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

BOSTON
MERCANTILE PUBLISHING COMPANY
1889





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.

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