Bowdoin, Maine

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Bowdoin is a town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,727 at the 2000 census. It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.



Bowdoin was part of a tract of land extending from Merrymeeting Bay to the Androscoggin River that was conveyed in 1752 by the Kennebec Company to William Bowdoin of Boston, older brother of James Bowdoin. Originally called West Bowdoinham Plantation, it was settled some years before the Revolutionary War. In 1773, William Bowdoin died, and by 1779 James Bowdoin had legal claim to the area and was granting deeds. It contained about 121 families when the town was incorporated by the Massachusetts General Court on March 21, 1788, named after the Bowdoin family. In 1799, it ceded land to form Thompsonborough, whose name changed in 1802 to Lisbon. In 1834, it ceded more territory to Lisbon. [1]

Bowdoin developed as an agricultural town, raising sheep and producing apples, wheat, hay and potatoes. Other industries included an ice company, sawmill, gristmill, carding mill and brickyard. Since 1993, alpacas have been raised in the town. [2]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 43.7 square miles (113.1 km²), of which, 43.5 square miles (112.6 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (0.37%) is water. Bowdoin is drained by the Little River, Dead River, as well as the east and west streams of the Cathance River.

The town is served by U.S. Route 201 and State Routes 25 and 125. It borders the towns of Lisbon and Sabattus to the west, Litchfield to the north, Richmond and Bowdoinham to the east, and Topsham to the south.

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