|Maine House||District 137|
|Maine Senate||District 7|
|Area sq. mi.||(total) 39.3|
|Area sq. mi.||(land) 39.0|
Total=land+water; Land=land only
[AM-herst] is a town in Hancock County, incorporated on February 5, 1831 from the unorganized township of T26 MD, BPP.
Though the population is small, Amherst has managed to retain and add residents in recent decades.
Named for Amherst, New Hampshire, it is located on the east-west Maine Route 9, known as the Airline.
The village is at the junction of that highway and Maine Route 181. Most structures in the town are on or near the Airline Road.
A web of dirt roads leads into the hinterland where several streams, the West Branch of the Union River, and a half dozen small ponds attract fishermen, hunters, and vacationers. Jellison Hill features a cliff on its east side.
The town hosts a section of Maine Public Reserved Land, with two entrances from Route 9. The west entrance leads to a small bridge and a sign claiming “Halfmile Pond” 2.5 miles. However, well before that the road was blocked, in May 2013, by large boulders! Beyond the barrier, snowmobile route signs abound, but none mention the elusive pond.
The east entrance, nearby, offers guidance on using the land and distances to destinations within the reserve. (All photos 2013)
Amherst was the site of a suspicious death, later ruled a homicide, in 1976, though adjoining Aurora was first reported as town involved in this report by WLBZ-TV, courtesy of Northeast Historic Film. According to the Maine State Police, it is listed as an unsolved homicide as of December 24, 2013 when its web page was accessed for this article and the following summary was noted:
On 4-5-76, a burned-out green 1971 Chrysler station wagon with Massachusetts registration was discovered on a woods road off Rte. 9 in Amherst. The burned body of a white male was found within the vehicle, and was subsequently identified as James Cassidy of Brookline, Massachusetts. Investigation determined that the vehicle fire was a result of arson. At the time of his death, Cassidy was an executive employee of the Brookline, Massachusetts Trust Company bank.
Jellison, Connee. Amherst, Maine, Her Settlement and People 1790-1975. Bar Harbor, Me. Bar Harbor Times Publishing Co. c1975. http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=state_police_unsolved&id=22684&v=Article-homicides (accessed December 24, 2013)
Maine. Department of Public Safety. Maine State Police. “Unsolved Homicides, James Cassidy.