Yarmouth, Maine

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Yarmouth, Maine
Town
Official seal of Yarmouth, Maine
Seal
Motto(s): Our Latchstring Always Out
Location in Cumberland County and the state of Maine
Location in Cumberland County and the state of Maine
Coordinates: 43°47′58″N 70°10′51″W / 43.79944°N 70.18083°W / 43.79944; -70.18083
CountryUnited States
StateMaine
CountyCumberland
Settled1636; 382 years ago (1636)
IncorporatedAugust 8, 1849; 169 years ago (1849-08-08)
VillagesYarmouth
Cousins Island
Littlejohn Island
Area[1]
 • Total22.94 sq mi (59.41 km2)
 • Land13.35 sq mi (34.58 km2)
 • Water9.59 sq mi (24.84 km2)
Elevation43 ft (13 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total8,349
 • Estimate (2014[3])8,509
 • Density625.4/sq mi (241.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code04096
Area code(s)207
FIPS code23-87845
GNIS feature ID0582831
Websiteyarmouth.me.us

Yarmouth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, located twelve miles north of the state's largest city, Portland. The town was settled in 1636 and incorporated in 1849. Its population was 8,349 in the 2010 census. As of 2015's estimation, this is about 0.6% of Maine's total population.

Yarmouth is part of the Portland–South Portland-Biddeford Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The town's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and its location on the banks of the Royal River, which empties into Casco Bay less than a mile away, means it is a prime location as a harbor. Ships were built in the harbor mainly between 1818 and the 1870s, at which point demand declined dramatically. Meanwhile, the Royal River's four waterfalls within Yarmouth, whose Main Street sits about 80 feet above sea level, resulted in the foundation of almost sixty mills between 1674 and 1931.

The annual Yarmouth Clam Festival attracts around 120,000 people (around fourteen times its population) over the course of the three-day weekend.

Today, Yarmouth is a popular dining destination, with (as of November 2018) thirteen sit-down restaurants. This equates to an average of one restaurant per square mile of land area.

The town is accessed via two exits (15 and 17) on each side of Interstate 295. U.S. Route 1 also passes through the town to the west of I-295.

It has been designated a Tree City USA community every year since 1979; 39 years ago (1979).

Geography[edit]

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%) is land and 9.59 square miles (24.84 km2) (42%) is water.[1]

Yarmouth is nearly square in form and is bisected by the Royal River (formerly Yarmouth 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

Waterfalls[edit]

The Royal River appealed to settlers because its four waterfalls and 45-foot rise within a mile of navigable water provided four potential waterpower sites. In October 1674, the first sawmill, of Englishman Henry Sayward (b. 1617, d. 1678) and Colonel Bartholomew Gedney (b. 1640, d. 1697),[4] was built on the eastern side of the First (or Lower) Falls, by present-day Route 88.[5][6] The Second Falls are just above the Sparhawk Mill, on Bridge Street;[7] the Third Falls are within the bounds of Royal River Park;[8] and the Fourth Falls, near the intersection of East Elm Street and Melissa Drive.[9]

Since 1674, 57 mills (grain, lumber, pulp and cotton) and several factories (paper production, shoe- and brick-making and an electric company) have stood on the banks of the river.

The First Falls[edit]

Lower Falls and the building which is now 1 Main Street, viewed from what is now Grist Mill Park

The Native Americans called the First Falls Pumgustuk, which means head of tide. (The town's early firefighters were called Pumgustuk Fire Company. Their eponymous pumper was purchased in 1856 and retired in 1928.)[10] In addition to the 1674 sawmill (which became Walter Gendall's Casco Mill in 1681),[11] 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 water turbines set in the fast-flowing river below. Between 1870 and 1885, it was the site of Ansel Lothrop Loring's second mill, named Yarmouth Flour Mill. His first mill, up at the Fourth Falls, burned down in 1870.

A circa-1870 view of Yarmouth harbor, taken from where Yankee Marina — off Lafayette Street — is now, looking directly north to the East Main Street bridge

In 1720, Gilbert Winslow erected a saw mill on Atwell's Creek (which became known colloquially as Folly Creek, due to this venture, which was expected to fail). The creek was "a considerable watercourse then"[11]; now, it is nothing more than a tidal inlet.

The first mill to go up on the western (Main Street hill) side of the river was Samuel Seabury & Jacob Mitchell's grist mill in 1729.[11]

The first bridge carrying East Main Street was erected, above the falls, in 1748. It was rebuilt in 1800 "below the dam."[11] By 1874, it 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 J.L. 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, at 1 Main Street, are F.M. Beck, C.A. White & Associates and Maine Environmental Laboratory.

The Second Falls[edit]

An old cotton mill, Sparhawk Mill, on Bridge Street, looking north-east. It is now home to several small businesses. The original structure was built in the 1840s but was rebuilt after a fire. The house opposite the mill stands on the site of the mill run by the Hawes and Cox brothers trio

A variety of mills have used power from the Second Falls. A cotton rag paper mill, run by Dorchester, Massachusetts, natives William Hawes and George and Henry Cox, operated on the falls (western) side of the bridge and the eastern side of the river from 1816 until 1821, at which point it was purchased by William Reed Stockbridge (b. 1782, d. 1850)[12] and Calvin Stockbridge (b. 1784, d. 1833), who successfully operated it for twenty years as W.R. & C. Stockbridge paper company.[13]

In 1836 it was incorporated as Yarmouth Paper Manufacturing Company, but when advancements in machinery and processes arrived, competition became too difficult and the mill closed. On its site, Philip Kimball later operated a mahogany mill.[11]

The first mill of note to stand where the current Sparhawk Mill looms large was North Yarmouth Manufacturing Company. It was founded in 1847 by Eleazer Burbank (b. 1793, d. 1867).[14][15] The mill produced cotton yarn and cloth. Built in 1840, the brick-made mill replaced a wooden mill dating to 1817.

In 1855, the top half of the mill was rebuilt after a fire, but also to accommodate the Royal River Manufacturing Company, which was incorporated in 1857. It 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. The mill was under the management of brothers Francis Orville Libby (b. 1814, d. 1873) and Hosea J. Libby (b. 1831, d. 1894) until Barnabas Freeman (b. 1814, d. 1894)[16] took over in 1869.[13] Two years later, Freeman joined forces with Lorenzo L. Shaw (b. 1825, d. 1907)[17][18] to start up a cotton mill. After Freeman retired in 1888, Shaw ran the mill on his own until his death in 1907, during which time the mill's tower was completed.[13]

An iron bridge was in place around 1900, replacing an earlier 1846 structure.

Mill workers' housing, Bridge Street

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.

In 1953, Yale Cordage,[19] owned by Oliver Sherman Yale (b. 1911, d. 1988),[20][21] 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 mill got its current name in the early 1950s, when Old Sparhawk Mills Company moved into the building from South Portland. The building is now owned by Sparhawk Group. While their headquarters are in the mill, they have regional offices in Faneuil Hall, Boston, and in New York City.

The mills electric turbines still function, having been revitalized in 1986.

The Third Falls[edit]

Forest Paper Company (left) and Camp Hammond (right), viewed from the top of the Meeting House on Hillside Street, looking east over Main Street's intersection with Elm Street
Forest Paper Company, looking northwest to Elm Street
An upstream view to the Third Falls
Remnants of mill foundations at the falls

The Third (or Baker) Falls were, by far, the most industrious of the four. The first buildings — Jeremiah Baker's 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. On the western side of the river was a scythe and axe factory owned by Joseph C. Batchelder (b. 1812, d. 1889).[22] Benjamin Gooch's (b. 1784, d. 1858)[23] fulling mill followed in 1830, but it later moved to the Fourth Falls.[11]

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. The original building burned in 1870. Two years later, a soda pulp mill — named C.D. Brown Paper Company[24] — was built, to which Samuel Dennis Warren (b. 1817, d. 1888)[25][26] and George Warren Hammond (b. 1833, d. 1908)[27] bought the rights in 1874 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 such 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 but several remnants of the building are still visible today.

The Fourth Falls[edit]

Also known as Upper Falls or Gooch's Falls.

An iron refinery, the Forest Forge, occupied a spot nearby as early as 1753. After its demise, a large double sawmill was built on the dam by a company composed of Gooches, Pratts, Sargents, Cutters and Bakers, which was a prosperous establishment for many years.[11]

Patches of snow still dotted the ground when 20-year-old Maren Madsen arrived by train at Yarmouth Junction in May 1892.

She had just returned from visiting family in her native Denmark. At the depot north of town, she set out walking along the tracks, suitcase in hand, her eyes locked on the smokestacks of the sprawling Forest Paper Co. mill complex on the Royal River.

Just above Fourth Falls, she crossed the narrow planks of the train trestle on her hands and knees, fearful of the deep water swirling below. She was eager to get back to work and see old friends.[28]

"That's what I was aiming for," Maren Madsen Christensen wrote in her memoir, From Jutland’s Brown Heather to the Land Across the Sea. Christensen died in 1965, aged about 93. She is buried in Yarmouth's Riverside Cemetery alongside her husband, Christian (b. 1869, d. 1936),[29] and two of their four children — son Einar (b. 1898, d. 1986)[30] and his wife Hulda (d. 1990)[31] and Gloria (d. 1904).[14] Another, daughter Marie, is buried in Walnut Hill Cemetery in North Yarmouth alongside her husband, Ernest Hayes Allen. Another daughter, Thora (b. 1901, d. 1981), married Sidney Maurice Hamilton. They are at rest in Evergreen Cemetery in Portland.

