Amherst, Maine

Amherst is a town in Hancock County, Maine, United States. The population was 230 at the 2000 census.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.3 square miles (101.8 km²), of which, 39.0 square miles (100.9 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²) of it (0.81%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 230 people, 107 households, and 60 families residing in the town. The population density was 5.9 people per square mile (2.3/km²). There were 153 housing units at an average density of 3.9/sq mi (1.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.26% White, 0.43% Native American, 0.43% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.43% of the population.

There were 107 households out of which 23.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 1.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.0% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the town the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 2.6% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 34.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 123.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 142.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $26,042, and the median income for a family was $30,833. Males had a median income of $27,917 versus $21,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,548. About 8.1% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.5% of those under the age of eighteen and 4.0% of those sixty five or over.

Historical References

Amherst, ME., Hancock Co. This town is bounded on the S. by Mariaville. The head waters of Union River pass through it. It lies N. of Ellsworth, and E. of Bangor, on the road to Calais. It has a Congregational Church and one large tannery. This is a good farming town. The New England Gazetteer: Containing Descriptions of the States, Counties ... By John Hayward. Published 1857, O Clapp

Amherst. This town, like Aurora, is a six mile (10 km) square. It is N.N.E. of Ellsworth. It is highly favored in respect to water power. It has one saw, one clapboard, one grist, two shingle mills, and a large tannery. Union River divides the town. East of it is good orchard land. West of the river, excepting the interval, the soil is granitic and the surfaces hilly.

Near the 'corner' is a high ledge, some acres in extent, of a peculiar formation. Rev. Mr. Loring writes, that among its minerals are 'sulphuret of iron, crystals of quartz, slate and granite.' The high ledge we suppose to be porphyry, containing crystals of iron pyrites and compact feldspar..

In the improvement of its stock, Amherst stands unrivalled; and this is due mainly to the energy and enterprise of A. B. Buzzell. Mr Buzzell has employed a mule team for years. The endurance of mules is wonderful; traeted to cheap fare, and constant labor, yet rarely disabled or chargeable with lost time. It would be of mutual advantage to Amherst and Auroa, to put up a cheese factory at the 'corner.' Both towns have entered the cycle of years when farming is to be a paying pursuit. The hides used in the sole-leather tannery of Buzzell & Sons, are principally from South America and Mexico.

It was set off from the plantation of Mariaville, in 1822, and incorporated on the 5th of February, 1831. Its name was suggested from Amherst, N.H. It is thought that men began to come in and fell trees in it as early as 1802 or 1803. Among the first that came were Mr. Chapman, Mr. Shumway, Mr. Whitman, John Barker, John Giles, Thomas Harpworth and Mr. Graves. In 1805 Capt. Goodell Silsby came in from Charleton, N.H. In 1806 or 1807 his parents came and took up the lots now known as 'The Old Silsby Place.'

The first and only meeting-house was erected in 1844. Three men , one living in Amherst and two in Aurora, built it. The first settlers endured many hardships. Some came into Ellsworth, in a vessel, and from that point found their way hither by following a spotted line on the trees. Some carried their grain twelve miles (19 km) on their backs to grist mill, and then home again. This is the 26th town. Population, 350. Decennary loss, 34. Weath, per capita, $165. Area . State valuation, $57, 276. U.S. valuation, $82,477.

Union soldiers, 43; State aid, $522; town bounty, $5,300; cost per man, $142. A Survey of Hancock County, Maine: By Samuel Wasson, Pub. 1878,Sprague, Owen & Nash


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