Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Entries listed under "meetinghouses"

African Americans

Klan Members Pose in their Robes (courtesy Dennis McLaughlin)

were in Maine at least as early as 1736 when a church in York purchased a slave for its minister. John Brown Russwurm was Bowdoin College‘s first black graduate, in 1826. The third black to graduate from an American college, … Continue reading

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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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Athens

Location Map for Athens

Settled by Revolutionary War soldiers, Athens incorporated in 1804. Somerset Academy now serves as town office, American Legion hall, and Christian Fellowship meeting place. The Union Meetinghouse has served the community since 1840. Athens has hosted a small agricultural fair for many years. Continue reading

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Bethel

Location Map for Bethel

one of the oldest villages in western Maine, incorporated in 1796 from Sudbury Canada Plantation. Its name signifies the “House of God,” possibly inspired by its location among the Oxford Hills. The Middle Intervale Meetinghouse was built in 1816. West Bethel village is along a canoe trip route on the Androscoggin River. See photos. Continue reading

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Bingham

Location Map for Bingham

located on the Kennebec River, U.S. Route 201, its Main Street, carries visitors to and from Quebec City, and logging trucks bound for paper mills down the River. Until the 1970′s, the Kennebec and other rivers were clogged with logs floating to mills. A private lawsuit ended the practice, returning the resource to the public. Continue reading

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Bristol

Going to Monhegan from New Harbor (2013)

Pemaquid Neck hosts the village of New Harbor, along with Pemaquid Beach and Pemaquid Light. The area, visited by Europeans by 1569, is said to be the home of the Indian Samoset, who greeted the Pilgrims in 1621 in English. New Harbor is a departure point for Monhegan Island. See video and photos. Continue reading

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Buxton

Location Map for Buxton

was settled by men who were survivors of King Philip’s War having been granted allotments of land in what was then Narragansett, Number One. The first permanent settlers arrived in 1750. Named for Buxton in Norfolk, England, it incorporated in 1762. The Buxton Powder House, one of only three War of 1812 powder houses to survive in Maine, was erected on a vote of local citizens. See photos. Continue reading

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China

Location Map For China

in Kennebec County near Augusta, incorporated 1818, is the birthplace of a member of Congress and a Quaker educator-author. China Lake, around which Quakers and Baptists settled in the early 19th century, dominates the community and its history as a recreational center. See photos. Continue reading

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Columbia

Location Map For Columbia

in Washington County, incorporated 1796, is home to the “Great Heath” and the Pleasant River as it winds itself toward Columbia Falls. Natural resources drove the economy: logging, saw mills, fishing, boat building, bean farming and blueberries. See map and photos. U.S. Route 1 cuts the southeast corner of this small but growing community, bucking the trend of population loss in much of Washington County. Continue reading

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Columbia Falls

Location Map For Columbia Falls

in Washington County, incorporated in 1863 from a portion sister community, Columbia. The blueberry industry has sustained the local economy, keeping the population stable and growing, however modestly. This former lumbering and shipbuilding community boasts several notable homes from the bygone era. The Ruggles House built for lumberman and judge Thomas Ruggles, is one. See photos. Continue reading

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Corinth

Location Map for Corinth

in Penobscot County, incorporated in 1811. In 1886 it had three saw-mills, three shingle, one stave, two planing and two grist mills, one cheese-factory, one carriage and sleigh factory. Recently, Corinth Wood Pellets mill has taken advantage of this new form of heating fuel. Its population has had steady growth 1970-2010. Continue reading

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Dennistown

Location Map for Dennistown

A scenic location for mountain bicyclists 84 miles north of Skowhegan, it is adjacent to Jackman. See photos. Two ponds with boat launches are several miles west of U.S. Route 201 in its interior. The sparsely populated plantation’s organization was confirmed formally in 1895. Continue reading

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Detroit

Location Map for Detroit

The East Branch of the Sebasticook River flows through the village on its way to Sebasticook Lake in Newport. See photos. Several mills used it water power in the 19th century. Incorporated 1828 in Somerset County as Chandlerville, the name was changed to Detroit in 1841. Continue reading

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Durham

Durham Community School on the Royalsborough Road (2013)

The 1835 Union Church was a community meeting house, then in 1922, the Town Office, and recently home of the Durham Historical Society. The early 20th century religious movement known as the Sandfordites, after their leader Frank W. Sandford, built their 1897 temple “Shiloh” here. Runaround Pond offers a pleasant canoe trip through water lilies and bird life. See video and photos. Continue reading