The Yarmouth History Center, run by Yarmouth Historical Society, is located beside the train trestle above, having moved from the third floor of the Merrill Memorial Library in 2013.[32]

Here at the northern end of the Royal River Park once stood Charles H. Weston's machine shop and foundry, which, from 1876 to 1892, manufactured equipment for cotton and woolen mills, turbine water wheels, steam engines and a wide variety of machinery for customers all over the world. (In 1887, Weston was one of the incorporators of Pumgustuk Water Company. This became Yarmouth Water Company in 1895, and Yarmouth Water District in 1923.)[33][34] The stone wall inside the History Center is original to the Water District building. A water tower with a tank capacity of a quarter of a million gallons was erected off West Elm Street. It was replaced in 1964 with a million-gallon standpipe.[34]

Later, a large building housed, in turn, a tannery, three shoe-manufacturing companies and a poultry-processing plant. These business took advantage of the Fourth Falls' water supply directly behind the building to provide power.

Joseph Hodsdon (b. 1836, d. 1901)[35] arrived in Yarmouth in 1880 and took over the Farris tannery. Hodsdon Brothers & Company (1880–1901) made ladies' and misses' boots and shoes. The Sportocasin Company occupied it between 1923 and 1927. Fifty employees made shoes with completely twistable soles to follow a golfer's foot in any direction. The company was later bought by the Morrison and Bennett Shoe Company and reorganized as the Abbott Company. That company manufactured the ski shoes used on Commander Richard E. Byrd's first Antarctic expedition.[13]

Glick Brothers Poultry Processing Plant began in 1940. In 1952, it was the largest employer in Yarmouth, having sixty people on its payroll.[13] The business closed in 1965.[13]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18502,144
18602,027−5.5%
18701,872−7.6%
18802,0218.0%
18902,0983.8%
19002,2748.4%
19102,3583.7%
19202,216−6.0%
19302,125−4.1%
19402,2144.2%
19502,66920.6%
19603,51731.8%
19704,85438.0%
19806,58535.7%
19907,86219.4%
20008,3606.3%
20108,349−0.1%
Est. 20148,509[3]1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[36]
Raymond H. Fogler Library[37]
2012 Estimate[38]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] 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.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[39] 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.

History[edit]

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 existed in the area,[5] largely because of the natural features of the coastal land. Rivers provided several resources, including food, fertile soil, power for the mills and the navigability between the inland areas and the ocean.[40]

In 1640, a 39-year-old Englishman, George Felt (b. 1601, d. 1693), who emigrated to Malden, Massachusetts, seven years earlier, purchased 300 acres of land at Broad Cove from John Phillips (b. 1607, d. c. 1667), a Welshman, and in 1643 became one of the first European settlers in Yarmouth. He went back to his native Charlestown, Massachusetts, to sell his property there, before returning to Broad Cove around 1660. In 1670 he bought 2,000 more acres of land from Phillips.

Felt was married to Elizabeth, with whom he had six children: Elizabeth (b. circa 1635), George (b. 1638, d. 1676), Mary (b. circa 1639), Moses (b. 1641), Aaron and another Moses (b. circa 1651). In 1684, Felt moved back to Massachusetts. He returned briefly, after 1678, when he was around 80 years old.

In 1646, Englishman William Royall (b. circa 1595, d. 1676) purchased a farm at what is now the upscale Lambert Point, next to Redding Creek, at the southern tip of Lambert Road, where he lived with his wife, Phoebe Green. The Royal River has ever-since borne his name, minus the second L, though two streets off Gilman Road — Royall Meadow Road and Royall Point Road — carry the original spelling. 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.[41] (The building remains but it is now occupied by another business.) Royall moved to Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1675, a year before his death. John Cousins (b. circa 1596, d. 1682) 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.

By 1676, approximately sixty-five people lived in Westcustogo. Soon after, however, conflicts forged by King Philip's War caused them to abandon their homes and move south.[5] John Cousins was injured and went to York, Maine, to receive treatment. There, he lived with Mary Saywood, to whom he later deeded his real estate in Casco Bay.[11]

Also in 1676, George Felt Jr. was killed on Peaks Island during the conflicts.[42][43][44] Felt's wife, Philippe, moved to Salem, Massachusetts, where she married twice before her death in 1709.

Some settlers returned to their dwellings in 1679, and within twelve months the region became incorporated as North Yarmouth, the eighth town of the province of Maine.[11]

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 Royal River rushing by the mill en route to the First Falls

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. The mills at the First Falls were rebuilt first.[11]

In 1722, a "Committee for the Resettlement of North Yarmouth" was formed in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1725, Massachusetts natives William (b. 1682) and Matthew Scales (b. 1685)[45] were killed. Joseph Felt (b. circa 1677) also perished. His wife, Sarah, and children were taken into captivity for five years. One of the captors remarked to Felt's widow: "Husband much tough man! Shot good many times, no die! Take scalp off alive; then take knife and cut neck long 'round."[46] Joseph Felt's daughter and George Felt's great-granddaughter, Sarah (b. 1701, d. 1768),[47] married in 1720 Captain Peter Weare (b. 1695, d. 1743), who recovered the family in some woods near Quebec. He later drowned while crossing the river near his home. The captain's son and Joseph Felt's grandson, Joseph Weare (b. 1737, d. 1774),[48] became a noted scout, pursuing the Native Americans at every opportunity.

Up until 1756, the Indians were again very troublesome:

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 35-year-old Philip Greely (b. 1711),[49] whose barking dog blew their cover.[11]

Joseph Burnell was the only inhabitant of the town to be killed at the hands of the Indians in 1751. He had been on horseback near the Presumpscot River falls when he was ambushed and shot. He was found scalped, with his steed lying nearby, having been shot four times.[11]

In June 1748, a large party of Indians surprised four people near the Ledge meeting house. They killed the elderly Ebenezer Eaton.[11]

Information board about the massacre, erected by Freeport Historical Society, on Flying Point Road, near its intersection with Lower Flying Point Road

In 1756, Indians attacked the Means family, who lived at Flying Point. The family consisted of Thomas (b. 1722),[50] his wife Alice (b. 1728, d. 1807),[51] daughters Alice (b. 1752, d. 1822)[52] and Jane,[53] an infant son, Robert,[54] and Molly Finney, sister of the patriarch and aged about sixteen. The family was dragged out of their home. Thomas was shot and scalped. Mother and baby ran back into the house and barricaded the door. One of the attackers shot through a hole in the wall, killing the infant and puncturing his mother's breast. John Martin, who had been sleeping in another room, fired at them, causing them to flee. They took with them Molly, whom they made follow them through the woods to Canada. Upon her arrival in Quebec, she was sold as a slave. A few months later, Captain William McLellan, of Falmouth, was in Quebec in charge of a group of prisoners for exchange. He had known Molly before her capture and secretly arranged for her escape. He came below her window and threw her a rope which she slid down. McLellan brought her back to Falmouth on his vessel. They married shortly afterwards.[11][55] Alice remarried, to Colonel George Rogers (b. 1729, d. 1780). Thomas is interred in Freeport's First Parish Cemetery, alongside his son. His wife is buried with her second husband in Flying Point Cemetery. His daughter, Alice, is buried at Old Harpswell Common Burying Ground, alongside her husband, Clement Skolfield (b. 1740, d. 1796), whom she married in 1773.

The Means massacre was the last act of resistance by the indigenous people to occur within the limits of the town.[11]

Once resettlement began, in 1727, the town's population began to grow rapidly. A proprietors' map was drawn up. It surveyed land divisions made with 103 original proprietors, each with a home lot of ten acres. If this lot was occupied and improved, the settler was permitted to apply for larger after-divisions.

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 at the northwestern corner of the Princes Point Road intersection.

North Yarmouth held its first town meeting on May 14, 1733.

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.[5]

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 (Brickyard Hollow, as it was known). Among the new proprietors at the time were descendants of the Plymouth Pilgrims.

Looking west toward Main Street's Route 1 overpass and Brickyard Hollow. The future of the overpass became a subject of discussion in 2014. It was torn down in late 2017; the expected completion date of its reconstruction is December 2019[56]
Wooden plaques provided by the Yarmouth Village Improvement Society adorn more than 100 notable buildings in the town. Blanchard moved from this residence, today within the confines of NYA, to 317 Main Street in 1855

The Yarmouth Village Improvement Society has added wooden plaques to over 100 notable buildings in town. These include:[57][58]

  • Cushing (b. 1745, d. 1827)[14] and Hannah (b. 1752, d. 1843)[14] 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 Mitchell (d. "suddenly" in 1823, aged about 61)[59] and Eleazer Burbank. Eleazer married Sophronia Burbank (née Ricker; b. 1805, d. 1896).[60] Their son, Doctor Augustus Hannibal Burbank (b. 1823, d. 1895),[61][62] was treasurer of Yarmouth Aqueduct Company.[63] He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1843 and studied medicine at Harvard University. He received his MD in 1847. He returned to Yarmouth and entered general practice. He married Elizabeth Richardson Banks, who died in 1869. (Their infant daughter died in 1873.) Two years later, he married Alice Noyes Thompson (b. 1848, d. 1938).[64] Three years after Augustus died, Alice, in turn, re-married, to Charles Torrey. He died in 1918 while they were living in Plymouth, Massachusetts, after which Alice returned to Yarmouth, where she died twenty years later, aged about 90. She is buried alongside her first husband in Riverside Cemetery.[65] Augustus was an early president of North Yarmouth Academy, while Charles Chesley Springer was a principal; their friendship resulted in the two families sharing a plot at Riverside Cemetery
  • 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 (b. 1778, d. 1858),[14] 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[66]
  • 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
A circa 1890 photo of Camp Hammond, with the stacks of Forest Paper Company in the background. Pictured on Main Street with their bicycles are Harry Storer and J. Carswell Lane.

