History of the Town of New Sharon
[NEW SHAR-uhn] is a town in Franklin County, settled in 1782 and incorporated on June 20, 1794 from Unity Plantation.
It swapped land with Industry (1813, 1852) and annexed land from Mercer in 1841.
The town, just east of Farmington, has been growing consistently in population over the past four decades.
The old steel bridge was built in 1916 and crossed the river at the end of the main street. It was the oldest of the Baltimore and Pennsylvania truss-style bridges in Maine until its demolition in 2014.
The bridge, once on the Historic Register of Historic Places, was no longer used due to structural deterioration.
INSERT BRIDGE PHOTOs HERE
In 1886, the Gazetteer of Maine waxed enthusiastic about New Sharon:
[The soil] is quite productive; and numerous small fortunes have been gathered from the products of New Sharon farms. [Referring to the post-Civil War rush westward] Much of this money has gone to develop new towns and States in the West.
The village of New Sharon is one of the prettiest in the State. It is situated on both sides of the Sandy River, where a natural fall is increased by a dam, and the stream spanned by an expensive covered bridge. . . . There are operated in New Sharon three saw-mills, a grist mill, and chair, shoe, shovel-handle, carriage and clothing factories.
In the 1880’s the town supported sixteen public schoolhouses on a population of just over 1,300, essentially it current size. The old village is now off the main highway near where Maine Routes 27 and 134 meet U.S. Route 2.
1794 from Unity Plantation
Unity; Colburn's Town
Land was set off to form Industry in 1813, and part of that town was annexed in 1852
Part of Mercer was annexed in 1841
Villages, Locations and Settlements
Bullen Mills, East New Sharon, New Sharon, Weeks Mills
Adjacent Towns and Townships
______, The Town register, Farmington, Wilton, Chesterville, New Sharon: 1910 (Brunswick, Me.: Maine Map & Register Co., 1910)
Bonney, Forrest, ed., Pictorial history of early New Sharon, Maine: village and town (New Sharon, Me.: New Sharon Historical Society, 1988)
Hatch, William Collins, A history of the town of Industry, Franklin County, Maine, from the earliest settlement in 1787 down to the present time, embracing the cessions of New Sharon, New Vineyard, Anson, and Stark (Farmington, Me.: Press of Knowlton, McLeary & Co., 1893)
Kearney, Marie, and Pamela Bonney, New Sharon remembered (New Sharon, Me.: New Sharon Historical Society (Wilton, Me.: Wilton Printed Products), 1989, c1981)
Mitchell, Harry Edward, et al., comp., New Sharon register, 1903 ([Brunswick, Me.: The H.E. Mitchell Pub. Co., 1903])