Alexander/Crawford History

Town News

By John Dudley 

& Cassie Oakes


PROPERTY TAX MAP NOTES - A goal of Massachusetts was to have each township be 36 square miles.  Coastal townships presented problems because the coast was not straight.  Many inland townships were square, 6 miles per side.  Alexander has parts of five lots that protrude off to the west from its northwest corner.  Why?

A township that is 6 miles by 6 miles has 36 square miles or 23,040 acres.  According to Stanley Attwood, Alexander has a total of 24,880 acres; 21,062 of land and 3,821 of water.

Townships 1 through 7 were surveyed by Rufus Putnam in 1784.  The westerly boundary of Baileyville (#7) in 1786 became the easterly boundary of Alexander.

In 1764 Jones and Frye surveyed eight townships east of the Union River (1-8 SD).  The east-west lines became the base of some of the Lottery townships surveyed on paper by Putnam in 1786.  The north-south lines were at 90 degrees to the Great East West Line of Jones and Frye.  A line parallel became the westerly line(s) of TWP 16 (Alexander).

In 1786 Putnam lotted off TWP 16 into 55 lots.  In 1808 Benjamin R Jones followed Putnam’s plan, but further divided the land into 128 smaller lots specifically for settlers.  Both of these have the non-parallel east and west side boundaries, but straight north and south side lines.

In 1838 Legislature set-off a 100-acre piece of land from Cooper into Alexander; the piece measures 1 mile east and west and 50 roads north to south.  (Damon Set-off).

In 1859 the Legislature set-off a 50-rod piece to Alexander into Crawford; this was part of the gore.  (Lydic Set-off)

Wallings 1861 Wall Map of Washington County is not accurate.

George Colby’s Map of Alexander in his Atlas of Washington County shows no set-offs so the south line is wrong.

In 1926 Benjamin E Gardener of Calais produced a copy of the Colby’s map with its errors.

Topographical maps based on surveys done in 1929 show the north line of Alexander (bounding Princeton) is not straight, which is true.