About This Place
Pittsfield is a town in Somerset County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,214 at the 2000 census. Pittsfield is home to the Maine Central Institute, a private boarding school, and the annual Central Maine Egg Festival.
The area was part of the Kennebec Purchase. First called Plymouth Gore, it was settled in 1794 by Moses Martin and his family from Norridgewock. In 1815, the town was organized as the Plantation of Sebasticook, but then incorporated on June 18, 1819 as Warsaw after Warsaw, Poland. In 1824, the name was changed to Pittsfield after William Pitts of Boston, a large landowner.
Pittsfield was noted for fine orchards, and became an agricultural trade center. Water power from the Sebasticook River attracted industry, and a gristmill and sawmill were built at the falls. Blacksmith shops and a carriage shop were established. In 1855, the Penobscot and Kennebec Railroad arrived, and Pittsfield developed into a small mill town. In 1869, the first woolen mill was established. The Riverside Woolen Company was the first mill in the state to sell cloth direct from loom to wearer. Fire destroyed the downtown in 1881, but it was soon rebuilt. Woodworking plants and a canning factory were established. The Waverly Woolen Mill was built in 1891-1892, together with 52 dwellings the company rented to workers. Pittsfield was also home to the Sebasticook and the Pioneer woolen mills.