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Scarborough is a town in Cumberland Countymarker on the southern coast of the U.S. state of Mainemarker. The town is a coastal resort area. Located about 7 miles (10 km) south of Portlandmarker, Scarborough is part of the Portland–South PortlandmarkerBiddefordmarker, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 16,970 at the 2000 census.


Abenaki Indians called the area Owascoag, meaning "a place of much grass" after its large salt marshes. About 1630, John Stratton opened a trading post on Stratton Island in Saco Bay. In 1631, the Plymouth Council for New England granted the Black Point Patent to Captain Thomas Cammock, nephew of the Earl of Warwick. The tract of land extended from the Spurwink River to Black Point (Prouts Neckmarker), where Cammock built a house and began residence in 1635. But then he sold his holdings and moved to the West Indiesmarker. Nevertheless, settlements developed at Black Point, Blue Point (Pine Point), Dunstan (West Scarborough) and Stratton Island. On July 14, 1658, the Massachusetts General Court incorporated them all as Scarborough, named for Scarboroughmarker in Yorkshiremarker, Englandmarker.

The town offered excellent fishing and farming. At the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675, Scarborough was an important coastal settlement with over 100 houses and 1,000 head of cattle. But in 2 years of war, it was laid waste. Massachusettsmarker sent soldiers accompanied by Indian allies in 1677 to secure the town for resettlement. On June 29, 1677, while pursuing some Indians sent as a ruse, the company was ambushed by warriors under Chief Squando. In the New Englandmarker militia of nearly 100 soldiers, 50-60 were left dead or mortally wounded. Among the casualties was Captain Benjamin Swett. Called the Battle at Moore's Brook, it was an embarrassing rout for the military. In 1681, a great fort was erected at Black Point. After several attempts to rebuild between guerilla incursions during King William's War, the survivors evacuated in 1690 and moved south to Portsmouth, New Hampshiremarker or Bostonmarker.

A truce was signed in 1699 between the Province of Massachusetts Bay and the Eastern Indians. Resettlement of Scarborough started in 1702 when 7 settlers arrived from Lynn, Massachusettsmarker. Despite the treaty, in August 1703, 500 French and Indians under command of the Sieur de Beaubassin made a sudden descent upon English settlements from Casco (Portlandmarker) to Wellsmarker. They arrived at Garrison Cove on Black Point, where the fort commanded by Captain John Larrabee sat atop a bluff. Protected from gunfire by the overhanging cliff, the French and Indians began tunneling into the bluff to breach the fort from below. They might have succeeded and captured the 8 soldiers inside, but a 2 day downpour began which made the disturbed bank slough, exposing the previously hidden excavators to snipers in the fort. Beaubassin retreated in search of easier prey. Despite occasional subsequent harassment, the second settlement succeeded. By 1749, it was economically prosperous. Cattle and timber were important local products for export, with Scarborough's many water power sites operating a dozen sawmills. Since 1969, the town has had a Council-manager government.

Notable residents


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 55.3 square miles (143.3 km²), of which, 47.7 square miles (123.6 km²) of it is land and 7.6 square miles (19.7 km²) of it (13.76%) is water. Drained by the Scarborough River, Nonesuch Rivermarker, Libby River and Spurwink River, the town is situated beside the Gulf of Mainemarker and Atlantic Oceanmarker. The highest point is Scottow Hill, elevation 144 feet (44 m), where in early years bonfires were set as warnings to the surrounding countryside of approaching danger.

Scarborough is crossed by Interstate 95, Interstate 295, U.S. Route 1, and State Routes 9, 77, 114, and 207. It is bordered by the towns of Cape Elizabethmarker to the east, South Portlandmarker, Westbrookmarker and Gorhammarker to the north, Buxtonmarker to the northwest, and Sacomarker and Old Orchard Beachmarker to the southwest.


As of the census of 2000, there were 16,790 people, 6,462 households, and 4,678 families residing in the town. The population density was 355.7 people per square mile (137.3/km²). There were 7,233 housing units at an average density of 151.6/sq mi (58.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.34% White, 0.38% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 1.16% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.48% of the population.

There were 6,462 households out of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% 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 3.02.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $56,491, and the median income for a family was $65,138. Males had a median income of $41,148 versus $31,372 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,321. About 3.0% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.7% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.

Public schools

The Town of Scarborough has its own self-contained K-12 public school system.


  • Blue Point
  • Coulthard Farms
  • Dunstan Corner (West Scarborough)
  • Higgins Beachmarker
  • North Scarborough
  • Oak Hill (the town center, with town hall and the high school, as well as shopping plazas)
  • Pine Point (between the Scarborough Marsh and Saco Bay)
  • Pleasant Hill
  • Prouts Neckmarker (projects into the Gulf of Mainemarker with its southwest shoreline marking the northeast end of Saco Bay)

Sites of interest


Further reading

External links

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