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Town of Berwick
State: ME
County: York


Water District Drinking Water Source

Salmon Falls River Watershed

Long Swamp straddles the Berwick border with Lebanon between Long Swamp Road and Little River Road. There is little development surrounding the swamp other than a few homes within a half mile.

Murdock Lake is located in the northwest part of Berwick near Ridlon Road. The lake is 145 acres in size with an average depth of 6 feet. The surrounding land is relatively undeveloped. The exceptions are a 200+ acre farm and a large subdivision a half mile to the west. Murdock Lake has a carry in boat launch and a dam at its outlet.

Keay Brook drains Murdock Lake close to Ridlon Road. It crosses the road and runs along the edge of a large farm until it joins the Salmon Falls River.

Little River meanders quite a bit as it enters Berwick near Little River Road. The River spans the entire width of the town for approximately 7 miles before it converges with the Salmon Falls River. It passes under four bridges at Diamond Hill Road, Messenger Bridge on Pine Hill Road, Ridlon Road, and Hubbard Road. For most of its trip through Berwick, Little River is paralleled by scattered development along Little River Road including a large industrial facility.

Touge Brook runs into Berwick from a forested marsh area near Touge Brook Road, which it passes under at a bridge before joining Little River.

Pine Hill Brook emerges from thick woodland near Worster and Pine Hill Road intersection. It runs for approximately 1.5 miles, crossing three roads, and gathering water from several fields and marsh areas before joining Little River just downstream from the Ridlon Road Bridge.

Coffin Brook and Mulloy Brook cross Route 9 just east of Berwick Center, each running for about a half mile, and then joining Worster Brook. Coffin Brook passes very close to a gravel pit. Both Mulloy and Coffin Brooks pass under Route 9 through culverts.

Worster Brook begins near Old Sanford and Diamond Hill Roads and heads in southwest direction. Cris-crossing Old Sanford Road, the brook passes the Noble Middle School and runs through Mathews Millpond. Worster Brook continues moving southwest, gathering water from several brooks and marsh areas. The brook converges with the Salmon Falls River just downstream of a hydroelectric dam and the Berwick waste treatment plant.

Mathews Millpond is located right at the intersection of Route 9 and Old Sanford Road, near Noble Middle School. While the pond is only 2 acres in size the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has been stocking it with brook trout since 1989. Half the perimeter of Mathews Millpond is bordered by Old Sanford Road with a thin forested buffer.

Cranberry Meadow is a freshwater forested wetland between School Street and Blackberry Hill Road.

Driscoll Brook begins in a marsh area near a farm on Blackberry Hill Road. It crosses the road and flows south, draining several farms and passing into a mile long stretch of woods. The brook emerges at the end of Blackmore Road and flows along the train tracks until crossing into South Berwick at Railroad Avenue.

The Salmon Falls River forms Berwick’s 11 mile eastern border with New Hampshire. The banks of the river are highly developed, with farms and subdivisions in the north, and urban development in the south as it passes through Berwick Center. There are four dams on Salmons Falls River in Berwick, one of which is associated with a large mill complex in the middle of town.

Great Works River Watershed

Beaver Dam Pond is formed where water draining from a large heath pools behind a dam near the intersection of School Street and Beech Ridge Road.

The outlet of Beaver Dam Pond is Beaver Dam Brook. After spilling over the dam it flows for half a mile before entering North Berwick. The brook reenters Berwick a half mile away near two gravel pits on Wentworth Road. Beaver Dam Brook widens slightly behind a culvert in a road to one of the gravel pits. A half mile downstream the brook runs under train tracks and then crosses again into North Berwick.

Lovers Brook forms as water drains from the Marsh behind Noble Middle School. As it becomes more channeled the brook crosses School Street at the intersection with Guinea Road and runs past two homes and a farm field. From there Lovers Brook flows through 1.25 miles of woods emerging at the railroad tracks along Portland Street. At this point the brook must pass under 250 feet of culvert as it flows under the tracks and the road. It passes a large industrial site and a junkyard before entering South Berwick.

