Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Alna

Location Map for Alna

Head Tide village, poet Edwin Arlington Robinson’s birthplace, is a “small, picturesque river community with many … well-preserved 19th century buildings.” Video. Alna is home to the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington narrow gauge railway museum. The Sheepscot River runs through the town, the site of canoe trips from Whitefield to Wiscasset. Continue reading

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Androscoggin River

Androscoggin River from Route 2 in Rumford Center (2010)

rises in the northwestern corner of the state, enters New Hampshire at Errol, then crosses back in the Oxford County town of Gilead. It then heads north at Bethel to Rumford and Mexico before turning south to Livermore Falls and … Continue reading

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Augusta

Map of Maine Showing the location of Augusta. Green areas are unorganized territories.

Capital since 1832, originally “Cushnoc,” it was the site in 1628 of the Pilgrims’ trading post, and in 1754, Fort Western. The Blaine House governor’s residence is here. The Pine Tree State Arboretum has 200 acres of rolling hills and meadows and a diversity of habitats. Continue reading

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Beavers

Beaver Dam at Dresden Bog (2010)

are the largest of rodents. They have flat, scaly tails, and large front teeth. Beavers use their teeth to cut down and dismember small trees to use in construction projects: their homes (lodges) and dams to surround their lodges with … Continue reading

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Bridgton

Location Map for Bridgton

in Cumberland County, incorporated in 1794. The village faces Highland (or Duck) Lake, inviting summer boating and camping. Shawnee Peak is a popular local skiing destination. Continue reading

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Brighton

Location Map for Brighton

is north of Athens on Route 151 at the junction with Route 154. A wind turbine developer is proceeding with a project in adjoining towns, creating concerns of its impact on Brighton. Continue reading

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Chesterville

Location Map For Chesterville

in Franklin County, incorporated 1802, contains the Chesterville Wildlife Management Area featuring canoeing and hunting. The village of Farmington Falls is partly in Farmington and partly in Chesterville. See photos. Continue reading

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Chesuncook

Chesuncook Location Map

[chu-SUN-cook] is an unorganized township (T5 R13 WELS) in Piscataquis County. The name means “at the place of the principal outlet,” according to McCauley. Chesuncook Lake extends south to T3 R12 WELS. Ripogenus Dam, constructed 1916-1920 “at the place of … Continue reading

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Dayton

Location Map for Dayton

in York County, settled in 1753 and incorporated in 1854, is a rapidly growing community. Remains of an old mill site and dam recall the 19th century economy. See photos. A combined farm and cross country ski center is on the Buzzell Road. Continue reading

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Denmark

Location Map for Denmark

Pleasant Mountain rises 2,006 feet among adjoining ridges and peaks. See photos. A hiking trail offers access and views of the surrounding countryside and of Moose Pond. Settled 1788 and incorporated 1807 in Oxford County, the town’s western line is the Saco River. Continue reading

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Ellsworth

Location Map for Ellsworth

Settled in 1763, it has relied on lumbering, shipbuilding, and industry to support its economy. The classic Grand Theater has been saved as an active movie and performance space. See photos. At the confluence of seven highway routes, the city is a shopping center for the area and summer tourism. The Col. John Black Mansion, a modified Georgian design, was home to the land agent for William Bingham. Continue reading

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Flagstaff Township

Location Map for Dead River and Flagstaff Lake

[FLAG-staff] plantation was formally organized on March 5, 1895, though it had been organized for election purposes in 1851, 1865 and 1870. Flagstaff and nearby Dead River Plantation were inundated with water from the Central Maine Power Company’s Long Falls … Continue reading

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Frankfort

Location Map for Frankfort

Named for the German city, and bombed by the British in 1814, Frankfort was once a shipbuilding community on the Penobscot River. Granite cutting and shipping was an important industry up to the early 20th century. Mount Waldo supplied the product and Marsh Bay, in the Penobscot River, provided the means of shipping it. Continue reading

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Frenchtown Township

First Roach Pond from Kokadjo

This unorganized township northeast of Greenville is probably best known for the village of Kokadjo and First Roach Pond. The village is at the north end of the pond, which is wholly contained within the township. The Roach River flows … Continue reading

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Hamlin, Helen

Maine Department of Conservation Photo

By the early 1930s, approximately twenty families lived permanently at the depot, including those of the superintendent, paymaster, master mechanic, truck drivers, Lombard operators, boat operators, scalers, camp superintendents, and many more. At the height of its operation, thousands of … Continue reading

