Nathan Phillips

Nathan Phillips (1775-1861) was the first settler. Born in Bellingham, Mass. he came to Eddington Bend, near Brewer, and from there to Phillips Lake in 1810. After a thorough search, he decided to settle near the lake. Returning a second time, he found he was on the wrong side of the lake so he removed his clothing, tied it to an ax handle and swam across the lake. He built his first cabin near the shore but later built another log cabin on the hill which is the site of the Lucerne Club House. Today, he and other relatives lie in Pine Trail Cemetery.

Other pioneers followed, trekking their way into this wilderness. A general exodus from the western part of the State to this area brought families such as the Billingtons, Burrills, and Cowings. The probable reason for the exodus at that time was that the western part of the state had been "cut over" while the eastern part was mainly virgin land and timber.

Two brothers, Asa and John Burrill came to Dedham in 1826 from China, Maine. William Burrill (Asa's son) said: "He was fourteen years old when he came to Dedham and he walked all the way from China leading the family cow."

Thomas Cowing and his family came from Lisbon, Maine in 1826. His son Daniel, who was ten years old said: "He remembered coming by ox team, taking a week to make the trip and his mother cooking up doughnuts enough to fill an old fashioned churn for them to eat on the way."

These men carved farms from rugged hillsides, monuments to their daring and faith.