Adams Brook is a little less than a mile long. It flows past several large farms on Blackberry Hill Road near the intersection with Route 4. Crossing Route 4 and the train tracks it joins Lovers Brook just after passing into South Berwick.

To see the locations of these resources in Google Earth follow this link.

If you do not have Google Earth software you may download it by following this link.

Water District: Berwick Water Distric
District Website: http://www.berwickmaine.org
Water Source: Salmon Falls
# Accts Serv: 840
Other Towns: none
Sewer District: Berwick Sewer Department
District Website: none
Receiving Waters: Salmon Falls River
# Accts Serv: 7020 pop.
Other Towns: none
(Click the Title of the article to learn more.)
Berwick Water Department
Community Assistance Providers
Town of Berwick Municipal Office in charge of Town Water Supply.

Great Works Regional Land Trust
Community Assistance Providers

Serving the communities of Berwick, Eliot, Ogunquit, and Wells.

Seal:town seal, click to enlarge
Population:7433 (U.S. Census Est. 2006)
Area:42.0 square miles


Located along the Salmon Falls River, Berwick, Maine is a small New England town attempting to preserve its rural character from the pressures of growth. Berwick’s new cluster subdivision ordinance has helped to maintain dedicated open space while allowing new housing. The local waterways are an important part of life in Berwick. The town draws its water supplies from the Salmon Falls River. Lake Murdock is accessible for fishing and boating.

Berwick struggles to keep taxes low while providing housing to fit the needs of the exodus of people from Massachusetts and New Hampshire seeking more affordable, quality housing. Since 1960 the population of Berwick has been growing at an average rate of 22% per decade, with a 44% increase in the 1980’s. The population is projected to increase 18% by the year 2020. Increased population will place additional pressures on the Berwick’s remaining undeveloped areas.

While Berwick’s population has grown rapidly in the past few decades, the town still retains its rural character. Numerous large, undeveloped blocks of forest and wetland cover most of the town. There are close to a dozen parcels of conserved land in Berwick. Half of these are owned by the Great Works Regional Land Trust, the rest are privately owned with the trust holding conservation easements. In addition, the town owns one small parcel on the Little River.

In 2007, Berwick had 21% of its area enrolled in current use tax program. This included 2,853 acres of forestland and 2,797 acres of farmland. However, this designation does not provide permanent protection and development incentives may decrease these numbers in the future.


The Native Americans who inhabited the area which is now Berwick were the Newichawannock people, also called the Piscataquas. They made use of the Salmon Falls and Great Works Rivers for fishing and transportation.

Ambrose Gibbens was the first white settler in Berwick in approximately 1631. He made a settlement at Newichawannok (Old Berwick) near Quampeagan Falls, the head of navigation on the Piscataqua. During the late 1600’s conflict between settlers and Native Americans flared up. Spurred on as part of the French and Indian Wars, these conflicts persisted until the early 1700’s and resulted in depopulating and eventual resettlement of the Berwick area.

One of the outstanding attractions of the area to early settlers was the large growth of pine covering most of the area. As a result of these pines, the first sawmill in America was set up at Newichawannok on the Great Works River. It was called Gibbens' Sawmill. The number of saws rapidly increased to 18, and the Native Americans called it "the place of great works". Soon the area had grown into a thriving community of 200 people. The area included busy sawmills, a prosperous trading post, boat building, fishing, hunting, and farming. On October 23, 1785 almost every mill and bridge in the town was destroyed by a flood that also affected Kennebunk and Saco. Beginning in the 19th century, Berwick had a symbiotic economic relationship with Somersworth, New Hampshire, the mill town to which it is connected by bridge. Factories and mills in the area attracted many new inhabitants to live and work in Berwick. Between 1870 and 1880 the population grew from 2,291 to 2,774.

Berwick’s population declined around the years of the Great Depression as mills closed and the local economy slowed. By the middle of the 1900’s people were again coming to Berwick to live and work. Between 1970 and 2000, the population grew by an average of 23% from 3,136 to 6,353.

excerpts taken from The Story of Berwick

The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm, Wells, Maine Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Collaboration with NOAA CSC, Charleston SC