|The Original Purchase of Peru|
The original purchasers of Township # 1, and the conveyances on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as shown by the volumes of Eastern Lands' Deeds, with dates and prices of sale, are as follows:
On June 24, 1789, a William Wedgery of New Gloucester purchased 4,480 acres adjoining Milton Academy Grant (Franklin Plt.) and New Pennicook (Rumford) and the Androscoggin River, west to the Spear Stream in West Peru. He paid 405 pounds, 19 shillings, 8 pence, in English currency, which was equiavalent to about $2,029.92 or about 45 cents per acre. This became known as the Peck's Grant.
On January 29, 1790, Daniel Lunt Sr. of Falmouth (now Portland) purchased 4,880 acres for 738 pounds. Which is equivalent to $3, 690.00 or about 75 cents per acre. This area of land became known as the Lunt's Upper and Lunt's Lower Grants.
On March 13, 1792, a John Fox of Falmouth (Portland) purchased 2,000 acres, adjoining that of the Lunt's Lower Grant and the Town of Jay (Canton), for 162 pounds, 5 shillings, 8 pence. Equivalent to about $811.42 or 41 cents per acre. This was known as the Fox Grant.
On June 10, 1796, a party of four investers, Joshua Eddy, Isaac Thompson, and Capt. William Thompson of Middleboro, Ma., and a James Strout of Taunton, Ma., purchased all the remaining land, 13,390 acres (more or less), in Township # 1 not covered by the above deeds, for the sum of $3,245.74 or about 25 cents per acre. They reserved 4 public lots and granted 100 acres to any settler who had settled on the land prior to January 1, 1784. This was known as the Thompson Grant.
It should be noted that none of the grantees in the above sale actual became settlers in the grants that they purchased. They were investers and soon thereafter made lots out of their grants and sold them. The lots varied in size, but usually were 100 acres each.
There is a tradition that Merrill Knight Sr. shared with Daniel Lunt Sr. in the purchase of the 4,880 arces of land that became known as the Lunt's Upper and Lower Tracts. The story goes that Mr. Knight had employed Mr. Lunt to go to the land sales office in Boston to make the said purchase, and had furnished him with $3000.00. Upon his return from Boston, Mr. Lunt informed Mr. Knight that the sum that he had been given was not equal to the asking price, therefore, he had to use some of his own money inorder to secure the said purchase, thus claiming a share of the same, which had been recorded in Mr. Lunt's name.
So far as known, the purchase was divided mutually between them. Mr. Knight received the upper tract and furnished to all his sons, who settled in town, a 100 acre lot to build upon. Likewise, anyone who married one of his daughters, would receive a 100 acre lot. Daniel Barton, Amos Knight (no relationship), Francis Waite, and Nathaniel Dorr took him up on his offer. Mr. Lunt received the lower tract, but he never settled in Peru. He turned his share over to his sons, who were here for the 1800 USC.