|Motto: Our Latchstring Always Out|
|Incorporated||August 8, 1849|
|• Total||22.94 sq mi (59.41 km2)|
|• Land||13.35 sq mi (34.58 km2)|
|• Water||9.59 sq mi (24.84 km2)|
|Elevation||43 ft (13 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||8,431|
|• Density||625.4/sq mi (241.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0582831|
Yarmouth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States, located twelve miles north of Portland. Its population was 8,349 in the 2010 census. As of 2015, this is about 0.006% of Maine's total population.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Demographics
- 3 History
- 4 Economy
- 5 Education
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Recreation
- 8 Churches
- 9 Media
- 10 Yarmouth Clam Festival
- 11 "Herbie"
- 12 Notable people
- 13 Gallery
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.94 square miles (59.41 km2), of which, 13.35 square miles (34.58 km2) (58%) of it is land and 9.59 square miles (24.84 km2) (42%) is water.
Yarmouth is nearly square in form, and is bisected by the Royal River. The Cousins River separates it from Freeport to the northeast. Freeport and Pownal bound it to the east, North Yarmouth to the north, Cumberland to the west and Casco Bay to the south. Also included as part of the town are Cousins Island, Lanes Island, Great and Little Moshier islands, and Littlejohn Island.
The Royal River appealed to settlers because its four waterfalls and 60-foot rise within a mile of navigable water provided four potential waterpower sites. In 1674, the first sawmill, of Sayward & Gedney, was built on the eastern side of the First (or Lower) Falls, by present-day Route 88. The Second Falls (which is actually a dam) are just west of the Sparhawk Mill, on Bridge Street; the Third Falls are within the bounds of Royal River Park; and the Fourth Falls is another dam, near the intersection of East Elm Street and Melissa Drive.
Since 1674, 57 mills (grain, lumber, pulp and cotton) and several factories (paper company, shoe factory, brick-making and electric company) stood along the shores of the river.
The First Falls
The Native Americans called the First Falls Pumgustuk, which means head of tide. In addition to the 1674 sawmill, this was the site of the first grist mill — Lower Grist Mills — built in 1813 and whose foundations support the overlook of today's Grist Mill Park. The mill, which was in business for 36 years, ground wheat and corn into flour using power generated by the turbines set in the fast-flowing river below. Between 1870 and 1885, it was the site of Ansel Loring's grist mill, named Yarmouth Flour Mill.
The first mill to go up on the western (East Main Street hill) side of the river was Seabury & Mitchell's grist mill in 1729.
By 1874, the East Main Street bridge was flanked by a grist mill, saw mill, a store and a carpenter's shop that took care of the needs of ships built in the harbor on the other side of the bridge. In 1911, Yarmouth Manufacturing Company's electric power plant was built on the site of Craig's sawmill. Later businesses on this side included a fishing, hunting and camping equipment store and Industrial Wood Products. In the present-day building is F. M. Beck and Maine Environmental Laboratory.
The Second Falls
A variety of mills have used power from the Second (Cotton Mill) Falls. A cotton rag paper mill operated on the falls (western) side of the bridge and a cotton mill filled the building now known as Sparhawk Mill. The Royal River Manufacturing Company, incorporated in 1857, was one of the leading industries in Yarmouth, spinning coarse and fine yarn and seamless grain bags, of which it produced up to 1,000 per day. This mill closed in 1917.
Boarding houses, which still exist today, were built on the crest of the northern Bridge Street hill, providing accommodation for weavers, seamstresses and bobbin boys. An iron bridge was in place around 1900. The mill got its current name in 1953, when Yale Cordage occupied it. They remained tenants for the next 39 years until 1992, when the decision was made to divide the mill's interior up into multiple business for extra revenue.
The Third Falls
The Third (Baker's) Falls were, by far, the most industrious of the four. The first buildings — a grist mill, a carding mill and a nail mill — went up in 1805 between Bridge Street and East Elm Street on the east side of the river. A fulling mill followed in 1830. The Yarmouth Paper Company, which produced paper pulp, was built in 1864. The main access road to it was an extended version of today's Mill Street, off Main Street. Ten years later, S.D. Warren & Company bought it and renamed it the Forest Paper Company. Beginning with a single wooden building, the facility expanded to ten buildings covering as many acres, including a span over the river to Factory Island. Two bridges to it were also constructed. In 1909, it was the largest soda fiber mill in the world, employing 275 people. The mill used 15,000 cords of poplar each year, which meant mounds of logs were constantly in view beside Mill Street. Six railroad spurs extended from the tracks running behind Main Street to the Forest Paper Company, traversing today's Royal River Park. Rail cars delivered logs, coal, soda and chlorine to the mill and carried pulp away. The mill closed in 1923, when import restrictions on pulp were lifted and Swedish pulp became a cheaper option. The mill burned in 1931, leaving charred remains on the site until the development of the Royal River Park in the early 1980s. In 1971, the Marine Corps Reserve tore down the old factory, before a Navy demolition team used fourteen cases of dynamite to raze the remains. Most of the remaining debris was crushed and used as fill for the park.