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Eastbrook

Sign: Town Line, Entering Eastbrook from Waltham (2003)

in Hancock County, incorporated 1837, Settled in 1800, an early settler built the first house and established its first mill. In 1886 Eastbrook had four mills – two sawmills, one producing staves, and one manufacturing shingles. It still has several historically significant buildings. See photos. Lyle Frost Wildlife Management Area offers canoeing; wildlife to be seen: eagles, deer and water birds. Continue reading

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Farmington

Location Map for Farmington

From a trading center in the late 18th century, it saw rapid growth through the Civil War, largely with designation as the shire town of Franklin County, arrival of a few manufacturers, and founding of several educational institutions. It boasts a highly rated small college: the University of Maine at Farmington, near downtown. Originally the Farmington State Normal School, it was established in 1864. The town is the birthplace of renowned vocalist Lillian Nordica; the home of inventor Chester Greenwood and U.S. Representative Robert Goodenow. Continue reading

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Georgetown

Location Map for Georgetown

Settled in the early 1600s, it shares its early history with nearby Phippsburg and Arrowsic. See photos. It is home to Reid State Park and to the summer residence of sculptor William and artist Marguerite Zorach. Their daughter, artist Dahlov Ipcar, has also been a resident. The Josephine Newman Sanctuary and the Ledgewood nature preserve are here. Continue reading

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Gorham

Location Map for Gorham

First called Narragansett Number 7, it was granted to men who fought in the Narragansett War of 1675. Gorham Academy, founded 1803, became Western State Normal School, University of Maine at Gorham, and now Gorham Campus of the University of Southern Maine. The home of former governor Percival P. Baxter has become a museum of Indian artifacts and rare coins. Several other notables lived here. Continue reading

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Harpswell

Location Map for Harpswell

Historically a collection of small villages, some on islands, the closest to a town center is the town office and the recycling center on the Mountain Road. See photos. Its population doubles in summer as seasonal residents return. Several easy hiking trails and nature preserves are at hand. A historic park is at Harpswell Center. Continue reading

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Harpswell Center

Harpswell Town House and Kellogg Church (2013)

During Harpswell’s early settlement and before a bridge connected it to the rest of the town, Harpswell Neck was the site of several small villages.  Harpswell Center hosted a church, the 1759 meetinghouse (later the town office), and a 1793 … Continue reading

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Lewiston Historic Register

Androscoggin Mill Block (2016)

National Register of Historic Places – Listings – Lewiston Androscoggin Mill Block [269-271 Park Street] Due primarily to demands for an increasing labor force required to operate the many large-scale mills opening, the population of Lewiston grew from just under … Continue reading

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Lincolnville

Location Map for Lincolnville

Located on U.S. Route 1 and Penobscot Bay, the village of Lincolnville Beach is the Maine State Ferry Service mainland terminal for the ferry to Islesboro. See photos. Lincolnville Center is about seven miles inland from the beach. That village hosts another post office, a general store, a former fire house and adjoining schoolhouse, an old meetinghouse, and the Lincolnville Telephone Company. Continue reading

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Local Government

"Signs of the Towns"

in New England traces its origins to 1620 and the Mayflower Compact written and agreed to by the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony. By 1652 the Colony asserted its authority over that part of Maine known then and now as York(shire) … Continue reading

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Lyman

Location Map for Lyman

Earlier called Swansfield, it was named after Theodore Lyman of York, a successful businessman and Boston merchant. Goodwins Mills is a village straddling the town lines of Lyman and Dayton. The first saw and grist mills were located there in 1782. Lyman’s United Methodist Church was established in 1840. Dotted with ponds, the area is a rural commuter community with easy access to Sanford and the Biddeford-Saco areas.. 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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Manchester

Location Map for Manchester

Still a basically rural community, Manchester has maintained its old 1793 North Manchester Meetinghouse. It also features a sustainable forestry project within a few hundred yards of the Meetinghouse on Scribner Hill Road. A suburb of Augusta, the town has substantial frontage on the northern half Cobbosseecontee Lake. Continue reading

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Mercer

Location Map for Mercer

With forty-one residents in 1800, Mercer exploded to a population of 1,432 (its peak) by 1840. Soon thereafter, Maine’s first starch factory was established. The library and the Grange are two surviving organizations formed in the late 19th century as the population continued to decline. See photos. The town lies on U.S. Route 2 just west of Norridgewock with frontage on North Pond at its southeast corner. Continue reading