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Harmony

Location Map for Harmony

Harmony has substantial frontage on Great Moose Lake and the Sebasticook River which flows into it from Mainstream Pond. Boat launch facilities are available at the Lake and the Pond. See photos. U.S. Representative Clyde H. Smith (husband of Margaret Chase Smith) was born here. Continue reading

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Harrison

Location Map for Harrison

A growing community, its population has consistently expanded over the past forty years. From 2000 to 2010 alone it grew by nearly 18%. See photos and video. By 1847 a wood products mill, known as Scribner’s Mill, was in operation. An effort to restore it is underway. Just north of Naples, Harrison has substantial frontage on Long Lake, which it shares with Bridgton. Continue reading

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Industry

Location Map for Industry

Settled in 1783, Industry’s main villages are Allens Mills, at the southern end of Clearwater Pond, and West Mills. The mills produced wood and leather products, tools and flour. See photos. Goodridge Corner school, the “little red schoolhouse,” is the home of the town’s historical society. Continue reading

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Island Falls

Location Map for Island Falls

William Sewall became a wildlife guide and companion to Theodore Roosevelt in the 1870′s. The town has frontage on almost half of Pleasant Lake. See photos. The nearby Walker Settlement hosts a golf course and residential development near the lake. Several large homes recall the heady days when potato was king in the County. One of those was that of Governor Carl E. Milliken. Island Falls has had industry in the form of lumber mills, grist mills and a starch factory. Continue reading

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Jefferson

Location Map for Jefferson

Abandoned granite quarries and clay banks where bricks were made suggest the early economic activities of the area. See photos. Several fine farm houses and barns have survived to recall the great heritage of the town. See images below from the Library of Congress of the old cattle pound. Continue reading

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July 1

Schooner on Penobscot Bay (July 2007)

July 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1896 Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s … Continue reading

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Kennebunkport

Location Map for Kennebunkport

in York County, incorporated 1653 as Cape Porpoise. See photos. After early white settlers were driven away by Indian raids, it was reorganized as Arundel in 1718. In 1821 its name was changed to Kennebunk Port. It has long been an attraction for tourists and summer residents. Well-known residents included writers Booth Tarkington and Kenneth L. Roberts. Continue reading

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Kingsbury

Location Map for Kingsbury

The main village is located on the eastern end of Kingsbury Pond along Maine Route 16, which continues east through Happy Corner to Abbot Village in the town of Abbot. Continue reading

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Lincoln Plantation

Location Map for Lincoln Plantation

In the 19th century, it was a magnet for summer visitors to Parmachene Lake, a hunting and fishing resort. See photos. The southern end of Aziscohos Lake offers campsites and fishing in the area known as Wilsons Mills. The Aziscohos Dam spills water into the Magalloway River. A 93-foot Covered Bridge, built in 1901 has been closed to traffic since 1985. Continue reading

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Lisbon

Location Map for Lisbon

Lisbon Falls, on the Androscoggin River, is the largest village; Lisbon Village, on the Sabattus River, is the next largest. See photos. A mill town harnessing the power of these rivers through most of the 20 century, Lisbon’s economy has turned more toward services and light industry as the mills have closed. Stephen King attended high school here. Continue reading

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Livermore Falls

Livermore Falls Birdseye View 1889

For years Livermore Falls was a thriving paper mill town. See video and photos. Recently, the employment future has become less certain, as shown by the age of the housing stock. Pikes Corner at Route 133 and 106 is in the East Livermore area, in Livermore Falls. The town is directly north of the Lewiston-Auburn area. An extensive logging and manufacturing operation produces wood pallets. Continue reading

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Lovell

Location Map for Lovell

The town is named for John Lovell (or Lovewell), the hero of the Battle of Lovewell’s Pond in 1725, in which he was killed but the remaining Abenaki people abandoned the area. See photos. One of the lodges at Kezar Lake was owned by stage and screen star Rudy Vallee. Center Lovell, in the shadow of Sabattus Mountain, is the primary village, located on the shore of Middle Bay. Continue reading

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Madison

The site of many mills in its history, its largest has been a paper mill at the dam where U.S. Route 201 crosses the Kennebec River from Anson. Until the end of the log drives in 1976, the river was often choked with pulp logs destined for this mill and others. The Lakewood Summer Theater, opened in 1901 in East Madison. Benedick Arnold passed through on his way to Quebec. Continue reading

