Town of Blaine
Formerly Alva Plantation, Incorporated February 10, 1874, and named in honor of James G. Blaine
Blaine is situated twenty-five miles north of Houlton, and approximately 15 miles south of Presque Isle. Blaine residents have a strong work ethic. At one time, there were many a farm and a thriving village; however, the number of farms have gradually declined. Blaine with its excellent soil still has a few beautiful outlying farms.
The town of Blaine includes only a half township and extends three miles north and south and six miles east from the boundary line. Activity, clearing of the land, started after the Aroostook War.
Mr. B. W. Chandler came from Winslow in 1842 and was the first to start clearing land for farming. He built a home on the ridge of land north of the village as the R.W. Lowell farm. There were no roads at this time except for the roads in the winter used for lumbering. This was like a wilderness with no neighbors for miles. Smoke could be seen in a distance to Westfield where James Thorncraft lived. Benjamin Bubar had a small clearing a short distance from Mr. Chandler and on the west side of the road. William Freeman and Sherman Tapley lived on the line between the farms which later were owned by Mr. Tapley and Deacon Noble. Freeman settled on the east side of the road as the Noble farm. Mr. Rideout was located on the west side of the Houlton road. William Rideout settled on the opposite side of Clark's land. James Gilman settled on the east side, the southern part next to the Bridgewater line.
James Clark owned land near three different brooks and William Rideout built a cabin on the opposite side of Clark's place.
After a few years, Mr. Joel Valley came and started clearing the area where the village is now located, the year was 1847. Mr. Valley came from New Brunswick; his house was built very close to where the hotel was later built. His house was a stopping point for people traveling north. The fire of 1864, however, destroyed his place along with others located at Blaine Corner. Mr. Valley built a hotel in 1866 and sold it a year later to Joseph Joy. The hotel was owned by a number of people: Stephen Lake, Daniel Orcutt, and Jonathan Hersom. Mr. Valley was the first trader in town.
People with last names Bell, Monroe, Hotham, Brown, and Preble to name a few came from New Brunswick, Canada to settle in this area. Others from Maine started settling in Blaine as well.
Blaine, being a half township, was part of the State of Massachusetts, and known as Letter B, Range One. Land was payable basically by road labor and sold for $l.20 an acre. Some of the settlers got their deeds from Massachusetts and others from the State of Maine. The price of land from the State of Maine was only fifty cents an acre. The half township had been included with Bridgewater plantation.
Messrs. Sherman and Perkins of Augusta built the first store on the corner. Mr. Perkins eventually sold out to Mr. Sherman. After the 1864 fire, Mr. Sherman sold out to Bedford Hume, then to Charles F Collins, son of the Hon. Geo. W. Collins of Bridgewater. This store was later owned by Stephen Lake, then to Benj.F Jones and to John Bubar.
Messrs. Jackson and Oakes built a store in 1866. The store was later owned by R.E. McFarland, then Henry O. Perry and Orlando Robinson. Mr. A.O. Nutter from St. Albans owned the business in 1884 and run it until 1889.
Mr. Wm. Robinson bought 260 acres of land near Three Brooks and the Presque Isle Stream in 1859. A mill was built and operated by Mr. Robinson himself or his sons.
Traveling from Houlton to Presque Isle was not always a smooth ride. During the spring and fall the roads were very rough. The East road opened in 1858 joining the East Ridge road and running south across town and continuing to Baird's Mills on the boundary line.
Stephen Lake built in 1873 and was later owned by S. H. Hussey. Joseph Chandler built a mill in 1874.
A post office was established in 1860. At this time, the name was changed to Alva and remained until 1874. This was the year in which it was incorporated as a town, and the name was changed to Blaine in honor of Hon. James G. Blaine. The first postmaster was Dennis Getchell succeeded by H. O. Perry, Mr. Joel Valley then F.E. Brown and A. O. Nutter.
West of the Corner was the two-story village schoolhouse supervised by Mrs. Sophia Tapley.
Included with the town of Blaine is Robinson; Robinson, at one time, had three grocery stores in the 1940's. The farms were subsidized by the government. This guaranteed farmers a certain amount per barrel during the war. When this ended in 1950, many farmers cut back their acreage. Potatoes went from $5.00 a barrel to being dumped. In the spring of 1952 potatoes averaged .50c a barrel. Many farmers lost their farms or cut back. Hired men were discharged because of this situation and many moved, some going to Connecticut. This situation had a great effect on Blaine and Robinson.
The First Baptist Church of Blaine started with only seven people, who met at Joseph Bubar's home. Joel Valley donated the lot, and the church building was erected in 1886. This church is still active today.
Many people commute to the larger communities for employment. Blaine and Robinson are part of the School Administrative District located in the neighboring town of Mars Hill.