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Jay, Maine
Androscoggin River c. 1910
Androscoggin River c. 1910
Motto(s): 
"Proud of our past...Working for our future"
Country United States
State Maine
County Franklin
Incorporated 1795
Area
 • Total 49.20 sq mi (127.43 km2)
 • Land 48.38 sq mi (125.30 km2)
 • Water 0.82 sq mi (2.12 km2)
Elevation
653 ft (199 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 4,851
 • Estimate 
(2012)
4,832
 • Density 100.3/sq mi (38.7/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
04239, 04262
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-35625
GNIS feature ID 0582534
Website Town of Jay, Maine

Jay is a town in Franklin County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,851 at the 2010 United States Census. Jay includes the village of Chisholm.

History

This was once territory of the Anasagunticook (or Androscoggin) Abenaki Indians, whose main village was Rockameko, located on Canton Point. They were decimated by smallpox in 1757. The township was then granted by the Massachusetts General Court to Captain Joseph Phipps and 63 others for their services in the French and Indian War. Called Phipps-Canada, the plantation was not settled until after the Revolutionary War. On February 26, 1795, Phipps-Canada was incorporated as Jay for John Jay, the first chief justice of the Supreme Court. In 1821, Canton was set off and incorporated as a town.

Farmers found the soil to be loamy and productive, yielding great quantitites of hay, corn, wheat, potatoes, oats and apples. In 1793, a tavern was constructed at Jay Hill. On the Androscoggin River near Jay Hill was erected a toll bridge, then in 1839 a sawmill. At North Jay was built a sawmill, brickyard and granite quarry. White granite from the North Jay Granite Company, established in 1884, would be used to construct numerous important buildings throughout the country, including Grant's Tomb. East Jay had a sawmill, and Bean's Corner a carriage factory. In 1857, the Maine Central Railroad reached town.

Jay had a population of 1,490 in 1870. The following years would see papermaking develop into the town's predominant industry. In 1888, industrialist Hugh J. Chisholm built at southern Jay the Otis Falls Pulp & Paper Company mill, then the 3rd largest paper mill in the country. Nearby developed the mill town village of Chisholm. In 1898, it became one of the founding mills of International Paper. In 1905, International Paper built a mill on the opposite side of the river, which became known as the Otis mill. In 1978, this mill was sold to Wausau Paper. In 1965, International Paper opened the Androscoggin Mill. It is an integrated pulp and finished paper goods plant employing 990 people operating 5 paper machines. In 1987, it was site of the International Paper strike. In March 2009, Wausau Paper announced the closing of the Otis mill. Operations there stopped permanently at the end of May, 2009.

Natural Resources

In addition to the abundance of trees common to Maine towns, Jay has a large deposite of granite, most notably white granite, and Jay granite has been used in buildings and projects across the nation.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 49.20 square miles (127.43 km2), of which, 48.38 square miles (125.30 km2) of it is land and 0.82 square miles (2.12 km2) is water. Jay is drained by Seven Mile Stream and the Androscoggin River.

The town is crossed by state routes 4, 17, 133, 140 and 156. It is bounded by the towns of Wilton to the north, Chesterville to the east, Livermore and Livermore Falls to the south, and Canton and Dixfield to the west.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 430
1810 1,107 157.4%
1820 1,614 45.8%
1830 1,276 −20.9%
1840 1,750 37.1%
1850 1,733 −1.0%
1860 1,680 −3.1%
1870 1,490 −11.3%
1880 1,291 −13.4%
1890 1,541 19.4%
1900 2,758 79.0%
1910 2,987 8.3%
1920 3,152 5.5%
1930 3,106 −1.5%
1940 2,858 −8.0%
1950 3,102 8.5%
1960 3,247 4.7%
1970 3,954 21.8%
1980 5,080 28.5%
1990 5,080 0.0%
2000 4,985 −1.9%
2010 4,851 −2.7%
Est. 2014 4,785 −1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
See also: Chisholm, Maine

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,851 people, 2,032 households, and 1,394 families residing in the town. The population density was 100.3 inhabitants per square mile (38.7/km2). There were 2,252 housing units at an average density of 46.5 per square mile (18.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.1% White, 0.2% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.

There were 2,032 households of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.4% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.78.

The median age in the town was 43.3 years. 22.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.1% were from 25 to 44; 30% were from 45 to 64; and 17.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 49.1% male and 50.9% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 4,985 people, 2,019 households, and 1,449 families residing in the town. The population density was 102.9 people per square mile (39.7/km²). There were 2,155 housing units at an average density of 44.5 per square mile (17.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.91% White, 0.26% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.48% of the population.

There were 2,019 households out of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% were non-families. 22.9% 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 2.47 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the town, the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $36,746, and the median income for a family was $43,365. Males had a median income of $35,405 versus $20,897 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,123. About 8.7% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.

Sites of interest

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