History of Waterborough, Maine
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

Waterborough, in York County, is twenty-eight miles
from Portland, on the Portland and Rochester Railroad. The town
of Hollis forms most of its eastern boundary, Limerick and Limington
are on the north, and Alfred and Lyman on the south, and Alfred,
Shapleigh and Newfield on the west. The area is 26,491 acres. Water-
borough was part of the purchase made by Major William Phillips, of
Saco, in 1661, of the Indian chiefs, Captain Sunday, Fluellen, and
Hobinowell. By virtue of the will of Major Phillips' widow, John
Avery, colonel Joshua Waters and John Wheelwright, of Boston, be-
came proprietors; and the town took its name from Colonel Waters.
The first permanent settlement was by John Smith, in 1768, near
Waterborough Old Corners. Prior to its incorporation (in 1787), the
town was included with the northern part of Alfred under the name of
Massabesic Plantation.

The Court of General Sessions, which filled the place of the County
Commissioners' Court, was removed to Waterborough in 1790, and a
courthouse built south of the Old Corners in the forks of a road. In
1805 the court was removed to Alfred. The first hotel in town was
about a mile south of the Old Corners. It was opened by Samuel Dam,
who came from Durham, N.H., about 1780. Mr. Dam built the first
grist-mill in Newfield Village. The first church was formed in 1782.
It was a Union church, and its meetings were held at dwellings. The
second was a Baptist church, organized in 1791. In 1794 Rev. Henry
Smith became its pastor, and continued there until his death, in 1836.
The third church was a Free-will Baptist, organized by Rev. Henry
Hobbs, in 1798. The first school in town was held in a barn, in 1784,
and was taught by Samuel Robinson. The number of public school-
houses in the town at this time is twelve; and their estimated value is
$8,000. A few of the most notable names of natives or citizens are
Dr. James H. Pierce, Ira J. Drew, B.F. Hamilton, Abel Jellison, Amos
F. Allen, Chas. F. Leavitt, Dr. Jefferson Smith, Dr. Dryden Smith,
Revs. John Haines, Stephen Webber, Timothy Hodgdon and Frank
K. Roberts.

The town has five post-offices, South Center, Ossipee Mills, North
and East Waterborough. The chief pond is the Little Ossipee, which
contains about a thousand acres. The Little Ossipee River bounds the
town on the north and affords several good water-powers. The outlet
of Little Ossipee Pond affords the best power in town, running four
saws and a planer. There are two powers on Branch Brook capable
of running three-fourths of the year. Smith's Brook runs two saws
through the year. Down's Brook affords a good privilege, but is not
occupied. Robert's Brook, sufficient to run one saw for half the year,
is now occupied with a steam mill. The Ossipee Manufacturing Com-
pany, Ossipee Mills, on the Little Ossipee, employs 25 hands, manufac-
tures 18,000 pairs of blanket annually, the business amounting to

The Steam Mill Company at South Waterborough manufactures
large quantities of lumber into boxes, shingles, and similar articles.
The Ossipee Pond Company, at the outlet, also manufacture lumber.
The amount annually manufactured in town is about 1,800,000 feet.
Waterborough ranks high as an agricultural town, though better
adapted for grazing than for crops. One farm keeps a stock of forty
head of neat cattle and horses. The roads are good. One hundred
and eighty-four men were enlisted from the town during the war of
the Rebellion. Bounties were paid to the amount of $46,270.61; and to
soldiers' families, $5,535.74; contributions for soldier's relief, $900.

The surface of the town is uneven. Large swells or ridges run
through it in nearly a northerly and southerly direction, with tracts of
sandy land lying between. The ridges are largely covered with white,
red and yellow oak, beech, birch, maple, pine and hemlock. The plains
abound in white and yellow pine, interspersed with hard wood of the
varieties mentioned. Ossipee Mountain, near the center of the town,
is one exception, the highest land in the county, and is a station
of the United States Coast Survey. The valuation of estates in 1870
was $364,270. In 1880 it was $373,580. The population at the same
date was 1,542; in 1880 1,432. The rate of taxation for 1880 is two
and a half mills on the dollar.

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