Durhan Town History
Androscoggin County, Maine

a project of
V. F. Thomas Co. - P. O. Box 111 - Shawmut, Maine  04975

(updated 18 February 2021)

Welcome to a summary of the cultural history of the town of Durham, Androscoggin County, Maine. Each item below marks a highlight of Durham’s history.

How you can help: If you have additional information (including/especially images) or corrections, please e-mail info@vfthomas.com, or send what you have by traditional mail to the address at the top of this page.

A little work by each of us will save a lot of work for all of us.

In addition to the dates and events below, there are webpages about Durham’s
      census records (1790, 1800);
      genealogy [includes surnames from other places]; and
      postal history.

11,000–10,500 b.p. (before present) First indigenous persons (paleo Indians) in Maine

10,000 b.p.–approximately 1620 c.e. (common era) Indigenous people did not have written languages. Although much has been learned about their cultures, their “history” as that term is usually understood in European cultures is unknown to us. It was not until the period of contact that written material about their history/culture is known, and that is from the European perspective.

???–1775 The Anasagunticook tribe, with their “tribal capital” at what is now called Canton Point (in Canton, Oxford County), lived in villages along the Androscoggin River (e.g., today’s Lisbon, Brunswick, Topsham, Lewiston, and Auburn).

1762 Survey of Royalston made by Stephen Getchell, soon found to be defective.

1766 Pejepscot Proprietors voted that in Plantation of Royalsborough lands be laid out and cleared. Survey/plan made by Joseph Noyes.

1767 158 lots laid out, 96 for the proprietors and 621 for future sale to settlers. A plan, revising the Noyes plan, was made on 23 November by John Brown.

1768 Jonathan Bagley, Belcher Noyes, and Moses Little chosen to obtain settlers.

24 February 1774 First plantation meeting held

1774–1775 First inhabitants: At least Joshua Babb, O. Israel Bagley, Stephen Chase, Samuel Clough, Thomas Coffin, John Cushing, John Dane (Dean?), Josiah Day, Josiah Dunn, Michael Dyer, Ichabod Frost, Charles Gerrish, Nathaniel Gerrish, William Gerrish, Hugh Getchell, John Getchell, Stephen Hart, Charles Hill, Ezekiel Jones, Edmund Lane, Nathaniel Lewis, John Randall, Batchelder Ring, Joshua Strout, Benjamin Vining, and Samuel York.

17 February 1789 Durham (formerly Royalston Plantation) incorporated.

   1According to the data in the 1899 book History of Durham, Maine with Genealogical Notes by Everett S. Stackpole, more than 62 lots were sold to settlers, either originally or later under the “Betterment Act”. Research is needed to clarify this apparent discrepancy.