Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Legend of Molly Ockett

Molly Ockett’s name appears on buildings and monuments throughout western Maine and New Hampshire. The Abenaki healer, who was born sometime between 1730 and 1744, was a well known woman to Native Americans and the early settlers of the region during her day. In addition to being a healer and herbalist, Molly was a skilled basket maker and craftswoman. Though several towns claim her as a one-time resident, the fact is that Molly was a nomad, which means she frequently through the Sebago Lakes Region during her travels.

The town of Bethel celebrates her life during an annual July festival known as “Molly Ockett Days.” A room is named for her at the O’Neill Robinson House, one of the “Museums of the Bethel Historical Society.” She is buried in the town of Andover, and a stone at her grave gives her death as 1816. Next week I will post an anecdote about Molly’s time in Poland, where she often visited with her friends the Rickers, of Poland Spring fame.

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