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Welcome to our newly revised history section! We're still working on adding all the new material we've been given, so drop by again soon. You can use the History button in the menubar at the top of each page to see the other pages in this section.
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Some interesting tidbits about Lincoln:

The town was named for former Governor Enoch Lincoln, not President Abraham Lincoln. There were only about 400 people living here when it was incorporated in 1829.

A 1793 survey map by Maynard and Holland calls the stream running through Lincoln Mordenarcooch Stream. Another survey map from 1822 names it Matenorcook. In a letter written by Moses Greenleaf in 1823, the spelling is Madanaukook. Six years later, Mr. Greenleaf changed the spelling to Mattanawcook*. The Abnakis used the word Mattanawcook to mean “lake that ends almost at the river.” Another translation of Mattanawcook means “small, broken islands.”

*The local high school is named Mattanawcook Academy.

Lincoln is 181 years old this year. On January 30, 1829, by legislative authority, Lincoln’s name was changed from "Mattanawcook" to "Lincoln" and it was incorporated as the 284th town in Maine.

To learn more about the history of the Lincoln area, CLICK HERE for several books about local history in PDF format.

The Lincoln Historical Society maintains a museum on West Broadway. Its purpose is "to discover, procure and preserve whatever may relate to the natural, civil, literary and ecclesiastical history of the United States in general and to the State of Maine and the Town of Lincoln, Maine in particular, and to establish and maintain collections in art and archaeology". Meetings are held the last Tuesday of the month from January to November. Social time begins at 6:30 with the meeting following at 6:45. Membership fees are $3 per year and $1 for senior citizens.

If you have any questions, call Jeanette King at 794-8996 or Lawrence Sturgeon at 794-8223.

There are also active historical societies in neighboring Lee and Burlington.

 
These photos show some of the exhibits in the Lincoln Historical Society's museum. In the photo below, the society's hard work has made possible a park across from the Library on West Broadway. The one-room Webber's Mill Scbool has been moved around the area quite a bit, and has seen service as a grocery store and a credit union as well as a school.

The Little Red Schoolhouse, located in Schoolhouse Park on West Broadway, has done a lot of traveling since it was built in 1891. For more information, click here.

This school house clock from the 1890's was recently donated to The Lincoln Historical Society by Jim & Tena Vose. It will be on the wall of the "Little Red School House" which is in the process of being renovated. It's a welcome addition we're sure!

Early History of Christmas in Maine/Massachusetts

The earliest historical mention of Christmas we can find was 16 years before the Mayflower landed in North America. In 1604 French settlers on St. Croix Island, off the Maine coast, held religious services and spent most of the day playing "games".

The Puritans of New England found no biblical precedent for celebrating Christ’s birthday on December 25th, or any other day, and they felt that too much secular feasting and mirth accompanied a day that, if marked at all, should be a religious observance only. Christmas was not the only holiday dispensed with in Puritan New England. Easter, May Day and a host of other popular English celebrations were deliberately left behind as well.

But by the 1870s, more and more New Englanders, and their descendents across the country, were observing Christmas. The strict Protestantism of early New England gradually relaxed through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and so did the prohibition on Christmas celebrations. New, attractive, and largely secular aspects of the holiday, like Santa Claus, stockings hung by the chimney, and Christmas trees took hold in the popular imagination. Elsewhere in the country, Episcopalians and Catholics had observed Christmas continuously, and European immigrants from countries like Germany, that had strong Christmas traditions, had kept the holiday flourishing. New Englanders were drawn in slowly, and by the nineteenth century’s end, most Christians observed some form of the Christmas holiday, complete with a dinner menu remarkably similar to Thanksgiving’s.

We hope to find written accounts of Christmas in Lincoln in its early days. If and when we do, we'll post the information on this web site. Anyone with any historical information is welcome to e-mail it to us at [email protected].