Bridgton is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.
The undeveloped land was first called Pondicherry. It was granted in 1768 by the Massachusetts General Court to Moody Bridges and a group of proprietors. Settlement began in 1770 at what is now North Bridgton, where a tavern was built. The community was organized in 1779 as Bridgetown Plantation, named after Moody Bridges, and then incorporated on February 7, 1794 as Bridgton.
Stevens Brook is only a mile and a half long, but it provided water power for 12 mill sites. It developed as an industrial center, with sawmills, gristmills, woolen textile mills, a tannery, shoe factory and brick manufacturer. Later, a corn and vegetable packing plant was built, in addition to a foundry, machine shop, shovel handle factory, sash and blind factory, and a coffin shop. By the mid-19th century, the town contained about 3,000 inhabitants. In 1883, the 2-foot (610 mm) gauge Bridgton and Saco River Railroad opened, and tourists discovered the area. Although the railway closed in 1941, Bridgton remains a popular resort area, with many children's summer camps located along the shores of the beautiful lakes and Shawnee Peak, a ski resort in the winter. Bridgton is the setting for The Mist, a novella by Stephen King. Binge II: Recovery, a book by Charles Ferry takes place in this settlement.