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Acton, Maine
Acton Corner c. 1920
Acton Corner c. 1920
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Coordinates: 43°32′53″N 70°55′55″W / 43.54806°N 70.93194°W / 43.54806; -70.93194
Country United States
State Maine
County York
Incorporated 1830
Government
 • Type Board of Selectmen
Area
 • Total 41.11 sq mi (106.47 km2)
 • Land 37.72 sq mi (97.69 km2)
 • Water 3.39 sq mi (8.78 km2)
Elevation
748 ft (228 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 2,447
 • Estimate 
(2012)
2,504
 • Density 64.9/sq mi (25.1/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
04001
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-00275
GNIS feature ID 0582315
Website http://www.actonmaine.org/

Acton is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,447 at the 2010 census. It includes the villages of Acton, Miller Corner and South Acton. The town is home to the Acton Fairground, which holds the Acton Fair every late summer. It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.

History

It was part of the extensive Ossipee Tract sold on November 28, 1668 by Newichawannock Chief Captain Sunday (or Wesumbe) to Francis Small, a trader from Kittery. Small sold a half interest in the tract to Major Nicholas Shapleigh of Eliot. In 1770, heirs found the unrecorded deed and divided the land, with Shapleigh's descendants awarded one half of Limerick and all of Parsonsfield and Shapleigh. First called Hubbardstown Plantation, Shapleigh was in 1785 incorporated and named in honor of Nicholas Shapleigh. Its western portion was set off and incorporated on March 6, 1830 as Acton, named after Acton, England.

The town was first settled at Acton village in 1776 by Benjamin Kimens, Clement Steele and John York, all from York. In 1779, Joseph Parsons built a gristmill on the Salmon Falls River near Wakefield, New Hampshire. Other mills followed at Acton's various water power sites, including sawmills, gristmills, a hemp mill, a carding mill, a felt mill, a tannery and a shoe factory. In 1877, a vein of silver was discovered near Goding Creek and the Lebanon border. Prospectors dug mines during the 1880s, after which the enterprise declined.

Although much of the soil was poor for farming, the ridges yielded good crops. In 1866, the Shapleigh & Acton Agricultural Society was formed and commenced sponsoring an annual fair and cattle show. It continues each late summer as the Acton Fair.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 41.11 square miles (106.47 km2), of which, 37.72 square miles (97.69 km2) of it is land and 3.39 square miles (8.78 km2) is water. Acton is drained by the Little Ossipee River, the Mousam River and the Salmon Falls River. The highest elevation in town is Hussey Hill, 1,051 feet (320.3 m) above sea level. Hussey Hill is also Maine's southernmost 1,000 foot (305 meter) mountain and only elevation above 1,000 feet in town.

The town is crossed by State Route 109. Acton borders the towns of Newfield to the north, Shapleigh to the east, Lebanon to the south, Sanford to the southeast, and the New Hampshire towns of Milton to the west and Wakefield to the northwest.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 1,398
1840 1,401 0.2%
1850 1,359 −3.0%
1860 1,218 −10.4%
1870 1,008 −17.2%
1880 1,050 4.2%
1890 878 −16.4%
1900 778 −11.4%
1910 603 −22.5%
1920 499 −17.2%
1930 449 −10.0%
1940 392 −12.7%
1950 473 20.7%
1960 501 5.9%
1970 697 39.1%
1980 1,228 76.2%
1990 1,727 40.6%
2000 2,145 24.2%
2010 2,447 14.1%
2014 (est.) 2,545 4.0%

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,447 people, 1,014 households, and 689 families living in the town. The population density was 64.9 inhabitants per square mile (25.1/km2). There were 2,199 housing units at an average density of 58.3 per square mile (22.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.0% White, 0.4% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

There were 1,014 households, of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.1% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.87.

The median age in the town was 45.7 years. 20.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.8% were from 25 to 44; 35.2% were from 45 to 64; and 15.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 51.0% male and 49.0% female.

Education

The children of Acton in grades PreK-8 go to Acton Elementary School, which is part of the Acton Schools Department. High school students go to Sanford High School.

Notable people

  • Richard Nass, state legislator
  • Nathan Clifford Ricker, architect and professor at the University of Illinois
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