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Poland, Maine
including Poland Springs

Last Updated Dec-2008

Wabanaki Family Names Known Here

Wabanaki Events That Occurred Here

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

 

Tradition and a manuscript of Moses Emery, the first settler of Minot and the third in Poland, tells us that for several years after the first settlements by the white people, several families who constituted a remnant of the once powerful tribe of Indians, the Androscoggins, continued to linger around their native haunts, subsisting as best they could by making baskets, hunting, begging, and occasionally playing the doctor.
The Indians, most of them, laid claim to much knowledge of roots and herbs, likewise their healing virtues, and most prevalent diseases of that day; and in consequence of the difficulty of obtaining the services of a regular physician, the assistance of some old squaw was often sought.
She was ever ready to officiate, and the wise looks, node of the head, and a constant muttering in an unknown tongue, in imitation of some professional soothsayer, would undertake the case, asking no other reward than her board and an occasional drink of "occuby" (fire water).
We never learned that these people were quarrelsome or particular thievish, but they were notorious beggars, and hard to shake off when they had formed the habit of visiting any particular place.
About the last to leave the town of Poland was an Indian and his squaw named Lockett. The husband died as early as 1780 or soon after the first white settler came to Bakerstown, as it was then called, and but little is known of him, but his wife Molly, lingered about for many years during which she was continually on the tramp from Poland to Canada and back.
While in Poland her favorite haunt was in the vicinity of Ricker's or Range Hill, for the past thirty years so far-famed as being the site of the famous mineral spring and its medicinal properties.
Molly seems to have entertained some idea of the peculiarities of the spring and its medicinal properties, of which she often spoke. Still as she was nothing but an old drunken squaw no notice was taken of her pratling. ...

Source: Lewiston Journal, 01-Apr-1889

Ne-Do-Ba Comment - - - The writer seems to be speaking of Molly Ockett, but the label of "old drunken squaw" doesn't fit with what people of her time said of her.

 

Beginning in the 1890s and continuing into the 1920s the Rickers preserved a contrived and controlled semblance of the aboriginal landscape by allowing families of Penobscot Indians from Old Town to set up an encampment near the spring each summer. ... the Rickers confined them to a campground located near the spring ... Asked why he permitted the Indians on his property, Edward Ricker responded: "Well, they come here to sell their work and to a certain extent as long as they are quiet, they are an attraction." ...
"Newell Neptune sits in his tent, and makes the bows and arrows, or stands behind his display of baskets and tells you of his work. Examine the neat construction, inhale the fragrance of sweet grasses, ..."
The Indians appreciated that the spring was "nature's reservoir" and accordingly treated it as a "sacred fount." ...

Source: Maine History, Vol. 34, No. 2, Fall 1994

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