“They proceeded to a high ridge of land in the wilderness, erected log cabins, felled the native forest, cleared out the stumps and stones, and in due time realized and enjoyed the transcendent rewards of their own independent, frugal industry, and the sweet satisfaction and repose of honest husbandmen.”
From an article by Daniel Caverly, nephew of Simeon & Abigail Starbird
The region of Hartland northwest of the Village, now collectively known as North Hartland, was originally comprised of several smaller populated areas throughout the region where clusters of various families settled together soon after James Fuller, Sr & William Moor first settled in West Hartland and the future Village area respectively in 1802. Many of these early separate areas had their own schools, cemeteries, houses of worship, stores and numerous small businesses including several sawmills, shingle mills and brickyards. Several bodies of water in North Hartland still bear the names of early settlers such as Starbird Pond, Stafford Pond and Withee Brook.
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.
When Dr. John Warren purchased Township No. 3 in 1799, the future town of Hartland was a 30,000 square acre lot which had been surveyed as a uniform rectangular lot. This uniform method was standard practice for the surveyors laying out the numerous new northern Maine “wilderness” townships which had just recently become available to sell to Land Proprietors following the end of the Revolutionary War. Albeit convenient for the latter parties, it typically ignored the area’s natural boundaries and often made for unrealistic future access to education, town affairs and services for the settlers who came to live there. Hartland was no exception and each of its 4 original town lines were eventually changed to follow closer to the natural boundaries to meet the needs of its new citizens.
Original Hartland Town Lines – 1820
Several of the many early North Hartland Families were noted in the 1911-1912 East Somerset County Registry and are presented below as written with edits and a link to further details on their respective family lineage, when available, on our Family Tree Page.
Daniel Ham (1777-1853) was one of the first settlers in North Hartland. He came from New Hampshire by way of Lewiston crossing the Androscoggin River at that point accomplished by means of a ford. He cleared a farm which is now occupied by his grandson, Melvin Ham, and built upon it a log house in which the family lived for some time. Later he erected the house which still stands, and which for its time was considered to be one of the finest in town. Mr. Ham married Hannah Starbird, sister of John Starbird, and there was born to them a family of four children; Samuel, Nancy (m. Charles Littlefield), John & Kingman.
Bryant Williams, Sr (1777-1865) came from Waterville as one of the earliest settlers and bought four hundred acres of land in North Hartland from Squire Warren near the small body of water which has since become known as Starbird Pond. A part of this he sold to other incoming settlers, and the remainder he cleared for himself. The Williams place on the Athens Road has been in the possession of the family for four generations. At the time when Mr. Williams came there were no roads in that part of the town, and he, like most of the settlers, built first a log house, but later erected the buildings which are occupied by his grandson Jerome Williams at present. His wife was Jane Hart and their children were; Hiram (m. Mary Fogg), Obadiah, Jerome, Johnson, Jane (m. Starbird) & Perthenia (m1. Sharp, m2. Williams).
Obadiah Cleveland Williams (1775-1860), brother of Bryant Williams, also came from Waterville and settled in North Hartland where he married Nancy Starbird in 1812, who is either a daughter of Simeon Starbird or related somehow. (Their father, Dr. Obadiah Williams of Epping, New Hampshire, was one of the original land owners and settlers of Waterville owning half, 18 square miles, of it in 1790).
Charles Littlefield (1799-1881) is a son of Joseph Littlefield who was another of the early settlers in the North Hartland area who had come from Kennebunk after buying land from Squire Warren. Charles later settled on his own land and began clearing the place where William Greene lives at present. Mr. Littlefield lived for a short time in Athens before coming to North Hartland. He married Nancy Ham, daughter of Daniel Ham, mentioned above, and while Mr. Littlefield was engaged in making his clearing and building the first log house, his family lived with Mr. Ham at Ham’s Corner. He cleared only six acres of land at first and built upon the place a frame house boarded with wide pine boards. The roof was battened with boards and the chimney and fireplace were both built of stones. The latter was furnished with a crane of wood from which the kettle hung. To Charles and Nancy Littlefield were born the following children: Sewall, Frank, Charles, William, Samuel, Kingman, John, Delia (m. Williams), Sylvania (m. Towle) & Caroline (m. Tufts). The sons, Kingman, John and Samuel, cleared farms adjoining the old home place.
Simeon Starbird (1750-1839) moved from Barrington, New Hampshire and his wife, Abigail Caverly, and settled in North Hartland by 1810 near a small body of water which has since been known as Starbird Pond. At least 4 of their children, John, Nathaniel, Samuel and Hannah Starbird, also came to North Hartland with them where Hannah married Charles Littlefield.
