Eliot History Time Line

Based on the Maine School Administrative District #35 Timeline of Eliot and South Berwick History - March 16, 2001

1400
Natives living in Sturgeon Creek raise corn, beans and squash to supplement hunting and fishing
1500

Europeans (Basques, Portuguese) are already exploring area and fishing here, unofficial trading with the natives

1524
Giovaanni da Verrazano first European to describe Maine coast
1602
Bartholomew Gosnold expedition to Maine coast
1603
Martin Pring visits our area of Maine coast
1604
Samuel de Champlain visits Maine coast
1607
Native population on New England coast devastated by European diseases (1616 and onward), 9 out of 10 die of diseases such as small pox and measles
1607-1608
Popham Colony at mouth ofthe Kennebec River; colony fails
1620
Mayflower pilgrims settle Plimoth in Massachusetts Bay
1620s
As many as 400 European fishing vessels now active off Maine coast; fishing stages on land to dry fish
1622-1623
King James grants Charter to Mason and Gorges, businessmen from England; first official settlement at Little Harbor (now in Rye); settlements on both sides of the river are called the Piscataqua Plantations
1634
Nicholas Frost, father of Major Charles Frost, is early settler and is granted land in Piscataqua Plantations
1635
Alexander Shapleigh, wealthy member of London Fishmongers' Guild, obtains land in Piscataqua Plantations
1639
King Charles Creates Province of Maine
1647
Piscataqua Plantations on the Eastern Bank Renamed Kittery . (Province of Maine)
1652
Kittery "submits" to Massachusetts at publick meeting at Everett's Tavern (in today's Eliot)
1654
Saw and grist mills are built at Sturgeon Creek by the Shapleigh family
1660-1800
Town Commercial Center at Old Fi,elds, Lower Landing, Chadbourne's Mills
1660
Congregational meetinghouse built in Kittery's Unity Parish near Old Fields (South Berwick)
1662
Persecuted Quaker women are driven from Dover. They find safety in Kittery at the homes of the Shapleighs (Eliot), and Spencers and Richard Nason (South Berwick). Nason is disenfranchised for allowing Quaker meetings to be held in his home. Kittery becomes a haven for Quakers.
1675
During “King Philip's" War, Indians attack Salmon Falls (area of Rt. 236 between Berwick and South Berwick), and an eighteen-year old girl saves many occupants of the Tozier garrison through her bravery, according to oral tradition.
1675
“King Philip's” War
1677
Massachusetts Bay Colony buys Province of Maine from descendants of Ferdinando Gorges, and our area officially becomes part of Massachusetts
1685
English Crown appoints first Surveyor of Pine and Timber; James Warren in Kittery
1690
William Phipps captures Port Royal, Acadia
1693
Grist/Sawmill at Outlet of York Pond (Punkin Town in today's Eliot)
1695
Population of Province of Maine is 2,000; French and Indian attacks discourage all but the hardiest of settlers to remain
1695
HMS Falkland built at Kittery
1697
Major Charles Frost and his companions killed near Ambush Rock during King William's War; they were returning from Sunday meeting at the Old Field's meeting house (South Berwick)
1699
First meeting house built in Kittery Middle Parish
1700
John Shapleigh grants freedom to his slave, Black Will
1702
Third Indian War (Queen Anne's War) - the war between the English and the French (and their Indian allies) continues; Treaty of Portsmouth, 1713
1703
A new congregation is formed and new meeting house built near the Spencer garrison at Old Fields (South Berwick); Many Residents from Kittery's North Parish (today's Eliot) attend
1710
Nottingham Galley sinks off Boon Island; 20th century writer Kenneth Roberts immortalizes story of survivors' plight, stranded on Boon Island
1713
Eliot and Sooth Berwick no longer share their town's name; Berwick separates from Kittery; Eliot becomes Kittery's Second Parish
1713
Treaty of Portsmouth ends Queen Anne's War
1714
Rev. John Rogers, first permanent minister of the Second Parish (Eliot), is preaching in 1714 and ordained in 1721; retires in 1768
1715
Meeting house for Second Parish built at intersection of Old Road, Fore Road and River Road
1722
Fourth “Indian” War (Lovell's War; hostilities continue; Treaty of Falmouth(Portland), 1725
1734
Anticipating French and Indian attacks, Frost Garrison built on Frost Hill
1739
Boundary Established Between New Hampshire and Province of Maine
1741-1759
Several times during this period, Noah Emery is appointed King's Council (Legal Representative) for the Province of Maine
1745
Local men help capture Louisburg in French and Indian War; Treaty, 1763
1750
Fishing, farming, brickyards and shipbuilding key to economy of Kittery's Second Parish (later Eliot)
1751
One-room school houses become more numerous in Kittery's Second Parish (today's Eliot)
1769
Quaker meeting house moved from Dover Point across River to Kittery's Second Parish (today's Eliot)
1774
300 colonists attack English soldiers at Fort Constitution in Newcastle, NH; they capture gunpowder and hide it on Frank's Fort (Island). Gunpowder used at Battle of Bunker Hill.
1775
Revolutionary War: Capt. Samuel Leighton leads company of soldiers to fight at Battle of Bunker Hill, June 6,1775
Berwick Academy incorporated; Berwick and Kittery (Eliot) youth can receive high school education
1810
Eliot becomes a separate town when Kittery's Second Parish separates from Kittery; now Eliot, Province of Maine, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Eliot is named for Robert Eliot (prominent Newcastle, NH resident of the early 1700s, who became a resident of Kittery's Gerrish Island), and his many descendants, including the famous donor of the bell which was never given!
1812

