Located on the Northwest shore of Sebago Lake, the Town of Sebago was incorporated on February 10, 1826. It was originally part of the Town of Baldwin, with parts of Denmark and Naples added later.
Baldwin, originally known as Flintstown, was established by a grant to the survivors of the company of Captain Flint of Concord, Mass in 1774. This was not the first grant to Captain Flint; an earlier grant was given in 1735, but abandoned in 1751 when the New Hampshire border was established. Even this grant nearly failed; the conditions to establish 30 families were not met by 1780, and the time period was extended 6 years. They eventually met the conditions "by the skin of their teeth" and had to "strain a point" to show that the grant conditions had been fulfilled.
Baldwin was incorporated on June 23, 1802, named for one of the early settlers, Loammi Baldwin. The town was "destitute of a meeting house and minister", indeed, the twenty miles of county roads that had been constructed were in a "dangerous condition for teams, carriages, or horses."
The earliest inhabitants of the northern portions of Baldwin were lumberjacks and woodsmen, who left the area as soon at the first growth of pine was cut. The first permanent settlers of this area were Joseph Lakin and Jacob Howe. Mr. Howe carried the first mail from Bridgton; there are no records of his family remaining in the area. Joseph Lakin came from Groton, Mass. in 1790 and built a cabin. He returned later with his family and goods, crossing Sebago Lake by boat and made his way to the spot where he hoped a public road would eventually be built.
In 1793 William Fitch also came from Groton, and settled in the Sebago portion of Baldwin. When Baldwin was incorporated in 1802, he was one of the first Selectmen - subsequently when Sebago was incorporated he was one of the first selectmen, also in 1827 and 1829. He was the first postmaster, and the first town clerk. His wife came from Groton on horseback, with their son, William, in her arms. Several other Fitch's came to the area from Groton, building sawmills and opening a store.
The history of Sebago, its early settlers and their work and play, is fascinating. Additional installments telling Sebago's story will appear here from time to time, so make sure and check back.
There is much more detail about the early history of the Town of Sebago in several books available at the Sebago Historical Society and the Spaulding Memorial Library. Also, check out Sebago Lake Land by Herbert G. Jones (Bond Wheelwright Co, Freeport, ME, 1946) - it is a good overview of the Sebago Lake Region, including the Town of Sebago, and is available at stores in the area.
The Sebago Historical Society compiles an annual pictorial calendar focusing on a historical aspect of life in Sebago. Annual themes have included the schools, churches, fraternal organizations, and inns and hotels in town.
Copies of the following calendars are still available, but in limited quantities:
- 1997 - Schools of Sebago - $4.00
- 1998 - Hotels of Sebago - $4.00 sold out
- 1999 - Post offices of Sebago - $4.00
- 2000 - Cemeteries and Churches of Sebago - $4.00
- 2001 - Fraternal & Social Organizations of Sebago - $4.00
- 2002 - Sebago Recreation - $4.00 sold out
- 2003 - Early stores and industries of Sebago part I - $4.00
- 2004 - Early stores and industries of Sebago part II - $4.00
- 2005 - Early Transportation - $4.00
- 2006 - Early Transportation by Narrow Gauge - $4.00
- 2007 - Barns & Outhouses - $4.00
- 2008 - Old Homes part I - $4.00
- 2009 - Old Homes part II - $4.00
- 2010 - Old Postcards of Sebago - $4.00
- 2011 - Sebago Artists Past & Present part I - $4.00
- 2012 - Sebago Artists Past & Present part II - $4.00
- 2013 - Our Twentieth Anniversary - $4.00
- 2014 - Stone Fireplaces of Sebago part I - $4.00
- 2015 - Stone Fireplaces of Sebago part II - $5.00 after June 2015
- 2016 - Colorful Characters of Sebago - $10.00
The current years' calendar is always available at the town hall, Spaulding Memorial Library, and Jordan's Store. Earlier years as listed above, as well as copies of the 1871 Map of Sebago and a reprinting of our 1976 cookbook, Recipes of Sebago are also available from the Historical Society. You may also send an e-mail to Sherrill Brown.
The society has a list of all people buried in Sebago, of which a copy is available at the town hall. It provides the names and locations of the 45 burial yards located in Sebago, and an alphabetical listing of those buried there. The Sebago Cemetery List was prepared for the Sebago Historical Society by June Allen, Joyce Viles, Diana Letellier, and Anne Brown from visual inspection of all known Sebago Cemeteries in 1998 and 1999 along with information recorded in 1969 by Beverly Harmon. Information supplied is to be used for personal research and may not be reproduced for resale without permission.
The Sebago Historical Society meets on the 3th Wednesday of the month at the museum on the Convene Rd in Sebago during the months of May - Sept, then at members homes during the winter. The Society has many permanent displays and photo collections that they enjoy sharing with others. An open house is held on the 2nd Saturday of the months of June, July, and August, when people can come and visit the museum. It is also possible to meet someone there at other times by appointment. There are a number of special events during the summer season. These will be posted on our Facebook Page. Please LIKE us. For further information you can send an e-mail to Sherrill.