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Norridgewock, Maine facts for kids

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Norridgewock, Maine
Old Norridgewock Library
Old Norridgewock Library
Country United States
State Maine
County Somerset County
 • Total 51.21 sq mi (132.63 km2)
 • Land 49.95 sq mi (129.37 km2)
 • Water 1.26 sq mi (3.26 km2)
 • Total 3,278
 • Density 66/sq mi (25.3/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)

Norridgewock is a town in Somerset County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,278 at the 2020 census.


Native Americans

Death of Father Sebastian Rale of the Society of Jesus
Battle of Norridgewock

Situated on the New England and Acadia border, which New France defined as the Kennebec River, the area was once territory of the Norridgewock Indians, a band of the Abenaki nation. Their village was located at Old Point, now part of Madison.

English colonists suspected Father Sebastien Rale (or Rasle), the French missionary at the village since 1694, of abetting tribal hostilities against British settlements during the French and Indian Wars. During Father Rale's War, soldiers left Fort Richmond (now Richmond) in whaleboats until they reached Taconic Falls (now Winslow), then marched quietly to Norridgewock Village, arriving on August 23, 1724. Battle of Norridgewock was "sharp, short and decisive," leaving 26 warriors slain, 14 wounded and 150 survivors fleeing to Quebec, Canada. Father Rale was among the dead.

Subsequent history

The British settled the area in 1773, then called Norridgewock Plantation. In 1775, Benedict Arnold and his troops marched through on their way to the Battle of Quebec.

The town was incorporated on June 18, 1788. It became county seat of Somerset County in 1809, with a courthouse built in 1820 and remodeled in 1847, although the county seat would be moved to Skowhegan in 1871. Wooden logs were floated down the Kennebec River. A sawmill was built to manufacture the region's abundant hardwoods, used in local factories to make carriages and furniture. Norridgewock also had a gristmill and granite works. Built in 1849 and replaced in 1929, the 600-foot (180 m) Norridgewock Covered Bridge across the Kennebec River was the second longest covered bridge in Maine after the 792-foot (241 m) Bangor Covered Bridge, which was built in 1846 across the Penobscot River to Brewer. The Eaton School was organized by Hamlin F. Eaton in 1856 and incorporated in 1874 "...for the promotion of literature, science and morality." Its Second Empire building, designed by architect Charles F. Douglas of Lewiston, later became Somerset Grange #18. In 1988, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 51.21 square miles (132.63 km2), of which 49.95 square miles (129.37 km2) is land and 1.26 square miles (3.26 km2) is water. Norridgewock is drained by the Sandy River, Mill Stream and Kennebec River.

The village is located at the junction of U.S. Routes 2 and 201A with Maine State routes 8 and 139. Norridgewock borders the towns of Madison to the north, Skowhegan to the east, Fairfield and Smithfield to the south, and Mercer and Starks to the west.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 333
1800 633 90.1%
1810 880 39.0%
1820 1,454 65.2%
1830 1,710 17.6%
1840 1,865 9.1%
1850 1,848 −0.9%
1860 714 −61.4%
1870 1,756 145.9%
1880 1,491 −15.1%
1890 1,656 11.1%
1900 1,495 −9.7%
1910 1,608 7.6%
1920 1,532 −4.7%
1930 1,481 −3.3%
1940 1,511 2.0%
1950 1,784 18.1%
1960 1,634 −8.4%
1970 1,964 20.2%
1980 2,552 29.9%
1990 3,105 21.7%
2000 3,294 6.1%
2010 3,367 2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
See also: Norridgewock (CDP), Maine

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,367 people, 1,378 households, and 984 families living in the town. The population density was 67.4 inhabitants per square mile (26.0/km2). There were 1,520 housing units at an average density of 30.4 per square mile (11.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.2% White, 0.5% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.5% of the population.

There were 1,378 households, of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.5% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.6% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.78.

The median age in the town was 42.7 years. 22.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.4% were from 25 to 44; 31% were from 45 to 64; and 15.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 50.0% male and 50.0% female.

Site of interest

  • Norridgewock Historical Society & Museum

Notable people

  • Nathan Abbott, legal scholar, professor
  • Daniel W. Ames, state legislator
  • Rebecca Sophia Clarke (Sophie May), children's author
  • Nathan Haskell Dole, editor, translator, author
  • Stephen D. Lindsey, US congressman
  • Sebastien Rale (or Rasle), Jesuit missionary
  • Minot Judson Savage, minister
  • Cullen Sawtelle, US congressman
  • Franklin J. Sawtelle, architect
  • Ellen G. White, American Christian writer and co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Niram Withee, Wisconsin businessman and politician
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