John Starbird (1777-1853), son of Simeon Starbird, came to North Hartland from New Hampshire with his wife, Mary Warren, and settled not far from the pond which is still known as Starbird Pond. He came soon after Bryant Williams and bought his farm from him. Mr. Starbird lived at one time in the house occupied at present by Mr. A. B. Jordan. This is one of the oldest houses in town. Mr. Starbird’s son Aaron, who died some years ago as a very old man, having been born there in the part of the house originally built which is believed to be more than ninety years old. The farm, now occupied by Mr. Head, was also cleared by Mr. Starbird and his sons, Aaron, William, David, John and Sheldon.
Samuel Starbird (1786-1864), son of Simeon Starbird, came to North Hartland from New Hampshire with his wife, Nancy Rogers, and settled with his siblings and parents in North Hartland.
Nathaniel Starbird (1793-1875), son of Simeon Starbird, came to North Hartland from New Hampshire with his wife, Elizabeth Gould, and settled with his siblings and parents in North Hartland.
Solomon Stafford (1785-1851) came to North Hartland from Brighton Plantation (North Hill) about 80 years ago (mid-1820s) with his wife, Anna Thompson, and settled near Stafford Pond which took its name from him. Their children were; Elizabeth (m. John Dore), Horatio d. 1826, Jacob (m. Roxanna Starbird), Orrin (m. Rosetta Brann), Joel (m. Sarah Starbird), Solomon (m. Hannah Oliver), Johnson (m. Mercy Brand), Elias (m. Mary Bean), Leonard (m. Meribah Elliott), Richard (m. Margaret Field), Albion (m. Evalin Elliott), Martha (m. John Towle) & John (m1. Emaline Jordan, m2. Sarah Woodbridge).
Uzziel Withee (1765-1862), a Veteran of the Revolutionary War, came from Norridgewock to North Hartland with his wife, Betsy Stevens, by 1810. Uzziel and his brother Luke Withee were early settlers of Norridgewock in 1783. He lived to the age of nearly one hundred years and raised a large family, many of whose descendants still live in Hartland. He signed the petition for Hartland’s incorporation as a town in 1820.
Ezra Withee (1802-1876), son of Uzziel Withee, remained in North Hartland and built a saw mill and shingle mill from which that section of the town was for some time known as Withee’s Mills. His wife was Rebecca Gould and their children were; Samuel, John, William, Ezra Jr, & Mary. He signed the petition for Hartland’s incorporation as a town in 1820.
Imlah Withee (1800-1869), son of Uzziel Withee, was for years a miller in Hartland, and ran the grist mill which was located near where the box mill stands at present. This mill was used as a grist mill until within a few years. Mr. Withee also owned a farm in the north part of the town.
John Butterfield, Sr (1781-1857) was born in Goffstown, New Hampshire and came to Hartland in 1814 with his wife, Margaret Moor (sister of Sally Moor) and four children with four more born after their arrival. Mr. Butterfield cleared the farm now occupied by his grandson, Walter Butterfield, and built a log house. Their children were; Hannah (m. Josiah Bacon), Peltiah, William, Esther (m. Warren Fuller), Laura (m. Thomas Fuller), Nancy (m1. Mr. Shean, m2. William Andrews), John Jr, Joseph & Hiram.
Solomon Ricker (1771-1848) and his wife, Abigail Goodwin, came from Alfred, New Hampshire more than 100 years ago (1812) and settled on the cross road in back of Willis Briggs’ where he built a log house and cleared a small farm. Their children were; Louisa (m. Thomas Tripp), Lois (m. Brackett), Maria (m. Hilton) & Eliza (m. Welch).
Thomas Tripp (1789-1885) came to Hartland from Athens about 1835 and settled on the place where Willard Palmer lives at present. He married first to Agnass Welch who died in Athens in 1832. Their children were: Susan, Jacob, Luther, John & Jesse. His second wife was Louisa Ricker, daughter of Solomon Ricker, and to her were born; Eliza (m. Briggs), Mary (m. Winslow), Louisa (m. Allen Webber) & Abbie.
Isaiah Elliott (1792-1860), a Veteran of the War of 1812, came from Bowdoinham with his wife Betsey Maloon first to Wellington where he lived for a short time and by 1830 to North Hartland. He bought a farm near Moose Pond which had been partly cleared by a Mr. Glidden which had a log house on it. Mr. Elliott cleared the remainder of the farm and built upon it the present house which is occupied by his grandson Adelbert Elliott. Their children were; Israel, Daniel, Abigail, Nancy, Sarah, Rachel (m. David Getchell), Washington, John (m. Philomelia Starbird), Meribah (m1. Leonard Stafford, m2. James Reddan) & Jacob.
