Gray, Maine

Gray, Maine

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Gray, Maine
settlement_type = Town
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =



pushpin_label_position =left
pushpin_map_caption =Location within the state of Maine
pushpin_mapsize =

|mapsize =
map_caption =

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Maine
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Cumberland
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = 1778

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 119.1
area_land_km2 = 112.0
area_water_km2 = 7.1
area_total_sq_mi = 46.0
area_land_sq_mi = 43.3
area_water_sq_mi = 2.7

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 6820
population_density_km2 = 60.9
population_density_sq_mi = 157.7

timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 83
elevation_ft = 272
latd = 43 |latm = 52 |lats = 56 |latNS = N
longd = 70 |longm = 21 |longs = 19 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 04039
area_code = 207
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 23-28870
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0582497
website =
footnotes =

Gray is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 6,820 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area. Gray is home to regional headquarters for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, which maintains a fish hatchery and wildlife park. It is also home to an NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office, which issues forecasts and severe weather warnings for New Hampshire and Maine.


The area was granted on March 27, 1736 by the Massachusetts General Court to a group from Boston. In 1737, the township was laid out and roads cleared, with the first settlers arriving in the spring of 1738. But during the ongoing French and Indian Wars, the settlement was attacked in the spring of 1745 by Indians, who killed cattle and burned the meetinghouse and all dwellings. Inhabitants fled to other towns. In 1751, the village was resettled, but wiped out again in May of 1755.

Consequently, Fort Gray was built in 1755. It featured a blockhouse measuring convert|50|ft|m long by convert|25|ft|m wide, set within a garrison palisade convert|100|ft|m long by convert|75|ft|m wide. The town had been without a name until about 1756, when it began to be called New Boston. On June 19, 1778, New Boston Plantation would be incorporated as Gray after Thomas Gray, a proprietor.

Gray had many farms and some quarries. Other industries included a gristmill, 12 sawmills, a tannery, granite and marble works, carriage and sleigh manufacturer, and shuttle maker. Along Collyer Brook, Samuel Mayall established in 1791 the first successful water-powered woolen mill in North America. British woolen guilds had prohibited the production of goods in the colonies and tried to prevent British technology from being put to use in competition against them. Mayall smuggled out of England plans for machinery hidden in bales of cloth meant for trade with the Indians. When the guilds learned of his deception, they tried at least twice to kill him. They sent him a hat in which were hidden pins laced with poison, and then a box with loaded pistols rigged to fire when opened. Suspicious of the packages, Mayall avoided an untimely death. His daughters Mary and Phanela took over the mills when he died in 1831, and built the Lower Mill in 1834. The Mayalls retained ownership until about 1879. The business closed in 1902.

Notable residents

* Todd Chretien, activist
* Simon Greenleaf, jurist
* Samuel Mayall, congressman


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 46.0 square miles (119.1 km²), of which, 43.3 square miles (112.0 km²) of it is land and 2.7 square miles (7.1 km²) of it (5.94%) is water. Gray, which includes most of Little Sebago Lake and Crystal Lake, is drained by Collyer Brook.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 6,820 people, 2,637 households, and 1,890 families residing in the town. The population density was 157.7 people per square mile (60.9/km²). There were 3,202 housing units at an average density of 74.0/sq mi (28.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.89% White, 0.43% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.59% of the population.

There were 2,637 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.9% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.3% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 34.6% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 103.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $50,107, and the median income for a family was $55,806. Males had a median income of $36,342 versus $26,433 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,050. About 1.3% of families and 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.3% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.

ites of interest

* [ Gray Historical Society & Museum]
* Mayall Mills State Historic Site


Further reading

* [ History of Gray, Maine]
* [ History of Mayall Mills]

External links

* [ MaineHometownNews: Gray blog]
* [ Town of Gray, Maine]
* []
* [ Gray-New Gloucester Independent Newspaper]
* [ Gray Public Library]

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