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Westbrook, Maine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Official seal of Westbrook
Location in Cumberland County and the state of Maine.
Location in Cumberland County and the state of Maine.
Westbrook is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 43°41′7″N 70°21′26″W / 43.68528°N 70.35722°W / 43.68528; -70.35722
CountryUnited States
Named forColonel Thomas Westbrook
 • TypeStrong Mayor
 • MayorMichael T. Foley
 • Total17.36 sq mi (44.96 km2)
 • Land17.19 sq mi (44.52 km2)
 • Water0.17 sq mi (0.44 km2)
75 ft (23 m)
 • Total20,400
 • Density1,186.81/sq mi (458.23/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
04092, 04098
Area code207
FIPS code23-82105
GNIS feature ID0578237

Westbrook is a city in Cumberland County, Maine, United States and a suburb of Portland. The population was 20,400 at the 2020 census, making it the fastest-growing city in Maine between 2010 and 2020.[2] It is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.

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  • Westbrook Days 2012. Westbrook, Maine



Originally known as Saccarappa after Saccarappa Falls on the Presumpscot River, it was a part of Falmouth until February 14, 1814, when it was set off and incorporated as Stroudwater. It soon changed its name to Westbrook after Colonel Thomas Westbrook, a commander during Father Rale's War and King's mast agent who was an early settler and mill operator.[3] In 1871, the town of Westbrook amicably split into two municipalities; the current Westbrook and Deering, which was then annexed by Portland in 1898.[4] In 1891, Westbrook was incorporated as a city.[5]

Saccarappa Falls and Congin Falls provided water power for early mills within the city. In 1829, a sawmill was built at the former which made the mill town noted for its lumber. Other industries followed, manufacturing grain bags, machinery and water wheels, carriage and harness, boots, shoes and moccasins, tinware, leather board, bricks, wooden boxes, box shook, meal and flour. The Portland Manufacturing Company built a cotton textile mill at Saccarappa Falls for making "sheetings, stripes and ducks." A paper mill was built at Cumberland Mills, once an Indian planting ground known as Ammoncongin. By 1859, it produced 1,000 tons of paper annually. In 1867, the factory's name would change to the S. D. Warren Paper Mill.[6]

The Cumberland and Oxford Canal opened in 1832, connecting Portland to Harrison by way of Westbrook and Sebago Lake. It was the primary commercial shipping route for goods until 1871, when it was rendered obsolete by the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad.[3] Remnants of the canal can still be seen throughout the city, including Beaver Pond, along Stroudwater Street near the Maine Turnpike overpass, and in the woods between Westbrook High School and Oxford-Cumberland Canal Elementary School. In 1885, the city opened Woodlawn Cemetery, the largest cemetery and newest burial grounds in the municipality.



Westbrook is located at 43°41′7″N 70°21′26″W / 43.68528°N 70.35722°W / 43.68528; -70.35722 (43.685348, −70.357116).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.33 square miles (44.88 km2), of which 17.12 square miles (44.34 km2) is land and 0.21 square miles (0.54 km2) is water.[8]

Bodies of water

Presumpscot River, looking upstream towards One Riverfront Plaza and Saccarappa Falls

Westbrook is drained primarily by two rivers. The Presumpscot River flows through the center of the city, with two prominent falls (the aforementioned Saccarappa Falls and Congin Falls). The smaller Stroudwater River flows through the southwestern part of the city. The city also contains part of Highland Lake.

Roads and bordering

Westbrook is served by Interstate 95, U.S. Route 302 and State Routes 22 and 25. State Route 25 has a business route, Route 25 business, which is concurrent with Main Street. It is bordered by Portland to the east, South Portland and Scarborough to the south, Gorham and Windham to the west, and Falmouth to the north.

Ice disk

In January 2019, a naturally-occurring ice disk measuring about 100 yards across formed on the Presumpscot River.[9][10] The unusual formation briefly drew international social media and press attention, and boosted tourism to Westbrook.[11]


Historical population
2022 (est.)20,6451.2%

2010 census

As of the census[15] of 2010, there were 17,494 people, 7,568 households, and 4,456 families living in the city. The population density was 1,021.8 inhabitants per square mile (394.5/km2). There were 7,989 housing units at an average density of 466.6 per square mile (180.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.3% White, 2.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 7,568 households, of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.2% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.1% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.87.

The median age in the city was 39.4 years. 20.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.1% were from 25 to 44; 26.5% were from 45 to 64; and 15.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.

2000 census

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 16,142 people, 6,863 households, and 4,261 families living in the city. The population density was 956.9 inhabitants per square mile (369.5/km2). There were 7,089 housing units at an average density of 420.3 per square mile (162.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.69% White, 0.88% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.89% of the population.

There were 6,863 households, out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 23.4% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,873, and the median income for a family was $47,120. Males had a median income of $32,412 versus $25,769 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,501. About 6.7% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.7% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.


Now primarily a suburb of the larger city of Portland, Westbrook itself has a growing business base and developing core downtown district. IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., a major multi-national corporation, is headquartered in Westbrook.[17] In addition to the downtown area, many of the city's businesses are located within two industrial parks (the Col. Westbrook Industrial Park and Five Star Industrial Park), as well as in the area surrounding Maine Turnpike Exit 48.

The city is home to Sappi Ltd.'s Westbrook Paper Mill and R&D Center.[18] The mill, formerly the S. D. Warren Paper Mill, was once the city's largest employer and taxpayer, employing over 3,000 people and representing over 50% of the city's tax base. However, foreign competition and the age of the mill have drastically reduced its workforce and production. Today the mill has found a niche in the marketplace, becoming one of the nation's top manufacturers of release papers and employing about 300 people. Idexx Laboratories has since surpassed the mill as the city's largest taxpayer. Westbrook was also the home of the first Sebago-Moc shoe factory.

