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Yarmouth, Maine
Official seal of Yarmouth, Maine
Our Latchstring Always Out
Location in Cumberland County and the state of Maine.
Location in Cumberland County and the state of Maine.
Coordinates: 43°47′58″N 70°10′51″W / 43.79944°N 70.18083°W / 43.79944; -70.18083
Country United States
State Maine
County Cumberland
Settled 1636
Incorporated August 8, 1849
 • Total 22.94 sq mi (59.41 km2)
 • Land 13.35 sq mi (34.58 km2)
 • Water 9.59 sq mi (24.84 km2)
43 ft (13 m)
 • Total 8,349
 • Estimate 
 • Density 625.4/sq mi (241.5/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-87845
GNIS feature ID 0582831

Yarmouth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States, located twelve miles north of the state's largest city, Portland. The town was settled in 1636 and incorporated in 1849. Its population was 8,349 in the 2010 census. As of 2015's estimation, this is about 0.6% of Maine's total population.

Yarmouth is part of the Portland–South Portland-Biddeford Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The town's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and its location on the banks of the Royal River, which empties into Casco Bay less than a mile away, means it is a prime location as a harbor. Ships were built in the harbor mainly between 1818 and the 1870s, at which point demand declined dramatically. Meanwhile, the Royal River's four waterfalls within Yarmouth, whose Main Street sits about 45 feet above sea level, resulted in the foundation of almost sixty mills between 1674 and 1931.

The annual Yarmouth Clam Festival attracts around 120,000 people (around thirteen times the number of residents in the town) over the course of the three-day weekend.

Today, Yarmouth is a popular dining destination, with (as of December 2016) fourteen sit-down restaurants. This equates to an average of just over one restaurant per square mile of land area.

Yarmouth is easily accessed via two exits on each side of Interstate 295. U.S. Route 1 also passes through the town to the west of I-295.

It has been designated a Tree City USA community every year since 1979; 43 years ago (1979).


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.94 square miles (59.41 km2), of which, 13.35 square miles (34.58 km2) (58%) is land and 9.59 square miles (24.84 km2) (42%) is water.

Yarmouth is nearly square in form, and is bisected by the Royal River. The Cousins River separates it from Freeport to the northeast; Freeport and Pownal bound it to the east; North Yarmouth to the north; Cumberland to the west; and Casco Bay to the south. Also included as part of the town are Cousins Island, Lanes Island, Great and Little Moshier islands, and Littlejohn Island.


The Royal River appealed to settlers because its four waterfalls and 60-foot rise within a mile of navigable water provided four potential waterpower sites. In 1674, the first sawmill, of Sayward & Gedney, was built on the eastern side of the First (or Lower) Falls, by present-day Route 88. The Second Falls (which is actually a dam) are just west of the Sparhawk Mill, on Bridge Street; the Third Falls are within the bounds of Royal River Park; and the Fourth Falls is another dam, near the intersection of East Elm Street and Melissa Drive.

Since 1674, 57 mills (grain, lumber, pulp and cotton) and several factories (paper company, shoe factory, brick-making and electric company) stood along the shores of the river.

The First Falls

Lower Falls, Yarmouth ME
Lower Falls and the building which is now 1 Main Street, viewed from what is now Grist Mill Park

The Native Americans called the First Falls Pumgustuk, which means head of tide. In addition to the 1674 sawmill, this was the site of the first grist mill — Lower Grist Mills — built in 1813 and whose foundations support the overlook of today's Grist Mill Park. The mill, which was in business for 36 years, ground wheat and corn into flour using power generated by the water turbines set in the fast-flowing river below. Between 1870 and 1885, it was the site of Ansel Loring's grist mill, named Yarmouth Flour Mill.

Yarmouth harbor
A circa-1870 view of Yarmouth harbor, taken from where Yankee Marina — off Lafayette Street — is now, looking directly north to the East Main Street bridge

The first mill to go up on the western (Main Street hill) side of the river was Seabury & Mitchell's grist mill in 1729.

By 1874, the East Main Street bridge was flanked by a grist mill, saw mill, a store and a carpenter's shop that took care of the needs of ships built in the harbor on the other side of the bridge. In 1911, Yarmouth Manufacturing Company's electric power plant was built on the site of Craig's sawmill. Later businesses on this side included a fishing, hunting and camping equipment store and Industrial Wood Products. In the present-day building, at 1 Main Street, are F. M. Beck, C.A. White & Associates and Maine Environmental Laboratory.

The Second Falls

Cotton mill, Bridge Street, Yarmouth
An old cotton mill, Sparhawk Mill, on Bridge Street, looking north-east. It is now home to several small businesses. The original structure was built in the 1840s but was rebuilt after a fire.

