Located on the banks of the Kennebec River between Gardiner and Hallowell, Farmingdale is a vibrant residential community with densely populated riverbanks and open rural back-land. The town was incorporated on April 3, 1852 from parts of South Hallowell, North Gardiner, and West Gardiner.
During the 19th century and before the availability of mechanical refrigeration, many businesses existed in Farmingdale along the Kennebec River, including shipyards, brickyards, pottery, and a glue factory.
A major business on the Kennebec River was harvesting and selling ice worldwide. Ice was cut from the frozen water and stored in warehouses, often insulated with sawdust. When the ice was gone, the river was often clogged with logs floating downstream to paper mills further south.
The career of one of Farmingdale’s noted citizens provides insights into the town’s past. According to Maine’s Historic Places, Peter Grant was a self-made man who, at his death in 1836, left an estate of over $100,000 (very large for the time), including a shipyard in Farmingdale, half-ownership of four good-sized vessels, and large real estate holdings in the area. His social position is indicated by the fact that one of his sons married a daughter of Dr. Benjamin Vaughan, the patriarch of Hallowell.