Peru, Maine

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Peru is a town in Oxford County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,515 at the 2000 census. In 1970 the town had 1345 residents.



It was granted by the Massachusetts General Court to several residents from Falmouth, Maine. The first grantee to settle would be Merrill Knight in 1793. Organized in 1812 as Plantation Number 1 (also Thompsontown), it was incorporated on February 5, 1821 as the 240th town in Maine. Peru was named in the spirit of liberty and solidarity for Peru, the South American country which declared independence from Spain on July 28, 1821. [1]

With dark soil free from stones, farming was an early industry. The chief crop was hay, and raising sheep became a common occupation. In addition, there were five sawmills which manufactured long and short lumber, as well as specialty products like wooden bowls. In 1870, the population was 931. [2]

Formerly possessing an independent public school department, Peru joined Maine School Administrative District 21 in 2006.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 47.8 square miles (123.8 km²). 46.9 square miles (121.5 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km²) of it (1.88%) is water. Peru is drained by the Androscoggin River. Worthley Pond, 2 miles long by half a mile wide, is in the southern part of the town.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 1,515 people, 585 households, and 436 families residing in the town. The population density was 32.3 people per square mile (12.5/km²). There were 849 housing units at an average density of 18.1/sq mi (7.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.27% White, 0.33% Native American, 0.13% Asian, and 0.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.40% of the population.

There were 585 households out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.8% were married couples living together, 5.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.3% were non-families. 19.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 2.98.

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