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Berwick is a town in York Countymarker, Mainemarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 6,353 at the 2000 census. It is situated beside the Salmon Falls Rivermarker.

Berwick is part of the PortlandmarkerSouth PortlandmarkerBiddefordmarker, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Salmon Falls River in 1921
Originally part of Kitterymarker, Berwick was first settled about 1631 and called Kittery Commons or Kittery North Parish. It also would be called Unity after the sailing vessel Unity, which transported to America Scotsmarker prisoners of war captured at the Battle of Dunbarmarker in 1650. They had been force-marched to Durham Cathedralmarker in Durhammarker, Englandmarker, then tried for treason for supporting Charles II rather than Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector.

Landing in Massachusettsmarker, the royalist soldiers were sold as slaves to work at the Great Works sawmill, located on the Great Works River, until they were able to pay for their own freedom. George Gray, formerly of Lanark, Scotlandmarker, was an example of the 150 prisoners who endured this ordeal. In 1675, he defended his family and lands when the community was attacked during King Philip's War, and died in Unity in 1693. His descendants would populate other areas of Maine, notably Deer Islemarker and Stoningtonmarker.

The raid by Indians in 1675 was the first of several during the French and Indian Wars. In 1690-1691 during King William's War, the village was burned and abandoned. It would be resettled in 1703 and called Newichawannock, its old Abenaki name. In 1713, it was incorporated by the Massachusetts General Court as Berwick, the ninth oldest town in Maine, named after Berwick-upon-Tweedmarker, England. The first schoolhouse in the state was built here in 1719. Berwick was once considerably larger in size, but South Berwickmarker was set off in 1814, followed by North Berwickmarker in 1831. Lumbering was a principal early industry. Beginning in the 19th century, Berwick had a symbiotic economic relationship with Somersworthmarker, New Hampshiremarker, the mill town to which it is connected by bridge.

Notable residents



Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.6 square miles (97.3 km²), of which, 37.1 square miles (96.1 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.2 km²) of it (1.22%) is water. Berwick is drained by the Salmon Falls Rivermarker.

Demographics

See also: Berwick marker, Mainemarker

Salmon Falls River in 1915
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,353 people, 2,319 households, and 1,723 families residing in the town. The population density was 171.1 people per square mile (66.1/km²). There were 2,414 housing units at an average density of 65.0/sq mi (25.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.31% White, 0.36% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 1.16% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.54% of the population.

There were 2,319 households out of which 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.7% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.15.

Sullivan High School in c.
1920
In the town the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $44,629, and the median income for a family was $53,776. Males had a median income of $36,329 versus $24,911 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,988. About 6.9% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.0% of those under age 18 and 15.9% of those age 65 or over.

Points of Interest

Hackmatack Playhouse

Hackmatack Playhouse was founded in 1972 by S. Carleton Guptill. He envisioned a summer stock theatre that would showcase the talents of professional and developing thespians from the regional area. The oldest building on the Guptill farmstead is the “woodshed” which is just south of the house. This building dates back to the 1600’s and has been used for many purposes over the years. It has been used as a slaughter house and for drying meat. It now is used for rehearsal space and prop storage.

References



External links




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