The now familiar horseshoe shaped avenue began as 2 separate driveways on Main Street which eventually connected.
The 1911-1912 East Somerset County Register notes early settler William Moor’s original lot, which was part of St. Albans when he purchased it in 1797, ran about a mile along both sides of the Sebasticook River from the center of the future Village encompassing much of the eventual Hubbard Avenue area as seen in the 1798 Surveyors Map of St. Albans by Samuel Weston.
William Moor Lot S-17 from St. Albans Surveyors Map – 1798
In 1802, William & Sally Moor settled along the banks of the Sebasticook River on what became Commercial Street with their 2 children and began to raise their eventual family of 8 children. Following their departure to Corinna with their 6 youngest children around 1816, their 2 elder children, Maria and James Moor, remained in Hartland. James built his home on Main Street and began an important role in the early years of development of Hartland’s town affairs and its industry while Maria Moor (1797-1868) married John Stinchfield, Sr (1793-1880) in 1815.
Although records from these early years of settlement are scarce, it is quite possible William Moor deeded property to his daughter and son-in-law who are later documented living at the future Hubbard Avenue lot. By 1860, the Stinchfield Homestead and Carding Mill, now owned by John & Maria’s son, John Stinchfield, Jr (1830-1861), were the only two buildings located on the future avenue sharing a driveway into the lot. Another driveway from Main Street led into the Dr. Peleg S. Haskell Homestead and the two would eventually connect together.
Hartland Village – 1860
Following John Stinchfield Jr’s untimely death in 1861 at just 31 years old, the Stinchfield Homestead and Carding Mill were sold to the Fairgrieve Family. Part of the remaining lot on the riverside was purchased by the Robert W. Linn, Sr and the other side of the lot by Caroline W. Prescott.
Hartland Village – 1883
Ensign Fletcher Hubbard (1841-1922) moved from his native home in Canaan with his wife and in 1896 began operating the former M. W. Jenkins Store on Main Street as “E. F. Hubbard Groceries, Notions & Hardware” where he continued the business until his death at 80 years old.
E. F. Hubbard Groceries, Notions & Hardware (center) on corner of Main Street & Hubbard Avenue – c1910
In 1896, the Fairgrieve Homestead and Fairgrieve Carding Mill remained the only buildings on the future Hubbard Avenue with most of the remaining land still owned by the Linn Manufacturing Company and Caroline Prescott. By 1900, Ensign Hubbard and his family were living behind the store on the street which would eventually bear his name. Hubbard appears to have purchased most of the entire side of the lot behind his store as his daughter would later be noted as the property owner by 1943. It is unclear whether he purchased the lot when it was owned by Caroline Prescott or from the Linn Family who had purchased her Main Street home before she moved to Pittsfield Avenue by 1910.
Hartland Village – 1896
The front building of the former Fairgrieve Homestead was located just up from the Carding Mill behind Hartland Grain & Grocery Store.
Fairgrieve Homestead (center) on Hubbard Avenue seen from below the Main Street Bridge with Carding Mill (right)
The exact date is currently unknown but at some point probably between 1900 and 1910, the Linn Manufacturing Company razed the Fairgrieve Homestead and built 4 identical houses on their Hubbard Avenue property likely for use by some of their management employees and families. The 4th house had a garage located on the outside of the bend which eventually completed the horseshoe shaped road.
Hubbard Avenue – Sebasticook River Side – 1923
In 1915, the Linn Manufacturing Company filed for Bankruptcy and the American Woolen Company purchased their 2 woolen mills as well as many of the numerous real estate holdings the Linn Family had acquired over the decades since Archibald Linn came to town in 1862. Among the holdings were the houses and properties on Hubbard Avenue previously purchased or built by the Linn Family.
American Woolen Company Upper Hartland Mill from Hubbard Avenue
The Great Flood of 1923 caused considerable damage to the Lower Dam area especially at the American Woolen Company Mills on Main Street and along Water Street, however Hubbard Avenue was basically spared from the flood waters except for some of the road on the river’s edge.
Carding Mill & Hubbard Avenue – Great Flood of 1923
In 1932, the American Woolen Company declared bankruptcy following economic issues throughout their numerous New England operations resulting from the 1929 Black Friday Stock Market crash. Soon after the announcement, the Great Auction of 1932 of the company’s real estate holdings in Hartland was held which included numerous houses and properties formerly owned by the Linn Manufacturing Company including 5 properties on Hubbard Avenue; incorrectly noted in the auction brochure as Mill Street.
