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The area that is now the towns of Montville and Liberty was founded as Davistown Plantation. Its history began around 1630 when Brig. Gen. Samuel Waldo obtained a patent for the Waldo County area, which contained the region that would later become Davistown Plantation.

The first major influx of British settlers into Davistown Plantation occurred in the 1780s. One of them was James Davis of Massachusetts, who most likely was the settlement’s namesake. Davistown quickly grew prosperous from its wealth of timber, a commodity in short supply in southern New England.

Settled in 1778, Montville by 1790 contained six families. A decade later, 50 families called Montville home. With its population increase, Davistown was subdivided into multiple villages: Center Montville, South Montville, Liberty Village and Peaveytown.

The Davistown settlement was incorporated as the Town of Montville in 1807, and two decades later, in 1827, Liberty became a separate town. These two towns became key in the production of wooden casks were used to transport lime from Thomaston to be used in making mortar for the construction of brick buildings in Portland and Boston.

Both Montville and Liberty appear to have reached their highest populations and greatest commercial success between 1835 and 1845. After that, the resources that fed their prosperity, namely lumber, were mostly depleted. But Montville and Liberty are far from ghost towns today, with populations of approximately 1,000 people. To this day they contain beautiful natural landscapes and vibrant communities.

Thanks to the Davistown Museum and Liberty Tool  for providing information for this column.

Notices

Montville needs volunteers for a committee on the feasibility of constructing a facility to contain a community hall, fire department and emergency operations center. Anyone interested, or for more details, please contact John York at 382-3077 or kayork47@gmail.com.

Road Commissioner Richard Peavey said more salt has been added to roads in Montville than in previous years, which he believes to be beneficial. The town has also received notice from the state that Route 220 will be paved this summer.

All dogs in Liberty and Montville not registered by Feb. 1 will incur a $25 late fee.