Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Acton

Location Map for Action

is a town in York County, incorporated on March 6, 1830; it ceded land to Shapleigh in 1831. It was part of a much larger tract of land in purchased in 1661 by Francis Small from Chief Sunday of the Newichawannock Tribe. Settled in 1776, the town’s first mill, a grist mill, was built on the Salmon Falls River in 1779 by Joseph Parsons. Continue reading

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Allagash

Location Map for Allagash

in Aroostook County, is at the mouth of the Allagash River as it enters the St, John. Large in area, small in population, hunting and camping is an economic asset. The Allagash River flows through the town and is the tenth longest in the State. At 69 miles, it drains 1,240 square miles in northern Maine. Across the St. John lies the small Canadian town of Connors. 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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Alton

Location Map for Alton

Near Bangor and the University of Maine in Orono, home to the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge and Alton Bog, it has steadily gained population since 1970. The Refuge is the site of an archaeological project on Pushaw Stream; evidence suggests occupation by prehistoric Indian cultures dating back approximately 7,000 years. Continue reading

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Amity

Location Map for Amity

is a small town in Aroostook County, incorporated on March 19, 1836 from township T10 R01. Even as Aroostook County has lost population over the years, Amity has managed slow but consistent growth. Continue reading

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Appleton

Location Map for Appleton

is named for Samuel Appleton, an early settler (1770’s), and has frontage on Sennebec Pond. The Medomak Valley Grange is on Rt. 105 south of Burkettville village. 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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Baldwin

Location Map for Baldwin

Baldwin is the only one of the towns surrounding Sebago Lake that has no frontage on that lake. East Baldwin village is located in the southeast corner of the town. West Baldwin village sits at the western edge of the Saddleback Hills, which span the width of the town. See photos. Continue reading

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Bath

Location Map for Bath

The city’s Customs House was an important center for revenue and recording the history of shipping in the area. The nearby elegant City Hall dominates the downtown. Home to Bath Iron Works on the Kennebec River, the city has had a long history of shipbuilding, including nine clipper ships during the 1850’s. Continue reading

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Benton School Report 1941

Benton School Report Page 1

From the annual Town Report of 1941. Click on each page to enlarge.

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Blue Hill

Blue Hill Birdseye View 1896

Settled in 1762, its name derives from Blue Hill just north of the town’s main settlement. Blue Hill Falls and East Blue Hill are other settlements. Jonathan Fisher House, on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the town’s major assets. Blue Hill was the original site in 1986 of Northeast Historic Film. Continue reading

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Boothbay

Location Map for Blue Hill

includes Damariscove Island, an early fishing outpost, providing critical food (fish) to the starving Pilgrims. Harvesting the sea is still a significant occupation. Now the Boothbay region is a center of summer tourist activity, with the Boothbay Playhouse and the Railroad Museum. See photos and video. Continue reading

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Bowdoin

Location Map for Bowdoin

Settled before the Revolutionary War, it is named for James Bowdoin II, a governor of Massachusetts. Typical of early towns, Bowdoin had 15 school houses in 1870; by 2010 it, one elementary school. More than tripled in population since 1970,the still rural town is becoming a commuter community with easy access to Interstate 95. See photos and video. Continue reading

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Bradbury, James Ware

James Ware Bradbury

(1802-1901) a U. S. Senator from Maine was born in Parsonsfield, June 10, 1802, attended the common schools and Gorham Academy. He was graduated from Bowdoin College in 1825. Bradbury was principal of Hallowell Academy and founder of the first … Continue reading

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Bridgewater

Location Map for Bridgewater

In this Aroostook County town, farming has been the major economic force since the nineteenth century. It is home to Wood Prairie Farm, an organic seed and food products source with catalog and online listings. Located on U.S. Route 1, just south of Mars Hill, it is bounded on the east by Canada and hosts a U.S. Customs station. See photos. 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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Brooksville

Location Map for Brooksville

in Hancock County, incorporated in 1817. Its Cape Rosier recalls James Rosier who accompanied George Weymouth in explorations of 1605. Brooksville boasts one of the best harbors for small boats: Bucks Harbor. Helen and Scott Nearing lived here. See photos. Continue reading

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Brownfield

Location Map For Brownfield

Named for Captain Henry Y. Brown, who received a land grant for service in the French and Indian Wars, the town sits between the New Hampshire border and the Saco River. The Stone Mountain Arts Center, with excellent attractions and food, brings visitors from long distances. See photos. Continue reading

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Brunswick

Location Map For Brunswick

Since the demise of textile and shoe manufacturing, Brunswick has become a service center for the region and a residential community for commuters to the greater Portland area. With Bowdoin College, Maine State Music Theater, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, Pejepscot Historical Society, and many historic buildings, it is a powerful cultural magnet. AMTRAK service to Boston resumed in 2012. The town has a 66 mile ocean shoreline and 12 miles along the Androscoggin River. Continue reading

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Buckfield

Location Map For Buckfield

in Oxford County, incorporated in 1793. Buckfield village, within a few hundred yards has the public library, two veterans memorials, Masonic Temple, Odd Fellows Building, Post Office, and a general store. A short distance away is the Community Church, the Community Center and Town Offices, and the Fire Department. See photos. Continue reading

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Burlington

Location Map For Burlington

in Penobscot County, incorporated in 1832. The township was first settled in 1824, probably by Tristam Hurd who donated the name “Hurd Ridge” to the area. Saponac Lake, in the south, is from the Indian word for “the big opening.” Lumbering and agriculture have been the main occupations, with little manufacturing. 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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Byron

Location Map for Byron

in Oxford County incorporated in 1833, the village is located on the Swift River nears Coos [CO-oss] Canyon, legendary source of gold and other minerals. This sparsely populated town is served by Maine Route 17 connecting it with the Rumford-Mexico area to the south. See photos. Continue reading

