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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Some History Facts About Lisbon and the Androscoggin River

The following information is from an Environmental Studies Program at Bates College.  See link at end of posting.


Carlin Aloe
Frederick Brown
Greg Shyloski
Nicole Rom
Peter Beeson
Story Reed

1605 Spring the earliest voyage of discovery up the Androscoggin River by Captain George Weymouth. 

1628 Thomas Purchase, settles at "Little River", then known as "Ten Miles Falls" as a fisherman. This area will become to be known as Lisbon Falls.

1683 Richard Wharton, bought the land from Thomas Purchase and expanded on a deed Purchase had made with six Indian Chiefs: Warumbee (Worumbo) Darumkme, Wihikermet, Wedon, Domhegon, Nechonogusset. However, he never settled in the area.

1787 First real settlers arrive in the area now know as Lisbon, such as the White Family, The Whitney’s. However, the Russel’s build the first house and Joseph the second.

1790-1800. Six saw mills are established along the bank of the Androscoggin in the area now know as Lisbon. These Mills process logs and then "team" them to Topsham for shipbuilding.

1799 On June 22, the area now known as Lisbon was incorporated under the name of Thompsonborough, named in honor of the Thompson family who were extremely large landowners in the area.

1800 The area sees its first labor trouble in the lumber mills from French Settlers who revolt against wealthy mill owners.
1802 Name of Thompsonborough or Thompsonville was changed to Lisbon on March 4.

1804 Abner Coombs built a sawmill on the Sabattus River. 

1810 Population of Lisbon, 450. Wooden woolen mill was erected on the Sabattus River at Lisbon.

1812 The War of 1812. With the embargo, an economic depression follows the war and many of the lumber mills are abandoned or dispersed to other locations.

1814 The Androscoggin experiences a huge flood in the spring and 21 saw mills are swept away by the very power which attracted them there.

1818 The village now know as Lisbon Falls was originally established as Little River Village on December 14, 1818 and the name was changed to Lisbon Falls on February 20, 1865. A post office was established there in December; first bridge (a wooden toll bridge) was built linking Lisbon Falls with Durham across the Androscoggin River.

1827 Lisbon Falls, then called Little River had grown to be quite a "little Hamlet". This can be attested to by the fact that in this year 13 men and women in the village were licensed to sell liquor.

1840 Population of Lisbon, 1,100. A new town hall was constructed in Durham to replace Old North Meeting House.

1850 Population of Lisbon, 1,495. 

1851 The Androscoggin Railroad, later operated by the Maine Central Railroad, commences operations through Lisbon.
1861 Edward Plummer and John G. Tebbets purchased territory along Androscoggin River known as Barker Estate (Estate was valuable because it comprised all the water power of the ten mile falls).

1861 John G. Tebbets and Edwrd Plummer, foreseeing the complextion of the Androscoggin Railroad and the excellent water of the area, charter with Oliver Moses to create a textile mill. The Railroad and the mill played an important part in the growth of the towns economy. 

1864 Oliver Moses unites with these two men to exploit that waterpower; served as president of the company until his death in 1882. 

1864 Creation of the famous/ infamous, Worumbo Mill. The Worumbo Mill gained fame or its manufacture of Sterling cloths of pure wool fine enough for the finest women’s gowns. Their cloth won several international prizes for their product. 

1864 Worumbo Mill was incorporated in Lisbon Falls; Farnsworth Mill was constructed in Lisbon Center at the same site as the first sawmill made in 1804. 

1865 Name of Little River Village was changed to Lisbon Falls on February 20. First German settlers arrive in Lisbon Falls. Also in this year, postal facilities, transportation, lodging, and fire protection become firmly established. 

1865 Frank Guttman became superintendent of the mill and supervised it until 1918.

1867 N.W.Farwell bought what grew to be known as Farwell Mill.

1870 Population of Lisbon, 2,014.

1872 Farwell’s Cotton Mills were incorporated just above the Farnsworth Mill on the Sabattus.

1873 A work force of 170 was employed at the Worumbo Mill in Lisbon Falls. began to produce woolens, 120,00 yrds/yr, by using the power supplied by a cribwork dam on the Androscoggin.

1876 Worumbo Mill receives gold medal at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia for its fine wool cloth.

1884 A post office was established at Lisbon Center.

1889 Lisbon Falls Fibre Company was incorporated and used sulfite paper making process. Lisbon Paint Company was destroyed by fire.

1890 340 men and 110 women were employed at the Worumbo Mill in Lisbon Falls.

1893 Worumbo Mill receives its 2nd gold medal at the Centennial Exposition at Chicago.

1890’s Some important social movements and institution of the 1890’s include; the creation of Frost Park and Shiloh evangelist colony.

1895 Wooden toll bridge between Lisbon Falls and Durham was replaced by an iron bridge.

1898 The Lewiston, Brunswick and Bath Street Railway, later to be known as the Lewiston, Augusta, and Waterville Street Railway, and as the Androscoggin and Kennebec Street Railway, commences operations through Lisbon and Lisbon Falls between Lewist on and Bath. 

1900 Population of Lisbon, 3,603. Serious industrial river pollution recognized produced primarily from paper wills.

1901 The Great Fire of 1901. On April 6, 1901 the business section of Lisbon Falls was reduced to smoldering ashes. Only two stores remained standing in the entire village. The great flames destroyed thirty-one buildings. More than 50 families were left homeless. Total cost $200,000.

1912 Name of the Lisbon Falls High Fibre Company was changed to Pejepscot Paper Company.

1920 Population of Lisbon, 4,019.

1920 Worumbo Mill, addition was made to the original red brick building on either side of Canal Street.

1936 Iron Bridge between Durham and Lisbon Falls (route 9) across the Androscoggin River was carried away by floodwaters and replaced with a steel bridge built by the American Bridge Company. This was the second largest flood recorded.

1937 Trolley service between Bath and Lisbon Falls ended. 

1940 Population of Lisbon, 4,123. 

1941 Trolley service between Lisbon Falls and Lewiston ended. And fumes overwhelmed the public and there was call for clean up.

1942 Worumbo Mill honored with the Army and Navy Efficiency Award. 

1948 Sodium nitrate was dumped into the river in Lewiston as an attempt to control the odor.

1950 Population of Lisbon, 4,318. 

1956, July 29 Oliver Moses III notices that the textile industry was in a severe decline and his sons did not want to inherit the mill so Oliver Moses sold the mill to J.P. Stevens Company. 

1960 The last log drives took place on the Androscoggin River.

1964 J.P. Stevens announced that the mill was closing (due to increase in productivity and decline in prices)

1964, September 23 Worumbo Mill closed (two months after Farnsworth Mill made a similar announcement.

1967 Herbert A. Miller, the president and owner of Max Miller Industries bought Farnsworth Mill in Lisbon Center.

1987 Huge flood on April 27.

1987, July 23 Disastrous fire puts an end to Worumbo Mill.

1989 Oil spill coming from two old railroad oil tankers located at Farwell Mill."

[TLR is not responsible for spelling errors.]