Waterville, Maine
Waterville is a city in Kennebec County
Kennebec County, Maine
Kennebec County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maine. In 2010, its population was 122,151. Its county seat is Augusta. The center of population of Maine is located in Kennebec County, in the city of Augusta....

, Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, on the west bank of the Kennebec River
Kennebec River
The Kennebec River is a river that is entirely within the U.S. state of Maine. It rises in Moosehead Lake in west-central Maine. The East and West Outlets join at Indian Pond and the river then flows southward...

. The population was 15,722 at the 2010 census. Home to Colby College
Colby College
Colby College is a private liberal arts college located on Mayflower Hill in Waterville, Maine. Founded in 1813, it is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the United States...

 and Thomas College
Thomas College
Thomas College is a small, liberal arts college located in Waterville, Maine, U.S. It was founded in 1894 as a non-sectarian, co-educational college dedicated to career training. Thomas specializes in business, education, and technology...

, Waterville is the regional commercial, medical and cultural center.


The area now known as Waterville was once inhabited by the Canibas tribe of Abenaki Indians
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

. Called Taconnet after Chief Taconnet, the main village was located at what is now Winslow
Winslow, Maine
Winslow is a town and census-designated place in Kennebec County, Maine, United States, along the Kennebec River. The population was 7,743 at the 2000 census.-History:...

, on the east bank of the Kennebec River
Kennebec River
The Kennebec River is a river that is entirely within the U.S. state of Maine. It rises in Moosehead Lake in west-central Maine. The East and West Outlets join at Indian Pond and the river then flows southward...

 at its confluence with the Sebasticook River
Sebasticook River
The Sebasticook River is a river in the central part of Maine, in the United States. It flows from Great Moose Lake, about north of Winslow, Maine, to the Kennebec River in Winslow.According to the Sebasticook River Watershed Association:...

. Known as Ticonic by English settlers, it was burned in 1692 during King William's War
King William's War
The first of the French and Indian Wars, King William's War was the name used in the English colonies in America to refer to the North American theater of the Nine Years' War...

, after which the Canibas tribe abandoned the area. Fort Halifax was built by General John Winslow in 1754, and the last skirmish with Indians occurred on May 18, 1757.

The township would be organized as Kingfield Plantation, then incorporated in 1771 as Winslow
Winslow, Maine
Winslow is a town and census-designated place in Kennebec County, Maine, United States, along the Kennebec River. The population was 7,743 at the 2000 census.-History:...

. Waterville was set off from Winslow and incorporated on June 23, 1802 when residents on the west side of the Kennebec found themselves unable to cross the river to attend town meetings. In 1824, a bridge was built to Winslow. Early industries included fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

, lumbering, agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 and ship building, with larger boats launched in spring during freshet
A freshet can refer to one of two things:* A flood resulting from heavy rain or a spring thaw. Whereas heavy rain often causes a flash flood, a spring thaw event is generally a more incremental process, depending upon local climate and topography...

s. By the early 1900s, there were five shipyards in the community.

Ticonic Falls blocked navigation further upriver, so Waterville developed as the terminus for trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

 and shipping
Shipping has multiple meanings. It can be a physical process of transporting commodities and merchandise goods and cargo, by land, air, and sea. It also can describe the movement of objects by ship.Land or "ground" shipping can be by train or by truck...

. The Kennebec River and Messalonskee Stream provided water power for mills, including several sawmill
A sawmill is a facility where logs are cut into boards.-Sawmill process:A sawmill's basic operation is much like those of hundreds of years ago; a log enters on one end and dimensional lumber exits on the other end....

s, a gristmill
The terms gristmill or grist mill can refer either to a building in which grain is ground into flour, or to the grinding mechanism itself.- Early history :...