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Calais

Location Map for Calais

in eastern, coastal Washington County and named for the French port, was briefly settled in 1604 when a French expedition arrived on St. Croix Island. Today it features late 19th century historic brick structures, modern state and federal buildings, and a visitor center. Home to Washington County Community College. See video and photos. Continue reading

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Cambridge

Location Map for Cambridge

in Somerset County, settled in 1804, incorporated in 1834 and named for Cambridge, England, the town is divided from neighboring Ripley by Main Stream, a tributary of the Sebasticook River. The village and grange hall are at the eastern end of Cambridge Pond. See photos. Continue reading

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Carrabassett Village

Sign: Welcome to Carrabassett Valley (2012)

Carrabassett village in the town of Carrabassett Valley is located along the river of the same name.  The village is east of Sugarloaf Mountain, about eight miles by road. It is served by Maine combined Routes 16/27 from Farmington (27) … Continue reading

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Chapman

Location Map For Chapman

a town in Aroostook County, incorporated in 1915 from Chapman Plantation, was settled in the late 1860s. It cooperates with Castle Hill and Mapleton with a common town manager and comprehensive plan. The Haystack Historical Society serves this rural area. Continue reading

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Cherryfield

Location Map For Cherryfield

in Washington County, incorporated 1816, straddles the Narraguagus River. See photos. Once a favorite spot for catching the now endangered Atlantic Salmon, it is a blueberry growing and processing center. A shipbuilding community, it produced the bark Belgrade, which rounded Cape Horn with 56 local men during the California gold rush. Continue reading

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Clifton

Location Map For Clifton

in Penobscot County, incorporated 1848, settled in 1815, and recently growing in population, Clifton provides recreational opportunities, at the southeast end of Chemo Pond and Peaked Mountain, for the greater Bangor area. Fitts Pond in the southwest corner provides water access for Boy Scout Camp Roosevelt. See photos. 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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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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Cutler

Location Map for Cutler

in Washington County, incorporated 1826, is east of East Machias and boasts a large, protected harbor known as Little Machias Bay. A U.S. Navy communication base is on the Bay. Cutler Coast Public Preserved Land, in Cutler and Whiting, has almost five miles of dramatic cliff-bound ocean shore. Continue reading

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Danforth

Location Map for Danforth

in the Baskahegan valley, is the northernmost town in Washington County, The village is at U.S. Route 1 and Maine Route 169 at the end of Crooked Brook Flowage. The majestic, historic 1888 Union Hall clock tower dominates the village. See photos. Continue reading

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Dedham

Location Map for Dedham

in Hancock County, settled 1810, incorporated 1837, is home to the historic Lucerne Inn and to the self-governing village corporation Lucerne-in-Maine, created in 1927. See photos and video. With two substantial lakes, Phillips and Green, the town is a growing recreational suburb of the Bangor-Brewer area. Continue reading

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Deer Isle

Location Map for Deer Isle

John Steinbeck on Deer Isle: “There is something about it that opens no door to words.” Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge links the island to the mainland. See photos. The town, in Hancock County and incorporated 1789, includes nature preserves and 77 coastal islands. .
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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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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Dixmont

Location Map for Dixmont

in Penobscot County, incorporated 1807, was named for Dr. Elijah Dix, who bought the town (and Dixfield). His granddaughter was the social reformer, Dorothea Lynde Dix. Maine Routes 9 and U.S. Route 202 pass through Dixmont and Dixmont Center villages, with long views of the surrounding area, and locally known “Dixmont Hill,” actually Peaked Mountain, with its communications antennas. See photos. Continue reading

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Dover-Foxcroft

Location Map for Dover-Foxcroft

the county seat of Piscataquis County, born of the union of Dover and Foxcroft in 1922, and home to Foxcroft Academy and three members of Congress, is the commercial center of the area. See photos. Continue reading

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Dresden

Location Map for Dresden

is site of the 1761 Pownalborough Courthouse, the first built in Maine, visited by future President John Adams, Daniel Webster, and Benedict Arnold on his way to Quebec. The Earle R. Kelley Wildlife Management Area and the Dresden Bog are here in the area first settled in 1752. Continue reading

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Easton

Location Map for Easton

In the 1970s Easton was the site of a failed attempt to establish a sugar beet refinery to diversify dependence on the potato economy. The McCain Foods, U.S.A. facility and the J. M. Huber Corporation’s Engineered Woods plant provide local employment. Easton, in Aroostook County, incorporated in 1865. Continue reading

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Eastport

Location Map for Eastport

is on Moose Island at the end of a peninsular surrounded by Cobscook Bay and Passamaquoddy Bay. See video and photos. Visited by European fishermen and traders in the 1600’s, the area was settled in 1772. A proposed oil refinery was rejected based on concerns about oil spills and environmental threats. Once a fish canning center (the first sardine cannery in the U.S. opened in 1875), the city struggles against its isolated location. The historic downtown has undergone substantial restoration. Continue reading

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Eddington

Location Map for Eddington

in Penobscot County, settled 1780 and incorporated 1811, has frontage on two major ponds, Chemo and Davis and hosts Katahdin Scout Reservation, known as Camp Roosevelt. Eddington village has been known as Eddington Bend for the sharp curve in the Penobscot River. Continue reading

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Eliot

Location Map for Eliot

in York County, settled in the 1630s, on the east side of the Piscataqua River dividing Maine from New Hampshire, is a growing residential community serving Kittery and Portsmouth. See photos. Its population expanded by almost 12% in the 1990-2000 decade. Eliot was home to Maine’s first Quaker Meetinghouse built in 1776. Continue reading

