kids encyclopedia robot

Mechanic Falls, Maine facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Mechanic Falls, Maine
Mechanic Falls.jpg
Location of Mechanic Falls, Maine
Location of Mechanic Falls, Maine
Country United States
State Maine
County Androscoggin
Incorporated 1893
Government
 • Type Manager / Council
Area
 • Total 11.16 sq mi (28.9 km2)
 • Land 11.00 sq mi (28.48 km2)
 • Water 0.16 sq mi (0.41 km2)
Elevation
217 ft (66 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 3,031
 • Estimate 
(2012)
3,017
 • Density 275.5/sq mi (106.4/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP codes
04256
Area code(s) 207 Exchanges: 345,346
FIPS code 23-38740
GNIS feature ID 0569502

Mechanic Falls is a town in Androscoggin County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,031 at the 2010 census. It is included in both the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine metropolitan statistical area and the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine metropolitan New England city and town area.

History

It was originally part of Bakerstown Plantation, granted in 1765 by the Massachusetts General Court to Captain Thomas Baker and other soldiers for their services in the 1690 Battle of Quebec. In 1795, Bakerstown Plantation was incorporated as Poland, from which Minot would be set off in 1802. The dividing line between the towns was the Little Androscoggin River, astride which developed the village of Mechanic Falls. The Poland section of Mechanic Falls was settled in 1830, the Minot in 1836 by Dean Andrews, who was drawn by its fine soil for farming and water power for mills at the falls. Named for the mechanics operating early industrial works here, Mechanic Falls developed into a small mill town, especially after the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad arrived in the late 1840s. The railroad opened the village to business and trade on the direct line between Portland and Montreal.

In 1850, the first paper mill was established. Organized in 1873, the Evans Rifle Manufacturing Company made repeating rifles, which were popular with frontiersmen such as Kit Carson and Buffalo Bill Cody. Other industries produced canned goods, bricks, novelties, confectionery, packed corn, carriages, tools, machines, steam engines and boilers. In 1872, John Witham Penney began manufacturing steam engines, machinery and foundry articles in Mechanic Falls.14 years later, in 1886, his two sons, A.R.and S.R. Penney became partners, formally establishing J.W. Penney and Sons which grew to become one of the greatest machine shops in Maine and was a great factor in the prosperity of Mechanic Falls. On March 22, 1893, Mechanic Falls was set off and incorporated. In 1981, Marcal Paper closed the latter of two paper mills in the town, which now has a more diversified economy and tax base.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.16 square miles (28.90 km2), of which 11.00 square miles (28.49 km2) is land and 0.16 square miles (0.41 km2) is water. Mechanic Falls is drained by the Little Androscoggin River.

The town is crossed by state routes 11, 26, 121 and 124. It is bordered by the towns of Poland to the south, Oxford to the northwest, and Minot to the northeast.

Demographics

See also: Mechanic Falls (CDP), Maine
Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 1,687
1910 1,678 −0.5%
1920 1,614 −3.8%
1930 2,033 26.0%
1940 1,999 −1.7%
1950 2,061 3.1%
1960 2,195 6.5%
1970 2,193 −0.1%
1980 2,616 19.3%
1990 2,919 11.6%
2000 3,138 7.5%
2010 3,031 −3.4%
2014 (est.) 3,008 −0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,031 people, 1,206 households, and 811 families living in the town. The population density was 275.5 inhabitants per square mile (106.4/km2). There were 1,299 housing units at an average density of 118.1 per square mile (45.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.7% White, 0.3% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.

There were 1,206 households, of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.8% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.3% 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 2.96.

The median age in the town was 39.8 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.8% were from 25 to 44; 29.7% were from 45 to 64; and 12.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.

Site of interest

  • Mechanic Falls Historical Society
  • The Samuel Penney House circa 1902

Education

Mechanic Falls is part of Regional School Unit #16. Kenneth Healey is the Superintendent of Schools.

Schools in this district include Elm Street School, Minot Consolidated School, Poland Community School, Bruce Whittier Middle School and Poland Regional High School.

Notable people

  • Mike Bordick, shortstop with Major League Baseball
  • Bill Dunlop, record-setting sailor, crossed Atlantic in 9 foot Winds Will
  • David Dunn, 18th governor of Maine
  • Frank Haven Hall, inventor of the Hall Braille Writer and other Braille printing devices
  • Marshall Kirk, librarian, writer
  • Lewis L. Millett, Medal of Honor recipient, Korean War officer
  • Freelan Oscar Stanley, inventor of the Stanley Steamer and builder of the Stanley Hotel, Maine native and Mechanic Falls schoolmaster, 1874–81
  • "Edward L. Thayer", who supposedly played one game for the New York Mutuals baseball team in 1876; he was listed in The Official Encyclopedia of Baseball as having been born in Mechanic Falls. The player was actually George Fair, whose pseudonym coincidentally resembled the name of Ernest Lawrence Thayer, author of the classic baseball poem "Casey at the Bat".
kids search engine
Mechanic Falls, Maine Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.