Westbrook is home to the TV station WMTW, southern Maine's ABC affiliate. The station has its studios off County Road.

The faith-based Mercy Hospital of Portland operates Mercy Westbrook,[19] a small community hospital with a minor emergency room and inpatient treatment facilities. Spring Harbor Hospital, southern Maine's only private psychiatric treatment and recovery center, is also located within the city.


Old Bridge Street School c. 1920

Westbrook's public schools are part of the Westbrook School Department.

  • Westbrook High School – Blue Blazes
  • Westbrook Middle School, (grades 5–8) (formerly Fred C. Wescott Junior High School) – Falcons
  • Congin Elementary School, (grades K–4) – Cougars
  • Canal School Elementary School, (grades K–4) – Coyotes
  • Saccarappa Elementary School, (grades K–4) – Shining Stars

The Wescott Junior High School building is now the Westbrook Community Center, with Westbrook Middle School occupying a newly constructed and subsequently expanded facility on a different site down the road from Westbrook High School. Other former schools in the city include Prides Corner Elementary School, which was closed in 2012 and subsequently demolished, with apartments and houses built on the property.

Government and elections

Westbrook City Hall

The Westbrook City Council consists of five councilors each representing one of the five city wards and two at-large councilors. The current mayor is Michael Foley. Colleen Hilton was mayor of Westbrook from November 2009 – 2016.[20]

Voter registration

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of November 2012[21]
Party Total Voters Percentage
Democratic 4,516 37.93%
Unenrolled 4,106 34.48%
Republican 2,754 23.13%
Green Independent 525 4.40%
Total 11,905 100%



Similar to neighboring Portland and South Portland, Westbrook contains several distinct neighborhoods that are generally recognized by residents but have no legal or political significance. Unlike Portland, however, there is no official signage recognizing these neighborhoods. Some of the notable neighborhoods include:

  • Birdland
  • Cumberland Mills
  • Deer Hill
  • Frenchtown
  • The Hamlet
  • Prides Corner
  • Old Millbrook
  • Westbrook Pointe
  • Woodland
  • Colonial Village
  • Highland Lake


Riverbank Park
Civil War Memorial in Riverbank Park
Bashka Paeff created this 1920 sculpture honoring John Warren owner of the Cumberland Paper Mills.

In addition to the sports complexes located at Westbrook High School and other schools, the city offers several public recreational areas and facilities, including:

  • Bicentennial Park & Skate Park
  • Riverbank Park
  • Westbrook River Walk – along Presumpscot River in downtown area
  • Cornelia Warren Memorial Trail – along Presumpscot River between Ash St. and Cumberland St.
  • Westbrook River Trail – along Presumpscot River north and east of the Sappi paper mill
  • Rocky Hill – network of trails behind Wescott Community Centre
  • Warren Little League Complex
  • Lincoln Street skating rink – ice hockey in colder months, roller hockey in warmer months
  • East Bridge Street skating rink – winter use only
  • Stroudwater Street skating rink – winter use only
  • East Bridge Street ballfields
  • Warren League Grounds
  • Warren Pool – outdoor public pool, summer use only
  • Davan Pool – indoor pool, open year-round

Sites of interest

  • Acorn Productions Performing Arts Center
  • Westbrook Historical Society & Museum
  • Warren Memorial Fountain

Notable people

Walker Memorial Library c. 1912, designed by Frederick A. Tompson


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  2. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Westbrook city, Maine". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Varney, George (1886). "Westbrook". A Gazetteer of the State of Maine. Boston, Massachusetts: B. B. Russell. p. 582. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  4. ^ Barry, William David; Anderson, Patricia McGraw (2010). Susan L. Ransom (ed.). Deering: A Social and Architectural History. Margaret W. Soule. Portland, Maine: Greater Portland Landmarks. ISBN 978-0-939761-14-2.
  5. ^ "Westbrook". The US GenWeb Project. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  6. ^ Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts: A.J. Coolidge. p. 353. A History and Description of New England Coolidge Mansfield.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  9. ^ Griffin, Julia (January 18, 2019). "Giant ice disk forms in Maine river, enthralling residents". PBS NewsHour. PBS. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  10. ^ Writer, Dennis HoeyStaff (January 15, 2019). "Videos: Spinning in the Presumpscot, this alien-looking ice disk has Westbrook all abuzz". Press Herald. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  11. ^ "Ice disk mania draws crowds, boosts business in Westbrook". WMTW News. January 17, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2019. Westbrook's now internationally-famous ice disk is drawing crowds to the area and boosting local business
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". Archived from the original on February 1, 2016.
  13. ^ Bureau, U. S. Census. "American FactFinder". Archived from the original on January 9, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  14. ^ "University of Virginia Library". Archived from the original on December 30, 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  17. ^ Bridgers, Leslie (September 7, 2011). "Idexx gets OK for $30 million building". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  18. ^ "150+ Years of Paper Making Excellence". Sappi Ltd. 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  19. ^ "Mercy Westbrook". Mercy Hospital. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  20. ^ "Mayor's Office – Westbrook". Archived from the original on March 29, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  21. ^ "REGISTERED & ENROLLED VOTERS – STATEWIDE" (PDF). November 6, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 11, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  22. ^ Mcdermott, Deborah (December 8, 2012). "'Ninja Turtles' artist shares 'mind-blowing' story". Seacoast Online. Archived from the original on December 13, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2013.

External links

This page was last edited on 18 May 2024, at 04:19
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