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Embden

Location Map for Embden

The first white people arrived in the 1770’s, making settlements along the Kennebec River. Embden Pond, in the shadow of Dunbar Hill, dominates the northwest portion of the town. The shoreline is dotted with many cottages and is active in the summer with swimming, boating, and water skiing. See photos. The town has shown consistent population growth in each of the four decades 1970-2010. Continue reading

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Etna

Location Map for Etna

Etna Campground, since disbanded, was the site, at Etna Pond, of annual summer meetings of spiritualist beginning in 1876. In 1928 Camp Katahdin for boys, founded by Douglas W. Crate, Sr., opened at the pond. The town, in Penobscot County, incorporated in 1820 Continue reading

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Fairfield

Location Map for Fairfield

Fairfield Center, with its impressive church and grange hall, is at the crossroads of routes 23 & 104. The old Lawrence High School is near the veterans park with its gazebo and shade trees. See photos. In the fall, a popular destination for apples and pumpkins is The Apple Farm. Fairfield, incorporated in 1788 in Somerset County, now hosts Kennebec Valley Community College. 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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Fayette

Location Map for Fayette

the most westerly town in Kennebec County, was named for the Marquis de Lafayette, the French nobleman who helped the Americans during the Revolution. Settled permanently beginning in 1781, it was incorporated in 1795. The town has substantial frontage on several large ponds: David, Tilton and Parker in the northeast, Echo and Lovejoy in the east, and Mosher Pond in the northwest near Twelve Corners. Continue reading

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Frenchboro

Location Map for Frenchboro and Long Island

Settled in the early 1800s, the island had a population of 19 in 1820, when fishing and some logging sustained the community. Other than for a period of pulpwood harvesting, few roads were constructed outside Lunt Harbor. See amateur film, video and photos. While many Maine islands struggle to maintain a critical mass of population, Frenchboro experienced a substantial reversal of three decades of decline when the 2010 U.S. Census confirmed sixty-one people as resident. 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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Gilead

Sign: Welcome to The Town of Gilead (2013)

the Androscoggin River splits Gilead down the middle from west to east, flowing between two mountain ranges. See photos. Only one bridge crosses at the village. In 1973 the U.S. EPA was documenting pollution in the river. A brief canoe trip makes about five of its six miles through Gilead to West Bethel, with spectacular views of the Presidential Range. Continue reading

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Glenburn

Location Map for Glenburn

The town is becoming a major suburb of the Bangor area with population expanding nearly four-fold in the 40 years 1970-2010, and growing 16 percent 2000-2010. Glenburn’s school contains the public library. See photos. In Penobscot County, it was incorporated in 1822 under the name of Dutton, changed to Glenburn in 1837. Dutton held a major interest in the original township, became a Judge of Probate and a founder of Bangor Theological Seminary. 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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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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Greenville

Location Map for Greenville

On the shore of Moosehead Lake, it serves as the gateway to Lily Bay State Park and to the upper reaches of the lake via combined Maine Routes 6 and 15. See video and photos. It is also an access point for Elephant Mountain and the preserved site of a B-52 bomber crash in 1963. In 1853 Henry David Thoreau met his guide, Joseph Atteon, in Greenville before boarding a steamboat passing Mount Kineo, to Northeast Carry for the portage to the West Branch of the Penobscot River. Continue reading

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Hallowell

Location Map for Hallowell

Early in the 19th century, Hallowell on the Kennebec has become an important commercial center in the District of Maine. River ice and shipbuilding were staple industries. Granite quarries were active and productive in the 19th century, with one on “Granite Hill.” Maine’s smallest city in area has a vital downtown with antique and book shops, along with restaurants. See photos. The first settler arrived in 1762; surveyor Ephraim Ballard, in 1776; his wife Martha, the next year. Maine’s first Anti-Slavery Society was founded here in 1833. Continue reading

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Hamlin Plantation

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

a plantation in Aroostook County, organized in 1859 for election purposes and formally organized for general purposes in 1895. Named for Hannibal Hamlin, President Lincoln’s first Vice President, this northeastern community is bounded on the north by the St. John River. See map. The population is concentrated along the river on the Hamlin Road (U.S. Route 1A). Hamlin Plantation is subject to the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission, which has identified critical natural areas in the plantation. Continue reading

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Hampden

Location Map for Hampden

The town is a suburb of Bangor lying just south of that city on U.S. Route 1A. It hosts a regional U.S. Post Office processing center. Hampden Academy was established in 1803. The Grange Hall, one of the first chartered Granges in 1880. See photos. While teaching here Stephen King was spending his spare time writing short stories and novels. It is the birthplace of social reformer Dorothea Dix. Settled in 1767 it was once known as Wheelersborough after the first settler, carpenter, and mill owner. Continue reading

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Harrington

Location Map for Harrington

In 1858 the Jefferson Davis trail was cut to haul supplies and instruments to the top of Humpback Mountain for the U.S. Coast Survey. An elegant old church, adjoins the Gallison Memorial Library on U.S. 1. See photos. The town has sustained its population base when others in Washington County have declined. From 2000 to 2010 the number of residents expanded by nearly 14%. Continue reading

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Hartford

Location Map for Hartford

Lake Anasagunticook on Main Street (Route 140) in northern Hartford is surrounded by seasonal and year-round houses. See photos. Church Street, an extension of Staples Hill Road in Canton, is a rural road with farms, the old school and community church, with access to the southern shore of the Lake. The area was first settled by Edmund Irish in 1788. The J&) Irish Museum is on Route 140. Continue reading

