At one time, the textile mills in Biddeford, Maine were considered the heart of the York County region.
Poised on the banks of the Saco River, the extensive mill district hummed with activity, weaving together the lives and livelihoods of numerous individuals. The fabric of the community was based on pride in craftsmanship, strong work ethic, and innovation in production; these values ensured the long-term success of textile manufacturing in the city.
As time passed and the tides of fortune changed, the mills and the downtown area of Biddeford suffered from shifting economic forces in the United States and abroad. Yet beneath the visible emptiness of the mill buildings, a thread of hope ran through the memories and the stories of former mill workers; while the passion of visionary individuals resurfaced within the structures along the riverbanks.
Today, the Latin term resvrgam, embedded in the fence line of the North Dam Mill entrance, reminds visitors that the mills are ‘rising again’. The history of the people whose values established and sustained this region deserves to be documented, preserved, and shared. The Biddeford Mills Museum, through research, exhibits, programs, and events, will ensure that the rich heritage of the mills informs the generations to come.