MAINE was formed from Union, March 27, 1848.1 A part was annexed to Chenango in 1856. It is located about the center of the west border of the County. Its surface consists of ranges of hills, separated by numerous narrow valleys, the principal of which--the valley of Nanticoke Creek--extends in a north and south direction, a little west of the center of the town. The hills rise from 400 to 600 feet above the valley of Chenango River. The principal streams are Nanticoke, Bradley and Crocker creeks. Bradley Creek rises a little east of the center, and, flowing in a south-west direction, empties into Nanticoke Creek a little south of the south line in Union; Crocker Creek enters the town near the south-west corner, and, flowing in a general south-east direction, discharges its waters into the same stream, about the same distance north of the south line. Several minor tributaries of the Nanticoke spread, fan-like, over the north part, and all pursue a southerly direction. Little Choconut Creek flows almost due south through the south-east corner, entering the town on the north line of the southern angle which projects into the town of Chenango.
The soil is a gravelly loam largely intermixed with the underlying slate. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in lumbering and dairying. Two "farmers' clubs" have been organized, and periodical meetings are held at the residences of the different members, and the deliberations are participated in by the families of the members. Crops, stock, out-buildings, agricultural implements, &c., are critically examined and commented upon. The subjects discussed at these meetings are designed to embrace all matters of interest to a farming community. Such meetings nurture amicable social relations and afford opportunities for the interchange of ideas, which will tend to stimulate a spirit of generous rivalry and promote the farming interest of the County at large.
The population of the town in 1870 was 2,035. Its area is 27,319¾ acres, of which, in 1865, according to the census of that year, 15,738¾, were improved.
During the year ending Sept. 30, 1871, the town contained thirteen school districts and employed fourteen teachers. The number of children of school age was 634; the number attending school, 556; the average attendance, 283; the amount expended for school purposes, $3,652; and the value of school houses and sires, $5,325.
MAINE (p. v.) is located on the west bank of Nanticoke Creek, west of the center of the town. The principal part of the village is built in the form of a square. Its well laid out and neatly shaded streets present a pleasing aspect. It contains four stores, three churches, (Baptist, Congregational and M. E.) one hotel, a tannery,2 a rake factory,3 a saw mill, a tin shop, three blacksmith shops, two cooper shops, a wagon shop, two shoe shops, one tailor shop and three hundred inhabitants.
EAST MAINE (p. o.) is located in the east part, south of the center, and contains a cooper shop, wagon shop and blacksmith shop.
BOWERS CORNERS is a hamlet located one mile north of Maine village and contains a store, a shoe shop, blacksmith shop and wagon shop.
The two principal saw mills in the town are Pollard's and Baker's. The latter is a steam mill and is capable of sawing from 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 feet of lumber annually, though the yearly average does not exceed one and one-half million feet.
The town was principally settled by families from New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Benj. Norton settled about three-fourths of a mile above the site of Maine village, in 1794. He was a native of Stockbridge, Mass. In 1797 Alfred and Russell Gates, two brothers, came from the vicinity of Binghamton, where they had located four years previously, and settled in the north-west part of the town, now known as the Gates settlement. They cut their road through the forest from Centerville, a distance of seven miles. At that period they were in the habit of carrying their dinners to work with them; but they were obliged to be as careful in the selection of food as the most confirmed dyspeptic, as anything emitting an agreeable odor was sure to attract to them an escort of wolves, whose number and presence were far from awakening pleasurable emotions. Daniel Howard and Winthrop Roe came the same year. Moses Delano and Nathaniel Slosson are said to have been the first settlers in the vicinity of East Maine. They located there about the beginning of the present century, and were followed by Samuel Stone and Heman Payne in 1816, and by William Hogg in 1836. The latter was joined a few years later by a number of his relatives, who gave the settlement the name of Mount Ettrick, in honor of their uncle.4 By industry and intelligent farming they have done much to improve the locality in which they settled. James Ketchum, from Conn., came here from near Binghamton, where he settled about 1790, and located about three miles south-west of Maine village, on lot 155 of the Boston Purchase, in 1802. Timothy Caswell, who appears to have been the first settler in the locality known as the Allen settlement, located there in 1815, and was followed some five or six years later by John Mareau, and in 1836 by Ebenezer and Matthew Allen, from Otsego County. Marsena H. McIntyre, from Otsego County, settled in the north-west corner of the town, in what is known, both as North Maine and the McIntyre settlement, on the 7th of May, 1829. The north-east part of the town was the last settled. It is known as "Canada"--a name it owed to the following incident: It was covered with a growth of very fine timber, which persons in its neighborhood were accustomed to appropriate to their own uses. Warrants were frequently issued for the guilty parties, but the inquiries of the officers invariably elicited the reply that those for whom they were searching had gone to Canada.
During the war of the Rebellion this town furnished 190 men, nearly one hundred of whom belonged to the 50th Engineers. Of this number fifteen were killed.
The Congregational Church, located at Maine village, was organized with forty members, in 1818, and re-organized in 1833. Its first church edifice was erected in 1824; and the present one, which will seat 260 persons, in 1840, at a cost of $3,000. The first pastor was Rev. Naham Gould; the present one is Rev. William T. Hayward. There are 220 members. The Church property is valued at $7,500.
The First Baptist Church of Maine was organized with thirty-one members, by a Council5 convened at the Congregational Church, Jan. 21, 1835. The church edifice will seat 300 persons, was erected in 1840, at a cost of $1500, and dedicated in Dec. of that year. Rev. William Gates was the first pastor; Rev. H. R. Dakin is the present one. There are 170 members. The value of Church property is $6,000.
The M. E. Church, located near Union Center, was organized with forty-five members, in 1836, and its house of worship, which will seat two hundred persons, was erected the following year. Rev. S. Stocking, was the first pastor; the present one is Rev. Wesley Sartelle.
The M. E. Church, located at North Maine, was organized with thirteen members, in 1844, by Marsena H. McIntyre, Orange H. Arnold, Russell Robinson and George M. Hardendorf. Their church edifice was erected in 1870, and dedicated March 8, 1871. It cost $3,000, which is the present value of Church property, and will seat 180 persons. There are thirty-eight members. Rev. Thomas Pitts was the first pastor; Rev. John A. Wood is the present one.
The M. E. Church, located at Maine village, was re-organized (the date of its first organization is not known) with forty members in 1866, by Russell Dodds, Clinton Cleveland, Henry Turner, Matthew Allen, James Howard, Daniel Dudley and Henry Van Tuyl. The church edifice, which will seat 150 persons, was erected in 1847 or '8, at a cost of $2,000, which is one-half the present value of Church property. The first pastor was Rev. Edgar Sibley; the present one is Rev. John A. Wood. There are forty members.
The Abbott Church, (M. E.) located at Dimmick Hill, (East Maine) was organized with forty members in 1868, in which year the church edifice, which will seat 250 persons, was erected, at a cost of $2,200. The church was dedicated by Rev. Daniel W. Bristoe, D. D., Jan. 7, 1869. Rev. ____ Abbott was the first pastor; Rev. Edgar Sibley is the present one. There are fifty members. The Church property is value at $3,000.
A Presbyterian church is now in process of erection in the immediate vicinity of East Maine.