James Hinton (1816-1857) was the first member of the Hinton family to come to town from Bloomfield (Skowhegan) about 80 years ago (1832). He cleared a farm at North Hartland and built a log house just southeast of where the present buildings stand. Mr. Hinton cared for his aged father and mother who had come to this country from England some time before. He married Sabrina Starbird, daughter of Samuel Starbird. Their children were; Elvira (m. John Littlefield), LaForest, Frederick, James, & Sewell.
A personal account of the Starbird Family in North Hartland written by their nephew Daniel Caverly of Barrington, New Hampshire
“A venerable kindred friend who discourses substantially as follows; I visited several times Simeon Starbird’s family after he left Barrington and settled in the East, some two hundred miles away. He with his family proceeded to a high ridge of land in the wilderness, and on this selected the numerous acres on which to erect their habitations. With a strong arm they soon cut a road to the settlement through the woods, some four or five miles from the then small village of Athens.
They erected log cabins, felled the native forest, cleared out the stumps and stones, and in due time realized and enjoyed the transcendent rewards of their own independent, frugal industry, and the sweet satisfaction and repose of honest husbandmen.
I was there in 1819. The father then had already erected a framed house, but the sons and their families were still living in log cottages, crude, but warm and convenient. Benches were in fashion in the place of chairs. Their general good cheer and kind hospitalities were grateful; not soon to be forgotten.
In 1839, I again journeyed East, and again visited the plantation, still under cultivation and much improved, but Simeon and Abigail and their sons were not there. They were all at rest, and another generation inhabited the several homesteads. Such is life in its best estate.”
Two Public Cemeteries are located in North Hartland where many early settlers and their families are interred. Click below for details:
These hearty early settlers of North Hartland were mostly self-sustainable raising their own crops and livestock on their homesteads to provide for their families. Their occasional need for raw goods, supplies, services and education were typically provided from the small population centers for several decades until the Village eventually became the business, religious, educational and political center of Hartland.
The first of four major town line changes was made by the newly incorporated Town of Hartland on February 8, 1821 when it ceded the northwest corner of Hartland to the Town of Athens following along part of the northern shore of Upper Great Moose Lake and continuing along the natural course of its Black Stream outlet into Cornville. A notation on the 1860 Map below notes, “Stream is Town Line” although the colored boundaries are incorrect.
North Hartland – 1860
To see a complete and enlargeable version of this original map, click the link below:
The first documentation of Hartland Common Schools comes from 1820 when 6 school districts were established throughout the newly incorporated town in the major population settlement regions. This originally included 3 districts in North Hartland with one covering the Stafford Pond area, one for the Starbird Pond area and one for Bog Pond to Athens area. Districts and boundaries changed over the decades and at one point, up to a dozen districts existed in Hartland.
5 of the known Schoolhouses located in the various North Hartland School Districts included:
Stafford School: Near Ferry Road at Stafford Pond; closed by 1900
Webber School: Replaced Stafford School in 1905 near Ferry Road at Stafford Pond; closed 1931
Starbird School: Near Ferry Road at Starbird Pond, aka North Hartland School; closed 1917
Burrill School: On the former Burrill Road; closed by 1900
Corson’s Corner School: Near Black Stream, aka Coston’s Corner School, later became part of Athen Schools; closed 1933
Known Schoolhouse Locations in North Hartland – 1883
Great Moose Lake is the area’s largest body of water at 3,584 acres with its entire southern shoreline bordered by North Hartland. Its main outlet, the West Branch of the Sebasticook River, along with numerous streams and brooks, also run through the region.
Black Stream is an outlet of Great Moose Lake and is the largest of all the streams in the area. It was originally all part of Hartland before the first of several town line changes were made in 1821 ceding most of the northwest corner of Hartland to Athens. Black Stream is now the northwesterly and most of the western Hartland boundary between Athens, Cornville and Canaan.
Starbird Pond is a 108 acre pond situated south of the Athens Road (Route 151) in the northwest area of North Hartland. Its mean depth is 10 feet and maximum depth is 24 feet. This pond drains via an unnamed stream into Great Moose Lake and has no other major outlets or inlets.
Bog Pond is a 26 acre pond situated southwest of Starbird Pond. It is surrounded by wetland with no major inlets. It drains to form the East Branch of Black Stream which joins Black Stream proper eventually joining the West Branch of the Sebasticook River in Palmyra east of Pittsfield Avenue.
Stafford Pond is a 134 acre pond situated south of the Athens Road (Route 151) in North Hartland. Its mean depth is 8 feet and maximum depth is 22 feet. The pond drains via the smaller Withee Brook connecting into Mud Pond then both drain via the larger section of Withee Brook into Great Moose Lake. It has no other major outlets or inlets.
Mud Pond is a 9 acre pond adjacent to Stafford Pond which was originally known as Withee Pond. It drains via the larger Withee Brook into Great Moose Lake.
