Mars Hill, Maine

According to George Varney’s, Gazetteer of the State of Maine, published in 1881, Mars Hill lies on the eastern border of Aroostook County, 30 miles north of Houlton, on the stageline to Fort Fairfield. It is bounded on the north by Easton, south by Blaine, west by Westfield Plantation, and east by Wicklow, in New Brunswick. In the eastern part is an isolated mountain called Mars Hill, the elevation from which the town takes its name. This was a noted landmark in running the boundary line between the United and the dominion of Great Britain, which was the subject of such long and troublesome disputes. It is a long elevation of regular outline, having a peak at each extremity–its greatest extension being north and south, parallel to the State boundary line less than a mile eastward of its base. Its ascent commences with an easy swell of half a mile in width, and then abruptly increases toward the summit, in some places to an almost perpendicular steepness. Its top is narrow, and divided by a hollow near the middle. In settling upon the boundary line between the United States and the dominions of Great Britain, the commissioners under the treaty of Ghent caused trees to be felled and a spot cleared on each of the peaks and their astronomers and surveyors ascertained that the south peak was 1,519 feet and the north one, 1,370 feet above the tide waters of the St. Lawrence. The western part of the town is drained by Presque Isle Stream and its branches. The northeastern part is drained by the small stream of the River Gasquill and the southeastern, by Young Brook. The factories consist of two sawmills for long and short lumber, two starch factories, etc.

Mars Hill was organized as a plantation in 1866, and incorporated as a town, Feb. 21, 1867. The Congregationalists have a society in the town, and sustain stated meetings, with preaching a portion of the time. The number of public schoolhouses is seven; and the total school property is valued at $1,600. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $45,811. In 1880, it was $71,577. The population in 1870 was 399. In 1880, it was 716.