Maine: An Encyclopedia


Location Map for Buxton

Location Map for Buxton

Year Population
1970 3,135
1980 5,775
1990 6,494
2000 7,452
2010 8,034
Buxton Population Chart 1790-2010

Population Trend 1790-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 43:38:53
W. Latitude 70:32:08
Maine House Dist 16,22
Maine Senate Dist 30,31
Congress District 1
Area sq. mi. (total) 41.2
Area sq. mi. (land) 40.5
Population/sq.mi. (land) 198.9
County: York

Total=land+water; Land=land only

sign: Welcome to Buxton (2012)[BUX-tun] was settled by men who were survivors of King Philip’s War having been granted allotments of land in what was then Narragansett, Number One.

The first permanent settlers arrived in 1750, following others who did not stay.

The town, named for Buxton in Norfolk, England, was incorporated on July 14, 1762.

It is located in York County and includes the locations of Bar Mills, Buxton Center. In 1824 it ceded some of its land to Standish.

Continuing its rapid growth, the town more than doubled its population from 1970 to 2000, and increased by 15 percent in the 1990-2000 decade, adding almost 600 residents by 2010.

The Buxton Powder House, one of only three War of 1812 powder houses to survive in Maine, was erected as a result of the vote of local citizens on March 12, 1812. Thomas Elwell, the lowest bidder, took the contract at the munificent price of $59 and completed the job in the fall of 1813. Powder, lead balls, flints and camp kettles were stored in this official arsenal the following spring under the custody of Captain Samuel Dunnell.

The name of the “Tory Hill” area was applied when the local, Federalist-inclined men refused to be mustered during the War of 1812.

Berry Memorial Library in Bar Mills (2014)

Berry Memorial Library in Bar Mills (2014) @

Old Schoolhouse home to the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society (2014)

Schoolhouse, Buxton-Hollis Historical Society (2014) @

The 1929 Berry Memorial Library is located on Main Street in Bar Mills. Across the street is the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society.

Two other cultural facilities hug the Saco River’s left bank in Bar Mills. The former grange hall is now the Saco River Theater, featuring a full slate of performances and concerts.  Nearby the “Old White Church” hosts cultural events such as art exhibitions and concerts.

Saco River Grange (2003)

Saco River Grange in Bar Mills (2003)

Former Grange Hall now the Saco River Theater in Bar Mills (2014)

The Saco River Theater in Bar Mills (2014) @

Saco River Theater Interior (2014)

Saco River Theater Interior ’14

The Old White Church Interior (2014)

Old White Church Interior ’14

The Old White Church in Bar Mills (2014)

The Old White Church  (’14) @

The First Congregational Church is also known as the Tory Hill Meetinghouse. Located at Buxton Lower Corner, the intersection of U.S. Route 202 and Maine Routes 4 and 112, the Church is across the street from the Royal Brewster House.

In 1840, at a Methodist camp meeting in Buxton, Ellen G. H. White “gave her heart to God” beginning a lifelong commitment to advocate with speeches and writing as a Seventh Day Adventist and an avid opponent of slavery.

Author Kate Douglas Wiggin (1859-1923) summered in nearby Hollis and wrote a play, The Old Peabody Pew, based on events in the town’s Tory Hill Meeting House. In 1911 she edited A Book Of Dorcas Dishes: Family Recipes contributed By The Dorcas Society Of Hollis and Buxton.

Veterans Memorial at Memorial Bridge over the Saco River (2003)

Veterans Memorial at Memorial Bridge over the Saco River (2003)

Pedestrian Bridge across the Saco River, with Memorial (2003)

Pedestrian Bridge across the Saco River, with a Memorial of the Rogers Fiber Mill (2003)

According to the plaque at the site, the Rogers Fiber Mill “played a major role in the Buxton economy from 1917 to 1980 providing employment that contributed to the economy of the Bar Mill section of Buxton.”

Form of Government: Town Meeting-Select Board.

Additional resources

Bicentennial 1772-1972 Historical Souvenir Book, Buxton, Maine: August 10, 11, 12 and 13, 1972. Edited by Kathryn B. Curtis. Buxton, Me. Buxton Bicentennial Committee. 1972.

Buxton (Me.) A Report of the Proceedings at the Celebration of the First Centennial Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of Buxton, Maine, held at Buxton, Aug. 14, 1872 … by J. M. Marshall. [Maine State Library]

Cousens, Alice C. Recollections of Old Buxton, Maine. Maine S.J. Bentley and T.S. Henley. 1998. [Maine State Library; University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]

Deering, Dana. Daniel Dennett and the Mapping of Buxton. Buxton-Hollis Historical Society. 1999.

