Fairfield lies on the west bank of the Kennebec River,
26 miles north of Augusta, and is the most southerly town of Somerset County. It is bounded on the north by Norridgewock
and Skowhe. gan, east by Clinton and Benton, south by Waterville arid Winslow, and west by Smithfield. Its area
is 42 square miles. The surface is rolling, and the rocks are granite and slate. The forest trees are principally
beech, elm and maple with some hemlock and cedar. The scenery is beautiful without wildness. The dwellings are
generally neat and tasteful, and the whole town has a thrifty appearance. Fairfield is an excellent agricultural
town, and is noted for the number anti quality of its cattle. The soil is clayey loam in some parts, in others,
sandy loam. The crops chiefly cultivated are hay, grain and potatoes.
Kennebec River forms the eastern boundary line, and furnishes the chief water-powers. These are at Kendall’s Mills,
at the south-eastern extremity of the town, and Somerset Mills, about two miles above. On Martin’s Stream are improved
powers at North Fairfield (Blacknell’s Mills) and at Larorie (Winslow’s Mills). Other villages are Fairfield Corner,
near the middle of the eastern line of the town, and Fairfield Village, about midway of the southern part. The
latter and Kendall’s Mills are the largest villages. There are in the town eight saw-mills, three planing-mills
(one of which is also a framing and finishing mill) two door, sash and blind factories, a sled, lap-board and flower-stand
factory, a grist and a plaster mill, three carriage-factories, a tannery, a canned-corn factory, a clothing-factory,
cabinet, box, picture-frame, coffin and casket makers, marble-works, etc. The flow of the Kennebec available for
manufacturing purposes in Fairfield in the lowest ran of summer, is 117,300 cubic feet per minute of 11 hours a
day; which would for that time yield on its 34 feet of fall, a gross power of 7,540 horse, or 301,000 spindes.
The estimated annual products are given in the Hydrographic survey, as $75,000 at Somerset Mills, and $250,000
at Kendall’s Mills. The Somerset branch of the Maine Central Railroad, connecting Waterville and Skowhegan, runs
along the river through the town. The First Natiotral Bank, in this town, has a capital of $50,000. The Fairfield
Savings Bank, at the beginning of the fiscal year 1880, held in deposits and accrued profits *93,685.09. The “Fairfield
Journal” is a good weekly paper published here by Allen & Atwood. It is devoted to local news, and is deserving
of the large circulation that the region is able to give.
Fairfield was incorporated June 18, 1788, under the name it had previously borne as a plantation. The name appears
to have been applied because it correctly described the fair aspect of the town. It was first settled in 1774.
Among the esteemed citizens of past days were General Sirnonds, General Kendall, for whom the principal village
was named, General Seldon Connor, ex-governor of the State, and others.
Fairfield was the 56th town incorporated. It had in 1790, 492 inhabitants. A Congregational church was gathered
in the town in 1815. There are now three Methodist churches, and one each of the Baptist, Free Baptist and Universalist.
Fairfield has one high-school, and graded schools in the larger villages. The number of public schoolhouses is
seventeen, and the value of school property is $10,000. The value of estates in 1870 was $1,188,383. In 1880 it
was $1,288,582. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 11 mills on the dollar. The population in 1870 was
2,998. In 1880 it was 3,044.