Alexander/Crawford History

Town News

By John Dudley 

& Cassie Oakes


Do you know what public lots are?  Do we have them in Alexander?  Do all towns have public lots?

Rufus Putman’s survey of townships 1-7 in 1784 (today towns of Perry, Dennysville &Pembroke, Charlotte, Robbinston, Calais, Baring and Baileyville) and townships 8-12 in 1785 (today known as Eastport, Trescott, Edmunds, Cutler and Whiting).  In 1786 Putman drew a plan for the other townships in Bingham’s million-acre purchase.

Eight townships north of Baileyville, Princeton, Big Lake Township and Greenlaw Chopping Township were surveyed in 1797 by Samuel Titcomb.  TIRI TS=Fowler, T2RI TS=Indian Township, T3RI TS=Grand Lake Stream Plantation, TIR2 TS=Dyer, T2R2 TS=Waite, T3R2 TS-Talmadge, TIR3 TS=Lambert Lake and TIR4 TS=Vanceboro.  Titcomb did not mark off public lots.

North and west of Titcomb’s Survey are ten townships and one tract that had no public lots upon their creation.  To date John Dudley have not found the surveyor’s name.  Today we know those places as T6RI NBPP, Kossuth, Topsfield, Codyville, T8R3 NBPP, Brookton, Forest Township, Kilgore, T8R4 NBPP, Danforth Tract and T9R4 (Forest City).  None with original public lots.

Some of the political units listed now have public lots.  On September 16, 1845 the Washington County Commissioners (Micah Talbot, George Cornstock & James Moore) created a commission of three men to locate public lots in fifteen townships in northern Washington County, mostly north of the west branch of the St. Croix.  Those men were Edward S. Dyer, Jones C. Haycock both of Calais and Matthias Vickery, Jr. of Topsfield.

John hasn’t found evidence of public lots in Indian Township, Dyer, Lambert Lake, Topsfield and Kossuth.  Maybe someone will set John right on this.  Towns set off from others seem to not have public lots (Meddybemps, Lubec, Machiasport, Marshfield, Whitneyville, East Machias, Beals, Jonesport and, Rogue Bluff.  Is John wrong?  Many townships had had public lots, but no people.

Massachusetts and later Maine set off public lots for the public good.  Generally this was 320 acres each for education, the ministry, the first settled minister and for future government needs (1280 acres).

Next week we’ll look at Alexander’s public lots.