, a sash and blind
Window shutter
A window shutter is a solid and stable window covering usually consisting of a frame of vertical stiles and horizontal rails...

 factory, a furniture
Furniture is the mass noun for the movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating and sleeping in beds, to hold objects at a convenient height for work using horizontal surfaces above the ground, or to store things...

 factory and a shovel
A shovel is a tool for digging, lifting, and moving bulk materials, such as soil, coal, gravel, snow, sand, or ore. Shovels are extremely common tools that are used extensively in agriculture, construction, and gardening....

 handle factory. There was also a carriage
A carriage is a wheeled vehicle for people, usually horse-drawn; litters and sedan chairs are excluded, since they are wheelless vehicles. The carriage is especially designed for private passenger use and for comfort or elegance, though some are also used to transport goods. It may be light,...

 and sleigh factory, boot
A boot is a type of footwear but they are not shoes. Most boots mainly cover the foot and the ankle and extend up the leg, sometimes as far as the knee or even the hip. Most boots have a heel that is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the sole, even if the two are made of one piece....

 shop, brickyard and tannery
Tanning is the making of leather from the skins of animals which does not easily decompose. Traditionally, tanning used tannin, an acidic chemical compound from which the tanning process draws its name . Coloring may occur during tanning...

. On September 27, 1849, the Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad
Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad
The Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad is a historic U.S. railroad which operated in Maine.The Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad Co. received a charter on March 28, 1847 and by January 1850 had built a line between Waterville, Maine and Danville, Maine . At Waterville, the A&K connected with the...

 opened to Waterville. It would become part of the Maine Central Railroad
Maine Central Railroad
The Maine Central Railroad Company was a railroad in central and southern Maine. It was chartered in 1856 and began operations in 1862. It operated a mainline between South Portland, Maine, east to the Canada-U.S...

, which in 1870 established locomotive
A locomotive is a railway vehicle that provides the motive power for a train. The word originates from the Latin loco – "from a place", ablative of locus, "place" + Medieval Latin motivus, "causing motion", and is a shortened form of the term locomotive engine, first used in the early 19th...

 and car repair shops in the thriving mill town
Mill town
A mill town, also known as factory town or mill village, is typically a settlement that developed around one or more mills or factories .- United Kingdom:...

. West Waterville (renamed Oakland
Oakland, Maine
Oakland is a town in Kennebec County in the U.S. state of Maine. The population was 6,240 at the 2010 census. . Gateway to the Belgrade Lakes region, Oakland is 4 miles west of Waterville and approximately 18 miles north of Augusta, the state capital.-History:It was first settled about 1780 by...

) was set off as a town in 1873. Waterville was incorporated as a city on January 12, 1888.

The Ticonic Water Power & Manufacturing Company was formed in 1866 and soon built a dam across the Kennebec. After a change of ownership in 1873, the company began construction on what would become the Lockwood Manufacturing Company, a cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 textile plant. A second mill was added, and by 1900 the firm dominated the riverfront and employed 1,300 workers. Lockwood Mills survived until the mid-1950s. The iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 Waterville-Winslow Footbridge opened in 1901, but in less than a year was carried away by the highest river level since 1832. Rebuilt in 1903, it would be called the Two Cent Bridge because of its toll. In 1902, the Beaux-Arts style City Hall and Opera House designed by George Gilman Adams was dedicated. But in 2002, the C. F. Hathaway Company
C. F. Hathaway Company
C. F. Hathaway Company was a private manufacturer of shirts for men and boys, located in Waterville, Maine. It was founded in 1837 and made uniform shirts for Union soldiers during the American Civil War. It is most famous for its "man with an eye patch" advertising campaign, which was created by...

, one of the last remaining factories in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 producing dress shirt
Dress shirt
A shirt, or dress shirt in American English, is a garment with a collar, a full-length opening at the front from the collar to the hem, and sleeves with cuffs. Shirts are predominantly used by men, since women usually wear blouses...

s, closed after over 160 years of operation in the city.

