THE enterprising town of Oakland, Maine, is one of the suburbs of Waterville of
which city it was formerly a part. It is in the extreme south of Somerset County, sixteen miles north of Augusta,
and seventy-seven from Portland, reached directly via. the Maine Central Railroad. It is also a terminus of the
Somerset Railroad. Its early history is identical with that of Waterville. It was one of the first sections of
that city to be settled, mainly on account of its attractive location and fertile soil; and during the early years
of the century a few enterprising farmers laid the foundation here for the present prosperous community, undergoing
the usual wants and fears of the times, the restrictions of the Embargo, the scarcities in the war of 1812, and
the various financial panics in the first half of the present century. It was deeply interested and patriotic in
action during the great civil war though all the achievements of its Sons were credited in general with those of
the men of Waterville, of which it was then a part. Most of the soldiers who enlisted from Oakland joined the Second,
Sixth, Ninth, Eleventh, Eighteenth, Twenty-Fourth and Twenty-Eighth Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiments. The town
was generous in the sacrifice of material goods as well as in the piiceless blood of its eons. All demands upon
it were met promptly and generously, supplies furnished and much private benevolence was rendered, chiefly through
the Ladies' Aid Society, Christian Sanitary Commission and such noble institutions. A number of the town's gallant
sons fell while in the service, and their loving sacrifice has been tenderly and long commemorated.
The great advance of the town has been made since the Civil War. The expansion of business interests and the stimulation
of new lines of activity have rapidly made It a prominent and prosperous commercial center. The financial panics
which have swept over the country have affected it but slightly, and it has kept steadily on its upward way. It
was set off from Waterville and incorporated as West Watervile, February 26, 1878. Since that time its progress
has been marked and continuous. Its great advantages have attracted new business men and enterprises, and as it
has became better known its commercial activities have correspondingly increased. It has continued to offer special
facilities to large enterprises for settlement, in the way of exemptions from taxation, and other privileges, which
are of an exceptionally fine character, and deserving the attention of all business men thinking of making a new
settlement. At the present time the business interests of the town are largely concerned with the canned goods
trade in all its departments, carriage-making, furniture and upholstery, agricultural implements, and all kinds
of tools, machinery, woolen goods, granite-quarrying, lumber, coffins and shoes. These interests are expanding
yearly and new ones being constantly inaugurated. The agricultural resources abound. The soil is fertile, and under
the careful methods of scientific farming, great results are obtained. Fruits and vegetables abound, and considerable
attention is given to grazing and dairy-farming. The population in 1880 was 1646, it has since increased, being
now around 2000. The valuation in 1880, was $661,157. This also has advanced, and is now in the vicinity of a million
dollars. The Selectmen of the town for the past year were •tbe following: 0. E. Crowell, Stephen C. Watson, C.
M. Crowell; Town Clerk, H. G. Winslow; Treasurer and Supt. of Schools, Geo. W. Field.
The town has always been noted for its fine educational facilities, and the attention given to this important deparrnent.
Being contiguous to one of the best colleges in the State has undoubtedly had a tendency to raise its standard.
Appropriations have been ample, the teachers and officers. carefully selected, have been noted for their ability
and efficiency, and the results as shown in the education of the younger gen. eratiori most satisfactory. The moral
and religious tone of the town also have always been high. Churôh and benevolent work have been earnestly
and effectively carried out. There are five churches in the town, two Baptists, one Free Baptist, one Universalist,
and one Methodist. These all are active and progressive, and are heartily supported by the people.
The sanitary advantages of Oakland are of the most satisfactory kind. The drainage is rendered almost perfect by
the proximity of the river, and pure and abundant water is obtained. The conveniences of modern life, as gas, electricity,
etc., are provided for, and the proximity of time railroad makes traveling easy and delightful.
The advantages of Oakland from the standpoint of the summer tourist are too many to admit of rapid specification.
Situated near the river, with the neighboring hills, the air is rendered pure and cooL The pleasure of wood and
water, hunting, fishing, boating and sailing, can all be participated in. The usual advantages of country life
in the way of out-door exercises, fine drives and walks, which are especially beautiful in this region, the plenteous
supply of country-produce, fruit and 'vegetables at low rates, and the general moderate cost, render Oakland especially
worthy of consideration by those planning for a summer in the State of Maine. Its proximity to Augusta and Waterville,
and the ease of communication by railway, are important points. The great promise of Oakland in the future lies
in its business development, and it will some day be one of the best-known and important corn mercial centers in
the Kennebec valley.