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Falmouth is a town in Cumberland Countymarker, Mainemarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 10,310 at the 2000 census. It is part of the PortlandmarkerSouth PortlandmarkerBiddefordmarker, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.

This northern suburb of Portland borders Casco Baymarker and offers one of the largest anchorages in Maine. The town is home to three private golf clubs and the Portland Yacht Club.


Presumpscot River in c.
It was first settled at Mackworth Islandmarker as early as 1632 by Arthur Mackworth, who soon afterwards obtained a grant of 500 acres (2 sq km) from Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the Lord Proprietor of Maine. In 1658, Falmouth was recognized as the province's 7th town, which then encompassed the present day cities of Portlandmarker, South Portland, Westbrook and Cape Elizabethmarker. Incorporated by the Massachusetts General Court on November 12, 1718, it was named for Falmouthmarker in Cornwallmarker, Englandmarker.

In 1700, a palisaded fort and trading post were built at what was called New Casco on the eastern side of the mouth of the Presumpscot Rivermarker. It replaced Old Casco on Falmouth Neck (Portland), which had been destroyed by the Indians in 1690 during King William's War. Governor Joseph Dudley on June 20, 1703 held a conference at the fort with representatives of the Abenaki tribes, who promised to keep the peace during Queen Anne's War. In August, Indian chiefs Moxus, Wanungonet and Assacombuit approached the fort with a flag of truce, asking to speak with its commanding officer, Major John March. Suspicious of a ruse, he refused, but then agreed to meet them. As he and his guards approached the sachems, they raised hatchets from under their robes to strike him, but March grabbed one of the hatchets and fought back. With assistance from other soldiers, he escaped into the stockade.

Indians rushed from undercover and surrounded the fort, beginning a siege on the major and his 36 soldiers. After 6 days, Alexandre Leneuf de Beaubassin and his troops, who had been conducting other raids, joined the assailants to form a 500-man force of French soldiers and Indians. They tried to undermine the fort, but after 2 days digging were surprised by the arrival of the Province Galley, an armed vessel commanded by Captain Cyprian Southack. Its guns scattered the fleet of more than 200 canoes, and Beaubassin retreated into the forest. Peace returned in 1713 with the Treaty of Portsmouth. Resettlement of Old Casco began in 1716, the year Massachusetts ordered the fort at New Casco demolished rather than maintain it.

In 1765, Cape Elizabeth (then including South Portland) was set off. In 1786, Portland broke away, followed in 1814 by Westbrook, although boundaries between it and Falmouth were readjusted throughout the 19th-century. By 1859, fishing and farming were principal trades. Other industries included 3 shipbuilders, 3 brickmakers, a sawmill, gristmill and tannery. In 1886, the town also produced boots, shoes, tinware and carriage stock. In 1943, Mackworth Island was donated to the state as a wildlife refuge; today it is site of the state school for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Notable residents


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.4 square miles (96.9 km²), of which, 29.6 square miles (76.7 km²) of it is land and 7.8 square miles (20.2 km²) of it (20.85%) is water. Located beside Casco Baymarker, the Gulf of Mainemarker and Atlantic Oceanmarker, Falmouth is drained by the Presumpscot Rivermarker.

The town is crossed by Interstate 95 and 295, U. S. Route 1 and state routes 9, 26, 88 and 100. It borders the towns of Cumberlandmarker to the northeast, Westbrookmarker and Portlandmarker to the southwest, and Windhammarker to the northwest.


View of Underwood Spring Park from the water in 1906

As of the census of 2000, there were 10,310 people, 3,948 households, and 2,838 families residing in the town. The population density was 348.1 people per square mile (134.4/km²). There were 4,169 housing units at an average density of 140.8/sq mi (54.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.75% White, 0.24% African American, 0.12% Native American, 1.15% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.48% of the population.

There were 3,948 households out of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.7% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.1% were non-families. 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.04.

West Falmouth in 1917
In the town the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18, 3.1% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 25.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $66,855, and the median income for a family was $87,304. Males had a median income of $54,545 versus $35,258 for females. The per capita income for the town was $36,716. About 1.8% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over.


The town has a K-12 school system that includes four individual school buildings. Lunt School includes grades K-2 followed by Plummer-Motz which contains grades 3-4. Falmouth Middle School incorporates grades 5-8 and Falmouth High School contains grades 9-12. The School Department is under the jurisdiction of the Falmouth School Board with participation of the Leadership Council and Superintendent of the Schools.

The Falmouth School Department is considered well above average by Maine state standards. Serving over 2,000 students, the Falmouth School Department offers a challenging and diverse education with emphasis on literacy, mathematics, science, social sciences, critical thinking, citizenship, and problem solving.


The community is covered by several newspapers, including the Portland Press Herald, the Community Leader, the Notes, and the Northern Forecaster. A bulletin board of community news and photos posted by residents can be found at

Popular culture

Falmouth has been featured in several short-stories and novels by author Stephen King, including One for the Road, Jerusalem's Lot, and most notably in 'Salem's Lot [17824].

Sites of interest


Further reading

External links

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