Waterville also developed as an educational center. In 1813, The Maine Literary and Theological Institution was established. It would be renamed Waterville College in 1821, then Colby College
Colby College
Colby College is a private liberal arts college located on Mayflower Hill in Waterville, Maine. Founded in 1813, it is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the United States...

 in 1867. Thomas College
Thomas College
Thomas College is a small, liberal arts college located in Waterville, Maine, U.S. It was founded in 1894 as a non-sectarian, co-educational college dedicated to career training. Thomas specializes in business, education, and technology...

 was established in 1894. Coburn Classical Institute once prepared students to attend college. The institution merged with the Oak Grove School in Vassalboro
Vassalboro, Maine
Vassalboro is a town in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,047 at the 2000 Census. Vassalboro includes the villages of South Vassalboro, North Vassalboro, and East Vassalboro, home to the town library and sports field.-History:...

 and remained open until the 1980s. The first high school was built in 1877, while the current Waterville Senior High School was built in 1961.


Waterville is located at 44.552051°N 69.645839°W.

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 14.1 square miles (36.5 km²), of which 13.6 square miles (35.2 km²) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²) (3.35%) is water. Situated beside the Kennebec River
Kennebec River
The Kennebec River is a river that is entirely within the U.S. state of Maine. It rises in Moosehead Lake in west-central Maine. The East and West Outlets join at Indian Pond and the river then flows southward...

, Waterville is drained by the Messalonskee Stream.


Like many other towns in Maine and in the United States, Waterville has seen development in the suburbs and the decline of the downtown area. There have been new businesses and new facilities built by Inland Hospital on Kennedy Memorial Drive. WalMart, Home Depot, and a small strip mall of other stores have been built in the northern part of the city as part of an open-air shopping center. Because of this growth, the existing and now-neighboring Elm Plaza shopping center has recently had its exterior renovated and filled most or all of its previous vacancies.

In contrast, the downtown area has had its share of hardships due to chain store growth in the city. Stores that had a long history in the downtown area have closed in recent decades, including Levine's, Butlers, Sterns, Dunhams, Alvina and Delias, and LaVerdieres. The large vacancy in The Concourse shopping center that once housed the Ames, Zayre
Zayre was a chain of discount stores that operated in the Northeastern, Southern and Midwestern United States from 1956 to 1990. The company's headquarters was in Framingham, Massachusetts. In 1988, the Zayre department stores were sold to the parent company of the competing Ames chain, and Zayre's...

 department store, as well as Brooks Pharmacy
Brooks Pharmacy
Brooks Pharmacy was a chain of more than 330 pharmacies located throughout New England and New York and has been a well-recognized name in the New England pharmacy industry for several decades. The corporate headquarters were located in Warwick, Rhode Island...

 is struggling to find tenants; as is the now vacant Main Street location of a CVS pharmacy (it moved to a brand new building on Kennedy Memorial Drive). Organizations like Waterville Main St continue their efforts to revitalize downtown. Groups like the 20's and 30's social and professional networking group KVConnect are also spearheading efforts to build an entrepreneurial web portal to help local people run their own businesses and people from other parts of the country with non-location specific businesses move here.

Colby College graduate Paul Boghossian has won approval to convert the sprawling old Hathaway shirt factory to retail, office, and residential use. MaineGeneral Health agreed at the end of June 2007 to become the first tenant when the facility opens in 2008.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 15,605 people, 6,218 households, and 3,370 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 1,148.7 people per square mile (443.3/km²). There were 6,819 housing units at an average density of 501.9 per square mile (193.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.81% White, 0.78% African American, 0.56% Native American, 1.03% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.42% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.10% of the population. 32% reported French and French Canadian ancestry, 18% English, 11% Irish, and 6% German.

There are 6,218 household
The household is "the basic residential unit in which economic production, consumption, inheritance, child rearing, and shelter are organized and carried out"; [the household] "may or may not be synonymous with family"....

s out of which 26.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.2% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.8% were non-families. 38.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.7% under the age of 18, 18.5% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 85.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,816, and the median income for a family was $38,052. Males had a median income of $30,086 versus $22,037 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $16,430. 19.2% of the population and 15.1% of families were below the federal poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

 level. Statewide, 10.9% of the population was below the poverty level. In Kennebec County, 11.1% of the population was below the federal poverty level. Thus, although the county poverty rate is close to the state poverty rate, the poverty rate for Waterville is higher—typical for a regional center whose suburbs have grown in population.

