Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Crystal

Location Map for Crystal

Location Map for Crystal

Year Population
1970 281
1980 303
1990 349
2000 285
2010 269
Crawford Population Chart 1830-2010

Population Trend 1830-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 46:00:02
W. Latitude 68:21:56
Maine House District 145
Maine Senate District 2
Congress District 2
Area sq. mi. (total) 40.2
Area sq. mi. (land) 40.1
Population/sq.mi. (land) 6.7
County: Aroostook

Total=land+water; Land=land only

[KRIS-tahl] is a town in Aroostook County whose organization as a plantation was “legalized” by the Legislature on February 21, 1878. It incorporated as a town on March 21, 1901.  Its population in 1880 was 275, not far from the average of 297 for the period 1970-2010.

Former Crystal Elementary School on the Crystal Road, Route 159 (2014)

Former Crystal Elementary School (2014) @

Former Church now a Residence at the Intersection of Belvedere Road and Route 159 in Crystal (2014)

Former Church now a Residence (2014) @

William Young from Searsmont was the first settler in 1839. Several others arrive in that year and shortly thereafter.

Crystal Stream, the outlet of Crystal Lake, flows through the town named for the clear water of both. A falls of about 15 feet exists near the center of the town.

The Thousand Acre Bog, once known as Caribou Bog, dominates the southwest portion. Fish Stream winds through it from Patten to Island Falls. The stream crosses Route 159 at N46° 0′ 36.76″ W68° 18′ 45.53″ in the photos below.

Fish Stream at Route 159 in Crystal (2014)Fish Stream at Route 159 in Crystal (2014)

Bridge over Fish Stream on Webber Road (2014)

Bridge over Fish Stream on Webber Road (2014)

Fish Stream on Webber Road (2014)Fish Stream on Webber Road (2014)

Fish Stream on Webber Road (2014)

On the Webber Road the stream crosses at N45° 58′ 13.34″ W68° 21′ 34.82″.

The Bog is considered one of Maine’s  “Focus Areas of Statewide Ecological Significance,” of the Maine Natural Areas Program. According to the Program,

The Crystal Bog Focus Area encompasses an extensive suite of wetlands. At the core of the site is 1400 acre Crystal Bog, one of Maine’s best examples of a Domed Bog Ecosystem. In addition to these large wetland features, the site supports one of Maine’s most diverse fens and a large number of rare plants and animals.

The areas are not regulated but act as a planning tool. Identification of Focus Areas are intended to help build regional awareness and concentrate conservation initiatives in areas with the greatest biodiversity significance. It is accessible from the Sherman to Patten 6-mile multiple use (bike, hike, ski, ATV, snowmobile) Cow Team Trail.

East End of Cow Team Trail in Crystal (2014)

East End of Cow Team Trail in Crystal (2014) @

Log Yard on Cow Team Trail in Crystal (2014)

Log Yard on Cow Team Trail in Crystal (2014) @

Thousand Acre Bog on Cow Team Trail (2014)

Thousand Acre Bog on Cow Team Trail (2014) @

Most of this rural town’s roads are in the northwest of the township near Patten. Route 159 in this area features a few houses, a potato house, an active railroad crossing, a seed supplier, and a large classic barn.

Train at Railroad Crossing on Route 159 (2014)

Train at Railroad Crossing

Seed Pro Inc. Facility on Route 159 (2014)

Seed Pro Inc. Facility

Barn on Route 159 in Crystal (2014)

Classic Barn

Houses on Route 159 in Crystal (2014)Houses on Route 159 in Crystal (2014)Potato House on Route 159 in Crystal near Lyman Brook (2014)

The Crystal railroad siding, once a busy site for potato shipments, is accessed in the southeast, by the Cow Team Road crossing over I-95 from Sherman. The bulk of the town’s population lies between Patten and Island Falls on Maine Route 159 and the Winding Hill Road.

Potato Storage Facility near a Railroad Siding on the Cow Team Road (2014)

Potato Storage near a Siding on Cow Team Road (2014) @

Railroad Tracks in Crystal crossing the Cow Team Road (2014)

Railroad Tracks crossing the Cow Team Road (2014) @

Crystal Town Office on Route 159 (2014)

Crystal Town Office on Route 159 (2014) @

Railroad Siding in Crystal at the Cow Team Road (2014)

Railroad Siding in Crystal at the Cow Team Road (2014) @

Potato Storage Facility and related Building on the Cow Team Road in Crystal (2014)

Potato Storage Facility and related Building on the Cow Team Road in Crystal (2014) @

Crystal Bog: Maine Natural Areas Program

Crystal Bog: Maine Natural Areas Program

Aside from the wetlands around Cold Brook and the bog, Crystal has substantial woodlands. Harvesting provides employment for local equipment operators.

Wood Yard on the Cow Team Road (2014)

Wood Yard on the Cow Team Road (2014) @

Wood Yard on the Cow Team Road (2014)

Wood Yard on the Cow Team Road (2014) @

Form of Government: Town Meeting-Select Board-Manager.

Additional resources

Collection of Papers Related to Crystal Plantation. 1875-1897. Maine State Library.

Corliss, Carlton Jonathan. The Story of Crystal [manuscript]: before 1900. 1937. [University of Maine at Presque Isle. Special Collections.]

Maine. Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Natural Areas Program. “Focus Areas of Statewide Ecological Significance: Crystal Bog.” http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mnap/focusarea/crystal_bog_focus_area.pdf (accessed March 6, 2014)

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This entry was last modified: November 22, 2014 08:30 PM

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