Nathaniel Segar who came from Newton, Massachusetts, first settled the area that is now Hanover in 1774 (The Sunfower Farm).  He served in the American Revolution, returned to Hanover in 1780, was captured by Indians and taken to Canada where the British held him for a year.  Other early settlers :  Jonathan Bean, Jesse Duston, and Moses and Stephen Bartlett, were along the Androscoggin River in the area that was part of Bethel at that time.


     Phineas Howard from Temple, New Hampshire, purchased an area bounded by Bethel, Newry and Rumford and including Howard's Pond in 1792. Farmlands were cleared and homes built along the hillsides.  A sawmill was extablished in 1796 at the pond's outlet.  The area was known as Howard's Gore.


     On February 14, 1843, Howard's Gore combined with a portion of Bethel that was north of the Androscoggin River and became the Town of Hanover.  The area's economy was developing with the constructon of mills along Howard Pond Stream and farming along the Androscoggin intervales.


     Waterpower mills were built along the outlet stream from Howard Pond to the Androscoggin River.  A canal and waterway was developed to supply power to mills in the area near today's Mooselook Lane and 1,300 feet downstream.  Over time 12 mills were located along the stream producing products.  Ground grain, lumber, carded woolens and the tanned and curried hides and skins were produced along with furniture and dowels.

     By the mid 1950's the economy of the area had again shifted  with jobs located in more central locations.  The last Hanover mill closed in the early 1950's.  With roads improving more people found work in the larger surrounding communities.  Shopping trends were toward larger communities.  Many of the fields and farmlands became overgrown with brush and trees.  That era was generally a non-growth period in  Hanover.  Few new homes were built and the population remained about the same.

     More recently, Hanover is experiencing home and vacation property development at a more rapid pace.  The small town is receiving more interest within the greater area as development in our neighboring larger towns is spreading into this community.  More houses were built in Hanover in the most recent 10 years than in the previous 50 years.


   The book, A History of Hanover, Maine 1774 -1980 that includes associated historical events and geneological information, written by Alfred F. Howard in 1980, is an important reference for those interested in the history of Hanover.  It is available at many libraries in Maine and may be purchased at the Hanover Town Office.


This page dedicated to the memory of Alfred F. Howard 1907-2001

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