Maine’s 20 Most Populated Towns in 1920 May Surprise You
Who doesn't love some good old-fashioned Maine history? Well, thanks to this new invention called the "Internet," I managed to luck into a fun document to peruse.
I stumbled upon some old Census data, which ended up being rather significant. The form is the official 1920 Census Bulletin for every county and town in Maine. It's a fascinating look at where Mainers called home and how different those pockets look today.
A lot has changed in 100+ years. And many of those changes directly affected county and town populations. Whether it was mill closures, the birth of suburbia, revitalization, commercial development, economic recessions, shifts in manufacturing, or military base openings and closures, all have played their own part in affecting growth.
I decided to chart the Top 20 most populated towns from 1920. I was curious to see how different it was compared to today.
The first thing that struck me was the number of Aroostook County towns attached. Of course, healthy farming, lumber, and manufacturing industries helped.
Also, you will notice very few Portland suburbs listed. The majority of those future residents were either still living in Portland or probably not even in Maine yet.
I included the 2020 population numbers to be able to compare where these towns are today. While some of the industrial heavy ones have taken crucial hits, others have bounced back well. The best example of this is Saco, which has seen some of the best growth in the state. Also, South Portland and Westbrook have absolutely blown up over the last century. It's fun to be a suburb.
You can find the complete Top 20 below. For more info on the Census, click here.