History of West Waterville, Maine
From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine
By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886
Transcribed by Betsey S. Webber



West Waterville is one of the northernmost towns of
Kennebec County on the west of the Kennebec River. Waterville
bounds it on the east, Sidney lies on the south, and Belgrade on the
south and west, Fairfield, in Somerset County, on the north, and Smith-
field at the north-west. McGrath Pond forms the western boundary,
East Pond lies partially within the town on the north-west, and Snow
Pond or Messalonske Lake, projects from the southward almost to the
center of the town. The outlet of the latter, which flows north-east to
the Kennebec, supplies the power for numerous factories at the village
of West Waterville. On the Messalonske, immediately after it passes
the Waterville road, is a beautiful cascade. The stream, which is here
about seventy feet wide, after passing a dam, pitches over a precipice
of jagged slate rocks, throwing the water into several beautiful forms
and collecting it again as foam and spray in a deep, dark basin between
high, rocky banks, overhung by birch, maple, cedar and hemlock. The
fall is forty-four feet in eight rods. It passes through a glen about
one-eighth of a mile, then issues in a broad basin, falls over a ruinous
dam, then flows sparkling away through the elm-shaded meadow. The
western line of the Maine Central railway passes through the village,
where it forms a junction with the Somerset railroad, which has its
termination at this place.

West Waterville is a great manufacturer of farm implements. The
Dunn Edge Tool Company, incorporated in 1856, produces large num-
bers of scythes, axes, hay, straw and corn-knives, and grass-hooks; the
Hubbard and Blake Manufacturing Company, and Emerson, Stevens
and Company, manufacture only scythes and axes. There is also a
manufactory of threshing machines and a machine shop and foundry;
some of the other manufactured products are chairs and settees, car-
riages, leather, tinware, boots and shoes. There is also one or more
grain-mills. Granite is the prevailing rock in town. The principal
crop is hay.

West Waterville was originally a part of Winslow. Waterville,
including the territory of West Waterville, was set off from that town
in 1802; and the western part of the latter was set off and incorporated
at West Waterville in 1873. The first settlement appears to have been
made about 1780.

West Waterville has a National bank and a bank for Savings.
Three church edifices, the Free Baptist, Unitarian and Baptist, stand
peacefully side by side on the principal street for residences, adding
to its attractions. The Methodist church is near by on another street,
between the high West Waterville schoolhouse and the elegant Sol-
diers' Memorial Hall of variegated stone. West Waterville has
eleven public schoolhouses valued at $6,500. The rate of taxation in
1880 was two mills on the dollar. The population by the census of
1880 was 1,647. The valuation in 1880 was $651,157.

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