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We all have something to submit. Everyone has a story or photo to share that happened when they were on the Moosehead Trail, 100 Mile Wilderness or the back roads of Elliottsville, Monson, Willimantic, Abbot, Guilford, Moosehead Lake or Greenville. Or maybe more locally around Borestone Mountain, Greenwood Pond or Onawa Lake.
Part 2 of Safety & Survival is coming soon
The Lost Town of Wilson
In the early 1800’s, lands in the large and mostly uninhabited areas of Maine were surveyed and mapped in typical six mile square grids of 36 square miles called townships. Townships in the Elliottsville area were historically identified as NWP which stands for North of the Waldo Patent. To the west of Elliotsville was the “ million acre tract” which was located in a different but adjacent Patent which included two nearby towns of Shirley and Blanchard. Because the two adjacent Patents had slight variations in their surveys or maps, local town corners and intersections often do not mach up perfectly - an example of this would be the corners of Blanchard and Abbott (see Delorme map 31 )
As part of the patent grid mapping system, land tracts were originally numbered east to west by township, or “T” and south to north by range or “R”. Once settled, towns were named as we know them today. For example, the town to the south of Elliottsville, now known as Monson was originally identified as T9 R8, or Township 9 Range 8. Likewise, the next two towns to the east, Willimantic and Bowerbank, originated as T8 R8 and T7 R8 respectively.
Adjacent to Elliottsville was T 9 R 9 -old Wilson, T 8 R 9- the greater portion of Elliottsville, T 7 R 9- never named. To the north was T 9 R 10- most of Greenville, T 8 R 10 and T 7 R 10- Bowden College Grant East & West.
Wilson –T 9 R 9, basically was the original grant by Massachusetts Court to the Massachusetts Medical Society in 1810. The town of Wilson was incorporated in 1836 and subsequently disbanded in 1848. When it went out of existence it was annexed by the surrounding towns. Thus Greenville obtained the top 1/5, Shirley ½ of the bottom portion, and Elliottsville the other bottom ½. This is the basic reason why towns are not 6 mile square in this neck of the woods. This added about 9600 acres to Elliottsville 24000 acres making it a large town of 33600 acres.
The old Davis Place (where the maple syrup lines are next to the Elliottsville road ), was in old Wilson with the actual north/south line being just a little east of the old homestead. Lower Shirley Corner was in Wilson with the line going more or less on the road to Greenville. In fact Shirley obtained a Post Office and hotel (remember this was before the railroad and Shirley Village). In those days the Blanchard Road was the main travel route.
R Ewen Farnham
November 30, 2008
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Safety & Survival part 1
The Lost Town of Wilson