The “Pitcherman” Haunting of Goose River Bridge


The town used to be called “Goose River Village” way back during colonial times.  And when America declared Independence no one was happier about it than the guy who’s said to haunt this bridge.

The Story

The haunting of the Goose River Bridge isn’t a scary one.  In fact, it’s haunted by a pretty happy guy who only wants to offer people who pass by, a pitcher of beer.

The man’s name is William Richardson, and he was about as Patriotic as they come.

During the days of the Revolutionary War, which lasted around 7 years, the British used to anchor off the coast of Goose River, what we now know as Rockport, and they’d plunder the entire area for anything they could get their hands on that could help them defeat the revolting colonists. Locals who weren’t at war were generally women, children, and the elderly, so they had to be resourceful with their efforts to keep the British in check.

On one particular day an American Privateer named Sam Tucker had managed to secure a British ship containing a huge load of precious tea.  With a British Military ship in hot pursuit he came upon a tiny fishing boat captained by William Richardson.  Richardson led Tucker into a narrow channel at Goose River to hide out until his pursuers left the area.  But the British wouldn’t relent.

Tucker began to panic but Richardson told him to chill out, relax, wait until the next storm rolls in. Sure enough, just like any Mainer would expect, the weather shifted and a storm rolled in.  It got foggy and allowed Richardson to lead Tucker out of the area without being detected by the British warship.  By the time the fog cleared Tucker was well on his way to Boston with the load of tea he nabbed from the ship he captured.

William Richardson suddenly became a home town hero.  He was already a staunch patriot, but this act of courage made him a household name in the tiny town of Rockport.

When the war was finally over and the British admitted defeat, Williamson could be seen celebrating throughout the town, holding a pitcher of beer, singing, laughing, and dancing. When he came up onto the Goose River Bridge he saw 3 men heading his way.  Continuing on with his celebrating he approached the men to share the good news and one of them hit him in the head with the butt of their rifle, and left him to die there as they walked off. Since then there have been a lot of changes. The town was renamed to Rockport and the Goose River Bridge was replaced … but one thing remains the same…

William Richardson has never left.

He’s been seen by many people over the course of the years, right here in the general area of the Goose River Bridge; many times on the old bridge, itself and now that there’s a new bridge in its place, some say he’s taken a liking to it. He shows up with a pitcher of ale in hand and he’s very eager to share. He’s been known to appear at a distance, but disappear when approached. And he’s been known to peer into car windows of those enjoying the solitude of, what the townspeople call, “Passion Pit” – which is just below “Lovers Lane” here near the bridge.

Getting There

The Goose River Bridge is located on Pascals Avenue not far from Route 1.  The original bridge was destroyed back in 1946 when a tractor trailer truck slammed into it, and the whole thing, including the truck, crashed into the river below. It was initially rebuilt as a wooden structure but then rebuilt again into this steel structure we see today.

Directions: The Gooseport Bridge is located off of route 1 in Rockport, in Knox County. From US Route 1 in Rockport: At the juncture of US 1 and ME 90, turn east onto West Street. Turn left on Pascals Avenue and you will come to the Goose River Bridge (which will take you to Main Street).

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