The Malcolms of South Newcastle

07 Aug 2017 2:39 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

by Arlene Cole, reprinted with permission of the author

Little known to the many passers-by on busy Route #1 are the extensive marshes that form and water a vast area on the southwestern part of Newcastle. Known by such names as Marsh River, Crumbie's Reach, Bryant's Meadow, Deer Meadow Brook and Jenny Brook, these natural swampy areas on the east side of the Sheepscot River were the early home to the Malcolm family. They farmed the land here.

To the early farmers, hay was very important. The amount of hay a farmer could gather during the summer determined how many animals he could house and feed during the winter. When he arrived on his new land there were no fields . The land was covered with trees - except the marshes . It was possible to hay them at once and continually each year.  They were a great asset and highly coveted.

It was before 1783 that Allen Malcolm and his wife, the former Isabella Allen moved here with their three children. The Rev. David Quimby Cushman in his History of Ancient Sheepscot and Newcastle lists them in the Town census of that year. Coming from Georgetown, they probably came up the Sheepscot River by boat. There they built their house. The house is now gone. Francis Cunningham, who lived in the area all his life, said it burned. There is still a cellar hole, thought to be its location, on land now owned by Lorna and Tom Fake.

Allen Malcolm, was born in Georgetown in 1733 a son of Michael (ca 1695) and Sarah Malcolm. Isabella Allen Malcolm was born in Bristol in 1728 a daughter of David Allen (1704) and Frances Rogers (1708). They were all a part ofthe Scotch families who came to this area in the early 1700's. By the year 1718, religious persecution of Presbyterians under Charles II had driven or forced many (including my McCurda ancestors) to flee to Northern Ireland . From there, these outcasts made their way to Maine. Although they were known as the Scotch-Irish, it is doubtful that in these straight laced Presbyterians there was any Irish Catholic blood.

Allen Malcolm is listed in several deeds as "gentleman." In 1765 he bought one fourth of a sawmill, stream and dam: "it being on a stream called Back River in Georgetown."  He served in both the French & Indian War and the Revolutionary War. He was a Lieutenant in Captain Joseph Berry's Company in His Majesty 's Service in 1755. In the Revolutionary War he took part in the ill-fated Penobscot Expedition. For the remainder of his life he was known as Captain Allen.

Isabelle Allen Malcolm's parents lived in Bristol, Pemaquid and then moved to Boston. Her father became a prosperous merchant but was slain by the savages in 1744.  At the time of his death he owned two 300 acre parcels in the Sheepscot area. In 1787 his widow Frances returned to Georgetown and "released her interest in her lands in Sheepscot." This land ownership, undoubtedly, is what brought the Malcolms to the southwest part of Newcastle. This is where they continued to live and raise their family of Frances, David Allen and Allen. Captain Allen died in 1799 and Isabella died in 1805.

They were buried in the Malcolm cemetery there.

Captain Allen was not the first member of the family to be buried in Newcastle soil.  His second child and older son, David Allen, born in 1767, died at the age of 21 and is buried there. Younger son Allen was born in 1771 and stayed on the farm. He married, on September 30, 1792, Hannah Mitchell of Newcastle. She had been born in 1772. Allen was active around town. Through the years he served as Field Driver, Hog Constable, Tythingman and Surveyor of Highways. On the 1816 map of Newcastle by surveyor Josiah Jones , Allen Malcolm owned land along the Sheepscot and Marsh River. The island now called Lehman Island was called Malcolm Island.

Allen and Hannah had five girls: Isabella, Mary, Nancy, Eliza Ann and Permilla, and  five boys: David, Allen, Mitchell, Simon and John. Two of the girls are buried in the Malcolm cemetery. They are Isabella who married John Burnham and Mary who married Nicholas Lee. Of the boys, John was lost at sea. David was a captain in the militia.  Simon was born in 1809 and died at the age of 55. He is buried in the Malcolm cemetery. It was Mitchell who stayed on the farm.

Allen died when he was 53 on Aug. 31, 1824. He had been haying, perhaps gathering some of that marsh hay that is so prolific in the area. He sent the load home by his men and stopped to bathe in the Sheepscot River. There he was taken with cramps and drowned. Hannah lived until 1838 and is buried beside him in the Malcolm cemetery.