Out of the total population, 29.7% of those under the age of 18 and 14.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


  • Robert LaFleur Airport
    Waterville Robert LaFleur Airport
    Waterville Robert Lafleur Airport is a general aviation airport located two miles southwest of the central business district of Waterville, a city in Kennebec County, Maine, USA...

  • Interstate 95
    Interstate 95 in Maine
    In the U.S. state of Maine, Interstate 95 is a long highway running from the New Hampshire border near Kittery, to the Canadian border near Houlton. It is the only two-digit Interstate Highway in Maine...

  • Pan Am Railways
    Pan Am Railways
    Pan Am Railways, Inc. , known as Guilford Rail System before March 2006, is a holding company that owns and operates Class II regional railroads covering northern New England from Mattawamkeag, Maine to Rotterdam Junction, New York...

    : Waterville Intermodal Facility


Waterville is home to one daily newspaper, the Morning Sentinel
Morning Sentinel
The Morning Sentinel is a seven-day morning daily newspaper published in Waterville, Maine, USA. From 1998 to 2009, it was owned by Blethen Maine Newspapers, a subsidiary of The Seattle Times Company. It was then sold to MaineToday Media. The newspaper covers cities and towns in parts of Kennebec...

and a weekly, the The Colby Echo. The city is also home to Fox affiliate WPFO
WPFO is the Fox-affiliated television station for Southern Maine and Northern New Hampshire that is licensed to Waterville, Maine. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 23 from a transmitter on Oak Hill in Litchfield near the Androscoggin and Kennebec County line...

 and Daystar
Daystar Television Network
The Daystar Television Network is an American evangelical Christian television religious broadcasting network headquartered near Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Bedford, Texas...

 rebroadcaster WFYW-LP
WFYW is a low-power television station licensed to Waterville, Maine, broadcasting locally on channel 41 as an affiliate of 3ABN. Founded December 9, 1997, the station is owned by Three Angels Broadcasting Network.- External links :*...

 both serving the Portland
Portland, Maine
Portland is the largest city in Maine and is the county seat of Cumberland County. The 2010 city population was 66,194, growing 3 percent since the census of 2000...

 market and to several radio stations including Colby's WMHB
WMHB, 89.7 FM Waterville, is the non-commercial College radio station of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, USA. WMHB is directed, managed, and staffed entirely by students. WMHB has been on air in one form or another since 1949...

, country
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

-Places:Antarctica*Webb Neve, the neve at the head of Seafarer Glacier*Webb Nunataks, a group of nunataks in the Neptune Range*Webb Peak, a peak at the west end of Crescent ScarpAustralia*Mount Webb National Park, QueenslandCanada*Webb, Saskatchewan*Webb No...

, adult standards
Adult standards
Adult standards is a North American radio format heard primarily on AM or class A FM stations.Adult standards is aimed at "mature" adults, meaning mainly those persons over 50 years of age, but it is mostly targeted for senior citizens...

Maine Public Broadcasting Network
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network is a state network of public television and radio stations located in the state of Maine in the United States. It is operated by the Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation, which holds the licenses for all the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public...

 on 91.3 FM.

Sites of interest

Notable people

  • List of mayors of Waterville, Maine
  • Walter A. Burleigh
    Walter A. Burleigh
    Walter Atwood Burleigh was an American physician, lawyer, and pioneer. He represented the Dakota Territory as a non-voting delegate to the United States House of Representatives....

    , congressman
  • Clinton Clauson
    Clinton Clauson
    Clinton Amos Clauson was a Democratic Party politician and the 66th Governor of Maine....

    , mayor and governor
  • Gardner Colby
    Gardner Colby
    Gardner Colby was a prominent businessman and Christian philanthropist. He is the namesake of Colby College in Maine and the town of Colby, Wisconsin.Colby was born in Bowdoinham, Maine in 1810 and spent part of his childhood in Waterville, Maine...