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Mars Hill

Mars Hill mountain with Wind Turbines from U.S. Route 1 in Blaine (2014)

As with many rural Maine towns, Mars Hill is a community of pickup trucks as an essential tool of the farm economy. See photos. It shares a main street, U.S. Route 1, with neighboring Blaine. Mars Hill is located on the Prestile Stream where U.S. Route 1 forks to Presque Isle and Route 1A leads to Fort Fairfield. Established in the 1960’s, the Big Rock Ski Area on Mars Hill was purchased in 2000 by the Maine Winter Sports Center. Continue reading

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Medford

Location Map for Medford

Medford Center village is the site of the very modest town office, the park with the veterans memorial, and a small church. See photos. Cold Stream, which runs through the village, provided power for a grist mill in the nineteenth century. Continue reading

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Milford

The Bodwell Water Power Company Plant is a historic structure and landmark on the banks of the Penobscot River. The Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge combines bog, marsh, floodplain forest and the state’s second largest peatland. The town, across the river from Old Town, is a moderately growing residential area near the greater Bangor area and the University of Maine in Orono. Continue reading

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Moose River

Location Map for Moose River

Jackman’s Main Street (U.S. Route 201/Maine Route 6) merges with that of Moose River. See photos. The two towns, otherwise isolated, share a single community. The historic Moose River Congregational Church is in Jackman. The Town Office and most commercial activity lies along U.S. Route 201/Maine Route 6. The Scott Road (or the Moose River Road) proceeds east into the heart of the township. Continue reading

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Moosehorn Refuge

Sign: Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge (2004)

The Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, a nature preserve, was established in 1937 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. It is the first in a chain of migratory bird refuges that extends from Maine to … Continue reading

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Moscow

Location Map for Moscow

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. See photos. Bingham and Moscow constitute a single population center at the junction of U.S. Route 201 (leading north to the Province of Quebec). Continue reading

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New Meadows River

Valve Regulating Water to the Peterson Canal (2010)

This “river” is one of those inlets from the sea that is not a true river.  It had been tidal as far inland a Bath until a dam was  constructed that created ponds above it. At its northern most reach … Continue reading

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New Portland

Location Map for New Portland

North New Portland hosts Morton’s Country Store, the Community Church, and Chase Memorial Hall. This village lies at the junction of routes 146 and 16, with Gilman Stream, and its Dam, flowing through it. See photos. The Carrabassett River, with its spectacular rocky bed, passes through East New Portland Village and under an arch bridge. Continue reading

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New Vineyard

Location Map for New Vineyard

Framed by the Carrabassett and Sandy Rivers, this irregularly shaped town’s main village lies on Maine Route 27 between New Portland and Farmington. See photos. The Maine Wood Turning company is on Route 27 in the village. Nearby Bauds, Mill, and Lily ponds, and frontage on Porter Lake, provide wide fishing and recreational opportunities. Continue reading

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Newfield

Location Map for Newfield

The old center of Newfield village was destroyed by the great forest fire of 1947. See photos. The Willowbrook Historic District covers this area and the buildings that survived the fire. In 1984 the application to establish the historic district reported “Very little change in the buildings or landscape has occurred in the last one-hundred years so that the sense of time and place of a remote southwestern Maine rural community of the 19th century remains strongly present.” At the source of the Little Ossipee River, and dotted with ponds and streams, Newfield is a rapidly growing community about twenty miles northwest of Sanford Continue reading

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Nezinscot Canoe Trip: Buckfield to Turner Center

This portion of the Nezinscot River canoe trip begins in Buckfield Village and terminates in Turner Center Village. Entrance to the canoe launch area is off Route 117 (Turner Street) in Buckfield, just downstream from the bridge, where the the … Continue reading

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Orono

Orono Population Chart 1810-2010

The town is named for a well-respected Chief of the Penobscots who supported the American Revolution. See photos. A land-grant agricultural school was established at Orono in 1862, evolving in 1865 into the University of Maine, which now dominates the town’s economy and culture. Continue reading

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Patten

The Village from Route 11 Looking North (2006)

has continued its focus on lumbering since early settlement, including its informative Lumberman’s Museum on the Shin Pond Road. The Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church anchors the southern end of the main street. See photos. The small community has witnessed a dwindling population over the past several decades with the loss of jobs in farming, lumbering, and the paper industry. Patten is the northern gateway from Interstate 95 to Baxter State Park. Continue reading

