Monday, June 14, 2010


Whenever I post something here about my Dad's side of the family in
Maine, I make it a practice to post a copy of it to my blog over at
Chris Dunham's Maine Genealogy Network on the off chance that the
information I write about might prove useful to others  or might find
another unknown cousin. I did that with my post  ANSWERS AND 
a few comments on it that answered some of the questions and
provided a link to a very interesting map!

The first comment:

The 1858 Oxford County map shows J. C. West living on the Bear River
Road (what is now Route 26), just north of Grafton town line. It appears 
to have been the same place occupied by "J. E. Brooks" on this 1880
map. Heywood's History of Upton says that Joseph E. Brooks
"built a set of buildings" here about 1870, but doesn't mention that the
Wests had earlier lived here.

The 1880 map shows J. P. West living on what is now Back Street in 
Upton. This is confirmed by Heywood, who says that Jonathan P. 
West bought a farm of Stevens Morse south of the Back Street school 
house "about 1862, living there until his death in 1917, at the age of 86.  

I followed the link and found a map of Upton and vicinity on which were
located the exact locations of Jonathan Phelps West's farm, and Hiram
West's Saw and Grist Mill. If you click on the large pink square marked
Upton and enlarge it you can see them too!

The second comment answered my question about Asa West gave up
on hops as a crop on his farm:

"I may have an answer why Asa stopped growing hops by 1880. An
article in the Lewiston Evening Journal of 8 July 1880 said that 
"hop-raising has been rather a poor business in New England for 
the last few years. The low prices ruling for the last few years 
previous to the fall of 1879, has given such a meagre return for 
the labor and land invested in the cultivation of hops that last 
year many plowed up the vines and abandoned the culture."

I followed the link Chris provided again and found the site which displays
three pages from the newspaper. The article Chris quoted is on the first
page on the left in the upper left hand side. You need to enlarge the
image to see it. There's a lot of information there about other crop
values and I plan to compare it to the 1880 agricultural schedules that
I have for the West brothers and other relatives. So my speculation
that there just wasn't a profitable market for hops in New England was

Thanks Chris for those answers and for being kind enough to let me
quote your comments here!

And for those of you with Maine roots, check out the Maine Genealogy

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