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People of the Androscoggin River
Historical Information (Prior to 1800)

Last Updated Mar-2013

Androscoggin People



Bits & Pieces from Books, news-clippings, etc.


... It took 10 acres of land to support one warrior as they did not clear the forrest, but utilized natural meadows and had only primitive tools for planting. ...

Their hoes were made of clam shells and their spades were wooden or else made of moose horns. Rakes were made by shredding and binding bark fibers at the ends of saplings similar to our bamboo rakes of today. ... At Canton Point there was said to have been a 700 acre corn field on the river bottom soil. ...

With all that grain to be ground, the mortar and pestle were most important. The heavy pestle was often suspended from a branch with a leather thong to make it easier to use. ...

They chewed sweet flag root for a stomach ache. Dried powder from puff balls were used to stop the flow of blood. The bark from the stag-horn sumac also was used for this purpose as it puckered the skin because of its tannin. ... Spruce tea was enjoyed. ... White pine seeds were often cooked with meat. ...

Source: unknown date, publisher, author
news-clipping found at Androscoggin Historical Society

Ne-Do-Ba Comment - - - The statement of 10 acres per warrior may be accurate if you take into account that each warrior/hunter probably supported a family of 3 to 7, which might include women, children, elders, widows, orphans, and disabled.


They always made two trips each year to the sea-coast. These were made for the purposes of visiting the graves of their fathers; to hunt sea-fowl; to buy and sell furs. Coming from up river they always paddled into Dead River of Leeds, and up to the old camping place. ... After awaiting their friends here and performing certain religious ceremonies, they divided. Part went over to Wilson Pond, worked along its waters to Cobbosseecontee; thence to the Kennebec. The other followed the Androscoggin. They reunited at Merrymeeting Bay; hunted ducks; fished and dried their fish and fowl. ... The last of these trips of record is in 1796.

Later a number of Androscoggin Indians lived in Rumford, Bethel and Canton. Near Auburn, Sabattus, Lisbon and Brunswick, scattered families continued to dwell. As late as 1778 six [Abenaki] were living in Poland and Minot. Their names were Philip, Swanton, Lazarus, Cookish, and Perepole. They were in absolute poverty and sadness. They dwelt in wigwams or shacks outside the village. They were friendly but aloof. They made baskets, fished, hunted, and raised a little garden-stuff. ...

Source: Lewiston Journal, 19-Dec-1928?
Just Talks - On Common Themes
"The Last of the Indians"


Notes from Above the Gravel Bar  [1] & Various Other Sources

  • Upper carry from above Brunswick Falls to Maquoit Bay
  • Below Brunswick Falls east to New Meadows River (Stevens Carry)
  • At Topsham a carry from Androscoggin River to Cathance Pond
  • Carry at head of Muddy River to Androscoggin and Cathance Rivers
  • To Sebago Lake and Casco Bay via Little Androscoggin River
  • Androscoggin River to Kennebec River, up Sabattus River, carry to Cochnewagon than into Cobbosseeconte waters.
  • Androscoggin River to Kennebec River down Dead River to Androscoggin Lake, carry to Wilson Pond then to Annabessacook Lake
  • To Rangeley Lakes by Ellis River with a long carry
  • Rangeley Lakes to Androscoggin River by Swift or Bear Rivers when water was up - too rapid & steep to be useful going up.
  • Rangeley Lakes to Kennebec River by South Branch of Dead River.
  • To Connecticut River or Megantic (Chaudiere watershed) from Aziscohos by Diamond Dead River or Cupsuptic
  • Carry from point east of the old ice house [Lake Auburn] to Taylor Pond

At Saint-Francois, from some of Zanghe'darankiac [Sagadahoc?], or people from the mouth of this river [Androscoggin], I learned that they call it, or rather its banks, Amilcungantiquoke, or banks of the river abounding in dried meat; that is, venison

Source: Kendall 1809 3:143


There was an old squaw named Sarah that was a healer and often traveled through the Magalloway region to and from Canada.

Ne-Do-Ba Comment - - - This is oral history (1998) from an elder that grew up in Magalloway and heard this as a child from a women that was very old - suggesting a time period of mid to late 1800s.