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New Gloucester

Location Map for New Gloucester

home for Pineland Center from 1908 to 1996, that facility for the mentally retarded was known as the “Maine School for the Feeble-Minded” and later as the Pownal State School. See photos. It has been redeveloped as an office park. The multiple-use campus hosts professional, educational, and civic organizations, along with a conference facility. Pineland Farms and its Equestrian Center are major facilities nearby. 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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October 29

Southbound Appalachian Trail Crossing at Moxie Pond (October 2007)

October 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 1727 Earthquake strikes Maine at 10:40 p.m. 1836 … Continue reading

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Orrs Island

Orrs Island Bridge from Great Island in Harpswell at Sunset (2003)

Inhabited since 1762, the island has many historic structures, such as the 1855 Meetinghouse and 1900 Chapel, that have survived the test of time. Part of the town of Harpswell, it is home to the Coastal Studies Center of Bowdoin College, on the shore of Harpswell Sound near Casco Bay. Several wooded walking trails offer ocean views. Continue reading

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Otisfield

Location Map for Otisfield

Just north of the town of Casco on Maine Route 121, it offers substantial frontage on Pleasant and Thompson Lakes. The Crooked River serves as its boundary with Harrison. The Bell Hill Meetinghouse and Bell Hill Schoolhouse are well-preserved National Register historic structures in a rural setting. Continue reading

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Oxford

Location Map for Oxford

Routes 26 (the commercial strip) and 121 serve the community. See photos. The Oxford Casino is on Route 26 in the south of town. Oxford village, at the north end of Thompson Lake, hosts the town office, post office, and a small veterans memorial park. The Congregational Church was established in 1806 and is listed on the National Register. Though famous for auto racing at Oxford Plains Speedway, the nearby Androscoggin River passes several sizable ponds and Thompson Lake abuts the main village. Continue reading

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Penobscot

Location Map for Penobscot

The community takes its name from the Penobscot River, which forms its western boundary. See photos. In the late 19th century the town hosted a mining company, four wood-related mills, a meal and flour mill, and several manufacturers of clothing, barrels, carriages, harnesses and other items. Reached from Orland off U.S. Route 1, the town is served by Maine Routes 15, 175 and 199. Northern Bay, a major spur of the Bagaduce River, splits the southern end of the town. Continue reading

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Porter

Location Map for Porter

The main village, Kezar Falls, shares its name with the other half of the community located across the Ossipee River in Parsonsfield, York County. Built in 1876, the two-span 152-foot covered bridge above crosses the Ossipee River. The town, which borders New Hampshire, is served by Maine Routes 160 and 25 (also known as the Ossipee Trail). Continue reading

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Portland Historic Register

Abyssinian Meeting House (2015)

The City of Portland has over eighty places and historic districts on the National Register, including Eastern Promenade, Evergreen Cemetery, Fort Gorges, Longfellow Monument, Portland City Hall, Portland Observatory, Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Westbrook College Historic District, and Western Promenade Continue reading

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Pownal

Location Map for Portland

Bradbury Mountain State Park offers picnicking, a modest walk to the summit, and a historic cattle pound. See video and photos. “Pineland Center ” is a community of non-profits and local businesses. Most of the town is rural residential, with homes and a few farmhouses widely spaced along the local roads. The few commercial establishments are clustered in Pownal Center Village. Continue reading

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Readfield

Lake and Mountains in Readfield (2002)

Kents Hill School was established here initially as the Maine Wesleyan Seminary in 1824. See photos. Readfield is the birthplace of two governors: Jonathan G. Hunton and Dr. John Hubbard. Another governor and member of Congress, Anson P. Morrill, lived at Readfield Corners. Its Kennebec County Fair has been held annually since 1856. Meeting House Common was the site of militia musters in the 1800’s. Continue reading

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Rumford

Location Map for Rumford

Year Population 1970 9,363 1980 8,240 1990 7,078 2000 6,472 2010 5,841 Geographic Data N. Latitude 44:31:19 W. Latitude 70:35:50 Maine House District 115 Maine Senate District 18 Congress District 2 Area sq. mi. (total) 69.9 Area sq. mi. (land) … Continue reading

