Cumberland county. This town is watered on the N.E. side by Presumpscut river, and the Cumberland and Oxford canal. It is 9 miles W.N.W. from Portland and 63 S.W. from Augusta. Gorham was first settled in 1736, by John Phinney and others from Barnstable county, Mass. Maine was at that time almost a wilderness. Portland, Saco and Scarborough were very feeble in consequence of the depredations of the Indians. There people endured great privations, and for many years were in constant apprehension of attack by the savages. "The wives and daughters of the first settlers of Gorham shared in all the toils and wants of their husbands and fathers; they used to labor in the field, carry burdens, go to mill, and aid in defence of their property. One time when most of the men were away, the Indians attacked the fort, and the wife of Hugh McLellan rallied the women in the garrison, shut the gates, mounted the walls, fired upon the Indians, and by her courage and activity baffled the enemy till succor arrived."
Rev. Solomon Lombard, a native of Truro, Mass., was the first settled minister. His annual salary was £53, 6s. 8d. He was ordained Dec. 26, 1750. One hundred and twenty dollars were raised to defray the expenses of the ordination.
Gorham is very pleasantly located; its soil is of a superior quality: it has a flourishing academy, on a solid foundation: it is a place of considerable trade, and of extensive manufactures of cotton, wool, leather, starch, and gunpowder. Gorham has produced many men of talents, among which were eminent jurists and statesmen. It is noted for its attachment to the principles of the revolution.
From 1807 to 1834, twenty persons died in Gorham, whose average age was 94 years. Population, 1837, 3,022.