Bowdoinham, Maine

Bowdoinham, Maine

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

imagesize =
image_caption = Cathance River



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 = Sagadahoc
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = 1762

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =

area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 101.4
area_land_km2 = 89.1
area_water_km2 = 12.3
area_total_sq_mi = 39.1
area_land_sq_mi = 34.4
area_water_sq_mi = 4.7

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 2612
population_density_km2 = 29.3
population_density_sq_mi = 75.9

timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 35
elevation_ft = 115
latd = 44 |latm = 1 |lats = 23 |latNS = N
longd = 69 |longm = 53 |longs = 1 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 04008
area_code = 207
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 23-06365
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0582361
website =
footnotes =

Bowdoinham is a town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,612 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bowdoinham is located on the west side of Merrymeeting Bay.


Fort Richmond was built upriver in 1719, protecting the area and encouraging English settlement. About 1720, the mouth of the Cathance River was first settled by Captain Gyles Watkins. But during Dummer's War, in the summer of 1723 all buildings in the region were burned and cattle killed by the Norridgewocks and their 250 Indian allies from New France. The Kennebec River region was abandoned. When the Governor William Dummer's Treaty of 1725 brought peace, it was resettled about 1730 by Abraham and Jonas Preble from York.

Litigation from two conflicting claims, however, slowed the town's development. On July 3, 1637, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the Lord Proprietor of Maine, had granted this part of New Somersetshire to Sir Richard Edgcumbe of Mount Edgcumbe House, situated at Cremyll in Cornwall, England. But the Kennebec Company conveyed it in 1752 to William Bowdoin of Boston, older brother of James Bowdoin. The contested ownership went to court, whereupon Bowdoin won because Edgcumbe's grant was found obsolete and indefinite. On September 18, 1762, the Massachusetts General Court incorporated the town as Bowdoinham, named in honor of William Bowdoin. It originally included Richmond, set off in 1823, and portions of Topsham and the Plantation of West Bowdoinham, set off in 1788 as Bowdoin.

Farmers grew apples, wheat, hay and potatoes. They also raised sheep. Shipbuilding was an important early industry which faded over time, with the first vessel launched in 1768, and the last of any size in 1912. By 1886, the town had 3 sawmills, a gristmill, plaster mill, 2 clothing factories, a cheese factory and about a dozen ice companies. It also produced boots and shoes, tinware, carriages and harness. Once a site of wharves to ship lumber and other goods, Cathance Landing became the town's business center called Bowdoinham Village.

Notable residents

* Robert Browne Hall, music composer
* Ebenezer Herrick, congressman
* Frank Sandford, religious leader
* Bryce Muir, artist


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.1 square miles (101.4 km²), of which, 34.4 square miles (89.1 km²) of it is land and 4.7 square miles (12.3 km²) of it (12.11%) is water. Situated beside Merrymeeting Bay, Bowdoinham is drained by the Cathance River, Abagadasset River, Muddy River and Kennebec River.

The town is crossed by Interstate 295 and state routes 24, 125 and 138. It borders the towns of Richmond to the north, Bowdoin to the west, and Topsham to the south.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 2,612 people, 1,027 households, and 752 families residing in the town. The population density was 75.9 people per square mile (29.3/km²). There were 1,107 housing units at an average density of 32.2/sq mi (12.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.70% White, 0.38% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.50% of the population.

There were 1,027 households out of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.0% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 20.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $44,779, and the median income for a family was $52,372. Males had a median income of $33,322 versus $28,810 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,118. About 10.0% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools in the area are operated by Maine School Administrative District 75

ite of interest

* Bowdoinham Wildlife Management Area
* Merrymeeting Bay
* The Sands
* Mailly Waterfront Park


Further reading

* [ History of Bowdoinham, Maine (1886)]
* A. J. Coolidge & J. B. Mansfield, "A History and Description of New England", 1858; H. O. Houghton & Company; Cambridge, Massachusetts
* [ History of Bowdoinham, Maine]
* [ Brief Description and History of Bowdoinham, Maine]
* [ Kennebec Valley -- Sagadahoc County]

External links

* [ Town of Bowdoinham, Maine]
* [ Bowdoinham Public Library]
* [ -- Bowdoinham, Maine]

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