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Special Collections: Guide to the Whitneyville Agency Records

Whitneyville Agency Records
Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
December 2003
Introduction and Summary Information
Collection Title: Whitneyville Agency Records.
Dates of the Collection: 1853-1885 (inclusive); 1853-1868 (bulk).
Provenance: The Whitneyville Agency records came to the Special Collections Department as a gift from Dwight B. Demeritt, Jr., on October 22, 1997.
Collection Number: MS 683.
Box Numbers: 1 (formerly new accession 2001-0612g).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of one document box of material.
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders.
Preferred Citation: Whitneyville Agency Records, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

The Eastern Mill and Land Company, the forerunner of the Whitneyville Agency, was formed in 1841 by a group of landowners and lumbermen, especially Joseph Whitney of Calais, Maine. Whitney owned sawmills at Middle Falls, later called Whitneyville, near Machias, Maine. In order to ship its lumber at the port in Machias, the company began constructing a railroad from Whitneyville to Machiasport in 1839. John Palmer, Jr. directed the building of the railroad, assisted by Cornelius Sullivan, an immigrant from Ireland. Called the Palmer and Machiasport Railroad, it was completed in 1843.  By 1866, James D. Pope was president of the railroad and Sullivan was treasurer, general manager, freight agent and engineer. In 1869 he bought seven-eighths of the Eastern Land and Mill Company, changing its name in 1870 to the Whitneyville Agency and the name of the railroad to the Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad. Sullivan’s family also managed the general store in Whitneyville for many years.
The production of lumber at the Whitneyville sawmills reached its peak in 1875, dropping quickly after that until it ceased entirely in 1892. Sullivan soon dissolved the Whitneyville Agency and sold the train engines in 1896. The Agency mills and machinery were destroyed in a fire in 1902.
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains three volumes of financial information about the operation of the Whitneyville Agency.
The journal, 1853-1860, is a daybook recording freight charges primarily for lumber and laths. Individuals and companies mentioned frequently include S.W. Pope & Co., William. E. Pennell, John F. Harmon, Humphrey Desmond, and James Miller.
The journal, 1857-1868, records financial information about stumpage, labor, wood sold, and general bills paid by the Whitneyville Agency.
The ledger, 1857-1885, lists accounts held by various people and companies, with expenditures and credits for lumber, groceries, equipment, labor, etc.
Box List
Box 1
1 Journal, 1853-1860
2 Journal, 1857-1868
3 Ledger, 1857-1885

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/31/2015
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