“Give it all back to St. Albans!”
Dr. Calvin Blake referring to proposed Hartland – St Albans Town Line Changes in the 1840s
Main Street looking West – c1900
Currently, no maps of Hartland detailing the locations of homes, businesses and merchants before 1860 have been discovered. Various documents provide us with enough information to know many existed in its early years of settlement, but most of the specific details of when they were built or by whom remain unknown. The following is based on our best interpretation of known maps, town records, census data, historical book references, photos, artifacts and family genealogical information. Updates will be made as new information is discovered.
William Moor first came to explore the area about 1796 and began clearing an area to build before returning to his native Goffstown, New Hampshire where he married Sally Moor in 1797. Moor returned to the area in 1798 to do more building before he brought Sally and their 2 children in February of 1802 to permanently settle on what became Commercial Street where he had built a log cabin on part of the lot he purchased from the new Land Proprietor, Dr. John Warren. Moor’s extensive lot encompassed roughly a mile along both sides of the Sebasticook River from the center of the Village and included much of the area where the future streets were built in the Village area.
William Moor (1776-1848)
Moor had returned in 1798 to build a small Raceway Dam between the Commercial Street side of the Sebasticook River and the island. It is unclear when the larger side of the Lower Dam was built or by whom but was likely in place very early in the settlement of the area.
Larger Lower Dam Addition – 1900
Moor had also built a sawmill on the Raceway Dam on the Commercial Street banks of the river which employed a newly invented water driven “Up & Down” design. At some point soon after, Moor added a grist mill on the Sebasticook River Island. William & Sally moved to Corinna about 1816 with their 6 youngest children where they remained until their deaths.
An Up & Down Sawmill on display at the Maine State Museum
Much of Main Street was part of St. Albans when it was first purchased in 1799 by Dr. John Warren which had included a large section of the western side of the Sebasticook River almost to Mill Street, all of the eastern side and most of the area to the north. The often heated debates over changing the original town lines were brought up numerous times at Town Meetings between 1812 & 1845 until a petition was brought forth to the Maine Legislature noting the existing borders cut up the village, made it difficult to properly tax and made schooling a problem.
The document ended by noting the proposed line change, “Would enlarge the power of doing good, augment the facilities of business, swell the population, give spirit & vivacity, cause a union of exertion, contribute to diminish jealously, increase happiness & prosperity and produce efforts salutary and desirable.” Finally in August of 1846, the Maine State Legislature approved an act brought to them by petition of citizens of Hartland to change the Hartland-St Albans line to its current boundaries bringing all of Main Street into Hartland’s jurisdiction.
Re-established Hartland-St Albans Town Lines – 1860
Following William & Sally Moor’s departure to Corinna around 1816, their eldest son James Moor (1800-1873) remained in Hartland and began an important role in the early years of development of Hartland’s town affairs and its industry. James would build an Upper Dam and locate a sawmill at the dam off Mill Street around 1825.
James married Dorcas Wiggin in 1821 and they built a modest home atop the highest hill on Main Street where they began raising their family of 9 eventual children. In 1847, James & Dorcas built a new, larger house on the same location.
Rebuilt James Moor Residence – Main Street
Maria Moor (1797-1868), the oldest child of William & Sally Moor, also remained in Hartland when her parents moved to Corinna and married John Stinchfield, Sr in 1815. They resided in St Albans before moving back to Hartland. Their home had a large entry from Main Street which later became part of Hubbard Avenue. Their son John Stinchfield, Jr operated the Carding Mill on the Lower Dam at the corner of the Main Street Bridge in 1860.
Former Stinchfield Carding Mill on Lower Dam – 1948
The Park House with its attached Livery House on the corner of Main Street & Mill Street was one of two hotels along with the Hartland House on Elm Street serving guests, weary stage coach travelers and traveling salesmen during the town’s early history from about 1827 until 1914.
The Park House before Renovations – c1870
In 1828, brothers Hiram & Thomas Dorman built the first tannery operation in Hartland on the lower side of the Sebasticook River Island where they operated until 1837 when they sold to Edward Hall Page, Jr and his son John Page. Following Edward’s death in 1855, John was joined in the tanning business by his son John S. Page operating as John Page & Son Tannery. John had moved from Bath to Hartland soon after 1820 and was later joined in town by his father Edward. John built a sprawling homestead on the corner of Main Street which ran along Pittsfield Avenue.
John Page Homestead at the corner of Main Street & Pittsfield Avenue – 1877
Emily Page (1838-1927) is a daughter of John Page & Rachel Coller. Emily and her husband Luther Webb, along with their 4 surviving children, moved from Hartland to Skowhegan in 1875 where they raised their family before moving to Pasadena, California in 1893. She wrote numerous published poems over the years under the name Emily Page Webb.
by Emily Page Webb
As streams flowing down from the mountains,
By windings no mortal can wist,
Appear to return to their fountains
At sunset, in rainbows of mist;
So often, some deed of affection,
In youth, more tender than wise,
Passed away from our own recollection,
Returns in some loving disguise.
The article below was written in 1890 just before they moved to California.
“Emily Page Webb was born in Hartland, a small manufacturing town on the Sebasticook River, about 1838. Her father’s house commanded a fine view of the country and the river where it leaped the falls, and dashed its white current against the rocky islands. No white hand of winter ever stilled its murmurs, and no hot breath of summer ever drank up its sparkling freshness. The broad, low hills on the north and west, and a dark green line of forest on the east seemed to encircle this little town with a magic charm, while far away to the south, the silver line of the river rolled its way through the meadows. Here, amid this quiet beauty, Emily spent her childhood and youth. Her love of poetry and talent of expressing herself in verse showed itself before she was ten years of age. Equally strong was her loving desire to assist her mother; picture to yourself a light little girl, with laughing blue eyes and rosy cheeks, working before school in the kitchen, and, at the same lime, putting her fancies into words. In later years, no household work ever seemed to interfere with the sweet songs she had to sing. When she was old enough to attend the St. Albans Academy her poetic power was soon discovered, and she was called upon to write for the lyceum papers, for festivals or any public occasion where wit and sentiment were required. In October, 1861, she was married to Mr. Luther H. Webb, her schoolmate and lover from early youth. The first years of their married life were spent in Hartland, but in 1875 they removed to Skowhegan, where they still live. She is the mother of five children, two girls and three boys. Nina, her first child, died in early infancy. Her domestic life has been a happy one where parents and children are congenial spirits, united in aim, intellect and taste. When the Woman’s Club was organized in Skowhegan, she joined and was made Secretary, where the wit and brilliancy of her reports gave her a high standing in public favor. Since then, she has been President of the Club, and ‘poet laureate’ of every public occasion. Her noble womanhood, her tender regard for the feelings of others, her insight and tact in dealing with those around her, portray a character of rare beauty that gives added charm to her verse.”
The East Somerset Agricultural Society was Incorporated by Maine Legislative Act and Organized in 1832. Its first Annual Cattle Show & Fair was held that same year as a small one day event. It soon grew into a large three day regional event held on its fairgrounds drawing hundreds of competitors and attendees from around the area. The sprawling fairgrounds included a 1/2 mile horse racing track, covered main grandstand, stables and a large exhibition hall.
