An Enduring Legacy
For nearly two centuries—since her death in 1816—the story of Molly Ockett and her world has captured the interest of historians, writers, and generations of local residents. These "stories" have been re-told, expanded upon, and fictionalized, but, for many people, an underlying interest in the real Molly Ockett fortunately endures. The distance between "Princess Molly Ockett" of Bethel's annual summer festival and Mareagit—the determined original proprietor, the "Indian doctress," the "pretty and genteel squaw," and the friend of the white settlers—is certainly great. Yet Molly Ockett's important qualities of ability and personality transcend the many years that have passed since her birth. Her generosity, accomplishment, self-reliance, and determination to walk a straight path in difficult and confusing times are qualities as worthy of admiration in the twenty-first century community of "Princess Molly Ockett" as they were in the world of the original Molly Ockett, and constitute a unique and lasting legacy.
Among the many geographic locations in this region associated with Molly Ockett that can be visited today is "Molly Ockett's Cave" in Fryeburg. Located at the base of a rocky outcrop known as Jockey Cap, this stone shelter is situated a short distance from the site of the Indian village of Pigwacket, where Molly Ockett spent much of her youth. Molls Rock, on the eastern shore of Umbagog Lake, and Moll Ockett Mountain, in the nearby town of Woodstock, also preserve her name.
A modern consequence of Molly Ockett's longstanding fame has been the use of her name in connection with several area businesses, institutions, and events. Other Abenaki of Molly Ockett's time, including Metallak and Sabattis, have had their names "preserved" in a similar manner.
"Molly Ockett and Her World" was originally displayed at the Bethel Historical Society from July 17, 2004, through May 31, 2007. The Bethel Historical Society extends its appreciation to the following individuals for their assistance in making the exhibit possible: Catherine S-C. Newell; Patricia Stewart; Pauline T. Bartow; and Bunny McBride. Funding for the exhibit was provided by the Maine State Organization Daughters of the American Revolution and the Molly Ockett Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, Fryeburg, Maine.
Text and images contained in this online exhibit are intended for personal research purposes only, and are not to be otherwise reproduced without permission of the Bethel Historical Society.