Harmon, William. William Harmon Account Book, 1815 Oct. 15-1822 Sept. 10. [Maine State Archives]

Industry in Old Buxton and Hollis. (compiled by Lucille Emery) Buxton-Hollis Historical Society. 1999? [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]

Libby, J. D. Buxton. Charleston, SC Arcadia Publishing. c2009.

*Maine. Historic Preservation Commission. Augusta, Me.  Text and photo from National Register of Historic Places:,

Brewster, Royal, House: 75000116.PDF
First Congregational Church of Buxton: 80000259.PDF

One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of Buxton, Maine: held at Buxton lower corner, August 16, 1922: with additional history. Portland, Me. Southworth Press. 1926.

Scamman, James. Day Book, 1793-1794. Cataloger Note: James Scamman was a retailer of liquor in Buxton, Maine, during the years 1793-1799. Day book of a liquor retailer in Buxton, Maine. Included are sales principally of rum, but also of tobacco, coffee, chocolate and some grocery items like molasses and fish. A few of the pages have newspaper clippings pasted on them. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]

Williams, Nathaniel West. An Address, delivered at Buxton, Maine, in the Congregational meeting-house : being the first centennial celebration of the settlement of this town. Buxton, Me. James D. Libby. 1998.

National Register of Historic Places – Listings

Brewster, Royal, House

Royal Brewster House (2003)

Royal Brewster House (2003)

[Buxton Lower Corner] Situated on the crossroads of Troy Hill in Buxton, Dr. Royal Brewster’s handsome Federal style home makes an imposing appearance in the town. Erected in 1805 by the local master builder Joseph Woodman, the house was the home of the American primitive portraitist John Brewster, Jr., who lived here with his brother, the doctor. In 1795 Dr. Brewster married Dorcas daughter of Rev. Paul Coffin, the first settled minister in the town. Dr. Brewster, from Hampton, Connecticut, served the community as physician for nearly forty years.

His older brother John, Jr. made the Buxton home his base. John was born a deaf-mute yet even at an early date was taught to read and write. He became a well-known portrait painter traveling widely in eastern New England. Many an ancestral portrait gracing an old family home is the work of John Brewster. The Brewster family sold the home in 1855 and it was shortly acquired by John D. Coffin who imported the beautiful-French wallpaper in the front hall.*

Buxton Powder House, Maine Route 22, Buxton Center

Elden’s Store, Maine Route 22

First Congregational Church of Buxton

[Maine Route 112] The 1822 Church, commonly referred to as the Tory Hill Meeting House, is significant for its architecture, its early history and its associations with the author, Kate Douglas Wiggin.

First Congregational Church (2003)

First Congregational Church (2003)

The proprietors of Narragansett No. 1, as the town was originally named, granted land for a church site in 1761. A young newly graduated, not yet ordained minister, Paul Coffin, came the same year and a church building begun. In March, 1763, he was ordained and the church incorporated as the First Church of Christ. Dr. Coffin served the church for 60 years until his death in 1821.

In 1822 the first church building was replaced by the present structure. Kate Douglas Wiggin was a strong supporter and worker in the church and community. In 1897 she was instrumental in founding the Dorcas Society, a nondenominational organization in support of the community and the church. It was for this group that she wrote the famous play, “The Old Peabody Pew.” Beginning in 1916, this work has been performed in the church each summer on a nearly annual basis. Mrs. Wiggin frequently gave readings of her works there to benefit various groups. Although the original box pews are gone and the high pulpit altered, the church as a whole, and particularly the exterior, retains pure Federal lines.*

Proprietors Meeting House, Hindu Temple (2012)

Proprietors Meeting House, Hindu Temple (2012) @

Proprietors Meeting House and Parish House

[junction of Maine Route 22 and Old County Road] The Proprietors Meeting House was built in 1839 at what was known as Coolbroth Corner. Residents traveled as far as six miles to attend meetings and worship services.

The Universalist Parish of Scarborough and South Buxton was organized in 1891 and, by the late 1800s, a Sunday school was established at the church. The hall next to the church was built in 1914 to provide space for meetings and suppers.*

In June 2012, the church was sold to become a temple for the Hindu community in the area.

Salmon Falls (East) Historic District, portions of Maine Route 117 and Simpson Road

*Graham, Gillian. Portland Press Herald. June 16, 2012. (accessed October 3, 2012) [condensed]

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