The Georges' of Upper Bartlett Village
1. According to former U.S. Forest Service Guide Ann
Croto of Bartlett,
who provided tours at the
Russell Colbath house at the Passaconaway Historical Site for more than a dozen seasons. In December 1834,
married Eliza Morse George
, daughter of Daniel George
granddaughter of Austin George
, who was one of the first settlers in Burton (Albany) Intervale. In 1805,
said, Austin George
built a large barn of hewed and split white pine and a log house to shelter his wife and child, just east of where the Russell Colbath House now stands.
their cabin was replaced by a framed
dwelling. Repeated harsh frost, however, killed their vegetables, and the cattle died from
"Burton's Ail" (later found to be---->
caused by impure water). A hurricane also swept through the valley in 1814, leveling everything in a half-mile-wide path.
The George family abandoned the valley and in 1815 moved to neighboring Bartlett. Son Daniel chose Conway as his new home.
Thus were the beginnings of the George family in Bartlett.
(Eliza and Amzi Russell continued
along in what is now the Russell/Colbath House on the Kancamagus
Highway, but that's a whole nother story)
Source for the above
Austin's Son, Benjamin Franklin George, decided to stay on
at the Bartlett Farm and fathered seven children; three from his
first marriage to Charlotte Stanton and four from his second
wife, Comfort Tasker. Franklin built his farmhouse in 1856
and its location in the center of town made it an ideal
stop-over for travellers (there was no railroad in 1856).
Franklin continued making additions to the house and by 1872 It
became known as The Bartlett House with accommodations for fifty
Franklin was a man of astonishing ambition and fortitude.
In 1872 he leased the Mount Crawford House from Dr. Bemis who
had acquired it from Abel Crawford
(and that's another good story too).
In addition to his hotels Franklin also acquired large tracts of
land, at one time owning all the land from the Saco River to the
Albany Town Line. In 1890 Franklin founded the Bartlett
Building and Improvement Company (a loan company). In 1877
Franklin laid out a bridle path to the summit of Mount Langdon.
As if he did not have enough to do he held the town office of
Selectman for six terms, was a delegate to the Constitutuional
Convention in 1876 and a State Representative in 1878. He
was also the Town Tax Collector for many years.
Franklin died at the age of 76.
The disease from which Burton (Albany) cattle suffered and which was laid to Chocorua's curse, proved to be not imaginary but real. So serious was it that, in 1821, Professor Dana, of Dartmouth College, was sent by the state to the afflicted town to find out if possible the nature of "the Burton Ail."22 He found the cause to lie in the water, with contained a weak solution of muriate of lime. A remedy was discovered near at hand, however. It was found that a certain kind of meadow mud, when administered in large pills to the cattle, counteracted the disease. Soap-suds acted similarly.23 The town had gained an evil reputation on account of "the Burton Ail," but with the discovery of a remedy, its population and business were stimulated somewhat.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS
William James Sidis Published in 1916
During the year 1800, Austin George,
with a large family
(fourteen children) drove up from Conway to the Passaconway
intervale and built a large barn
of hewed and split white pine from top to bottom. No labor was
wasted, for the timber grew upon the very ground which the
settler wished to clear. The men chose rift trees, split the
boards, shingles and planks and smoothed them with an adze. A
log-house was built and finished in the same way. One or two
neighbors came with this family, but made no preparations for
permanent settlement, and, after two or three years, went back
to Conway. Mr. George's oldest son brought his bride from Conway
to live with the family. Doubtless owing to the hardship of
pioneer life, sickness came to the family. A daughter, nineteen
years of age, died of consumption. The nearest neighbors were ten miles way. The poor mother was forced to make all the funeral preparations with her own hands. Friends arrived later and the customary burial rites were observed.
The father, Austin George, was a scholar and a great reader.
He taught his children geography, grammar, arithmetic and history, and in later years some of these frontier children became among the best school teachers In the country.
So cold was the climate that corn and wheat were out of the question; in fact, the only vegetables they could raise were those which frost could not kill, such as cabbages, turnips, onions, and potatoes. Although the soil is unusually fertile and free from stones, so very short is the season between frosts (for ice often forms here in July and August) that only the fast growing vegetables and those that can survive the frosts can be relied upon. The girls and boys reaped abundant crops of hay, while the father cultivated the garden. The mother, by hand, wove the clothes for the numerous members. The entire family had to turn to and toil from daylight to dark in order to eke out their meagre existence. There were no drones in these early families.
Times grew harder and harder
in the George home. The cattle died of the "Burton Ail," no remedy at this time being known. A hurricane swept through the very center of the valley, tearing up trees by the roots. Everything in its path, which was a half mile in width, was laid level with the ground. The hurricane crossed the valley from northwest to southeast.
In 1814, the family decided to abandon the place.
Two sons had left and enlisted in the war against England, one of whom was killed at the Battle of Bridgewater in July, 1814. In October of the same year, the oldest son moved his family away. The now aged father decided to stay long enough to feed his stock the supply of hay on hand, while his family lived on the produce they had raised, as it was impossible to move these supplies through the forest and Mr. George had nothing with which to buy more. Until March, 1815, he remained, when,
taking his family, which now consisted of a wife, three sons and three daughters,
he moved to Bartlett.
Mr. George felt very sad over abandoning his home in the intervale, and, although he lived twenty-four years longer, he never could bring himself to visit the spot again and see the, abandoned home. Thus Mr. George derived no benefit from the years of toil and hardship which he had put in here.
