Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 976 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SACO, a city of York county, Maine, U.S.A., on the Saco river, and the Atlantic Ocean, opposite Biddeford, with which it is connected by bridges, and 14 m. S.W. of Portland. Pop. (189o), 6095; (1900) 6122 (903 foreign-born); (Toro) 6583. It is served by the Boston & Maine railway, and is connected with Portland by an electric line. The actual municipal limits include an area of about 40 sq. m., but much of this is sparsely settled, and the centre of settlement, or city proper, is about 5 M. above the mouth of the Saco. The city has a public park (Pepperrell Park) of 30 acres, the Dyer Library (1790), containing in 19o8 16,000 volumes, and York Institute (established in 1866 and incorporated in 1867), with a library of 5000 volumes in 1908; and is the seat of Thornton Academy (co-educational), incorporated in 1811, opened in 1813, but closed during 1848-1889 after the .burning of the old building. Old Orchard Beach, in the vicinity, extending along the shore front of the township of Old Orchard (pop. in 1900, 964) and part of the shore fronts of Saco and Scarboro, is a popular summer resort; in August 1907 nearly all the hotels were burnt, but others have since been built. At Saco the river falls about 55 ft. and provides excellent water-power. The city's principal manufactures are cotton goods and cotton-mill machinery. Saco was settled as early as 1631, and was the seat of the Gorges government from 1636 to 1653, when it passed under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. Until 1762 Saco and Biddeford formed one town or plantation—until 1718 under the name of Saco, and from 1718 to 1762 under the name of Biddeford. In 1716 Sir William Pepperrell acquired title to the principal part of what is now Saco, in 1752 this was made a separate parish, and ten years later SACRAMENT it was incorporated as a separate township under the name of Pepperellboro. In 1779 the Pepperrell property was confiscated as that of a loyalist, and in 18o5 the name. of the township was changed to Saco. In 1867 Saco was chartered as a city.
End of Article: SACO

Additional information and Comments

Article doesn't mention the previous (and to some extent, concurrent) inhaitants, the People of the Saco or Pequawket Indians for whom this area was the summer fishing grounds. It also had an island refferred to as the sachems island where supposedly several chiefs, possibly those retired, had homes. Since these people lived in this region for possibly more than 11,ooo years, to exclude their mention would be an oversight and somewhat disrespectful.
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