A variety of mills have used power from the Second (Cotton Mill) Falls. A cotton rag paper mill operated on the falls (western) side of the bridge and a cotton mill filled the building now known as Sparhawk Mill. The Royal River Manufacturing Company, incorporated in 1857, was one of the leading industries in Yarmouth, spinning coarse and fine yarn and seamless grain bags, of which it produced up to 1,000 per day. This mill closed in 1917.

Boarding houses, which still exist today, were built on the crest of the northern Bridge Street hill, providing accommodation for weavers, seamstresses and bobbin boys. An iron bridge was in place around 1900. The mill got its current name in 1953, when Yale Cordage occupied it. They remained tenants for the next 39 years until 1992, when the decision was made to divide the mill's interior up into multiple business for extra revenue.

The Third Falls

Forest Paper Company, Yarmouth ME
Forest Paper Company (left) and Camp Hammond (right), viewed from the top of the Meeting House on Hillside Street, looking southeast over Main Street's intersection with Elm Street
Forest Paper Company 2, Yarmouth ME
Forest Paper Company, looking northwest to Elm Street

The Third (Baker's) Falls were, by far, the most industrious of the four. The first buildings — a grist mill, a carding mill and a nail mill — went up in 1805 between Bridge Street and East Elm Street on the east side of the river. A fulling mill followed in 1830. The Yarmouth Paper Company, which produced paper pulp, was built in 1864. The main access road to it was an extended version of today's Mill Street, off Main Street. Ten years later, S.D. Warren & Company bought it and renamed it the Forest Paper Company. Beginning with a single wooden building, the facility expanded to ten buildings covering as many acres, including a span over the river to Factory Island. Two bridges to it were also constructed. In 1909, it was the largest soda fiber mill in the world, employing 275 people. The mill used 15,000 cords of poplar each year, which meant mounds of logs were constantly in view beside Mill Street. Six railroad spurs extended from the tracks running behind Main Street to the Forest Paper Company, traversing today's Royal River Park. Rail cars delivered logs, coal, soda and chlorine to the mill and carried pulp away. The mill closed in 1923, when import restrictions on pulp were lifted and Swedish pulp became a cheaper option. The mill burned in 1931, leaving charred remains on the site until the development of the Royal River Park in the early 1980s. In 1971, the Marine Corps Reserve tore down the old factory, before a Navy demolition team used fourteen cases of dynamite to raze the remains. Most of the remaining debris was crushed and used as fill for the park but several remnants of the building are still visible today.

The Fourth Falls

Patches of snow still dotted the ground when 20-year-old Maren Madsen arrived by train at Yarmouth Junction in May 1892.

She had just returned from visiting family in her native Denmark. At the depot north of town, she set out walking along the tracks, suitcase in hand, her eyes locked on the smokestacks of the sprawling Forest Paper Co. mill complex on the Royal River.

Just above Fourth Falls, she crossed the narrow planks of the train trestle on her hands and knees, fearful of the deep water swirling below. She was eager to get back to work and see old friends.

— Maren Madsen Christensen, From Jutland’s Brown Heather to the Land Across the Sea

Yarmouth Historical Society is located beside the train trestle above, having moved from the third floor of the Merrill Memorial Library in 2013.

Here at the northern end of the Royal River Park once stood a large building that housed, in turn, a tannery, three shoe-manufacturing companies and a poultry-processing plant. These business took advantage of the Fourth (Gooche's) Falls water supply directly behind the building to provide power. The Sportocasin Company occupied it between 1923 and 1927. 50 employees made shoes with completely twistable soles to follow a golfer's foot in any direction.

Charles H. Weston's machine shop and foundry (1877–1898) manufactured equipment for cotton and woolen mills, turbine water wheels, steam engines and a wide variety of machinery for customers all over the world. Hodsdon Brothers & Company (1880–1901), meanwhile, made ladies' and misses' boots and shoes.


See also: Yarmouth (CDP), Maine
Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,144
1860 2,027 −5.5%
1870 1,872 −7.6%
1880 2,021 8.0%
1890 2,098 3.8%
1900 2,274 8.4%
1910 2,358 3.7%
1920 2,216 −6.0%
1930 2,125 −4.1%
1940 2,214 4.2%
1950 2,669 20.6%
1960 3,517 31.8%
1970 4,854 38.0%
1980 6,585 35.7%
1990 7,862 19.4%
2000 8,360 6.3%
2010 8,349 −0.1%
2014 (est.) 8,509 1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
Raymond H. Fogler Library
2012 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 8,349 people, 3,522 households, and 2,317 families residing in the town. The population density was 625.4 inhabitants per square mile (241.5/km2). There were 3,819 housing units at an average density of 286.1 per square mile (110.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.9% European American, 0.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

There were 3,522 households of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.2% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.87.