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Hartland

Location Map for Hartland

About 19 miles northeast of Skowhegan, Hartland village lies on the Sebasticook River at the junction of Maine Routes 23, 43, 151, and 152. See photos. Built before the Civil War, the Academy Building ceased its educational function in 2001 when a new school was built.. It became the Town Hall, hosting town meetings and offices. Woolen mills and tanneries were 19th and early 20th century industries. Continue reading

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Hebron

Location Map for Hebron

Hebron Academy is a private school established in 1804 by Revolutionary War veteran William Barrows. Maine U.S. Representative Stanley Tupper graduated from the Academy. See photos. The growing community has more than doubled its population since 1980. It lies within easy commuting distance northwest of the Lewiston-Auburn area. Continue reading

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Hiram

Location Map for Hiram

The villages of Hiram and East Hiram are divided by the Saco River. Nearby Mount Cutler sports a hiking trail; a chain of ponds hugs the western border above South Hiram. Raymond Cotton, a storekeeper and author, made many home movies. See photos & 1938 video on blueberry farming. The community buildings (churches, library, grange, museum) are within walking distance in Hiram village. Continue reading

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Hodgdon

Location Map for Hodgdon

a farming community, lies just south of Houlton on U.S. 1 where the South Branch of the Meduxnekeag River flows north to an eventual outlet in Canada. See photos. Most of the Lt. Gordon Manuel Wildlife Management Area, including the related dam and the Hodgdon Deadwater, lies in the southwestern portion of Hodgdon. Continue reading

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Holden

Location Map for Holden

The town has substantial frontage on Brewer Lake, which is shared with neighboring Orrington. At East Holden, where Maine Route 46 crosses 1A, a commercial area has blossomed in recent years. See photos. Administrative offices, library, and museum of the Grand Lodge of Maine Masons are located at the crossroads. Continue reading

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Hudson

Location Map for Hudson

Little Pushaw Pond is in the northwest portion of the town. Pushaw Stream flow from it to Pushaw Lake in the southeast. See photos. Hudson is a growing community in a rural setting with easy access to Bangor and to the University of Maine in Orono. Continue reading

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Indian Township

Location Map for Indian Township

Peter Dana Point, in the southwest corner, is the village center for the Passamaquoddy people in the township. U.S. Route 1 hosts another cluster of facilities and population. The tribe’s governing body is the policy maker for the Passamaquoddy People of Indian Township with each member elected for a four year term. Municipal offices, public safety building, housing authority and Boys & Girls Club Fitness Center are in the southeast corner near the town line with Princeton and near the shore of Lewy Lake. 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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Jackson

Location Map for Jackson

Part of the Waldo Patent, it was acquired by General Henry Knox shortly after the American Revolution. He later sold it to Israel Thorndike who developed a large farm, the “Great Farm.” See photos. The adjoining town of Thorndike bears his name. An intact stone wall from a 19th century mill at Hadley Mill Pond recalls the town’s early industries. 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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Kennebunk

Location Map for Kennebunk

The name means “the long cut bank” for a land formation near the sea. Shipbuilding and shipping were once staples of the economy, now oriented to tourism and light manufacturing. See photos. The conversion of historic buildings for contemporary use and the historic districts have enhanced Kennebunk’s attraction for visitors and new residents. Continue reading

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Kents Hill School

Entrance and Bearce Hall (2002)

Kents Hill School, in Readfield, was established initially as the Maine Wesleyan Seminary in 1824 by Luther Sampson, a native of Duxbury, Massachusetts. He was a Revolutionary War veteran who settled in Readfield in the early 1800s. In 1824 he … Continue reading

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Kingfield

Location Map for Kingfield

Now a “four season” recreation center, located half way between the North Pole and the Equator, it is the gateway to Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Area in Carrabassett Valley. See video & photo. Named for Maine’s first governor, the town hosts the Stanly Museum (of Stanley Steamer fame). Continue reading

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Kingman

Location Map for Kingman

is an unorganized township in Penobscot County. In the early 1870’s the firm of Shaw and Kingman built a sole-leather tannery. See photos. Mr. Kingman commissioned a “finely Italianate residence” in 1871-1872. With the passing of the tannery, no other business, and the Depression, voters dissolved the town government in 1935. Part of the Mattawamkeag River Wildlife Management Area is here. Kingman village is at the intersection of the Mattawamkeag River, Route 170 and the Canadian Railway. Continue reading

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Kittery

Location Map for Kittery

in York County serves as the gateway to Maine from points south with its old and more modern bridges spanning the Piscataqua River. See video & photos. The federal government established the Navy Yard in 1806. The 74-gun ship Washington was the first vessel built there in 1815. The town’s long history is partially illustrated by the substantial list of historic sites. Continue reading

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Lebanon

Location Map for Lebanon

This western-most town borders New Hampshire on the Salmon Falls River. A rapidly growing rural commuter community, Lebanon tripled its population between 1970 and 2010, adding 20% between 2000 and 2010. Settled in 1743, it was incorporated 1767. A meeting house was erected in 1753, two garrison houses in 1755, and a parsonage in 1759. Continue reading

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Leeds

Location Map for Leeds

While not as important to the local economy as it was in the 19th Century, farming still thrives in some areas of the community. Amid the farms of rural Leeds, the DeCoster mill, on a railroad line in North Leeds, dominates the landscape. The east shore of Androscoggin Lake brings several miles of shore frontage to the community in the northeast corner, including Stinchfield Beach. The Androscoggin River forms the western boundary separating Leeds from Turner. Continue reading

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Lewiston

Location Map for Lewiston

Lewiston Falls, on the Androscoggin River between downtown Lewiston and neighboring Auburn, its “twin” city, was a fishing source for Native Americans. Recently, a park has been developed at the site of the falls, known as Great Falls, and one of the old mills, now a housing complex, that once thrived on its power. The great demand for manufacturing labor in the 19th century drew large numbers of French speaking people from Canada and northern Maine. From 1970 to 2000 the city’s population was again in decline. In 2010 it grew by about 1,000. This time another ethnic group, Somali refugees, were instrumental in the recent growth. 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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Liberty

