About This Place
Rumford is a town in Oxford County, Maine, United States. The population was 6,472 at the 2000 census. Rumford is home to both an important paper industry and the Black Mountain of Maine ski resort.
Originally called New Pennacook Plantation, the township was granted in 1779 to Timothy Walker, Jr. and associates of Concord, New Hampshire. Both Pennacook and Rumford are former names of Concord, from which many early settlers arrived. The first pioneers, however, were Jonathan Keyes and his son Francis in 1782 from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Incorporated in 1800, the town would later annex land from Peru and Franklin Plantation.
Located in the foothills of the White Mountains, Rumford is the site of Pennacook Falls, called by historian George J. Varney "the grandest cataract in New England," where the Androscoggin River drops 177 feet (54 m) over solid granite. Bands of St. Francis Indians once hunted and fished here, where salmon spawn in the 13-acre (53,000 m2) pool below Upper Falls, a barrier that fish cannot pass. Indians also came here to trade furs brought from the lakes region. Sawmills and gristmills were built to harness water power from the falls, although Rumford would remain primarily agricultural during its first 100 years.