The median age in the town was 45.9 years. 22.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20% were from 25 to 44; 34.9% were from 45 to 64; and 16.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 47.1% male and 52.9% female.


Traces of human occupation in the Yarmouth area date to about 2,000 BC. During the years prior to the arrival of the Europeans, many Native American cultures are believed to have existed in the area.

When settlers arrived at Yarmouth's site around 1636, they found a fort already built. The fort had for some time been occupied by George Felt, who had in turn purchased it from John Phillips, a Welshman. In 1646, William Royall purchased a farm on the river which has ever-since borne his last name (minus the second L). This stream and its vicinity were called by the Indians "Westcustogo" — a name that, until the early 1990s, was preserved by an inn of the same name on Princes Point Road at its intersection with Lafayette Street. (The building remains but it is now occupied by another business.) John Cousins had arrived a year or more earlier than Royall, occupying the neck of land between the branches of the stream which has since been called Cousins River, and owning the island now bearing his name.

By 1676, approximately sixty-five people lived in Westcustogo. Soon after, however, conflicts forged by King Philip's War caused them to abandon their homes and move south.

Some settlers returned to their dwellings in 1679, and within twelve months the region became incorporated as North Yarmouth, the eighth town of the province of Maine.

In 1688, while the inhabitants on the eastern side of the river were building a garrison, they were attacked by Indians, and attempted a defense. They continued the contest until nightfall, when the Indians retired. It was not long before they appeared again, in such force that the thirty-six families of the settlement were forced to flee, abandoning their homes for a second time.

Royal River, Yarmouth, Maine
The Royal River rushing by the mill en route to the First Falls.

The unrest kept the area deserted for many years, but by 1715 settlers revisited their homes, by which point they found their fields and the sites of their habitations covered by a young growth of trees. In 1722, a "Committee for the Resettlement of North Yarmouth" was formed in Boston, Massachusetts. North Yarmouth held its first town meeting on May 14, 1733. The structural frame of the first meeting house was raised in 1729 near Westcustogo Hill on what is now Gilman Road, and nine years later the first school was built.

Once resettlement began, in 1727, the town's population began to grow rapidly. By 1764, 1,098 individuals lived in 154 houses. By 1810, the population was 3,295. During a time of peace, settlement began to relocate along the coast and inland.

The town's Main Street gradually became divided into the Upper Village (also known as the Corner) and Lower Falls, the split roughly located around the present-day, 1950s-built U.S. Route 1 overpass (Brickyard Hollow, as it was known).

Among the new proprietors at the time were descendants of the Plymouth Pilgrims. Up until 1756, the Indians were again very troublesome. In 1725, William and Matthew Scales and Joseph Felt were killed, and the wife and children of the latter was carried into captivity. A grandson of Felt, Joseph Weare, became a noted scout, pursuing the Native Americans at every opportunity. In August 1746, a party of thirty-two Indians secreted themselves near the Lower Falls for the apparent purpose of surprising Weare's garrison, in the process killing Philip Greely, who came upon them. This was the last act of resistance by the indigenous people to occur within the limits of the town.

Brickyard Hollow, Yarmouth, Maine
Looking west toward Main Street's Route 1 overpass and Brickyard Hollow. The future of the overpass became a subject of discussion in 2014.
Sylvanus Blanchard's house
Wooden plaques provided by the Yarmouth Village Improvement Society adorn more than 100 notable buildings in the town. Blanchard moved from this residence, today within the confines of NYA, to 317 Main Street in 1855.

The Yarmouth Village Improvement Society has added wooden plaques to over 100 notable buildings in town. These include:

  • Cushing and Hannah Prince House, 189 Greely Road — built 1785. This Federal-style farmhouse remained the home of several generations of the Levi and Olive Prince Blanchard family from 1832 to 1912.
  • Mitchell House, 333 Main Street — circa 1800. Another Federal-style building, with an unusual steeply-pitched hip roof, it was the home of two doctors — Ammi R. Mitchell (c. 1762–1823) and Eleazer Burbank.
  • Captain S.C. Blanchard House, 317 Main Street — 1855. One of the most elaborate and finely-detailed Italianate residences on the Maine coast, it was built by Sylvanus Blanchard (c. 1782–1859), a highly successful shipbuilder. The design is by Charles A. Alexander, who also executed the Chestnut Street Methodist Church in Portland. It replaced a building that is pictured in the oldest image (a drawing) of a Yarmouth street scene, drawn between 1837 and 1855.
  • Captain Rueben Merrill House, 233 West Main Street — 1858. Thomas J. Sparrow, the first native Portland architect, designed this three-story Italian-style house. Merrill was a well-known sea captain, who went down with his ship off San Francisco in 1875. Few changes have been made in the building, because it did not leave the possession of the Merrill family between then and 2011.
Camp Hammond, Yarmouth ME
Camp Hammond, with the stacks of Forest Paper Company in the background. Pictured on Main Street with their bicycles are Harry Storer (1870–1956) and J. Carswell Lane

Another notable building is Camp Hammond (1889–90), at 275 Main Street, whose construction method is significant in that the building consists of a single exterior wall of heavy planks over timbers, with no hidden spaces of hollow walls. This so-called mill-built construction was used largely for fire prevention.