The Fourth Falls
Here at the northern end of the Royal River Park once stood a large building that housed, in turn, a tannery, three shoe-manufacturing companies and a poultry-processing plant. These business took advantage of the Fourth (Gooche's) Falls water supply directly behind the building to provide power. The Sportocasin Company occupied it between 1923 and 1927. 50 employees made shoes with completely twistable soles to follow a golfer's foot in any direction.
Charles H. Weston's machine shop and foundry (1877–1898) manufactured equipment for cotton and woolen mills, turbine water wheels, steam engines and a wide variety of machinery for customers all over the world. Hodsdon Brothers & Company (1880–1901), meanwhile, made ladies' and misses' boots and shoes.
|U.S. Decennial Census
Raymond H. Fogler Library
As of the census of 2010, there were 8,349 people, 3,522 households, and 2,317 families residing in the town. The population density was 625.4 inhabitants per square mile (241.5/km2). There were 3,819 housing units at an average density of 286.1 per square mile (110.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.9% European American, 0.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.
There were 3,522 households of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.2% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.87.
The median age in the town was 45.9 years. 22.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20% were from 25 to 44; 34.9% were from 45 to 64; and 16.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 47.1% male and 52.9% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,360 people, 3,432 households, and 2,306 families residing in the town. The population density was 626.7 people per square mile (242.0/km²). There were 3,704 housing units at an average density of 277.7 per square mile (107.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.49% White, 0.37% Black or African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.59% of the population.
There were 3,432 households out of which 33% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.2% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the town the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 29.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $58,030, and the median income for a family was $73,234. Males had a median income of $48,456 versus $34,075 for females. The per capita income for the town was $34,317. About 4.0% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
Traces of human occupation in the Yarmouth area date to about 2,000 BC. During the years prior to the arrival of the Europeans, many Native American cultures are believed to have existed in the area.
When settlers arrived at Yarmouth's site around 1636, they found a fort already built. The fort had for some time been occupied by George Felt, who had in turn purchased it from John Phillips, a Welshman. In 1646, William Royall purchased a farm on the river which has ever-since borne his last name (minus the second L). This stream and its vicinity were called by the Indians "Westcustogo" — a name that, until the early 1990s, was preserved by an inn of the same name on Princes Point Road at its intersection with Lafayette Street. (The building remains but it is now occupied by another business.) There is also a Westcustogo Park in North Yarmouth. John Cousins had arrived a year or more earlier than Royall, occupying the neck of land between the branches of the stream which has since been called Cousins River, and owning the island now bearing his name.
In 1688, while the inhabitants on the eastern side of the river were building a garrison, they were attacked by Indians, and attempted a defense. They continued the contest until nightfall, when the Indians retired. It was not long before they appeared again, in such force that the thirty-six families of the settlement were forced to flee, abandoning their homes for a second time.
The unrest kept the area deserted for many years, but by 1715 settlers revisited their homes, by which point they found their fields and the sites of their habitations covered by a young growth of trees. In 1722, a "Committee for the Resettlement of North Yarmouth" was formed in Boston, Massachusetts. North Yarmouth held its first town meeting on May 14, 1733. The structural frame of the first meeting house was raised in 1729 near Westcustogo Hill on what is now Gilman Road, and nine years later the first school was built.
Once resettlement began, in 1727, the town's population began to grow rapidly. By 1764, 1,098 individuals lived in 154 houses. By 1810, the population was 3,295. During a time of peace, settlement began to relocate along the coast and inland.
The town's Main Street gradually became divided into the Upper Village (also known as the Corner) and Lower Falls, the split roughly located around the present-day, 1950s-built U.S. Route 1 overpass.
Among the new proprietors at the time were descendants of the Plymouth Pilgrims. Up until 1756, the Indians were again very troublesome. In 1725, William and Matthew Scales and Joseph Felt were killed, and the wife and children of the latter was carried into captivity. A grandson of Felt, Joseph Weare, became a noted scout, pursuing the Native Americans at every opportunity. In August 1746, a party of thirty-two Indians secreted themselves near the Lower Falls for the apparent purpose of surprising Weare's garrison, in the process killing Philip Greely, who came upon them. This was the last act of resistance by the indigenous people to occur within the limits of the town.
- Cushing and Hannah Prince House, 189 Greely Road — built 1785. This Federal-style farmhouse remained the home of several generations of the Levi and Olive Prince Blanchard family from 1832 to 1912.
- Mitchell House, 333 Main Street — circa 1800. Another Federal-style building, with an unusual steeply-pitched hip roof, it was the home of two doctors — Ammi R. Mitchell and Eleazer Burbank.
- Captain S.C. Blanchard House, 317 Main Street — 1855. One of the most elaborate and finely-detailed Italianate residences on the Maine coast, it was built by Sylvanus Blanchard (c. 1782–1859), a highly successful shipbuilder. The design is by Charles A. Alexander, who also executed the Chestnut Street Methodist Church in Portland. It replaced a building that is pictured in the oldest image (a drawing) of a Yarmouth street scene, drawn between 1837 and 1855.
- Captain Rueben Merrill House, 233 West Main Street — 1858. Thomas J. Sparrow, the first native Portland architect, designed this three-story Italian-style house. Merrill was a well-known sea captain, who went down with his ship off San Francisco in 1875. Few changes have been made in the building, because it did not leave the possession of the Merrill family between then and 2011.
