Two If By Sea, The Prodigy of the Piscataqua
The Folletts of Kittery Point
by Marian Sleeman Gerrish Craig
From the Introduction: This is an account of a family named Follett who lived by the sea on the Piscataqua River in Kittery Point, Maine. Someone in that family has lived in the same location on Follett Lane for over 200 continuous years.
The first Follett in America was Capt. John Follett. He appears in our genealogical records in 1640 when he signed The Dover Combination. Generations later another Capt. John Follett became the last to bear that family name when he died in Kittery Point in 1820, leaving no children. This last Capt. John Follett was the eldest son of Capt. Robert Follett Sr., a ship builder and an important figure both in the local militia and in the founding of the Continental navy.
In 1767, the Folletts purchased the Follett Lane property from Capt. Smallcorn's widow at Kittery Point where Capt. John Follett lived with his brother Capt. Robert Follett Jr. and their sisters, Mary and Mercy.
The property's wharves and warehouses would play an important role in the coming years in permitting the brothers to sail their ships when and where they wanted, a vital factor in keeping the family going after the Embargo Act of 1807 and during the War of 1812. The original wharves are still in place on the beach in front of the colonial house on Follett Lane. Centuries later our children would learn to swim on the beach now in place between the wharves.
For the next thirty years, the two Follett sisters, Mercy and Mary, took care of the home on Follett Lane, steadfastly keeping that residence on the banks of the Piscataqua ready for their brothers' return. Mercy, the older sister, would remain unmarried in her steadfastness to the family's welfare. She would be the last to carry the surname of Follett on Follett Lane. Her resolute devotion to the Follett business is remarked upon by William Fogg's genealogy report and John Eldridge Frost's pamphlet entitled Colonial Village, included in this book's illustrations.
Mary Follett Gerrish was the author's great-great-grandmother. Her only son was Robert Follett Gerrish. His only son was Follett Gerrish, grandfather to the author.
6x9, Trade paper, 106 pages, 29 B&W Illustrations, 2011, ISBN 978-1-937721-01-5, $25.00.
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