Trails to the Past - Androscoggin County, Maine









The county derives its name from that of the river, which is a corruption of Anasagunticook, the name of the Indian tribe which formerly occupied the region. It contains the larger proportion of the practically available water power of the Androscoggin and its tributaries, including three of the greatest powers on the main river.

Demand for a new county emerged when the rapidly growing town of Lewiston complained of the long distance it had to travel to reach Wiscasset, the county seat of Lincoln County, which Lewiston was originally in. It was also an unpractical circumstance as Lewiston's neighbor, Auburn, was part of Cumberland County. As the growing partnership of the two towns emerged, the case for the towns to be in the same county grew. Different plans were discussed, including Lewiston joining Cumberland County. Eventually, the idea of a new county came to the table. At this point in time there was a debate between which town the new county would be its center. 

The county was organized March 18th, 1854; having gained its territory from four other counties - Cumberland County, Lincoln County, Kennebec County, and Oxford County.  Auburn, Danville (the latter since annexed to the former), Durham, Polani and Minot were taken from Cuinberland County; Livermore and Turner from Oxford County; East Livermore, Leeds, Greene, and Wales from Kennebec and Lewiston, Webster and Lisbon, from Lincoln. In 1885 the county contained eleven towns and two cities, several of them exceedingly flourishing. These are the cities of Auburn and Lewiston and the towns of Durham, East Livermore, Green, Leeds, Lisbon, Livermore, Minot, Poland, Turner, Wales and Webster.

The next issue centered on where to put the county seat. Both Lewiston and Auburn desired to be named the county seat. It would eventually be put to a vote, with both towns putting different offers on the table that would cut the costs of the new county buildings for surrounding towns. Auburn would eventually win a convincing victory with the towns on each side of the river voting for the town on their side. As more people lived to the west of the Androscoggin River, Auburn won the vote. The county buildings are at Auburn, where, too, the courts are held.

The area of the county is about 400 square miles. The population in 1870 was 35,866; in 1880, it was 45,063. The value of estates in 1870 was $17,592,555. In 1880, it was $20,776,973.

Source: Varney, George J., Gazetteer of the State of Maine.  Boston: B. B. Russell, 1886.


Towns and Cities

Livermore Falls
Mechanic Falls


Androscoggin County Families

Androscoggin County  Resources

Sites for Maine Researchers

     The Androscoggin Historical Society, Inc.

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Adjacent Counties
Franklin County, Maine - north
Kennebec County, Maine - northeast
Sagadahoc County, Maine - southeast
Cumberland County, Maine - south
Oxford County, Maine - west



Linda Simpson

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