East Somerset Agricultural Society Fairgrounds on Outer Main Street – 1910
Dr. Peleg Sprague Haskell (1832-1890) is a son of Peleg C. Haskell & Lois Fogg. He attended Hartland Academy and married Almira Page, daughter of John Page & Rachel Coller. He began his medical practice in Hartland operating an office from his Main Street home until 1860 when the family moved to Stockton Springs. Following Almira’s untimely death at 29 years old in 1865, Dr. Haskell remarried Sarah A. Blanchard in 1867 and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1879 with their 2 children where he continued his practice until his death. Dr. Haskell’s Aunt Louisa Haskell married Dr. Calvin Blake.
Dr. Peleg Sprague Haskell
Albert W. Miller (1835-1916) was born and raised in Palmyra before moving to Hartland in 1865 where he soon after established his A. W. Miller Drug Store at the former J. D. Kennedy Tailor Shop on Main Street next to the Fuller & Buck General Store in Warren Square.
A. W. Miller Drug Store – Main Street – c1877
Although technically its facade faces Main Street, the detailed history of T. S. Moor’s Store Block is included on our Commercial Street page.
Former T. S. Moor General Store at the corner of Main Street & Commercial Street – 1877
At least 3 known Blacksmith Shops were in operation along Main Street by 1860 with 2 of them located on the Sebasticook River Island on each side of Main Street and another located next to the Main Street Bridge. An unknown store was also located on the island. The businesses and residences mentioned above are seen below on the earliest known map of Hartland Village from 1860.
Seen along the northern side of Main Street from left to right: James Moor residence, F. T. Swift residence, The Park House (operated by Harry Merrow), Dr. Peleg S. Haskell residence & office, Calvin Blake, Jr Dry Goods & Groceries Store, John Stinchfield, Jr residence, Stinchfield Carding Mill, Main Street Bridge, Blacksmith Shop (Island), former William Moor Grist Mill (Island), Raceway Bridge, & T. S. Moor’s General Store.
Seen along the southern side: East Somerset Agricultural Society Fairgrounds, S. E. Durrell residence, John Page residence, Unknown residence, Blacksmith Shop, Main Street Bridge, Blacksmith Shop (Island), Dry Goods Store (Island), John Page Tannery (Island), Raceway Bridge & J. D. Kennedy Tailor Store.
Hartland Village – 1860
In 1862, Archibald Linn (1818-1889) came to Hartland and built the Linn Woolen Mill on the upper side of the Main Street Dam on the former William Moor Sawmill location. Linn also purchased the former Sewell Prescott house on Commercial Street. The new mill induced numerous other new businesses and influenced many people to locate in town soon making the village the business and political center of Hartland.
Original Linn Woolen Mill – 1877
Layout of Linn Woolen Mill & Gristmill – 1874 (Courtesy of American Woolen Mill Museum, Ohio)
Seen below is a westerly view of Main Street from about 1877 taken from the Baptist Church Steeple originally as a stereoscopic photo.
On the left side are the peaks of the A. W. Miller Drug Store and its attached building. Just after the Raceway Bridge on the island are John Page & Son Tannery, an unknown store and Blacksmith Shop with the Carriage House sitting behind it. Next to the Main Street Bridge is John J. Morrill’s Axe Manufacturing Company and the Grain Boat Landing followed by the John Page Homestead stretching back along Pittsfield Avenue.
On the right side is the peak of the future Hartland Drug Store, Linn Woolen Mill Storage Building and Linn Woolen Mill. Just after the raceway bridge on the island are the Linn Grist Mill, Blacksmith Shop and Central Hall. At the corner of the Main Street Bridge is the Carding Mill, future Hartland Grain & Grocery Store, future Hubbard Store, future Harrington Block and Park House & Livery Stable at the corner of Mill Street.
Main Street looking West from the Baptist Church Steeple – c1877
Seen below is an easterly view of Main Street from about 1877 taken originally as a stereoscopic photo.
On the left is the Park House (just out of view) at the corner of Mill Street with its woodshed seen in the photo. The next building is the future Harrington Block then the future Hubbard Store followed by the future Hartland Grain & Grocery Store before the Main Street Bridge. Just past the bridge on the island is a Blacksmith Shop (future Central Hall), Linn Machine Shop (hidden from the view) and the Linn Gristmill. Past the Raceway Bridge is the Linn Woolen Mill followed by the Linn Woolen Mill Storage Building which hides the future Hartland Drug Store building.
On the right is John Page’s Homestead at the corner of Pittsfield Avenue. Next to the Main Street Bridge is John J. Morrill’s Axe Manufacturing Company and the Grain Boat Landing followed by a Blacksmith Shop, unknown store and John Page & Son Tannery on the island but hidden by trees in the photo. The Hartland Baptist Church is seen in the far background on the corner of Main Street & Elm Street.
Main Street looking East from the corner of Pittsfield Avenue & Mill Street – c1877
Albert W. Miller was also very active in town affairs and served in several offices including Town Selectman, Liquor Agent, Probate Judge and Maine State Representative.
A. W. Miller Drug Store – c1880
The northern side of the Sebasticook River Island at the Main Street Bridge held a Blacksmith Shop (future Central Hall) in the foreground with the Linn Mill Machine Shop behind it followed by the Linn Grist Mill. Past the Raceway Bridge was the Linn Woolen Mill, Linn Woolen Mill Storage Building and the future Hartland Drug Store, partially hidden in the background.
North Side of the Sebasticook River Island – c1877
A Carriage Manufacturing Shop was located on the southern side of the Sebasticook River Island just below the Main Street Bridge. The sign on the building reads, “Carriage Shop & Framing Mill”. The shop was likely in operation for many years prior to the first known reference to it in the early 1870s when Daniel Sawyer & Lamont Griffith (1842-1910) ran their carriage making business here. By 1884, Daniel Sawyer operated the business with his son as “D. Sawyer & Son Carriage Makers” and Griffith opened his own word working business in town. Griffith had learned the carriage making craft from his older half-brother while he was a young man living in his native town of Dixfield before moving to Hartland soon after 1860.
The Grain Boat Landing was located under the Main Street Bridge next to the J. J. Morrill Axe Manufacturing Company. The boat was a major link to the rest of the world not only for moving and receiving products, but also as an alternate means of transportation to the crude roads travelers had to use to reach Pittsfield which was the closest railroad depot connection until 1886.
Carriage Manufacturing Shop & Grain Boat Landing – c1877
John Johnson Morrill’s Axe Manufacturing Company was located next to the Main Street Bridge at the former Blacksmith Shop. Between 1912 and 1923, the building was replaced with a new building later owned by Hartland Grain & Grocery Store. Morrill lived at his large homestead on Elm Street next to the Hartland House.
Former J. J. Morrill Axe Manufacturing Company (left of bridge) – 1911
By 1883, The Park House was completely renovated and expanded into a much larger building and Livery Stable.
The Park House – c1900
Following James Moor’s death on December 2, 1873, his daughter Elmeda Moor (1835-1919) and her husband Nathan M. Webb (1838-1917) took over the family home. Her mother Dorcas Moor lived with them until her death in 1892 at 93 years old. Nathan Webb, the son of John Chandler Webb & Clarissa Nay of St Albans, served as a policeman in Hartland. He married Elmeda in 1861 and they had 3 daughters; Eva (1862-1932) married Andrew Scott, Cora (1869-1917) married Frank Shaw (son of Greenville J. Shaw) & Nina (1874-1918) married Buck (son of Andrew H. Buck).
Alexander S. Patterson & Evelyn Sanford purchased the former F. T. Swift home next to the Webb residence in the 1870s where they raised their daughter, Gertrude Mae Patterson (1877-1940). In 1910, Gertrude married Ralph C. Hamilton who would later operate the Hartland Drug Store.
