York county. Wells lies on the sea coast between York and Kennebunk, and is 85 miles S.W. by S. from Augusta, and 30 S.W. by S. from Portland. The first settlers came from Exeter, N.H., about the year 1640. A noted Indian chief, Wawwaw, lived here about one hundred years ago, pretending to claim this and some adjoining towns. There is no evidence of any purchase of Indian title to the soil. The town charter from Thomas Gorges is dated Sept. 27, 1643.
There are a number of small streams or brooks running through the town in various directions, on which are 1 fulling, 16 saw, and 10 grist mills. The principal river is near the middle of the town, and was called by the Indians Webhannet, but is now generally called the "Town river." A sand bar at the entrance renders the navigation somewhat difficult. Ogunquit river, in the southerly part of the town, forms a harbor for small coasting and fishing vessels.
The town contains about 35,000 acres, of which one fifth may be considered waste land, or unfit for cultivation. It contains large tracts of salt meadow. Wood for fuel is exported to Boston and other places, in considerable quantities. Some trade is carried on with the West Indies, and vessels of various size are built from timber in the town. Incorporated, 1653. Population, 1837, 3,042. This town furnished a large number of revolutionary officers.