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 or hollow walls. This so-called mill-built construction was used largely for fire prevention.[57] It was built by George Warren Hammond. Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in New York, designed the landscape for the exterior.[13]

A "grasshopper plague" arrived in 1822, which resulted in the loss of wheat and corn crops.[11]

Around 1847, the Old Ledge School was moved from Gilman Road to today's Route 88, at the foot of the hill where the West Side Trail crosses the road. A 1975 replica now stands just beyond the brick schools on West Main Street.

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.[5]

In 1849 there were nine districts in Yarmouth, designated by numbers: Number One: (Cousins) Island; Number Two: Ledge; Number Three: (Lower) Falls; Number Four: Corner; Number Five: (Princes) Point; Number Six: Greely Road; Number Seven: Pratt; Number Eight: Sweetser; and Number Nine: East (Main). By 1874, however, efforts were made to abolish this setup due its being seen as "unfair" in terms of fund distribution.[11]

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.[5]

Maritime activities were important from the beginning of the third settlement. Almost three hundred vessels were launched by Yarmouth's shipyards in the century between 1790 and 1890.[67] 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. Four major shipyards built vessels during this period. On the western side of the river, Henry Hutchins (b. 1819, d. 1889) and Edward J. Stubbs (b. 1833, d. 1887) operated from 1851 to 1884. Sylvanus Blanchard (b. 1778, d. 1858)[68] and his three sons, Perez (b. 1815, d. 1883),[69] Paul, and Sylvanus Cushing (b. 1811, d. 1888),[70] owned the Blanchard Brothers shipyard on Union Wharf.[71] Lyman Fessenden Walker's shipyard launched forty vessels of all sizes. (Walker lived in the brick building at 51 Pleasant Street.)[13] On the eastern side of the river, Giles Loring (b. 1813, d. 1893)[72] had a shipyard. It was here that the final large sailing vessel was built, in 1890.[5] Today, there are just two boatyards, one on either side of Lower Falls Landing: Yarmouth Boatyard (formerly Union Wharf; established in 1948; located almost beneath the northbound lanes of Interstate 295) and Yankee Marina (established in 1964; whose entrance is near the crest of the Route 88 hill).

Several people pertinent to the shipbuilding industry lived on Pleasant Street, including Captain William Gooding (b. 1856, d. 1936)[73] and his brother, Henry (b. 1845, d. 1883),[74] who died after accidentally shooting himself during a hunting excursion. He was 37.

In 1887, a fire started in the dry grass south of Grand Trunk Station by a spark from a passing train. Fanned by a strong wind, it spread rapidly into the woods and up over the ledge. Two hundred acres were burned, and the fire was only stopped because it reached the waters of Broad Cove.[11]

Yarmouth's "town system"[11] went into effect in April 1889. Three of the former districts were discontinued because they were small and had dilapidated buildings. These were Princes Point, Greely Road and the Sweetser district – the last of which was on the Sodom Road (now Granite Street) and the Freeport line.[11]

Electricity came to Yarmouth in 1893.[13]

Another, more menacing fire occurred in April 1900 when the corn-canning factory of Asa York (b. 1840, d. 1913)[75] caught from a spark blown from the stack of the Walker & Cleaves sawmill. A strong southerly breeze carried the sparks directly across the most thickly-settled part of town, causing small fires in various places so that over twenty buildings were burning concurrently.[11]

In 1918, the Spanish flu hit town in two waves, resulting in 370 cases and 14 deaths.[13]

In 1949, Yarmouth celebrated its centenary with a parade.[76]

Rapid growth was experienced again around 1948 when Route 1 was put through the town. Two years later, there were 2,699 inhabitants of the town. Interstate 295 was built through the harbor in 1961 (spanning part of the harbor known as Grantville[77] across to the land between Route 88 and Old Shipyard Road), 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[edit]

Lower Falls[edit]

An early barber shop and (in the left side of the same building) what became George Soule's ice cream shop and pool hall. Vining's deli is beside it to the east. This is around where the building at 82 Main Street now stands, just short of Staples Hill, where the East Main Street and Marina Road split occurs
Goffs hardware store, at the eastern end of Main Street (Route 115), closed in 2015 after 46 years in business
The intersection of Main and Portland Streets, looking west. The site of Susan Kinghorn's millinery is now a Rosemont Market & Bakery. The steeple belongs to the First Parish Congregational Church

19th- and 20th-century business that existed on Main Street in Yarmouth's Lower Falls (also Falls Village or The Falls) section included (roughly from east to west):[67]

  • W.N. Richards & Co. (owned by William Richards (b. 1819, d. 1892));[78] later Vining's delicatessen and, beside it to the west, George Soule's ice cream shop and pool hall (across from present-day Svetlana)
  • The current 90 Main Street: Barbour's hardware store; later Goffs hardware, 1969–2015)
  • Manley E. Bishop's (b. 1875, d. 1964)[79] grocery store stood to the east of the present-day Goffs building
  • Englishman James Parsons' grocery store, "a two-story building standing on the lot adjoining that where stood for so many years the little old post office".[24] Parsons, who arrived in town around 1860,[67] married the daughter of Jeremiah Baker Sr. It was here that "dignified citizens like Doctor Bates, L.L. Shaw and Barnabas Freeman often assembled for an evening's chat"[24]
  • Post office. The first postmaster was Payne Elwell in 1793. (He lived in the home that now stands on the former site of the Knights of Pythias Hall.) He was succeeded in 1803 by Samuel P. Russell, David Drinkwater in 1804, John Hale in 1810, Daniel Mitchell in 1816, James C. Hill (b. 1792, d. 1864)[80] in 1834, Jacob Gray Loring (b. 1800, d. 1856)[81] in 1842 and Reuben Cutter (b. 1800, d. 1864)[82] in 1845. When the town split occurred, the office name was changed in 1852 to Yarmouth from North Yarmouth. Reuben Cutter resumed the role, and was followed by Otis Briggs Pratt in 1861 and Nicholas Drinkwater in 1866. Lucy V. Groves was appointed in 1868, becoming the first woman named or elected to an official position in the town of Yarmouth. Lucy Q. Cutter (b. 1844, d. 1904)[83] succeeded her in 1887, Melville C. Merrill in 1898, Frank Howard Drinkwater (b. 1877, d. 1976)[84] in 1911, Frank O. Wellcome (b. 1862, d. 1943)[85] in 1914 and Ernest C. Libby in 1936.[11]
  • Cornelius Shaw's Cash Market (1899). Shaw lived from 1864 to 1939[86]
  • Today's 91 Main Street: Captain Thomas Chase Store; later Leon Doughty's (b. 1862, d. 1925)[87] stove and hardware store, L.A. Doughty & Co. (1895–1929); now Snip 'N Clip Hair Designs, still with the windows that were installed in 1932). Doughty later moved across the street, into the building later occupied by L.R. Doherty's hardware store, Barbour's and Goffs, when his business expanded
  • William Freeman's hairdressing salon (located above Doughty's before its move)
  • Cyrus Curtis' Saturday Evening Post publishers
  • The millinery shop of Susan Kinghorn (b. 1883, d. 1956)[88] (located at the eastern corner of Main and Portland Streets in the building now occupied by Rosemont Market); between 1942 and 1953 [Harold B.] Allen's Variety Store, then Daken's, Romie's, Lindahl's, Donatelli's Pizza, Denucci's Pizza (briefly) and Connor's
Originally (c. 1850) Rufus York's general store, this brick building, at 108 Main Street, is now home to Runge's Oriental Rugs
  • Elder Rufus York's (b. 1820, d. 1894)[89] 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 Hutchinson Rowe's, then Melville Merrill's (b. 1834, d. 1911), then Frank W. Bucknam's (b. 1869, d. 1942)[90] Pharmacy (1894–1900). Bucknam was appointed as Maine's Commissioner of Pharmacy in 1906. He entered the drug business as an apprentice with Leone R. Cook. After running his own store for six years, he purchased a store in Skowhegan. His new business was destroyed by fire in 1904, but he was back in business in a temporary store within 36 hours. He eventually found a new home beneath the Oxford Hotel at 78 Water Street. This building too burned down, in 1908.[91][92] The Yarmouth building became Roger 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)

In 1874, the Lower Falls near the harbor was crowded with the homes of sea captains, merchants and shipbuilders.[93]

In 1903, the post office established a route around town for the rural free delivery of mail. Hired was Joshua Adams Drinkwater (b. 1860, d. 1951)[94] 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, Harriet (b. 1856, d. 1929).[95][96] They had a daughter, Elizabeth (b. 1902, d. 1977).[97] 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;[98] it now stands behind the Merrill Memorial Library.

