Above is the portrait of the Josiah Noyes family, our great, great, great grandfather. I’m not sure if I see the resemblance, but there are a few high quality mustaches to aspire to.
To best understand Josiah and his family in mid 19th Northern Maine, I think it best to share the following paragraphs which appeared in a souvenir issue of the Aroostook Republican printed during 1895.
“In 1858 he (Josiah) came to Aroostook County and took up a State lot in the present town of Limestone, Maine. He was a pioneer without capital except what existed in industrious habits and a pair of strong arms. He underwent all the privations and hardships that any of the early pioneers did but his indomitable yankee grit carried him through them all. In the course of years he evolved from the wilderness one of the finest farms in the county, a farm that attracts the attention of all who have occasion to drive over the beautiful roads on which he lives. He has 600 acres of land at the home place and his crops of hay, oats and potatoes assume very large figures. A few years ago he raised from 30 acres of land 9700 bushels of potatoes, a crop that would average 323 bushels to the acre. He has had as many as 50 acres in potatoes in a single year. His other crops have been as large proportionally.
He built a starch factory two years ago near his farm and last year he manufactured 140 tons of starch.
When Mr. Noyes first came to Aroostook County there was not probably one apple tree north of Houlton. Recently Mr. Noyes has set out about 3000 apple and plum trees, which will make as beautiful an orchard as can be found in the State. A picture of his orchard is found on the next page.
Mr. Noyes owns considerable timber land and manufactures lumber to some extent. About 10 years ago he purchased the upper mill on the Limestone Stream and now has a perfectly equipped modern mill with steam power to apply when the water is low. This mill has all the machinery usually found in a first class plant of its kind and its average daily output is 12000 feet of lumber.”
To this day, the Aroostook Rebublican runs an article called “Looking Back” that highlights the happenings of that week decades past. I love the language of this period in the news print. Phrases like “indominable yankee grit” and “pioneer without capital except what existed in industrious habits and a pair of strong arms” harken back to a time when the news was less conjecture and more filled with insight.