Madison, Maine, USA - 1886 - Madison
Madison is a pleasant farming and manufacturing town on the eastern bank of the Kennebec, in the southern part of Somerset County. It is bounded by Solon on the north, Cornville on the east, Norridgewock on the south, and Anson on the west. It is separated from the last by the Kennebec River. The area of the town is 30,000 acres. There are no high hills, but some considerable gorges. The principal sheet of water is Madison Pond, or Hayden Lake, in the eastern part of the town. It is 3 miles long and 1 bread. Nor-ridgewock Falls, so called, furnish attractive and pleasing views. The Kennebec here descends 90 feet in a horizontal distance of 1 mile.
The underlying rock in this town is chiefly slate. The soil is a variety of loam, and quite fertile. Hay and cattle are the principal products. The forests abound in hemlock, cedar, maple, beech, birch and oak. The villages and mills are on the Kennebec at Madison Bridge and East Madison, on the outlet of Madison Pond. There are four saw-mills, a sash, blind and door, coffin and casket factory, a grist-
mill, a starch and an excelsior-factory, two carriage-factories, a horse-rake-factory, slate-quarry, etc., in the town. The Somerset Railroad crosses the south-west corner of the town, where there is a station. The Skowhegan station, on the Maine Central Railroad, is five miles distant at the south-east. In the south-western part of the town, on a plain about which the river makes an angle, is the monument to Rasle, the missionary to the Abnaki Indians, and whose residence was at the village of the Norridgewocks on this point. He fell in an attack upon the village in 1724 by the English under Captains Moulton and Hormon, in which the village was burned and the tribe broken up. The monument was erected by Bishop Fenwick, of Boston. It consists of a granite obelisk 3 feet square at the base, and 11 feet in height, with an inscription recording the massacre. It marks the spot where stood the church in which he ministered. Whittier has well described the scenes which occurred here in the poem entitled “Mogg Megone.”
“Well might the traveler stop to see
The tall, dark forms that take their way
From the birch canoe on the river shore,
And the forest paths, to that chapel door;
And marvel to mark the naked knees
And the dusky foreheads bending there,
While in coarse white vesture over these
In blessing or in prayer,
Stretching abroad his thin pale hands,
Like a shrouded ghost the Jesuit stands.”
This town was incorporated March 7, 1804, and named for President Madison. A small tract was taken from Norridgewock and annexed to Madison a few years since; which will seem to strangers as chiefly important in bring Norridgewock Falls and the site of the Indian village of Norridgewock into the south-western part of the town of Madison.
The town has churches of the Congregationalists, Methodists, and Free Baptists - two of the last. The number of public schoolhouses is eighteen, valued at $3,800. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $510,437. In 1880 it was $546,077. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 13 mills on the dollar. The population in 1870 was 1,401. In 1880 it was 1,315.
A Gazetteer of the State of Maine By Geo. J. Varney Published by B. B. Russell, Boston 1886
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