Nathan Webb Residence (left) & Alexander Patterson Residence
Following Dr. Peleg Haskell’s departure from Hartland in 1860, the next known occupants by 1883 were brothers Samuel Furbush (1849-1927) and George Furbush (b.1851). They were sons of Henry & Sarah Furbush of Skowhegan who moved to Hartland with their family between 1860 and the 1870. Henry and his sons were all carpenters and apparently had their own business. They moved out onto Outer Pleasant Street sometime in the early 1890s. Samuel married Lillian Hurd and had 3 children; Henry, Edith and Elsie Furbush.
Former Furbush Brothers House as Wesley Harrington Residence – c1950
Edith & Elsie Furbush with Elizabeth Linn (center)
Between 1860 and 1877, a new store was built on Main Street next to the Furbush Brothers residence which would be operated for well over 115 years by various owners. It is first seen in various photos around 1877 and is owned and operated as a store by M. W. Jenkins in 1883. From about 1890 until his passing in 1922, it was owned and operated by Ensign F. Hubbard as “E. F. Hubbard Groceries, Notions & Hardware”.
Former M. W. Jenkins Store (center) as E. F. Hubbard Groceries, Notions & Hardware – c1910
William Linn, Sr (1821-1902) came from Scotland to Hartland with his young children in 1864 at the invitation of his brother Archibald Linn. He lived on Main Street and worked at the Linn Woolen Mill as a Weaver Overseer. One of his sons, William Linn, Jr later settled on Academy Street and his daughter Annie Linn married George Merrill Lancey.
William Linn, Sr
The 2 bridges crossing the Sebasticook River and connecting the Island to Main Street likely existed from the early settlement of the Village. It is also likely the first bridges were rebuilt but probably resembled the newer wooden structures seen in the first known photos taken in the 1870s.
Main Street Bridge – c1877
The new updated businesses and residences mentioned above are seen below on the map of Hartland Village from 1883.
Seen along the northern side of Main Street from left to right: Nathan M. Webb residence, Alexander S. Patterson residence, Mill Street, The Park House (operated by Roger L. Williams), Furbush Brothers residence, M. Jenkins General Store, T. S. Elliot Mens Clothing Store, Fairgrieve residence, Fairgrieve Carding Mill, Main Street Bridge, Burgess & Waldron Blacksmith Shop (Island), Linn Mill Machine Shop (Island), Linn Grist Mill (Island), Raceway Bridge, Linn Woolen Mill, Linn Woolen Mill Storage Building and Alden Sampson’s Drug Store & Post Office.
Seen along the northern side: East Somerset Agricultural Society Fairgrounds, William Linn Sr. residence, Pittsfield Avenue, John Page residence, Miss Caroline W. Prescott residence, J. J. Morrill Axe Manufacturing & Blacksmith Shop, Main Street Bridge, Store (Island), Sawyer & Griffith Carriage Shop (Island), Dr. Harris Pushor’s Office (Island), L. H. Webb Dry Goods Store (Island), John Page & Son Tannery (Island), Raceway Bridge and A. W. Miller’s Drug Store.
Hartland Village – 1883
After decades of discussion, an 8 mile railroad extension from Pittsfield finally opened in Hartland in 1886 connecting to the Maine Central Railroad System. The new Sebasticook & Moosehead Railroad located a depot on Outer Main Street next to the fairgrounds which also served as home for the local Telegraph Office.
Sebasticook & Moosehead Railroad Depot
By 1886, Robert E. Latty purchased the former Linn Woolen Mill Storage Building on Main Street and set up business with his son Edward E. Latty operating as R. E. Latty & Son Hardware, Bar Iron & Steel. Around the same time, Albert W. Miller moved his drug store business across the street into the Hartland Drug Store block vacated by Alden Sampson and his newly wedded wife Nellie G. Lancey who had left town in 1885 for South Dakota.
R. E. Latty & Son Hardware, Bar Iron & Steel Store and A. W. Miller Drug Store – c1886
As noted in a November 4, 1886 article from the Pittsfield Advertiser, “In West Hartland, the old (James) Fuller house has been purchased by Joseph Emery of Palmyra. It has been taken down and will be moved to the village where it will be rebuilt for a store near the depot.” The store was located on Outer Main Street (also referred to as Park Avenue in the day) next to the Sebasticook & Moosehead Railroad Depot. It was later purchased by Lewis Barker Wheeler who operated a general store there by 1914.
Gentlemen of The Wild Goose Club pose for a photo at L. B. Wheeler’s General Store
The Great Flood of 1887 caused major damage to numerous Hartland industries at the Lower Dam including the Linn Woolen Mill and the John Page & Son Tannery and likely part of the reason they soon ended their tannery operations.
Pittsfield Advertiser – 1887: “The dam between Linn’s Mill and the Grist Mill gave way Sunday morning and the vents through the bridge being choked, the water broke across the street in front of the Grist Mill and the lower end of the dye house gave way on Tuesday. The Buck Store is very insecure, knocked out some of the area supports. Water went into Morrison’s (Carding) Mill, Knowle’s Shop and White’s Blacksmith Shop.
The flood also likely caused damage to the Main Street Bridge as a new bridge was built by 1892 replacing the former 3 buttress structure.
Looking West with the rebuilt Main Street Bridge
Archibald Linn has been suggesting an expansion to his original set of buildings since 1879. Soon after the Great Flood of 1887 and the resulting demise of the Page Tannery, Linn approached the town requesting a 10 year tax abatement on a new set of buildings. Following Archibald’s death in 1889, operations of the Linn Woolen Mill were taken over by his 3 surviving children; Thomas Archibald Linn, Robert Wilson Linn, Sr and Mary Isabelle (Linn) Fuller along with her husband, Henry Clay Fuller. Henry Fuller & Thomas Linn become the chief officers of the renamed Linn Manufacturing Company. In 1890, a vote at a special Town Meeting granted the abatement to the Linn Manufacturing Company who in turn built a new addition to the Linn Woolen Mill on the former John Page & Son Tannery location in 1892.
Linn Woolen Mill Lower Addition on Main Street – c1892
By 1894, Robert E. Latty (1819-1913) had purchased the Furbush Brothers Residence on Main Street and built a new building on the empty lot between it and The Park House. He and his wife, Julia Starbird (1830-1911) lived upstairs and he relocated his hardware business from the former Linn Woolen Mill Storage building to the first floor. Their only child Edward E. Latty (1866-1939) and his wife Ruth Bigelow (1869-1925) moved into the Furbush Brothers residence with their daughter Marion (1895-1919) and soon to be born daughter Mildred (1901-1993). By 1905, Robert Latty, then 76 years old, rented out his first floor to A. G. Bowman who operated the Bowman Hardware Company.
Bowman Hardware operating at Robert E. Latty Block (1st Building) – c1905
In 1902, Albert W. Miller returned to his original store building on Main Street where he remained in business until his death in 1916.
A. W. Miller Drug Store and new Linn Woolen Mill Addition – c1903
A. W. Miller Drug Store Medicine Bottles (Photo courtesy of Sam Fuller)
Following Albert Miller’s return to his original Main Street location, Dr. Lynne Harry Blanchard began operating the Hartland Drug Store at the corner of Main Street & Commercial Street. Dr. Blanchard had moved from Springfield, Maine and begun his medical practice in Hartland in the early 1890s. In 1901, he married Carrie Linn, daughter of Thomas Linn & Clarabelle Osborne.