Mitchell was born in April 1804. He married Betsy Achorn, born Feb. 1803, of Wiscasset in 1827. They had a large family, also. They had eight children, three girls and five boys. Their oldest daughter, Philena was born in 1832. She died at the age of five.

According to the gravestones in the Malcolm cemetery both Jane and Lizzie married into the Conary family . Jane married Amaziah Conary. She died in 1904. Lizzie married David Conary. She died in Rockland in 1882. All three girls are buried in the Malcolm Cemetery.

Young men of this generation ran smack into the Civil War. William, John and Simon all enlisted as Privates in the 16th Maine Volunteers, Company A. Both John and Simon were named for their uncles. William died in Libby Prison in 1864 at the age of 37.  Simon was killed near Petersburg, VA in June 1864 at the age of 20. Simon, 1824 1864, who was killed in the Civil War should not be confused with his Uncle Simon (1809 - 1863). Both have stones at the Malcolm cemetery. John returned home from the War but died in 1874 at the age of 33. Did he have some War wound or sickness to cause him to die so young? All three have stones in the Malcolm cemetery but, obviously, William and Simon are not there.

Allen, who did not go to war, was born in 1830 and is listed as a brick maker. There is a spot on the property where bricks were made. It is over toward the Island Road and there are old bricks there in the water. It is at a spot where a small creek enters the Marsh River. It appears this brickyard was quite active at one time. (see below.) There is no reference to his marrying. He died in 1880 at the age of 50 and is buried with his parents and brothers. Mitchell was the youngest. He married Laura Leighton of Somerville. Only he and his sister Jane out lived their parents.

The fertile land, the marsh and the river of South Newcastle attracted settlers to this rural area but it has never been called a village. In the 1870's two things took place that changed the area. In 1872 a Post Office was established in the area. It was known for a time as the South Newcastle Post Office but in 1880 the name was changed to Rosicrucian. Over the town line, in Edgecomb, a mineral spring had been found. The water was bottled and shipped out to customers. The group was quite active and hoped it would become something big, maybe they would build a hotel. It did not prosper, and the Post Office name was changed back to South Newcastle, in 1887. (see page 250 in my History Tales of Newcastle, Maine)

The second great change was the.coming of the railroad. Built in 1871, it was first known as the Knox Lincoln Railroad, and  later the Maine Central Railroad. The track went through the Malcolm land. In 1869-1870 the Railway gave the Malcolm family the right to make a cattle pass to cross the railway tracks and the right to drive cattle across at this pass. A small station, known as the South Newcastle station, was built with a waiting room, a ticket office and a platform. The station was called a flag station as the train only stopped if it were .flagged down or if there were passengers or freight to be dropped off.  It, too, changed its name to Rosicrucian station for a period. It was even planned to build a spur line to the mineral springs but they were not successful, the idea died, and the name was changed back to South Newcastle. (see page 251 in my History Tales of Newcastle, Maine) After the station was closed the building was tom down and the material used for something else. The station master's house is still there and privately owned.

The 1880 census lists 13 people in the Malcolm household. Mitchell was 75. His wife, Betsy is listed as "sick." Their daughter Jane Conary was keeping house for them. Her husband Amaziah is listed as a boarder. He may have worked in their brickyard. Two of Mitchell and Betsy's sons, Allen and Mitchell, Jr. were working there . Three laborers in the brick yard, Everett Gone, Joseph Portrait and Louis Jordan boarded with them. Four grandchildren made their home there, Estell, Almira, Allen and Edward Conary. Estell was teaching and Edward was a seaman.

Mitchell Malcolm died on May 23, 1886 and Betsy died Aug. 18, 1888. In her will, Betsey left her land to her surviving children Mitchell, Jr. and Jane Conary. The land was sold in small pieces, a little at a time. Cunningham, Trussell, Sherman, Merry and Smith were among the buyers during the next 90 years. John Trussell sold the Malcolm Family Burying Ground to Mitchell Malcolm, Jr. in 1896. The name Malcolm has disappeared from the Town tax rolls but the Malcolm cemetery has quietly continued as one of the well maintained private cemeteries of Newcastle.

In 1972 James (Jim) and Patricia (Pat) Hudson bought the large section of the former Malcolm land and the Malcolm cemetery. They moved here in 1994. They have kept the cemetery cleared and have legally added the Hudson Burying Ground next to it. I want to thank Pat for her information on the Malcolm family of South Newcastle.

Malcolm Cemetery Transcriptions

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