Another notable building is Camp Hammond (1889–90), at 275 Main Street, whose construction method is significant in that the building consists of a single exterior wall of heavy planks over timbers, with no hidden spaces of hollow walls. This so-called mill-built construction was used largely for fire prevention.
Yarmouth constituted the eastern part of North Yarmouth until 1849, when it was set off and incorporated as an independent town. The split occurred due to bickering between the inland, farming-based contingent and the coastal maritime-oriented community. Unable to resolve this difference, the two halves of the town separated into present-day Yarmouth and North Yarmouth.
By 1850, Yarmouth's population was 2,144, and very little changed over the hundred years that followed.
18th- and 19th-century business relied heavily upon a variety of natural resources. Once lumber was cut and sent to market, the land was farmed. Tanneries were built near brooks; potteries and brickyards put to use the natural clay in the area; and mills flourished along the Royal River, providing services such as iron-forging and fulling cloth.
Maritime activities were important from the beginning of the third settlement. Lumber from inland areas was shipped out from the harbor. Vessels were being built by 1740, and by 1818 shipbuilding in the area was in full swing, though Yarmouth's industry peaked in the 1870s, and declined rapidly shortly thereafter. The final large sailing vessel was built in 1890. Almost three hundred vessels were launched by Yarmouth's shipyards in the century between 1790 and 1890.
In 1949, Yarmouth celebrated its centenary with a parade.
Rapid growth was experienced again around 1948 when Route 1 was constructed. Two years later, there were 2,699 inhabitants of the town. Interstate 295 was built through the harbor in 1961, and the town grew about 40%, from 4,854 residents in 1970 to 8,300 thirty-five years later.
As of the early 20th century, Yarmouth is mostly residential in character, with commercial development scattered throughout the town, particularly along Route 1 and Main Street (State Route 115).
People and places
19th- and 20th-century business that existed on Main Street in Yarmouth's Lower Falls section included (roughly from east to west):
- Vining's delicatessen and, beside it to the west, George Soule's pool hall (across from present-day Svetlana)
- Coombs (later Barbour's hardware store; and Goffs hardware, 1969–2015)
- Elder Rufus York's general store (located in the brick building now occupied by Runge's Oriental Rug store at the western corner of Main and Portland Streets; later William H. Rowe's, then Melville Merrill's, Frank Bucknam's Pharmacy, and Vaughan's Rexall Pharmacy from 1945 to 1963. Vaughan's original sign was restored to the Portland Street corner of the building in 2014 but was taken down the following year)
- Englishman James Parsons' grocery store (located next to the then-post office, whose postmaster was Lucy Groves)
- Cornelius Shaw's Cash Market (1899) (now Snip 'N Clip Hair Designs)
- Leon Doughty's stove and hardware store, L.A. Doughty & Co. (located across from Shaws' but eventually moved onto its side of the street, into the building later occupied by Barbour's and Goffs, when his business expanded)
- William Freeman's hairdressing salon (located above Doughty's)
- Cyrus Curtis' Saturday Evening Post publishers
- Susan Kinghorn's millinery shop (located at the eastern corner of Main and Portland Streets)
In 1874, the Lower Falls near the harbor was crowded with the homes of sea captains, merchants and shipbuilders. In 1903, the post office established a route around town for the rural free delivery of mail. Hired was Joshua Drinkwater as the town's first letter carrier. Early in the morning he would leave Princes Point, pick up the mail at Lower Falls, and then deliver letters to the northern edge of town, including Sligo and Mountfort Roads. Around noon, he would pick up the afternoon sack for the town's western and coastal farms. Each day, as he passed his farm on Princes Point Road, he would change horses and eat lunch with his wife. Speaking of horses, an ornate, circular horse trough resembling a water fountain existed at the intersection of Main and Portland Streets in the early 1900s.
The parsonage for the Universalist church was the building now occupied by Plumb-It, to the right of Snip 'N Clip. On the other side of the Universalist church is a house that was formerly the home of Edward J. Stubbs, one of Yarmouth's most prolific and successful shipbuilders.
A lithograph from 1851, depicting the area of Main Street serviced by York Street, shows the home of George Woods and, next door, the Yarmouth Institute, which he established as direct competition with North Yarmouth Academy. Although it attracted students from as far afield as Cuba, his institute lacked an endowment and closed after five years. In 1859, while serving in his new role as chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, a lawsuit involving his dispute with NYA precipitated the split in Yarmouth's First Parish Church.
In an 1875 photograph of the northern end of Portland Street, with the Universalist church in the background, Captain Henry Newton's house is visible on the right. Gad Hitchcock previously lived there. Leon Gorman, the grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, also lived here until his death in 2015. He was, at the time of his passing, the wealthiest person living in the state of Maine, having had a reported net worth of $860 million.
Halfway along this northern section of Portland Street is a three-story Federal-style building that was once a tavern, built by Colonel Seth Mitchell c. 1810. Early in the 20th century, Ralph Redfern used the property for a dairy that became known as Old Tavern Farm.
