Counting House Museum Exhibit
Our Stories: Talking about Tatnic - "Tatnic is a State of Mind"
“In the Land of Tatnick” -- Source: 1733 deed , York Book of Deeds
Tatnic, the name, first appears in 17th and early 18th-century records as “Totnocke,” “Tottnocke,” “Tatnooke,” “Tatnack,” “Tatneck,” “Tatnax,” “Tatnack,” or “Tatnick.”
It is possible that the word is derived from the Abanaki language, where tot or tat means “quaking,” and acke or ocke means “place of.” Derivation may also be from the native word “tatamuckatakis.”
The Tatnic Marshes that straddle and were used as boundary markers in the 17th century for the old towns of York, Wells and Berwick. Those marshes contain peat bogs, or “heaths” that are covered with vegetation that will feel spongy or “quaking” to a walker. Where it lies, exactly, is a matter of dispute to this day.
Learn about life in the northeastern corner of South Berwick, where farming families have populated the landscape since the settlers of the early 1700’s. Meet the Gray/Rodier and Hasty/Warren/Young families, and learn about farming, mills, and the unique Tatnic landscape. The Tatnic area features a volcanic caldera, dramatic granite ledges, wetlands and forests. Tucked away in the ancient landscape there are remains of original farmsteads. This exhibit touches on the lives of the people of Tatnic- past and present- through maps, journals, deeds, photos, artifacts and stories.