The parsonage for the Universalist church was the building now occupied by Plumb-It, to the east of Snip 'N Clip.[99] On the other side of the Universalist church, just to the east of where Old Sloop (later known as Union Hall) once stood, is a house that was formerly the home of Edward J. Stubbs, one of Yarmouth's most prolific and successful shipbuilders.[100]

Lyman Walker (b. 1814, d. 1906) and his son, Lyman Fessenden Walker (b. 1832, d. 1920), owned a general wood and coal business in the lower village.[101]

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. Woods sold the building to Paul Blanchard in 1853. It was torn down in 1930. 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.[102]

In an 1875 photograph of the northern end of Portland Street, with the Universalist church in the background, Englishman Captain Henry Newton's (b. 1816, d. 1873) house is visible on the right.[103] Dr. William Parsons (b. circa 1777, d. 1811)[104] and Gad Hitchcock (b. 1820, d. 1896)[105] previously lived there. Leon Gorman (b. 1934, d. 2015),[106] the grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, also lived here until his death at the age of 80. 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.[107][108]

Halfway along this northern section of Portland Street is a three-story Federal-style building that was once a tavern, built, around 1810, by Colonel Seth Mitchell (b. 1770). Early in the 20th century, Ralph Redfern (b 1877, d. 1942)[109] used the property for a dairy that became known as Old Tavern Farm.[103]

A video of a drive, filmed in 2018, from the northern end of Portland Street to Lower Falls can be viewed here.

Brickyard Hollow[edit]

Brickyard Hollow, before it was filled in. Photo taken from where the Route 1 overpass is today, looking northwest

The section of town between the Upper Village and Lower Falls was known as Brickyard Hollow, named for the brick-making business that was located across the street from the Masonic Hall (now the restaurant Gather), which was built in the 1870s.

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.[110]

This house, at 261 Main Street, was built in 1879 as the home of Sylvanus Cushing Blanchard. Camp Hammond is visible in the background on the left. The carriage house on the right is now the parking lot of InterMed

In 1879, the building at 261 Main Street (across from Hancock Lumber) was built for Sylvanus Cushing Blanchard. Later owners of the house include Joseph Hodsdon, proprietor of Hodsdon Shoe Company, and Doctor Fiore Agesilao Parisi (d. 1965).

In 1890, Yarmouth built a large new school building on the site of the present, 1975-built town hall and police station. Grades 5 to 8 were on the first floor; the high school occupied the upper level.[111] 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.[111]

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 (during which 106 Yarmouth residents served),[13] 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.[112]

Brickyard Hollow, around where the town hall now stands, looking east towards NYA

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.[113] It is the building now occupied by InSight Eyecare on the InterMed campus.

In 1903, Joseph Edward Merrill (b. 1832, d. 1909)[114] donated the funds to build a new library. The architect was Alexander Longfellow, a nephew of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Also involved in the library's construction was John Coombs, father of George and Albert. Despite the occasional flood, town offices were eventually established in the library's basement.[115] 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 — 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.[116]

In 1929, a new centralized post office was built to the east of the present-day Anderson-Mayberry American Legion Hall (named for servicemen Edgar Anderson (b. 1891, d. 1918)[117] and Edwin Mayberry (b. 1895, d. 1918),[118] who died from the Spanish flu while based at Fort Devens).[67] On the left side of this building was the Fidelity Trust Company. The bank failed early in the Great Depression of the 1930s.[119] To the east of the post office stood the Knights of Pythias Hall.[119] It became the Pastime Theatre in the 1920s, then Yarmouth Theatre between 1942 and 1956. 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.

During the middle of the 20th century, in the plaza across Cleaves Street that formerly housed a 7-Eleven and, until 2017, Anthony's Dry Cleaners & Laundromat was the Dairy Joy ice-creamery, in front, and the Korner Kitchen (formerly the Snack Shack) behind it.

Across the street, at the intersection of Main and School Streets (in the building filled by People's United Bank), the post office occupied its final location before its move to Forest Falls Drive.

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.[120] 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.[121] The building was replaced in 2008 and several businesses have moved in.

Upper Village[edit]

Andy's Handy Store, at the corner of Main and East Elm Streets in the Upper Village, looking east from Latchstring Park in 2008. Known locally as Handy Andy's, it was the location of the first phone call between Yarmouth and Portland[122]
The same view in 1947

In contrast to today, people who lived near "the Corner" of Elm and Main Streets 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 on its southern side, clustered between the Catholic and Baptist churches.[123] The Daniel Wallis house at 330 Main Street, for example, was built around 1810.[123] Around the middle of the 19th century, Captain Cushing Prince, Jr. (b. 1786, d. 1869)[14] moved here from his historic house on Greely Road.[123]

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):

This brick building, built in 1862 by Samuel Fogg and Ansel Loring, used to house (from left to right) Marston's dry goods store and Leone R. Cook's apothecary
The southern side of Main Street, looking southeast from Main and East Elm Streets. The building on the right, formerly Samuel True York's grocery store, no longer exists
A 1947 view
A 2018 view
East Elm Street, from its junction with Main Street. The horse trough in view here now stands at the intersection of Main and Center Streets
  • In the mid-to-late 1870s, diagonally across from where Handy Andy's now is, was Jeremiah Mitchell's "Temperance House"[124] tavern. Mitchell died in 1869, aged about 31. The inn's location later became the site of Wilfred W. Dunn's (b. 1861, d. 1955)[125] house, then, between 1959 and 1972, Norton's Texaco gas station. It is now Latchstring Park[126]
  • After his death in 1811, the family of Dr. William Parsons moved into a colonial home, built around 1790 by its first occupant, Ebenezer ("Uncle Eben") Corliss (b. 1764, d. 1853),[127] where the single-story building now stands at the corner of Main and West Elm Streets. The house was torn down in 1950.[128] The existing building, at 366, although since widened, formerly housed a pool hall, then Harriman's IGA Foodliner
  • Sam York's (b. 1863, d. 1922)[129] grocery store (located to the east of the Parsons residence in the late 1800s; both now gone)[128]
  • Edgar Read Smith's (b. 1863, d. 1925) grocery store, which became Turner's Television sales and service business
  • Adelaide Abbott's (b. 1875, d. 1913)[130] millinery shop (located to the east of York's)[128]
  • Post office (located to the east of Abbott's),[128] opened in May 1882. Its first postmistress was W.L. Haskell, followed by Joseph Raynes (b. 1843, d. 1939)[131] in 1886. He remained in the position for 28 years, leaving the post in 1914 to Beecher True Lane (b. 1878, d. 1960).[132] Anna Tibbetts Douglass (b. 1881, d. 1933)[133] followed in 1919. This branch was closed in 1928, and a village carrier system began at the central office[11]
  • George H. Jefferd's harness shop (located to the east of the post office)[128]
  • Isaac Johnson's barbershop (located above Jefferd's)[128]
  • At the corner of Main and East Elm Streets stood a nail mill in 1807. (East Elm Street was known for a period as Mill Street, before today's incarnation was given its name.) In 1891, what was then Nathaniel Foster's (b. 1781, d. 1853)[134] pottery was torn down, after about fifty years in existence, 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.[135]
  • John Ambrose Griffin's (b. 1838, d. 1905)[136] hardware store[137]
  • Joel Brooks' (b. 1799, d. 1874)[138] pottery (today's 40 East Elm Street, which was then named Gooches' Lane), was in business between 1851 and 1888
  • Andy's Handy Store – named for original proprietor, Leland "Andy" Anderson (b. 1904, d. 1987).[139] In 1935, Anderson combined the two wooden buildings of Griffin's and an adjacent grocery store (which sold produce "at Portland prices").[137] Now named "Handy's", it became occupied by OTTO Pizza in 2014[140]
  • William Marston's dry goods store (founded in 1859; closed circa 1968)[141]
  • Located next door to Marston's was Leone R. Cook's apothecary, where Frank Bucknam was an apprentice[141]
  • Harold Roy "Snap" (b. 1892, d. 1971)[142] (and his father, Clarence "Pop", b. 1869, d. 1960)[143] Moxcey's barbershop was located at the corner of Main and Center Streets, across from the Baptist church[144] Ernest C. Libby (b. 1879, d. 1946) was an employee with the Moxceys for thirteen years before opening his own barber shop on Center Street
  • To the right of the barbershop was Claude Kingsley's (b. 1889, d. 1974) candy distribution business
  • Larry's Barber Shop appeared on Center Street later
  • 20 Center Street is the home of Winslow Station, which served as the town's only fire station from 1953 until the mid-1990s. The building, which was constructed in 1930, is dedicated to Carl H. Winslow, who was the fire chief for forty years[145]
  • Another barber shop, beside the Baptist church, was owned by Charlie Reinsborough (b. 1909, d. 1993)[14]
  • Doctor Nat Barker (b. 1878, d. 1967)[146] and his wife, Catherine (b. 1890, d. 1977),[147] lived on the corner of South Street in the 1930s and 1940s[144]
  • Coombs Bros. (Albert, b. 1866, d. 1953,[148] and George, b. 1856, d. 1923)[149][14] candy and grocery store (located in the building between Railroad Crossing and South Street in a different construction than what is standing today). Bert set up the town's telephone service in 1895.[13] In 1909, he established a Ford dealership on South Street,[76] which was laid out in 1848 as part of Yarmouth's first modern housing development.[150] Farm land was given over to house lots and sold to merchants and sea captains, such as Ansel Loring and Perez Blanchard.[14][150] Frederick Gore (d. 1930),[14] 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 (d. 1939).[14][150] Elmer Ring's (b. 1906, d. 1995)[151][14] "washerette" later stood in the Coombs location, and it was he who changed the roofline and façade of the building (he also ran a hardware store, a heating and plumbing service, and a coal yard). His brother was Norman Ring (b. 1909, d. 2003)[152]
  • Captain Eben York's (b. 1874, d. 1944)[153][14] 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[154]
  • Where Peachy's Smoothie Cafe stands today at 301 Main Street was, from 1905 until 1913, Bernstein's Department Store. Robert Bernstein, born in Germany, saw his business burn down in July 1913[13]
  • 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 (b. ca 1791, d. 1859; he previously lived at what is now 35 East Main Street, overlooking his shipyard). It was the first of several name changes, including Royal River Hotel (when owned by O.E. Lowell in the late 19th century),[101] U.S. House, Westcustogo House and Yarmouth Hotel.[13] The expected tourists never materialized, and the hotel burned down in 1926[141] Grange Hall stood behind the hotel. Lowell Hall was in the second story of the stable
  • J.O. Durgan's daguerreotype salon (located just to the east of the hotel; later Gad Hitchcock's coffin and casket showroom)
  • Alson Brawn's (b. 1896, d. 1993)[155] jewelry shop (at what was then 73 Main Street; formerly Sidney Bennett's (b. 1847, d. 1901)[156] Yarmouth Market, now Hancock Lumber)[144]

