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Topsham, Maine
—  Town  —

Seal
Location of Topsham, Maine
Coordinates: 43°52′18″N 69°51′32″W / 43.87167°N 69.85889°W / 43.87167; -69.85889Coordinates: 43°52′18″N 69°51′32″W / 43.87167°N 69.85889°W / 43.87167; -69.85889
Country United States
State Maine
County Sagadahoc
Incorporated January 31, 1764
Area
 - Total 35.4 sq mi (91.8 km2)
 - Land 32.0 sq mi (8.8 km2)
 - Water 3.4 sq mi (82.9 km2)
Population (2000)
 - Total 9,100
 Density 284.2/sq mi (109.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC)
Zip Code 04086
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code
GNIS feature ID
For other locations of this name, see Topsham

Topsham is a town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States. The population was 9,100 at the 2000 census. It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town is home to the Topsham Fair.

Contents

History

Pejepscot Falls in 1869

Called Sawacook, the area was territory of the Pejepscot Abenaki Indians, a subtribe of the Anasagunticooks (now Androscoggins), who controlled the Androscoggin River. They lived and fished at Pejepscot Falls. But a plague, probably smallpox brought by Europeans, decimated the tribe's population in 1615-1616. On June 16, 1632, the area was granted by the Plymouth Council to Thomas Purchase and George Way, later acquired by Richard Wharton, and then in 1714 by the Pejepscot Company.

The first sawmill was built in 1716 on the Cathance River, and in 1717 the plantation received the name Topsham, named for Topsham in Devon, England. On January 31, 1764, it was incorporated as a town by the Massachusetts General Court. Shipbuilding and lumber mills were important early businesses, the latter especially active between 1750-1770. There was a gristmill and brickyard. Pejepscot Falls provided water power to operate mills, and industries would include a door, sash and stairway factory, shingle mill, watch factory, pottery maker, nail factory, pitchfork factory, 2 tanneries, tobacco manufacturer, 2 feldspar quarries and a marble works. In 1856, the Sagadahoc Agricultural & Horticultural Society erected its building and fairgrounds, and the town remains host to the annual Topsham Fair.

Notable residents

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.4 square miles (91.8 km²), of which, 32.0 square miles (82.9 km²) of it is land and 3.4 square miles (8.8 km²) of it (9.62%) is water. Located beside Merrymeeting Bay at the mouth of the Androscoggin River, Topsham is drained by the Cathance River and Muddy River.

The town is crossed by Interstate 295, U.S. Route 201, and state routes 24 and 196. It borders the towns of Bowdoin and Bowdoinham to the north, Brunswick to the south, and Durham and Lisbon to the northwest.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 9,100 people, 3,424 households, and 2,461 families residing in the town. The population density was 284.2 people per square mile (109.7/km²). There were 3,573 housing units at an average density of 111.6/sq mi (43.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.19% White, 1.33% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.33% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.24% of the population.

There were 3,424 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.0% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.1% were non-families. 22.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 32.4% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $47,682, and the median income for a family was $52,134. Males had a median income of $35,943 versus $25,581 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,135. About 3.0% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.8% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.

Education

Public schools in the area are operated by Regional School Unit (RSU) 75. There are two elementary schools, Williams-Cone School and Woodside Elementary. The middle school is Mt. Ararat Middle School, and the high school is Mt. Ararat High School.

Sites of interest

References

Further reading

External links

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