The section of town between the Upper Village and Lower Falls was known as Brickyard Hollow, named for John Collins' brickyard, which was located across the street from the Masonic Hall (now the restaurant Gather). Collins donated land for the Casco Lodge.
A muddy valley up until the beginning of the 20th century, the Hollow was eventually reclaimed as a civic center by laying down a two-foot layer of black ash, from Forest Paper Company, to level it out. After constructing two new schools, the Merrill Memorial Library and a war memorial, town officials also decided to rename the area Centervale in order to improve its image. The name did not last, however.
In 1929, a new centralized post office was built to the east of the present-day Anderson-Mayberry American Legion Hall. On the left side of this building was the Fidelity Trust Company. The bank failed early in the Great Depression of the 1930s. To the east of the post office stood the Knights of Pythias Hall. Harriman's IGA Foodliner moved here in the late 20th century from its Main and West Elm Streets location. A KeyBank (formerly Casco Bank) and the parking lot for NYA's Priscilla Savage Middle School now stand in its place.
In 1890, Yarmouth built a large new school building on the site of the present town hall and police station. Grades 5 to 8 were on the first floor; the high school occupied the upper level. A three-story high school was constructed next to this in 1900. When all of the high-school students were sent to North Yarmouth Academy in 1930, the building became another elementary school. In 1974, both buildings were demolished to make way for the current construction.
In 1904, the town's Civil War veterans sought permission to place a soldiers monument in front of the new schools. With funds lacking, it was put off until after World War I, when the project was completed in tandem with a board of trade plan to erect a bandstand. The resulting octagon structure, in the Doric order, was adorned by a plaque to the veterans. The words "Memorial To Men of Yarmouth in War Service" appeared just below the roof line. The structure was inadequately maintained, however, and had to be removed when rotting boards resulted in injuries.
Although most of the land built on in the Hollow was for public buildings, one new home was constructed. In 1889, Dr. Herbert Merrill had a dental practice in the rear of his house, which has since been moved closer to the Rowe School. It is the building now occupied by InSight Eyecare on the InterMed campus.
In 1903, Joseph Merrill donated the funds to build a new library. The architect was Alexander Longfellow, a nephew of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Despite the occasional flood, town offices were eventually established in the library's basement. The flooding was partly caused by the blockage of Cleaves Brook (where today's police station is) — which formerly drained the whole center of town — was blocked when Brickyard Hollow was filled in.
Directly across the street from the library stood the Dumphy house and barn. These were auctioned off in 1921, creating more public space in Centervale.
During the middle of the 20th century, in the plaza across Cleaves Street that formerly housed a 7-Eleven (now Anthony's Dry Cleaners & Laundromat) was the Dairy Joy ice-creamery, in front, and the Korner Kitchen (formerly the Snack House) behind it.
On January 2, 2009, twenty-six businesses located at 500 Route 1 were destroyed in an arson attack. The entire block, located near to the point at which Route 1 passes over Main Street, was pulled down shortly thereafter. Damage was estimated to be between $2 million and $4 million. Everett Stickney, of Exeter, New Hampshire, was convicted of starting the fire, along with another one in York, Maine, later that evening. On November 12, 2009, Stickney was sentenced to an eleven-and-a-half-year prison term and ordered to pay $3.7 million in compensation. The building was replaced in 2008 and several businesses have moved in.
In contrast to today, people who lived near the Elm and Main Streets intersection in the 19th century would not think of shopping at the Lower Falls end of the latter thoroughfare. For over 150 years, much of the retail activity in the Upper Village occurred in the area of these old brick stores. Some of the oldest buildings on Main Street are those clustered between the Catholic and Baptist churches. The Daniel Wallis house at 330 Main Street, for example, was built around 1810. Around the middle of the 19th century, Captain Cushing Prince moved here from his historic house on Greely Road.
Businesses and residences in the Upper Village and the area around the intersection of Main and Elm Street, which officially became known as Yarmouthville in 1882, included (roughly from west to east):
- In the mid-to-late 1870s, diagonally across from where Handy Andy's now is, was Jeremiah Mitchell's tavern. It is now Latchstring Park
- In 1788, Dr. Williams Parsons built a brown colonial home where the single-story business now stands at the corner of Main and West Elm Streets. The house was torn down in 1950
- Sam York's grocery store (located to the east of the Parsons residence in the late 1800s)
- Adelaide Abbott's millinery shop (located to the east of York's)
- Post office (located to the east of Abbott's)
- George Jefford's harness shop (located to the east of the post office)
- Isaac Johnson's barbershop (located above Jefford's)
- At the corner of Main and East Elm Streets stood a nail mill in 1807. In 1891, what was then Foster's Pottery was torn down and a new building was constructed. Since then, more than thirty different business or owners have set up here, including, between 1906 and 1935, Arthur and Harry Storer's hardware store, Storer Bros.
