“The Square next to the Baptist Church to be called Warren Square.”

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Warren Square with the Fuller & Buck Store on the left looking across to Commercial Street – c1877

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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. 

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We currently have no clear evidence of when Warren Square began its long part in Hartland history although early records do indicate a road running closer along Sebasticook River before Elm Street was built. One possible namesake for the locally famous central location in the Village is Dr. John Warren who purchased the original township in 1799 of what became Hartland. However, given Dr. Warren’s residence in Boston and his 1815 death early in the town’s establishment, his son “Squire” Henry Warren, who took over his father’s ownership of the township and lived in Palmyra, may have been a more familiar face to local residents as formal streets began to develop and be named.

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Sewell Prescott, Jr built the first known store in Warren Square at the corner of Main Street about 1827 which also served as an early location for the Village Post Office. By the late 1840s, James Fuller, Jr moved to the Village from West Hartland where he built his homestead on Elm Street and purchased the former Prescott store. By 1860, Mr. D. Dudley had built a house and opened a Shoe Shop in Warren Square.

Warren Square – 1860

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James Fuller, Jr was later joined in his business by Andrew H. Buck around 1865 operating as the Fuller & Buck General Store.

Fuller & Buck General Store – c1877

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In late 1878, a huge fire ravaged the Fuller & Buck Store and destroyed it. The great fire was at least in part an impetus for the town to build it own dedicated Fire House on Water Street in 1879 as the existing fire fighting apparatus had been stored at the Linn Woolen Mill and had been locked up on the day of the fire causing a fateful delay in fighting the blaze. 

James Fuller, Jr rebuilt a smaller store building on the site while Andrew H. Buck opened his own store on the lower side of the Sebasticook River Island. Buck later moved to Commercial Street following the Great Flood of 1887 operating as A. H. Buck Stove & Tin Shop.

Warren Square with the new James Fuller, Jr Store on Left – c1886 (Photo 1)

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Warren Square – c1886 (Photo 2)

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Warren Square after Linn Block was built next to Hartland Drug Store on Commercial Street – c1888

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Warren Square – c1888

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Warren Square with Hartland House – c1895

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At the 1897 Town Meeting, the people of Hartland voted to accept an updated list of names for streets in the Village including, “The square next to the Baptist Church to be called; Warren Square.”

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Warren Square Full View – c1900

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The former D. Dudley home in the corner of the square later became the home of Dr. Harris H. Pushor who took over primary physician duties in Hartland following the death of Dr. Calvin Blake in 1870. Dr. Pushor built the little white building next his house which served as his office. Following Dr. Pushor’s death, Dr. Edwin A. Bean and his wife Loantha moved from Newport into the house and took over the office building. The small, dark building was a jeweler store operated among others by Harry Harris followed by the former James Fuller, Jr store on the corner.

Warren Square – c1900

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This photo taken at Warren Square was fortunately dated providing us with many hints into the timeline of the area.

Warren Square – July 4, 1908

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We continue to search for dated photos or documents to confirm the exact year the Bandstand was built in Warren Square but the evidence we have gathered so far puts the construction year sometime around 1911. The earliest and only known dated photo of it, seen below in the background from March of 1912, was taken on Elm Street near the Hartland House showing it was in place by this time.

Bandstand in background – March 1912  (Photo courtesy of Joan Joy Tibbetts)

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None of the Hartland Town Reports from this time period show any mention of citizens voting to build the Bandstand, however later reports imply the Hartland Town Band may have been responsible for building it with private funds. In 1920, they requested assistance from the town as noted, “Article 38: To see if the town will vote to assist the Hartland Band financially in any manner, or to act upon anything relat¬≠ing thereto.” Provisions for financing the repairs included the band performing at least 12 concerts annually between June 1st & September 14th.

Warren Square with new Bandstand – c1912

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By the time this photo was taken, an addition had been added to the former Fuller Store on the corner. The former doctor’s white house in the corner had also been remodeled with a new roof line. Power poles with lines crossing the photo can be seen with the first new street light hanging at the intersection.

Warren Square – c1918

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Memorial Day Observance following the end of “The Great War” as seen in this dated photo at Warren Square in 1919 with the Fuller Store still in place.

Warren Square – Memorial Day – 1919

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The shadow of the Fuller Store can be seen in this photo taken between 1912 & 1919.

Panoramic Photo taken from Warren Square

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Between 1919 and 1920, the store James Fuller, Jr built was moved to Water Street to make way for a new building at Warren Square.

Former James Fuller, Jr Store on Water Street – 1923 (3rd Building)

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Replacing the former James Fuller, Jr Store at Warren Square by 1920 was a large 3 story building built by  Fred & Lena (Webber) Davis  and Lena’s brother Perley Webber who went into the grocery business together and operated on the 1st floor as “Davis & Webber”. Fred & Lena also purchased the former doctor’s corner house and office building next to it and resided in the house with their only child Gertrude Davis.

Warren Square with new Davis Block – c1925

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Davis & WebberOne of the stores in Hartland that attracts the attention is the fine grocery store of Davis & Webber. Especially is it to be noted on account of its newness for they have recently moved into their new quarters, which are most inviting. The standard makes of flour and cereals, the best brands of canned goods, fresh dairy products and fruits are among the excellent stock carried here, their policy being to give the public the very best value for the lowest possible prices. The meat department is kept in the most approved sanitary condition, all meats kept in their large refrigerator and handled by those who understand thoroughly the art of cutting. Here you will find heavy western beef, veal, pork and lamb and the housewife will find satisfaction in buying her meats from this first class market, and where the freshest of fish is also carried. The Home Bakery department is an attractive feature of this store and is largely patronized throughout the town for the excellence of its products. With the finest of quality and service, this store is worthy of the high reputation it holds in the community. ~ Pittsfield Advertiser – October 18, 1923

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Following Fred’s death in 1932, Lena closed the grocery business soon after and remained living at the house with Gertrude until they moved to Academy Street in the early 1940s. She leased parts of the Davis & Webber Block to several different businesses over the next several years. In the front basement floor on the Main Street side, Central Maine Power had an office while the 1st floor of the Warren Square facade held a delicatessen, barber shop, funeral parlor and restaurant. Later, a pool room was also located there. The 2nd & 3rd floors were used as apartments for many years. Lena would eventually purchase the Hartland House on Elm Street which she still owned in 1943.

