Friday, July 31, 2015

The Stevens Family of Portland Maine

The Stevens Family were among the original settlors of Deering, back when it was part of Falmouth.

In fact, part of the Deering area was named "Stevens Plains," for the painted tinware business that was headed up by Zachariah Brackett Stevens (1778-1856), who is widely believed to be the namesake of Stevens Avenue and Stevens Plains, which intersected with Morrill's Corner.

ZACHARIAH BRACKETT STEVENS

EXAMPLE OF TINWARE FROM STEVENS SHOP

Zachariah was the son of Isaac Sawyer Stevens and Sarah (Brackett) Stevens. He was trained as a blacksmith by his father, and later branched out into tinsmithing. He built his shop at Stevens Plains in the early 1800s and sent out peddlers with his tinware and other necessities for the public and also built a general store at the Plains which carried bartered goods for the tinware. Much of his tinware was decorated by Sally Brisco (wife of one of his tin sellers), Sally's nieces (the Francis sisters) and some of his own children and relatives.

Zachariah's sons Alfred and Samuel Butler Stevens, were also tinsmiths who worked in the factory. Samuel took over after his father's death.

Zachariah's brother, Nathaniel (1780-1853) moved into Stroudwater Village, purchasing the Daniel Herrick House at 1 Cobb Avenue.  He and his very tall sons established a smithy in the Village in the early 1800s around the same time his brother was starting his tinsmith shop at Stevens Plains.  Nathaniel's shop only lasted until around 1822.  In the winter of 1861, Nathaniel's nine year old grandson Charlie drowned in Stroudwater River (as so many others did) while walking on thin ice.

Zachariah and Nathaniel's father Isaac (1748-1820) was a Revolutionary War veteran, born to Isaac Sr. (1719-1804) of Andover Massachusetts, an original settlor of old Falmouth.  Before that the Stevens family had been Andover natives going back to Colonial times, with their immigrant ancestor being John Stevens (1605-1662) of Caversham, England, who had arrived in Massachusetts around 1635.


HOME OF ISAAC STEVENS, SR.
built 1767
A grandson to Zachariah, Augustus Ervin Stevens (1825-1882), was Mayor of Portland from 1866-1867, and during the Great Fire.  His mother was Sally Briscoe-Stevens, a grand niece of Paul Revere.  Augustus got his start working in the family grocery business, later branching out into partnership at the grocery called Lynch & Stevens, and from there invested in many other business ventures.  He was reputed to have been a very successful businessperson with much integrity.  He died of heart failure in his easy chair in his home at the former Asa Clapp house on Spring Street.  The Stevens family held the Clapp House from 1863-1914.

HOME OF CHARLES QUINCY CLAPP (AND HIS FATHER ASA)
OWNED BY THE STEVENS FAMILY FOR 50 YEARS
95 SPRING STREET

John Calvin Stevens, famous Portland architect, was born in Boston to Mainer parents whose immigrant ancestor was a William Stevens (1616-1653), also of Caversham, England, possibly a brother to John, the immigrant ancestor of Zachariah et al..

The Stevens Family are buried at all the City cemeteries of Portland.

GRAVE OF ISAAC STEVENS, JR.
BAILEY CEMETERY


GRAVE OF ZACHARIAH STEVENS AND FAMILY
PINE GROVE CEMETERY
GRAVE OF AUGUSTUS ERVIN STEVENS
EVERGREEN CEMETERY

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