walking 15 miles on his way home.
Aug. 22—Started with my wife and John Davis for Winchendon.
Nov. 15—Mr. America Farrar is confined at Buckfield by paralysis.
Dec. 3—The church bells are tolling for the martyrdom of John Brown. Henry Ward Beecher says that a man who would not help a fellow creature flying for his liberty is either a villain or a politician.1860.Apr. 25—Mr. Noah Hall called to see his brother. He is 80 years old and his wife 75. They have a farm, keep 2 good cows and make butter and cheese to sell. Mr. Hall is vigorous and spry and works every day. He tells me he had a party of neighbors at his house, a few days ago, consisting of 6 including himself and wife whose united ages were 497. Noah Hall, 80; wife, 75; James Waterman, 95; Mrs. Lewis, 89; Mr. Gammon, 79; wife, 79.
May 5—The town has a meeting this p.m. to see if the people will vote to loan the credit of the town to the amount of $15,000 to put the B. B. R. R. in running order.
May 16—I look out of my window and see a man on the bridge who is 93—Mr. James Morrill who says he works in the field every day.