Can You Tell These Maine Towns and Places Apart? Most People Can’t!
This is a wicked hard test, and if you pass it, you can officially call yourself a REAL Mainah! …are you ready?
We all know that there are a lot of places here in Maine. In fact, there are almost 500 individual municipalities in our state. Municipalities can be cities like Portland, Lewiston, Bangor or Biddeford, towns like Scarborough, Jackman or Orono, there are plantations like Glenwood and Nashville, and unorganized townships like Indian Purchase or Livermore Survey. Whew! That’s a lot to remember, but it doesn’t end there.
THEN… there are a whole bunch of places that aren’t even places at all. These are communities within communities, but they’re usually distinct from the areas around them. The thing is, they’re officially part of OTHER surrounding cities or towns, and don’t really exist, other than by name or reputation.
For example, Biddeford Pool isn’t its own town. It’s part of the City of Biddeford, but people who live or vacation there often refer to it as “Biddeford Pool” and not “Biddeford.” Make sense? These places are officially known as “census-designated places” and sort of live in limbo.
Here’s a list of hard-to-tell towns and places in Maine… can you correctly guess whether each one is a real city or town, and sort out the ones that aren’t real towns at all? Scroll to the bottom for answers.
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OK… ready for the answers? Let’s see how you did:
OCEAN PARK – Not a real town. Ocean Park is the name of a neighborhood in the southern part of the town of Old Orchard Beach. Ocean Park is also close to a whole bunch of places that aren’t towns… like Bayview, Ferry Beach, and Camp Ellis. All of those places are in Saco.
LISBON – Yup. Real town.
LISBON FALLS – Nope. Fake news. Lisbon Falls is part of the town of Lisbon. It’s not separate.
STILLWATER – Part of Orono. Not a real town. It is a river, though!
STEEP FALLS – Nope. FAKE! You don’t live in Steep Falls, you live in Standish.
MILFORD – This one’s real. Right over the bridge from to Old Town!
CAMP ELLIS – Not a town. Camp Ellis is the southeastern-most part of Saco.
GREAT POND – This is the name of a lake in Hancock County, AND the name of the town that the lake is in. Real town!
FORTUNE’S ROCKS – Not a town. This is a neighborhood (and a beach) in the City of Bidddeford, near Biddeford Pool. It’s also close to Goose Rocks and Cape Porpoise, two other places that aren’t towns either. They’re both part of Kennebunkport, which is a town, and a different town from Kennebunk. Confused yet?
PUSHAW – This is a lake, and not a town. The surrounding area is also called “Pushaw,” but you’re probably in either Orono or Old Town.
BEAVER COVE – This one sounds like it’s not a town, but it really is! Just north of Greenville on the eastern side of Moosehead Lake, Beaver Cove is home to Lily Bay, which is not a town.
KENNEBUNK – Yup. Real town since 1820, but settled in 1621.
KENNEBUNKPORT – Also a real town. Many people think that Kennebunkport is part of Kennebunk like Biddeford Pool is part of Biddeford, but it’s a separate town.
MOODY – Great seafood restaurants, but not a real town. Moody used to be its own town years ago, but is now part of the town of Wells.
YORK CENTER – The “center” might give it away. Not a real town. It’s the CENTER of York!
CAPE NEDDICK – Home of the famous Nubble Light, Cape Neddick is also one of those places that isn’t real. It’s part of York, too!
DOVER-FOXCROFT – Dover, Maine and Foxcroft, Maine used to be two separate towns until they merged to form Dover-Foxcroft in 1922. Even though it’s been almost 100 years, there are still people who refer to things like stores as being “ovah in Dovah.” Old habits die hard!
FRYE ISLAND – Maine’s smallest town! With just 5 seasonal residents, Frye Island is the smallest incorporated town by population in the state. The tiny town of Frye Island is literally an island – right in the middle of Sebago Lake in Cumberland County.
CRANBERRY ISLES – Another wicked tiny town in Hancock County, but it’s a real town. With just 141 residents, the Cranberry Isles consist of five islands, the biggest of which is Great Cranberry Island.
WELCHVILLE JUNCTION – Not a town. You don’t live here. You live in Oxford, by the train tracks. Sounds less impressive, but that’s the way it is.
CUMBERLAND CENTER – Nope! Again with the “center”… it’s just the area around the center of Cumberland, which is a town.
SPRINGVALE – The most town-sounding name of all the places that aren’t towns. Springvale is part of the City of Sanford.
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