Division 9 one-room school located in Wells, Maine
Wells is a town in York County, ME. The Abenaki Indians called the area Webhannet, meaning “at the clear stream”, a reference to the Webhannet River. Edmund Littlefield, an immigrant from the wool regions of Titchfield, England, was known as “The Father of Wells,” for constructing the first gristmill and later a woolen mill in the new land at Wells on the Webhannet River, where a monument to Littlefield commemorates his contribution to the area, today. In 1622, the Plymouth Company in England awarded to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Lord Proprietor of Maine, territory which included the Plantation of Wells. His young cousin, Thomas Gorges, acting as deputy and agent, in 1641 granted to John Wheelwright and other settlers from Exeter, NH, the right to populate the land from northeast of the Ogunquit River to southwest of the Kennebunk River. Following the death of the elder Gorges in 1647, the Massachusetts Bay Colony laid claim to Maine. In 1653, Wells was incorporated, the third town in Maine to do so, and named after Wells, England, a small cathedral city in the county of Somerset. The population in 2010 was 9,589. Wells Beach is a popular summer destination. There were once 17 of these rural one-room schoolhouses in town, dating from 1872. But by 1953, they had all been phased out in favor of consolidated schools. Located on busy Route 9, the Division 9 School was built around 1900 for a cost of $848.72, including the half-acre of land it sits on and its furnishings. In 1976, the little school was adopted by the Wells & Ogunquit Bicentennial Committee and restored as a living history museum.