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flag  History of Gorham, Maine, USA

Journey back in time to Gorham, Maine, USA

Visit Gorham, Maine, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Gorham, Maine, USA - Gorham Academy, Erected 1806, Gorham, Me.

Gorham, Cumberland, ME

First called Narragansett Number 7 was one of seven townships granted by the Massachusetts General Court to soldiers (or their heirs) who had fought in the Narragansett War of 1675, also called King Philip's War. The land was first settled in 1736 by Captain John Phinney and his family, followed in 1738 by Hugh McLellan and Daniel Mosher. By 1743, the first sawmill was established by John Gorham at Little River. Without window-glass, the first dwellings were constructed of logs chinked with moss and clay.

Narragansett Number 7 suffered its first Indian raid in 1745 during King George's War, when the meeting house and Gorham's sawmill were burned. It was attacked again in 1746, when five colonists were killed and three abducted. Incursions during the French and Indian Wars would finally end, however, with the 1763 Treaty of Paris. The town was incorporated as Gorham in 1764. It would annex land from Standish in 1831 and 1839, and from Scarborough in 1864...


There is MUCH more to discover about Gorham, Maine, USA. Read on!

Gorham Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Gorham Academy, Erected 1806, Gorham, Me.
Gorham, Maine, USA

Gorham Academy, Erected 1806, Gorham, Me.

Gorham, Maine, USA

Gorham Normal School
Gorham, Maine, USA

Gorham Normal School
High St., looking East
Gorham, Maine, USA

High St., looking East
Main St.
Gorham, Maine, USA

Main St.

Discover Gorham: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1828 - Shocking Accident.
An explosion took place in one of the Powder Mills in Gorham, July 19th which occasioned the death of six of the workmen, viz: Wm. Moses, Noah Babb and James Green, of Standish - Josiah Clark, Jr., and Hanson Irish, of Gorham, and Major Means, of Windham - all young men without families. Daniel Moses, of Standish, was also injured to such a degree that his life was despaired of, although he was alive on Monday morning. The melancholy accident, says the Portland Advertiser of yesterday, was occasioned in exchanging the composition from one mortar to another. A young man, unacquainted with the work, to loosen some of it from the mortar, dropped the copper pestle. He was told to desist by one of the workmen, but repeated it three times, when the powder took fire and exploded about sixteen casks.
American Advocate
Hallowell, Maine
July 25, 1828
1839 - Gorham
Gorham, Maine
Cumberland county. This town is watered on the N.E. side by Presumpscut river, and the Cumberland and Oxford canal. It is 9 miles W.N.W. from Portland and 63 S.W. from Augusta. Gorham was first settled in 1736, by John Phinney and others from Barnstable county, Mass. Maine was at that time almost a wilderness. Portland, Saco and Scarborough were very feeble in consequence of the depredations of the Indians. There people endured great privations, and for many years were in constant apprehension of attack by the savages. "The wives and daughters of the first settlers of Gorham shared in all the toils and wants of their husbands and fathers; they used to labor in the field, carry burdens, go to mill, and aid in defence of their property. One time when most of the men were away, the Indians attacked the fort, and the wife of Hugh McLellan rallied the women in the garrison, shut the gates, mounted the walls, fired upon the Indians, and by her courage and activity baffled the ... Read MORE...

From the Portland Advertiser.
A violent tornado was experienced in Gorham on Sunday night. The dwelling house of MR. NILES, a frame building, one and a half stories in height, was moved from its foundation, back about ten feet, when it brought up against an apple tree. Thus far it saved MR. NILES a good deal of trouble and expense, for he intended to move his house back to the very spot where the tornado left it. But he was not quite so well pleased with the freaks the wind played with his barn; it took it completely apart and carried the timbers, boards, &c., up a hill some two hundred feet and left them there!
Several houses in the vicinity had their chimneys blown down, and the roofs of quite a number were started. The duration of the tornado was short, and its track was quite narrow. Some of the neighbors living but a short distance from MR. NILES, and upon higher ground, heard the sound of the wind but felt nothing of its effects. MR. NILES and his family were in the house at... Read MORE...

1886 - Gorham
Gorham is one of the pleasantest and most substantial towns in the State. It is situated on the south-western side of Cumberland County, 10 miles from Portland. Windharn bounds it on the north, being separated from it by Presumpscot River. On the south-east is Westbrook, on the south Scarborough, on the north-west Standish, and on the south-west Buxton. in York County. The Oxford and Cumberland Canal passes through the town nearly parallel to the Presumpscot River from Casco Bay to Sebago. Stroudwater Pond and River drain the southern part of the town, and Little River drains the centre. The Portland and Rochester Railway crosses the southern part of the town, having a station at Gorham Village; and the Portland and Ogdensburgh crosses the northern part, having a station at White Rock, and at Gambo Falls, in Windham, adjoining. Gorham village, Little Falls, Great Falls and West Gorham are the principal business centres. There are numerous manufactures in town and at its borders. At... Read MORE...

