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Sanford is a town in York Countymarker, Mainemarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 20,806 in the 2000 census, the highest of the York County towns, and the 8th largest in the state. Situated on the Mousam Rivermarker, Sanford includes the village of Springvalemarker. The town features many lakes in wooded areas which attract campers.

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

History

View of Sanford c.
1912
Sanford is in the western portion of a tract of land purchased in 1661 from Abenaki Chief Fluellin by Major William Phillips, an owner of mills in Sacomarker. First called Phillipstown, it was willed in 1696 by Mrs. Phillips to her former husband's son, Peleg Sanford. Settlement was delayed, however, during the French and Indian Wars. Incited by New France, Indian warriors from Norridgewockmarker attacked English settlements, including nearby Wellsmarker in 1703. Then in 1724, Norridgewock was itself raided and destroyed by a Massachusetts militia. Subsequently, the region became less dangerous, and Sanford was settled in 1739. Incorporated a town in 1768, it was named after Peleg Sanford. Until 1794, Alfredmarker was the town's North Parish.

The Mousam River provided water power for industry. In 1745, Captain David Morrison built a sawmill above Springvalemarker. Following the Civil War, Sanford developed into a textile manufacturing center, connected to markets by the Portland and Rochester Railroad. Factories were built at both Springvale and Sanford villages. Products included cotton and woolen goods, carpets, shoes and lumber.

In 1867, British-born Thomas Goodall established Goodall Mills at Sanford, after selling another mill in 1865 at Troy, New Hampshiremarker which made woolen blankets contoured to fit horses. His factory beside the Mousam River first manufactured carriage robes and blankets. It would expand to make mohair plush for upholstering railroad seats, carpets, draperies, auto fabrics, military uniform fabric and Palm Beach fabric for summer suits. The company's textiles were known for brilliant and fast colors, and found buyers worldwide. From 1880 to 1910, the mill town's population swelled from 2,700 to over 9,000, some living in houses built by the company and sold to workers at cost. In 1914, the Goodall family built Goodall Park, a 784 seat roofed stadium, now a treasured historic site. They also helped build the library, town hall, hospital, airport and golf club. A bronze statue was erected in 1917 to the memory of Thomas Goodall by the citizens of Sanford.

In 1954, Burlington Mills, then the nation's largest textile firm, bought Sanford Mills. After moving the looms to its Southern plants, Burlington closed Sanford Mills -- leaving 3,600 unemployed and of empty mills. Local business owners began traveling the northeast, convincing new employers to move to the area. Life Magazine would call Sanford "the town that refused to die." It now has diversified industries, including the manufacture of aircraft parts. In the 1960s, the federal government offered money for urban renewal to rehabilitate aging or blighted districts. Consequently, more than thirty Sanford structures were razed. In Springvale, three of four corners were leveled. Fortunately, fine architectural examples from the prosperous mill era survived.

Sanford was the home of Belle Ashton Leavitt, the third woman attorney admitted to the Maine Bar Association. Leavitt was admitted to the Bar in 1900. Leavitt operated in partnership with attorney Fred J. Allen, her brother-in-law (Allen was married to Belle's sister Ida Leavitt), and member of the Maine Legislature.

The town gained national notoriety in 1984, when 12-year-old Gycelle Cote was strangled by Scott Waterhouse, then 18. Rumors of Satan worship surrounded the case, and some of Waterhouse's personal belonings were deemed to be occult in nature. These included a copy of Satanic Bible and a notebook carrying satanic poetry. The furor culminated in several tabloid stories and at least one headline referring to the town as "Terrortown!".

In 2003, a proposal to build a $650 million casino in South Sanfordmarker was rejected by Maine voters. The development, ostensibly owned by the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy nations, would have encompassed 4,000 slot machines, 180 gaming tables, a hotel, a convention center and an 18 hole golf course. Proponents argued that it would add 4,700 permanent jobs and 25% of revenue would be directed to the state. Detractors predicted higher crime, traffic and an erosion of Maine's quality of life.

Sanford citizens are protected by Firefighter/EMT's working out of three fire stations located in Springvale, South Sanford, and Downtown Sanford. 3 Engines, 1 Ladder, and 1 Rescue are staffed 24 hours a day; 365 days a year. Authorized strength is 45 full-time fire personnel. SFD also provides Emergency Medical Services. All firefighters are required to have a Maine EMS license ranging from EMT-Basic to Paramedic. In 2007 SFD responded to 1,150 Fire Runs & 2,515 Medical Runs for a total of 3,665 emergencies.

Image:Original Sanford Mills, Sanford, ME.jpg|Goodall Mills in 1867Image:Central Square, Sanford, ME.jpg|Central Square c. 1905Image:Town Hall, Sanford, ME.jpg|Town Hall c. 1915Image:School Street, Sanford, ME.jpg|School Street c. 1908

Notable residents



Geography

Sanford is located at (43.439925, -70.773304) . This is considered to be the geographic center of New England.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 48.7 square miles (126.2 km²), of which, 47.8 square miles (123.8 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.4 km²) of it (1.89%) is water. Located near foothills, Sanford is drained by the Mousam River.

Sanford borders the towns of Shapleighmarker, Actonmarker, Alfredmarker, Kennebunkmarker, Wellsmarker, North Berwickmarker, and Lebanonmarker.

Image:Number_One_Pond.JPG|Number One PondImage:Moon_over_Gowen_Park.JPG|Moon over Gowen ParkImage:MacDougal_Pond.JPG|MacDougal Pond

Demographics

See also Sanford , Mainemarker, South Sanford, Mainemarker, and Springvale, Mainemarker for village demographics.
Co-Operative Block in 1910
As of the census of 2000, there were 20,806 people, 8,270 households, and 5,449 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 435.3 people per square mile (168.1/km²). There were 8,807 housing units at an average density of 184.3/sq mi (71.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.68% White, 0.44% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 2.07% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.96% of the population.

There were 8,270 households out of which 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.

Lower Main Street c.
1910
In the CDP the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $34,668, and the median income for a family was $43,021. Males had a median income of $33,115 versus $24,264 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $16,951. About 11.1% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.0% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.

Sites of interest



References

  1. http://www.state.me.us/local/york/sanford/
  2. Maine Women Attorneys: A Photo History, LawInterview.com
  3. Lawyer Fred J. Allen and Partner Belle Leavitt, Sanford, Maine, Maine Memory Network


Further reading



External links




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