Location Map for Liberty

Lake St. George and its associated State Park, are in the north-central portion of the Town on Route 3. Liberty Village is on the east shore of the Lake and Route 173 is the main street. This scenic rural community is about a twenty-one mile and about a half-hour drive to Camden; and less than twenty miles and less than a half-hour drive to Belfast. In the 1880’s Liberty was know for its many apple orchards and fertile farmland. Continue reading

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Limerick

Location Map for Limerick

It was settled by whites in 1775 on the old Pequaket Trail, a way station used by the Sokoki Indians traveling between the Saco River and Pequaket (Fryeburg). Sokokis Lake (also known as Holland Pond) and the long Lake Arrowhead grace the northeast corner of the town near Limerick village. Continue reading

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Limestone

Location Map for Limestone

The town is a port of entry into the United States from Limestone, New Brunswick, Canada. In the north of the town, the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge straddles the town line with Caswell. The disastrous impact on the community of the demise of Loring Air Force Base in the 1990’s may be told by Limestone’s sharp population decline. The School of Mathematics and Science, a high school for top students from across the state, is now located on the former military facility. Continue reading

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Limington

Location Map for Limington

Limington Academy, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was incorporated in 1848. See video and photos. After 200 years, the old Town Hall was replaced by a modern Municipal Complex. Primary education now takes place in the Emery Memorial School, a major change from the old Longfellow School. Nevertheless, the main village retains its historic character thanks to the local efforts to establish its Historic District. 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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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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Litchfield

Location Map for Litchfield

The town contains the Tacoma Lakes, Cobbosseecontee Stream, a portion of Cobbosseecontee lake, Pleasant Pond, and several other ponds. See photos. Between Lewiston and Augusta, it offers summer cottage locations for many area residents. Litchfield Corners, in the southern tip of the community, hosts an old tavern, new town office and a country store. Continue reading

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Livermore

Livermore, the main village, fronts on Brettuns Pond. A boat launch is located off Route 4. Near Livermore village several old community buildings suggest an earlier location for the village center. North Livermore village is centered on twin water bodies, Round Pond and Long Pond. North Livermore Baptist Church graces the community, just north of “The Norlands” a living history center. 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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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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Ludlow

Location Map for Ludlow

This “half-township” (New Limerick occupies the other half of the original township) lies just west of the northern portion of Houlton. Ludlow is an agricultural community in the heart of southern Aroostook potato county. The soybean in the article is an example of the continuous, historic attempts to diversify the county’s farm economy. Continue reading

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Medway

Location Map for Medway

The area was also known as Nicatou, or “the forks,” since it marks the joining of the East and West branches of the Penobscot River. Medway is midway between Bangor and the northern line of Penobscot County, hence the modern name. Once home to Congressman Michael Michaud, it is a gateway to Baxter State Park. 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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Merrill

Location Map for Merrill

The town is served by Maine Route 212 just west of Smyrna. The village of Smyrna Mills straddles the adjoining boundaries of the two towns. See photos. The Merrill Millstream Park was created from land, acquired in 1997, between the East Branch of the Mattawamkeag River and Route 212. Continue reading

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Mexico

Location Map for Mexico

The town, across the Swift River and the Androscoggin River from Rumford, is home to many workers in the Rumford paper mill. See photos. In the 1960’s, the mill employed over 3,000 people; by 2009 it employed less than 600. The crash in this and other manufacturing has contributed to the sharp population decline Mexico has experienced since 1970. Continue reading

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Minot

Location Map for Minot

Minot a growing community in recent decades, has become a residential commuter area for nearby Lewiston-Auburn with its location just west of Auburn. West Minot village is tucked away at the northwest edge of the community at the junction of Maine routes 119 and 124, adjacent to Hebron. The village once had an active railroad station and a grist mill. The old grange hall, community church, and railroad station keep the flavor of earlier times. Continue reading

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Monhegan Island

Location of Manana and Monhegan

Attractive to artists since the late 19th century, its first draw was fish. See video and photos. After early European explorers passed by (Cabot in 1497, Weymouth and Champlain in 1605), the abundance of fish soon became apparent. Botanists have identified over six hundred varieties of wildflowers on the island. Monhegan Light was commissioned on July 2, 1824. Continue reading

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Monroe

Location Map for Monroe

Several small streams, marshes, and ponds fill the landscape in this still rural community. In 1880, with a population of 1,366, Monroe supported thirteen schoolhouses. See photos. In 2003 the Town office building also housed the library. Monroe is served by Maine Routes 139, between Brooks and Winterport, and 141 from Swanville. 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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Mount Desert

Location Map for Mount Desert

The town is located on Mount Desert Island, between Bar Harbor and Tremont. See map and photos. Several granite quarries were located in the town. In 1902 the Quarrymen’s Protective Union was organized. 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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Newcastle

Location Map for Newcastle

Damariscotta Lake is a major destination for adult alewives with intentions of spawning the next generation. The fishway near the dam at Damariscotta Mills in Newcastle provides access to and from the lake. See photos. Newcastle, located on U.S. Route 1 just west of the Damariscotta River, is home to Maine’s oldest Catholic Church, St. Patrick’s, completed in 1808. Several nature preserves in Lincoln County are in Newcastle. Nearby Great Salt Bay is protected by Maine legislation and is the state’s first marine shellfish protected area. Continue reading

