Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Pittsfield

Location Map for Pittsfield

Location Map for Pittsfield

Year Population
1970 4,274
1980 4,125
1990 4,190
2000 4,214
2010 4,215
Geographic Data
N. Latitude 44:46:12
W. Latitude 69:26:05
Maine House District 106
Maine Senate District 3
Congress District 2
Area sq. mi. (total) 48.7
Area sq. mi. (land) 48.2
Population/sq.mi. (land) 87.5
County: Somerset

Total=land+water; Land=land only
Bell Tower on Founders Hall (2002)

Bell Tower on Founders Hall

Sign: Welcome to Pittsfield (2002)

Sign: Welcome to Pittsfield

[PITS-field] a town in Somerset County was incorporated as the town of Warsaw on June 19, 1819 from Plymouth Gore, Sebasticook and Warsaw.

In 1821 it set off land to Twenty Five Mile Pond Plantation (now Burnham).

1824 was an important year for the town as it set off land to Canaan, annexed land from Palmyra, and changed its name to Pittsfield in honor of William Pitts of Boston, a large landowner.

Sign: Maine Central Institute (2002)

Sign: Maine Central Institute

Founders Hall at MCI (2002)

Founders Hall at MCI (2002)

Moses Martin of Norridgewock came to the area in 1790 on a hunting expedition, admired the location, and became, along with his wife and four children, its first settler. A skilled woodsman, hunter, trapper, and fisher, he got along well with the local Indians.

Old Pittsfield Railroad Station (2002)

Old Pittsfield Railroad Station

Pittsfield Public Library (2002)

Pittsfield Public Library (2002)

By 1855 the railroad had arrived. The Penobscot and Kennebec Railroad, with tracks from Bangor to Waterville and connections south merged in 1862 with the Androscoggin and Kennebec creating the Maine Central Railroad.

Pittsfield Birdseye View 1889

Pittsfield Birdseye View 1889

As did many Maine communities, Pittsfield’s woolen mills provided steady employment during the first half of the 20th century, then literally “went South,” finding cheaper labor in the 1950’s.

Two sons of Pittsfield became governors of Maine: Llewellyn Powers (1897-1901) and Carl E. Milliken (1917-1921). Hugh Pendexter, a poet and novelist, was also born here. It is also the birthplace of Nathaniel M. Haskell, a U.S. Representative.

Maine Central Institute, founded in 1866 as a preparatory school for Bates College, is one of the “Big 10″ private secondary schools in Maine that still serves the public school population as well.

Pittsfield Universalist Church (2002)

Pittsfield Universalist Church (2002)

Science Center at MCI (2002)

Science Center at MCI (2002)

Downtown Pittsfield, on the Sebasticook River, was wiped out by a fire in 1881 and rebuilt immediately. It is at the junction of Maine Routes 11,69, 100 and 152. Interstate 95 passes on the outskirts.

Form of Government: Council-Mayor-Manager.

Additional resources

Image credit: “Pittsfield Birdseye View 1889.” LC classification: G3734.P56A3 1889 .N6. Repository: Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 USA dcu. Digital ID: G3734P Pm002480 Http://Hdl.Loc.Gov/Loc.Gmd/G3734P.Pm002480.  Image source:  http://www.loc.gov/item/75693247 (accessed March 18, 2013)

Chatto, Clarence I. History of Pittsfield. Auburn, Me. Chatto and Turner. 1911.

Cook, Sanger Mills. Pittsfield on the Sebasticook. Furbush-Roberts Printing Company, Inc. 1966.

Gulick, Peter Lee. The Woolen Industry of Pittsfield. 1969. (Thesis (M.A.) — University of Maine at Orono) [University of Maine. Raymond H. Fogler Library. Special Collection]

Pittsfield Sesquicentennial, 1819-1969. Pittsfield, Me. 1969.

National Register of Historic Places – Listings

Founders Hall, South Main Street

Pittsfield Public Library, Main Street

Pittsfield Railroad Station, Central Street

Pittsfield Universalist Church, North Main and Easy Streets

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