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Maine History Online

Maine History Online
MHS (Maine Historical Society)
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Farming in Maine

Berry pickers, Pettengill farm, Freeport, ca. 1920

Berry pickers, Pettengill farm, Freeport, ca. 1920

Item 20369 info
Freeport Historical Society

By the mid nineteenth century, the state, especially the southern portion, was dotted with family farms that produced a variety of crops, most of which were for use of the family and its animals.

Some farmers sold surpluses nearby, rarely producing farm products for distant markets.

After the Civil War, when railroads and industry began arriving in the Northeast in larger numbers, farming changed, with a larger focus on commercial operations.

Family farms did not disappear, but began to be outnumbered by larger operations that specialized in crops such as sweet corn, dairy products, potatoes, apples or poultry.