Gazetteer of the State of Maine With Numerous Illustrations, by Geo. J. Varney
BOSTON: PUBLISHED BY B. B. RUSSELL, 57 CORNHILL. 1882. Public domain image from
118 GAZETTEER OF MAINE.
politics. The Biddeford Weekly Advance is a new publication,
but receives a goodly patronage. It is a lively paper and has been
independent in politics. Saturday is its date of publication. The
Biddeford Daily Times is also independent, and is a good local
paper. The humorous monthly, the Monthly Miniature, is published
by Will H. Watson. The Church and Home is published by J. J.
Hall. The city has two national banks and banks for savings.
The surface of the town is quite hilly, and many portions quite
rocky,—granite being the prevailing rock. Tet the soil is good, and
the farms are generally productive. Corn and hay are the leading
crops. There are many small tracts of forest, having the usual variety
of trees. The roads are good, and the town affords many attractive
drives. The Pool has become largely patronized as a seaside resort,
and has several hotels. At Fletchers Neck is a life saving station of
the U. S., and at Wood Island, at the mouth of the harbor, is a light-
house of the same name. It has a flashing red light. The tower is of
stone, and the dwelling, a story and a half wooden building. It is
connected with the tower by a wooden porch, all being whitewashed.
The eminent men of Biddeford in the days gone by, are James Sul-
livan, who became judge of the Supreme Court and, later, governor
of Massachusetts; Hon. George Thacher, representative in Congress
from Massachusetts, and judge of tbe Supreme Court of that com-
monwealth ; Hon. Prentiss Mellen, United States Senator from Mas-
sachusetts, and afterward chief justice of the Supreme Court of Maine ;
Hon. Samuel Hubbard, judge of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts ;
and D. E. Somes, a manufacturer of the city, who represented the First
Maine district in the National Congress in 1859.—(See Saco).*
Bingiiam is situated on the east hank of the Kennebec River,
near the middle of the southern half of the county. It is bounded on
tbe east by Brighton, south by Solon, north by Concord, and w'est by
Moscow. The area is 23,040 acres. Johnson Mountain, situated m
the north-eastern part, is the principal elevation, estimated to be
above 1,000 feet in height. Fall Brook and its branches occupy the
southern part, and Austin Stream crosses the north-western part to the
Kennebec. The soil is generally red and gray loam, and yields good
crops of hay, potatoes and various grains. Beech, birch, maple and
spruce constitute the forests. The centre of business is Bingham vil-
lage, situated on Austin Stream, near the Kennebec, and close upon the
Moscow line, on Austin Stream. The mills are mostly over the Mos-
cow line; but there are saw and grist-mills in Bingham ; and on Falls
Brook there are one or more saw-raills. The manufactures consist of
all varieties of lumber, driving calks and sets, carriages, harnesses, etc.
The town is 22 miles N. N.W. of Skowhegan on the stage line to the
Forks. The nearest railroad station is at Anson, 16 miles distant.
The first settlement was made in this town as early as 1784, and
was surveyed in 1801, by Philip Bullen. It was incorporated on the
6th of February, 1812 ; taking its name from William Bingham, in
whose purchase ot 1,000,000 of acres in this region, it was included.
There is a Congregational society in the town, and a Union meet-
ing-house. Bingham has nine public schoolhouses; these, with other
* We aie indebted to Mr. J. S. Locke, author and publisher of the excellent guide-book
to Old Orchard Beach, for several cuts illustrating this vicinity.
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