Cornish, Maine

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Cornish is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,269 at the 2000 census. It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.



In 1665, a trading post was established by Francis Small of Kittery at the confluence of the Ossipee River with the Saco River. Here converged 3 major Abenaki Indian paths—the Sokokis Trail (Route 5), the Ossipee Trail (Route 25) and the Pequawket Trail (Route 113), making it a central location for conducting the lucrative fur trade. On November 28, 1668, Small purchased from Newichawannock Chief Captain Sunday (or Wesumbe) the Ossipee Tract, encompassing the present-day towns of Cornish, Parsonsfield, Newfield, Limerick, Limington and Shapleigh (which then included Acton). The price was 2 large Indian blankets, 2 gallons of rum, 2 pounds of gunpowder, 4 pounds of musket balls and 20 strings of Indian beads. Small then sold a half interest in the tract to Major Nicholas Shapleigh of Eliot. [1]

In 1770, heirs discovered the unrecorded deed, and hired attorney James Sullivan of Biddeford to pursue their claim. They won, and paid Sullivan for his services with the township he named Limerick. Small's descendants took possession of Newfield, Limington and Cornish, the latter first named Francisborough, then Francistown, after its original proprietor. Settled by Joseph Thompson in 1782, it was incorporated on February 27, 1794 as Cornish, presumably by settlers from the county of Cornwall, England. The soil was very productive for farming, producing large crops of corn and other types of grain. In 1859, the population was 1,144. The Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad ran up the Saco River valley in the early 1870s, servicing Baldwin Station across the bridge from Cornish. [2]

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