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Newport

Location Map for Newport

Newport features the six-mile long Sebasticook Lake, providing recreational opportunities for residents and summer visitors. Drought conditions in 2002 lowered the water level substantially. See photos. Prior to the opening of what became the Maine Central Railroad in 1855, Newport was a center of stage coach transportation. Newport is still a heavily traveled crossroads, now of Interstate 95, U.S. Route 2, and Maine Routes 7, 11, and 100. The area east of Sebasticook Lake is known as East Newport. 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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Nobleboro

Location Map for Nobleboro

Throughout its history Nobleboro remained a rural community, but because of nearby lakes, rivers, and seacoast, about 37% of its inhabitants are non-resident “summer people.” See photos. Damariscotta Lake is accessible and nearby Great Salt Bay is the state’s first marine shellfish protected area. Shipbuilding was once a major industry with twenty-six shipyards in town at the peak. Maine’s first recorded meteorite (and the second in the U.S.) arrived in 1823. Continue reading

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Norlands

Washburn Norlands Livng History Center (2003)

The Norlands Living History Center in Livermore provides a live-in opportunity to those who want to experience life as early Maine settlers did. Unfortunately, the great barn burned to the ground on April 28, 2008, damaging the adjoining mansion. A … Continue reading

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North Berwick

Location Map for North Berwick

The North Berwick Woolen Mill is a historic landmark on the banks of the Great Works River that passes through the main village. See photos. More than a dozen National Register historic places testify to the town’s significant role in Maine’s early history.It is home to the historic Hussey Plow Company and a Pratt & Whitney defense plant. Continue reading

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North Yarmouth

Location Map for North Yarmouth

North Yarmouth’s rapidly growing community, nearly triplng its population since 1970, is within easy reach of Yarmouth, Brunswick, and the greater Portland area. King William’s War started here when Indians attacked the settlement in the late 1680’s. Continue reading

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Old Orchard Beach

Location Map for Old Orchard Beach

See photos. Richard Boynthon settled the area in 1631 and hosted meetings of the councilors governing Sir Fernando Gorges‘ Province of Maine in the early 17th Century. Thomas Roger planted an apple orchard in 1638 that became known as “Rogers’ Garden by the Sea” by 1657. The Boston to Portland railroad passed within two miles of town in 1842 and the Grand Trunk Railroad connected Old Orchard Beach to Montreal in 1853, encouraging Canadians to visit the beach. By 1873 the Boston & Maine Railroad passed through the town, now served by Amtrak. Continue reading

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Orland

Location Map for Orland

In addition to Alamoosook Lake, the town hosts Craig, Heart and Toddy ponds, and the State’s Craig Brook Fish Hatchery. See video and photos. Located just east of Bucksport, Orland is a growing community, whose old village center is located on the Orland River, where the old village school and the general store are located. H.O.M.E., a crafters’ cooperative was established by Sister Lucy Poulin in 1970. 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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Palermo

Location Map for Palermo

The town has three villages. Palermo, at the south end of Branch Pond, spills over into China and was once known as Branch Mills. Greely Corner is on Route 3 just west of Sheepscot Pond. East Palermo is on the same highway just east of Sheepscot Pond. Palermo is dotted with numerous ponds and streams, providing an attractive escape from business life in the Augusta and Belfast areas. 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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Peaks Island

Approaching the Island (2014)

The Island is a City of Portland neighborhood in Casco Bay, accessible by ferry from the terminal on Portland’s waterfront.  The brief trip carries freight, vehicles, bicycles and tourists. While the population is about 900, the number of people on … Continue reading

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Perry

Location Map for Perry

Named for Commodore Oliver H. Perry, a naval hero of the War of 1812, the town was incorporated even as the British still held Eastport only six miles away. Perry is the gateway, via Maine Route 190, to the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation located withing the town, and to the City of Eastport. Boyden Lake dominates the northwest portion of the town, while the southwest has miles of protected coves approaching Cobscook Bay. 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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Phippsburg

Location Map for Phippsburg

Even before it was incorporated, the community had its church (see photos), which was organized in 1765 and built in 1802. The tip of Phippsburg at the mouth of the Kennebec River is the site of the first English attempt at settling New England: the Popham Colony of 1607-1608. Fort Popham and Fort Baldwin, rise as a guardians of land upriver. Coxes Head, which juts out into the Kennebec River. Continue reading

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Pittsfield

Location Map for Pittsfield

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. See photos. Downtown Pittsfield, on the Sebasticook River, was wiped out by a fire in 1881 and rebuilt immediately. 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. Continue reading

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Pittston

Location Map for Dresden

The Reuben Colburn House in Pittston, Maine is the site of one of the original settlements in Maine. Built in 1765, it was one of the first on the east side of the Kennebec River in an area later known locally as Colburntown. See photos. The house and carriage house is now owned by the Arnold Expedition Society. The village of East Pittston is located on the Eastern River near the town line with Whitefield. Route 194 serves the village and the Pittston Fair Grounds nearby. 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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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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Portland West End

House in the West End (2014)

The West End is well known for its fine 19th and early 20th century houses and tree-lined streets. Its extends west of State Street between Congress Street and Commercial Street to the Western Prom. Several Greater Portland Landmarks are here. 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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Princeton

Boat Launch and Swimming Area at Lewy Lake (2013)

The town surrounds most of Pocomoonshine Lake, the origins of whose fascinating name is unclear. In 1886, the Gazetteer of Maine referred to it as “Shining Lake.” See photos. Along its northern boundary is a chain of lakes, including Long Lake and Lewey Lake, easily accessible from Princeton Village. Continue reading

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Prospect

Location Map for Prentiss

on the west bank of the Penobscot River, across from Bucksport, the main village is at the junction of Maine Route 174 and U.S. Route 1A, near the South Branch of the Marsh River. Prospect is home to Fort Knox, built in 1844 with Mount Waldo granite from Frankfort and named for Henry Knox, the first U.S. Secretary of War. Continue reading

