Maine and the Nanticoke Valley began as part of a vast, 230,000-acre tract of land known as the Boston Purchase or Massachusetts Ten Townships. Nanticoke was formed from a section of Lisle in 1831, while Maine was taken from the town of Union and incorporated in 1848. Though no major highways or railroads came through the valley, products from the area were sold worldwide: locally made rakes were shipped to Australia, Pitcher’s Mill flour went west to the goldfields, and butter from community farms was sold in New York City. The most important valley export was its innovative and unique people, including Lamont Bowers, who served for 30 years on the personal advisory staff of John D. Rockefeller; Dr. Dwight Dudley, the youngest commanding officer in the Civil War when he was put in charge of Elmira Prison Hospital; and Dwight’s son Dr. D. Guilford Dudley, developer of an anti-anthrax serum. Today, the Nanticoke Valley is a bedroom community for those working at various universities and companies in a three-county area.
Author Bio: Susan H. Lisk has been the curator and archivist for the Nanticoke Valley Historical Society since 2002 and a Maine resident since 1984.
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