|Maine House||Dists 77,110|
|Maine Senate||District 15|
|Area sq. mi.||(total) 28.2|
|Area sq. mi.||(land) 25.7|
Total=land+water; Land=land only
[OAK-lnd] is a town in Kennebec County, settled in 1764, and incorporated on February 26, 1873 from a portion of Waterville and was known as West Waterville. Oakland became its new name in 1883. Soon thereafter in 1899, the local electric company was sold to a group that eventually became Central Maine Power Company.
Previously the town was known as Taconet, Kingsfield, then it became part of Winslow, and later of Waterville. Before 1800 Jonathan Coombs built a saw mill and grist mill on Messalonskee Stream, the site of several mills over the years.
The Maine Conservation Corps developed a hiking trail along the stream. A kiosk explains the route and the rules.
The Timber Unit of the Diamond Match Company was located in Oakland. It was responsible for the purchase, transportation, and production of the lumber used to manufacture the company’s products in Maine. The company contracted with lumber camps for its supplies. Its long history in Oakland began as the Forster Manufacturing Company in 1913, which manufactured toothpicks and clothespins. In 1916, it was succeeded by the Berst-Forster-Dixfield Company, operating from 1923 to 1946.
During its operation under various owners, the plant made products such as ice cream sticks, swab sticks, lollypop holders, toothpicks and woodenware. In its peak years just before World War II, the mill employed over 500 people and gave work to loggers and others who provided raw materials. The Oakland operation closed in 1983.
Waterville’s commercial strip that is Kennedy Memorial Drive continues into Oakland for about a mile before becoming a more scenic road. Here the village emerges as it sits at Messalonskee Stream and at the junction of Routes 11, 23, and 137, just off I-95.
Downstream from the village, the Messalonskee becomes a lake with more than a mile of frontage in the town.
Long the home of the New England Music Camp, recreational opportunities include access to several of the Belgrade lakes: East Pond, Salmon Lake, and Messalonskee.
Summer camps for young people, such as Camp Manitou on East Pond, take advantage of the lake shores.
Chadbourne, Ava Harriet. Maine Place Names and The Peopling of its Towns.
Diamond Match Company. Berst-Forster-Dixfield Division. Timber Unit. Records, 1938-1955. (source of text regarding the company) [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]
Kingsbury, Henry D. and Simeon L.Deyo (eds.) “Town of Oakland.” Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine, 1625-1799-1892. [Maine State Library]
Oakland. Oakland Area Historical Society. Charleston, SC. Arcadia Publishing. 2004.
National Register of Historic Places – Listings
Memorial Hall, Church Street
Oakland Public Library, 18 Church Street
Pressey House, 287 Summer Street