History of Minot
West Minot Grange
The following excerpts were written by Eda P. Tripp and are included in Androscoggin County , Maine: A Pictorial Sesquicentennial History, 1854–2004
Click here for The Minot Historical Society's Calendar
The Town of Minot was formerly part of Bakerstown Grant, which was given on January 15, 1789 , to Captain John Bridgham, John Glover, and sixty-four other soldiers of the Revolutionary War. There were some disputed land titles which were finally settled by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1798. Some of the early settlers were descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims. Minot was incorporated on February 18, 1802 , and the first Town Meeting was held on April 5, 1802 .
In the 1800's and early 1900's most of the people were self-sustaining farmers. They raised most of their needs and went to town only on rare occasions. Sheep were popular for both food and wool. At one time the census showed that Minot had over six thousand sheep. Ice cutting was another necessity. It was stored in sheds packed with sawdust or hay between the layers of blocks, then used to preserve food. Today, Minot has only two full-time dairy farms and a couple of beef operations. There are also two market gardeners. In the past there were large broiler and egg producing farms. Minot had several settlers who raised apples. The Noyes, Davis, and Ladd families were the most prominent in maintaining, raising, and developing strains of apples.
There were two canning factories in Minot . The first was at Minot Corner, built by the Burnam and Morrill Company in 1873. The second was in West Minot and was called the Minot Packing Company; it was built in 1888 and was purchased by the Portland Packing Company in 1923. In the early days, Minot had many mills, including grist, wool, bark, shake and shingle, and lumber mills. Saw mills were necessary for building homes and shops.
There have been several stores in Minot ; the first was at Minot Corner in the early 1800's, then another was built in West Minot . At one time, Minot had twenty-five or more schools. Most of these were one-room schools, but there were also private schools in homes. By 1890, there were ten school districts with one-room schools. Little by little, the one room schools were closed, and in 1952 it was voted to build a consolidated school.
Minot has three churches which date back many years. The first church was raised in 1794 on what we now know as Death Valley Road . In 1805, this church was replaced by a larger two story building at Center Minot. Then in 1846, this Minot Center Congregational Church was torn down and a smaller church was built on the same spot. This building still stands and is open each year for the month of August.
The first church at Minot Corner was built in 1835 on the Old Woodman Hill Road . This Minot Corner Methodist Church was taken down and used in the construction of the present church which is still very active and has weekly services. The deed for the land that the present church sits on is dated 1859; the land cost seventy-five dollars.
The West Minot Union Church was organized about 1802 with thirteen members from both West Minot and Hebron . The first meeting house was erected in 1811. The original building was torn down in 1855 and the present building constructed. Services are held weekly.
Minot had three Granges; two are still active. West Minot Grange #42 was organized in 1874; the petition to form was signed on Calvin Bucknam's tall silk hat. This Grange also operated a grange Store at one time. Today this Grange is very active and has allowed the Minot Historical Society, which formed in 2001, to use a room in their building for storage. Minot Center Grange #266 was organized in 1886. A ten-stall shed was built in 1889 for the horses; a larger stable was built in 1895 which was twenty-eight feet wide and sixty feet long. Neither stands today. This Grange is still active, and the Minot Moonshiners Snowmobile Club uses the hall as a clubhouse.
The Minot Corner Grange #526 was organized in 1914. The hall was built in 1916 and burned in 1924; a new hall was built in 1928. This grange is no longer active, but the hall still stands on Lower Road and houses an antiques and collectibles shop.
In 2001, the Minot Historical Society was formed to preserve Minot 's history. The group is very active, and looking to preserve some notable land gifts. One large estate was owned by William Ladd, the Apostle of Peace, who founded the American Peace Society in 1828, which was a forerunner of today's United Nations. Another estate was owned by the Crosby Noyes family. Mr. Noyes left Minot to pursue a journalism career and became the owner of the Washington Star newspaper.