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Strong, Maine
M. E. Church & Parsonage, Strong, ME.jpg
Toothpick Capital of the World
Strong, Maine is located in Maine
Strong, Maine
Strong, Maine
Location in Maine
Country United States
State Maine
County Franklin
Incorporated 1801
 • Total 28.94 sq mi (74.95 km2)
 • Land 28.35 sq mi (73.43 km2)
 • Water 0.59 sq mi (1.53 km2)
741 ft (226 m)
 • Total 1,122
 • Density 40/sq mi (15.3/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-74825
GNIS feature ID 0582753

Strong is a town in Franklin County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,122 at the 2020 census. Strong is home to the annual Sandy River Festival.


Hotel Strong, Strong, ME
The Hotel Strong in 1905

The plantation was called Township No. 3, First Range North of Plymouth Claim, West of Kennebec River (or T3 R1 NPC WKR), then successively known as Middletown and Readstown. It was first settled in 1784 by William Read from Nobleboro. Readstown was incorporated on January 31, 1801 and named for Caleb Strong, governor of Massachusetts. The Maine Republican Party was founded here on August 7, 1854.

Set on a hilly intervale above a big bend in the Sandy River, the area provided fertile soil for agriculture. Farmers grew hay, wheat, corn, oats and potatoes. The northeast branch of the Sandy River provided water power for mills, helping make Strong prosperous. By 1859, when the population was 1,008, it had sawmills, a gristmill, a fulling mill, a carding machine, a starch factory and a tannery.

The narrow gauge Sandy River Railroad connected Farmington and Phillips in 1879. By 1886, town industries included a boot and shoe factory, machine shops, a cheese factory, a clothespin manufacturer, a maker of cane seat chair bottoms, and an excelsior factory. It was noted as "one of the prettiest villages in the county."

Strong was called "Toothpick Capital of the World" due to the productivity of the Strong Wood Products Incorporated plant, which once manufactured 20 million toothpicks per day.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 28.94 square miles (74.95 km2), of which, 28.35 square miles (73.43 km2) of it is land and 0.59 square miles (1.53 km2) is water. Strong is located above a bend in the Sandy River, a tributary of the Kennebec River.

The town borders the towns of New Vineyard to the east, Farmington to the south, and Temple and Avon to the west, and Freeman Township to the north.

Strong is crossed by state routes 4, 145, 149 and 234.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 424
1820 862 103.3%
1830 985 14.3%
1840 1,109 12.6%
1850 1,008 −9.1%
1860 754 −25.2%
1870 634 −15.9%
1880 596 −6.0%
1890 627 5.2%
1900 637 1.6%
1910 720 13.0%
1920 779 8.2%
1930 878 12.7%
1940 1,007 14.7%
1950 1,036 2.9%
1960 976 −5.8%
1970 1,132 16.0%
1980 1,506 33.0%
1990 1,217 −19.2%
2000 1,259 3.5%
2010 1,213 −3.7%
2020 1,122 −7.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,213 people, 496 households, and 339 families living in the town. The population density was 42.8 inhabitants per square mile (16.5/km2). There were 634 housing units at an average density of 22.4 per square mile (8.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.1% White, 0.4% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

There were 496 households, of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.7% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.85.

The median age in the town was 41.5 years. 22.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.3% were from 25 to 44; 30.1% were from 45 to 64; and 15.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 51.2% male and 48.8% female.

Notable people

  • Elizabeth Akers Allen, author, journalist, poet
  • Ben C. Eastman, US congressman
  • John A. Eastman, Wisconsin state senator
  • Julia Harris May (1833–1912), poet, teacher, school founder
  • Nathaniel W. Milliken, Wisconsin state assemblyman
  • James Porter (1847–1876), military officer who died at Custer's Last Stand
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