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In 1768, Jacob Kimball moved to the shores of Long Lake in North Bridgton, building a store and providing boat service from Standish, at the southern end of Sebago Lake. Jacob Stevens soon followed, building a sawmill and gristmill on what became Stevens Brook in the center village. Ten power sites on this short brook ran lumber, textile, and other mills, as well as a tannery. Bridgton became the area’s commercial center as retail stores and businesses sprang up to support the many mill workers and farm families. The first train on the narrow-gauge Bridgton and Saco River Railroad chugged into town in January 1883. Tourists and artists soon discovered Bridgton, and today the town remains a diverse mix of creative, hardworking people.
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About the Author
Ned Allen is the president and former director of the Bridgton Historical Society. The society was founded in 1953 and operates a museum and research facility in downtown Bridgton, as well as the historic farmhouse Narramissic, also known as the Peabody-Fitch house. Many of the vintage photographs in Bridgton have been collected from the society’s archives.