War of 1812: embargo devastates local trade, shipping, merchants; local North Berwick oral tradition recounts that when the war was declared over in 1815, a huge bonfire was built atop Agamenticus Mountain in celebration

1812
Fort built on Dixon's Point by Mr. Joseph Dixon, to defend Eliot from attack of English ships
1813
Capt. Richard Waldron Shapleigh, master and co�]owner of his newly built ship, Granville, drowns in gale off Rye Beach returning from trip to Spain; his crew was saved
1816
Sturgeon Creek mill built in Eliot; tidal power processes corn and wheat; saws lumber
1817
Eliot Social Library established at Leighton House
1820
Maine is 23rd state admitted to Union, a free state (Missouri Compromise)
1826
Berwick Academy's 1791 House is moved; larger building constructed and female students now attend
1826
East Eliot Methodist Church built at Goodwin and Brixham Roads; remodeled over the years; new church now on Rt. 236
1830
Eliot's Rogers Brickyard supplies brick for construction of Portsmouth Manufacturing Company in South Berwick
1839
Bicycles are invented as serious and quick alternative to harnessing up the horse
1839
Eliot Academy founded; unfortunately it burns to the ground in 1875
1841
Portsmouth, Saco & Portland Company builds railroad, connecting Eliot and South Berwick to Portland and Boston
1843
Moses Gerrish Farmer is Eliot Academy Principal; inventor of fire alarm, produces first working light bulb, develops early "electric car" (trolley)
1847-1855
Hanscom Shipyard launching many ships, including the clipper ship “Nightingale" (1851); today the site is the home of the Green Acre Baha’i School
1861
Civil War; many also from Eliot (see Willis' Old Eliot)
1861
“U.S.S. Kearsarge” built at "Portsmouth Naval Shipyard" (so called at that time); major employer of Eliot men and men from the entire region
1865
Eight school districts in Eliot by 1865; Eliot citizens are also very proud of their own Eliot Academy
1873
Maine State Law requires free public high school education; South Berwick contracts with Berwick Academy to serve as town high school; many Eliot students also attend as paying students
1880
Rowe Brothers, Tondreult Bricks, continue Eliot brickyard traditions by supplying brick for new buildings in Portsmouth
1881
Eliot Congregational Church Built on State Road
1888-1939
Hannah Tobey Shapleigh Farmer establishes Rosemary Cottage in Eliot; retreat for needy mothers and children from nearby cities
1889
Green Acre Inn built; Peace Conference held there in 1894; becomes Baha'i Center
1894
Fogg Memorial built at Berwick Academy; stone is cut from local quarries. Berwick Academy is an integral part of South Berwick life. Students attend high school there.
1900
John Fremont Hill is Governor of Maine; he builds the Governor's mansion, the Blaine House; promotes the electric car system (trolley)
1902
Dr. John L. M. Willis edits and publishes History of Old Eliot, invaluable tool of Eliot (and South Berwick) history; its three volumes contain documented and oral history pertinent to both towns
1902

