Preserve America Community:
Farmington, Maine, (population 7,410) was incorporated in 1794. The broad floodplains along the Sandy River offered fertile soil and waterpower for mills. By the mid-1800s, Farmington was considered the most agriculturally productive area in the state. Farmington retains an agricultural and farming community, producing dairy, beef, maple sugar, vegetables, and grains.
The Maine Central Railroad entered West Farmington in 1859, eventually crossing the Sandy River into Farmington in 1870, opening up new opportunities. The Western State Normal School was established here in 1864 for the education of teachers, and has evolved into the University of Maine at Farmington. Farmington is the seat of Franklin County and has been designated a regional service center by the State Planning Office.
A partnership between the town of Farmington and Mountain Counties Heritage, Inc. led to the “Walk Around Farmington” project. The project placed eight interpretive kiosks in strategic areas. The kiosks display photographs, historic site information, and directional guides to help visitors access Farmington’s various historic resources. A complimentary map was created to highlight the location of the signs and various stores, entertainment venues, and services in the downtown.
The Farmington Historical Society operates the fully restored Titcomb House as a museum and interpretive facility. The society also operates an archive and local history collection. The historical society is currently in the process of restoring the North Church, built in 1873. The restored building will provide a location for the Farmington History Center.
Farmington is home to the Ski Museum of Maine, which showcases the history of the area and the region’s ski industry development. Archives include records of local ski resorts, such as Sugarloaf and Bald Mountain. The museum also houses the Maine Ski Hall of Fame, which recognizes skiers who have brought distinction to Maine through skiing.
Farmington honors one of their citizens through the annual Chester Greenwood Day. Greenwood, a citizen of Farmington in the late 1800s, and was an inventor and entrepreneur, most known for his invention of earmuffs. Chester Greenwood Day is held the first Saturday of December, attended by crowds, all sporting earmuffs. During the parade, earmuffs will be hung in inventive ways, including alongside wreaths on light poles, decorating cars, and on canine companions. Activities include a citizen chosen to dress up like Greenwood to address the town, a chili cook-off, a Festival of Trees, and an icy dip in the nearby Clearwater Lake. To learn more about Greenwood himself, the Farmington Historical Society offers a display of vintage Greenwood items.
For more information
Town of Farmington: www.farmington-maine.org
Ski Museum of Maine: www.skimuseumofmaine.org
Updated October 28, 2009