History of Acton, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886

Acton, in York County, lies for its whole length of 9 miles along the New Hamshire border,— Salmon Falls River forming the boundary for three—fourths of this distance. On the north is Newfield, and on the south, Lebanon. On the east, it is bounded by Shapleigh, from which it was incorporated in 1830. Consequently much of its early history may be found under that head. Benpunm Kitnens, Clement Steel and John York were the first settlers, locating at the center (Acton Corner) in 1776. At about the same time a road was cut nearly through the town from north to south, which soon brought an increase of settlers. The first grist mill was built in 1779.

A Congregationalist church was formed in 1781, and a pastor (Joseph Brown), first settled in 1796. Theirs was the first meeting-house in town. It was built in 1794, about 2¼ miles south of Acton Corner. In 1827 the Society erected a new meeting-house at Aeton Corner.

A Baptist church was formed in 1781, by Nehemiah Davis, who was the first minister. In 1802 their house of worship was erected near the first Congregationalist house; and a new house was erected upon the same site in 1840.

The present Free Baptist church was formed in 1801, by Gershom Lord,—its first preacher. In 1818, a house of worship was erected in the west part of the town near Milton Mills, near where their house of worship now stands. A second society, called the Union Society of Acton was formed in 1840, and a house built the same year at the south of the town.

A Methodist church was formed in 1826. Their first regular preaching was in 1837, by Henry Linscott. A meeting-house was erected at Acton Corner in 1840.

The parsonage lot, consisting of about 300 acres, was sold in 1823, and 1843; the proceeds of the sale were divided among the societies mentioned, according to the number of polls in each. There is now in addition to these a church of the Christian denomination.

Ralph Farnum, a soldier of the Revolution, died in 1860 at the age of one hundred and four years. The town has sent out many professional men.

In regard to scenery, the town is diversified with hill and hollow, and woods of oak, beech and maple. West of the centre of the town is a remarkable valley surrounded by hills, and known as “The Hopper.” The carriage roads are good, but there is no railroad in town; the nearest station being that in East Lebanon, on the Portland and Rochester Railroad. The business centres named in the order of their importance are, Aeton Corners, Milton Mills, North Acton and South Acton. The number of acres of land in the town is 18,127. Little Ossipee River and Baich Pond form the northern boundary. Mousam River takes its rise from Square and Mousam ponds, at the eastern border of the town. It has also the Hubbard, Bracket and Richer streams. Its chief water powers are on the Little Ossipee river,— where are a saw and grist mill, and a felt mill—and at the head of Salmon Falls River, where there is a saw mill for general work.

The bedrock in the town is granite and mica schist. The Acton mineral belt, from to 4 miles in width, crosses the southern portion of the town. The ores consist chiefly of argentiferous galenas. There is also some zinc, arsenic and. copper. Several companies are engaged in mining these ores.

Acton has fourteen public school houses; and the school property is valued at $4,000. The number of acres of land in the town is 18,127. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $329,189. In 1880 it was $363,105. The population in 1870 was 1,007. In 1880, it was 1050.

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