History of the Town of Acton - General Description

Geographical Description

Acton is bounded on the north by Newfield, on the east by Shapleigh, on the south by Lebanon, and on the west by the towns of Wakefield and Milton Mills, NH. It is 85 miles from Boston and 105 miles from Maine's capital, Augusta.

Acton is well watered, having within its borders more fresh water than any other town in the county. Great East is partly in New Hampshire and extends three miles across the north end of the town. Mousam Lake extends three miles along the eastern line. Square Pond is partly in Shapleigh and is between Great East and Mousam. Wilson has an area of 640 acres and is located one third of a mile from Great East. Horn Pond, one half mile to the east is the source of the Salmon Falls River. Balch Pond forms two miles of the northern boundary. Loon Pond is west of Mousam and flows into Lower Mousam. Three smaller ponds, Hansen, Moose, and Swan are in the north end of the town, and Black Pond in the South


Early Settlements

The first permanent settlement in Maine was at York in 1630. From 1630 until 1713 the settlement increased slowly, partly because of continuing Indian wars. Kittery was incorporated as a town in 1647; York in 1652; Wells, Saco and Cape Porpoise in 1653

The territory in this part of the state was at first claimed by Indians. In 1661 Francis Small purchased from Captain Sinday, an Indian sagamore of the Newichawannock Tribe, the tract of land now comprising the towns of Shapleigh, Acton, Newfield, Parsonfield, parts of Limerick and Cornish, and most of Limington. It was not until 1771 that the boundaries were finally decided upon. Then, the name Hubbardstown Plantation, was given to the area we now know as Acton and Shapleigh. The first settler in town was Joseph Jellison who lived in Emery Mills in 1775. In 1776 the first settlement in Acton was made by Benjamin Kimens, Clement Steele, and John York. More settlers were soon followed by Captain William Rogers, who built the bridge across the narrows of Mousam Lake and a house nearby.

John B Hansen opened a road in 1776 beginning at the Lebanon line east of Goding Brook. The road passed north to the Ossipee River. After the road opened, settlers immediately followed.