Shapleigh, Maine

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Shapleigh, pronounced "SHAP-lee", is a town in York County, Maine, United States which was incorporated as the state's 43rd town in 1785. The population was 2,326 at the 2000 census. Shapleigh is divided into the villages of North Shapleigh, Shapleigh Corner, Ross Corner and Emery Mills. It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

In 1663, Chief Captain Sunday (or Wesumbe) of the Newichawannock Abenaki tribe deeded Francis Small the Ossipee Tract, which included Cornish, Parsonsfield, Newfield, Limerick, Limington and Shapleigh. Small, a trader from Kittery, then sold a half interest to Major Nicholas Shapleigh of Eliot.[1] In 1770, heirs discovered the unrecorded deed and made claim. Shapleigh's heirs took Parsonsfield, Shapleigh and one half of Limerick.[2]

First called Hubbardstown (until it received its present name from Nicholas Shapleigh, who purchased it from Francis Small), Shapleigh Plantation was settled in 1772 when Simeon Emery erected a sawmill at the foot of Mousam Pond. On March 5, 1785, the town was incorporated as Shapleigh, named for Nicholas Shapleigh.[3] In 1830, Shapleigh's west half was set off and incorporated as Acton. In 1846, a portion of Shapleigh was annexed by Newfield. Shapleigh annexed an eastern portion of land from Waterboro in 1854.[4]

There were sawmills in Emery Mills, Shapleigh Corner and North Shapleigh, which also had a woolen textile factory (known as Hargraves Woolen Mill) and leather board factory.[5] Shapleigh was one of the Maine towns devastated by the Great Fires of 1947.[6]

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