- John A. Griffin's hardware store
- Joel Brooks' pottery (situated on East Elm Street, which was then named Gooches' Lane, it was in business between 1851 and 1888)
- Andy's Handy Store – named for original proprietor, Leland "Andy" Anderson. In 1935, Anderson combined the two wooden buildings of Griffin's and an adjacent grocery store (which sold produce "at Portland prices"). Now named "Handy's", it is occupied by OTTO Pizza after ceasing to be a store in 2014
- William Marston's dry goods store (founded in 1859; closed circa 1968)
- Located next door to Marston's was L.R. Cook's apothecary
- Harold "Snap" (and his father, "Pop") Moxcey's barbershop was located at the corner of Main and Center Streets, across from the Baptist church
- Larry's Barber Shop appeared on Center Street later
- Another barber shop, beside the Baptist church, was owned by Charlie Reinsborough
- Doctor Nat Barker and his wife, Catherine, lived on the corner of South Street in the 1930s and 1940s
- Coombs Bros. (Albert and George) candy and grocery store (located at the corner of Main and South Streets in a different construction now occupied by Peachy's Smoothie Cafe). Bert set up the town's telephone service in the 1880s. In 1909, he established a Ford dealership on South Street, which was laid out in 1848 as part of Yarmouth's first modern housing development. Farm land was given over to house lots and sold to merchants and sea captains, such as Ansel Loring and Perez Blanchard. Frederick Gore, manager of the Forest Paper Company, lived at the corner of South and Cumberland Streets (in what is now 67 South Street) with his wife, Angie
- Captain Eben York's mansion at 326 Main Street (now occupied by the Parish Office of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church next door). Father Joseph Quinn held services in the barn until it burned in 1913
- J.O. Durgan's daguerreotype salon (located just to the east of the hotel; later Gad Hitchcock's coffin and casket showroom)
- St. Lawrence House – a hotel built, where the Mobil gas station near Camp Hammond stands today, to take advantage of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroads coming through town. Circa 1872, it was renamed the Baker House, after its owner Jeremiah Baker. It was the first of several name changes. The expected tourists never materialized, and the hotel burned down in 1928
- Elmer Ring's "washerette" (he also ran a hardware store, a heating and plumbing service, and a coal yard)
- A.C. Brawn's jewelry shop (at what was then 73 Main Street; formerly Yarmouth Market, now Hancock Lumber)
An elm tree in front of Marston's store had a bulletin board nailed to it, upon which local residents posted, as early as 1817, public notices, circus posters and satirical comments about town affairs. Like almost all of Yarmouth's elms, it became afflicted by Dutch elm disease and was cut down in 1980.
Prior to the Presumpscot River being bridged at Martin's Point in Falmouth Foreside, West Elm Street was a direct route to Portland and, hence, a key stagecoach stop. A large barn was built beside Mitchell's tavern to house horses. The house of Richmond Cutter still stands at the corner of Church and West Elm Streets.
A few doors down from Cutter's house, a Methodist church was built on West Elm Street in 1898 to mark a revival of the religion. The church was disbanded thirty years later. The building, now painted yellow, has now been converted into a residence.
A Catholic church was built on Cumberland Street in 1879. The location was chosen out of fear that it would be vandalized if it was built on Main Street, for Yarmouth was a prevalently Protestant town at the time. The structure still stands as a private home, but turned sideways to the street.
A large wooden building located near the old brick schools at the intersection of West Main Street and Sligo Road served as the town hall between 1833 and 1910. It was here that the 1849 debates took place that led to Yarmouth's secession from North Yarmouth.
The school buildings mentioned above were in use throughout the 1980s. In 1847, teacher William Osgood had 74 students; as such, a second school was built beside the original soon after.
Further out on West Main Street is an imposing Italianate mansion that was built for Captain Reuben Merrill in 1858. Merrill, who was married to Hannah Elizabeth Blanchard and had four children, was killed while aboard his clipper Champlain when it ran aground near the Farallon Islands, San Francisco, in 1875. After making sure his crew was safely aboard lifeboats, Merrill was hit by a piece of falling rigging, fell overboard and drowned. Neither Merrill's body nor the ship's haul of railroad iron was ever recovered. His eldest son and first mate, Osborne, witnessed his father's death and never went to sea again, bringing to an end the family's seafaring ways. In April 2011, his three-story, 15-room mansion at 233 West Main became the headquarters of Maine Preservation.
National Register of Historic Places
Twelve properties in Yarmouth are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The oldest (the Cushing and Hannah Prince House) dates from 1785; the "newest" (the Grand Trunk Railway Station) was built in 1906. They are ranked in chronological order below:
- Cushing and Hannah Prince House, 189 Greely Road
- North Yarmouth and Freeport Baptist Meeting House, 3 Hillside Street
- Ammi R. Mitchell House, 333 Main Street
- Russell Hall, North Yarmouth Academy, 129 Main Street
- Academy Hall, North Yarmouth Academy, 129 Main Street
- Captain S.C. Blanchard House, 317 Main Street
- Captain Reuben Merrill House, 233 West Main Street
- First Universalist Church, 97 Main Street
- First Parish Congregational Church, 116 Main Street
- Camp Hammond, 275 Main Street
- Cousins Island Chapel, Cousins Street, Cousins Island
- Grand Trunk Railway Station, 288 Main Street
As of December 2015, the town is home to thirteen restaurants (only sit-down service counted). They are:
- On Route 1 (south to north)
- Bistro 233
- Dirigo Public House
- Romeo's Pizza
- All Star Sports Bar
- Chopstick Sushi
- Pat's Pizza
- Binga's Winga's
- Muddy Rudder
- On Forest Falls Drive
- Forest Falls Café
- On Route 88
- Royal River Grill House
- On Main Street (east to west)
- Carpe Diem Wine Room
- OTTO Pizza
The oil-powered Wyman Power Station, located on the southwest tip of Cousins Island, is part of Central Maine Power (CMP). Built in 1957, it is named for CMP president William F. Wyman. Owned by Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources, it has four steam turbine units, the most recent of which, with its 421-foot chimney, went online in 1978. Because it burns costly Number 6 residual fuel, the plant has largely been used on an on-call basis for years, fired up only when another big plant goes offline, or when very hot or cold weather spikes the region's demand for energy. With $2-million in annual revenue for the town, it is Yarmouth's largest property taxpayer. In the 1980s, it paid half of the town's tax burden. Now, however, it covers less than 8%.
