|Maine House||District 118|
|Maine Senate||District 3|
|Area sq. mi.||(total) 48.2|
|Area sq. mi.||(land) 45.8|
Total=land+water; Land=land only
[MOSS-kow] a town in Somerset County, was incorporated on January 30, 1816 from township T1 R2, BKP, EKR.
Originally a part of the Bingham Purchase, it was settled by families named Baker beginning in 1773 and was known as Bakerstown. Baker Mountain hugs U.S. Route 201 in Moscow.
The petitioners for incorporation in 1812 were impressed by Napoleon’s capture of, and eventual retreat from, the Russian city of Moscow; thus the name.
Route 201, above, doubles as Moscow’s main street, with several commercial establishments and its frequent rumble of logging trucks.
Austin Stream collects water from the nearby mountains and deposits it in the Kennebec River in Bingham. In 1886, the Gazetteer of Maine noted the many mills using water power:
Near the eastern line of the town are “Austin Falls,” on the stream of that name having a descent of 100 feet in half a mile. On these were formerly saw, shingle, clapboard and planing mills, which were burnt a few years since. Other powers and mills are Temple’s Mills and Temple’s Wagon Works, on a brook emptying into the Kennebec River; Bassett’s Shingle Mill, on the east branch of Chase Stream; Chase Mill on the same stream, near the centre of the town; “Great Falls,” below, where the stream descends 30 feet; and on Carney’s Brook is Carney’s saw-mill.
The town hosts the Wyman Hydroelectric Station, with its impressive Wyman Dam and its consequence: Wyman Lake, a bulge in the Kennebec River extending about six miles to the north between Moscow and Pleasant Ridge. At that point the river narrows and bends to the northwest.
A short 1930s film clip, now preserved at Northeast Historic Film, capture some of the dam’s construction.
The lake and its shores feature opportunities for picnics, camping, boat launching, fishing, and swimming.From the Rest Area, looking south down the river, the left bank is in Moscow; the right is in Pleasant Ridge.
In recent times the land and forest management company Plum Creek has acquired land in the town. As noted by all the wood-related mills in its history, Moscow has had, and still has, ample forest resources.
Bingham and Moscow constitute a single population center at the junction of U.S. Route 201 (leading north to the Province of Quebec) and Maine Route 16 branching east to Piscataquis County and the town of Guilford.
Moscow History Committee (Moscow, Me.) Makers of Moscow. Moscow, Me. The Committee. 1991. (Bingham, Me. Daniels Printing & Offset)
Nye, Belle Spaulding. This is Where Mother Sat Down to Die. Bath, Me. Coastal Publishing Company. 1977. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections; Bangor Public Library]
Stuart, Al. Pierce Hill. South Portland, Me. Pilot Press. c1981. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections; Maine State Library]
Trotzky, Howard. The Effects of Water Flow Manipulation by a Hydroelectric Power Dam on the Bottom Fauna and Rainbow Trout Sport Fishery of the Upper Kennebec River, Maine. 1971. (Thesis (M.S.) in Zoology–University of Maine, 1971) [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]
Wyman Dam at Bingham: Newspaper History of its Construction 1928-1931. Maine. 1928-1931. [Maine State Library]
Varney, George J. A Gazetteer of the State of Maine. 1886. pp. 375-376