Parsonsfield, Maine

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Parsonsfield is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,584 at the 2000 census. Parsonsfield includes the villages of Kezar Falls, Parsonsfield, and North, East and South Parsonsfield. It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.

Contents

History

This was part of a large tract of land sold on November 28, 1668 by Newichewannock Indian Chief Sunday (or Wesumbe) to Francis Small, a trader from Kittery. The price was two large Indian blankets, two gallons of rum, two pounds of gunpowder, four pounds of musket balls and twenty strings of Indian beads. Small then sold half his interest to Major Nicholas Shapleigh of what is now Eliot. In 1771, heirs sold the township to Thomas Parsons and 39 associates, upon which it was surveyed into 100-acre (0.40 km2) lots. Called Parsonstown Plantation, it was first settled in 1772 by 12 families.[1]

On August 29, 1785, the town was incorporated as Parsonsfield after Thomas Parsons, one of the largest proprietors. The Blazo-Leavitt House, a fine example of the Federal style, was built in 1812. Parsonsfield Seminary was founded in 1832, but would close in 1949.[2]

The surface of the town is rough and hilly, its soil rocky but fertile for farming. Chief crops were grain and hay. Mills were built at pond outlets and on the South River. The largest water power source was on the Ossipee River at Kezar Falls, where the village of Kezar Falls straddled the stream into Porter. Parsonsfield had seven sawmills and seven gristmills. In 1880, John Devereux and George W. Towle built the Kezar Falls Woolen Mill, a woolen textile factory which became the most important business in Parsonsfield.[3]

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