The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Lewiston (Maine)
LEWISTON, a city of Androscoggin co., Maine, on the E. bank of the Androscoggin river, opposite Auburn, with which it is connected by four bridges, and on the Lewiston and Androscoggin divisions of the Maine Central railroad, and the Lewiston and Auburn branch of the Grand Trunk line, 36 m. N. of Portland, and the same distance S. W. of Augusta; pop. in 1850, 3,584; in 1860, 7,424; in 1870, 13,600, of whom 3,008 were foreigners; in 1874, about 20,000. Its importance is chiefly due to its water privileges, which are among the best in New England, now applied to a great variety of machinery, involving large manufacturing interests. The river breaks over a diagonal ledge of rocks, and falls more than 50 ft. in a distance of 200 ft. The natural advantages thus furnished are increased by stone dams extending across the river, and by a canal 60 ft. wide reaching from above the falls to the mills. The conformation of the ground is such that the water may be used several times. The Franklin company, incorporated in 1854, with a capital of $1,000,000, owns the water power, canals, and other real estate, and rents to other companies. It also owns the Lincoln mill, which produces fine cottons and jeans. Including the Franklin company, there are nine corporations engaged in the manufacture of cotton and woollen goods, with an aggregate capital of $7,750,000, employing 20 sets of woollen machinery and about 270,000 spindles. The principal kinds of goods made are sheetings, shirtings, cassimeres, repellants, ginghams, cottonades, quilts, beavers, ladies' cloakings, tweeds, tickings, duck, twine, and jute bags. The number of hands employed in the mills is about 8,300 (3,800 males and 4,500 females), and the annual product is 37,000,000 yards of cloths and 3,000,000 bags. The Lewiston bleaching and dye works have a capital of $300,000, and employ 280 hands. The Lewiston machine company produces cotton and woollen machinery. The other principal manufactures are of boots and shoes, bricks, carriages, sash, doors, and blinds, furniture, and lumber. The total annual value of the manufactures is about $11,500,000. There are a national bank with $400,000 capital and two savings banks. The city is divided into seven wards, and is governed by a mayor, a board of aldermen, and a common council. It is lighted with gas, and has a handsome city hall. Lewiston is the seat of Bates college, under the control of the Free Baptists, which was established in 1863 and named in honor of Benjamin E. Bates of Boston, who contributed $200,000 to its endowment. It has handsome grounds, three fine college buildings, and a president's residence. A theological department, occupying a four-story brick building about ¼ m. from the grounds, was organized in 1870. In 1873-'4 this institution had 10 professors (4 in the theological department) and 2 tutors, 122 students (19 theological), and 8,300 volumes in its libraries, viz.: college library, 4,500; theological, 2,200; societies', 1,600. The Nichols Latin school, named in honor of Lyman Nichols of Boston, near the grounds, is owned by the college and maintained as a preparatory school; in 1871-'2 it had four instructors and 68 students. The city has excellent graded schools, including high and normal departments, attended by about 2,000 pupils. There is a public library of 6,000 volumes, established by the corporations. A daily and two weekly newspapers and a monthly periodical (by the college students) are published. There are 11 churches, viz.: Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal, Free Baptist (3), Methodist (2), Roman Catholic (2), and Universalist.—Lewiston was settled in 1770, and incorporated as a town in 1795. In 1861 a city charter was granted, but the city government was not organized till 1863.