Waterville takes great pride in its history. Our downtown is even home to seven (7) structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We encourage residents and visitors alike to use the following links to learn more about our City’s fascinating heritage.
SELF-GUIDED WALKING TOURS:
- Downtown Historic Walking Guide
This tour was created to promote the historic assets of downtown Waterville. The guide not only points out interesting buildings and historical sites but also provides some stories about people and events associated with those sites. Whether you are new to the area, visiting for the first time, or returning, we think you will find the information educational, interesting, and historically significant.
- Museum in the Streets
A printable brochure of the self-guided heritage tour of the Franco-American community in the City’s South End beginning in Castonguay Square (next to City Hall) and ending at the second Baptist Church. The brochure walks you through the detailed information panels located throughout the South End about its cultural history.
HISTORY OF WATERVILLE:
A Short History of Waterville by Stephen Plocher, Colby College Class of 2007
From its humble beginnings all the way to the present day, we think you will enjoy this short chronicle of Waterville’s history.
The Mayor’s position has had a long and proud history within Waterville City government. The position was first created in 1888, the same year that Waterville became incorporated as a City. Our History of Mayors provides not only a snapshot of each Mayor and the years they served, but detailed information and portraits of many of Waterville’s Mayors.
- Head of Falls
This property is not only one of Waterville’s most historic locations, but also one of the most important early settlement locations on the Kennebec River – both for the Native Americans and the European settlers.
- Waterville’s Cannon
Just how did a German cannon come to a final resting place at Castonguay Square in Waterville, Maine?
- Waterville in Pictures
Seven (7) historic albums with a variety of photos from all eras representing Waterville’s history in photographs. From historic homes of Waterville to Fire and Aviation, and so much more, these photo albums won’t disappoint.
- Waterville Fire Department: 1809-2015 by Lt. Scott Holst, Waterville Fire Department – Available for purchase – This fascinating book details the WFD’s history from 1809-2015 with stories and photos of the men and women who helped make the Fire Department what it is today.
- Charles Horace Nelson, the owner of Nelson 4209, Maine’s champion trotting stallion – In 1891 Nelson 4209 was titled, King of the Stallion. This story contains lessons for today. It is a story of fame and glory. It is also a story of shame and redemption. The issue contains three parts. Part I tells the story and the other two parts provide images of Nelson and his horse plus the obituaries of Nelson 4209 (1882 to 1907), C.H. Nelson (1843 to 1915) and Nelson’s wife, Emma Aubine Jones Nelson.
1920’s Waterville Event Posters – Available for Purchase
Twelve (12) historic posters were discovered in the Maine Room of the Waterville Public Library in the fall of 2013. Our research indicates that these posters are from about 1924 to 1926. The above link provides an image of each posted and information about each one. Stunning, high-quality, full color reprints are also available for purchase.
“Waterville — Postcard History Series” by Earle G. Shettleworth – Available for purchase at City Hall – Serving as a primary method of communication in the early 1900’s, postcards captured moments in time and, many years later, have often been found to be the only images of buildings, monuments, and places left in existence. Revealing the way of life of the average American, vintage postcards reveal authentic views of the time and place in which they were produced, and expose important insight into the society, cultural attitudes, and traditions of the past.