The John F. Hill Grange #393 is organized; in 1910, the grange hall is completed, overlooking the many farms of Eliot from its treeless location near the Library (today, most working farms are gone)

1902
First electric car runs from Kittery to Green Acre; it's the 55th anniversary of Prof. Moses G. Farmer's invention of the first Electric Railway in the world (he presented a prototype of it in 1847)
1903-1924
Electric cars (trolleys) run daily from Dover to York; called Atlantic Shore Line; old trolley rail beds can be seen along, Goodwin Road
ca 1903
Dr. Willis and “his new machine” - the first auto in Eliot
1906
Eliot High School; this solid but out�]of�]date building was demolished in 1987, to make way for a new Eliot Town Hall on State Road.
1908-1939
Lanier Camps provide summer activities for city children
1914-1918
WWI ~ Ship building at the Kittery Navy Yard employs many local men
1925
Laura V. Dame School built in South Eliot; the building is now privately owned and contains apartments
1930-1965
Morin family operates last brickyard in Eliot at the Joseph Morin Brickyard Farm on Cedar Road
1940
New Eliot High School is built (now Eliot Elementary School)
1941-1945
WWII; many enlist; Kittery Navy Yard again becomes major employer for Eliot and South Berwick; 25,000 employed, including many women
1950-1953
Korean Military Action
1952
B&M Railroad discontinues services through Eliot and South Berwick; railroad tracks are removed
1956

Dow Highway (Rt. 236) constructed over old railroad bed; named for Harold L. Dow, Representative from Eliot to the Maine State Legislature, who proposed the new highway and saw to it that it was completed

1961-1975
Viet Nam Military Action
1966
Eliot, South Berwick Schools join to become MSAD #35; New High School is built on Depot Road in Eliot
1983- Present
Odyssey of the Mind (OM), National Problem-Solving Competition, comes to MSAD #35
1986
Great Works Regional Land Trust is established, to protect and preserve our towns' dwindling natural resources
1991
Mildred Holmes Obrey, Student and Teacher of our schools, retires from MSAD #35 School Board Chair
1992
Marie Donahue (BA graduate), Teacher, Local Historical Author, publishes “Old Academy on the Hill”
1994
Joseph and John Frost, Mara (Frost) Marshall community-active descendants of Nicholas Frost (1634)
1996
At the March 25th town meeting, the people of Eliot approved the purchase of ancient Punkin Town from Frank Parsons, for use as a recreation area. Mr. and Mrs. Silas Weeks, and the Great Works Regional Land Trust were instrumental in accomplishing this farseeing purchase.
2000
Few of the old working farms now remain in Eliot; Goodwin Farm on Cedar Road; the Leavitt, Schultze, and Kashmere Farms on Goodwin Road
2000
Dedication of New Marshwood High School on Rt. 236 in South Berwick.  Realignment of student population of Eliot and South Berwick results in Eliot Elementary School and Central School, South Berwick consisting of Pre-K through and including 3rd grade students; Marshwood Middle School, 4th grade through and including 6th grade students; Marshwood Junior High School 7th and 8th grades; and the new high school, 9th through 12th grades.

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