Annals of Calais, Maine and St. Stephen, New Brunswick
sat on overturned nail kegs on the barn floor with sharp paring knives
in our hands, cutting the potatoes, in preparation for tomorrow’s
“planting the garden” day. If Dad told us once, he must have told us a
dozen times to be careful to choose a good eye for each piece, yet not
to be wasteful as he had paid “good” money for a couple of bags of
Green Mountain seed potatoes, instead of using the ones in the cellar.
Dad was down on his hands and knees trying to adjust the seed planter
that he would use to plant the peas, turnips, carrots and beets. When a
car drove into the yard, I could tell by the look on his face, he was
not pleased, to have the Preacher drop in for a visit on such a busy
Without waiting for an invitation, the Reverend sat down on a
three-legged milking stool. I thought he was going to lend a hand but
instead he started talking. Since Dad didn’t want to appear rude, he
stopped working to listen to him.
Two hours later, he was still going full steam ahead with tales of
every family who lived in the community he called “home” plus details
on the churches, schools, business and even who started the newspapers.
Before he finally decided to leave, Dad suggested to him that he should
write a book of all this information he had stored in his head.
Way back in 1875, The Reverend I. C. Knowlton compiled the “Annals of Calais, Maine and St. Stephen,
New Brunswick, including the Villages of Milltown, Maine and the
present town of Milltown, New Brunswick” which holds 129 pages
of details on the beginnings of the settlements, churches, physicians,
newspapers, shipping, bridges, literature, benevolent societies,
railways, mills, cemeteries and an appendix of incidents, facts and
genealogy which relate to the families who came to the area prior to
The Rev. I. C. Knowlton states, “It is said that in 1760, Alexander
Nichols, Thomas Fletcher and a Mr. Kown, came up the St. Croix to the
head of its tide water, to fish for alewives.” Three years later,
Alexander Hodges, Joseph Parsons and a Mr. Prebble settled at Pleasant
Point, and James Boyd and James Chaffrey, on Indian Island. In all
probability these were the first, permanent, white settlers in the St.
Croix valley. In 1769, James Brown and Jeremiah Frost located at St.
Andrews and William Rickett built in 1771 a home on Moose Island, now
called Eastport. William Swain from Massachusetts and David
Farrell from Ireland were the first inhabitants of Calais. The
first permanent white resident of Calais was Daniel Hill who arrived
from Jonesport in 1779. It is interesting to learn that he imported the
The first child born in the new settlement of St. Stephen was Samuel
Jarius Keene, a shipbuilder from Duxbury, Massachusetts, located in
Calais about1801. In 1803 he laid the keel of the Liberty, the first
vessel built in the Township. He later built the brig Keziah in
Ninian Lindsay came from Ireland and settled in St. Stephen about 1786.
His wife was Hannah Marks.
Daniel McAllister and his wife Mary Patterson were of New Boston, New
Hampshire. He came to St. Stephen with the Cape Ann Association in 1785.
The names written from 1788 to 1791 in a store ledger show who “got
trusted” by the owner but to family researchers it is valuable because
it approximately determines the date of settlement of an ancestor.
If you have roots in the St. Croix Valley of New Brunswick, you will
find this publication to hold many names of the early settlers with
biographical details which would certainly be difficult to ferret out
The 1875 “Annals
Maine and St. Stephen, New Brunswick” by I. C. Knowlton was
reprinted with the title being, “Beginnings
- The Settlement of the St. Croix Valley” and is available at
several libraries in New Brunswick. It can be read online at http://www.ourroots.ca/f/toc.aspx?id=882