Sanford, Maine, a city nestled in the heart of York County, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its rich history, intriguing landmarks, and a vibrant community, Sanford offers a unique blend of small-town charm and big-city amenities. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a foodie, Sanford has something for everyone. This article aims to unveil the enchanting city of Sanford, Maine, and explore its hidden gems.

History of Sanford

Sanford’s history dates back to 1739 when it was first settled. It was incorporated as a town in 1768 and named after Peleg Sanford, the colonial governor of Rhode Island. The city’s early economy was based on agriculture, but it soon became a thriving industrial center with the establishment of textile mills in the 19th century. Despite the decline of the textile industry in the 20th century, Sanford has managed to reinvent itself and remains a vibrant city today.

Location and Population

Sanford is located in the southwestern part of Maine, approximately 35 miles southwest of Portland and 20 miles northeast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is the seventh largest municipality in Maine, with a population of approximately 21,000 residents. Despite its size, Sanford maintains a close-knit community feel, making it a great place to live and visit.

Landmarks and Attractions

Sanford is home to several historical landmarks and attractions. The Sanford Town Hall, built in 1873, is a testament to the city’s rich history. The Goodall Mansion, a grand Victorian home built by one of Sanford’s prominent industrialists, is another must-see.

For nature lovers, the city offers numerous parks and trails. The Mousam Way Trail, a 4-mile trail that winds along the Mousam River, is perfect for hiking, biking, and bird watching. Springvale Public Library and its adjacent park is another popular spot for locals and visitors alike.

Nearby Attractions

Sanford’s location makes it a great base for exploring the wider region. The city is just a short drive from the beautiful beaches of Wells and Ogunquit, the historic city of Portsmouth, and the bustling city of Portland. Whether you’re interested in sunbathing, shopping, dining, or exploring, there’s plenty to see and do in and around Sanford.

Sanford in Movies and TV Shows

While Sanford may not be as well-known as Hollywood, it has made its mark in the film and television industry. The city was featured in the 1990 film “Graveyard Shift,” based on a short story by Stephen King. More recently, Sanford was the filming location for the 2018 movie “The Witch Files.”


From its rich history and beautiful landscapes to its vibrant community and convenient location, Sanford, Maine, is truly an enchanting city. Whether you’re planning a visit or considering a move, Sanford is a city worth discovering. So why wait? Come and unveil the hidden gems of this charming city.

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