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Richmond

Location Map for Richmond

The main village is located on the west side of the Kennebec River, just south of Gardiner on Maine Route 24, where the river splits to form Swan Island. See photos.Benedict Arnold’s expedition, having first landed at Swan Island in the river across from the town, passed by the remnants of Fort Richmond. The town has a substantial collection of grand houses, including several Greek Revival specimens. Peacock Beach State Park is near the historic Peacock Tavern on U.S. Route 201. Continue reading

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Rockland

The Farnsworth Museum (2005)

a city in, and the county seat of, Knox County, it is the home to the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Maine Seafood Festival, a historic working waterfront, historic structures, and birthplace of notable cultural and political figures. Located on U.S. Route 1, the city is a regional service and retail center. 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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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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Sangerville

Location Map for Sangerville

Maine Route 23 passes through on its way from Guilford to Dexter. Bronze plaques mark the birthplaces of inventor Sir Hiram S. Maxim and mining tycoon Sir Harry Oakes. Sangerville has three ponds Manhanock, Center and Marr ponds. Continue reading

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Sebago

Location Map for Sebago

Several villages dot the towns landscape: North, East, and West Sebago; and Sebago Center; among others. See photos. The village of East Sebago hosts the town’s elementary school, veterans memorial park, and public library. Along with its substantial shoreline on the Lake, the town has a hiking trail to the summit of the 1392 foot Douglas Mountain, with a nature preserve overlooking the Lake. Continue reading

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Sedgwick

Location Map for Sedgwick

Eggemoggin Reach is a long stretch of water between the mainland and Deer Isle and Little Deer Isle. See photos. The Benjamin River provided tidal power to a grist mill near Sedgwick village. In addition the town had another grist mill, some saw mills, and two silver mining companies. Shipbuilding was yet another industry. Other villages are North Sedgwick, Sargentville, Black Corner, and Grays Corner. Continue reading

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Sherman

Sunset over Mount Katahdin from the Scudder Road in Sherman (2012)

Potatoes and strawberries are components of its agricultural economy, and Mount Katahdin is an every day presence. See photos. The town, formed during the Civil War, was named for John Sherman, a prominent abolitionist U.S. Senator. Continue reading

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Shirley

Location Map for Shirley

Located just south of Greenville on Maine combined Routes 6 and 15, its main village, Shirley Mills (see photos), grew up around early 19th century clapboard and saw mills, using water from the Piscataquis River. Along the east side of the pond, the B&A Railroad North Road runs north along the river. It was created from the old rail bed. 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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Smithfield

Location Map for Smithfield

A summer recreational center, it hosts the bulk of two of the Belgrade Lakes: North Pond and East Pond. East Pond is home to several summer camps for young people, some that cater to adults, and some that are individually owned summer cottages. See photos. The main village is on the eastern shore of North Pond, where a sandy beach attracts area residents and summer visitors. Continue reading

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Somerville

School and Town Office (2003)

The Sheepscot River runs through the western portion of the town, and through Somerville Village itself. It widens into Long Pond (once known as Patricktown Pond), on which the town has substantial frontage. See photos. Somerville is east of Windsor on Maine Route 105, and north of Jefferson following Maine Route 206 to 105. This rural town has had a small, but growing population. Since the 1970’s it has grown to two and a half times its size then. Continue reading

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South Berwick

Brick House with Classic Barn (2002)

Maine’s oldest educational institution, Berwick Academy, was established here in 1791 when the town was part of Berwick. See photos. South Berwick is the birthplace of Sarah Orne Jewett, who attended Berwick Academy for four years — her only formal education. The town is accessible to the coastal communities of York and Kittery via Maine Routes 91 and 236. Continue reading

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South Portland

Location Map for South Portland

A residential community serving the greater Portland area for over a hundred years, the City has developed independent economic resources. See photos. It is part of the Port of Portland and home to a major railroad yard and fuel tank storage facility. The Southern Maine Community College campus includes Fort Preble, named for Commodore Edward Preble. Continue reading

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Southwest Harbor

Location Map for Southwest Harbor

It lies on the southwest entrance to Somes Sound, diagonally across from Northeast Harbor, a village in the town of Mount Desert. Southwest Harbor has been both a fishing and summer resort community from its earliest days as a town. See photos. Maine Route 102 begins at entrance to Mount Desert Island and leads directly south to the main village of Southwest Harbor. Here the Wendell Gilley Museum celebrates the life and work of Gilley, a pioneer of decorative bird carving. South of the harbor, the small villages of Manset and Seawall face the entrance to Somes Sound and the Cranberry Isles. Continue reading

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Springfield

Location Map for Springfield

Located on the east-west Maine Route 6 crossing eastern Penobscot and northern Washington counties, the town has a substantial area in wetlands. See photos. One account has the name commemorating “extensive fields abounding in springs.” The village is centered around the crossroads of Route 6, Park Street (Routes 169/170), and Shep Road. Continue reading

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St. George

Location Map for St. George

In a park near the town office, St. George and the dragon reenact their famous battle. See photos. The Fort St. George’s memorial is nearby.St. George was the site of granite quarries and was the birthplace of the Granite Cutters Union in 1877, the first in the state’s history. The town may be better known by some by its villages of Port Clyde, at the southern tip of its long peninsular, and Tenants Harbor. Continue reading

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St. John

Location Map for St. John

With the St. John River as its northern boundary, the town is located nearly at the end of Maine Route 161, a dead end road that travels west from Fort Kent to serve the small communities along the River. The Plantation has several modest sized lakes, including Wallagrass Lakes (Lakes 1 and 2) in the southeast, Wheelock Lake in the northeast, and Hunnewell Lake in the west. It hosts two lots of Maine Public Reserved Lands totaling 1,167 acres. Continue reading