Hartland Drug Store Medicine Bottle – L. H. Blanchard, M. D. Proprietor – c1905
Next to Albert W. Miller’s Drug Store was a magnificently landscaped terrace likely built by Miller sometime around 1900. Woodbine Terrace bordered the island and Miller’s property below the Raceway Bridge and extended through the back side of Warren Square with its own private boat landing. It’s exact origins remain a mystery but it was gone by the late 1920s. Many of the large granite boulders remained along the left side of the future Tannery Beam House driveway with several still in place today.
Woodbine Terrace – c1905
Woodbine Terrace – c1905
One of the buildings on the island was originally noted as a blacksmith shop by 1860 and was converted into a store by 1883. The building and the carriage house would be the only remaining buildings left on the island following the construction of the new Linn Woolen Mill in 1892. Soon after, George William Furber purchased the building and opened the G. W. Furber Jewelry Store. Furber had moved from Corinna and married Laura Littlefield in 1894 but his business venture was short lived when he unexpectedly passed away in 1899 at 39 years old leaving his widow to raise their 2 daughters, Iva & Evelyn, at their Moore Street home. The building would continue to be used as a storefront until 1916.
Former G. W. Furber Jewelry Store & Carriage House – 1912
In the 1890s, Carl Randlett moved from his parents West Pittsfield homestead to the Village and purchased the former T. S. Elliott Store on Main Street by 1897. Carl would later be joined by his younger brothers Thomas & Harry Randlett who were in business with him for a few years before going their separate ways to have their own successful business ventures in town. Their mother Ellen (Fuller) Randlett is a daughter of Thomas Fuller & Laura Butterfield and married Harrison Randlett in 1867. Ellen is a paternal granddaughter of original West Hartland settler James Fuller, Sr.
Carl Fuller Randlett (1868-1951) opened the Hartland Grain & Grocery Store with his wife Maude Annis. Along with running his store, Carl was a very active member in town affairs serving on numerous committees and organizations as well as serving as Town Clerk for a total of 35 years; 27 of those being consecutive.
Hartland Grain & Grocery Ad – 1970
In the late 1890s, electricity arrived in Hartland with many of the first power lines located on Main Street before eventually spreading throughout the Village. This new power source would forever change how businesses and households functioned.
In 1898, John Page passed away and his son John S. Page took over ownership of the Main Street Page Homestead. John S. Page was living on Pittsfield Avenue at the time where he operated a woodworking mill after their tannery on Main Street had closed.
Panoramic view of Main Street with The Park House & John S. Page Homestead – c1900
Looking across the Lower Dam to Commercial Street & Water Street from the Main Street Bridge.
Lower Dam at Main Street – c1900
Looking up Main Street from the corner of Warren Square & Commercial Street around 1900 with new power lines. On the left is A. W. Miller’s Drug Store, the new Linn Woolen Mill addition and the former G. W. Furber Jewelry Store. On the right is the Hartland Drug Store, the former R. E. Latty Hardware building and the original Linn Woolen Mill. The wooden Main Street Bridge is seen in the background.
Main Street – c1900
Between 1900 and 1910, a new bridge was built to replace the old wooden bridge on Main Street. The new bridge featured iron buttresses and distinct pedestrian sidewalks with decorative iron rails. It would survive 2 major flooding events before being replaced in the early 1940s.
Main Street with the new Iron Bridge
Main Street with the new Iron Bridge
In 1903, Dr. Charles A. Moulton incorporated the Hartland & St. Albans Telephone Company expanding his former St. Albans Telephone company with new telephone lines throughout the Village and adding full-time Telephone Operators who worked from his new Elm Street location.
Hartland & St. Albans Telephone Company Directory – 1908
In 1906, Ralph Carleton Hamilton (1882-1955) purchased the Hartland Drug Store where he remained in business for the next 45+ years. Hamilton had been working for Albert Miller at his drug store after arriving from Sanford shortly after 1900 and had recently been hired by Dr. Lynne H. Blanchard as a pharmacist at his Hartland Drug Store business. In 1910, Ralph married Gertrude Mae Patterson and moved into her parents home at the corner of Main Street & Mill Street.
Hartland Drug Store – Ralph C. Hamilton
W. A. Judge took a series of photos at the Lower Dam on Main Street which he fortunately dated on December 13, 1911. (Photos courtesy of Tony Simpson)
From the basin of the Lower Dam with the Linn Woolen Mill in the background and Central Hall to the right.
From above the Lower Dam looking across to Water Street with the Water Street Bridge seen to the right.
From the basin of the Lower Dam to the right is the Hartland Grain & Grocery Storage Building. The white building on the left is the former G. W. Furber Jewelry Store with the Carriage House behind it. To the far left is the new Linn Woolen Mill addition.
From below the Main Street Bridge looking back to the former G. W. Furber Store on the right with Central Hall in the background. The Carding Mill is seen on the left.
From further below the Main Street Bridge with the Carriage House on the right and the former G. W. Furber Store in front of it. To the left is the Hartland Grain & Grocery Storage Building. On the opposite side of the bridge is the Carding Mill in the center and the Hartland Grain & Grocery Store to the left.
1911 marked the end of the Sebasticook & Moosehead Railroad after Maine Central Railroad (MEC) had leased the financially troubled railroad in 1910 then purchased the company in 1911 with the official merger set to go into effect on July 1st of that same year. An extension of the existing line from Main Stream was immediately built into Harmony Village and opened to the public on August 19, 1912. The entire line from Pittsfield to Harmony then became officially known as the Maine Central Railroad Harmony Branch. The new rail line continued full service over the next few decades transporting countless thousands of passengers and tons of freight in and out of the region.
Hartland Train Depot on Outer Main Street
Log Drives originating from the Moor Sawmill at the Upper Dam were likely a common occurrence on the Sebasticook River throughout the 1800s. These log drives provided an efficient alternative to horse drawn means to transport logs to market before the advent of motor vehicles.
Guiding logs through the Lower Dam – c1910
Not all log drives were successful as seen in these series of dated photos from 1912.
Log Jam at Lower Dam – 1912
Log Jam at Lower Dam – 1912
Men working to break the Log Jam at Lower Dam – 1912
Breaking the Log Jam at Lower Dam with TNT – 1912
Log Jam at Lower Dam below Main Street Bridge – 1912
Men working to break the Log Jam at Lower Dam below Main Street Bridge – 1912
Log Jam at Lower Dam at Main Street Bridge mostly cleared – 1912
Edward E. Latty moved into his father’s building soon after the death of his mother in 1911 followed by his father in 1913 with his wife Ruth and daughters Marion & Mildred. In 1919, Marion, who was living in Kittery working as a Nurse, died at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Hospital 5 days after being admitted of appendicitis at 24 years old. By 1920, Edward was renting his former home at the future Harrington Block to two families; Wayne Sprague of New York and the widower, Ralph Wyman. In 1922, the Post Office moved from the Linn Block on Commercial Street to the first floor of the Latty Block. In 1925, Ruth passed away leaving Edward and Mildred to run the Post Office.
Latty Block, future Harrington Block, Ensign Hubbard Store, Hartland Grain & Grocery Store, Central Hall & American Woolen Mill
In 1914, Lewis Barker Wheeler purchased the building on Outer Main Street which had been erected from materials from James Fuller, Sr’s original homestead in West Hartland and opened L. B. Wheeler General Store which he operated until 1922.
