Brownfield, Maine

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{land, century, early}
{build, building, house}
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{town, population, incorporate}
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{village, small, smallsup}

Brownfield is a town in Oxford County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,251 at the 2000 census. Brownfield is home to the Stone Mountain Arts Center.



The area was once territory of the Pequawket Abenaki Indians, whose main village was located at what is today Fryeburg. It was granted on January 23, 1764 by the Massachusetts General Court to Captain Henry Young Brown for his services in the French and Indian Wars. Settlement began about 1765. Brown was required to settle 38 families by June 10, 1770, with a minister recruited by 3 years after that. Unfortunately, a portion of the original grant was found to lie in New Hampshire. [1]

Replacement land in Maine was granted to Brown on June 25, 1766. It was called Brownfield Addition, one part of which now lies within Hiram and Denmark. The township was first organized as Brownfield Plantation, named in honor of its principal proprietor. On February 20, 1802, it was incorporated as Brownfield. By the War of 1812, it had nearly 900 residents. [1]

Farming was the chief occupation, with the Saco River providing water power for industry. Products of the mills included flour, long lumber, barrel staves, rocking chairs, clothing, carriages, sleighs and harness. After the Civil War, the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad passed through the town, following the general course of the river. [2]

But the Great Fires of 1947 would destroy 85% of Brownfield. In an effort to replace lost commerce, a ski resort was proposed for Burnt Meadow Mountain. It opened in 1971 with a 3,400-foot (1,000 m) T-bar lift, but after being renamed Zodiac Skiway in 1980, closed in 1982. Today, the T-bars are still hanging in place. [3]

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