Fort Fairfield, Maine

Pattee Diaries

Charles Calvin Pattee (1840-1900) was the son of Stephen Burbank Pattee (1815-1866), a prominent Ft. Fairfield citizen, businessman and state legislator for three terms. C.C. married Harriet Laviscia Fisher in 1872 and in the late 1870s moved first to Somerville, Massachusetts, then to Norfolk, Virginia, where he died and is buried in Oak Lawn Cemetery. Their children included Grace Marion Pattee Minter, who kept the diaries and letters and died in 1967.

Richard Johnston gave the diaries to the UMPI Special Collections. These are not to be used for commercial purposes. Any publication request for educational purposes should be sent to

Examine the Pattee Diaries.

Richards Family Letters

Prepared by:  Martha Grant

When Beth Richards of Fort Fairfield, Maine, died at age 98 in 1994, she left behind hundreds of family letters and papers dating from 1839 and thereafter. The collection chronicles her grandfather Almon Richards’ move to “The Aroostook” from Lincolnville, Maine, and his life thereafter. At that time the area called the Aroostook was the northeastern frontier of the United States, sparsely inhabited and nearly lawless. Now the area is Aroostook County, Maine, larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.

As a member of the Bangor Militia, Almon marched north on river ice to settle the dispute between the United States and Great Britain over the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick. Almon, the oldest child, left his parents, Nehemiah and Nancy Richards, and many brothers and sisters in Lincolnville, Maine. Many of the letters in Beth Richards’ collection were written to Almon from Nehemiah and the family.  The letters tell the story of how a rural Maine family lived in that era.

Various members of the Richards family wrote to Almon about their travels; some went to sea on fishing schooners, some to cut wood in Virginia, some to the Civil War, some to Massachusetts textile mills. Others joined the Gold Rush or established homes on land grants in the west. Marriages, births, deaths, and scandalous behaviors, all were reported to Almon. Those letters, along with copies of some of Almon Richards’ business correspondence and records, make up the collection known as “The Richards Papers.”

The Richards Papers are privately owned by Martha Grant and Glenna Smith. These papers are not for commercial use. Requests for publication for educational purposes must be made to Martha Grant. To do this, email and the message will be passed along to Martha Grant.

View the Richards Family Letters.

1877 Colby and Roe Atlas of Fort Fairfield

This is the 1877 Colby and Roe Atlas map of Fort Fairfield that has been overlaid onto a present day land map. The map includes the names of the people who owned each lot in 1877. If you click on a lot, agricultural information from the 1870 US Agricultural Census should appear. If it does not appear, it is because there was no data for that particular lot owner. Some people owned multiple lots and it was hard to distinguish which lot connected to the census data. Deed research would perhaps answer the question.

This map could not have been made without the help of Dr. Chungzeng Wang and his student Jared Dickinson. The Maine State Archives also gave us permission to use their digitized version of the Colby and Roe Atlas of 1877.

Explore the 1877 Colby and Roe Atlas interactive map.

Dig into the census records.

These census records have been transcribed into an Excel spreadsheet to make them searchable. It is also hoped that queries can be run. Names have been spelled as well as they could be deciphered. If you see any mistakes, please email

View Fort Fairfield’s Historical Postcard Collection