Readfield, Maine

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Readfield is a town in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,360 at the 2000 census. Readfield is home to the Kents Hill School, a preparatory school, Maranacook Community Schools, public schools for the district, a few summer camps, and the annual Readfield Heritage Days. The town contains four lakes, including Maranacook Lake. The town of Readfield was previously named "Pond Town."

Contents

History

The town was a portion of Winthrop set off and incorporated on March 11, 1791. In 1824, Luther Sampson established here the Maine Wesleyan Seminary, now called the Kents Hill School. In the late 1840s, the Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad passed through the town, and Readfield Corner developed into the commercial center. Mills were built using water power of the stream that flows from Torsey Pond into Maranacook Lake. Here was established the Readfield Manufacturing Company, a woolen textile factory, as well as a sash and blind factory. Noted for its livestock and dairy farms, Readfield in 1856 became the site of the annual Kennebec County Fair.

In 1905, Readfield was brought to the attention of the entire country.[1] Mattie Hackett a 17 year old girl was taken from her home and left with a cord around her neck. As she slowly strangled to death her father realized she was missing from the house and after a quick search found his daughter 400 yards from the house, down on the main road.

The Entire country was kept informed by newspapers that carried the entire hunt for the killer, chasing down suspects and search for clues. After every suspect was eventually ruled out, the name of Elsie Raymond came to the fore front.

Elsie Raymond was said to be jealous of the attention given to Mattie by her husband. It was claimed she walked the 2 miles from Readfield Corner to the Hackett farm, waited for the opportunity, attacked Mattie and left the cord choking the life out of her.

Seven years later, the Kennebec County Grand Jury finally decided they had enough evidence to make an arrest. Elsie Raymond was indicted and taken to trial. The entire murder case, trial and story was recently written in a book entitled, "In Search of Mattie Hackett, a True Maine Murder Mystery" by Maine author Emeric W. Spooner.

Elsie Raymond lived to 1973, 68 years after the murder of Mattie Hackett. To this day, the murder is considered unsolved. Readfield was thought at the time to have the biggest murder case the state had ever seen.

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