L. B. Wheeler General Store Grocery Bag
In 1915, George & Harold Moore opened Moore Brothers Print Shop on Outer Main Street. Their sister Alice Blanche Moore had married Harry E. Randlett in 1912. The Moore siblings were from Ellsworth, children of Herbert Moore & Carrie Rackliff. Harold passed away in 1918 and George moved back to Ellsworth with his family by 1920.
Moore Brothers Print Shop on Outer Main Street with Harry & Alice Randlett’s future Pleasant Street home in the background – c1915
In 1914, Harry Elwin Randlett (1879-1973), the youngest of the Randlett Brothers, purchased The Park House and began operating the Hartland Hardware Store until his retirement in 1959. Harry and his wife Alice lived upstairs for a while and many of the other upstairs rooms continued to be rented out. By 1920, Harry had remodeled the facade of the building with a large addition extending it forward to Main Street. The distinct windows which were originally on the corner of the building were turned and “flattened” to the Mill Street side.
Former Park House renovated and operating as Hartland Hardware Store
Hartland Hardware Store Yardstick (Donated by Joan Joy Tibbetts)
By 1915, the Linn Manufacturing Company had run into substantial financial hardship and filed for bankruptcy. A short term lease was made with the American Woolen Company who continued operations while Trustees of the Linn Manufacturing Company sought a viable long term tenant. Although plans for an auction to sell the mill were announced, a purchase agreement with the American Woolen Company was made before the auction took place and they began full-time operations in 1916.
Original Upper Linn Woolen Mill now owned by American Woolen Company
Under the terms of the sale, all former Linn Manufacturing Company & Archibald Linn’s Real Estate holdings in Hartland, including the two woolen mill buildings and over two dozen additional residential houses and lots, became the property of the American Woolen Company.
The newer Lower Linn Woolen Mill now owned by American Woolen Company
The Linn Mills had long utilized the natural resources of the Sebasticook River as the primary power source for their operations first by water driven means and later by steam. One of the first major upgrades made by the American Woolen Company was to build a dedicated coal powered Boiler Room next to the lower mill location replacing the former G. W. Furber Jewelry Store. The distinct overpass between the two mill buildings crossing Main Street was also installed around the same time.
American Woolen Company with the addition of the new Boiler Room and Main Street Overpass
When the new Boiler Room was built, the former G. W. Furber Jewelry Store building was moved further up Main Street onto a lot inherited by the American Woolen Company from their purchase. The house and property would be later sold at the Great Auction of 1932 to Alton Leadbetter. It was purchased by Albert Deering, Jr by 1943 and later became the home of his son Maynard Deering, Sr.
Former G. W. Furber Store building moved further up Main Street – 2009
On January 2, 1916, Albert W. Miller passed away after over five decades of operating the A. W. Miller Drug Store in Hartland. Miller and his wife Myra Haskell had no children and his store likely remained closed for a few years following his death.
Main Street Raceway Bridge with A. W. Miller Drug Store followed by former James Fuller, Jr Store at Warren Square – c1916
World War I brought the American Woolen Company several lucrative U. S. Government contracts to supply troops with woolen blankets however the Hartland mill and many others across the country shut down numerous times in 1918 due to national coal shortages; sometimes for several days in a row.
American Woolen Mill
Between 1917 & 1919, every member of the Webb Family except Eva (Webb) Scott passed away leaving her as the only living descendant of her family line. Her father Nathan Webb and sister Cora (Webb) Shaw died in 1917, her sister Nina (Webb) Buck in 1918 and her mother Elmeda (Moor) Webb in 1919.
Eva (Webb) Scott with her mother Elmeda (Moor) Webb at the Webb and former James Moor Residence – c1918
In 1920, Lewis Henry Barden (1876-1960) opened his first grocery store in Hartland renting the former A. W. Miller Drug Store location on Main Street where he operated his business here until about 1929 before moving it to Commercial Street.
Former A. W. Miller Drug Store operated as L. H. Barden Store – c1922
Walter “Tidy” Davis Wheeler operated a jewelry store specializing in watch and clock sales and repairs in a small building on Main Street as early as 1919. The shop was located on corner of the future Hubbard Avenue on the side lawn area of the future Harrington Block. Tidy’s wife, Mary (Gray) Wheeler sold greeting cards from the location in the 1930s after they had moved into the Harrington Block.
Tidy Wheeler’s Jewelry Shop, future Harrington Block, Latty Block and Hartland Hardware Store – c1925
Tidy Wheeler’s Jewelry Shop Ads (Donated by Beverly Seekins Martin)
Asa Ladd moved Wheeler’s building across the street by 1943 and attached it to his house where it still stands today albeit slightly modified.
Tidy Wheeler Building attached to former Asa Ladd House – 2014
In 1922, the East Somerset Agricultural Society held its last fair before disbanding for good. While several factors likely contributed, most reports indicate one of the main reasons for the fair’s demise was caused by a well intended but financially faulted decision around 1902 to introduce a “Life Time Membership” admission policy.
Now instead of collecting gates fees annually from each person attending the fair, an entire family could buy annual admission for life for the price of what had been basically one year’s admission. It only took a few years before the annual take at the gate was nearly next to nothing and the monies gathered from the life time membership fee weren’t nearly enough to cover operating expenses.
Parking Lot at one of the last fairs held by the East Somerset Agricultural Society on Outer Main Street – c1921
Following Ensign Hubbard’s death in 1922, the former E. F. Hubbard Grocery Store on Main Street was purchased by John W. Scott who then partnered with his son-in-law Ellard Hebb by 1931 operating as Scott & Hebb Fancy Groceries, Fruits & Meats until about 1940.
Scott & Hebb Fancy Groceries, Fruits & Meats Store Ads (Donated by Beverly Seekins Martin)
Charge Account from Scott & Hebb Store – 1933
The Great Flood of 1923 caused extensive damage once again to the Lower Dam & Main Street Bridge area.
Lower Dam – Great Flood of 1923
Lower Dam at Main Street Bridge – Great Flood of 1923
Below the Main Street Bridge – Great Flood of 1923
Lower Dam from Main Street Raceway Bridge – Great Flood of 1923
While Lewis H. Barden continued his grocery store operations at the former A. W. MIller Drug Store location, the new Davis Block next door had just been recently built in Warren Square by Fred & Lena (Webber) Davis which some 20 years later Barden would purchase.
L. H. Barden’s Grocery Store next to the new Davis Block – 1925
For the next few years, the American Woolen Company operated successfully employing a couple of hundred people from Hartland and surrounding towns. The woolen goods market remained strong following World War I and further local investments were made by the company. Census Reports for Hartland from 1920 and 1930 show numerous people working at the woolen mill; often with several family members employed there, too.
American Woolen Company from Mill Pond
In the 1920s, the L. B. Wheeler Store on Outer Main Street became the new home of Sebasticook Lodge No. 141 Knights of Pythias.
Members of Sebasticook Lodge No. 141 Knights of Pythias – 1926
In 1929, Lewis H. Barden leased the former Walter E. M. Seekins Store on Commercial Street from Harry Sterns and moved his grocery store business there. Soon after, Ada (Seekins) Miller and her sister Bertha (Seekins) Davis opened a secondhand clothing store in the building. Ada married Albert Miller’s nephew Benjamin I. Miller. In 1943 the building and lot were still owned by the Estate of Albert W. Miller.