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.[141] Like almost all of Yarmouth's elms, it became afflicted by Dutch elm disease and was cut down in 1980.[141]

A hospital, run by Mrs Gilbert, was on the site now occupied by Coastal Manor nursing home on West Main Street.

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 and why it was also known as the "Portland road" (also, during a period, Chapel Street). A large barn was built beside Mitchell's tavern to house horses.[126] The house of Richmond Cutter (d. 1857)[14] still stands at the southern corner of Church and West Elm Streets.[126]

Two doors further south 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.[126] 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.[154]

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.[157]

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.[158]

Further out on West Main Street is an imposing Italianate mansion that was built for Captain Reuben Merrill (b. 1818, d. 1875) in 1858.[158] Merrill, who was married to Hannah Elizabeth Blanchard (b. 1822) and had four children, was killed while aboard his clipper Champlain when it ran aground near the Farallon Islands, San Francisco.[158] 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 (b. 1849), 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.[159]

A video of a drive, filmed in 2018, from West Elm Street to Lower Village can be viewed here.

Broad Cove[edit]

Headstone of Reverend Tristram Gilman, located near the southern entrance to the Ledge Cemetery

The area surrounding Broad Cove, at Yarmouth's southern extremity, contains several historic homes amongst newer builds. Gilman Road, which was laid out in 1780 to give access to Larrabee's Landing, is named for the Reverend Tristram Gilman (b. 1735, d. 1809),[160][161] a New Hampshire native who was the fourth pastor of the nearby Old Ledge Church for forty years – from 1769 until his death. He was the original 1771 occupant of the Gilman Manse house at 463 Lafayette Street, later the home of Merrill Haskell (b. 1834, d. 1885).[162]

Captain Francis E. Young (b. 1829, d. 1856)[163] lived between the two cemeteries. He is buried in the Ledge Cemetery.

The garrison number 60, built circa 1730 and directly opposite the Pioneer Cemetery, was the former home of the Ledge Church's first minister, Reverend Ammi Ruhamah Cutter (b. 1705, d. 1746).[164] (Cutter was succeeded in the role by Englishman Nicholas Loring (b. 1711, d. 1763), who is buried in the Ledge cemetery.) Perez B. Loring (b. 1811, d. 1889)[165] lived there in the mid-19th century. For the second half of the 20th century, it was home to Charles and Anita Stickney, who purchased it from Henry P. Frank.[11] Charles Stickney bought his father's company, Deering Ice Cream, in 1956. It had twenty locations in three states in its peak years.[166] He died in 2008 at the age of 89; Anita died eight years later, aged 90.[167]

Moving east, crossing Princes Point Road, eight historic homes exist in the stretch leading up to Cousins Island. The first house on the left (number 146) is formerly that of Captain Joseph Drinkwater (b. 1802, d. 1867)[168] and his wife, Anna (b. 1805, d. 1892).[169] Next, on the right, is 161, once the home of Samuel Allen Prince (b. 1820, d. 1907).[170] Further down, on the left at 210, opposite the entrance to the Fels-Groves Preserve, is a circa-1817 brick house once inhabited by Captain Reuben Prince (b. 1792, d. 1870) and his wife, Deborah Prince (nee Drinkwater; b. 1794, d. 1878), the parents of neighbor Samuel Allen. Upon Reuben's death, the house passed to his son, Harlan (b. 1837, d. 1899),[171] and remained in his family until his death. Arthur and Josie Fels bought the homestead in 1907.

Larrabee's Landing[edit]

Three homes exist around the Gilman and Larrabee's Landing Road triangle. First, an 1817-built house on the left, is formerly that of Mrs. Drinkwater. Next, beyond Burbank Lane, at 38 Larrabee's Landing Road, is the former home of Mrs. Bucknam. The original part of the house dates from 1835 and is believed to have been expanded by William Bucknam (b. 1844, d. 1914)[172] for his mother. It later became the home of New Hampshire natives Nelson (b. 1863, d. 1937)[173] and Fannie Burbank (b. 1874, d. 1927),[174] for whom Burbank Lane was built. They owned and operated Burbank Farm from 1913 to 1936. The house of Charles Bucknam (b. 1813, d. 1884)[175] is the final home before Royall Point Road.

The only house originally on Royall Point Road was the farmhouse at the current number 70. Nearby was where Captain Walter Gendall (d. 1688),[176] an Englishman,[11] was shot while taking supplies to his troops building a fort on the eastern side of the river. There was a wharf which served the farm.

At the end of Barn Road, which is off Highland Farms Road (formerly Vaill Point Road), is Parker Point's (formerly Mann's Point), named for Yarmouth's first inn owner, James Parker (b. 1689, d. 1732).[177][178] This was home to one of the garrisons set up to protect against Native Indian attacks.

Princes Point[edit]

The 1831-built home at 420 Princes Point Road, a couple of hundred yards before the Morton Road intersection, is the former residence of Captain Nicholas Drinkwater, Sr. (b. 1794, d. 1847).[179]

Mrs. Snell lived at the southeastern corner of the Old Town Landing Road and Morton Road intersection. Morton Road is named for Harry Newbert Morton (b. 1896, d. 1985),[180] who built the first house on the street.[181] Morton, a lobsterman, moved to Yarmouth in 1929 and remained there until his death at the age of 89.

A 1944 map shows Bucknam Point Road and the unnamed road slightly to the west that Umpire Way connects to. These are both off Morton Road.[182]

In the early 1880s, Princes Point began to develop as a summer colony. For several years it had become a favorite camping spot for the villagers and the inhabitants of the inland parts of the town who came here for clam bakes and picnics. The town road ended at the John Drinkwater (b. 1795, d. 1864)[183] barn, and here a large gate opened into the pasture which included the two points now known as Princes and Sunset Points. Captain Rotheus Drinkwater (b. 1791, d. 1866)[184] also had a home a stone's throw away. Captain John Cleaves (b. 1843, d. 1908)[185] fenced off a spot on his farm, at today's number 581, for the same purpose.[11]

The first cottage was built in 1884. It was later known as Battery Point Cottage. Others soon built nearby, including Doctor Herbert A. Merrill, Leone R. Cook, George H. Jefferds, Thomas and Nellie Johnston and Wilfred W. Dunn. The first to take up a lot on the western promontory now known as Sunset Point was Samuel O. Carruthers.[11]

In 1894 a wharf was built, and the steamer Madeline made two trips daily from Portland, stopping off at the Cumberland and Falmouth Foresides. The short-lived electric railroad running the same route forced the discontinuation of the service.[11]

In 1899, a four-story hotel of about thirty rooms, named Gem of the Bay, was built on Princes Point by Cornelius Harris (b. 1846, d. 1920).[186][11] It was destroyed by fire in October 1900 after two seasons in business.[13]

Drinkwater Point[edit]

Named for Captain Theophilus Drinkwater (b. 1792, d. 1872),[187] whose house stood at the southern end of the road bearing his name. Captain James Munroe Bucknam's (b. 1818, d. 1905)[188] 115-acre farm[189] extended west to where Bucknam Point Road is today.

