Byron, Maine

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Byron is a town in Oxford County, Maine, United States. The population was 121 at the 2000 census. Home to Coos Canyon on the Swift River, Byron includes the village of Houghton.



It was settled as Township No. 8, then incorporated on January 24, 1833 as Byron, named for the English poet Lord Byron. Nicknamed Hop City, agriculture was the principal occupation. Crops included wheat, corn, potatoes and oats. Lumbering was extensive in winter, with two sawmills operating. The Rumford Falls & Rangeley Lakes Railroad was completed in 1896, carrying freight, tourists and "rusticators" from Rumford up the Swift River valley through Byron and Houghton to Mooselookmeguntic Lake.

The Swift River is a popular place to either pan for gold or swim at Coos Canyon, a 32 foot (10 meter) high gorge where the water depth occasionally exceeds 20 feet (6 meters). Just down river from the gorge is a small local beach, called Toby's Beach. And a 20 foot ledge, popular during the summer, for daring jumpers.

There is a beautiful camping area off state route 17, across from Coos Canyon.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 52.5 square miles (136.0 km²), of which, 51.8 square miles (134.1 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (1.39%) is water. Set on either side of a narrow, uneven intervale in the Western Maine Mountains, Byron is drained by the Swift River.

The town is crossed by state route 17. It borders the towns of Roxbury to the south, Andover to the west, and unincorporated townships to the north and east.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 121 people, 50 households, and 38 families residing in the town. The population density was 2.3 people per square mile (0.9/km²). There were 199 housing units at an average density of 3.8/sq mi (1.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.87% White and 4.13% Asian.

There were 50 households out of which 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.0% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.0% were non-families. 18.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.79.

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