Ada (Seekins) Miller & Bertha (Seekins) Davis at the former A. W. Miller Drug Store – c1930
Overall, the American Woolen Company business venture in Hartland had gone well until October 29, 1929; now infamously known as “Black Friday”. While the 1929 Stock Market crash didn’t adversely affect Hartland immediately, the resulting national Great Depression brought the first signs of trouble to town in 1931 when the American Woolen Company requested a large tax break on their mill holdings in Hartland because of their own overall economic woes throughout all their New England operations.
American Woolen Company with Main Street Iron Bridge
Eva (Webb) Scott remained at her parents former home on Main Street until her death on January 6, 1932. In her Will, she bequeathed the house along with the property to be used specifically as a non-profit general hospital for area residents.
Eva (Webb) Scott (1862-1932)
The Executor of Eva (Webb) Scott’s Will was Dr. Charles A. Moulton who immediately began the process of converting the house James Moor built in 1847 into a hospital. On October 12, 1932 Scott-Webb Memorial Hospital opened its doors with six patient rooms with Dr. Moulton as its Head Physician.
Scott-Webb Memorial Hospital following renovations – 1936
Although the American Woolen Company made some efforts keep the mill open, in 1932 they officially announced they would close the Hartland location and surrender all their property holdings and soon filed for bankruptcy. Shortly after their bankruptcy filing, much of the vast real estate holdings it had purchased in Hartland from the former Linn Manufacturing Company and Archibald Linn’s Estate were sold off at the Great Auction held on December 2, 1932.
Great Auction of 1932 Flyer Cover
(Original Flyer owned by Fred Libby – Photo courtesy of Wayne Libby)
The auction did not include the 2 main mills or several of the smaller buildings on the mill property which were surrendered to the town but some 27 houses and properties remained including two large locations on Main Street.
18. NO. 37 MAIN STREET: Approximately 14,700 square feet of land with two-and one-half-story frame two family dwelling having six rooms to each family, electricity, toilets. (Purchased by Alton Leadbetter for $725 – Former G. W. Furbush Store Building)
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 – Former Caroline Prescott House & Lot)
Main Street Lots #18 & # 19 from the Great Auction of 1932 Flyer
Following John S. Page’s death, the Page Homestead at the corner of Main Street and Pittsfield Avenue was eventually purchased by Bill Cookson in the early 1930s. The large barn was razed and the main house was transformed into a full service gas station. Lester Slate bought it around 1938 followed by Stewart Baird in 1942 who operated it until 1954 when Maurice Hall purchased it and operated as Hall’s Gulf Station.
Former Page House as Hall’s Gulf Station – 1955
While Carl Randlett was known as a successful businessman, he was also very generous and extended numerous Hartland residents store credit even during the years of the Great Depression and the instability of the local economy with the closure of the woolen mill.
Kendall Snow Charge Account – 1935 (Photo courtesy of Dana Perkins)
Citizens knew the future of Hartland rested upon finding a suitable and long term replacement at the abandoned American Woolen Company facility. A search began at once by various factions including the newly formed Hartland Chamber of Commerce but came up empty.
In early 1934, a group of citizens banded together in an unprecedented effort to bring a new industry to town. They decided to create and incorporate as a company to take over the former mill’s remaining holdings with $10,000 worth of Capitol Stock offered to interested citizens in 2,000 units of shares valued at $5.00 each. The grassroots movement secured roughly $4,100 worth of initial stock share commitments from 51 citizens by the time it held its first Stock Subscribers Meeting on December 14, 1934 to vote on empowering the committee to officially incorporate as Hartland Mills, Incorporated.
Hartland Mills, Incorporated Advertisement – 1935
Along with selling stock to raise capitol, goals of Hartland Mills, Inc. were to keep the mill facility physically intact, make needed repairs and find a suitable buyer to take it over. They needed to get the mill and grounds back in top condition for potential investors. Many former woolen mill employees and numerous townspeople provided their time for minimal or no pay to assist in cleaning, repairing and preparing the mill for sale.
Throughout 1935, several offers were made to lease or buy the mills but none were accepted with Hartland Mills, Inc. siting unfavorable lease conditions or various other unacceptable terms. In April of 1935, the Ohio Carpet Company stated it had a firm interest in locating a business at the mills pending the process of a loan. Major work and investments were done in preparation for the new owners however their loan application was rejected in November and the deal fell through.
Hartland Mills, Incorporated Advertisement – 1935
Following the very disappointing collapse of the Ohio Carpet Company deal, the Directors were informed of a request from Irving Tanning Company of Peabody, Massachusetts to meet with the group on December 16th and tour the mill with an interest in establishing a new subsidiary for their company. In a follow-up meeting with Meyer Kirstein in Peabody on December 19th, members of Hartland Mills, Inc. returned with a note for Two Thousand Dollars in good faith on a contract for the establishment of a new tannery business. The tanning industry in Hartland was about to be reborn and the new Hartland Tanning Company would soon open in 1936.
Hartland Tanning Company with the new Concrete Main Street Bridge – c1937
In 1939, Edward E. Latty passed away leaving his properties to his only surviving daughter Mildred Latty who became the sole owner of the Latty Block & future Harrington Block next door. The Furbush Sisters, Edith & Elsie, were living at the Latty Block in 1940 as Mildred’s tenants with the Post Office remaining on the first floor while the families of Chester Kniffen and Walter “Tidy” Wheeler were renting apartments from Mildred at the future Harrington Block.
Harrington Block – c1950
Carl Randlett had added gasoline pumps and tire sales to his Hartland Grain & Grocery Store many years before as his store remained a fixture on Main Street throughout the 1900s. The building remains as one of the oldest structures in Hartland seen in photos as far back as 1860.
Hartland Grain & Grocery Store – c1939 (Photo courtesy of Estelle Randlett Tapley)
Although the Hartland Tanning Company had successfully begun operations in 1936, Hartland Mills, Inc. had initially leased the facility 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 which still held the old Central Hall Building and former Machine Shop.
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. The Island lot would be cleared of all the buildings and made into a parking lot which included a Scale House.
New Home of the Hartland Volunteer Fire Department at the former Fairgrieve Carding Mill
Linwood Annis Randlett (1906-1992) first began working at his father’s store when he was about 10 years old. Following his marriage to Ada Louise Cyr (1908-1993) in 1927, he soon became a partner in the business with his father and its eventual successor.
Linwood A. Randlett at Hartland Grain & Grocery Grain Main Street Warehouse – c1939 (Photo courtesy of Estelle Randlett Tapley)
Beginning with the Fall Term of 1943, two of the upstairs rooms at Harry Randlett’s Hartland Hardware Store were rented to the Hartland School Department for 4th & 5th grade classes due to overcrowding at the Pleasant Street School and the closing of the last rural schoolhouse at Fullers Corner in West Hartland that spring. Students attended classes here until the new Hartland Consolidated School opened in 1950.
Mill Street Side Entry of Hartland Hardware Store used by Students to access the Upstairs Rented Classrooms
In 1943, Mildred Latty married Raymond Gregorie and soon sold her neighboring house to Wesley Peter Harrington. Harrington moved from his native town of Parkman by 1940 renting a house on Hubbard Avenue with his wife Esther and their son Clayton while he worked at the Tannery. Soon after Wes Harrington purchased the house, he also bought the Scott & Hebb Store next door operating it until 1953.