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Solon

Location Map for Solon

Solon, Maine is a town in Somerset County, incorporated on February 23, 1809 from the township T1 R2 EKR. Settled in 1782 by William Hilton of Wiscasset, it was named for one of the great sages of Ancient Greece, in keeping with its neighboring town of Athens. Continue reading

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South Bristol

Boats and Osier

The Darling Marine Center of the University of Maine is located in the village of Walpole. See photos. The population centers in the town’s southern most reaches are on Rutherford Island, perched at the end of a peninsular. The community is home to three nature preserves. Plummer Point is a 74 acre wooded peninsula with over a mile of shoreline. The Tracy Property is a town park with public access to the Damariscotta River. The wooded 18-acre Witch Island Sanctuary, provides two beaches and views of Johns Bay. Continue reading

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South Solon Meeting House

Toward the Balcony (2003)

The 1842 South Solon Meeting House in Solon, is a period piece well preserved, with colorful murals depicting religious themes on the walls. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Meeting House is located about five miles Southeast … Continue reading

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Stetson

Location Map for Stetson

Just 20 miles northwest of Bangor and adjacent to Newport, the town is a growing, but still rural community. Settled in 1800, it was soon organized as a plantation for election purposes. The post office opened in 1829. In the 1880’s Stetson was home to three sawmills, a grist mill, Stetson Cheese Factory, and a carriage factory. Continue reading

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Sweden

Location Map for Sweden

Year Population 1970 110 1980 163 1990 222 2000 324 2010 391 Geographic Data N. Latitude 44:07:24 W. Latitude 70:48:59 Maine House District 71 Maine Senate District 18 Congress District 2 Area sq. mi. (total) 29.7 Area sq. mi. (land) … Continue reading

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Troy

Classic Barn in Troy (2006)

Maine Route 220 joins U.S. Route 202/Maine Route 9 at Green’s Corner near the shore of Unity Pond. Carleton Pond, Bog, and Stream are accessible from Route 220 in the north end of town. The 1840 Troy Union Meeting House is a classic example of a type of meeting house or church in Maine in the four decades prior to the Civil War. 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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Vassalboro

Location Map for Vassalboro

has sufficient space to support farming as well as serving as a residential area for people working in Augusta and Waterville. See video and photos. Benedict Arnold stopped here to obtain a canoe on his way to Quebec. Site of Oak Grove Seminary in 1844, then Oak Grove Coburn school in 1970, then the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in 2001. Continue reading

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Waldoboro

Location Map for Waldoboro

is home to six nature preserves, an old German church and a traditional downtown. See photos. However, most people know Waldoboro by its location on U.S. Route 1, where convenience stores populate the commercial strip. Continue reading

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Washington

Location Map for Washington

The 550-acre, four mile long Washington Pond is a major attraction for summer recreation. Also known as Medomak Lake, it is home to the Madomak Family Camp, started in 1904 as a boys camp. See amateur film. Razorville is a village on the southwest end of Washington Pond. The main village is near the eastern shore of the lake. 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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Winterport

Marsh Bay on the Penobscot River just South of Winterport Village (2003)

Winterport is primarily a rural community with its land area extending ten miles westward from the river. See photos. An attraction along Route 139 among the farms and woods is the Winterport Dragway, featuring auto drag races with specialty vehicles and “street” vehicles. In recent years a marina has expanded and an export business has been established on the river. A dockside freezer operation enabled the storage and shipping of commodities such as fish and chicken. Continue reading

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Winthrop

Maranacook Lake in Winthrop (2013)

n addition to its recreational attractions, the town is a suburban community serving both the Augusta and Lewiston-Auburn areas. See photos. Winthrop is the birthplace in 1899 of Delphia Louis “Del” Bissonette, who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Continue reading

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Woodstock

Location Map for Woodstock

Not the site of the 1960’s rock concert (that was New York), Woodstock’s major village is Bryant Pond, named from the adjacent water body. The Pond outlet is the source of the Little Androscoggin River. See photos. South Woodstock is home to the small South Woodstock Meetinghouse and is the site of an old mill pond and mill on Andrews Brook. Continue reading

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Yarmouth

Location Map for Yarmouth

Yarmouth is a coastal town northeast of Portland on I-295 and U.S. Route 1. See photos. It is home to the Delorme Mapping Company and North Yarmouth Academy. Cousin’s Island is home to a large, oil fueled electric power plant known as Wyman Station. The Island has ferry terminal for Chebeague Island. Continue reading

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