Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Entries listed under "Route 26"

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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Cumberland

Location Map for Cumberland

in Cumberland County, incorporated 1822, includes two islands in Casco Bay: Sturdivant and Basket. Basket Island, is a nature preserve of .9 acres of mixed forest and shell and gravel beaches. The town, a suburb of Portland, grew by almost 23 percent between 1990 and 2000, and continues its population growth. See photos. Continue reading

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Grafton TWP

Location Map for Grafton TWP

Grafton Notch State Park features the Notch formed by Old Speck Mountain and Baldpate Mountain on the Appalachian Trail. In the Notch, Screw Auger Falls has worn deep holes into solid rock by the swirling water of the Bear River. Continue reading

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Gray

Location Map for Gray

While Gray has a storied history, the center of Gray village is a busy contemporary place, the crossroads of 5 highways. See video and photos. In the 1770s it was attacked by Indians, destroying cattle, the meetinghouse and all houses. Home to the historic Pennell Institute and a suburb of the Portland area, Gray includes most of Little Sebago Lake and Crystal Lake. Continue reading

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Newry

Location Map for Newry

Built in 1872, the Sunday River Bridge, called “he most painted and photographed covered bridge in the state,” crosses the river of the same name. See photos. The Sunday River Ski Resort is located here. On Maine Route 26, Newry is the gateway to the hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail, of Grafton Township. Step Falls Preserve, the first preserve of the Maine Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, has 24 acres of cascades and pools. Continue reading

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Norway

Location Map for Norway

Norway-South Paris is a community of two adjoining towns serving as a retail center for southern Oxford County. It includes a commercial strip with the usual array of auto dealerships and fast food. Pennesseewassee Lake, the largest of several in the town, abuts the main village and contributes mightily to local recreational opportunities. A clerical “correction” of the originally proposed “Norage,” the Indian word for falls, resulted in the name Norway. 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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Paris

Location Map for Paris

The Paris Hill neighborhood has several architecturally interesting old homes, while South Paris has been the industrial and manufacturing center. See photos. On the Stearns Hill Road the old Hungry Hollow schoolhouse sits on a small plot. South Paris village, split by the Little Androscoggin River, is the main population center and is half of the Norway-South Paris community. Continue reading

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Poland

Location Map for Poland

The Poland Spring Bottling Plant and Spring House are local landmarks. See photos. The town, just west of Auburn, has two other large lakefront areas and is served by Maine Routes 11, 26, and 122. One of water bodies is home to Range Pond State Park. The town, just west of Auburn, has two other large lakefront areas. One of water bodies is home to Range Pond State Park. The Maine State Building was built to represent the state at the Chicago World’s Fair, known as the Colombian Exposition, in 1893. Continue reading

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Upton

Location Map for Upton

This small community borders New Hampshire and Umbagog Lake that straddles the two states and is the source of the Androscoggin River. However, the river runs south through New Hampshire before entering Maine in Gilead. Upton is far from other sizable Maine towns on Maine Route 26 as it ends at the New Hampshire border. Continue reading

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West Paris

Location Map for West Paris

The community, north and west of Paris, though small, has experienced consistent population growth over the past thirty years. Its stone construction library is on the National Register of Historic Places. See photos. Snow Falls, a 40 foot waterfall, drops into a gorge created by the Little Androscoggin River about two mile south of the main village. 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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