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The word hermit is now synonymous in Maine with Christopher Knight, the North Pond hermit. But this region has contained hermits of its own. Enter two Davistown hermits from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and what we know of their lives.

In the novel “Come Spring,” a hermit known as “I’m Davis” was said to inhabit the wilderness surrounding Davistown, which has now separated into Liberty and Montville. This character was apparently based on two real-life men who lived in the Davistown area, both at the end of the 18th century.

One was simply called Davis, a trapper who began to inhabit the forests surrounding Davistown around 1784. He was described by Cyrus Eaton in “The Annals of Warren,” as being a hunter and trapper who existed on the edge of society. He was apparently something of a mysterious figure in the area, often having run-ins with hunters in the forest and striking up a conversation with them, before they returned to their homes and he continued his lonely forest vigil. He was said to have eventually joined the society that sprang up around him, and to have died a pauper in one of the towns near the Penobscot River.

The other of these men, Timothy Barret, was known to be more intelligent and communicative, but eccentric and solitary just the same. He lived in makeshift accommodations near a mill pond, and enjoyed few amenities. He obtained some of his food from a floating garden he had fashioned out of a raft, and at first resided in a cave dug out of an embankment before moving to a makeshift hut. He resided in the Davistown area from 1794 until his death in 1847.

Thank You to Mike Beaudry and the Davistown Museum for providing the information for this article. See davistownmuseum.org/TDMeccentricHermits.html for more information, or visit the Davistown Museum in Liberty, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. davistownmuseum.org/.

Notices

The annual Joy to Be Bald fundraiser events will be held beginning Saturday, Oct. 9, with a bake sale at Lori’s Cafe in Liberty. On Sunday, Oct. 10, there will be a head shaving event at Walker School at noon, followed by a walk-a-thon at 1 p.m.

Pledge sheets will be available at Lori’s Cafe for those who are inclined to donate. Proceeds of this year’s Joy to Be Bald event go to Kaylee York, Ashley Messner and Darcy Giacomuzzi.