Maine: An Encyclopedia


Location Map of Oakland

Location Map of Oakland

Year Population
1970 3,535
1980 5,162
1990 5,595
2000 5,959
2010 6,240
Oakland Population Chart 1880-2010

Population Trend 1880-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 44:33:37
W. Latitude 69:43:49
Maine House Dists 77,110
Maine Senate District 15
Congress District 2
Area sq. mi. (total) 28.2
Area sq. mi. (land) 25.7
Population/sqmi (land) 242.8
County: Kennebec

Total=land+water; Land=land only
plaque: Oakland Birthplace of Central Maine Power (2013)

plaque: “Oakland Birthplace of Central Maine Power” (2013)

[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.

Messalonskee Stream (2013)

Messalonskee Stream (’13) @

Dam on the Stream (2013)

Dam on the Stream (2013)

The Stream Trail (2013)

The Stream Trail (2013)

The  Stream in the Village (2013)

Stream in the Village (’13) @

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.

The Pressey House (2002)

The Pressey House (2002)

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.

Oakland Town Office (2013)

Oakland Town Office (2013) @

Police Department (2013)

Police Department (2013) @

Fire Department (2013)

Fire Department (2013) @

LaForest Williams Elementary School (2013)

LaForest Williams Elementary School (2013) @

Messalonskee Middle School (2013)

Messalonskee Middle School (2013) @

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.

Form of Government: Town Meeting-Council-Manager.

Additional resources

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

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