History of Dayton, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886

Dayton, in York County, has the Saco River for its eastern line, separating it from Buxton and Saco, on the east. Bicideford forms its south-eastern boundary, at the south a point touches Kennebunkport, Lyman is on the south-west, the same and a portion of Hollis on the west, and the latter on the north; Cook's Brook forming the division line on the north-west and north. The town contains 7,888 acres of land. Its principal business centres are Goodwin's Mills, at the south-west, and Union Falls, on the Saco. There are two saw-mills on Cook's Brook; at Goodwin's Mills in the south-west part of the town are a grist, lumber, shingle, clapboard and stave mill. The principal streams within the town are Runnell's Brook, Pot Hook Brook, and Hill's Brook, the outlet to the great boiling spring. The latter is a little south of the centre of the town. It is several rods in circumference, and from six to eight feet deep, having a visible bottom of quicksand. Through this the water boils ceaselessly, breaking up first in one place and then in another. Many small streams traverse the town, and springs of pure water are numerous. The surface of the country is undulating but there are no high hills. The soil is good, yielding remunerative crops of grass, while fruits thrive well. Hay, oats, l.)otatoes, apples, neat stock and dairy products are marketed in considerable quantities in Saco and Biddeford, the adjacent cities. Railroad facilities are found on the north at the Hollis Station of the Portland and Rochester Railroad, and by the Boston and Maine, and Portland, Saco and Portsmouth Railroads, at Saco and Biddeford. Dayton constituted a part of Hollis until 1854, when it was incorporated as a distinct municipal body. The territory was included in the tract purchased by Major William Phillips in 1664, of Megg Higgone, an Indian, son of Walter Higgone, a sagamore, of Saco River. Before 1670 he sold 1,500 acres to Edward Tyng, a portion of which, if not all, was in the southern part of this town; next north of Tyng's, he sold 2,000 acres to Richard Russell, of Charlestown. which long after went by the name of the "Russell Lot." A tract 3 miles square, adjoining the latter, was conveyed by Phillips to Major-General John Leverett. These three sales of Phillips comprise nearly all the land within the present limits of the town. It was known as a part of Little Falls Plantation till 1798, then Phillipshurg until its incorporation under its present name. In 1728 a house for trading with the Indians was established by the Massachusetts government on the interval land about 30 rods south of Union Falls. The building was constructed of hewn logs, and defended by cannon; and a sergeant with 10 men were stationed there.

The Methodist church is the principal one in town. There are four schoolhouses, valued at $1,800. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $199,478. In 1880 it was $248,492. The population at the same date was 611. In 1880 it was 592.

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