About This Place
Gray is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 6,820 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. Gray is home to regional headquarters for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, which maintains a fish hatchery and wildlife park. It is also home to an NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office, which issues forecasts and severe weather warnings for New Hampshire and Maine.
The area was granted on March 27, 1736 by the Massachusetts General Court to a group from Boston. In 1737, the township was laid out and roads cleared, with the first settlers arriving in the spring of 1738. But during the ongoing French and Indian Wars, the settlement was attacked in the spring of 1745 by Indians, who killed cattle and burned the meetinghouse and all dwellings. Inhabitants fled to other towns. In 1751, the village was resettled, but wiped out again in May 1755.
Consequently, Fort Gray was built in 1755. It featured a blockhouse measuring 50 feet (15 m) long by 25 feet (7.6 m) wide, set within a garrison palisade 100 feet (30 m) long by 75 feet (23 m) wide. The town had been without a name until about 1756, when it began to be called New Boston. On June 19, 1778, New Boston Plantation would be incorporated as Gray after Thomas Gray, a proprietor.