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

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

Lyman, in York County, joins Alfred at the west corner, while an angle nearly opposite touches the western corner of Biddeford. The form of the town is nearly that of a regular rhomboid, its greatest diameter being from north to south. Dayton bounds it on the north-east, Kennebunkport on the south-east, Alfred on the southwest, and Waterborough on the north-west. The number cf acres of land contained is 14,244 acres. The surface is moderately uneven. Grant Hill, near Kennebunk and Swan ponds, is probably the highest elevation of land in town. The soilis fair, producing good crops of grain and grass, and of apples. The chief bodies of water consist of the two ponds named, near the centre of the town, Barker Pond, at the east, Bunganut Pond, at the north-west, and Tarwater Pond midway of the northwestern line of the town. There are seven considerable streams in town, of which the largest is Kennebunk River; which is formed by the outlet of Kennebunk Pond. The principal business centre is Goodwin’s Mills, a neat little cluster of buildings in the south-eastern part of the town, which has borne its present name since 1782. There are here saw and grist mills. The line of Dayton passes through the village, dividing it between the two towns. A conspicuous monument near the Baptist Church honors the memory of one of the earliest merchants and valued citizens of the place,— Benjamin Dudley.

On the outlet of Swan Pond are two powers, each utilized for a saw-mill, and there is also a saw-mill on the eastern outlet of Kennebunk Pond, lumbering being still a source of considerable income to the inhabitants.

The nearest railroad station is at Biddeford, with which there is daily stage connection.

John Sanders, John Bush and Peter Turbat, in 1660 purchased of the Indian sagamore Fluellen, a tract of land embracing nearly the present limits of the town; and the titles are from this source and from Massachusetts. The proprietors sold their title, in 1668, to Harlackindine Symonds, who conveyed his right to Roger Haskins and thirty-five others, and under the proprietorship of these the town was settled in 1767. John Low was a leading man in town affairs for many years, representing them in General Court. Ichabod Dam was another of the trusted early citizens, and several years a member of the General Court from his town. Nathaniel Low was secretary of the Maine Senate in 1826. Robert Swansen, remembered by the older inhabitants as Master Swansen, was a surveyor, and a prominent man in the town affairs. William Waterhouse, a school-teacher, with his family removed to this town between 1764 and 1775. Pierce Murphy, who served in the Revolution, settled in the town after its close. John Burbank was another Revolutionary soldier, and was captured in the privateer “Dalton” and carried to England in 1777. In 1779 he was master-at-arms on board the “Bonne Homine Richard,” and was in the action with the “Serapis “and “Countess of Scarborough,” in September of that year, under John Paul Jones. He spent his last years in Lyman with his son-in-law, Joseph Taylor. Jacob Rhoades, Richard Thomson, Joseph Roberts, the Hills, Smiths, Warrens, Emmons, Littlefields, and Cuffs were likewise respected citizens of the early times.

The town was first incorporated in 1778 under the name of Coxhall. which it retained until 1803, when it was changed to Lyman, in honor of Theodore Lyman, of Boston, formerly of York.

The first house of worship was built in 1788, about one and a quarter miles north-west of Goodwin’s Mills. In 1798 the Baptists in town were exempted from paying a tax to support the ministry on condition of settling one of their own. The Congregationalists, Baptists, Free Baptists and Methodists now have each a church in town. Lyman has ten public schoolhouses, valued at $3,500. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $345,346. In 1880 it was $273,739. The population at the same date was 1,052. In 1880 it was 1,004.

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