Yarmouth constituted the eastern part of North Yarmouth until 1849, when it was set off and incorporated as an independent town. The split occurred due to bickering between the inland, farming-based contingent and the coastal maritime-oriented community. Unable to resolve this difference, the two halves of the town separated into present-day Yarmouth and North Yarmouth.

By 1850, Yarmouth's population was 2,144, and very little changed over the hundred years that followed.

18th- and 19th-century business relied heavily upon a variety of natural resources. Once lumber was cut and sent to market, the land was farmed. Tanneries were built near brooks; potteries and brickyards put to use the natural clay in the area; and mills flourished along the Royal River, providing services such as iron-forging and fulling cloth.

Maritime activities were important from the beginning of the third settlement. Lumber from inland areas was shipped out from the harbor. Vessels were being built by 1740, and by 1818 shipbuilding in the area was in full swing, though Yarmouth's industry peaked in the 1870s, and declined rapidly shortly thereafter. The final large sailing vessel was built in 1890. Almost three hundred vessels were launched by Yarmouth's shipyards in the century between 1790 and 1890.

In 1949, Yarmouth celebrated its centenary with a parade.

Rapid growth was experienced again around 1948 when Route 1 was constructed. Two years later, there were 2,699 inhabitants of the town. Interstate 295 was built through the harbor in 1961, and the town grew about 40%, from 4,854 residents in 1970 to 8,300 thirty-five years later.

As of the early 20th century, Yarmouth is mostly residential in character, with commercial development scattered throughout the town, particularly along Route 1 and Main Street (State Route 115).

People and places

Lower Falls

Main Street 2, Yarmouth, Maine
An early barber shop and (in the left side of the same building) what became George Soule's ice cream shop and pool hall. Vining's deli is beside it to the east.
Goffs Hardware Store, Yarmouth, Maine
Goffs hardware store, at the eastern end of Main Street (Route 115), closed in 2015 after 46 years in business.
Junction of Main and Portland Streets, Yarmouth, Maine
The intersection of Main and Portland Streets, looking west. Elder Rufus York's general store used to occupy the red-brick building. The site of Susan Kinghorn's millinery is now a Rosemont Market & Bakery. The steeple belongs to the First Parish Congregational Church.

19th- and 20th-century business that existed on Main Street in Yarmouth's Lower Falls section included (roughly from east to west):

  • W.N. Richards & Co.; later Vining's delicatessen and, beside it to the west, George Soule's (1887–1971) ice cream shop and pool hall (across from present-day Svetlana)
  • Coombs (later Barbour's hardware store; and Goffs hardware, 1969–2015)
  • Englishman James Parsons' grocery store
  • Post office. Postmaster Lucy Groves was appointed in 1868, becoming the first woman named or elected to an official position in the town of Yarmouth
  • Cornelius Shaw's Cash Market (1899). Shaw lived from 1864 to 1939.
  • Thomas Chase Store (1819); later Leon Doughty's stove and hardware store, L.A. Doughty & Co.; now Snip 'N Clip Hair Designs, still with the windows that were installed in 1932). Doughty later moved across the street, into the building later occupied by Barbour's and Goffs, when his business expanded
  • William Freeman's hairdressing salon (located above Doughty's before its move)
  • Cyrus Curtis' Saturday Evening Post publishers
  • Susan Kinghorn's millinery shop (located at the eastern corner of Main and Portland Streets in the building now occupied by Rosemont Market)
  • Elder Rufus York's general store (located in the brick building now occupied by Runge's Oriental Rug store at the western corner of Main and Portland Streets; later William H. Rowe's, then Melville Merrill's, Frank W. Bucknam's Pharmacy, and Vaughan's Rexall Pharmacy from 1945 to 1963. Vaughan's original sign was restored to the Portland Street corner of the building in 2014 but was taken down the following year)

In 1874, the Lower Falls near the harbor was crowded with the homes of sea captains, merchants and shipbuilders. In 1903, the post office established a route around town for the rural free delivery of mail. Hired was Joshua Drinkwater as the town's first letter carrier. Early in the morning he would leave Princes Point, pick up the mail at Lower Falls, and then deliver letters to the northern edge of town, including Sligo and Mountfort Roads. Around noon, he would pick up the afternoon sack for the town's western and coastal farms. Each day, as he passed his farm on Princes Point Road, he would change horses and eat lunch with his wife. Speaking of horses, an ornate, circular horse trough resembling a water fountain existed at the intersection of Main and Portland Streets in the early 1900s; it now stands behind the Merrill Memorial Library.