Warren Square – c1940

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During World War II, Americans were called upon to contribute to the War Cause with valuable resources including metal and rubber.

Bandstand at Warren Square – 1944

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In 1949, Hartland built an Honor Roll for its World War I & World War II Veterans. A dedication ceremony was held to unveil the new Honor Roll.

Veterans of the Military Branches lead the Honor Roll Ceremony procession down Academy Street to Warren Square

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4 of the Hartland men Killed or Missing in Action during World War II were honored with a Gold Star Presentation to their family members.

Gold Star Ceremony

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Hartland Honor Roll at Warren Square

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Soon after 1943, Lewis H. Barden purchased the Hartland House on Elm Street from Lena Davis and in 1945 rented the front 1st floor unit to Donald Shorey of Pittsfield who moved his Hartland funeral parlor business from across the street at the former James Fuller, Jr house. Following Lena’s death in 1948, Barden purchased the rest of Lena’s Warren Square properties around 1950 including the Davis & Webber Block, the corner house and the small former doctor’s office building next to it.

Although Barden had just announced his retirement from active business in 1949 and had sold his Commercial Street store, he reopened a grocery store business at the Davis & Webber Block managed by his daughter Laura Barden and her husband Donald Crummett with Lewis’ assistance right up until his death in 1960.

Warren Square former Davis Block now owned by L. H. Barden – 1955

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The former doctor’s office building located between the Davis Block and the corner house was moved by Lewis H. Barden in 1950 to its current location on Elm Street (future Gervais house). The building was actually built in the 1870s serving first as the office of Dr. Harris H. Pushor then used by  Dr. Edwin A. Bean following Dr. Pushor’s death.

Former Doctor’s Office Moved – 1950

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Following her father’s death, Donald & Laura (Barden) Crummett continued operating the store into the early 1960s at what had become known as the Barden Block.

Barden Block – Memorial Day Parade 1958  (Photo courtesy of Laurel Knowles White)

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In the early 1960s, LaForrest “Fod” Wright purchased the Barden Block opening his 2nd grocery store location in the area. Fod is the son of Harry & Olive (Wood) Wright.

1970 Advertisement

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The basement floor of the building with its Main Street entry was used by several businesses over the course of the building’s history with Central Maine Power’s local office being one of the first in the 1950s. In the mid-1960s, Herbie Brooks of Dexter opened a restaurant in the basement to go with his original Dexter location. Soon after Joe & Gertie Bizeau took over the business operating as “Joe & Gertie’s Restaurant”  until an August 30th fire in 1969 caused major damage to their restaurant and other sections of the building. Joe & Gertie moved their restaurant soon after to Commercial Street at the former E. P. Dyer Block. Several businesses used the basement location after the fire including a clothing store, video rental store, day care and beauty shop until the building’s final fiery demise in 1994.

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pittsfield Advertiser Article – Printed September 3, 1969

 

 

 

Basement Floor of the Davis-Barden-Wright Block with its Main Street Entry – 1987

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In the late 1970s, the former Davis house in the corner, owned by Meredith Randlett at the time, was razed and an extension was built onto the existing Wright Store Block.

Wright’s Shurway Grocery Store following Store Extension – 1985

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Rendering of Warren Square Bandstand by Beacher W. Payne, Jr – 1980

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In 1987, Rocky & Vicki (Getchell) Rice moved their V & R Variety Store business from the former Hartland Drug Store location into the Wright Store Block. They had opened their 1st store on Commercial Street in 1977 at the former McCormack/Pelkie Store building before moving into the drug store block in 1981.

1995 Advertisement

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V & R Variety Store – 1990

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In 1990, through the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers and financial assistance from the town, the Bandstand was completely restored with a few remodeling modifications including the removal of its tall base & stairs.

Bandstand following Restoration & Reconstruction – 1990

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In 1994, the V & R Store Block was destroyed by fire and Rocky & Vicki soon moved their business into their new building at the former Hartland Emporium lot on Main Street. Warren Square remained a vacant lot for several years until 1999 when the entire square, along with the former Hartland House on Elm Street, were razed and replaced by a new Bangor Savings Bank location. The Bandstand was left standing.

Former Warren Square replaced by Bangor Saving Bank –  1999

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Two new granite Veteran Memorial Benches were placed at the Bandstand. The benches were donated by the Galen Cole Foundation and the Cole Land Transportation Museum of Bangor. Several businesses and individuals donated to the effort including: Elmer & Beatrice Littlefield – Project Coordinators | E. W. Littlefield & Sons – Equipment & Materials | Hammond Lumber of Skowhegan – Insulation | Haley Construction – Crushed Stone & Concrete | Dave Bowden & Crew – Placing & Finishing Concrete | Edwin W. Littlefield & Christopher Littlefield – Time and Labor.

Town Manager Peggy Morgan, Elmer Littlefield, Chris Littlefield & Dwayne Littlefield  (Photo by Brenda Seekins)

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Warren Square Bandstand – Decorated by Hartland Historical Society – Memorial Day 2016  (Photo by Brenda Seekins)

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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 Hartland Town Office Location – 2019  (Photo courtesy of Will Bunker Photography)