Haviland Story of William Eaton’s Bull

Before its acquisition by Nathaniel Scott in 1784, what we now know as Scott’s Landing belonged to Major William Eaton, one of Deer Isle’s earliest English-speaking settlers.

Born in Massachusetts, he worked his way down east and in 1742, we find him in York, Maine where he married Meribah Wardwell. Her father was an Abenaki Indian, her mother a colonist who, near the start of Dummer’s War (sometimes called Lovewell’s War (1721-1726) was carried off into captivity by the Indians. When later repatriated, she had little Meribah in tow.

Not until 1762 did the Eatons settle on Deer Isle, building their house a short distance south of where the Inn at Ferry Landing now stands. Its cellar could still be seen as recently as 1940. Like the other early settlers, Major Eaton came here to farm raising both crops and livestock. And therein lies our story, as told by Verna Powers Billings in a brief manuscript in the archives of the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society. Vera was a descendant of William Eaton of Dr. Moody Powers who was a daughter of William Eaton, II. Vera’s story was recorded in 1947. It goes like this:

My grandmother Lucinda (Gray) Powers told my mother about the Indians who were living at the northern end of the island near Little Deer Isle bar. Major William Eaton had a bull that the Indians were much afraid of. They called it “All One Devil” and because of it moved away from that part of the island.”

Short though it is, the story is important for establishing that Indians were still living here when early “white” settlers arrived. Evidently, they camped somewhere on Scott’s Point (where the causeway now begins), a locality that we know was important to them for at least 3,000 years.

This importance derived from the abundance of marine resources nearby as well as for the proximity of a major transportation artery that passed between Deer Isle and Little Deer. This was the Deer Isle canoe route – still in use well into the 20th century – that ran from the Bagaduce through the middle of Deer Isle to the islands to the south.