Bowdoinham, Maine

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Bowdoinham is a town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,612 at the 2000 census. It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. The town is located on the west side of Merrymeeting Bay.



Fort Richmond was built upriver in 1719, protecting the area and encouraging English settlement. About 1720, the mouth of the Cathance River was first settled by Captain Gyles Watkins. But during Dummer's War, in the summer of 1723 all buildings in the region were burned and cattle killed by the Norridgewocks and their 250 Indian allies from New France. The Kennebec River region was abandoned. When Gov. William Dummer's Treaty of 1725 brought peace, it was resettled about 1730 by Abraham and Jonas Preble from York. [1]

Litigation from two conflicting claims, however, slowed the town's development. On July 3, 1637, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the lord proprietor of Maine, had granted this part of New Somersetshire to Sir Richard Edgcumbe of Mount Edgcumbe House, situated at Cremyll in Cornwall, England. But the Kennebec Company conveyed it in 1752 to William Bowdoin of Boston, older brother of James Bowdoin. The contested ownership went to court, whereupon Bowdoin won because Edgcumbe's grant was found obsolete and indefinite. [2] On September 18, 1762, the Massachusetts General Court incorporated it as Bowdoinham, named for William Bowdoin. It originally included Richmond, set off in 1823, and portions of Topsham and the Plantation of West Bowdoinham, set off in 1788 as Bowdoin. [3]

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