Historical Sketch of FREEPORT, Maine
From
Leading Business Men of
LEWISTON, AUGUSTA and VICINITY

BOSTON
MERCANTILE PUBLISHING COMPANY
1889





ONE of the most progressive and widely known towns of the Maine coast is Freeport, Cumberland County, situated at the head of a fine harbor opening into Casco Bay. In the earlier half of the century it was one of Maine's great ship ping towns. Like Portland, Kennebunk, Bath, Boothbay, its harbor was frequented by in and out-going vessels, and on its docks there were always being made great monarchs of the deep; but like many other towns, its shipping fame has passed away, This interest, which developed continually after the Revolutionary War, reached its climax in the decade between 1850 and 1860. In one year ten great ships, from seven hundred to twelve hundred tonnage, were launched, and its commerce went upon all waters. In 1860 its population was two thousand seven hundred and. ninety-two. But the disastrous effects of the war and succeeding years were fatal to its ship.. building interests. There is yet hope that these will revive, and in these later years, when the prospect for American shipping has begun to brighten, signs of regeneration have appeared. The population of the town in 1870 was two thousand four hundred and fifty-seven; since then it has risen to about its former level. But the enterprising spirit of Freeport's citizens was not conquered by one rebuff. Since the war, increasing attention has been given to manufacturing, and this interest has now reached considerable importance. There are two good water powers in the town, situated respectively on the Harrasekett and Royal Rivers. The harbor is excellent also for commerce, connections being easy with Portland and Boston, and transporta.. tion cheap. The town is also on the line of the Maine Central R. R. Agriculture and the fisheries still receive considerable and profitable attention as well as manufacturing, though the tendency of things is clearly in the latter direction. Among the most important industries are those of fire-plates and shoes. There are four villages in Freeport, of which the most important one js Freeport Village, where the the business interests chiefly are situated. The town is only seventeen miles from Portland, and so enjoys those privileges only possible to a suburban town, -- educational and social affairs on a high plane of culture. There are three churches in the town, and all religious and benevolent endeavors meet with hearty sympathy and co-operation. Situated on the sea, with its beautiful harbor opening out among the islands of Casco Bay, enjoying the united charms of the suburban villa, and most easily accessible, it is not surprising that Freeport is continually rising into higher estimation as a summer resort, and it can well bear all the criticism and admiration which can be bestowed by the increasing tide of summer visitors.

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