Hallowell, Maine

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Hallowell is a city in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,467 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

The city is named for Benjamin Hallowell, a Boston merchant and one of the Kennebec Proprietors, holders of land originally granted to the Plymouth Company by the British monarchy in the 1620s.

First to settle here was Deacon Pease Clark, who emigrated with his wife and son Peter from Attleborough, Massachusetts, in the spring of 1762. Legend has it that after disembarking on the west side of the Kennebec, near present-day Water Street, the Clarks took shelter in their overturned cart. On a riverfront lot measuring 50 rods (275 yards, about 250 meters), the Clark family raised corn, rye and other crops. The land on which the fire department now stands was the first to be cleared. [1]

In 1797, the modern city of Augusta split from Hallowell to be a separate town. The part of Hallowell that is the current city was then known as "The Hook".[2] Today, the city's population (2,467) is only slightly smaller than it was in 1820, the year Maine seceded from Massachusetts and became a state. Yet 183 years ago, Hallowell's inhabitants enjoyed the services of 71 stores along Water Street (by contrast, Augusta had a population of 1,000 and just 20 merchants). Thriving industries included shipbuilding (between 1783 and 1901, 50 ships were launched from Hallowell's wharves), trading, publishing and logging. Two grist mills, five sawmills and two slaughterhouses served the needs of residents near and far. [3]

In 1815, the first granite quarried near the Manchester town line signaled the birth of an industry that would support Hallowell until 1908, when cement displaced stone as the construction material of choice. In 1826, the ice industry began in earnest, employing thousands over the next 75 years. Frozen blocks loaded onto Hallowell's schooners travelled as far as Cuba and the West Indies. Other local products exported via the Kennebec (and, after 1857, by train) from Hallowell included sandpaper, textiles, rope, linseed oil, oilcloth, wire, books and shoes. [4]

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