|— Town —|
|Motto: "Maine's Four Season Playground"|
|• Total||55.62 sq mi (144.06 km2)|
|• Land||41.48 sq mi (107.43 km2)|
|• Water||14.14 sq mi (36.62 km2)|
|Elevation||1,614 ft (492 m)|
|• Estimate (2011)||1,174|
|• Density||28.2/sq mi (10.9/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0582690|
Rangeley is a town in Franklin County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,168 at the 2010 census. Rangeley is the center of the Rangeley Lakes Region, a resort area. The town includes the villages of Oquossoc, Haines Landing and South Rangeley.
It is named after an Englishman, Squire James Rangeley, who inherited a 31,000-acre (130 km2) tract bought from Massachusetts in 1796 by his father. He arrived in 1825 to establish an estate based on the English system of landlord and tenants, also giving extensive land to settlers. He built a sawmill, a gristmill, a two-story mansion, and a ten-mile (16 km) road to connect his property with the rest of the world. Rangeley resided here for 15 years, then sold the property and moved to Portland.
Farms produced hay, wheat, oats, barley and potatoes, with cattle grazing the hills. Logging became a principal industry, with booms of logs towed by steamboat across the Rangeley lakes, then guided down rivers in log drives. On March 29, 1855, the town of Rangeley was set off and incorporated from a portion of Rangeley Plantation. By 1870, the population was 313. In 1886, it had twenty dwellings, two hotels, two stores and a post office. Industries included a carriage shop, two blacksmith shops, a boat builder's shop, a sawmill and a shoe shop.
The Phillips and Rangeley Railroad, a narrow gauge common carrier, opened in 1891, becoming part of the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad in 1908. Timber and other goods were shipped to markets, and tourists arrived from Boston; Hartford; New York; and Philadelphia. Consequently, the region developed in the 1900s into a seasonal resort area with camps, cabins, summer homes, inns and hotels. The cool mountain climate and abundance of sport fishing made this a highly desirable and exclusive resort destination. Some inhabitants became fishing guides, and among the anglers was President Herbert Hoover. The big hotels would decline, however, with World War II. In 1958, The Rangeley Lake House was razed. But motels have taken their place, and Rangeley remains a popular resort.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 55.62 square miles (144.06 km2), of which, 41.48 square miles (107.43 km2) of it is land and 14.14 square miles (36.62 km2) is water.
Centrally located between the headwaters of both the Androscoggin River and Kennebec River, the town lies on the eastern shores of Rangeley Lake in the Western Maine Mountains. Smalls Falls, lying just south of the town on Route 4, is a popular tourist destination. A sign in town notes that Rangeley is halfway between the Equator and North Pole.
2010 census 
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,168 people, 575 households, and 338 families residing in the town. The population density was 28.2 inhabitants per square mile (10.9 /km2). There were 1,829 housing units at an average density of 44.1 per square mile (17.0 /km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.4% White, 0.5% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.
There were 575 households out of which 19.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.2% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.03 and the average family size was 2.56.
The median age in the town was 51.4 years. 16.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.1% were from 25 to 44; 35.6% were from 45 to 64; and 25.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 50.8% male and 49.2% female.
2000 census 
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,052 people, 468 households, and 292 families residing in the town. The population density was 25.3 people per square mile (9.8/km²). There were 1,561 housing units at an average density of 37.5 per square mile (14.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.24% White, 0.10% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.10% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.19% of the population.
There were 468 households out of which 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.6% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 individuals and the average family size was 2.79 people.
In the town, the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18; 4.4% from 18 to 24; 25.3% from 25 to 44; 28.3% from 45 to 64; and 20.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $33,382, and the median income for a family was $43,250. Males had a median income of $32,426 versus $19,519 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,052. About 9.3% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.0% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.
Sites of interest 
- Rangeley Maine
- Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum
- Wilhelm Reich Museum
- Saddleback Maine-Ski Resort
Notable people 
- Patrick Dempsey, actor
- Wilhelm Reich, psychiatrist
- Kurt Russell, actor
- Arlo West, musician and photographer
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums (1970). In Doris A. Isaacson. Maine: A Guide 'Down East'. Rockland, Me: Courier-Gazette, Inc. p. 390.
- Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts. p. 280.
- Varney, George J. (1886), Gazetteer of the state of Maine. Rangeley, Boston: Russell
- Rangeley Lakes History
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Rangeley Public Library
- Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club
- Rangeley Family Tree
- Rangeley Maine Maps, Town Information and Complete Directory of Businesses and Services
- Rangeley Maine Vacation, Tourism, and Recreation & Sports Information. Includes lots of photos of the area.
- Rangeley Maine News
- Rangeley Maine Events Calendar