    , philanthropist, namesake of Colby College
  • Samuel S. Conner
    Samuel S. Conner
    Samuel Shepard Conner was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.Born in Exeter, New Hampshire, Conner attended Phillips Exeter Academy in 1794. He was graduated from Yale College in 1806...

    , congressman
  • Ron Currie Jr.
    Ron Currie Jr.
    Ron Currie, Jr. is an American author. His first book, God is Dead, was published to critical acclaim in 2007, earning Currie comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and Raymond Carver. God is Dead received the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library, as well as the Metcalf award from...

    , author
  • Fred Ferris, professional poker player
  • Donald L. Harlow
    Donald L. Harlow
    Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Donald L. Harlow was the second Chief Master Sergeant, appointed to the highest non-commissioned officer position in the United States Air Force.-Biography:...

    , 2nd chief master sergeant of the Air Force
  • Charles Heywood
    Charles Heywood
    Major General Charles Heywood was the ninth Commandant of the Marine Corps. He served as an officer for over 45 years and was the first Marine to reach the rank of major general...

    , major general
  • Richard Hooker, surgeon and author
  • Pam Iorio
    Pam Iorio
    Pam Iorio is an American politician and author, who served as mayor of Tampa, Florida from 2003 to 2011.Her first book, Straightforward, is expected to be released in November 2011...

    , politician
  • Charles Fletcher Johnson
    Charles Fletcher Johnson
    Charles Fletcher Johnson was a Democratic U.S. Senator from Maine from 1911 until 1917.-Biography:Born in Winslow, Maine, he attended the public schools and the Waterville Classical Institute. He graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, in 1879. He was the principal of the high school of...

    , senator & judge
  • David E. Kelley
    David E. Kelley
    David Edward Kelley is an American television writer and producer, known as the creator of Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Boston Legal and Harry's Law, as well as several films. Kelley is one of the only screenwriters to have had a show created by him run on...

    , television and film producer
  • Paul LePage
    Paul LePage
    Paul Richard LePage is an American businessman and politician who is serving as the 74th and current Governor of Maine. A Republican, he was previously mayor of Waterville from 2003 to 2011, and was a city councilor before that...

    , Mayor of Waterville (2004–11), Governor of Maine (2011–present)
  • Jeff Libby
    Jeff Libby
    Jeff Libby is a former professional ice hockey defenseman. He played three seasons with the University of Maine Black Bears before joining the American Hockey League's New Haven Nighthawks...

    , hockey player
  • Nelson Madore
    Nelson Madore
    Nelson Madore is a Maine politician and academic. Madore was the Mayor of Waterville, Maine from 1999–2004 and professor of history, geography and government at Thomas College in Waterville...

    , professor and Mayor of Waterville (1999–2004)
  • Alvin Lombard
    Lombard Steam Log Hauler
    The Lombard Steam Log Hauler, patented 29 May 1901, was the first successful commercial application of a continuous track for vehicle propulsion. The concept was later used for military tanks during World War I and for agricultural tractors and construction equipment following the...

    , inventor
  • George J. Mitchell
    George J. Mitchell
    George John Mitchell, Jr., is the former U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace under the Obama administration. A Democrat, Mitchell was a United States Senator who served as the Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995...

    , senator
  • Wyman B. S. Moor, politician
  • Edmund Muskie
    Edmund Muskie
    Edmund Sixtus "Ed" Muskie was an American politician from Rumford, Maine. He served as Governor of Maine from 1955 to 1959, as a member of the United States Senate from 1959 to 1980, and as Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter from 1980 to 1981...

    , senator, governor, secretary of state, 1968 vice presidential candidate
  • Charles P. Nelson
    Charles P. Nelson (congressman)
    Charles P. "Charlie" Nelson was a member of the US House of Representatives from Maine. He was born in Waterville, Maine, in 1907. He graduated from Cony High School in Augusta, Maine and from Colby College in Waterville. Later, he attended Harvard Law School, earning his Juris Doctor, and...

    , congressman
  • Donald E. Pelotte, Roman Catholic bishop

External links

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