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The 1895 Kittery Prophecy of Ben Frisbee

Kittery_Frisbee_Store / J. Dennis Robinson photo


Prof. Richard Candee discovered a copy of this rare and brittle publication that we had never seen before. The following article offers a view of the future by Kittery Point “prophet” who wrote in 1895 what he imagined might happen to his town 60 years in the future. Read the entire transcript below.




A prophetic vision of Kittery Point and vicinity sixty years hence 
November 27, 1895

Transcribed exclusively by

It is a bright morning in June, in the year 1955, that we near the mouth of the Piscataqua on board of an ocean steamer four days from Liverpool. As BoonIsland and the Isles of Shoals are past, with the harbor and the land on either side in view, the scenery is beautiful in the extreme. An immense tower looms up on Whalesback, one hundred and fifty feet above the level of the sea, which at night shows an electric light of great brilliancy. WoodIsland soon comes into view on which is a steel fortress covering the entire island. A bridge of solid masonry, steel clad, connects the fortress with the earth works on GerrishIsland. On top of this bridge is a covered archway built of steel, bombproof, where troops can be taken from one fort to the other without exposure in time of battle. This bridge forms a breakwater for the inner harbor, which was long needed. Inside of Wood island a wharf is built out from Black rock to deep water, where the largest steamer can land with safety. GerrishIsland is said to be one of the most beautiful places in New England. It represents one immense park. Many beautiful residences and two large hotels grace the waterfront. A beautiful macamamized road. Four rods wide, called Goodwin’s Boulevard, encircles the island and is lighted by electricity. This boulevard makes one of the finest drives in New England. Every afternoon in fair weather can be seen some of the finest turnouts in New England.


Island_and_Harbor_Echo_1895In the morning the boulevard is said to be alive with equestrians and with bicycles run by electricity, which is said to be a great improvement on the old treadmill fashion of locomotion; there are no bent forms and unnatural positions, but with full control of the electrical power, the person sits erect and glides along with the speed of the wind if desired. There are other attractions on this beautiful island. In sight of the sea is a beautiful park open to the public, with several fountains sending their spray high in air. Great Swamp has been dredged and made into an artificial lake; other swamps have been filled in and built upon until the whole island has become a thing of beauty which the visitor can only look at with wonder and amazement. But to return to our ship, entering the harbor after being visited by the custom house officers and port physician, we steamed to Lawrence Point, which is the landing place of a branch of the White Star line of steamers, an iron pier being built along the water front. Taking an electric car, we go to the Pepperrell House, which is said to tbe the oldest hotel in town, being built in the early seventies of the 18th century. As I am to stop here several days, I will relate what I see in my rambles about town. There are two lines of ocean steamers running to this place, being drawn here by the great depth of water and nearness to the sea. Soon after the railroad as built to Canada, connecting with the west, which has its terminus at Kittery Point. What was once Canada is now a part of the United States, it having been annexed in 1920, as you doubtless know, thereby bringing five new states into the Union -- Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and Arcadia. The Star Spangled Banner now waves from the frozen north to the island of Cuba, which gained her independence in 1896, was annexed to the United States in 1898. Hawaii or the Sandwich Islands was annexed to the Union the same year.


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