The town has four schools:
- William H. Rowe (Elementary) School (built 1955 and rebuilt in 2003)
- Yarmouth Elementary School (built 1968 and named Yarmouth Intermediate School until 1992)
- Frank H. Harrison Middle School (built 1992)
- Yarmouth High School (built 1961 and rebuilt in 2002)
Three of the four schools are located within half a mile of each other: Yarmouth Elementary and Harrison Middle are both on McCartney Street, while the high school is located across the adjoining West Elm Street. Rowe is located about two miles to the north east.
The two elementary schools are unique in that the William H. Rowe School caters to students in kindergarten and the first grade, while Yarmouth Elementary educates second through fourth graders. Yarmouth High School was named #297 in the 1,000 Best High Schools in the US by Newsweek in 2005 and #289 in 2006. In 2013, U.S. News and World Report ranked Yarmouth High School second in Maine and 198th in the country.
On the southern side of Main Street, near its junction with Bridge Street, is North Yarmouth Academy (NYA), a private college preparatory school established in 1814. Across the street stand, in the Greek Revival style, Russell Hall (1841) and Academy Hall (1847). They are built of brick with granite and wood trim. Russell Hall was originally a dormitory and Academy Hall a classroom; they are now both of the latter use. By the early 1930s, the academy expanded into new facilities across the street. The original 1811 NYA school building stood roughly where the middle of the three houses on the northern side of upper Bridge Street is today. NYA became a private school in 1961, when Yarmouth High School was built on West Elm Street. On October 17, 1998, the academy's ice arena was renamed the "Travis Roy Arena" in honor an alumnus of NYA who was rendered a quadriplegic after an injury he sustained while playing for Boston University men's ice hockey team in 1995.
Interstate 295 runs elevated through Yarmouth and has two exits (15 and 17) in the town. Route 1 (at grade and also a bridge over Main Street) and State Routes 88 and 115 also run through the town. The town also has two railroad junctions: Royal Junction (midway along Greely Road) and Yarmouth Junction (to the west of East Elm Street at Depot Road). The two railroads passing through the town are Guilford Rail System's Maine Central Railroad and the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad (formerly Grand Trunk Railway). The Brunswick Branch of the Maine Central Railroad received a new lease of life in November 2012, when a northern extension of the Downeaster line was opened, carrying passengers three times a day to and from Brunswick's Maine Street Station via Freeport. On the southbound journeys, two trains terminate in Boston; one in Portland. The trains pass under two roads and over two crossings on their way through Yarmouth. They are (from south to north) West Main Street, Sligo Road, East Elm Street (just after Yarmouth Junction) and North Road. They pass through northbound at 6.20 AM, 11.55 AM and 7.45 PM (8:35 PM on weekends), and southbound at 7.30 AM, 6.20 PM and 8.55 PM (9:35 PM on weekends).
Trolley cars of the Portland and Yarmouth Electric Railway Company used to run, every fifteen minutes, from Portland, through Falmouth Foreside, up and down Pleasant Street and onto Main Street between 1898 and 1933, when the advent of the automobile made rail travel a less convenient option. Underwood Spring Park in Falmouth Foreside, with its open-air theater, casino and gazebo, was a popular gathering spot serviced by the trolley cars. The theater only existed for eight years, burning down in 1907. In 1906, a bridge was built over the Royal River, connecting the Brunswick and Portland trolleys at the Grand Trunk depot in town. The walking bridge in the Royal River Park is built on old abutments for a trolley line which ran between Yarmouth and Freeport between 1906 and 1933.
- Grist Mill Park, East Main Street
- Village Green Park, Main Street
- Latchstring Park, Main Street and West Elm Street
- Royal River Park
- Pratt's Brook Park, North Road
Open spaces and conservation land
- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Bayview Street
- Fels-Grove Farm Preserve, Gilman Road
- Larrabee's Landing, Burbank Lane
- Frank Knight Forest, East Main Street
- Barker Property, between East Elm Street and Royal River
- Sligo Road Property
- Sweetsir Farm, Old Field Road
- Camp Soci, Cousins Island
- Sandy Point Beach
- Tinker Property
Beth Condon Memorial Pathway
The Beth Condon Memorial Pathway is a pedestrian and bicycle path that originates on the western side of the Portland Street and Route 1 intersection. It is named after 15-year-old Yarmouth High School sophomore Elizabeth Ann "Beth" Condon, who was killed by drunk driver Martha Burke on August 28, 1993, as she walked along Route 1 with her boyfriend, James Young, having just been to a video store in Yarmouth Marketplace. Burke's car swerved into the breakdown lane, and while Young managed to avoid the car, Condon was hit and thrown 65 feet over the guardrail and down an embankment. Burke pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to twelve years, with eight years suspended.
