BY JOSEPH CLARK.
are two Gores in
The first settlements were made by Elihu Sabin and Warren Smith in 1802. Smith did not settle permanently. Sabin built a frame house which he occupied until his decease, some 41 years. Other settlements were made soon after that of Sabin, by Reuben Smith, Elisha Shepard, Reuben Crosby, Thomas Ransom, Azariah Boody, Ephraim Perrin and Andrew Blair. Improvements were made about the same time by several other transient residents. Although the settlement of the place was at comparatively a late date, the hardships incident to new settlements had to be encountered. Supplies of grain and necessaries had to be procured in a measure from adjoining towns; the method of transportation frequently upon their backs, and the method of payment, generally, by day's work. The frosty season of 1816, and others which occurred previously, was severely felt. Mary Sabin was the first child born. Freeman Smith was the first male child, and Edmund Barker and Betsy Rabin, the first couple married.
western portion of the Gore, towards Lamoile river,
comprising about two-thirds of the territory, is improved by resident
occupants. The number of families is over 40. The soil is a mold, in some parts
black, in others reddish; but little clay or loam. It is strong and well
adapted to grass and English grain; the timber chiefly maple, birch, spruce and
fir. Two or three farms on the eastern extremity, adjoining
eastern portion is chiefly unimproved and mountainous, but well timbered. In
the northern part, there is a pond covering about 80 acres, the outlet of which
finds its way to the
The first saw mill was built by G. W. Cook, on a stream which is the outlet of a pond in Wheelock. This mill was burnt, and another built by William Shurburn on the same spot. The second was burned, and the third was built by Enoch Foster in 1833, which is still in operation. There was also another built in 1840, by Levi Utley, on the Gore brook, leading from Beaver meadow.
The first meeting house, first public house, first grist mill, first physician, and first lawyer, are among the things that never were.
The first school was kept by Barilla Morse, in Reuben Crosby's barn, in 1812. Judith Chase, Betsy Sabin and Lucretia Washburn were the next succeeding teachers, Mrs. Andrew Blair sent her girl to the first school, and paid the tuition with a pink silk handkerchief. "Schoolmarm know'd I had it, and she wanted it to make her a bonnet." (Good old Mrs. Ann Blair's testimony.) The
* Goshen Gore the less was set off to Washington Co. Ed.
The people, for the most part, are not dissatisfied with their present situation, being exempt from the demands of the tax-gatherer, and the expenses incident to a town organization.
first frame school house was built in 1823. In 1834 a second
school district was formed. A
"Resolved themselves into a society for the purpose of aiding superannuated ministers and poor widows and orphans, and to do all they could for their aid and support."
As has been before mentioned, he was the first permanent settler of this Gore. A generous-hearted, worthy man, talented for his day and opportunities, energetic and persevering, he had the respect of all the settlers of the neighboring towns, and was, for about 20 years, a justice of the peace. He was, moreover, distinguished for uncommon muscular strength, in so much that the history of the Gore is not without an example of the courage and prowess requisite for a hand-to-hand mortal combat.
Once on a time, well verified it is said, Sabin did face the foe in a single-handed struggle for life. It appears that he had caught a cub, whose cries brought forward the bear robbed of her young, whom Elihu unflinchingly smote with the breech of his gun; the bear was dispatched, and so was the breech of Elihu's gun. Lest, however, it may be said, in cavil, that sudden desperation which has been known to give supernatural strength, nerved our hero's arm, we have a more deliberate feat with which to crown our point the prodigious strength of Elihu Sabin a feat of no thrilling moment, a plain, practical test, however, evincing not less arm-strength in the man. A living witness testifies that he has seen Mr. Sabin knock down with one blow of his fist, a two year old bullock, striking him between the fore shoulders, and breaking a rib. Can the state show a stronger man?
From Connecticut, came into the Gore in 1807, and lived entirely alone 8 years in a log hut, which he constructed by the side of a large rock, which served the purpose of fire-place, and one end of his apartment. It is said all the bedding which this man had, "was a rag coverlet and a second-hand great coat which Mrs. Sabin let him have." Finally, his affairs prospered, and one of his neighbors, a good old lady, told him he must get married, and "picked a wife out" for him, Miss Polly Cheever, whom he married, and then built a frame house. This wife died in a few years, and he married the second time to Maria Cutler, and reared a numerous family. He justly merited the reputation he obtained, of being a remarkably honest, hard working man; was rather tenacious in his opinions and prejudices, but not forward to assert them. He died in 1859.
One of the first settlers, accumulated a handsome property, but becoming partially insane, meditated self destruction. For this purpose he made his escape from his house, and seated himself upon a large rock, where he remained till his limbs were frozen. But by a change in the weather the process of thawing, much more painful than freezing, commenced. This led him to creep to the house, but he lived only a few days. He died in 1830.
From Warren, N. H., was another of the early proprietors. He died Jan. 30, 1860.
Came into the place about 1820. An excellent variety of potato, extensively known as the Stevens potato, was propagated by him from the balls. He died in 1859.
Had the Olympic races come down to our times, Mr. Blair, according to report, might have become a successful competitor for a crown. It is current that he once ran down and captured a fox, and was overheard holding a parley with the captive, whether the thing was done fair. But, unlike the Olympic races, not having an impartial judge to decide the points, the fox seemed to dissent from his victor's boast of fair play. "Now," says Mr. Blair, "if you think the thing was not done fair, we'll try it again." Whereupon the fox was let go, and was allowed to have a few rods the start, when Blair took the
track. Away went the fox away went Blair; one for life, the other for victory, over hill, over fence, over brush, till Blair caught the breathless trophy, a second time, in triumph.
Blair was one of the pioneer settlers. Andrew M. Blair. Esq., son of Andrew
Blair, was late a member of the