South Windham, Maine, is a charming gem nestled in the heart of the Pine Tree State. This quaint village, part of the town of Windham, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. From its early beginnings to its present-day allure, South Windham offers a unique blend of small-town charm and scenic landscapes that captivate both residents and visitors alike. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply someone looking for a peaceful retreat, South Windham has something to offer. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the rich tapestry that makes South Windham, Maine, a truly enchanting destination.

History of South Windham

South Windham’s history dates back to the 18th century when it was first settled by Europeans. The area was originally part of New Marblehead, a settlement established by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1762, it was incorporated as Windham, named after Wymondham, a market town in Norfolk, England. South Windham, known for its mills and factories, played a significant role in the town’s industrial growth during the 19th century.

Location and Population

South Windham is located in Cumberland County, approximately 12 miles northwest of Portland, Maine’s largest city. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Windham was estimated to be around 17,000 in 2019, with South Windham being one of its four villages.

Landmarks and Attractions

South Windham is home to several historical landmarks and attractions. The South Windham Village Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features a collection of well-preserved 19th-century buildings that reflect the village’s industrial heritage. The district includes the former Windham Manufacturing Company textile mill, the Mallison Falls hydroelectric dam, and several historic homes.

For nature lovers, the Mountain Division Trail offers a scenic route for walking, biking, and cross-country skiing. This 6-mile trail, which follows the former Mountain Division rail line, provides stunning views of the Presumpscot River and the surrounding countryside.

Nearby Attractions

South Windham’s strategic location makes it a perfect base for exploring the wider region. Just a short drive away is Sebago Lake, Maine’s second-largest lake, known for its crystal-clear waters and recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. The city of Portland, with its vibrant arts scene, historic Old Port district, and renowned restaurants, is also within easy reach.

While South Windham may not have featured prominently in movies or TV shows, it has been the subject of several books and historical studies. Its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and enduring charm continue to inspire writers and artists, contributing to its allure as a hidden gem in the Pine Tree State.

Conclusion

Discovering South Windham, Maine, is like stepping back in time. Its historic buildings, scenic trails, and tranquil ambiance offer a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re exploring its historical landmarks, enjoying its natural beauty, or simply soaking up its peaceful atmosphere, South Windham promises a memorable experience. This charming village, with its rich history and unique character, truly embodies the spirit of the Pine Tree State.

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