Maine: An Encyclopedia


Location Map for Dayton

Location Map for Dayton

Year Population
1970 546
1980 882
1990 1,197
2000 1,805
2010 1,965
Dayton Population Chart 1860-2010

Population Trend 1860-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 43:32:59
W. Latitude 70:34:32
Maine House District 10
Maine Senate District 32
Congress District 1
Area sq. mi. (total) 18.4
Area sq. mi. (land) 17.9
Population/sq.mi. (land) 107.8
County: York

Total=land+water; Land=land only

[DAY-tun] is a York County town, settled in 1753 and incorporated on April 7, 1854 from a part of Hollis. The population in 1880 was 592, virtually the same as in 1970 before the recent population explosion.

Dayton Village stands at the crossroads of Routes 5 and 35 in the northwest of the town; Goodwins Mills Village is in the southwest.

The Saco River forms the eastern boundary with Buxton and Saco.

Town of Dayton Municipal Offices (2003)

Town Office (2003)

Town Office in Dayton from the town's web site (2014)

Town Office (2014)

Dayton, with a population increase of over 50 percent in the 1990-2000 decade, is a rapidly growing residential community adjacent to the Biddeford-Saco area.

That change may be illustrated by the switch from the old frame building that once held the town offices to the new, solar paneled modern building.

The 600-acre  Harris Farm on the Buzzell Road is a self-described eco-friendly, sustainable operation.   In winter it doubles as a cross-country ski center.

George Varney made these observations on the local economy in 1886:

Its principal business centres are Goodwin’s Mills, at the south-west, and Union Falls, on the Saco. There are two saw-mills on Cook’s Brook; at Goodwin’s Mills in the south-west part of the town are a grist, lumber, shingle, clapboard and stave mill. . . .

The soil is good, yielding remunerative crops of grass, while fruits thrive well. Hat, oats, potatoes, apples, neat stock and dairy products are marketed in considerable quantities in Saco and Biddeford, the adjacent cities.

As with many early communities, the availability of water power was a major attraction to power grist mills, saw mills and other activities. One dam has been preserved at the end of Waterhouse Road near the town line with Lyman.

One of the visible changes in southern Maine is the growing popularity of recreational horse ownership where once work horses reigned supreme.

Pond at Dam Site (2003)

Pond at Dam Site (2003)

Small Dam in Dayton (2003)

Small Dam in Dayton (2003)

Horses in Small Fields Near a Barn (2003)

Horses in Small Fields Near a Barn (2003)

Form of Government:

Town Meeting-Select Board.

Additional resources

Dayton Maine Historical Committee. 100th Anniversary Dayton, Maine. 1954. (Gorham, Me. H. F. Bent. Printer)

Hill, Virgil Howard. Diaries, 1902-1956. (Cataloger Note: Diaries for most years from 1902 to 1956 recording the activities of Virgil Howard Hill and his wife Margaret C. Hill. They detail both business, family and personal matters; many entries record prices paid for items or amounts received by the Hills for goods and services. The Hills were farmers in Dayton, Maine. Both also did work for hire such as logging, hauling ice and sewing.) [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]

National Register of Historic Places – Listings

Foss, Levi, House, Maine Route 35 Goodwins Mills

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This entry was last modified: February 19, 2018 12:16 AM

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