Cornish, Maine

Cornish, Maine
Cornish, Maine
—  Town  —
High Street in 1908
Nickname(s): The Crown of York County
Coordinates: 43°46′25″N 70°48′32″W / 43.77361°N 70.80889°W / 43.77361; -70.80889
Country United States
State Maine
County York
Incorporated 1794
 – Board of Selectmen Margaret Aspinall
John Palmer
Vinal Pendexter
 – Total 22.3 sq mi (57.7 km2)
 – Land 22.1 sq mi (57.2 km2)
 – Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation 351 ft (107 m)
Population (2000)
 – Total 1,269
 – Density 57.4/sq mi (22.2/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 04020
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-14485
GNIS feature ID 0582421

Cornish is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,269 at the 2000 census. It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. Cornish has a number of antique shops near historic Thompson Park.



In 1665, a trading post was established by Francis Small in the vicinity of Cornish village, not far from the confluence of the Ossipee River with the Saco River. Here converged three major Abenaki Indian paths—the Sokokis Trail (Route 5), the Ossipee Trail (Route 25) and the Pequawket Trail (Route 113), making it a central location for conducting with Native Americans the lucrative fur trade. In 1668, Small purchased from Newichawannock Chief Captain Sunday (or Wesumbe) the Ossipee Tract, encompassing the present-day towns of Cornish, Parsonsfield, Newfield, Limerick, Limington and Shapleigh (which then included Acton). The price was two large Indian blankets, two gallons of rum, two pounds of gunpowder, four pounds of musket balls and twenty strings of Indian beads. Small then sold a half interest in the tract to Major Nicholas Shapleigh of Eliot.[1]

In 1770, heirs discovered the unrecorded deed, and hired attorney James Sullivan of Biddeford to pursue their claim. They won, and paid Sullivan for his services with the township he named Limerick. Small's descendants took possession of Newfield, Limington and Cornish, the latter first named Francisborough, then Francistown, after its original proprietor. Settled by Joseph Thompson in 1782, it was incorporated on February 27, 1794 as Cornish, presumably by settlers from the county of Cornwall, England. The soil was very productive for farming, producing large crops of corn and other types of grain. In 1859, the population was 1,144. The Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad ran up the Saco River valley in the early 1870s, servicing Baldwin Station across the bridge from Cornish.[2]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.3 square miles (58 km2), of which, 22.1 square miles (57 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.81%) is water. Cornish is drained by the Ossipee River and the Saco River.

The town is crossed by state routes 5, 25 and 160. Cornish borders the towns of Hiram to the north, Baldwin to the northeast, Limington to the east, Limerick to the south, and Parsonsfield to the west.


Bonney Memorial Library

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 1,269 people, 521 households, and 340 families residing in the town. The population density was 57.4 people per square mile (22.2/km²). There were 588 housing units at an average density of 26.6 per square mile (10.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.35% White, 0.24% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.55% of the population.

There were 521 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.2% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.00.

Old High School in 1915

In the town the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $38,125, and the median income for a family was $46,477. Males had a median income of $31,853 versus $25,625 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,494. About 9.3% of families and 13.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.8% of those under age 18 and 18.4% of those age 65 or over.

Local schools

  • Cornish Elementary

Sites of interest

Notable people


External links

Coordinates: 43°48′17″N 70°48′04″W / 43.80472°N 70.80111°W / 43.80472; -70.80111

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