For ten years the old George homestead was left to transient hunters, trappers and perhaps bandits. Yet its occupancy by the Georges had proved that, despite
and the rigorous climate, human beings could exist here.
In March, 1824, nine years after Mr. George had left, Mr.
who had married the granddaughter
of Austin George, moved into the old house and the settlement was begun in earnest; and never afterwards, up to the present, although time and again sorely tested, has it been entirely abandoned. The building was in a very dilapidated condition, having been used by rough men from time to time. The beautiful white-pine finishing had been ripped off by these vandals, who used the wood as fuel with which to cook their venison and keep themselves warm. The Russells had every reason to believe that the house had been used as a meeting-place by men who came from different parts of the country and who seemed well acquainted with the place. Evidently it had been a rendezvous for brigands who met here by agreement to divide their plunder or bury their treasure. A horse was discovered in the month of March by some of the Russells who were hunting.
The family worked industriously on their farm and existed on what "garden truck" they could raise, which fare was supplemented by a plentiful supply of game. In 1833 the
built a mill at the lower end of the intervale. Here they sawed lumber for the valley and made trips to Portland to haul lumber to market. At Portland they could procure supplies for their families. On these trips they would also bring back goods for the traders at Conway, and this helped to pay expenses. They managed to subsist by such activities and by farming. Happily and contentedly they lived, and made what improvements they could in addition to their regular tasks.
Austin George had fourteen children,
the first three of whom are buried in the
Russell Cemetery in the Albany Intervale
. Daniel George, a son of the pioneer, had a daughter, Eliza Morse George, who married Amzi Russell, son of Thomas Russell.
Mrs. Russell lived to be over ninety years old.
She kept a manuscript from which were taken not a few of the facts here recorded. The children of Amzi and Eliza Morse (George) Russell were Martha George Russell, who married Celon Russell Swett; Thirza Russell, who married Andrew J. Lord; Mary Russell, who died young; Ruth Priscilla Russell, who married Thomas Alden Colbath and lives in the historic old George homestead, and who for many years was Postmistress; and Flora Emma Russell, who never married. To Mrs. Colbath the present writer is deeply indebted for access to the Russell Manuscript and for letters supplementing the account given in said manuscript. Mrs. Colbath, as her acquaintances can testify, is a woman of superior intellectual ability and moral excellence, and scores of people, in many states, take pride in calling her their friend.
The reason for writing so particularly about the George family is that not only have very reliable records been kept of the hardships endured, which hardships were typical of those necessarily endured by all the early families, but because Mr. George's long stay laid the foundation for a permanent settlement in the Albany Intervale.
James Sidas has written extensively on the Albany area and
the above material is a snippet from that. You can read
the entire manuscript and see all the pictures at this link:
Feb 2013: This link seems to have disappeared but was originally
somewhere in this extensive website of Mr. Sidis:
Let me know if you can find it.....thanks.
CHAPTER 247. AN ACT TO
BARTLETT TRUST AND
Section 1. That Arthur L. Meserve
, Perley N. Watson,
, W. H. Yates
, Edgar A. Stevens,
, George W. Darling,
, Henry M. Rideout
H. L. Towle
, Joseph O.
, W. S. George
, C. F.
, George K. Howard
, Frank H.
, James H. Mead,
Eben O. Garland
, George T.
, Sanford E. Whitton,
, Willis A. Page,
Freeman C. Stillings,
, John Snow
Otis H. Smith
, Herbert W.
H. P. Dearborn
, John L.
F. H. Bartlett
, George \V. M.
, their associates, successors, and assigns, be and hereby are made a body corporate by the name of
the Bartlett Trust and Banking Company,
to be located in Bartlett, in this state, with authority to have and execute all the powers and privileges incident to corporations of a similar nature, for the purpose of prosecuting the business of a safe deposit and trust company, to receive on deposit, or for safe keeping, money or other valuables, the funds of trustees, guardians, administrators, or others; to act as trustees for individuals and corporations, whether by appointment by will, by the courts, or otherwise; and officially, under appointment by the courts of this or other states, to act as financial agents, to make and negotiate loans for itself and others, or otherwise; to loan, borrow, and deal in money and securities, and to do a general banking business.
Said corporation shall have a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars, divided into shares of not less than fifty dollars each,
with authority to increase its capital to one hundred thousand dollars; and may acquire and hold real estate for its own use to the value of ten thousand dollars, exclusive of such real estate as may be taken in good faith for indebtedness, or held as security. Said corporation shall not begin business until the sum of fifty thousand dollars shall have been paid in in cash, and no certificate of shares shall be issued until the par value of the same has been fully paid, and a certificate thereof shall have been filed in the office of the secretary of state, verified by the oath of the directors.
The provisions of law, now or hereafter in force, governing the taxation of the capital stock in banks and deposits in savings banks, shall apply to this company.
. Said corporation, at any meeting duly holden, may adopt such by-laws and regulations, not repugnant to the laws of this state, as may be necessary for the management of
its businessSect. 5.
The private property of shareholders shall not be liable for the debts of the company.
Sect. G. The affairs of this company shall be under the supervision and control of the bank commissioners, who shall examine its books and securities, make the same reports upon its condition, and receive the same pay for their services from the state, as provided in the case of savings banks.
Sect. 7. Any three of the grantees may call the first meeting of the corporation by notice in writing to each grantee at least one week before the day of meeting.
Sect. 8. This act shall take effect on its passage.
[Approved April 7, 1891.]
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