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Byron, Maine
Coos Canyon, in the center of Byron
Coos Canyon, in the center of Byron
Country United States
State Maine
County Oxford
Incorporated 1833
Area
 • Total 52.56 sq mi (136.13 km2)
 • Land 51.81 sq mi (134.19 km2)
 • Water 0.75 sq mi (1.94 km2)
Elevation
948 ft (289 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 145
 • Estimate 
(2012)
144
 • Density 2.8/sq mi (1.1/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
04275
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-09550
GNIS feature ID 0582381

Byron is a town in Oxford County, Maine, United States. The population was 145 at the 2010 census. Home to Coos Canyon on the Swift River, Byron includes the village of Houghton.

History

It was settled as Township No. 8, then incorporated on January 24, 1833 as Byron, named for the English poet Lord Byron. Nicknamed Hop City, agriculture was the principal occupation. Crops included wheat, corn, potatoes and oats. Lumbering was extensive in winter, with two sawmills operating. The Rumford Falls & Rangeley Lakes Railroad was completed in 1896, carrying freight, tourists and "rusticators" from Rumford up the Swift River valley through Byron and Houghton to Mooselookmeguntic Lake.

The Swift River is a popular place to either pan for gold or swim at Coos Canyon, a 32-foot (10 meter) high gorge where the water depth occasionally exceeds 20 feet (6 meters). Just down river from the gorge is a small local beach, called Toby's Beach. And a 20-foot ledge, popular during the summer, for daring jumpers.

There is a beautiful camping area off state route 17, across from Coos Canyon.

In March 2013, the town sought to require all homes in the town to possess at least one firearm, not unlike Kennesaw, Georgia's similar 1982-origin local ordnance.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 52.56 square miles (136.13 km2), of which, 51.81 square miles (134.19 km2) of it is land and 0.75 square miles (1.94 km2) is water. Set on either side of a narrow, uneven intervale in the Western Maine Mountains, Byron is drained by the Swift River.

The town is crossed by state route 17. It borders the towns of Roxbury to the south, Andover to the west, and unincorporated townships to the north and east.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 219
1850 296 35.2%
1860 323 9.1%
1870 242 −25.1%
1880 191 −21.1%
1890 180 −5.8%
1900 204 13.3%
1910 187 −8.3%
1920 217 16.0%
1930 96 −55.8%
1940 125 30.2%
1950 96 −23.2%
1960 108 12.5%
1970 132 22.2%
1980 114 −13.6%
1990 111 −2.6%
2000 121 9.0%
2010 145 19.8%
2014 (est.) 144 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 145 people, 58 households, and 35 families living in the town. The population density was 2.8 inhabitants per square mile (1.1/km2). There were 223 housing units at an average density of 4.3 per square mile (1.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.9% White and 4.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.

There were 58 households, of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 1.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.7% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.11.

The median age in the town was 49.2 years. 25.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 2.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 15.1% were from 25 to 44; 42.7% were from 45 to 64; and 14.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 55.2% male and 44.8% female.

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