South Thomaston village was called “The Keag” (pronounced “gig”) after the Wassaweskeag River. Its heyday was the 1840s and ‘50s, when there were three shipyards along the shore, and most of the houses in town were owned by shipbuilders, carpenters, blacksmiths, and other s who worked on the vessels. The last vessel built in South Thomaston was the “Florence Mayo” in 1871. This early 20th-century photo shows the Methodist church on the left, the Hanley and Harrington Stores, on one side of the bridge, and the old mill, built on stone piers, on the other side.
In 1847 the Maine Legislature authorized Joseph Newhall, Almond Newhall, and Joshua Barrett, Jr. to erect a dam over the river near the bridge “for the purpose of raising power by tide water to propel a grist mill and other machinery; and to erect a maintain a mill and other machinery thereon; provided that the said Joseph, Almond, Joshua, their associates and assigns, shall make and maintain a sluice through said dam in the deepest channel of said river, with flood gates or a lock not less than eighteen feet wide, for the free passage of boats, gondolas and other small craft as usually pass up and down said river.”
The building they constructed operated as a grist mill and saw mill. In the 1920s and ‘30s it began to deteriorate, and a wind storm eventually took much of it down , and it was raised.
Info provided by Bill Colby
South Thomaston Historical Society