The first section of the pathway was begun in 1997 and cost $100,000. 80% of this was funded by the Maine Department of Transportation. This original part runs parallel to Route 1 and ends at the parking lot of the town hall. It is at this juncture, where Condon died, that a butterfly garden was built in her honor. It was rededicated on August 2, 2014, a few weeks before the 21st anniversary of her death. In 1998, an extension was added to the pathway that took it, in an unmarked fashion, onto Cleaves Street, School Street and into the Royal River Park, where it intersects with a recreational path. A pedestrian bridge carries it over the Royal River en route to Forest Falls Drive. In 2006, a third phase added a section that took it up to the Hannaford plaza and, after an almost 500-yard gap, a ramp connecting Route 1 up the hill to East Main Street. Talk of bridging this gap, part of which goes beneath the East Main Street bridge, began in 2011, with a planned start date of 2013. It would bring the total length of the pathway to 1.7 miles; however, the traffic cones that were set out along the route on July 22, 2013 remained in place until September 2014, despite a statement that the original plan to monitor traffic flow was to take "several weeks". The two-lane southbound side of the road was permanently reduced to one at the same time. The project was completed the following month.
In 2000, the pathway was integrated as part of the East Coast Greenway, a project to create a nearly 3,000-mile (4,800-km) urban path linking the major cities of the Atlantic coast, from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida, for non-motorized human transportation.
There are six churches in Yarmouth. Four of these are located on Main Street. They are (from east to west):
- First Universalist, 97 Main Street (built 1860). Designed by Thomas Holt for an Orthodox Congregational parish.
- First Parish Congregational, 116 Main Street (built 1867). Designed by Portland architect George M. Harding. The third incarnation of churches built for the town's Congregationalists.
- Sacred Heart Catholic (built 1929 from granite quarried in North Yarmouth)
- First Baptist (built 1889; designed by John Calvin Stevens)
The First Parish Congregational was originally known as the Meeting House Under the Ledge and was located facing Casco Bay at the intersection of Route 88 and Gilman Road. It was built from material hauled up by oxen from Larrabee's Landing (named for two brothers who settled there), further down Gilman Road towards Cousins Island. The landing was one of the most important in Yarmouth up until the late 1870s, when erosion caused the whole thing to slide into the channel. The Ledge church, which was founded on November 18, 1730, was torn down in 1836, sixteen years after it was abandoned by the Parish. Yarmouth's early Calvinists fired one minister because he suggested that many people are worthy of salvation. Reverend Tristram Gilman, on the other hand, declared in a sermon that Thomas Jefferson was the Antichrist. Of a settlement that originally contained a school, a tavern and a cemetery of Indian fighters, only the cemetery and the ledge doorstep of the church remain. The weathervane, which was the final addition to the steeple, was mounted as a shipping guide on an iron rod atop the ledge overlooking the "Old Ledge" Meeting House by a group of Yarmouth residents. They had raised funds to buy the weathervane from Soloman Winslow, who had removed it from the site after the building's demolition. The weathervane is now on display at the Yarmouth History Center, but its old supports still exist up in the woods beside Route 88. A second, larger cemetery, known as Ledge Cemetery, was established in 1770.
The second church (known as Old Sloop) was built in 1818, at the eastern corner of Main and Bridge Streets (at present-day 121 Main Street), but it was abandoned in 1868 and torn down in 1879.
The present church was built on the other side of Main Street in 1867 and dedicated the following year. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. A plaque commemorating the 275th anniversary of the church was laid on November 18, 2005. The church's steeple is illuminated every night, sometimes in honor of a member or a relative.
The North Yarmouth and Freeport Baptist Meeting House, on Hillside Street, was built in 1796. It has been twice altered: by Samuel Melcher in 1825 and by Anthony Raymond twelve years later. It ceased being used as a church in 1889, when its congregation moved to the structure now on Main Street. The 1805 bell was transferred to the new home. The meeting house was unused for less than a year. It was purchased for $1,000 and converted into the town's first library and antiquarian society and known as Yarmouth Memorial Hall. It was donated to the town in 1910 and used for town meetings until 1946, at which point they were moved to the Log Cabin on Main Street. During World War II, the belfry was used an airplane-spotting outlook post in the Civil Defense System. Twelve townsfolk per day manned the tower in two-hour shifts. In 1946, the Village Improvement Society (founded in 1911) agreed to maintain the interior of the meeting house. In 2001, the town and the society restored the building, from its granite foundation to the barrel-vaulted ceiling. A non-denominational church service is held here during the town's Clam Festival.
The Church of the Nazarene on Route 1 became inactive in June 2012 and was demolished in the spring of 2015.
Yarmouth news is reported regularly in a number of different newspapers including the Portland Press Herald, The Notes, and The Falmouth Forecaster (Northern Edition).
