|Cocheco River in 1912|
Originally an agricultural settlement, the early homes were farms in the Merrill's Corner section, hence the town name. In the 1800s, the establishment of water-powered industries along the Cocheco, Ela and Mad Rivers caused a population shift with the present downtown area evolving near these rivers. The subsequent construction, in 1849, of a railroad through the mill area brought further prosperity and cemented the location of the town commercial center. In the early days this business area was referred to as "The Dock" or "Puddledock," a name which endures today on the masthead of the local newspaper, The Puddledock Press.
|Thayer & Osborne Shoe Factory|
Though difficult to envision today, the downtown area once contained several hotels, grocery stores and even a movie theater and bowling alley. Farmington has had its ups and downs like any other community, with prosperity checked by disasters and economic depressions. Through good and bad times, its generations of loyal residents remained strong and supportive of one another, with deep pride in the past accomplishments and optimism for the future.