Waterboro, Maine

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{land, century, early}
{area, community, home}
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{village, small, smallsup}
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Waterboro is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 6,214 at the 2000 census. It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.

The town includes the districts of North (04061), South (04087), and East (04030) Waterboro, in addition to the largest development in Southern Maine, Lake Arrowhead Community. The introduction of Maine subdivision regulation, and Maine Planning Boards, is the direct result of the creation of the largest subdivision, Lake Arrowhead Community. The reaction of the Maine State Legislature was mandatory Planning Boards, and subdivision regulation.



Abenaki Indians called the area Massabesic, meaning "the place of much water," a reference to the region's lakes. It was part of an extensive tract of land purchased in 1661 by Major William Phillips of Saco from Chief Fluellin. Known as Massabesic Plantation, it included most of modern-day Waterboro, Alfred and Sanford. Phillips died in 1683, and the plantation eventually passed from his heirs to 10 proprietors. One of those proprietors was Colonel Joshua Waters, for whom the town would be named. [1]

Lumbering began to thrive here about 1764. Captain John Smith from Kittery was the first permanent settler, arriving in 1768. On March 6, 1787, the Massachusetts General Court incorporated the township as Waterborough. In 1790, Old Corners became the site of the Court of General Sessions, although in 1805 the county seat shifted to Alfred. In 1895, the name was shortened to Waterboro. [1]

With land particularly suited for livestock grazing, agriculture became a principal industry. The town had many cattle and dairy farms. The Portland and Rochester Railroad passed through Waterboro and connected to Rochester, New Hampshire in 1871, helping spur development. Rivers and brooks provided water power to operate mills. Several sawmills were established, and by 1886 the town produced about 1,800,000 feet (550,000 m) of lumber annually. Other businesses included the Ossipee Manufacturing Company at the Little Ossipee River, which made blankets, and the Steam Mill Company at South Waterboro, which made wooden boxes. [2] In 1922, the Goodall-Sanford Mills built in Waterboro village a spinning mill, taken over by a patent leather manufacturer that operated from 1939-1982.

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