CLA Pond Representative: Walt and Sue Staples
History of Lake Christopher
The Town of Woodstock was organized in 1815, five years before Maine became a state. The major settlements were Stephens Mills (Old County Rd.), Pinhook, or North Woodstock, the Gore, bordering North Pond and South Woodstock. Christopher Bryant and his brother Soloman opened a road from Stephens Mills to the area of what they called "Long Pond". They were given a 1000 acre grant in 100 acre lots by the Commonwealth.
The building of the railroad began in the late 1840's. The tracks were down as far as Bryant Pond in 1851, Bethel in 1852. The railroad offered an opportunity for wealthy people from the South to build summer homes on the lake. The village of Bryant Pond quickly grew.
Mann's Mill, built in 1890 is now Lake Christopher Condominiums.
Dearborne Mill, later Stowells was built in 1880. In the late 1980's Gordon Brown bought the mill and land on which there are now four houses. Lake Christopher Lodge was built in 1904 by Mortimer and Frances Wiske. In June of 1921 it opened as Birch Villa Inn, and brought summer people to the lake and town; it also had a music camp. They employed a number of local people.
Across from the Merle Ring House on Birch St. there was a Granite Quarry which operated from 1852-1917. At one time over 50 men were employed at the Quarry.
Before refrigeration men cut ice, stored it in saw dust, and delivered it for ice boxes in warm weather. Fishing was very good and popular.
Guernsey Island was first cleared for picnics in 1869, and the first cottage was built in 1904 for Nicholas Mauger.
The Stone House built in 1892 by Ernest Freeman, later known as the Freeman Waterhouse place, was the Maine Conservation School from 1959-2008. It is now the State of Maine Extension 4-H camp.
Cottage on Hall's Point was built in 1902 for Vaughn Hall, later remodeled, is now owned by a local resident.
The "Dream House" built in the summer of 1916 for William and Bessey Ellery is now owned by a local resident.
Birchmere, originally the home of Dr. Fredrick Kinsman, was built in the early 1900's on Lake Christopher surrounded by a variety of trees, particularly birches. This article, from the March 19, 2001 Sun Journal tells the story of the family and the home.