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Dayton, Maine
Union Falls Bridge, c. 1908
Union Falls Bridge, c. 1908
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Coordinates: 43°32′34″N 70°34′46″W / 43.54278°N 70.57944°W / 43.54278; -70.57944Coordinates: 43°32′34″N 70°34′46″W / 43.54278°N 70.57944°W / 43.54278; -70.57944
Country United States
State Maine
County York
Incorporated 1854
Government
 • Type Board of Selectmen
Area
 • Total 18.40 sq mi (47.66 km2)
 • Land 17.89 sq mi (46.33 km2)
 • Water 0.51 sq mi (1.32 km2)
Elevation
220 ft (67 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 1,965
 • Estimate 
(2012)
2,006
 • Density 109.8/sq mi (42.4/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
04005
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-16725
GNIS feature ID 0582434
Website http://www.dayton-me.gov/

Dayton is a town in York County, Maine, United States, the town is located near the Saco-Biddeford city area. Dayton borders Biddeford by land, and borders Saco on the Saco River. It is also part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. The population was 1,965 at the 2010 census. Dayton is one of the smallest towns in York County.

History

The area was once inhabited by the Sokokis (or Saco) Indians, who hunted and fished along the Saco River. The old Sokokis Trail is now Route 5, which passes through Dayton. In 1664, Major William Phillips purchased from the sagamore the land which would become Little Falls Plantation—today the towns of Hollis, Dayton and part of Limington. In 1728, a stockaded fort which contained a trading post was built a half mile below Union Falls. Called the Saco Truck House or Saco Block House, the garrison was maintained throughout the French and Indian War until the fall of Quebec in 1759.

Settlers arrived in 1753, and lumbering became a principal industry. Logs were rolled down the banks of the Saco River and floated to sawmills at Saco. Nathaniel Goodwin established the first local mill in 1782 at Goodwins Mills, where falls in Swan Brook drop 33 feet (10 m). A sawmill and gristmill were erected at Union Falls (then called Hopkinson's Mill) in 1806. Tanneries were built, and land was cleared for farms. In 1798, Little Falls Plantation was incorporated as Phillipsburg, in honor of Major William Phillips—but only until 1810. Considered difficult to pronounce and write, the Phillipsburg was changed to Hollis. Then, in 1854, the southern part of Hollis petitioned the state legislature to become a separate town. Permission was granted, and the community was named Dayton after Thomas Day, who submitted the petition.

In 1860, Dayton voted to build at Union Falls a covered bridge, 112 feet (34 m) long and 18 feet (5.5 m) wide, connecting to Buxton. The span was blown up in 1921 by the Clark Power Company, an event filmed as part of a melodrama by the Pine Tree Moving Picture Corporation of Portland. The Great Fires of 1947 destroyed two-thirds of Dayton, including 27 homes, 4 barns and the town hall. In 1951, the Central Maine Power Company built a hydroelectric dam between Salmon Falls and Union Falls, submerging the scenic gorge. Once a community of dairy farms, Dayton is now primarily residential.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.40 square miles (47.66 km2), of which, 17.89 square miles (46.33 km2) of it is land and 0.51 square miles (1.32 km2) is water. Dayton is drained by the Saco River.

Maine-State routes 5 and 35 intersect through Dayton. The town borders Lyman, Hollis, and Buxton, as well as the cities of Saco and Biddeford.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 701
1870 611 −12.8%
1880 592 −3.1%
1890 500 −15.5%
1900 473 −5.4%
1910 395 −16.5%
1920 391 −1.0%
1930 379 −3.1%
1940 454 19.8%
1950 502 10.6%
1960 451 −10.2%
1970 546 21.1%
1980 882 61.5%
1990 1,197 35.7%
2000 1,805 50.8%
2010 1,965 8.9%
2014 (est.) 2,018 2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,965 people, 712 households, and 547 families living in the town. The population density was 109.8 inhabitants per square mile (42.4/km2). There were 753 housing units at an average density of 42.1 per square mile (16.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.6% White, 0.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.

There were 712 households, of which 40.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.9% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 23.2% were non-families. 15.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.11.

The median age in the town was 40.5 years. 25.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.7% were from 25 to 44; 31.8% were from 45 to 64; and 9.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 51.6% male and 48.4% female.

Education

Dayton children in grades K-5 attend the Dayton Consolidated School, which, as of July 1, 2014, became its own school district, sharing superintendent and other administrative tasks with the Biddeford School System. It was previously part of Regional School Union #23. Prior to July 2014, students from grades 6–8 attended Saco Middle School, but as of July 2014 attend Thornton Academy Middle School. Prior to July 2014, students in grades 9–12 attended Thornton Academy, but as of July 2014 have a choice between there and Biddeford High School.

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