Seaborne Drive and Channel Point Road appeared on a 1944 map of the town, as did the Homewood Inn development,[182] which attracted guests from 1912 to 1992.[67]

Coves[edit]
  • White's Cove (north of Cousins Island's Snodgrass Bridge). Named for Nicholas White,[11] the cove was once the home of Captain Frank L. Oakes (b. 1850, d. 1912)[190][101]
  • Broad Cove (from west of Sunset Point due east to Route 88)

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

Twelve properties in Yarmouth are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[58] The oldest (the Cushing and Hannah Prince House) dates from 1785; the "newest" (the Grand Trunk Railway Station) was built in 1906, replacing a structure built in 1848. They are ranked in chronological order below:

Economy[edit]

A Yarmouth-themed poster on display at the town's Merrill Memorial Library in 2018

Yarmouth is home to DeLorme, the large map-making company, with its headquarters, located on Route 1 to the north of the town, housing the world's largest revolving and rotating globe.[191] In 2016, DeLorme was purchased by Garmin.[192]

As of November 2018, the town is home to thirteen restaurants (only sit-down service counted). They are:

On Route 1 (south to north)
  • Bistro 233
  • Romeo's Pizza
  • All Star Sports Bar
  • Chopstick Sushi
  • Pat's Pizza
  • Binga's Winga's
  • Muddy Rudder
On Forest Falls Drive
  • WOODHULL Public House
On Route 88
  • Royal River Grill House (on the former site of the Royal River Packing Company fish cannery)[193]
On Main Street (east to west)
  • Gather
  • Brickyard Hollow Brewing Company
  • Owl & Elm Village Pub
  • OTTO

Brickyard Hollow became the town's first-ever brew pub when it opened in June 2018.

A notable former establishment was Bill's Home Style Sandwiches, which stood where Binga's Winga's is today. It was a lunchtime mainstay for many locals for 35 years (from 1974 to 2009), run by Bill Kinsman (b. 1942, d. 2017).[194]

Wyman Power Station in 2016

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.[195] 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%.[196]

As of October 2017, Yarmouth has no hotel or motel accommodation. The last one, the Down East Village Motel, was demolished in 2017 to make way for a Patriot Insurance building. The Down East was, in 1950, the second motel built in Maine and became the oldest.[197]

The Royal River Cabins flourished between 1934 and 1950 on the ocean side of Spring Street, at its split with East Main Street. The enterprise began as an inn in the property that now houses W.M. Schwind Antiques. Eleanor Roosevelt and her entourage once stayed overnight here because the Eastland Park Hotel in Portland banished her dog, Fala.[198] The president's wife chose to dine at the Westcustogo Inn.[198]

A drive-in theater once stood where the Hannaford plaza now is.

Education[edit]

The town has four public schools:

  • William H. Rowe (Elementary) School (built 1955; rebuilt in 2003)
  • Yarmouth Elementary School (built 1968; named Yarmouth Intermediate School until 1992)
  • Frank H. Harrison Middle School (built 1992)
  • Yarmouth High School (built 1961; 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 first in Maine and 198th in the country.[199]

The I-295 overpass on Lafayette Street (State Route 88)

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.[100] The original wooden 1811 NYA school building was removed to the adjacent Bridge Street, "just below the residence of the late Charles O. Rowe (b. 1851, d. 1928; the father of William Hutchinson Rowe),[200][11] where the middle of the three houses on the northern side of upper Bridge Street is today.[201]

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"[202] 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.

A former school, District Number 3, still stands at 12 Portland Street. It is now a business.

Transportation[edit]

Grand Trunk Railway Station (1906), most recently (until 2018) a florist, is owned by Yarmouth's Village Improvement Society. The apsidal form of its northern end is found in no other Maine station.[57] The waiting room for the station stood on the land now occupied by Hancock Lumber (formerly Yarmouth Market) and Bank of America, as denoted by a plaque in the flowerbed of the properties
Yarmouth Crossing, where Main Street traverses the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad, looking north from Railroad Square

Road[edit]

U.S. Route 1 arrived in the late 1940s (at grade and also a bridge over Main Street). State Route 88 follows the course of Route 1's predecessor, the Atlantic Highway.[203] SR 115, established in 1925,[204] also runs through the town.

In 1961, the Yarmouth section of Interstate 295 was built. It runs elevated through town (including, in controversial fashion, over the harborside at Lower Falls). It has two exits (15 and 17) in the town. Exit 15 became a four-ramp intersection in July 2013, when a northbound on-ramp was added.[205]

In 1727, five local men — Samuel Seabury, James Parker, Jacob Mitchell, Gershom Rice and Phineas Jones — were tasked with the management of the new town. Their affairs included laying out the highways.[11] Roads (or, at least, routes) that appeared on subsequent maps are as follows (with today's names):

In 1738, "a good road was built over the ledge from the meeting-house to the mills at the first falls which, although it was abandoned about 1800 for a less hilly course, may still be easily traced."[11]

1741: Atlantic Highway (now Route 88; which took a left onto Pleasant Street), Gilman Road, Princes Point Road, Highlands Farm Road (leading to Parker's Point), Drinkwater Point Road (which led to two wharves), Morton Road and Old Town Landing Road (which led to another wharf). Large lot owners at the time included Walter Gendall, whose farm incorporated Duck Cove, beyond Town Landing Road in today's Cumberland Foreside (Cumberland was not incorporated as its own town until 1821). Its dry stone boundary is still intact. Welshman John Powell (b. c. 1669, d. 1742)[11] had a farm where today's Schooner Ridge Road is. John Dabney's 60-acre lot abutted this to the east. Dabney was a town selectman in 1737.[206] Felt had a lot at the foot of the northern end of Pleasant Street, adjacent to Stony Brook. Royall's farm, meanwhile, occupied the entire area bisected by Bayview Street.[207]

In 1756, "to accommodate the teams hauling lumber from the great pine forests inland to the seaboard, a new more convenient way was laid out by the way of Walnut Hill and the road constructed."[11]

In 1813, down at the First Falls, "the old road which clambered laboriously over the crest of the hill was replaced by a new street along the head of the wharves below the hill". It was named Lafayette Street, in honor of General Lafayette.[11]

By 1847, Portland Street was in full swing, including the Elm Street offshoot that headed directly into the Upper Village. Main Street was, by now, well established.[208]

A 1944 map shows the Atlantic Highway coming through town, aligning with what became Route 88 up to the point they meet at the end of Spring Street.[182] Prior to the installation of U.S. Route 1, today's curve of Route 88 as it passes Cumberland Farms instead continued directly north-east towards Cousins River. The section of Atlantic Highway that runs from Pleasant Street to today's Route 1 (through Lower Falls) was laid in the late 1920s.

Roswell P. Greeley (b. 1847, d. 1903)[209] established an express service between Portland and Yarmouth, employing a span of horses and large wagons.[24] Azel Kingsley (b. 1860, d. 1948)[210] ran a supplemental service minus the horses.[24] It ran two services in each direction: southbound at 7.30 and 11.30 AM and northbound at 3.00 and 5.00 PM.[24]

Rail[edit]

The town has two railroad junctions: Royal Junction (midway along Greely Road) and Yarmouth Junction (to the west of East Elm Street at Depot Road; its station is now gone). The two railroads passing through the town are the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad (formerly Grand Trunk Railway; arrived in 1848) and Guilford Rail System's Kennebec & Portland (later Maine Central Railroad; 1849). 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. In November 2018, the service is expected to increase to five daily runs.[211] The trains pass under two roads and over three crossings on their way through Yarmouth. They are (from south to north) West Main Street (overpass, just after Royal Junction), Sligo Road (road crossing), East Elm Street (road crossing, just after Yarmouth Junction), North Road (road crossing) and Granite Street (overpass).

On weekdays, the trains pass through northbound at 4.00 PM (#683), 7.55 PM (#685), 9.15 PM (#687; Monday-Thursday only) and 1.20 AM (#689; Saturday morning). On weekends, they pass through at 1.15 PM (#691), 7.40 PM (#695), 1.20 AM (#699; Sunday morning) and 10.30 PM (#697; Sunday night).

Southbound weekday times: 7.50 AM (#682), 11.25 AM (#684) and 5.45 PM (#688). Weekend: 7.50 AM (#692), 11.45 AM (#694) and 6.25 PM (#698).

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[212] 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.[213] In 1906, a bridge was built over the Royal River, connecting the Brunswick and Portland trolleys at the Grand Trunk depot in town. The tracks ran down what is today's walkers' path to the Rowe School. The pedestrian 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.[214]

Recreation[edit]

Sparhawk Mill, looking downriver from beneath the Route 1 overpass in Royal River Park

Parks[edit]

  • 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[edit]

  • Grist Mill Lane Field[215] (formerly an intervale owned by Edward Russell before 1836)
  • Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Bayview Street[216]
  • Fels-Groves Farm Preserve, Gilman Road[217]
  • Larrabee's Landing, Burbank Lane
  • Frank Knight Forest, East Main Street
  • Barker Preserve, between East Elm Street and Royal River
  • Sligo Road Property
  • Sweetsir Farm, Old Field Road
  • Camp SOCI, Sandy Point Road, Cousins Island (established in 1957)
  • Sandy Point Beach, Cousins Street, Cousins Island
  • Katherine Tinker Preserve, Seal Lane, Cousins Island
  • Littlejohn Island Preserve, Pemasong Lane, Littlejohn Island[218]

Trails[edit]

Beth Condon Memorial Pathway[edit]

A plaque in the Beth Condon Memorial Butterfly Garden

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.[219]

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.[219] This original part runs north from Lane's Crossing 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.[220] In 1998, an extension was added to the pathway that took it 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.[221] It would bring the total length of the pathway to 1.7 miles;[219] 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".[219] The two-lane southbound side of the road was permanently reduced to one at the same time.[219] 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.

