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Westbrook is a city in Cumberland County, Mainemarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 16,142 at the 2000 census. It is part of the PortlandmarkerSouth PortlandmarkerBiddefordmarker, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Bridge Street in c.
1912
Originally known as Saccarappa after Saccarappa Falls on the Presumpscot Rivermarker, it was a part of Falmouth (now Portlandmarker) until February 14, 1814, when it was set off and incorporated as Stroudwater. It soon changed its name to Westbrook after Colonel Thomas Westbrook, a commander during Dummer's War who became an early settler and mill operator. In 1871, Deering was set off as a separate town, which in 1889 became part of Portland. In 1891, Westbrook was incorporated as a city.

Saccarappa Falls and Congin Falls provided water power for early mills within the city. In 1829, a sawmill was built at the former which made the mill town noted for its lumber. Other industries followed, manufacturing grain bags, machinery and water wheels, carriage and harness, boots, shoes and moccasins, tinware, leather board, bricks, wooden boxes, box shook, meal and flour. The Portland Manufacturing Company built a cotton textile mill at Saccarappa Falls for making "sheetings, stripes and ducks." A paper mill was built at Cumberland Mills, once an Indian planting ground known as Ammoncongin. By 1859, it produced 1,000 tons of paper annually. In 1867, the factory's name would change to the S. D. Warren Paper Mill.

The Oxford & Cumberland Canalmarker opened in 1832, connecting Portland to Harrisonmarker by way of Westbrook and Sebago Lakemarker. It was the primary commercial shipping route for goods until 1871, when it was rendered obsolete by the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad. Remnants of the canal can still be seen throughout the city, including Beaver Pond, along Stroudwater Street near the Maine Turnpike overpass, and in the woods between Westbrook High Schoolmarker and Oxford & Cumberland Canal Elementary School.

Notable residents



Geography

Westbrook is located at (43.685348, -70.357116) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.1 square miles (44.2 km²), of which 16.9 square miles (43.7 km²) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) (1.17%) is water.

Westbrook is drained primarily by two rivers. The Presumpscot Rivermarker flows through the center of the city, with two prominent falls (the aforementioned Saccarappa Falls and Congin Falls). The smaller Stroudwater Rivermarker flows through the southwestern part of the city. The city also contains part of Highland Lake.

Westbrook is crossed by Interstate 95, U.S. Route 302 and State Routes 22 and 25. It is bordered by Portlandmarker to the east, South Portlandmarker and Scarboroughmarker to the south, Gorhammarker and Windhammarker to the west, and Falmouthmarker to the north.

Demographics

Old Warren House in c.
1912
As of the census of 2000, there were 16,142 people, 6,863 households, and 4,261 families residing in the city. The population density was 956.9 people per square mile (369.4/km²). There were 7,089 housing units at an average density of 420.3/sq mi (162.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.69% White, 0.88% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.89% of the population.

There were 6,863 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.90.
Cumberland Mills in c.
1907
In the city the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,873, and the median income for a family was $47,120. Males had a median income of $32,412 versus $25,769 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,501. About 6.7% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.7% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Now primarily a suburb of the larger city of Portlandmarker, Westbrook itself has a growing business base and developing core downtown district. Several notable companies are headquartered in the city, including IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Olympia Sporting Goods, Disability RMS, Acadia Insurance Company, JobsInTheUS.com, WPXT 51marker and WPME 35marker (Maine’s CW and MyNetworkTV affiliates), Native Maine Produce and specitaly foods E.S. Boulos Company, Maine Teen Camp's Winter Office, the Skybox Bar and Grill, and All Sports Printing. In addition to the downtown area, many of the city's businesses are located within two industrial parks (the Col. Westbrook Industrial Park and Five Star Industrial Park), as well as in the area surrounding Maine Turnpike Exit 48.

The city is home to Sappi Ltd.'s Westbrook Paper Mill and R&D Center. The mill, formerly the S. D. Warren Paper Mill, was once the city's largest employer and taxpayer, employing over 3,000 people and representing over 50% of the city's tax base. However, foreign competition and the age of the mill have drastically reduced its workforce and production. Today the mill has found a niche in the marketplace, becoming one of the nation's top manufacturers of release papers and employing about 300 people. The Westbrook Energy Center has since surpassed the mill as the city's largest taxpayer. Westbrook was also the home of the first Sebago-Moc shoe factory.

The faith-based Mercy Hospital of Portland operates Mercy Westbrook, a small community hospital complete with a minor emergency room and inpatient treatment facilities. Spring Harbor Hospitalmarker, southern Maine's only private psychiatric treatment and recovery center, is also located within the city.

Education

Walker Memorial Library, c.
1912


  • Congin Elementary School, grades 3 - 5
  • Canal School Elementary School, grades 3 - 5
  • Pride's Corner Elementary School, grades K - 2
  • Saccarappa Elementary School, grades K - 2


Construction of a new middle school serving Westbrook began in the Winter of 2008 and is set for completion in 2010.

Libraries

  • Walker Memorial Library
  • Warren Memorial Library (Recently closed)


Neighborhoods

Similar to neighboring Portland and South Portland, Westbrook contains several distinct neighborhoods that are generally recognized by residents but have no legal or political significance. Unlike Portland, however, there is no official signage recognizing these neighborhoods. Some of the notable neighborhoods include:

  • Birdland
  • Cumberland Mills
  • Deer Hill
  • Frenchtown
  • The Hamlet
  • Pride's Corner
  • Old Millbrook
  • Westbrook Pointe
  • Woodland
  • Colonial Village
  • Highland Lake


Recreation

In addition to the sports complexes located at Westbrook High School and other schools, the city offers several public recreational areas and facilities, including:

  • Bicentennial Park & Skate Park
  • Riverbank Park
  • Westbrook River Walk - along Presumpscot River in downtown area
  • Cornelia Warren Memorial Trail - along Presumpscot River between Ash St. and Cumberland St.
  • Westbrook River Trail - along Presumpscot River north and east of the Sappi paper mill
  • Rocky Hill - network of trails behind Wescott Junior High School
  • Warren Little League Complex
  • Lincoln Street skating rink - ice hockey in colder months, roller hockey in warmer months
  • East Bridge Street skating rink - winter use only
  • Stroudwater Street skating rink - winter use only
  • East Bridge Street ballfields
  • Warren League Grounds
  • Warren Pool - outdoor public pool, summer use only
  • Davan Pool - indoor pool, open year-round


Westbrook is home to the 2002 Maine State Little League Champions, The 2005 Little League New England Regional Champions, 2006 Babe Ruth New England Champions, and The 2007 Babe Ruth World Championship Runner-ups.

Sites of interest



References



Further reading



External links




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