Waterville, Maine

History

Events in Waterville History

Evidence of prehistoric man does not exist in Waterville.  In fact, following the Indian wars of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, there is little evidence of any human life in Waterville.  Then in 1754, the first permanent white settlement of the area was established. It centered around General John Winslow’s Fort Halifax, where the Sebasticook joins the Kennebec below the Ticonic Falls.  11 families settled in the area, but as word spread that the area under the protection of the Fort was safe from attack, other settlers came.  The wilderness was rugged and the winters long and cold, but the bounty and power of the rivers of the area proved to draw those of sturdy stock.

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Waterville Timeline 1809 to 1988

In 1809 the Waterville Fire Department was established.

In 1814 The largest ship built in Waterville, the Francis and Sarah (290 tons), was launched.

It was in 1818 that the Maine Literacy and Theological Institution was established in Waterville, later changing its name for the town, and finally becoming Colby College when former Waterville resident Gardner Colby aided the school financially through the Civil War years.  To prepare local students for the college, Waterville Academy was started in 1828.  With Colby College, Waterville’s bonds with religion were strong and diverse.  Numerous churches were established throughout the town, the first being of the Baptist Society in 1818.

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Mid-Maine Medical Center

In 1970 the hospital administrator of Thayer, Miss Fisher (or Fischer) hired a recent graduate all the way from the University of California, Los Angeles. His name was and is Larry Nanney. He spent a number of years planning for the medical needs of the community. During his years of employment he managed to preserve two small hospitals from folding (Seton and Thayer) by merging them into Mid Maine Medical Center. He then planned a major construction project for both hospitals (referred to as Project 2000) to bring modern medicine to rural Maine.

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