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Dixmont is a town in Penobscot Countymarker, Mainemarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 1,065 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Bangormarker, Mainemarker Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography

Dixmont's highest hills are Peaked Mountain and Mount Harris, the later 1,160 ft. above sea level. In 1854 the U.S. Coast Survey erected an observatory on top of Mount Harris.

Like many Maine towns, Dixmont has multiple villages. The four main ones are Dixmont Corner, North Dixmont, East Dixmont, and Dixmont Center.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.5 square miles (94.5 km2), of which, 36.3 square miles (94.1 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km2) of it (0.41%) is water.

History

Dixmont was originally granted by the State of Massachusetts (which Maine was then a part of) to Bowdoin Collegemarker, which sold the first settlers their land. For that reason it was initially called "Collegetown". The first settlement was made in 1799.

One of the largest purchasers of land in Collegetown was Dr. Elijah Dix of Bostonmarker, who never lived there but took an interest in its settlement. When the town was incorporated in 1807, it named itself after Dix. A "malignant fever" broke out among the settlers that same year, killing many of them. Still, the population grew in the decade 1800-1810 from 59 to 337, a rate of increase never repeated. Ironically, Dr. Dix also died in Dixmont on a trip there in 1809, and was buried in the Dixmont Corner Cemetery.

Dix was the grandfather of reformer Dorothea Dix, who was born in nearby Hampden, Mainemarker. Her father was probably the family's land agent, overseeing settlement in Dixmont. Dixfield, Mainemarker, in Oxford County, is also named after Dr. Dix.

Dixmont was on the main stage-coach route between Bangormarker and Augustamarker, and given that it had the highest elevation along that road, it became a natural rest-stop for tired horses. Wrote William Lloyd Garrison in 1832: "The Dixmont Hills are famous and formidable along this route . . . they are piled upon my memory in all their massive mobility"

By the 1850s the population of the town had peaked at over 1,600, which is almost 500 more than it has today. It had 3 sawmills, a shingle mill, 2 flour & grist mills, and many productive farms.

In the 1870s there were two small corporations in Dixmont making cheese, one owned by L.P. Toothacker, and the other by Benjamin Bussey. In 1880 Dixmont had two hotels and one physician.

By 1900, the population of Dixmont was down to 843.

Notable residents

Samuel Butman (1788-1864) was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1827-1831), and later the President of the Maine State Senate (1853). Born in Worcester, Massachusettsmarker, he moved to Dixmont in 1805 and became a farmer and mill-owner in Dixmont Center. He was Captain of the Dixmont militia company in the War of 1812, which took part in the Battle of Hampden.

Governor of Maine Jonathan G. Hunton moved to Dixmont a few years before his death in 1851.

John Appleton (1804-1891), the Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Courtmarker (1862-1883) began his law practice in Dixmont in 1826. He later moved to Bangor.

Sumner J. Chadbourne of East Dixmont was Maine's Secretary of State (1876-78 & 1880)

George W. Wilcox of Dixmont was Clerk of the Maine House of Representatives (1857-59)

Norris Hubbard Bragg and Sumner Basford of Dixmont opened a blacksmith supply shop in Bangor, Mainemarker in 1854. Still headquartered in Bangor, N.H. Bragg Co., now an industrial supplier, is one of the oldest family-owned businesses in Maine.

Charles F. Bragg (1850-1921) of Dixmont served as the Mayor of Bangormarker, 1887-89. Albert R. Day (c. 1861-1924) of Dixmont likewise became Bangormarker's Mayor in 1922-23.

Benjamin Dodge Whitcomb (1828-1894) of Dixmont moved to Bostonmarker and became a prominent building contractor, President of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, President of the Master Builder's Association, and Construction Commissioner for the rebuilding of the Massachusetts State Housemarker (1893-94)

Abner Weed (1842-1917) was born in Dixmont, migrated to northern Californiamarker in 1869, and founded the town of Weed, Californiamarker around his sawmilling and lumbering business. He built a logging railway at the base of nearby Mount Shastamarker, and was a Commissioner of Siskiyou County (1900-1908) and a California State Senator (1907-09).
Dixmont Corner Church (1835)


Jayme Langford (b. 1987) of Dixmont is an erotic model and film actress who has appeared in Penthouse and on the cover of Hustler. She currently lives in California and is the guitarist of the band Pajamaband.

Historic Buildings

Two Dixmont buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the carpenter-gothic style Dixmont Corner Churchmarker (also known as the Dixmont Methodist Church), designed and built by Rowland Tyler in 1835 [17839]; and the Louis I. Bussey School of 1808. [17840] Tyler also built the first Penobscot Countymarker Courthouse in Bangor, which does not survive.

Local Schools

Dixmont shares an elementary school with the nearby town of Etnamarker (called Etna-Dixmont School) but has no high school. Dixmonters attend high school in nearby Newport (Nokomis Regional High Schoolmarker) or Bangor (John Bapst Memorial High Schoolmarker or Bangor High Schoolmarker).

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,065 people, 411 households, and 314 families residing in the town. The population density was 29.3 people per square mile (11.3/km2). There were 474 housing units at an average density of 13.0/sq mi (5.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.59% White, 0.38% Native American, 0.47% Asian, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.19% of the population.

There were 411 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.0% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.6% were non-families. 17.5% 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 2.59 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 29.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 100.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $33,654, and the median income for a family was $36,607. Males had a median income of $29,844 versus $26,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,826. About 14.1% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.

References

  1. The Letters of William Lloyd Garrison: I Will Be Heard, 1822-1835, p. 184
  2. William Twining, Retinking Evidence: Expository Essays, p. 55 (Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 2006)
  3. Dixmont is listed as Langford's hometown on http://hustlermagazine.com/features/?p=82, accessed Aug. 14, 2009


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