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Peru

Location Map for Peru

The town is on the south bank of the Androscoggin River just below the Rumford-Mexico-Dixfield area. Its main village is West Peru, across the river from Mexico in the northern portion of the town. See photos. Further south on the Ridge and Valley roads, the rolling rural landscape reveals mountain views, farms and forests. A campground and bed & breakfast may be found at the three-mile long Worthley Pond. Continue reading

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Pleasant Ridge

Location Map for Pleasant Ridge

Pleasant Ridge hosts four small ponds, clustered in its northern half: Bean, Brandy, Clear, and Jewett. Lost Pond is isolated in the northeast of the township. Jewett stream runs south through Jewett, Brandy and Clear ponds before emptying into the Kennebec River. The “ridge” overlooks the community’s eastern boundary, which is Wyman Lake formed by the Wyman Dam and the Kennebec River. Continue reading

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Plymouth

Location Map for Plymouth

Just south of Newport off Interstate 95, this rural community is dotted with wetlands, the largest of which is Plymouth Bog. Martin Stream runs from Plymouth Pond to empty into Sebasticook Lake in Newport after joining East Brook. The main village is on the northwestern shore of Plymouth Pond at the junctions of Maine Routes 7 and 69. Its population has remained remarkably stable over 40 years. Continue reading

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Raymond

Location Map for Raymond

The main village is located at the head of the large, well protected, Jordan Bay on the shore of Sebago Lake. Adjacent Raymond Neck extends over four miles into the Lake to form the Bay. Raymond’s “welcome” sign entices fishing enthusiasts to the “Home of the Landlocked Salmon,” which inhabit the lake. Nathaniel Hawthorne spent summers at his mother’s home. Continue reading

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Reed Plantation

Location Map for Reed Plantation

The village is located on Maine Route 17 near the Mattawamkeag River and on the Wytopitlock stream. Other than Route 17, which runs through the through the western portion north to U.S. Route 2A, the Bancroft Road travels northeast from Wytopitlock to the Bancroft town line. These are the only improved roads. Two lots of Maine Public Reserved Land lie within the plantation: the 996-acre Thompson Deadwater Lot and the 539-acre Central-Wytopitlock Lot. Continue reading

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Sabattus

Farm across from Waterman

just east of Lewiston, the south end of Sabattus Pond is part of the urban center. The name is that of a Native American chief of the Anasagunticook tribe. Located just east of Lewiston, most of the town’s population appears on a map as an extension of that City, so closely are they located. That portion of the town at the south end of Sabattus Pond is part of the urban center. Continue reading

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Saco

View of Saco Bay, from A Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1886

One half of the Biddeford-Saco metropolitan area, the city has its own extensive beach and Ferry Beach State Park. See photos. It is one stop on AMTRAK’s Downeaster rail service. Occupying the east side of the Saco River as it enters Saco Bay, the city is the eleventh largest community in Maine. Continue reading

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Sanford

Sanford Birdseye View 1889

Sanford, with Springvale Village, is the seventh largest town or city in Maine by population according to the 2010 Census, up from a ranking of ninth in 1990. Traditionally an industrial town, primarily with textile mills and shoe making, Sanford has diversified and continues to be a growing community. Continue reading

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Seboomook

Location Map for Seboomook

is both an unorganized township and a lake created by the Seboomook Dam.  Just north of Moosehead Lake, half the township and all of the lake are in Maine Public Reserved Land protective status. The 6,880-acre lake has over 69 … Continue reading

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Skowhegan

Location Map for Skowhegan

Recorded as Skwahegan in early reports, the name means “watching place for fish,” drawn from the falls in the Kennebec River that harbored salmon. See photos. Local Indians speared them as they attempted to scale the falls. Textile and shoe manufacturing were major employment options for local residents during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Once home to Camp Modin, a camp for Jewish boys and girls until 1992, Lake George Regional Park is split between Skowhegan and Canaan. Continue reading

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Smyrna

Farm Buildings in Smyrna (2003)

Named for a famous city in ancient Turkey, the town is west of Houlton on Interstate 95 and on U.S. Route 2, where the village of Smyrna Mills straddles the town line with Merrill. See photos. The town has become home to a substantial number of Amish people, who farm and work using simple, low technology methods. The Mattawamkeag River flows through the village. In the river is the ruins of an old dam and mill. Continue reading