Numerous descendants of the early settlers of North Hartland still remained in the region in the 1880s as seen on the map below. The map also shows the existing town line change made between North Hartland and Athens at its northwest corner following along the shoreline of Upper Great Moose Lake and continuing along the natural course of Black Stream into Cornville.
North Hartland – 1883
To see a complete and enlargeable version of this original map, click on the link below:
Kingman Littlefield (1823-1902) was the oldest of Charles Littlefield & Nancy Ham’s 8 children born in North Hartland. He built his house on property his father owned on the northern side of the Athens Road near Black Stream where he raised his family of 10 children; 6 from his first marriage to Crystania Starbird and following her death at 32 years old in 1862, 4 more children with his second wife, Sophia Wing.
Della, Mina, Sophia & Kingman Littlefield at their North Hartland Homestead with Clarence Kimball – 1890s
Daughters of Kingman H. Littlefield and his 2nd wife, Sophia Ann Wing – c1895
Clockwise from Left:
Flora (Littlefield) Longfellow (1871-1957) | Martha “Mattie” (Littlefield) Malbon (1864-1916)
Andella “Della” (Littlefield) Clough (1867-1952) | Mina (Littlefield) Clough (1875-1960)
Samuel H. Littlefield (1825-1917) was the second born of Charles Littlefield & Nancy Ham’s children and also built a home on property his father owned on the northern side of the Athens Road a little further back from Kingman’s home. He had 2 children with his first wife, Almira Starbird, sister of his brother Kingman’s wife. Following her death in 1859 at 29 years old, remarried Sophia Hoyt and had 6 more children. Another younger brother, Franklin Littlefield (1845-1913), built his home between Samuel and Kingman’s lots before he moved to Bellingham, Washington by 1889 where he remained until his death.
Samuel Littlefield celebrating his 90th Birthday – 1915
John Littlefield (1832-1865) was the fifth of Charles Littlefield & Nancy Ham’s children and also built a home on property his father owned on the southern side of the Athens Road across from his brother Kingman’s home. John has just recently built the house in 1860 when he suddenly died at 32 years old leaving his wife, Elvira Hinton, with 2 young sons and a daughter aged 7 years, 5 years and 2 years old respectively. Elvira never remarried and remained at the homestead where she raised the children, with assistance from family and friends, to adulthood before she passed away in 1888.
John & Elvira’s middle child, Maurice Alton Littlefield (1860-1937), took over the homestead and following his marriage to Lillian Gertrude Hart (1875-1958) in 1894, they raised their 2 children, Gertrude Elvira Littlefield (1895-1993) & Alton Maurice Littlefield (1902-1965). Alton would then take over the homestead following his parents’ deaths remaining there until his death.
Maurice Littlefield with his wife Lillian Hart and their children Alton Maurice Littlefield & Gertrude Elvira Littlefield – 1905
Elmer Littlefield, son of Alton Littlefield & Helen Ham, took over the family homestead and except for modernizing the basic systems and a couple of additions, has basically kept the house in its original state. We recently recreated the 1905 homestead photo above with his wife Beatrice Springer. The former Kingman Littlefield property is in the background with the new house built by Elmer’s brother Elwin Littlefield.
Elmer & Beatrice Littlefield at the original John Littlefield Homestead – 2019
John Hancock Elliott (1830-1907), son of Isaiah Elliott & Betsey Maloon, married Philomelia Starbird (1833-1910) and raised 7 children at their North Hartland Homestead between Stafford & Starbird Pond on the Athens Road; Manfred, Ellis, Elsie, Mabel, Edelbert, Wilmot & Dorothy.
John H. Elliott & Philomelia Starbird at their North Hartland Homestead
In 2016, Carl McKenney of Skowhegan graciously donated several photos of the Burrill Homestead & Sawmill belonging to his grandfather, Walter McKenney, who worked at the sawmill. Hartland Historical Society Member Brenda Seekins compiled the information along with further research for an inside look at the Burrill Family and the sawmill operations provided on the link below:
The Burrill Homestead was home to a large family sawmill operation from the early 1880s to the late 1920s. Located in North Hartland on its western border with Cornville, the sprawling area consisting of some 3,000 acres is commonly referred to as Burrill Woods.
Burrill Farm House – North Hartland – 1898
Burrill Sawmill – North Hartland – 1898
Burrill Sawmill Crew – North Hartland – 1898
Burrill Sawmill – North Hartland – 1898
In 1911, the Hartland Water Company was created and soon began construction of a new water main pipeline from Starbird Pond in North Hartland into Hartland Village. The 6 mile main line was completed in 1913 and successfully fulfilled the water needs of residents and businesses in the Village for almost 90 years.
A digital scan of the 1943 Map is forthcoming and will replace this rough photographed version.
North Hartland – 1943