Yarmouth Clam Festival
Established in 1965, the Yarmouth Clam Festival is an annual three-day event which takes place in the town during the third weekend in July, attracting around 120,000 people. The festival features a parade, food, carnival rides, crafts, a clam-shucking contest, a five-mile run, and a world-class bike race.
"Herbie" was an elm tree that stood by present-day East Main Street (Route 88), at its intersection with Yankee Drive, between 1793 and 2010. At 110 feet in height, it was, between 1997 and the date of its felling, the oldest and largest of its kind in New England. The tree, which partially stood in the front yard of a private residence, also had a 20-foot circumference and (until mid-2008) a 93-foot crown spread.
Frank Knight, Herbie's "warden", died in May 2012 at the age of 103. He looked after the tree for over fifty years. Frank Knight Forest, on East Main Street, was named in his honor.
- Charles Augustus Aiken, clergyman and academic
- F. Lee Bailey, lawyer in the O.J. Simpson murder trial
- Hanley Denning, founder of Safe Passage
- Leon Gorman, former president and current Chairman of the Board of L.L.Bean. He lived on Portland Street at the time of his death, aged 80, in 2015
- Pat LaMarche, Green Party politician
- James B. Longley, Jr., US congressman
- Eric Weinrich, former NHL defenseman
East Main Street (State Route 88) crossing the Royal River by Lower Falls' Grist Mill Park. Interstate 295 passes just out of view to the left, crossing the western edge of the town's harbor.
- "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 2013-07-06.
- Yarmouth Historical Society, via the Yarmouth/North Yarmouth Community Guide, Portland Press Herald, Summer 2007
- The First Falls - Yarmouth's town website
- Second Falls - Yarmouth's town website
- Third Falls - Yarmouth's town website
- Fourth Falls - Yarmouth's town website
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "Minor Civil Division Population Search Results". University of Maine. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Westcustogo Inn
- Maine's Historic Places, Frank Beard (1982)
- Yarmouth Historical Society: The National Register of Historic Places
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.6
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Hall, Alan M., Arcadia (2002)
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.23
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.10
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.11
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.19
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.12
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.16
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.17
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.15
- Kim, Susanna (October 24, 2012). "The Wealthiest Person in Each State". ABC News. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- Short, Kevin (July 31, 2014). "Here Is The Richest Person In Each State". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.15
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.37
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.38
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.39
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.39
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.43
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.44
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.41
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.42
- "Arsonist could get 20 years in prison" - Portland Press Herald, November 12, 2009
- "Arsonist to serve 11 years, pay $3.7M to businesses displaced in Yarmouth, York" - The Forecaster, November 12, 2009
- According to a plaque inside the store
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.26
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.33
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.32
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.31
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.30
- "New owners plan to transform Andy’s Handy Store in Yarmouth" - Portland Press Herald, December 16, 2014
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.21
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.27
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.24
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.25
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.21
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.25
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.8
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.36
- "The house that Reuben built" - Portland Press Herald, July 1, 2011
- DeLorme.com - "Eartha, The World’s Largest Revolving and Rotating Globe"
- "Is it time to unplug Wyman Station?" - Portland Press Herald, February 17, 2013
- U.S. News and World Report, Best High School Rankings, Yarmouth, Maine
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.16
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.20
- Travis Roy Arena at NYA.org
- Photo of the installation of the trolley track on Pleasant Street, Yarmouth
- "Derailed Trolleys, Yarmouth, ca. 1925" - Maine Memory Network
- "Transport by Trolley" - Yarmouth's town website
- "Pathway with a purpose in Yarmouth: Improvements continue 20 years after Beth Condon's death" - The Forecaster, August 7, 2013
- "Condon garden to be rededicated in Yarmouth" - The Forecaster, July 30, 2014
- "Yarmouth may finish pathway" - Portland Press Herald, August 15, 2011
- Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.28
- "Is there room in Yarmouth for a new church congregation?" - Bangor Daily News, April 23 2015
- "About the Weathervane" - Yarmouth Historical Society's website
- Our History - First Parish Congregational Church
- "Steeplejacks nail high spire act" - Portland Press Herald, September 22, 2011
- "Will elm trees make their way back?" - St. Joseph's College Magazine
- According to the plaque on its trunk.
- "Yarmouth braces for Herbie's demise" - Portland Press Herald, August 10, 2009
- The National Register of Big Trees: 2000-01
- "Frank Knight Dead: 'Herbie' The Elm Tree Caretaker Dies At 103" - Huffington Post, May 14, 2012
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
- F. Lee Bailey Story
- "Hanley Graham Denning" - Portland Press Herald, January 21, 2007
- "Pat LaMarche: Can’ t get no health care satisfaction" - Bangor Daily News, July 30, 2008
- Obituaries: Helen W. Longley - Bangor Daily News, September 25, 2008
- "Steve Solloway: Ex-player from Maine has felt the fury of a run for the Cup" - Portland Press Herald, June 23, 2013
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yarmouth, Maine.|
- Town of Yarmouth official website
- Maine Genealogy: Yarmouth, Cumberland County, Maine
- Yarmouth Historical Society and the Yarmouth History Center