The parsonage for the Universalist church was the building now occupied by Plumb-It, to the east of Snip 'N Clip. On the other side of the Universalist church, just to the east of where the Old Sloop once stood, is a house that was formerly the home of Edward J. Stubbs, one of Yarmouth's most prolific and successful shipbuilders.

A lithograph from 1851, depicting the area of Main Street serviced by York Street, shows the home of George Woods and, next door, the Yarmouth Institute, which he established as direct competition with North Yarmouth Academy. Although it attracted students from as far afield as Cuba, his institute lacked an endowment and closed after five years. In 1859, while serving in his new role as chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, a lawsuit involving his dispute with NYA precipitated the split in Yarmouth's First Parish Church.

In an 1875 photograph of the northern end of Portland Street, with the Universalist church in the background, Captain Henry Newton's house is visible on the right. Gad Hitchcock previously lived there. Leon Gorman, the grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, also lived here until his death in 2015. He was, at the time of his passing, the wealthiest person living in the state of Maine, having had a reported net worth of $860 million.

Halfway along this northern section of Portland Street is a three-story Federal-style building that was once a tavern, built by Colonel Seth Mitchell c. 1810. Early in the 20th century, Ralph Redfern used the property for a dairy that became known as Old Tavern Farm.

Brickyard Hollow

Brickyard Hollow, Yarmouth ME
Brickyard Hollow, before it was filled in. Photo taken from where the Route 1 overpass is today, looking northwest

The section of town between the Upper Village and Lower Falls was known as Brickyard Hollow, named for John Collins' brickyard, which was located across the street from the Masonic Hall (now the restaurant Gather). Collins donated land for the Casco Lodge.

A muddy valley up until the beginning of the 20th century, the Hollow was eventually reclaimed as a civic center by laying down a two-foot layer of black ash, from Forest Paper Company, to level it out. After constructing two new schools, the Merrill Memorial Library and a war memorial, town officials also decided to rename the area Centervale in order to improve its image. The name did not last, however.

In 1929, a new centralized post office was built to the east of the present-day Anderson-Mayberry American Legion Hall. On the left side of this building was the Fidelity Trust Company. The bank failed early in the Great Depression of the 1930s. To the east of the post office stood the Knights of Pythias Hall. Harriman's IGA Foodliner moved here in the late 20th century from its Main and West Elm Streets location. A KeyBank (formerly Casco Bank) and the parking lot for NYA's Priscilla Savage Middle School now stand in its place.

In 1890, Yarmouth built a large new school building on the site of the present town hall and police station. Grades 5 to 8 were on the first floor; the high school occupied the upper level. A three-story high school was constructed next to this in 1900. When all of the high-school students were sent to North Yarmouth Academy in 1930, the building became another elementary school. In 1974, both buildings were demolished to make way for the current construction.

In 1904, the town's Civil War veterans sought permission to place a soldiers monument in front of the new schools. With funds lacking, it was put off until after World War I, when the project was completed in tandem with a board of trade plan to erect a bandstand. The resulting octagon structure, in the Doric order, was adorned by a plaque to the veterans. The words "Memorial To Men of Yarmouth in War Service" appeared just below the roof line. The structure was inadequately maintained, however, and had to be removed when rotting boards resulted in injuries.

Brickyard Hollow 2, Yarmouth, Maine
Brickyard Hollow, around where the town hall now stands, looking east towards NYA

Although most of the land built on in the Hollow was for public buildings, one new home was constructed. In 1889, Dr. Herbert Merrill had a dental practice in the rear of his house, which has since been moved closer to the Rowe School. It is the building now occupied by InSight Eyecare on the InterMed campus.

In 1903, Joseph Merrill donated the funds to build a new library. The architect was Alexander Longfellow, a nephew of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Despite the occasional flood, town offices were eventually established in the library's basement. The flooding was partly caused by the blockage of Cleaves Brook (where today's police station is) — which formerly drained the whole center of town — when Brickyard Hollow was filled in.

Directly across the street from the library stood the Dumphy house and barn. These were auctioned off in 1921, creating more public space in Centervale.