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St. Albans

Location Map for St.Albans

At the junction of Maine Routes 23, 43 and 152, the village lies at the southwestern tip of Indian Pond. The three and one-half mile Pond (sometimes called Indian Lake, or Big Indian Lake) is maintained by a dam at the park in the main village. Continue reading

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Starks

The New Vineyard Mountains from Route 43

A farming town, Starks once boasted a canning factory to which farmers would bring corn, squash, pumpkins, and other produce each fall. See photos. The “corn shop,” as it was known, closed in 1964. The now abandoned Grange Hall was the site of many community dances and socials at least through the 1950’s. The winding Sandy River, the site of several ferry crossings, constitutes the town’s eastern boundary. A small chapel is located near an old cemetery on the River Road. Continue reading

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Stroudwater

Park in "Historic Stroudwater" (2014)

Stroudwater, a neighborhood in the City of Portland, lies west of the railroad tracks to the Westbrook border. Several locations of historical significance include the Tate House Museum, a portion of the Cumberland & Oxford Canal, and an old dam on the Stroudwater River. It is a highly developed residential and commercial area. Continue reading

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Swanville

Location Map for Swanville

The town is an easy drive to Belfast south on Maine Route 141. Hurd’s Pond is a twenty-five acre water body surrounded by 75 acres of sedge meadow and freshwater wetlands. Frequented by many species of migrating and breeding waterfowl. Continue reading

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T10 R9 WELS

Chase Brook Road (left) off the Jack Mountain Road in T10 R9 WELS (2015)

This township in Piscataquis County lies just west of T10 R8 WELS where Jack Mountain Road continues, but declines into an unimproved dirt road and ends, at least by that name.  An improved dirt road, Chase Brook Road, branches south … Continue reading

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T3 R4 BKP WKR

Location Map for T3 R4 BKP WKR

This township hosts the Long Falls Dam on the Dead River. That dam maintains the level of Flagstaff Lake, but required the removal of the village of Flagstaff, which was flooded as a result of its construction.. There was a … Continue reading

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Topsham

Location Map for Topsham

Recently the downtown (see photos) has witnessed a renewal with modern buildings. Topsham has been a very rapidly growing community both in population and in commercial development.The area of the Topsham Fair Mall is located adjacent to Interstate 95. Pejepscot Village was once an active community when the Pejepscot Paper Mill was in full production. Falls in the Androscoggin River between Topsham and Brunswick encouraged the development of paper and textile mills which dominated the economy into the 20th century. Continue reading

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Turner

Sunset view from Lower Street (2004)

Turner (see photos and video) lies directly north of Auburn on Maine Route 4, and is served by routes 117 in the south and 219 in the north. South Turner is a smaller village near the Auburn city line. Bounded by the Androscoggin River on the east, Turner has its share of ponds, including Bear Pond and its amusement park. Continue reading

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Veazie

Location Map for Veazie

At only 3.4 square miles in area, Veazie is one of the smallest municipalities in the state. U.S. Route 2 is also its Main Street. Created in 1853, it was named, and likely created, for General Samuel Veazie who owned the saw mills and most of the property in the new town. Mills and a power station took advantage of the Penobscot River here. Continue reading

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Wayne

Location Map for Wayne

has been characterized as “composed primarily of residences, small farms, seasonal and vacation homes, and limited retail and commercial development.” See photos. The main village lies between Pocasset Lake and Androscoggin Lake on Maine Route 133. Other substantial ponds add to the town’s recreational attractions. Continue reading

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Whitefield

Location Map for Whitefield

Whitefield is west of Gardiner on Route 126 and north of Wiscasset on Route 218. See photos. The Sheepscot River flows through the town and is a popular canoe trip opportunity. As do many Maine towns with scattered villages, Whitefield has several volunteer fire departments: Coopers Mills, Kings Mills, and North Whitefield. St. Denis Catholic Church, west of North Whitefield on Maine Route 218, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Continue reading

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Windham

Location Map for Windham

The main village, North Windham, lies adjacent to Sebago Lake and on the shore of Little Sebago Lake at the junction of U.S. Route 302 and Maine Routes 35 and 115. See photos. While Route 302 is a long commercial strip, an old meeting house is adjacent to the Windham Union Church. Young adult offenders are held at the Maine Correctional Center in South Windham. Continue reading

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