Falmouth to celebrate incorporation anniversary with special event

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FALMOUTH — Maine was still part of Massachusetts and the township was known as New Casco when Falmouth was incorporated 300 years ago. 

On Sunday, Nov. 11, the town will continue its 300th-anniversary celebrations with an event to mark the signing of the original incorporation documents.

The program, at 2 p.m. at Falmouth High School, will be free and open to the public, although pre-registration is required. Go to www.falmouth300.org to reserve a seat.

The Incorporation Day Ceremony will take place after Falmouth’s annual Veterans Day commemoration, which will be held at 1 p.m. at American Legion Post No. 164 on Depot Road.

Erin Bishop Cadigan, the town’s tercentennial coordinator, said Incorporation Day events would include a reading of the official order the established the town. A copy of the original document will also be on display.

In addition, the town will be presented with a Congressional Records Statement recognizing its 300th anniversary. There will be musical performances, birthday cake and the Story of Falmouth traveling exhibit will be on view.

Celebrating Falmouth’s incorporation is important, Cadigan said, because it gives the town a chance to formally reflect on its past and “the sacrifices of those who came before us.”

“The most interesting thing about Falmouth’s incorporation is the agency the community had in its own creation,” she added. “European settlers had lived in Falmouth for years without any official recognition. Though small in number, they banded together to petition the government in Massachusetts to recognize them as an official town.”

Those involved in Falmouth’s founding include John Higginson, John Wheelwright, Abraham Preble, John Leighton, Lewis Bate, Joseph Hill and Samuel Moody, Cadigan said.

“Falmouth’s earliest residents also included the still familiar names of Bucknam, Blackstone, Buxton, Knight, Merrill, Skillen, Waldo and Winslow,” she said.

What’s notable, Cadigan said, is that even today “Falmouth still maintains several unique neighborhoods which were established very early in its history.”

These areas include Presumpscot Falls, Falmouth Foreside, Mackworth, Falmouth Corners, West Falmouth Corner, Blackstrap, Leighton Hill, Woodville, North Falmouth, and Hurricane Valley.

“Each of these areas are distinct communities with their own interesting histories. In each of them, settlers gathered to establish their own businesses, mill, schools, shops, and churches,” Cadigan said.

“While Falmouth may lack an easily identifiable town center, it finds its roots grounded in these original hamlets, which today are united as one community. This makes Falmouth’s story rich and, I believe, more interesting.”

Falmouth’s tercentennial kicked off last year with a fireworks display at Very Merry Falmouth and it will end the same way. The town’s annual celebration of the holiday season will be held Nov. 30-Dec.1.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.