During the middle of the 20th century, in the plaza across Cleaves Street that formerly housed a 7-Eleven (now Anthony's Dry Cleaners & Laundromat) was the Dairy Joy ice-creamery, in front, and the Korner Kitchen (formerly the Snack House) behind it.

On January 2, 2009, twenty-six businesses located at 500 Route 1 were destroyed in an arson attack. The entire block, located near to the point at which Route 1 passes over Main Street, was pulled down shortly thereafter. Damage was estimated to be between $2 million and $4 million. Everett Stickney, of Exeter, New Hampshire, was convicted of starting the fire, along with another one in York, Maine, later that evening. On November 12, 2009, Stickney was sentenced to an eleven-and-a-half-year prison term and ordered to pay $3.7 million in compensation. The building was replaced in 2008 and several businesses have moved in.

Upper Village

Handy Andy's, Yarmouth, Maine
Andy's Handy Store, at the corner of Main and East Elm Streets in the Upper Village, looking east from Latchstring Park. Known locally as Handy Andy's, it was the location of the first phone call between Yarmouth and Portland.
Handy Andy's
The same view in the 19th century

In contrast to today, people who lived near the Elm and Main Streets intersection in the 19th century would not think of shopping at the Lower Falls end of the latter thoroughfare. For over 150 years, much of the retail activity in the Upper Village occurred in the area of these old brick stores. Some of the oldest buildings on Main Street are those on its southern side, clustered between the Catholic and Baptist churches. The Daniel Wallis house at 330 Main Street, for example, was built around 1810. Around the middle of the 19th century, Captain Cushing Prince moved here from his historic house on Greely Road.

Businesses and residences in the Upper Village and the area around the intersection of Main and Elm Street, which officially became known as Yarmouthville in 1882, included (roughly from west to east):

Upper Village, Yarmouth, Maine
This brick building used to house (from left to right) Marston's dry goods store and L.R. Cook's apothecary
Yarmouthville, Yarmouth ME
A vintage view. Looking east from the intersection of Main and Elm Streets
Main Street 3, Yarmouth, Maine
The southern side of Main Street, looking east
East Elm Street, Yarmouth, Maine
East Elm Street, from its junction with Main Street. The horse trough in view here now stands at the intersection of Main and Center Streets
  • In the mid-to-late 1870s, diagonally across from where Handy Andy's now is, was Jeremiah Mitchell's tavern. It is now Latchstring Park
  • In 1788, Dr. Williams Parsons built a brown colonial home where the single-story business now stands at the corner of Main and West Elm Streets. The house was torn down in 1950
  • Sam York's grocery store (located to the east of the Parsons residence in the late 1800s)
  • Adelaide Abbott's millinery shop (located to the east of York's)
  • Post office (located to the east of Abbott's)
  • George Jefford's harness shop (located to the east of the post office)
  • Isaac Johnson's barbershop (located above Jefford's)
  • At the corner of Main and East Elm Streets stood a nail mill in 1807. In 1891, what was then Foster's Pottery was torn down and a new building was constructed. Since then, more than thirty different business or owners have set up here, including, between 1906 and 1935, Arthur and Harry Storer's hardware store, Storer Bros.
  • John A. Griffin's hardware store
  • Joel Brooks' pottery (situated on East Elm Street, which was then named Gooches' Lane, it was in business between 1851 and 1888)
  • Andy's Handy Store – named for original proprietor, Leland "Andy" Anderson. In 1935, Anderson combined the two wooden buildings of Griffin's and an adjacent grocery store (which sold produce "at Portland prices"). Now named "Handy's", it is occupied by OTTO Pizza after ceasing to be a store in 2014
  • William Marston's (1838–1901) dry goods store (founded in 1859; closed circa 1968)
  • Located next door to Marston's was L.R. Cook's apothecary
  • Harold "Snap" (and his father, "Pop") Moxcey's barbershop was located at the corner of Main and Center Streets, across from the Baptist church
  • Larry's Barber Shop appeared on Center Street later
  • Another barber shop, beside the Baptist church, was owned by Charlie Reinsborough
  • Doctor Nat Barker and his wife, Catherine, lived on the corner of South Street in the 1930s and 1940s
  • Coombs Bros. (Albert and George) candy and grocery store (located at the eastern corner of Main and South Streets in a different construction than what is standing today). Bert set up the town's telephone service in the 1880s. In 1909, he established a Ford dealership on South Street, which was laid out in 1848 as part of Yarmouth's first modern housing development. Farm land was given over to house lots and sold to merchants and sea captains, such as Ansel Loring and Perez Blanchard. Frederick Gore, manager of the Forest Paper Company, lived at the corner of South and Cumberland Streets (in what is now 67 South Street) with his wife, Angie. Elmer Ring's "washerette" later stood in this location, and it was he who changed the roofline and façade of the building (he also ran a hardware store, a heating and plumbing service, and a coal yard)
  • Captain Eben York's mansion at 326 Main Street (now occupied by the Parish Office of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church next door). Father Joseph Quinn held services in the barn until it burned in 1913
  • St. Lawrence House – a hotel built, where the Mobil gas station near Camp Hammond stands today, to take advantage of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroads coming through town. Circa 1872, it was renamed the Baker House, after its owner Jeremiah Baker. It was the first of several name changes. The expected tourists never materialized, and the hotel burned down in 1928
  • J.O. Durgan's daguerreotype salon (located just to the east of the hotel; later Gad Hitchcock's coffin and casket showroom)
  • A.C. Brawn's jewelry shop (at what was then 73 Main Street; formerly Yarmouth Market, now Hancock Lumber)

