|Maine House||District 118|
|Maine Senate||District 3|
|Area sq. mi.||(total) 44.1|
|Area sq. mi.||(land) 40.1|
Total=land+water; Land=land only
[EM-den] is a town in Somerset County, incorporated on June 22, 1804 from the unorganized township of T1 R2, W.K.R.
According to one account, the settlers’ petition to form a town suggested the name “Windsor,” though it was stricken from the proposal and replaced with “Emden.” The “b” was added in the early town records and became the accepted form.
The first white people arrived in the 1770’s, making settlements along the Kennebec River, which is the eastern border of the town with Solon across the river. According to the sign above the Cragin Schoolhouse, or the “Ward School,” was build in 1809-1810 at a cost of $247.48.
Embden Pond, in the shadow of Dunbar Hill, dominates the northwest portion of the town. The shoreline is dotted with many cottages and is active in the summer with swimming, boating, and water skiing.
The town has shown consistent population growth in each of the four decades 1970-2010.
The Outlet of Embden Pond supported two sawmills, a gristmill, and a few others during the 1880’s. At that time the town supported eleven schoolhouses with a population, in 1880, of 674.
Indian & Fowl Meadow Islands, nature preserves in the upper Kennebec, are flooded regularly, giving them distinctive flora including lush ferns and wildflowers in the spring. Migrant waterfowl rest here near evidence of old logging drives.
*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
Concord Haven: 92001297
Embden Town House: 89001704.PDF
Varney, George J. A Gazetteer of the State of Maine. 1886. pp. 221-222.
Walker, Ernest George. Embden Town of Yore: Olden Times and Families There and in Adjacent Towns. Skowhegan, Me. Independent-Reporter. 1929.
Walker, Ernest G. South of “Lost Nation”: Northwest Embden’s Enchanting Skyland Where Pioneers from Barrington, N.H. Settled: a neighborhood history. 1939.
National Register of Historic Places – Listings
[Maine Route 16 E side, 1.7 miles North of junction with Berry Road] This Colonial Revival structure is also known as the J. Leon Williams house, after the well-known dentist. It was designed and built by noted architect John Calvin Stevens and John Howard.
According to the Somerset County Leader newspaper of November 11, 1938,
“Mrs. J. Leon Williams closed her Summer home at Concord Haven this week, and John Gallant is driving Mrs. Williams to California where she will spend the Winter.”**
The retirement home of Dr. James Leon Williams is significant as the only major architect-designed landmark in Embden. It is also significant for its association with Dr. J. Leon Williams, a pioneer in the scientific study of dentistry.
Williams was born in Embden in 1852 in a farmhouse directly opposite the Concord Haven property. He apprenticed to be a dentist in North Vassalboro, establishing his own practice there in 1871. He acquired a microscope at that time, beginning his own research in dental pathology. In 1882 he moved his practice to New York City, and later to New Haven and Philadelphia. While in the latter city he acquired a DDS at Baltimore Dental College. In 1888 he settled in England, having taken the exam of the Royal College of Dentistry, Dublin.
Although his practice was quite successful (he was dentist to Queen Victoria), his real interest was scientific research. He published the first of many scientific papers in 1882 and is chiefly known for establishing how enamel is formed and attacked by bacteria. Dr. Williams also developed an improved technique in manufacturing false teeth and, at the same time, made anthropological studies which contributed to the understanding of the theory of evolution. As a result he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.
Dr. Williams was also a painter and photographer, a writer on literary subjects and world disarmament. Ending his practice in 1913, he returned to America to build his retirement home in 1915 on his family farm. It was there that he spent the remaining seventeen years of his life, writing articles and painting landscapes. He died in 1932.*
Embden Town House
[Cross Town Road] Built in 1848, Embden’s town house is significant as the seat for more than 140 years of the town’s governmental functions. The well preserved building is without question one of Embden’s landmarks. Although it was first settled in 1779 and incorporated on June 22, 1804, Embden did not erect a town building until the mid-19th century. Discussion about the need to build a town house had begun in 1832 and lasted in various forms until 1847.* [Kirk F. Mohney photo]
Hodgdon Site, Address Restricted
**Source: http://www.rootsweb.com/~meocrhs/newspapers/somleader_nov11_38.htm. Accessed August 8, 2004.