Waterford, Maine

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Waterford is a town in Oxford County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,455 at the 2000 census. It is a recreation area noted for historic architecture and scenic beauty.

Contents

History

The township was granted on February 24, 1774 by the Massachusetts General Court to Captain Andrew Gardner and his company of soldiers for services under Sir William Phipps during the 1690 expedition against Canada. It replaced a 1735 grant called Toddstown or Township No. 6 (now Henniker, New Hampshire), which was ruled invalid when the state line was redrawn between Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 1741. [1]

The land was surveyed in 1774; in spring of 1775, David McWain of Bolton, Massachusetts arrived with his dog at a lot he bought for $40. He cleared land and built a log cabin, returning to Bolton for 2 winters until he settled permanently at Waterford in spring of 1777. McWain preferred solitude, and was deeply annoyed when he first saw smoke rising about 12 miles (19 km) away at Paris Hill. "Humph," he said, "I would like to know who is settling over there right under my nose!" Other grantees arrived nevertheless, most from the Massachusetts towns of Bolton, Harvard, Stow, Northborough and Rowley. Indeed, the northwestern part of the plantation was once known as Rowley after the inhabitants' former hometown. [2]

On March 2, 1797, Waterford was incorporated, with land annexed from Albany in 1811. The surface of the town is uneven, somewhat mountainous. It was well-suited for pasturage and orchards, and agriculture became a principal occupation. Sawmills were built at streams to manufacture the region's abundant timber into lumber. Wood products included window sashes, barrel staves, salt boxes and buckets. There was also a gristmill, carriage factory and tannery. Today, Waterford Flat is a resort area, and home to The Lake House, a 1797 inn set among antique buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [3]

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