An elm tree in front of Marston's store had a bulletin board nailed to it, upon which local residents posted, as early as 1817, public notices, circus posters and satirical comments about town affairs. Like almost all of Yarmouth's elms, it became afflicted by Dutch elm disease and was cut down in 1980.

Prior to the Presumpscot River being bridged at Martin's Point in Falmouth Foreside, West Elm Street was a direct route to Portland and, hence, a key stagecoach stop. A large barn was built beside Mitchell's tavern to house horses. The house of Richmond Cutter still stands at the corner of Church and West Elm Streets.

A few doors down from Cutter's house, a Methodist church was built on West Elm Street in 1898 to mark a revival of the religion. The church was disbanded thirty years later. The building, now painted yellow, has now been converted into a residence.

A Catholic church was built on Cumberland Street in 1879. The location was chosen out of fear that it would be vandalized if it was built on Main Street, for Yarmouth was a prevalently Protestant town at the time. The structure still stands as a private home, but turned sideways to the street.

A large wooden building located near the old brick schools at the intersection of West Main Street and Sligo Road served as the town hall between 1833 and 1910. It was here that the 1849 debates took place that led to Yarmouth's secession from North Yarmouth.

The school buildings mentioned above were in use throughout the 1980s. In 1847, teacher William Osgood had 74 students; as such, a second school was built beside the original soon after.

Further out on West Main Street is an imposing Italianate mansion that was built for Captain Reuben Merrill in 1858. Merrill, who was married to Hannah Elizabeth Blanchard and had four children, was killed while aboard his clipper Champlain when it ran aground near the Farallon Islands, San Francisco, in 1875. After making sure his crew was safely aboard lifeboats, Merrill was hit by a piece of falling rigging, fell overboard and drowned. Neither Merrill's body nor the ship's haul of railroad iron was ever recovered. His eldest son and first mate, Osborne, witnessed his father's death and never went to sea again, bringing to an end the family's seafaring ways. In April 2011, his three-story, 15-room mansion at 233 West Main became the headquarters of Maine Preservation.

National Register of Historic Places

Twelve properties in Yarmouth are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The oldest (the Cushing and Hannah Prince House) dates from 1785; the "newest" (the Grand Trunk Railway Station) was built in 1906. They are ranked in chronological order below:


Grand Trunk Railway Station, Yarmouth
Grand Trunk Railway Station (1906), now a florist, is owned by Yarmouth's Village Improvement Society. The apsidal form of its northern end is found in no other Maine station. The waiting room for the station stood on the land now occupied by Hancock Lumber (formerly Yarmouth Market) and Bank of America, as denoted by a plaque in the flowerbed of the properties.
Yarmouth Crossing, Yarmouth, Maine
Yarmouth Crossing, where Main Street traverses the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad, looking north from Railroad Square.

Interstate 295 runs elevated through Yarmouth and has two exits (15 and 17) in the town. Route 1 (at grade and also a bridge over Main Street) and State Routes 88 and 115 also run through the town. The town also has two railroad junctions: Royal Junction (midway along Greely Road) and Yarmouth Junction (to the west of East Elm Street at Depot Road). The two railroads passing through the town are Guilford Rail System's Maine Central Railroad and the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad (formerly Grand Trunk Railway). The Brunswick Branch of the Maine Central Railroad received a new lease of life in November 2012, when a northern extension of the Downeaster line was opened, carrying passengers three times a day to and from Brunswick's Maine Street Station via Freeport. The trains pass under two roads and over two crossings on their way through Yarmouth. They are (from south to north) West Main Street, Sligo Road, East Elm Street (just after Yarmouth Junction) and North Road.

