Maine: An Encyclopedia

Androscoggin County

Map of Maine Counties and Baxter Park

Map of Maine Counties and Baxter Park

is home to Maine’s second largest population center – the Lewiston-Auburn area, and is fourth in overall population among Maine’s counties.  It was established in 1854 by taking several towns from Cumberland, Kennebec, Lincoln, and Oxford counties. See an1858 map of the county in the Map Cabinet.

A commercial and industrial hub, it has been an attraction for Franco-American’s seeking work in its mills during the 19th century, and for Somali refugees from the violence of their war-torn country in the 20th century.

Androscoggin River flowing between Auburn (upper left) and Lewiston

Androscoggin River flowing between Auburn (upper left) and Lewiston   June, 1973. U.S. EPA National Archives #NWDNS-412-DA-8247

The Androscoggin River, which rises in New Hampshire, and the historic falls known to the Indians as Amitgonpontook, divide the two cities. Once rife with salmon, the river now has few due to pollution and a lack of fishways on dams in the 19th century.

The City of Auburn is the county seat, site of the superior court, the sheriff’s office, and other county offices.  Lewiston, the larger of the two cities, hosts Bates College and its Edmund S. Muskie Archives.

The Androscoggin County Building in Auburn

The Androscoggin County Building in Auburn

Androscoggin County was formed by an act of the Maine Legislature in 1854, taking several towns from each of Cumberland, Lincoln and Oxford counties.

Over the following thirteen years it gained additional towns from Cumberland and Kennebec counties. It lost one town when Danville was absorbed into Auburn in 1867 and gained one when Mechanic Falls was created out of portions of Minot and Poland in 1893.

In 2011 it contained the following: the cities of Auburn and Lewiston; and the towns of Durham, Greene, Leeds, Lisbon, Livermore, Livermore Falls, Mechanic Falls, Minot, Poland, Sabattus, Turner and Wales.

National Register of Historic Places

Androscoggin County Courthouse and Jail

[2 Turner Street] This impressive landmark on the main street is a finely detailed Renaissance Revival structure. At completion it also marked the culmination of the long struggle to establish Androscoggin as a new county made up of towns from four adjoining counties.

Androscoggin County Courthouse and Jail (2016)

The controversy was a stormy one and more contentious was the location of its shire town. When Auburn was finally selected in 1854, plans for the court house were hastened so that when it was completed in 1857 it stood as a symbol of the final settlement of the dispute.*

People QuickFacts Androscoggin County Maine
Population, 2009 estimate 106,539 1,318,301
Population, percent change, April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009 2.6% 3.4%
Population estimates April 1, 2000 103,793 1,274,915
Persons under 5 years old, %, 2009 6.3% 5.4%
Persons under 18 years old, %, 2009 22.0% 20.6%
Persons 65 years old and over, percent, 2009 14.8% 15.6%
Female persons, percent, 2009 51.2% 51.2%
White persons, percent, 2009 (a) 95.3% 96.1%
Black persons, percent, 2009 (a) 2.2% 1.2%
American Indian and Alaska Native persons, %, 2009 (a) 0.4% 0.6%
Asians %, 2009 (a) 0.7% 1.0%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, %, 2009 (a) Z Z
Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2009 1.4% 1.1%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2009 (b) 1.8% 1.4%
White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2009 93.7% 94.9%
Living in same house in 1995 and 2000, pct 5 yrs old & over 56.7% 59.6%
Foreign born persons, percent, 2000 2.6% 2.9%
Language other than English spoken at home, pct age 5+, 2000 16.4% 7.8%
High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+, 2000 79.8% 85.4%
Bachelor’s degree or higher, pct of persons age 25+, 2000 14.4% 22.9%
Persons with a disability, age 5+, 2000 21,484 237,910
Mean time to get to work (minutes), workers age 16+, 2000 23.3 22.7
Housing units, 2009 48,655 704,578
Homeownership rate, 2000 63.4% 71.6%
Housing units in multi-unit structures, percent, 2000 35.6% 20.3%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2000 $89,900 $98,700
Households, 2000 42,028 518,200
Persons per household, 2000 2.38 2.39
Median household income, 2008 $44,484 $46,419
Per capita money income, 1999 $18,734 $19,533
Persons below poverty level, %, 2008 13.1% 12.6%
Business QuickFacts Androscoggin County Maine
Private nonfarm establishments, 2008 2,894 41,7551
Private nonfarm employment, 2008 46,539 509,0931
Private nonfarm employment, percent change 2000-2008 1.5% 3.5%1
Nonemployer establishments, 2008 6,473 113,522
Total number of firms, 2002 8,162 135,410
Black-owned firms, percent, 2002 F 0.2%
American Indian & Alaska Native owned firms, %, 2002 F 0.5%
Asian-owned firms, percent, 2002 F 0.6%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander owned firms, percent, 2002 F S
Hispanic-owned firms, percent, 2002 F 0.5%
Women-owned firms, percent, 2002 24.0% 24.0%
Manufacturers shipments, 2002 ($1000) 1,441,405 13,851,915
Wholesale trade sales, 2002 ($1000) 451,541 10,371,084
Retail sales, 2002 ($1000) 1,468,010 16,053,515
Retail sales per capita, 2002 $13,951 $12,370
Accommodation and foodservices sales, 2002 ($1000) 112,811 2,045,841
Building permits, 2009 167 3,1211
Federal spending, 2008 737,991 11,974,3611
Geography QuickFacts Androscoggin County Maine
Land area, 2000 (square miles) 470.27 30,861.55
Persons per square mile, 2000 220.8 41.3
FIPS Code 001 23
Metropolitan or Micropolitan Statistical Area Lewiston-Auburn, ME Metro Area

U.S. Census Table Notes: F=fewer than 100 firms; S=supressed, data does not meet publication standards; Z=greater than zero, but less than 1/2 percent; (a)=includes persons reporting only one race; (b)=Hispanics may be of any race, so also are included in applicable race categories.
Source: (accessed February 23, 2011)

Additional resources

Androscoggin County (Me.). Board of County Commissioners. A Statement of the Financial Condition of the County of Androscoggin. Auburn, Me. The County. [various years]

Baker, Gregory. The Primary Wood Using Industries of Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties for the Year 1942. Orono, Me. Maine Agricultural Experiment Station. 1944.

D’Eramo, Andrew. Police Effectiveness in Androscoggin County. 2010. Thesis (M.A.)–University of Southern Maine, 2010.

Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Final 208 Waste Treatment Management Plan for the Androscoggin Valley Regionl Planning Commission. Prepared by Androscoggin Valley Regional Planning Commission [and] U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region I. Boston, Mass. The Agency. Auburn, Me. The Commission. [1978]

Fisher, Lloyd. W.  “Structure and Metamorphism of Lewiston, Maine Region.” Extracted from: Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, v.52, January 1, 1941.

Lecompte, Nancy. Alnôbak: a Story of Indigenous People in Androscoggin County. Auburn, Me. Androscoggin Historical Society. 2003.

“Lewiston/Auburn Historical Walking Touring.” The Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce. (accessed February 15, 2011)

*Maine. Historic Preservation Commission. Augusta, Me.  See additional text and photos from National Register of Historic Places:,

Merrill, Georgia Drew [ed.] History of Androscoggin County, Maine. Boston, Mass. W.A. Fergusson. 1891.

Tara, Kaileigh [ed.] Growing up in Androscoggin County: Some Facts You Should Know About the Children in our Community. Auburn, Me.  Advocates for Children. [1991?]

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