Churches[edit]

First Parish Congregational Church
First Baptist Church

There are six churches in Yarmouth. Four of these are located on Main Street. They are (from east to west):

The remnants of one of the two supports for the "Old Ledge" Meeting House weathervane that is now housed at the Yarmouth History Center

St. Bartholomew's Episcopal is on Gilman Road, heading towards Cousins Island. It was built in 1988.[223]

Cousins Island Chapel (1895) has been holding non-denominational services since 1954 in a former Baptist church.[223]

An information board, erected in 1969 by the Village Improvement Society, marking out sites of interest around the "Old Ledge" Meeting House, off Route 88 at Gilman Road

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 floated down the Royal River from the First Falls and hauled up by oxen from Larrabee's Landing (named for Benjamin and Thomas Larrabee, two brothers who settled there in the 1720s), 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.[67] 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 in 1838 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 Solomon 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. They are passed by the West Side Trail.[224] A second, larger cemetery, known as Ledge Cemetery, was established in 1770.

Tristram Gilman died in 1809. Francis Brown (b. 1784, d. 1820), an 1805 graduate of Dartmouth College, was invited to preach before the Congregational church. Brown accepted the position of pastor, with the proviso that the church, which had been in use for nearly eighty years, be discontinued.[13] 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. (Lorenzo L. Shaw later lived here in a carriage house, but it burned down in a fire in 1967.) Brown married Elizabeth Gilman (b. 1776, d. 1851),[225] the eldest daughter of his predecessor. Between 1815 and his 1820 death, Brown was president of Dartmouth College.

Those who were against the building of the new church incorporated themselves as the Chapel Religious Society.[13]

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.[226] 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 (known locally as the Meetinghouse on the Hill) on Hillside Street (formerly Brimstone Hill or Byram's Hill) 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.[227] The building is owned by the Yarmouth Village Improvement Society.

The Church of the Nazarene on Route 1 became inactive in June 2012 and was demolished in the spring of 2015.

Graveyards and cemeteries[edit]

Pioneers burial ground marker

The only graveyard (that is, a burial ground associated with a church) in Yarmouth is located beside the Meeting House on Hillside Street. It is known as the Old Baptist Cemetery.

Two cemeteries are located near the former site of the "Old Ledge" Meeting House on Gilman Road: a 1731 Pioneer burial ground (also known as the Indian Fighters cemetery) and the 1770 Ledge cemetery (some headstones bear dates earlier than 1770, for many bodies were removed from the older cemetery).[11] The family of Captain Nicholas Drinkwater, Jr. (b. 1825, d. 1908)[228] is buried in the latter location, in a communal plot containing himself; his wife, Margaret (b. 1830, d. 1914);[229] his son, Joshua; and Joshua's wife and Boston native, Harriet. His granddaughter, Elizabeth, is interred in Riverside Cemetery with her husband and daughter.

Two other cemeteries in town — Riverside and Holy Cross — are located adjacent to each other, at the eastern end of Smith Street. It is in the 1869-founded Riverside Cemetery that several prominent early business owners and other townspeople are buried, including Ansel Loring (b. 1830, d. 1916), William Marston (b. 1838, d. 1901),[230] Rufus H. McQuillan (b. 1844, d. 1896),[231] Cornelius Shaw (b. 1864, d. 1939), William Hutchinson Rowe (b. 1882, d. 1955),[232] Harry Storer (b. 1870, d. 1956), Frank Knight (b. 1908, d. 2012) and Leon Gorman (b. 1934, d. 2015). Holy Cross, a Catholic-denomination cemetery, is affiliated with Falmouth's Parish of the Holy Eucharist.[233] The Mitchell garrison was located at the rear of Holy Cross.[234] The dirt path that looks like it leads to the water is actually the original stage road. Mitchell's house, which was erected in 1729, was later lived in by the Whitcombs. It was demolished about 1900 and the farm land was purchased in 1916 to become Holy Cross cemetery.[11]

Davis Cemetery is located on the section of Granite Street to the south of East Main Street and Old County Road. This area was known as Sodom historically.[13]

Cousins Island Cemetery is located at the corner of Cousins Street and Hillcrest Avenue on the island. There are around eighteen unmarked graves of early settlers here. There is also a small cemetery, known as Hill Cemetery, within the confines of the adjacent Tinker Preserve.

Media[edit]

An early town newspaper was the Eastern Gazette, which was first printed by E.G. Crabtree in July 1886. His office was in the second story of the Vining store. Financial support was not forthcoming, however, and its life was short.[11]

The town later had its own page, the Yarmouth Gazette, in the "lost but not forgotten institution",[11] the Six Towns Times.[11]

Yarmouth news is now reported regularly in a number of different newspapers, including the Portland Press Herald, The Notes, and The Forecaster (Northern Edition).

The town is home to one radio station: WYAR, which broadcasts from Cousins Island.

Yarmouth Clam Festival[edit]

Main Street after the 2018 parade, looking west

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" stood on present-day East Main Street (State Route 88) at its intersection with Yankee Drive. This photograph taken prior to its spread being reduced in 2008. The tree succumbed to Dutch elm disease and was removed in January 2010

"Herbie"[edit]

"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.[235] At 110 feet in height, it was, between 1997 and the date of its felling,[236] the oldest[67] and largest[237] of its kind in New England.[238] 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.[238]

Pownal native Frank Knight, Herbie's "warden", died in May 2012 at the age of 103. He looked after the tree for over fifty years.[239] Frank Knight Forest, on East Main Street, was named in his honor.

Crime[edit]

Yarmouth is safer than 79% of U.S. cities. Violent crime is well below the national average for all communities of all population sizes.[240]

Condon family[edit]

On the evening of September 28, 1981, John Condon murdered Maureen and James Austin — his sister and brother-in-law — and their 12-year-old son, Douglas, in their Yarmouth home, at 21 Seaborne Drive. The adult couple sustained multiple stab wounds and the child's throat was slashed twice. A fire was set in an upstairs bedroom.[241][242]

Later that night, Condon was stopped by South Portland police when he was suspected of operating his vehicle under the influence of alcohol.[241] He passed a sobriety test but was arrested for driving without a license.

On October 7, a Cumberland County grand jury returned an indictment charging Condon with three counts of murder, one count of arson and two counts of theft. Condon plead not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.

A jury trial two years later resulted in convictions on all counts.[241]

In 2018, Condon, then 69 years old, claimed he was treated unfairly by the Maine State Prison. He waged a legal battle in federal court, seeking money for being moved outside Maine.[243]