Taking down the Elm Tree in front of the Harrington Block – c1955
The former Moore Brothers Print Shop on Outer Main Street was purchased by Harry Randlett soon after his brother-in-law George Moore moved back to Ellsworth by 1920. Harry sold the buildings to Willis “Bill” McDougal who replaced it with a new house in 1946 soon after he married Charlotte Gordon. Bill’s younger brother Luther McDougal and his family moved there in 1956. Luther sold the house to Leroy Rollins in 1960 who renovated and enlarged it then sold it to Stanley Shakespeare.
Former Moore Brothers Print Shop before it was replaced by a new house
1943 Map showing respective property owners along Main Street.
Hartland Village – 1943
Hartland Tanning Company – 1949
Several major changes were made at the Maine Central Railroad Hartland Train Yard on Outer Main Street in the mid-1940s including the demolition of the original depot which was relocated in the former grain storage building. Hartland Tanning Company purchased the old storage building and converted it into the Hide House for storage of “blues” before they were brought to the main plant for processing.
Hartland Railroad Depot before Demolition
Hartland Depot Demolition
New Home of the Hartland Depot at former Grain Storage Building
New Hartland Tanning Company Hide House
In 1945, Linwood Randlett took over his father’s business at Hartland Grain & Grocery following Carl’s retirement. Following Carl’s death in 1951, Linwood retired and his daughter Estelle and her husband Keith Tapley took over the business. Although they operated under the original company name, the store became known to locals as “Tapley’s Market”.
Hartland Grain & Grocery Store and Grain Storage Building – c1945 (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Simpson & Donna Perkins)
In 1948, a major renovation and construction project was completed at Scott-Webb Memorial Hospital including the addition of a new 2 story North Wing increasing the hospital’s overall normal capacity to 60 beds. The new wing included new patient rooms, X-Ray Room, Obstetrical Ward, Nursery, Mother’s Ward and a Children’s Ward.
Scott-Webb Memorial Hospital
In the early 1950s, Dr. Harvey Hartley and his wife Jessie purchased the former A. W. Miller Drug Store building where Dr. Hartley opened a clothing store. Jessie started a small restaurant in the back to help bring in more money but they soon closed the clothing store as the restaurant was doing better business. Their daughter Verlie and her husband Robert Watt, Sr bought the building from her parents and rented it back to them until they retired.
Verlie & Robert then rented it to Roland Parent who also operated a restaurant in Pittsfield. His parents, Fred & Emma Parent, moved from Limestone with Roland’s sister Christine Parent to run the Hartland location operating as Parent’s Restaurant until 1958. Christine married Ronald “Joe” Lewis soon after. Verlie & Robert and their children moved in upstairs and opened Verlie’s Imperial Restaurant. A laundromat was built in the attached building about 1960 and a beauty parlor opened above on the second floor about 1963. It was later operated as The Kozy Korner Restaurant in the late 1970s by Hazel (Grignon) Brooks before being razed in the mid-1980s. (Special thanks to Robert Watts, Jr & Christine (Parent) Lewis for details)
Empty Lot of the former A. W. Miller Drug Store Building – 1987
In 1953, Ted Griffith purchased the former Ensign Hubbard store from Wes Harrington and operated his store for a couple of years. Melvin Wyman took over the business until his death in 1957. His widow, Hope Wyman continued operating the store until Elmer & Joan (Southard) Ballard purchased it in 1961 with Jack Dyer who operated the store. On April 7, 1964, Elmer & Joan sold the store to Ronald “Joe” & Christine (Parent) Lewis who operated the store as Lewis’ Market at this location until 1992.
Lewis’ Market – 1970
In 1955, a large construction project began to reconstruct the entire street including cutting back the steep hill at the corner of Warren Square.
Main Street Construction from the corner of Mill Street & Pittsfield Avenue – 1955
Main Street Construction from the corner of Warren Square – 1955
Main Street Construction at the intersection of Commercial Street & Warren Square – 1955
The Raceway Bridge on Main Street was also reconstructed in 1955 with concrete replacing the wooden bridge that had been rebuilt in 1935.
Raceway Bridge Reconstruction Article – August 2, 1955
By 1955, Hartland Tanning was producing 1500 sides per day but needed more space to expand production. Hartland citizens then endorsed a bond issue, guaranteed by Irving Tanning Company, that would raise sufficient funds to build a new Beam House on Main Street to house operations from soaking to shaving and increase production to 6000 sides per day. A Grand Opening was held on July 16, 1956.
New Irving Tanning Company Beam House – 1956
The Main Street Crossover between the two mill buildings remained a familiar landmark since it was built around 1916.
Main Street Crossover
Dutch Elm Disease took its toll on dozens of the old, large elm trees which lined the streets throughout the Village including those along Main Street most of which were removed along with many others.
Main Street from Hartland Hardware Store following removal of Elm Trees
The former L. B. Wheeler Store had been home to the Sebasticook Lodge No. 141 Knights of Pythias for many years before they disbanded in 1956 and the building was given to Scott-Webb Memorial Hospital with plans to convert it into elderly patient housing. Sewer issues hindered the plan and it was sold in 1958 to the Hartland Corinthian Chapter to be used as their new Masonic Lodge which it stills uses today.
Former Knights of Pythias Building Article – January 13, 1958
Following Ralph Hamilton’s death in 1955, the Hartland Drug Store was purchased by Violet Bickford in 1958 operating as Hartland Variety until 1977.
Hartland Variety Ad – 1970
In 1959, John Plummer purchased the Hartland Hardware Store from Harry Randlett and re-opened as the Hartland Emporium operating his business there until 1984. John would give the building its familiar red coat of paint making it instantly recognizable from a distance.
Hartland Emporium – 1970 (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Plummer)
In 1962, Meyer Kirstein began negotiations for the sale of the Irving Tanning Company. The company was sold to the Seagrave Corporation, a holding company consisting of diversified divisions whose shares were listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Main Street from Tapley’s Market – c1958
In 1962, the first dedicated United States Post Office building in Hartland was built on the corner of Main Street & Pittsfield Avenue which still services Hartland residents today. Postal Service in one form or another had been around for most of Hartland’s existence. In the Village, the earliest known Post Office location was at Fuller & Buck’s General Store at Warren Square before it was relocated to the Hartland Drug Store in 1878. In 1888, it moved to the new Linn Block on Commercial Street until 1922 when it was relocated at the R. E. Latty Block on Main Street.
United States Post Office – 2019 (Photo courtesy of Will Bunker Photography)
In April of 1964, Steve & Sandra (Southard) McNichol purchased Maurice Hall’s Gas Station and operated it as Steve’s Gulf until the late 1970s.
Steve’s Gulf – 1970
No matter the event, parade routes always travel on Main Street and have been a common sight celebrating various occasions over the years including Hartland’s Anniversary Celebrations, America’s Bicentennial Parade in 1976 and the Annual Memorial Day Parade.
Memorial Day Parade – 1946
Claire Russell’s Team leading a parade at the corner of Main Street & Mill Street
Hartland Academy Band marching past the Tannery
Hartland Academy Band passing Hartland Drug Store
Scouts passing Steve’s Gulf – Memorial Day Parade – 1969
John Plummer leads the Hartland Sesquicentennial Parade past Steve’s Gulf – 1970
Hartland Sesquicentennial Parade passes The Hartland Emporium – 1970
America’s Bicentennial Parade – Daniel McNichol, Andy Merrow & Rocky Leavitt – 1976
As railway passenger service declined into the 1950s, Maine Central Railroad began shedding many of its passenger services on their smaller branch lines by reducing them to freight only service. In 1966, the rail line extension out of Hartland to Great Moose Lake & Harmony was discontinued with those tracks and the Sebasticook River Trestle removed soon after. Limited freight rail service into Hartland from Pittsfield continued for several more years before it to was finally abandoned in 1983. The tracks were removed and the entire line eventually became part of the trail system for snowmobiles and summer off-road vehicles. Less than 100 years after it was built in 1886, railroad service to Hartland was gone forever.