Cover of Auction Brochure – 1932 (Photo courtesy of Wayne Libby)
The original auction descriptions & drawings for lots #13 though #17 on Hubbard Avenue with purchase notes from the day of the auction.
13. NO. 24 MILL STREET: Approximately 5,100 (7,320 on map) square feet of land with one and one-half-story frame cottage. Having six rooms, electricity, bath, toilet. (13 & 14 were the location of the former Fairgrieve Homestead) (Purchase-Unknown)
14. MILL STREET: Building Lot. Approximately 5,360 (9,075 on map) square feet of land. (Purchase-Unknown)
15. NO. 25 MILL STREET: Approximately 5,800 square feet of land with one and on-half-story frame cottage, having six rooms, electricity, bath, toilet. (Purchased by Mary Holmes for $675)
16. NO. 26 MILL STREET: Approximately 5,100 square feet of land with one and one-half-story frame cottage, having six rooms, electricity, bath, toilet. (Purchased by Ernest Seekins for $600)
17. NO. 27 MILL STREET: Approximately 16,600 square feet of land (6,330+10,270) with one and one-half-story frame cottage, having six rooms, electricity, bath, toilet, also frame garage (on Lot 17-A). (Purchased by Myrtle Blake for $725 plus $100 extra for garage)
The auction also included the former Caroline Prescott Homestead (#19) on Main Street which had been purchased by the Linn Family by 1910.
19. NO. 32 MAIN STREET: Approximately 21,000 square feet of land with one and one-half story frame cottage having five rooms, also large barn. (Purchased by Asa Ladd for $450)
1932 Auction Lot Map for Hubbard Avenue & Main Street
Following the American Woolen Company’s departure, numerous attempts were made to bring a new industry to town by the citizen formed Hartland Mills, Incorporated. They were finally able to negotiate an acceptable long term deal in late December of 1935 with Meyer Kirstein of Irving Tanning Company of Peabody, Massachusetts and in 1936 the new Hartland Tanning Company successfully began operations.
Hartland Tanning Company – c1939
Although still officially unnamed, the road was often referred to as Fairgrieve Street from the river side entrance and Hubbard Avenue from the other entrance. Ensign Hubbard’s daughter, Cora Hubbard (1879-1951) and her husband Clarence Estes owned the Hubbard Avenue side which they likely inherited or purchased from her father following their 1911 marriage. They were living on Hubbard Avenue before moving to Warren Hill in Palmyra by 1930 and eventually sold the properties after 1943.
Hartland Village – 1943
Although the Hartland Tanning Company had successfully begun operations, Hartland Mills, Inc. had initially leased the mills and still owned all the property & buildings. Among the properties which were not part of the tannery’s lease was the lot on the northern side of the Sebasticook River Island. Negotiations between the two parties basically resulted in an exchange of the Island lot for the former Fairgrieve Carding Mill on the corner of Hubbard Avenue and Main Street which was part of the tannery’s original lease arrangement. In turn, Hartland Mills, Inc. deeded the carding mill building to the town in 1940 to be used as the home of the newly re-organized Hartland Volunteer Fire Department who moved into the building in March of 1941.
Hubbard Avenue – 1944
Several modifications would be made by the Town and Fire Department to the former Carding Mill building including turning the building a quarter turn in 1948 so it would face Hubbard Avenue lengthwise in order to accommodate their newly acquired fire truck and future trucks. In spite of their efforts to renovate the original building, its old main support columns and weakened floor were unable to accommodate the weight of additional fire trucks and other equipment. In 1956, the building was razed and a new concrete foundation was poured to support a new cement block Hartland Volunteer Fire Department Hall which opened the following year. Many further renovations were made to the building before a brand new Fire Hall was built on Outer Main Street which opened in 2000. The former Fire Hall on Hubbard Avenue would later be used as the home of the Tri-Town Food Cupboard which still operates from the building today.
Hartland Volunteer Fire Department Hall – c1980
In 1958, Hubbard Avenue officially became a Village Street posthumously bearing its namesake Ensign Hubbard’s designation.
1958 Town Meeting – Article 51: “To see if the town will vote to accept as a village street, the town way as laid out by the selectmen and described as follows: Beginning on the North side of Main Street between the property now owned by Hope Wyman and Wesley Harrington and extending in a Northerly direction, following the same course as the private way now known as Hubbard Avenue, to a point near the residence of Albert Deering, thence turning easterly and following the same course as the present private way to a point near the residence of Bert Lovely, thence turning Southerly and following the same course as the present private way until it intersects Main Street. The name of the street to be Hubbard Avenue.”
Hubbard Avenue – 1970
Hubbard Avenue – 2020 – Google Maps