|Maine House||District 83|
|Maine Senate||District 14|
|Area sq. mi.||(total) 11.5|
|Area sq. mi.||(land) 11.2|
Total=land+water; Land=land only
Clipper Ship Built Here
- Miss Mag–1853
[FARM-ing-dale] in Kennebec County, was incorporated on April 3, 1852 from parts of Gardiner, Hallowell, and West Gardiner.
During the 19th century and before the availability of mechanical refrigeration, there were several ice houses along the river.
Ice was cut from the frozen water and stored in warehouses often insulated with sawdust. When the ice was gone, the river was clogged with logs floating downstream to paper mills further south.
The career of one of Farmingdale’s noted citizens provides insights into the town’s past.
According to Maine’s Historic Places, Peter Grant
was a self-made man who, at his death in 1836, left an estate of over $100,000 (very large for the time), including a shipyard in Farmingdale, half-ownership of four good-sized vessels, and large real estate holdings in the area. His social position is indicated by the fact that one of his sons married a daughter of Dr. Benjamin Vaughan, the patriarch of Hallowell.
Several large homes overlook the Kennebec River and U.S. Route 201 north of Gardiner.
The town office and an electric power substation are located on Route 201.
Power lines cross the Kennebec from Chelsea and pass by the station.
West of the main street, Farmingdale reaches back several miles, such as on Bowman Street, into a suburban-rural area that touches on Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area at Jimmies Pond near the Outlet Road.
Beard, Frank A. and Bette A. Smith. Maine’s Historic Places: Properties on the National Register of Historic Places. Camden, Me. Down East Books. c1982. p. 136.
History of the Town of Farmingdale, Maine, 1852-1952, incorporated 1852. (edited by Jessie Wing White) 1952? [Maine State Library]
*Maine. Historic Preservation Commission. Augusta, Me. Text and photo from National Register of Historic Places: http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/text/xxxxxxxx.PDF, http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/photos/xxxxxxxx.PDF
Grant, Peter, House: 76000096.PDF
Stone, Captain Nathaniel, House: 03000292.PDF
Stilphen, Asbury Coke. “Town of Farmingdale.” New York. H.W. Blake & Co. 1892. (Extracted from: Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine, 1625-1799-1892. Editors Henry D. Kingsbury, Simeon L. Deyo. [Maine State Library]
National Register of Historic Places – Listings
Grant, Peter, House
[30 Grant Street] The 1830 Peter Grant House is among Maine’s earliest examples of Greek Revival temple style architecture applied to a private home. Its builder was a prominent and successful businessman. Peter Grant, born in 1770 in Berwick, was a fourth generation descendent of an earlier Peter Grant, born in Scotland in 1631. One of 3000 Scots taken prisoner by Cromwell’s army at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, he was sent as a convict laborer to the iron works in Lynn, Massachusetts. He became the progenitor of a large family of Grants in Maine and New Hampshire.
Some of the family settled in Berwick and from there, Peter, builder of the house, and his father moved to Gardiner in 1790. Peter Grant soon became successful in land speculation and shipping. In 1796 he and some associates purchased a large area along the west shore of the Kennebec River in Hallowell (later Farmingdale) known as the Bowman Tract. Grant became sole owner of more than 200 acres and in 1800 and built a substantial house on it.
During the next 30 years Grant acquiring large landholdings, developed a shipyard and managed a shipping business. His son Samuel married the daughter of Dr. Benjamin Vaughn, a man of considerable notoriety in several fields and the patriarch of Hallowell. Another son, Peter, became an alderman in the City of Gardiner in 1850.
The original 1800 house was destroyed by fire and was replaced with the 1830 house, six years before his death. His estate amounted to well over $100,000, an extremely large sum for the 1830s. The homestead remained in the Grant family until 1865 and has since passed through several ownerships.*
Stone, Capt. Nathaniel House
[268 Maine Avenue] The 1872 Captain Stone House was built on a small plot overlooking the Kennebec River. Nestled among some of the more fashionable and upscale houses in the area, the Second Empire roof line, undulating front elevation and Italianate details combined to create a structure of significant presence and artistry.
Maine Avenue (U.S. Route 201) runs along the western shore of the Kennebec River connecting Gardiner to the south with Hallowell and Augusta to the north. An early suburb of Gardiner, many of the houses along this road were built in the second half of the 19th century by businessmen and merchants of neighboring towns who prospered through river-based trade and industry. Such was Nathaniel Stone. As a retired chandler, Stone had amassed a sizable fortune from businesses in Gardiner and Boston and from investments in banking, real estate and the Kennebec Steamship Company. When Stone retired in the late 1860s, he returned to his native Maine from Boston and with his son, Uriah T. Stone, built the Italianate house for their families on Maine Avenue.* [See photos of Grant’s house and two of his neighbors above.]