Avon, Maine

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Avon is a town in Franklin County, Maine, United States. The population was 504 at the 2000 census. Avon is home to Mount Blue, part of Mount Blue State Park.

Contents

History

First known as Township 2 Abbott's Purchase, or Upper Town, it was settled in 1781 by a pair of sea captains -- Joshua Soule, originally from Duxbury, Massachusetts and later Bristol, Maine, with Perkins Allen from Martha's Vineyard. The town was incorporated on February 22, 1802, named for the River Avon in England. One of the Worcestershire villages through which River Avon flows is Eckington, birthplace of Captain Soule's ancestor, George Soule, a Mayflower Pilgrim. Captain Soule's son, Bishop Joshua Soule, was raised in Avon.

Fertile soil on either side of the Sandy River yielded grain, fruit and vegetables. When the population was 767 in 1837, the town produced 3,220 bushels of wheat. By 1875, two sawmills operated on a small stream. In the easterly part of town developed the only village, where some trade was conducted. The Sandy River Railroad opened in 1879, transporting freight and tourists between Farmington, Avon, Strong and Phillips. The narrow gauge line became part of the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad in 1908, but was discontinued in 1935 during the Great Depression.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 41.5 square miles (107.5 km²), of which, 41.3 square miles (106.9 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (0.58%) is water. Avon is drained by the Sandy River, a tributary of the Kennebec River. Mount Blue, elevation 3,192 feet (973 meters) above sea level (and part of Mount Blue State Park), is located in the southwest corner of Avon.

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