Trails to the Past- York County Maine-Index

 

 

 York County

 

 

 

York County, forming the south-western portion of the State, grew into its present name and form by degrees, and during a long period. Its beginning may be considered to have been the establishment of the government of the Province of Maine in 1640, by the proprietor, Sir Ferdinando Gorges. The limits of this province extended from the Piscataqua River to the Kennebec. The province soon came to be considered as two districts, first spoken of as the East and West districts, or counties, of which the Kennebunk River was regarded as the dividing line. The town of York being the shire town of the western section, that portion gradually came to be called York district, or county, the other being called Somerset, or New Somerset. The Kennebunk River also proved to be the western boundary of the temporary Province of Lygonia. In 1652, Maine came under the control of Massachusetts, and the Isles of Shoals and all the territory northward of Piscataqua River to the White Mountains, and thence eastward to Penobscot Bay, were included in the re-named and extended jurisdiction of Yorkshire. All this was overturned by the King's commissioners in 1664, who revived the divisions as established by Gorges, and formed the territory east of the Kennebec into the county of Cornwall. In 1677, however, Massachusetts purchased the Province of Maine of Gorges' heirs; and again Yorkshire was extended eastward as far as the Kennebec. In 1716, the General Court ordered the extension of Yorkshire, so as to include all the settlements eastward; and accordingly Penobscot Bay became again the eastern boundary. In 1735, courts were ordered to be held at York and Falmouth, and the county received its present name. The establishment in 1760 of the new county of Cumberland, gave York County its present boundary on that side. In 1805, Oxford County was formed, when York County first assumed its present limits.

The Portland and Rochester railroad crosses the middle of the county from north-east to south-west, while the Portland, Saco and Portsmouth, and the Boston and Maine railroads follow a similar direction near the coast. The county contains twenty- four towns and two cities; and three United States Customs districts, Saco, Kennebunk and York, are within its limits. It has twenty-six towns and two cities. The shire town is Alfred. The valuation in 1870 was $22,442,875. In 1880 it was $22,423,960. The population in 1870 was 60,174; and in 1880, 62,299.

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

 

Cities and Towns

Acton
Alfred
Arundel
Berwick
Biddeford
Buxton
Cornish
Dayton
Eliot
Hollis
Kennebunk
Kennebunkport
Kittery
Lebanon


Limerick
Limington
Lyman
Newfield
North Berwick
Ogunquit
Old Orchard Beach
Parsonsfield
Saco
Sanford
Shapleigh
South Berwick
Waterboro
Wells
York

 

Surrounding Counties
Oxford County, Maine - north
Cumberland County, Maine - northeast
Rockingham County, New Hampshire - southwest
Strafford County, New Hampshire - west
Carroll County, New Hampshire - northwest

 

 

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