Otisfield, Maine

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Otisfield is a town in Oxford County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,560 at the 2000 census. Otisfield is a summer recreation area and home to Seeds of Peace Camp and Camp Arcadia.

Contents

History

It was granted by the Massachusetts General Court on June 15, 1771 to James Otis, Nathaniel Gorham and other descendants of Captain John Gorham and certain members of his company who had fought in the 1690 Battle of Quebec. It replaced a 1736 grant which was ruled invalid when the line between New Hampshire and Massachusetts was redrawn to satisfy claims by the heirs of John Mason. Many early settlers were veterans of the Revolutionary War, with the greater number coming from Groton, Massachusetts. [1] First called Otis Field Plantation, it was incorporated on February 19, 1798 as Otisfield. It then included nearly all of Harrison, set off in 1805, and a large part of Naples, set off in 1834. The town was part of Cumberland County until 1978, when it joined Oxford County. [2]

The surface of the town is uneven with gravelly but productive soil. Farming became the principal occupation, with corn, potatoes and hay the chief crops. Mills were erected at various water power sites, with the first sawmill built 1812. Other industries included gristmills, blacksmith shops, a tannery, a pants factory and shoe shop, a cider mill and cannery for apples, a barrel factory, a shingle mill and a woolen carding mill. [3] Today, Otisfield is largely a recreational area, with camps and summer cottages lining the shores of Pleasant Lake, Thompson Lake, Saturday Pond and Moose Pond.

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