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Contributed by: Maine Historical Society
Location: Waterville; Somersworth
Media: Ink on paper
Contributed by: Biddeford Historical Society
Date: circa 1960
Contributed by: McArthur Public Library
Media: ink on paper
Cultivation of silkworms and manufacture of silk thread was touted as a new agricultural boon for Maine in the early 19th century. However, only small-scale silk production followed. In 1874, the Haskell Silk Co. of Westbrook changed that, importing raw silk, and producing silk machine twist threat, then fabrics, until its demise in 1930.
The largest textile factory in the country reached seven stories up on the banks of the Saco River in 1825, ushering in more than a century of making cloth in Biddeford and Saco. Along with the industry came larger populations and commercial, retail, social, and cultural growth.
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An extensive history of a small central Maine town as compiled by team members from Guilford Historical Society and Piscataquis Community Middle School, with input from Guilford Memorial Library, Guilford Economic Development Board, and the Guilford’s town office. Manufacturing, festive events, historic buildings, notable veterans, and education, are covered in depth.