|Maine House||District 73|
|Maine Senate||District 18|
|Area sq. mi.||(total) 37.9|
|Area sq. mi.||(land) 37.7|
Total=land+water; Land=land only
[BUK-field] is a town in Oxford County, incorporated on March 16, 1793 from Bucktown Plantation, also known as Plantation Number 5. According to the Town Report of 1977, the first settlers were Nathaniel Buck, presumably the town’s namesake, Benjamin Spaulding, Simon Record, and Thomas Allen.
Virgil Delphini Parris was born in Buckfield in 1807, attended law school, and began his practice here in 1830. Two years later he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives, and in 1837 was elected to the U.S. Congress. He was the cousin of governor and Congress member Albion K. Parris from the neighboring town of Hebron.
The 1886 Gazetteer of Maine notes
The Buckfield and Rumford Railroad passes through the the town in a nearly north and south course, having a station at Buckfield Village.
. . . .
The manufactures of the town are long lumber, shingles, staves, box-boards, flour and meal, shovel-handles, hand-sleds, drag-rakes, brushes and brush blocks, powder-keags, leather, harnesses, cutting-blocks, men’s boots, etc. Buckfield Village is the principal centre, not only for this but for several adjacent towns.
The picturesque, but apparently inadequate, 1881 Roundabout Bridge, over the Nezinscot River, was replaced in 1977 by the standard steel structure found throughout the state. The river is sometimes the choice for people seeking a scenic, moderately challenging canoe trip from Buckfield to Turner. The Bridge House in the village hugs the right bank, with rapids above and flat water below the nearby bridge.
Buckfield village is compact, having within a few hundred yards of its center the public library, two veterans memorials, the Masonic Temple, the Odd Fellows Building and Theater, the Post Office, and a general store. A short distance away is the Community Church, the Community Center and Town Offices, and the Fire Department.
The town is home to Wells Wood Turning & Finishing, a firm that has supplied the White House annual Easter Egg Roll with thousands of colorful souvenir wooden eggs, one for each participating child.
This apple growing community lies at the junction of the east and west branches of the Nezinscot River between Turner and South Paris on Maine Route 117. Gain an insight to the community’s issues by viewing the 1978 Town Warrant.
*Photo from 1977 Buckfield Town Report
Atwoods & Company. Records, 1869-1871. (From Catalogers Note: financial records of the company including daybooks and ledgers as well as a volume recording company sales information. Sales were to customers in Paris, South Paris, Harrison, and Bethel. It also includes invoices to Atwoods & Co. for merchandise, and programs for commencement exercises at Hebron Academy, Hebron, Maine, for 1891, 1895, and 1898, as well as miscellaneous unidentified invoices, etc.) [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]
Cole, Alfred. A History of Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine, from the Earliest Explorations to the Close of the Year 1900. Buckfield, Me. 1915; 1977. Bridgton, Me. Coburn Press.
History of Buckfield, Maine 1900-2000. Buckfield, Me. Buckfield Historical Society. c2001.
**Maine. Historic Preservation Commission. Augusta, Me. Text and photos from National Register of Historic Places: http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/text/xxxxxxxx.PDF and http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/photos/xxxxxxxx.PDF
Union Church: 80000245.PDF
Zadoc Long Free Public Library: 94000636.PDF
The Oxford Inventory: a Guide to Local Research in the Oxford Hills. Norway, Me. 1997. (Cataloger Note: “This booklet is intended as a guide to help researchers find their way around the libraries, historial societies, and town offices in the Oxford Hills region of Maine.”–Pref) [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections; Maine State Library]
A Pictorial History of Buckfield, Maine, 1776-1976. Buckfield, Me. The Bicentennial Committee. 1976.
National Register of Historic Places – Listings
[Mountain Road across Bicknell Brook, 1mile west of junction with Sodom Road]
Hall, Enoch, House
[Bean Road west side, 0.5 miles southeast of junction with Maine Route 117]
Long, Zadoc, Free Library
[Maine Route 117 south side, at junction with Maine Route 140] Erected in 1901 by then U.S. Secretary of the Navy John D. Long in memory of his father, the Zadoc Long Free Library is a modest but striking building. It was designed by Maine’s foremost architect of the period, John Calvin Stevens. The creation of the Library was apparently the first effort made in Buckfield (population in 1900, 1,139 persons) to establish such an institution.
The Library is a one-story hip roofed frame building with wood shingles that rests on a fieldstone foundation on a terraced site in Buckfield’s village center. Its broad central entrance is sheltered by a gabled overhang.
In 1921 the trustees of the library took the unusual step of opening the stacks to the public. Prior to that time only the librarian and librarian’s assistant were permitted in the stacks, the typical arrangement in the period.**
Record, Ezekiel C. and Mariam I., homestead
[8 Bean Road]
[off Maine Route 140] The Union Church in Buckfield, built in 1832, is an outstandingly handsome and well-proportioned example of a late Federal meeting house with transitional Gothic features. The 91-foot spire is regarded as a model of proportion and grace. Originally it was called Union Chapel, in the building of which nearly all the prominent citizens of the community of various religious denominations zealously participated. It was modeled in part after the Universalist Church in Livermore with the steeple design based on that of the Universalist Church in Norway – a happy accident which produced a building far better than either.
By the end of the 19th century, the church had fallen into disuse and was in danger of serious deterioration. Fortunately, John D. Long, a Buckfield native who served as Secretary of the Navy under McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, offered a generous contribution for repairs provided the town would purchase it for use as a town hall. The townspeople agreed and bought the church for $75.00. Shortly afterward, Long procured a bell, cast in the mid-1800s from a Spanish mission on the Texas gulf coast.The church again fell into disrepair in the 1960’s but thanks to a group of dedicated citizens, restoration was begun in 1971. Beautifully sited on a hill overlooking the town, this handsome structure well deserves its reputation as a local landmark.** [Frank A. Beard photo]
The Union Church is one of a relatively small number of surviving Federal style religious buildings in Maine characterized by a central pavilion which projects from the main block, and a tower that either rises through or straddles both sections.