1895 - Gorham
Gorham, a post-village of Cumberland co., Me., in Gorham township, on the Portland & Rochester Railroad, 10 miles W. of Portland. It has 4 or 5 churches, a money order post-office, a high school, a savings-bank, and manufactures of woollen goods, carpets, and powder. The town ship is traversed by the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad. Pop. of the township in 1880, 3233; in 1890, 2888.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1906 - Gorham
Gorham, a banking post-village of Cumberland co., Me. in Gorham township (town), on the Portland and Rochester R., 10 miles W. of Portland. It has manufactures of leather, lumber, etc. Pop. of the town in 1900, 2540.
Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns ... in Every Portion of the Globe Publisher J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906
2023 - Here are some of the best places to go and things to do in Gorham, Maine:
Sebago Lake State Park: Just a short drive from Gorham, Sebago Lake State Park is a must-visit for outdoor lovers. It boasts one of the largest freshwater beaches in the state and offers swimming, picnicking, hiking, and boating opportunities. You can rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards to explore the pristine waters of Sebago Lake.

Hike at the White Mountains: Gorham is close to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, making it an ideal base camp for hiking adventures. The Presidential Range, located in the White Mountains, offers some of the most challenging and rewarding hikes in the region. Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the Northeast, is a popular choice for experienced hikers. If you prefer easier trails, there are plenty of options for all skill levels.

Gorham Village: Stroll through the heart of Gorham, where you'll find a charming village center with locally-owned shops and restaurants. It's a great place to pick up unique gifts, enjoy a delicious meal, or simply ... Read MORE...

Discover Your Roots: Gorham Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Gorham, Maine, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Gorham.

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female ancestorElizabeth MCLELLAN (1706, , Ireland - 16 July 1802, Gorham, Maine, USA)
photo of Hugh MCLELLANHugh MCLELLAN (1710, , Ireland - 2 January 1787, Gorham, Maine, USA)
female ancestorAbigail MCLELLAN (January 1738, Portland, Maine, USA (Deering) - 14 May 1821, Gorham, Maine, USA)
male ancestorRichard EDWARDS (5 September 1740, Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA (Ayers Village) - 29 October 1826, Gorham, Maine, USA)
male ancestorThomas CLAY (1751, - 9 January 1846, Gorham, Maine, USA)
male ancestorJohn LOMBARD (1755, - 24 May 1844, Gorham, Maine, USA)
male ancestorBenjamin CHAMBERLAIN (1761, - 25 December 1855, Gorham, Maine, USA)
male ancestorJethro LIBBY (1762, - 9 February 1849, Gorham, Maine, USA)
male ancestorJoshua SWETT (10 January 1763, Westbrook, Maine, USA (Saccarappa) (Cumberland Mills) - 20 April 1851, Gorham, Maine, USA)

Ancestors Who Were Married in Gorham, Maine, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Gorham.

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male ancestorRichard EDWARDS (5 September 1740 - 29 October 1826) and female ancestorHannah LATHROP (abt, 1744 - 3 January 1823) married 4 July 1765
male ancestorDaniel COBB (7 May 1755 - 2 September 1834) and female ancestorMolly BROWN (8 September 1757 - 1 December 1822) married 5 October 1776
male ancestorDaniel MOULTON (25 May 1764 - 17 February 1849) and female ancestorDeborah DYER (20 May 1772 - 13 April 1852) married 20 November 1790
male ancestorSamuel EDWARDS (27 January 1770 - 23 February 1847) and female ancestorMartha MCLELLAN (6 November 1774 - 20 July 1842) married 8 July 1792
male ancestorBenjamin MOULTON (1 December 1793 - 25 May 1845) and female ancestorHannah HARDING (23 March 1798 - 24 February 1852) married 6 September 1818
male ancestorClark SWETT (6 December 1790 - 5 May 1839) and female ancestorMartha EDWARDS (17 February 1798 - 22 January 1843) married 7 June 1823
male ancestorZelotes MOULTON (4 March 1814 - 17 March 1880) and female ancestorAlmeda WEEKS (1814 - 26 August 1878) married 12 February 1835
male ancestorJoseph Jean AUDET (16 February 1877 - 29 May 1951) and photo of Marie "Mary" Anna ARSENAULT Marie "Mary" Anna ARSENAULT (31 October 1871 - 31 March 1939) married 12 November 1894

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Updated: 9/15/2023 8:05:09 AM