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Section 1

Its People and Institutions as I knew them about Sixty Years ago.


March 3, 1897


Glad Berwick happy land of thriving farms,
Resplendent, robed in rich and faultless charms;
The fair and sweetest village of the Vale,
Where fragrant sweets, thy blooming fields exhale;
Where braeing zephyrs from the mountainside,
Bring vigor tempered by the crystal tide;
Where first the morning light of summer shed,
Its benedictions on my infant head;
And where in love is laid their hallowed dust,
Who gave their homes to us in sacred trust;

Accept, I pray, this grateful gift I bring,
And please excuse discordant notes I sing,z
And listen while I tell in measured rhymes,
The simple story of those early times,
As treasured yet a scene on memory’s page,
In fading pictures of a by-gone age.

NOTES: - These papers will be continued for some months. They will embrace items of interest as I saw them in my boyhood. In picturing the various objects, I imagine myself as a child again looking out from the "Old Homestead." They must be read with this fact kept in mild. It may be in order here to note my antecedents and birth place. Abel Parker moved from Aylesford to what is now known as the "Old Homestead" in Berwick on April 4th 1827. The farm of about three hundred acres was purchased from Enoch Congdon, half-brother of the pioneer settler, Benjamin Congdon. The western half of the homestead with a kitchen on the eastern end and a log hovel across the road were the only buildings on it. The house was all unfinished. The roof was shingled, the walls were only boarded and were grooved and tongued, but from shrinkage were quite open, so that the snow and rain beat through the whole house. Some of the boards now on the building show that they were split from logs and dressed with an axe. This spring of 1827 was a remarkable one. When they moved here on the 4th of April all appearance of winter was gone and the roads were dry and dusty. A few days later there came a great snow storm and three weeks of real winter weather. The family had brought with them a flock of sheep and young lambs and during this season they were sheltered in the cellar and kitchen. Only one acre had been cultivated with the plow. The roads and fields were bounded with log fences and all the country around was almost an unbroken wilderness. The old Elizer Woodworth house, now occupied by Mrs. Porier, was the only neighbor’s house in view. My advent to this rural and wilderness home was the 23rd of August 1830. I have a distinct recollection of the coronation of Victoria in 1837, and so my sketches will embrace the reminiscences of my childhood from that time and in some cases earlier as learned from my seniors in years.