Exploring & Sharing the Wabanaki History of Interior New England
A Maine Nonprofit Corporation - 501(c)3 Public Charity
Last Updated Dec-2008
The remains of some Indian dead have been accidentally uncovered in years past in excavations for streets and new homes, particularly in the Laurel Hill area. ... From the vantage point offered by the top of the hill, which has been cut down considerably by home building, the Indians had a commanding view of both rivers. Springs were found in abundance, particularly on the part of the hill now occupied by the Auburn theater and Androscoggin County building. ... Makeshift fish hooks and rock sinkers have been found in this area [the Great Falls] through the years. ... Lake Auburn was a famous route taken by the early Indians. To this day flint, tomahawks and spear heads are found on the lake's shores and Indian encampments were known to have been located short distances from the lake. Far enough away to avoid detection from passing parties yet close enough to reach for travel to other sections. A portage is known to have existed between Lake Auburn and Taylor Pond. The Indians carried their canoes from a point east of the old ice house to Taylor Pond then resumed their water route through Taylor Brook to the little Androscoggin.
Ne-Do-Ba Comment - - - Albert Garcelon, an amateur historian, provided Bouchard with local information. We believe Mr. Garcelon's information to be reasonably correct. However, Bouchard does not indicate what material came from Garcelon. Many stone artifacts found in Auburn date before the Colonial period discussed in this series of articles - Artifacts 5-8,000 years old have been found at Lake Auburn and 10,000 years old near the Auburn Airport.
It is quite evident that there was quite an Indian settlement on Laurel Hill near the residence of the late Seth Carter. I once picked up an Indian stone tomahawk at the foot of the hill near the Little Androscoggin River, and have found numerous arrow points, mostly broken, on the more level ground near the Little Androscoggin River and numerous small pieces of pottery in the gardens along the bank of the big river.
Ne-Do-Ba Comment - - - The writer attributes the above quote to "The late F.O. Purington, Esq. of Mechanic Falls"
The huge stone is somewhat cylindrical in shape, with a length of 26 inches and weights between 75 and 80 pounds. It has two upraised portions extending around the rock, one near one end and the second not far from the middle, indicating that something - possibly a thong was intended to be tied around the main portions of it. ... Two experts ... have tentatively identified the artifact as either an anchor or a pestle - used for grinding corn. The indians anchored their canoes when spearing fish and the pestles were tied to saplings and used to grind corn into meal.
Ne-Do-Ba Comment - - - A resident of Bradman St. in Auburn discovered this artifact in Bobbin Mill Brook near their home.
This fort was built of logs set up endwise. ... A few years ago, in grading on the site of the fort, pieces of charred wood and a large number of human bones were found ... Here on the plains on the West side, they had one of their principle villages.
[about 1908 Mr. Penney] dug a trench in
Mr. Jordan's garden [At Laurel Hill]
2-3 ft. deep and 2-1/2 yards long. He recovered pottery, bone,
charcoal, small fragments of clam shell and some oyster shell.
Residents of the area reported to him that a well preserved
skeleton had been taken to Bowdoin and many artifacts where shown
him which had been found by them when they dug their cellars and
gardens. ... Artifacts collected from the construction of 2 houses
on Bridge St. included arrow & spear points, hands tools,
pottery, and an arrow smoother. The gardens on Newbury St.
contained large quantities of shell fragments. Early residents of
Laurel Ave. [1830-1850] remember Natives
camping in the areas of these shell middens along the Androscoggin.
... a circular fort, enclosing probably about 1/3 acre of land stood at the summit of Laurel Hill ... it seems probable that Laurel Ave. runs nearly central over the site of the fort ...
... only an aged pine tree remains to mark the place where it [stockade] once stood ... Just back of this house [May house] is the old pine tree ... standing as a sapling when the Indian massacre took place. Many Indian implements have been found in the mound by its side. ... it [Townsend/Watson house] is supposed to stand on the exact spot where the Indian fort stood. It is a beautiful spot overlooking the junction of the two rivers.