All About Saco
The City of Saco is located at the mouth of the Saco River in southern Maine along the Atlantic Ocean, less than 20 minutes south of the Greater Portland Area, and less than two hours north of Boston, Massachusetts. Home to a growing population of 19k+ residents, a revitalized and repurposed mill district, world-class education system, a picturesque downtown, a thriving economy, and many recreational opportunities, including fishing, hiking, biking, and kayaking, the City of Saco has plenty to offer residents, visitors, and businesses alike.
With easy transportation via Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1, and as a destination stop along the Amtrak Downeaster, Saco’s residents, visitors, and labor force have easy access to and from the city. Comprised of 39 square miles, with farmland and areas of resource protection to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east — and a picturesque and historic Main Street at its center — Saco boasts a diverse landscape that has something to offer everyone.
According to the 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-year estimate, Saco has a population of 19,008 and growing, with a seasonal influx of 2,500 people. The median household income in Saco is $52,611, while the per capita income is $28,831. Like many other Maine communities, Saco’s once booming textile mill district is being repurposed into a combination of commercial, mercantile, and residential units. While Saco has experienced both industrial and commercial growth, residential growth has outpaced the others by far.
With two schools serving grades K-2 (Fairfield and Young), one school serving grades 3-5 (CK Burns), one school serving grades 6-8 (Saco Middle School), and one prestigious private school (Thornton Academy) serving grades 9-12, the City of Saco offers students of all ages one of the best educations in the State of Maine.
Incorporated as a municipal government and a non-profit organization, the City of Saco operates with a Mayor-Council-Manager form of government. The Mayor and seven (7) City Councilors are elected for two-year terms. The Mayor and City Council appoint the City Administrator, who manages thirteen (13) distinct operational departments. (source: http://www.sacomaine.org/about.php)
Things To Do In Saco:
Come Spend A Day In Saco!
The Eastern Trail
Partially used for recreation, the Eastern Trail offers scenic routes for hikers, bicyclists and rollerblading. Paved, the route travels through a state park as well as many small towns and villages of Southern Maine.
Ferry Beach State Park
Ferry Beach State park is a fine place to spend a day off from the city’s hustle and bustle. It offers several white sandy beaches for your enjoyment. You can go on trail-hiking, picnics and swimming activities in the area.
Dyer Library offers the community a variety of services including a children’s room, inter-loan library system and Elder Outreach Program.
Schooner Miniature Golf
Opened in 1988, Schooner Miniature Golf offers an 18-hole miniature golf course that features a lighthouse and a 75-foot ship in water.
Long Beach Marina
Long Beach Marina is a family operated boating service that rents jet skis, pontoons, and ski boats. (source: http://www.tripbuzz.com/free-things-to-do/saco-me)
Education in Saco
About Saco Educational System
List of schools
- Fairfield School (K-2)
- Young School (K-2)
- C.K. Burns School (3-5)
- Saco Middle School (6-8)
- Thornton Academy (9-12)
- Thornton Middle School (6-8) – Arundel, ME student overflow from partner RSU, RSU 21
- Saco Transition Program (6-12)
- The School At Sweetser (1-12)
- Saco Island School (9-12)
- Notre Dame de Lourdes School (K-8) – Closed in 2009 due to budget constraints and lack of students.
- University College has a campus located in Saco.
History of Saco:
Saco is rich in history!
For centuries in pre-historic times, the dramatic falls of the Saco River near where it now crosses Main Street attracted summer visits from the Native people for seasonal fishing and hunting. By the early 17th century, the safe harbor and abundant natural resources attracted European visitors. In 1617 a company of adventurers led by Richard Vines weathered a winter at the mouth of the river in a place still known as Winter Harbor. After subsequent visits, permanent settlers arrived in 1631. Both sides of the river were considered as one town, known first as Saco, and after 1718 as Biddeford. For the next century the town remained sparsely settled because of the devastation of frequent wars with the Natives and the French.
The fortunes of the small settlement changed in 1716, when William Pepperrell, a young merchant from Kittery, purchased 5000 acres and timber rights to an additional 4500 acres on the east side of the Saco. Pepperrell sold off parts of his holdings to millwright Nathaniel Weare and mariner Humphrey Scamman to help expedite his lumbering operation. The eastern settlement’s principal roads, Main Street and the Portland, Buxton, and Ferry Roads, were laid out in 1718.
The village grew steadily throughout the 18th century. In 1752 Sir William Pepperrell, then an English Baronet, donated four acres of land near the falls to the town for use as a village common, a burying ground, and a site for a new meetinghouse. The settlers on the eastern bank separated from Biddeford in 1762 and named the new village Pepperrellborough in honor of the town’s benefactor. The town grew rapidly in size and wealth as farming, lumbering, and ship building bloomed and prospered. By the time of the Revolution, the growth of international commerce in the town required the government to establish a customs house near the wharves.
Perhaps the greatest challenge in the city’s history came from the closing of the York Mills in 1958. For a century the York had been the city’s largest employer and largest taxpayer. Thanks to diversification of the city’s economy and the hard work of its citizens, Saco has withstood the changes of the 20th century and is thriving once again. The rich history of Saco has left a priceless legacy in the beauty and variety of the city’s buildings. The architecture of Main Street reflects almost every period of change and development in the city’s history, from the eighteenth century to the present. (source: http://www.sacomaine.org/residents/city_history/introduction.php)
Check out Saco’s Neighborhood
Saco is a medium-sized coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of Maine. With a population of 19,213 people and five constituent neighborhoods, Saco is the 11th largest community in Maine.
Saco real estate is some of the most expensive in Maine, although Saco house values don’t compare to the most expensive real estate in the U.S.
Saco is neither predominantly blue-collar nor white-collar, instead having a mixed workforce of both blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Overall, Saco is a city of sales and office workers, service providers, and professionals. There are especially a lot of people living in Saco who work in office and administrative support (12.71%), sales jobs (11.04%), and management occupations (9.95%).
One of the nice things about Saco is that it is nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Because of this, visitors and locals will often go to these areas to take in the scenery or to enjoy waterfront activities.
Despite being a small city, Saco has a lot of people using the bus to get to and from work every day. Most of these people on the bus are using it to get to good jobs in other cities.
The overall education level of Saco citizens is substantially higher than the typical US community, as 32.46% of adults in Saco have at least a bachelor’s degree, and the average American community has 21.84%.
The per capita income in Saco in 2010 was $31,860, which is wealthy relative to Maine, and upper middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $127,440 for a family of four. However, Saco contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.
The people who call Saco home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Saco residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Important ancestries of people in Saco include French , English, French Canadian, and Italian.
The most common language spoken in Saco is English. Other important languages spoken here include French and Arabic. (source: https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/me/saco)