“The Square next to the Baptist Church to be called Warren Square.”
Warren Square looking across to Commercial Street – c1877
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.
Undoubtedly named for Dr. John Warren who purchased the original township in 1799, we have no clear evidence yet of just when Warren Square began its long part of Hartland’s history. Early records indicate a road running along the Sebasticook River before Elm Street was built.
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
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
In late 1878, a fire ravaged the Fuller & Buck Store and destroyed it. James Fuller, Jr rebuilt a smaller store building on the site while Andrew H. Buck opened a store on the lower side of the Sebasticook River Island. Buck later moved to Commercial Street operating as A. H. Buck Stove & Tin Shop. The great fire was an impetus for the town to build it own dedicated Fire House on Water Street 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.
Warren Square with the new Fuller Store on Left – c1886 (Photo 1)
Warren Square – c1886 (Photo 2)
Warren Square after Linn Block was built on Commercial Street – c1888
Warren Square – c1888
Warren Square with Hartland House – c1895
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.”
Warren Square Full View – c1900
Warren Square – c1900
Warren Square – July 4, 1908
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 – 1912 (Photo courtesy of Joan Joy Tibbetts)
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 relating 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
Warren Square – Memorial Day 1919
At the time of these photos, an addition had been added to the former Fuller Store on the corner. The 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 a new “street light” hanging at the intersection.
Warren Square – c1920
Warren Square Panoramic – c1920
Sometime between 1920 and before the Great Flood of 1923, the store James Fuller, Jr built was moved to Water Street.
Former James Fuller, Jr Store on Water Street – 1923 (3rd Building)
In the mid-1920s, Fred & Lena (Webber) Davis built the large Davis Block and purchased the 2 houses in Warren Square, the larger being their residence, and the Hartland House. Following Fred’s death in 1932, Lena and her daughter, Gertrude, remained at the house until her death.
Warren Square with Davis Block – c1925
The Davis Block housed several different businesses over the 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.
Warren Square – c1930
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
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
The 5 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
Hartland Honor Roll at Warren Square
Following Lena Davis’ death in 1948, Lewis H. Barden purchased all of her properties in 1949 which included her house, the former Hartland House and the Davis Block where he moved his grocery store from his Commercial Street location.
Warren Square former Davis Block now owned by L. H. Barden – 1955
The small building which had been 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). This small building was actually built in the 1870s serving first as the office of Dr. Harris H. Pushor who had taken over primary physicians duties following the death of Dr. Calvin Blake in 1870. Dr. Edwin A. Bean had moved into the house and took over the office building following Pushor’s death.
Former Doctor’s Office Moved – 1950
Lewis Barden, Sr had been grooming his son, Lewis Barden, Jr, to take over the family store business since the younger Barden had returned from active duty in World War II. He had graduated from Hartland Academy in 1943 and was working as the Store Manager at his father’s store when he succumbed to illness on June 27, 1949. Instead, Barden’s daughter, Laura (Barden) Crummett, and her husband Donald took over duties at the store operating it for the next several years into the early 1960s.
Barden Block as Memorial Parade passes by – 1958 (Photo courtesy of Laurel (Knowles) White
LaForrest “Fod” Wright purchased the former Barden Block opening his 2nd store location in the early 1960s. In the late 1970s, the former Davis residence in the corner, owned by Meredith Randlett at the time, was razed and an extension was built onto the existing store block.
Fod is the son of Harry & Olive (Wood) Wright. Olive’s brother, Guy Wood, owned and operated a Barber Shop on Commercial Street. Their grandson, David Wright, eventually purchased the former Randlett’s Market on Commercial Street which he still operates in 2020.
Wright’s Shurway Grocery Store following Store Extension
Rendering of Warren Square Bandstand by Beacher W. Payne, Jr – 1980
In 1987, Rocky & Vicki (Getchell) Rice moved their V&R Variety Store into the former Wright Block. They opened their 1st store on Commercial Street in 1977 at the former McCormack/Pelkie Store building before moving it into the former Hartland Drug Store location in 1981.
V&R Variety Store – 1990
In 1990, through the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers and some financial assistance from the town, the Bandstand was completely restored with a few remodeling modifications including the removal of the tall base & stairs.
Bandstand following Restoration & Reconstruction 1990
In 1994, the V&R Store Block was severely damaged by fire and Rocky & Vicki 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
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)
Warren Square Bandstand – Decorated by the Hartland Historical Society – Memorial Day 2016 (Photo by Brenda Seekins)
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)