About This Place
Biddeford is a city in York County, Maine, United States. It is the largest city in the county, and is the sixth-largest in the state. It is the most southerly incorporated city in the state and the principal commercial center of York County. The population was 21,277 at the 2010 census. Twin city of Saco, Biddeford includes the resort community of Biddeford Pool, Fortunes Rocks and Granite Point. The city is home to the University of New England and the annual La Kermesse Franco-Americaine Festival. First visited by Europeans in 1616, it is the site of one of the earliest European settlements in the United States.
Biddeford is a principal city of the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford metropolitan statistical area.
Abenaki Indians, whose main village was upriver at Pequawket (now Fryeburg), once hunted and fished in the area. The first European to settle at Biddeford was physician Richard Vines in the winter of 1616-1617 at Winter Harbor, as he called Biddeford Pool. This 1616 landing by a European predates the Mayflower landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts, (located 100 miles to the south) by approximately four years, a fact that is overlooked in much of New England lore. In 1630, the Plymouth Company granted the land south of the River Swanckadocke to Dr. Vines and John Oldham. In 1653, the town included both sides of the river, and was incorporated by the Massachusetts General Court as Saco.