The City of Sanford is Maine’s sixth-largest community and serves as the core service center for the surrounding towns that comprise a distinctive economic and demographic area, the Sanford Region. Sanford is easily accessible to Portland, only 35 minutes to the north and Maine’s fabulous coastline, 20 minutes away to the east. The greater Boston metropolitan area is just a little over an hour away by car or enjoy a leisurely ride on the Downeaster from the AMTRAK station located in nearby Wells.
Sanford and Springvale Village were both factory towns, home to saw mills and assorted textile mills. One company, the Goodall Mills, specialized in carriage and horse blankets, eventually expanding to outfit railroad cars for the soon to be rich and famous. The Mousam River provided both power for the mills and transportation. Sanford eventually outgrew Springvale and today both are under one jurisdiction.
Sanford is home to the Goodall Park Baseball Stadium and the Sanford Regional Airport. It is also home to many wooded areas and lakes, drawing many campers to the area. The city’s many parks and playgrounds include Benton Playground, Carpentier Park, the Downtown Center Park, Goodall Park, Gowen Park, and Benton Playground.
Other attractions include the many trails that crisscross the area, great for hiking in summer and snowshoeing and cross country skiing during the snowy months. Visitors are invited to pick apples at McDougal Orchards in season, challenge the greens at the Sanford Country Club or do a spot of fishing in the various lakes in the area. One of Springvale’s attractions is the Harvey Butler Memorial Rhododendron Sanctuary, a 30-acre nature preserve filled with wildflowers, birds and stands of the Great Laurels and their showy blossoms.
As of the census of 2010, there were 20,798 people, 8,500 households, and 5,417 families residing in the town.
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