Acton, Maine

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Acton is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,145 at the 2000 census. It includes the villages of Acton, Miller Corner and South Acton. The town is home to the Acton Fairground, which holds the Acton Fair every late summer. It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.



It was part of the extensive Ossipee Tract sold on November 28, 1668 by Newichawannock Chief Captain Sunday (or Wesumbe) to Francis Small, a trader from Kittery. Small sold a half interest in the tract to Major Nicholas Shapleigh of Eliot. In 1770, heirs found the unrecorded deed and divided the land, with Shapleigh's descendants awarded one half of Limerick and all of Parsonsfield and Shapleigh. First called Hubbardstown Plantation, Shapleigh was in 1785 incorporated and named in honor of Nicholas Shapleigh. Its western portion was set off and incorporated on March 6, 1830 as Acton, named after Acton, England. [1]

The town was first settled at Acton village in 1776 by Benjamin Kimens, Clement Steele and John York, all from York. In 1779, Joseph Parsons built a gristmill on the Salmon Falls River near Wakefield, New Hampshire. Other mills followed at Acton's various water power sites, including sawmills, gristmills, a hemp mill, a carding mill, a felt mill, a tannery and a shoe factory. In 1877, a vein of silver was discovered near Goding Creek and the Lebanon border. Prospectors dug mines during the 1880s, after which the enterprise declined. [2]

Although much of the soil was poor for farming, the ridges yielded good crops. In 1866, the Shapleigh & Acton Agricultural Society was formed and commenced sponsoring an annual fair and cattle show. It continues each late summer as the Acton Fair.

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