1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Biddeford

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BIDDEFORD, a city of York county, Maine, U.S.A., on the Saco river, opposite Saco, and on the Atlantic Ocean, 15 m. S.W. of Portland. Pop. (1890) 14,443; (1900) 16,145, of whom 7,149 were foreign-born (mostly French Canadians); (census, 1910) 17,079. Biddeford is served by the Boston & Maine railway, and is connected by electric lines with Portland and with Old Orchard Beach, a popular summer resort north of the Saco river. The climate and the scenery in and about Biddeford attract summer visitors and there are two resorts, Biddeford Pool and Fortune Rocks within the municipal limits; but the city is chiefly a manufacturing centre (third in rank among the cities of the state in 1905)—good water-power being furnished by the river—and cotton goods, foundry and machine shop products and lumber are the principal products, the first being by far the most important. The value of the factory products increased from $5,472,254 in 1900 to $6,948,722 in 1905, or 27%. There are large quarries of granite of excellent quality. A permanent settlement was established on both sides of the river about 1630 under the leadership of Richard Vines (1585–1651) and was named Saco. In 1718 the present name was adopted. In 1762 that portion of Biddeford which lay east of the river was incorporated as the town of Pepperellborough, for which name Saco was substituted in 1805. Biddeford was incorporated as a city in 1855.