Buxton is the most north-eastern portion of York County, having Gorham on its own north-east, Scarborough and Saco on the south-east, Dayton on the south, Hollis on the west, and Standish on the north-west. The town contains about 16,224 acres of land. Round Hill is the principal eminence in town. The surface is generally level and well suited for farming. Saco River forms the division between it and Hollis. The principal body of water is Bonny Eagle Pond, in the northern part of the town. It has an area of about 190 acres. The outlet of this pond affords two powers which are utilized by a saw-mill and a shingle-mill. There is also a saw and grist-mill on Little River near the centre of the town. The lower power on Saco River in the town is at Union Falls, or Pleasant Point, whcre the Saco Water-Power Company in 1856 erected a good stone dam, affording a power sufficient for 40,000 spindles; but as yet it is utilized only by a small saw and grist mill. Two miles above, at Salmon Falls, are sawmills, with a capacity of turning out 4,000,000 feet of lumber annually. There are sites and sufficient power for many more mills. Clay and sand for bricks, and granite arc near at hand. One and a third miles above are Bar Mills, where a narrow granite ledge nearly bars the passage of the water. The power is partially improved by heading, box and grist mills. Five miles above this are Moderation Falls, at the Village of West Buxton, where there are woolen, saw and heading mills. One proprietor at this place rnanufactures 7.000,000 feet of lumber annually. Clay and sand of excellent quality, and plenty of granite are near at hand. The woolen mills employ about 25 hands, and manufacture annually about 936,000 yards of cloth. One and a fourth miles above are Bonny Eagle Falls, with a power equal to 3,000 horse power, or 13,000 spindles for 11 hours a day. It is improved by a saw-mill with a capacity of turning out 4,000,000 feet of lumber annually.
There are four villages in the town, Salmon Falls, Bar Mills, West Buxton and Buxton Centre. The town was incorporated in 1772 being named by the first minister, Rev. Paul Coffin, for his native place in England. Previously to that date it had been known as Narragansett, No. 1, being one of seven lots assigned to the soldiers in the war against the Narragansett indians in 1675. The number of soldiers was 840; and when the grant of No. 1 was made in 1728, nearly half were living. No attempt was made to settle the Township until 1740 or 1741, when Deacon Amos Chase, from Newbury, Joseph Simpson, Nathan Whitney, a Mr. Gage and a Mr. Bryant entered the plantation and began to fell trees and build log cabins. No one remained in. 1745 when the French and Indian war commenced. It was not until the fall of 1750 that 7 men, with their families, commenced a permanent settlement near Salmon Falls. The dangers from the Indians were even then not wholly over. The season previous to moving in, these settlers had made some clearings and put in crops, mostly, it appears, on the river below Little Falls, whence they went to visit their openings occasionally to see if all was right. One day they found the door of their little fort open, which they had left shut. An experienced fighter of the Indians had told them that they should not approach and return by the same path; and they now heeded his advice. After the war ended some Indians who came one day to trade told the settlers a party of Indians were hiding in the fort at the time the door was found open; and that they had ambushed their path the next day and missed them. At a later time while they were still living in the fort, the men being absent one day and a night, there was an alarm given that savages were approaching. Mrs. Elden, wife of the captain, was quite equal to the occasion. She arrayed herself in regimentals and taking a rusty sword, while the other women similarly donned male attire, arming themselves with old muskets and bayonets, whom Mrs. Captain Elden marshalled about the premises, giving orders in the most stentorian voice she could command, as if to officers and soldiers. This performance was repeated at intervals through the night and succeeding day until their husbands returned. The town has two Congregational churches, three Free, one Baptist, and one Methodist.
The first public school was established in 1761-2, under Mr., afterwards, Rev. Silas Moody. The number of school houses in town at this time is 17; and the school property of the town is estimated at $6,000. The valuation of real estate in 1870 was $829,899. In 1880 it was $666,901. The population at the same date was 2,546. In 1880 it was 2,230.
- George J. Varney, A Gazetteer of the State of Maine (Boston: B.B. Russell, 1886), 149-151.