The town offered excellent fishing and farming. At the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675, Scarborough was an important coastal settlement with over 100 houses and 1,000 head of cattle. But in 2 years of war, it was laid waste. Massachusetts sent soldiers accompanied by Indian allies in 1677 to secure the town for resettlement. On June 29, 1677, while pursuing some Indians sent as a ruse, the company was ambushed by warriors under Chief Squando. In the New England militia of nearly 100 soldiers, 50-60 were left dead or mortally wounded. Among the casualties was Captain Benjamin Swett. Called the Battle at Moore's Brook, it was an embarrassing rout for the military. In 1681, a great fort was erected at Black Point. After several attempts to rebuild between guerilla incursions during King William's War, the survivors evacuated in 1690 and moved south to Portsmouth, New Hampshire or Boston.
A truce was signed in 1699 between the Province of Massachusetts Bay and the Eastern Indians. Resettlement of Scarborough started in 1702 when 7 settlers arrived from Lynn, Massachusetts. Despite the treaty, in August 1703, 500 French and Indians under command of the Sieur de Beaubassin made a sudden descent upon English settlements from Casco (Portland) to Wells. They arrived at Garrison Cove on Black Point, where the fort commanded by Captain John Larrabee sat atop a bluff. Protected from gunfire by the overhanging cliff, the French and Indians began tunneling into the bluff to breach the fort from below. They might have succeeded and captured the 8 soldiers inside, but a 2 day downpour began which made the disturbed bank slough, exposing the previously hidden excavators to snipers in the fort. Beaubassin retreated in search of easier prey. Despite occasional subsequent harassment, the second settlement succeeded. By 1749, it was economically prosperous. Cattle and timber were important local products for export, with Scarborough's many water power sites operating a dozen sawmills. Since 1969, the town has had a Council-manager government.
Scarborough is crossed by Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1, and State Routes 9, 77, 114, and 207. It is bordered by the towns of Cape Elizabeth to the east, South Portland, Westbrook and Gorham to the north, Buxton to the northwest, and Saco and Old Orchard Beach to the southwest.
There were 6,462 households out of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the town the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 4.9% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $56,491, and the median income for a family was $65,138. Males had a median income of $41,148 versus $31,372 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,321. About 3.0% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.7% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.