Sebasticook & Moosehead Railroad – Locomotive #1 – “The Hartland” – c1888 (Photo courtesy of R. Michael White)
Aerial View of Main Street – 1970
In 1972, Scott-Webb Memorial Hospital was sold and was later converted into the Sanfield Rehabilitation and Living Center. In 1984, North Country Health Care Associates purchased the facility and continue operating it today under the Sanfield banner.
Sanfield Rehabilitation and Living Center – 2019 (Photo courtesy of Will Bunker Photography)
In 1976, John Plummer opened “The Coffee Shoppe” in the center section of the building which became a popular gathering spot for many locals. He sold/rented the restaurant business to Harry & Hope Graff who renamed it “The Park House Restaurant”. Harry Finnemore, Jr and his wife, Donnice eventually took over the restaurant business. Plummer and his business partner sold the building and businesses in 1984.
The former Hartland Emporium & Park House Restaurant – 1984
In 1977, Steve & Sandra McNichol’s daughter Annette and her husband Jim Towle continued operations as a full service gas station and garage as Jim’s Mobil. The business was sold around 1984 to Buddy Smart and became Smart’s Garage.
Smart’s Garage – 1984
In the early 1980s, a major new exterior siding project at Irving Tanning revitalized the looks of the century old buildings.
Irving Tanning Company with new Siding – 1984
In 1981, Rocky & Vicki (Getchell) Rice moved their V & R Variety business from their previous location on Commercial Street into the former Hartland Drug Store Block at the corner of Main Street. In 1984, they moved the business to the former Wright’s Store Block in Warren Square.
V & R Variety Store – 1984
In 1981, Hartland citizens were presented with 3 options for a proposed Lower Dam Project to alleviate future flooding issues. The 3 proposals were similar except for the fate of the old dam to either leave it, remove it or replace it. Voters would eventually choose Plan B.
Plan A: Proposed leaving the old timber Lower Dam intact, blocking the river through the Raceway Bridge side of the island, surrounding the tannery area with walls and building a dike on the Great Moose Lake North Street outlet.
Plan B: Proposed removing the Lower Dam, blocking the river through the Raceway Bridge side of the island, surrounding the tannery area with walls, building a dike on the Great Moose Lake North Street outlet and building a water pipe to supply water for the tannery and fire department in lieu of losing the Mill Pond behind the lower dam.
Plan C: Proposed replacing the Lower Dam with a new dam which would automatically open for flood stage water levels and remain closed the remainder of the time keeping the Mill Pond intact. This plan also included surrounding the tannery area with walls and building a dike on the Great Moose Lake North Street outlet.
Aerial View of Completed Lower Dam Project – 1986
Remains of the Lower Dam – 2014
The Lower Dam Project was soon tested to its full capacity when the infamous “April Fool’s Day Flood” in 1987 ravaged Main Street and the surrounding area. Fortunately, the rebuilt region with its new retaining wall prevented major damage during this catastrophic flooding event.
April Fool’s Day Flood – 1987
April Fool’s Day Flood – 1987
In the late 1980s following their retirement, Keith & Estelle Tapley sold their building and business which continued operating as a store.
Former Hartland Grain & Grocery Store, Lewis’ Market and former Harrington Block – 1987
By 1987, several renovations were made at Smart’s Garage including the addition of a new attached garage.
Smart’s Garage – 1987
Mildred (Latty) Gregoire eventually sold the building her grandfather Robert E. Latty built and a couple of renovations have been made since her death in 1993. The building, which was once home to the Hartland Post Office, still stands today.
The former Harrington Block was also eventually sold and its large attached barn razed. It has since been the location of a chiropractor’s office, credit union and a law office and still stands today.
Former Latty Block & Harrington Block – 1987
The former Harrington Block was again sold in 2014 and was remodeled as a private residence.
Former Harrington Block – 2012
In 1992, Christine & Joe Lewis moved their business next door into the former Hartland Grain & Grocery Store location.
Lewis’ Market – 1995
The Lewis’ old building was razed in 1994 after being operated as a store by various owners for over 115 years.
Demolition Day at Lewis’ Market – 1994
Numerous changes in ownership occurred over the years following Seagrave Corporation’s purchase of Irving Tanning from Meyer Kirstein in 1962. Seagrave eventually sold all its operations except the leather division to become Vista Resources, Inc. In 1990, the controlling interest in Vista Resources was assumed by the Fuqua Family of Atlanta, Georgia who began a massive modernization plan laid out in two phases to bring the plant back into its place in the international tanning community. Following bankruptcy filing in March of 2005, Irving Tanning Company merged with Prime Tanning Company in August of 2007 but in November of 2007, Prime then announced its merger with Cudahy Tanning Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Irving Tanning Company – 2014
In 2011, Tasman Leather Group acquired the Hartland Prime Tanning Company. Optimism ran high for long term operations at the plant but in early May of 2020, Tasman announced declining demand for leather products due to the Coronavirus Pandemic had forced it to begin decreasing operations with the intention of closing its tannery facility in Hartland. Its future once again hangs in the balance.
Tasman Leather Group Hartland Facility – 2019 (Photo courtesy of Will Bunker Photography)
The former Hartland Emporium building and lot were purchased by Rocky & Vicki Rice but by then the old building was getting beyond affordable repairs and in 1994 the entire block was razed to make way for the Rice’s new “Moose Lake Market”.
Moose Lake Market – 2012
In 1997, Michael & Jeanette (Marble) Tripodi bought the former Hartland Drug Store opening Nettie’s Restaurant which they still operate today.
Nettie’s Restaurant at the corner of Main Street & Commercial Street – 2019 (Photo courtesy of Will Bunker Photography)
The empty lot where the former A. W. Miller Drug Store stood along with all of Warren Square and The Hartland House on Elm Street were purchased by Bangor Saving Bank who razed the entire area and built a new Hartland Branch in 1999. In 2016, Bangor Savings Bank closed its Hartland location. In 2017, lifelong Hartland resident & Hartland Historical Society Co-Founder Myrtle (Lovely) Marble purchased the building and lot donating it to the town for the specific purpose of relocating the Hartland Town Office.
New Main Street Entry into the Hartland Branch of Bangor Saving Bank – 2014
The former John Page Residence which had served as the location for several gas stations over the decades was purchased and renovated to open as The Glass Eel Variety Store however legal issues soon arose forcing the closure of the new business which still remains vacant today.
Glass Eel Variety Store – 2019 (Photo courtesy of Will Bunker Photography)
In 1999, construction began on Outer Main Street for a new Fire Hall for the Hartland Volunteer Fire Department which opened in June of 2000.
New Hartland Volunteer Fire Department Fire Hall – 2000
The outline of the old East Somerset Agricultural Fairgrounds and former Sebasticook & Moosehead Railroad line still remains in sight today.
Google Maps Ariel View of Outer Main Street – 2020
While much has changed over the decades, several buildings still remain intact on Main Street today.
Main Street from the former Hartland Grain & Grocery Store – 2019 (Photo courtesy of Will Bunker Photography)
Main Street from the corner of Pittsfield Avenue – 2019 (Photo courtesy of Will Bunker Photography)