Readfield was first settled in the mid-eighteenth century when
the area was still a part of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts. Originally part of the Town of Winthrop when
it incorporated in 1771, the North Parish split off in 1791,
getting 4/9 of the area and renaming itself Readfield. This
new community was named in honor of John Read, a land
agent for the Commonwealth.
Readfield is bounded on the east by the Town of Manchester,
on the north by Mount Vernon and Belgrade, on the west by
Fayette and Wayne, and on the south by Winthrop.
There are four sections to Readfield, all paying taxes to the
Town of Readfield: East Readfield, Readfield Depot, Readfield
Corner, and Kents Hill. Each was a thriving village in its own
right in the 1800's, with churches, school, businesses and post
In 1825 an educational institution called the Maine Wesleyan
Seminary was instituted on Kents Hill, under the auspices of
the Methodists. In 1852 it also became a college for women.
Known now as Kents Hill School, it is a preparatory high
school which attracts students from all over the world.
In 1826 the Masons were established in Readfield, with their
first Masonic Hall being built in 1827.
In 1849 the railroad came to Readfield, where up to six
passenger trains a day stopped as late as 1930.
In 1877 the oilcloth factory burned in East Readfield, causing
the loss of 50 jobs. This fire, along with the 1905 purchase of
nearby Carleton Pond by the Augusta Water District, marked
the eventual decline of the village.
In 1897 the Fire Department was established. It was, and still
is, all volunteer.
In 1921 there was a huge fire at Readfield Corner, wiping out
most of the buildings there.
In 1955 the Readfield Elementary School opened. All other
elementary schools in town closed, further contributing to the
decline of the villages.
Lakes and ponds in Readfield include Maranacook Lake,
Torsey Pond, Lovejoy Pond, Crotched Pond and Carlton Pond.
Readfield had an active and vibrant industrial life in the 1800's
and early 1900's. There was a woolen factory known as the
Readfield Manufacturing Company, a sash and blind factory, a
boot factory, a grist mill, and a slaughter house. Almost
nothing remains of the area that was known as Factory
Square, but for a dam and a house that is slowly falling apart.