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Stacyville

Location Map for Stacyville

Its main village is Sherman Station on the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad line and Maine Route 11 just across the town line from the Town of Sherman. Stacyville Village is in the southwest of the township; Siberia village is in the center on the Grindstone Road. That portion of Route 11 in Sherman Station Village serves as the “Main Street” for the town, with community buildings and businesses. Continue reading

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Starks

The New Vineyard Mountains from Route 43 (2003)

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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Stonington

The Village at the Harbor (2003)

ts name implies the great granite quarries, four of which were developed after 1870 and supplied material for many buildings in New York City and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Fishing and, increasingly, summer residences provide the mainstay of the local economy. Stonington consistently lands more lobsters than any other port in the State. Continue reading

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Surry

Location Map for Surry

Surry is just southwest of Ellsworth on Maine Route 172 where it crosses Route 176. Once an active fishing, farming and lumbering community, it is now primarily residential with modest tourism and fishing supplementing the local economy. The town’s Newbury Neck extends over six miles from the mainland, a virtual island surrounded by Morgan Bay and Union River Bay. 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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Temple

Location Map for Temple

At the western terminus of Maine Route 43, Temple, with its cluster of small mountains and small ponds, lies just northwest of Farmington. Settled in 1796, it was the site of an early and strong community of Quakers. In the 19th century, though largely a farming community, it was home to three sawmills, an excelsior and stave mill, a grist mill, and a carriage factory. Continue reading

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Thorndike

Location Map for Thorndike

Settled in 1772, the town lies southeast of Unity on Maine Route 139. See photos. While once a farming community, as most Maine towns, Thorndike counted the railroad as a major element in its economy. The remains of that era are obvious in the village. The Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad was the latest to use the line. Continue reading

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Topsfield

Location Map for Topsfield

The village is at the intersection of north-south U.S. Route 1 and east-west Maine Route 6. Logging and hunting are major activities in this rural community. Topsfield has substantial resources in the long shoreline of Baskahegan Lake and the two smaller lakes: East Musquash and Farrow. 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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Topsham Schools Report 1929

Cover Page of Topsham

Annual Report of the Superintending School Committee and Superintendent of Schools I herewith submit my second annual report as Superintendent of the Schools of the town of Topsham. This is the twenty-first report since the organization of the Brunswick-Topsham District. … Continue reading

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Town Annual Reports

Here are sample town warrants, school and health reports from a variety of times and places.  Many more are available at the Maine State Library and the Maine State Archives in Augusta.  Such documents give an insight into the concerns … Continue reading

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Trenton

Location Map for Trenton

South on Route 230 (Bayside Road) from Ellsworth, on the west shore of town, one notes the very modest houses on the inland side and the more substantial houses and cottages set back from the road on the Union Bay side. Route 3, the “Bar Harbor Road,” on the east side has a completely different character, featuring attractions for tourists bound for Acadia National Park, and the Hancock County – Bar Harbor Airport. 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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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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Waldo

Location Map for Waldo

Located just northwest of Belfast, the town (see photos) is served by Maine Routes 7, 131, 137 and 203. The Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railway passes through to its terminus in Belfast. The Railway runs summer service between Unity Station and Belfast for sightseeing and “just for fun.” Continue reading

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Wales

Rolling Hills in Rural Wales (2002)

The early settlers arrived in about 1773, some of whom came from Wales in Britain. See photos.The gentle hills in the town reflect the landscape of the old country. With access to Sabattus Pond, the town is within easy reach of Lewiston-Auburn via Maine Route 132, and of Gardiner by way of Routes 9 and 126. Continue reading

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Waterboro

Location Map for Waterboro

The South Waterboro Bible Chapel is in the most southern of three villages, Waterboro. See photos. The others are Waterboro Center and North Waterboro. In the last forty years the town’s population has grown phenomenally, having expanded to over six times its size as in 1970. 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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Weld

Location Map for Weld

Webb Lake is the main attraction to this recreational area, with Mount Blue State Park located on both sides of the lake. The main village is located on the eastern shore of the lake, at the junction of Maine Routes 142 and 156. Weld is the gateway to Tumbledown Mountain and Little Jackson Mountain, both popular hiking destinations in Township 6 North of Weld. Continue reading

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Wells

Cottages along Wells Beach (2012)

in York County north of Ogunquit, Wells Main Street is a commercial strip, hosting some community facilities, including the Junior High and the Historical Society. See photos. Wells Beach is a destination for locals and tourists alike. In 2004 the town estimated its peak summer population at about 39,000, including seasonal homes, lodging houses, and recreational vehicle parks. That is four times the resident population. Continue reading

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West Gardiner

Location Map for West Gardiner

Its community center is on the Spears Corner Road where the town office, fire department, town garage, elementary school, and convenience store all lie in close proximity. See photos. West Gardiner is the site of one of the Maine Turnpike Authority’s service plazas, home to the Center for Maine Craft, which features a retail gallery and cultural tourism information. Continue reading

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Westbrook

Westbrook Population Chart 1820-2010

Immediately west of Portland but part of the Portland metropolitan area, Westbrook is home to industrial, professional, and commercial enterprises, as well as to a campus of Husson University. Flowing through the city is the Presumpscot River, whose name means “many rough places river. ” Now the 12th largest community in Maine by population, it was edged out of its 1990 11th largest position by Saco in the 2000 Census. Continue reading

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Winslow

Winslow is on the east side of the Kennebec River, across from Waterville, on Routes U.S. 201 and Maine routes 32, 100, 100A, and 137. See photos. A reconstructed blockhouse of Fort Halifax, which incorporates many original timbers, stands on the fort’s original site. 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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