Notable people[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
  3. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  4. ^ "Bartholomew Gedney" at FindAGrave.com
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Yarmouth Historical Society, via the Yarmouth/North Yarmouth Community Guide, Portland Press Herald, Summer 2007
  6. ^ The First Falls - Yarmouth's town website
  7. ^ Second Falls - Yarmouth's town website
  8. ^ Third Falls - Yarmouth's town website
  9. ^ Fourth Falls - Yarmouth's town website
  10. ^ "Pumgustuk Fire Company, Yarmouth, ca. 1900" - Maine Memory Network
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao Ancient North Yarmouth and Yarmouth, Maine 1636-1936: A History, William Hutchison Rowe (1937)
  12. ^ "William R Stockbridge" at FindAGrave.com
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Yarmouth Revisited, Amy Aldredge
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Cemetery Records at YarmouthMEHistory.org
  15. ^ "Eleazer Burbank" at FindAGrave.com
  16. ^ "Barnabas Freeman" at FindAGrave.com
  17. ^ "Lorenzo L Shaw" at FindAGrave.com
  18. ^ "All in the Family – The Franco-Americans of Yarmouth" - Bangor Daily News, June 29, 2016
  19. ^ Yale Cordage - About Us
  20. ^ "Oliver Sherman Yale, 77 . . . Founder And President Of Yale Cordage Company" - Orlando Sentinel, September 9, 1988
  21. ^ "Oliver Sherman Yale" at FindAGrave.com
  22. ^ "Joseph Batchelder" at FindAGrave.com
  23. ^ "Benjamin Gooch" at FindAGrave.com
  24. ^ a b c d e f Reminiscences of a Yarmouth Schoolboy, Edward Clarence Plummer (Marks Printing House, 1926)
  25. ^ "Samuel Dennis Warren" at FindAGrave.com
  26. ^ "Sappi North America formally dropping the S.D. Warren Co. name" - Portland Press Herald, September 5, 2018
  27. ^ "George Warren Hammond" at FindAGrave.com
  28. ^ Bouchard, Kelley (March 2012). "Yarmouth history center to break ground in April". Portland Press Herald.
  29. ^ "Christian Christensen" at FindAGrave.com
  30. ^ "Einar Ollegaard Christensen" at FindAGrave.com
  31. ^ "Huldah Emilie Christensen" at FindAGrave.com
  32. ^ "Yarmouth Historical Society opens new History Center" - The Forecaster, January 22, 2013
  33. ^ "Water Works History"
  34. ^ a b "A Brief History of Public Water in Yarmouth, Maine" - Yarmouth Water District
  35. ^ "Joseph York Hodsdon" at FindAGrave.com
  36. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 18, 2013.
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  41. ^ Westcustogo Inn
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  43. ^ "The family of man"
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  46. ^ History of Cumberland County, Maine: Town of Cumberland, Everts & Peck, 1880
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  48. ^ "Joseph Weare" at FindAGrave.com
  49. ^ "Philip Greely" at FindAGrave.com
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  52. ^ "Alice Skolfield" at FindAGrave.com
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  56. ^ "MaineDOT Projects Under Construction November 27, 2017" - www.maine.gov
  57. ^ a b c Maine's Historic Places, Frank Beard (1982)
  58. ^ a b Yarmouth Historical Society: The National Register of Historic Places
  59. ^ The Congregational Quarterly, Volume 13
  60. ^ "Sophronia Burbank" at FindAGrave.com
  61. ^ "Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin, Volumes 1-6"
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  64. ^ "A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary American Physicians and Surgeons"
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  71. ^ "Back Then" - Fishermen's Voice
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  74. ^ "Henry Gooding" at FindAGrave.com
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  79. ^ "Manley E Bishop" at FindAGrave.com
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  82. ^ "Reuben Cutter" at FindAGrave.com
  83. ^ "Lucy Q Cutter" at FindAGrave.com
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  85. ^ "Frank O. Wellcome" at FindAGrave.com
  86. ^ "Cornelius M Shaw" at FindAGrave.com
  87. ^ "Leon A. Doughty" at FindAGrave.com
  88. ^ "Susan Lowe Kinghorn" at FindAGrave.com
  89. ^ "Rufus R. York" at FindAGrave.com
  90. ^ "Frank W. Bucknam" at FindAGrave.com
  91. ^ "Item 20925 - Oxford Hotel fire, Skowhegan, 1908" - Vintage Maine Images
  92. ^ "The Bulletin of Pharmacy, volume XX, January to December 1906
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  95. ^ "Harriet Drinkwater" at FindAGrave.com
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  118. ^ "Edwin B Mayberry" at FindAGrave.com
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  120. ^ "Arsonist could get 20 years in prison" - Portland Press Herald, November 12, 2009
  121. ^ "Arsonist to serve 11 years, pay $3.7M to businesses displaced in Yarmouth, York" - The Forecaster, November 12, 2009
  122. ^ According to a plaque inside the store
  123. ^ a b c Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.26
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  130. ^ "Adelaide E. Abbott" at FindAGrave.com
  131. ^ "Joseph Raynes" at FindAGrave.com
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  134. ^ "Nathaniel Foster" at FindAGrave.com
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  143. ^ "Clarence E Moxcey" at FindAGrave.com
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  156. ^ "Sidney W Bennett" at FindAGrave.com
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  158. ^ a b c Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.36
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  164. ^ "Ammi Ruhamah Cutter" at FindAGrave.com
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  167. ^ "ANITA (COOPER) STICKNEY" - Legacy.com
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  169. ^ "Anna Bucknam Drinkwater" at FindAGrave.com
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  171. ^ "Harlan Page Prince" - FindAGrave.com
  172. ^ "William E Bucknam" at FindAGrave.com
  173. ^ "Nelson F Burbank" at FindAGrave.com
  174. ^ "Fannie B Burbank" at FindAGrave.com
  175. ^ "Charles Bucknam" at FindAGrave.com
  176. ^ "Captain Walter Gendall: A Biographical Sketch" - Doctor Charles E. Banks (1880)
  177. ^ "James Parker" at FindAGrave.com
  178. ^ "Colonial Tavern Keepers"
  179. ^ "Nicholas Drinkwater" at FindAGrave.com
  180. ^ "Harry Newbert Morton" at FindAGrave.com
  181. ^ "Evelyn Yates Obituary - Yarmouth, ME | Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram" - Portland Press Herald, March 29, 2017
  182. ^ a b c 1944 map of the area hosted on University of New Hampshire's servers
  183. ^ "John Russell Drinkwater" at FindAGrave.com
  184. ^ "Rotheus Drinkwater" at FindAGrave.com
  185. ^ "John D Cleaves" at FindAGrave.com
  186. ^ "Cornelius Harris" at FindAGrave.com
  187. ^ "Theophilus Drinkwater" at FindAGrave.com
  188. ^ "J.M. Bucknam" at FindAGrave.com
  189. ^ "Cumberland County, Maine - Captain James Monroe Bucknam" - Raynorshyn.com
  190. ^ Frank L. Oakes at FindAGrave.com
  191. ^ DeLorme.com - "Eartha, The World’s Largest Revolving and Rotating Globe"
  192. ^ "Fans mourn closing of DeLorme’s map store" - Portland Press Herald, February 28, 2016
  193. ^ "Our History" - Yankee Marina & Boatyard
  194. ^ "Binga's Wingas reopens in Yarmouth; new venture planned in Portland" - The Forecaster, June 5, 2009
  195. ^ MMWEC.org
  196. ^ "Is it time to unplug Wyman Station?" - Portland Press Herald, February 17, 2013
  197. ^ "Patriot Insurance finds a permanent home" - MaineBiz, January 13, 2016
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  199. ^ U.S. News and World Report, Best High School Rankings, Yarmouth, Maine
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  201. ^ Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.20
  202. ^ Travis Roy Arena at NYA.org
  203. ^ "US Highway 1 (Maine)" - Floodgap.com
  204. ^ "Maine State Route 115" - Floodgap.com
  205. ^ "New Yarmouth off-ramp features tighter curve, needs ‘extra grippy’ surface" - Bangor Daily News, September 18, 2013
  206. ^ "Selectmen of Old North Yarmouth" - MaineGenealogy.net
  207. ^ 1741 map of North Yarmouth - MaineGenealogy.net
  208. ^ "Cumberland County 1857" - MaineGenealogy.net
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  210. ^ "Azel H. Kingsley" at FindAGrave.com
  211. ^ "Downeaster readies for expanded Brunswick-Boston service" - Portland Press Herald, September 17, 2018
  212. ^ Photo of the installation of the trolley track on Pleasant Street, Yarmouth
  213. ^ "Derailed Trolleys, Yarmouth, ca. 1925" - Maine Memory Network
  214. ^ "Transport by Trolley" - Yarmouth's town website
  215. ^ "Grist Mill Lane Field - Yarmouth, Maine - YouTube
  216. ^ "Spear Farm Estuary Preserve" - Royal River Conservation Trust
  217. ^ "Fels-Groves Farm Preserve" - Royal River Conservation Trust
  218. ^ "Littlejohn Preserve" - Royal River Conservation Trust
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  220. ^ "Condon garden to be rededicated in Yarmouth" - The Forecaster, July 30, 2014
  221. ^ "Yarmouth may finish pathway" - Portland Press Herald, August 15, 2011
  222. ^ Images of America: Yarmouth, Alan M. Hall (Arcadia, 2002), p.28
  223. ^ a b "Is there room in Yarmouth for a new church congregation?" - Bangor Daily News, April 23, 2015
  224. ^ "About the Weathervane" - Yarmouth Historical Society's website
  225. ^ "Elizabeth Brown" at FindAGrave.com
  226. ^ Our History - First Parish Congregational Church
  227. ^ "Steeplejacks nail high spire act" - Portland Press Herald, September 22, 2011
  228. ^ "Nicholas Drinkwater" at FindAGrave.com
  229. ^ "Margaret Hannah Drinkwater" at FindAGrave.com
  230. ^ "William Henry Marston" at FindAGrave.com
  231. ^ "Rufus H. McQuilland" at FindAGrave.com
  232. ^ "About William H. Rowe School - Rowe School's official website
  233. ^ HOLY CROSS CEMETERY
  234. ^ "Mitchell Garrison" - History of Yarmouth ME
  235. ^ "Will elm trees make their way back?" - St. Joseph's College Magazine
  236. ^ According to the plaque on its trunk.
  237. ^ "Yarmouth braces for Herbie's demise" - Portland Press Herald, August 10, 2009
  238. ^ a b The National Register of Big Trees: 2000-01
  239. ^ "Frank Knight Dead: 'Herbie' The Elm Tree Caretaker Dies At 103" - Huffington Post, May 14, 2012
  240. ^ Yarmouth's stats at NeighborhoodScout.com
  241. ^ a b c State v. Condon, 468 A.2d 1348 (1983)
  242. ^ "Yarmouth’s fire chief takes a bow" - Portland Press Herald, January 30, 2012
  243. ^ "Convicted murderer seeks money for being moved outside Maine" - Knox Village Soup, March 12, 2018
  244. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  245. ^ F. Lee Bailey Story
  246. ^ "Hanley Graham Denning" - Portland Press Herald, January 21, 2007
  247. ^ "Pat LaMarche: Can’ t get no health care satisfaction" - Bangor Daily News, July 30, 2008
  248. ^ Obituaries: Helen W. Longley - Bangor Daily News, September 25, 2008
  249. ^ "Steve Solloway: Ex-player from Maine has felt the fury of a run for the Cup" - Portland Press Herald, June 23, 2013

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°48′02″N 70°11′12″W / 43.80056°N 70.18667°W / 43.80056; -70.18667