|Maine House||District 106|
|Maine Senate||District 4|
|Area sq. mi.||(total) 20.4|
|Area sq. mi.||(land)20.3|
Total=land+water; Land=land only
[DEE-troyt] is a town in Somerset County, incorporated on February 19, 1828 as Chandlerville, which was previously known as Plantation Number Five, R2, N.W.P. Its name was changed to Detroit on March 18, 1841.
According to Brian McCauley, “Detroit is the French word for ‘straights’ in a river. The town was first called Chanderville and named after the straights in the Sebasticook River in 1848.”*
Early pioneers were Joseph and Amos Chandler. General John Chandler was a large landowner and namesake of the town at incorporation.
More white settlers began arriving early in the 19th century, including members of the Frye family who were substantial landowners and builders of a large tannery in 1842.
The East Branch of the Sebasticook River flows through the village on its way to Sebasticook Lake in Newport. In 1886, George Varney observed,
At the “Rips” near the village in the north-eastern part of the town, there is a fall of 30 to 40 feet in one-fourth of a mile. The power is estimated to be equal to sawing 10,000,000 feet of lumber annually. The manufactures here are a lumber and shingle mill, a grist mill, carriage factory, jurning and jig-sawing.
Granite and limestone, suitable for building, are found in the town. Farming is the principal occupation, and is found profitable.
He also noted that Detroit had two public schoolhouses and that the population in 1880 was 661.
Just south of Newport at the Interstate 95 interchange, the village is served by Maine Routes 11/100, 69, and 220.
The general store and a small park with the veterans memorial are in the village.
Several agricultural products facilities were on the outskirts of Detroit Village on the North Road near a railroad line in 2014.
*The date of 1848 conflicts with the citation of “March 18, 1841” in Counties, Cities, Towns, and Plantations of Maine.
Fernald, Douglas Ira. Detroit, Maine, 1828-1978: Saga of a Sebasticook Town. c1977. (Thorndike, Me. Hutchins Brothers)
McCauley, Brian. The Names of Maine. p. 65.
Varney, George J. A Gazetteer of the State of Maine. 1886. p. 199.