On weekdays, the trains pass through northbound at 4.00 PM (#683), 7.55 PM (#685), 9.15 PM (#687; Monday-Thursday only) and 1.20 AM (#689; Saturday morning). On weekends, they pass through at 1.15 PM (#691), 7.40 PM (#695), 1.20 AM (#699; Sunday morning) and 10.30 PM (#697; Sunday night).

Southbound weekday times: 7.50 AM (#682), 11.25 AM (#684) and 5.45 PM (#688). Weekend: 7.50 AM (#692), 11.45 AM (#694) and 6.25 PM (#698).

Trolley cars of the Portland and Yarmouth Electric Railway Company used to run, every fifteen minutes, from Portland, through Falmouth Foreside, up and down Pleasant Street and onto Main Street between 1898 and 1933, when the advent of the automobile made rail travel a less convenient option. Underwood Spring Park in Falmouth Foreside, with its open-air theater, casino and gazebo, was a popular gathering spot serviced by the trolley cars. The theater only existed for eight years, burning down in 1907. In 1906, a bridge was built over the Royal River, connecting the Brunswick and Portland trolleys at the Grand Trunk depot in town. The walking bridge in the Royal River Park is built on old abutments for a trolley line which ran between Yarmouth and Freeport between 1906 and 1933.



  • Grist Mill Park, East Main Street
  • Village Green Park, Main Street
  • Latchstring Park, Main Street and West Elm Street
  • Royal River Park
  • Pratt's Brook Park, North Road

Open spaces and conservation land

  • Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Bayview Street
  • Fels-Groves Farm Preserve, Gilman Road
  • Larrabee's Landing, Burbank Lane
  • Frank Knight Forest, East Main Street
  • Barker Property, between East Elm Street and Royal River
  • Sligo Road Property
  • Sweetsir Farm, Old Field Road
  • Camp Soci, Cousins Island
  • Sandy Point Beach
  • Tinker Property

Beth Condon Memorial Pathway

Beth Condon
A plaque in the Beth Condon Memorial Butterfly Garden.

The Beth Condon Memorial Pathway is a pedestrian and bicycle path that originates on the western side of the Portland Street and Route 1 intersection. It is named after 15-year-old Yarmouth High School sophomore Elizabeth Ann "Beth" Condon, who was killed by drunk driver Martha Burke on August 28, 1993, as she walked along Route 1 with her boyfriend, James Young, having just been to a video store in Yarmouth Marketplace.

The first section of the pathway was begun in 1997 and cost $100,000. 80% of this was funded by the Maine Department of Transportation. This original part runs parallel to Route 1 and ends at the parking lot of the town hall. It is at this juncture, where Condon died, that a butterfly garden was built in her honor. It was rededicated on August 2, 2014, a few weeks before the 21st anniversary of her death. In 1998, an extension was added to the pathway that took it onto Cleaves Street, School Street and into the Royal River Park, where it intersects with a recreational path. A pedestrian bridge carries it over the Royal River en route to Forest Falls Drive. In 2006, a third phase added a section that took it up to the Hannaford plaza and, after an almost 500-yard gap, a ramp connecting Route 1 up the hill to East Main Street. Talk of bridging this gap, part of which goes beneath the East Main Street bridge, began in 2011, with a planned start date of 2013. It would bring the total length of the pathway to 1.7 miles; however, the traffic cones that were set out along the route on July 22, 2013 remained in place until September 2014, despite a statement that the original plan to monitor traffic flow was to take "several weeks". The two-lane southbound side of the road was permanently reduced to one at the same time. The project was completed the following month.

In 2000, the pathway was integrated as part of the East Coast Greenway, a project to create a nearly 3,000-mile (4,800-km) urban path linking the major cities of the Atlantic coast, from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida, for non-motorized human transportation.

Yarmouth Clam Festival

Established in 1965, the Yarmouth Clam Festival is an annual three-day event which takes place in the town during the third weekend in July, attracting around 120,000 people. The festival features a parade, food, carnival rides, crafts, a clam-shucking contest, a five-mile run, and a world-class bike race.

'Herbie', Yarmouth, Maine
"Herbie" stood on present-day East Main Street (State Route 88) at its intersection with Yankee Drive. This photograph taken prior to its spread being reduced in 2008. The tree succumbed to Dutch elm disease and was removed in January 2010.


"Herbie" was an elm tree that stood by present-day East Main Street (Route 88), at its intersection with Yankee Drive, between 1793 and 2010. At 110 feet in height, it was, between 1997 and the date of its felling, the oldest and largest of its kind in New England. The tree, which partially stood in the front yard of a private residence, also had a 20-foot circumference and (until mid-2008) a 93-foot crown spread.

Frank Knight, Herbie's "warden", died in May 2012 at the age of 103. He looked after the tree for over fifty years. Frank Knight Forest, on East Main Street, was named in his honor.


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