Nestled along the banks of the Aroostook River, in central Aroostook County, Maine the community of Ashland waits for you with its blend of natural beauty and commerce. Characterized by its ability to foster a favorable business climate and its ability to adapt to changing economic conditions, the Town of Ashland is a leader in agriculture, forestry and transportation. Ashland's geographic location, its unyielding commitment to preserving a sound, diverse, economic base for future generations, its
unsurpassed quality of life and its people combine to make it the best of all worlds.
In Ashland, the work ethic is strong. The values are as solid today as they were when our forefathers settled here in 1837. People from the Kennebec River Valley in central Maine first organized Ashland as a plantation in 1840. In 1862, the town incorporated under the name of Ashland, to honor the estate of Henry Clay in Kentucky. In 1869, the town changed its name to Dalton, in honor of William Dalton, the first settler. Seven years later, the name was changed back to Ashland with settlers moving into the area to capitalize on the vast forest resources.
Ashland's 1990 population is more than 1550. The community is the primary service center for several neighboring communities and is well known as the "Gateway to the North Maine Woods" and an access point to the renowned Allagash Wilderness Waterway . Combining the best of both worlds, Ashland offers easy access to many beautiful streams, placid lakes and acres of tranquil wooded areas, offering a rich and
rewarding family lifestyle in a pleasant, friendly setting.
Ashland, At A Glance
The Town of Ashland is located along Route 11, sixty five miles north of I-95 and twenty miles west of Presque Isle by way of Route 163 and Route 227. Forty miles of Route 11 continuing from Ashland to the northern border of Maine is designated as scenic highway by the State of Maine. A private woods road, maintained to support wood harvesting operations, is open for the public by permit and stretches west from Ashland through 100 miles of forests, lakes, rivers, mountains and streams to Dauquam, Province of Quebec, Canada.
Scheduled commercial carriers provide daily air service from Presque Isle to major cities within New England, New York and New Jersey. General aviation services are also available at the airport.
Ashland's diversified economy is based on forestry, agriculture, transportation, tourism and recreation with industry and metal mining on the horizon. Ashland is the access point for a large portion of
Aroostook County's 3.8 million acres of forest land. More than 88% of Aroostook County is forested and
supports the area's diversified wood, lumber and paper industries. Aroostook ranks first among Maine's counties in the amount of timber harvested. Agriculture also plays an important role in Ashland's economy. Much of Ashland's land is devoted to agriculture with potatoes and grain, topping the list of crops raised. Recreation and tourism are growing segments of the economic picture. (Visit us and you'll see why!) By virtue of its location, Ashland's transportation facilities provide another component of the local economy. West of Ashland, the potential exists for a sizable copper and zinc mine. The development of metal mining could be a welcome addition to the local economy. Efforts are underway for the development of an industrial park.
Recreational activities and choices are endless in this four-season playground. Part wild and part tame,
abundant canoeing, boating, fishing, hunting and hiking opportunities exist within minutes of the downtown. Water sports, snow sports, museums and community festivals abound. The Lumberjack Roundup is one example of old-fashioned fun. Man to man competitions include crosscut sawing, log rolling, ax throwing and chainsaw events. For the avid fisherman, Atlantic Salmon has been recently reintroduced into the Aroostook River chain for the first time in over forty years, promising a welcome addition to the areas excellent fishing and hunting opportunities. Ashland is the center of a Northern Maine snowmobile trail system which connects all major towns in Aroostook County. The trail system is routinely heralded as the "Best in the Northeast" for the variety and quality of the trails.
The Town of Ashland is governed by the traditional New England town meeting. An elected town council provides overall direction for administration by the town manager. An active planning board plays a key role in dealing with community issues. The town takes an assertive, stance in balancing the quality of life and economic growth. Ashland has long supported regional development efforts and continues to play an active developmental role, clearly demonstrating that this community is guiding its own growth.
The commitment of a quality workforce coupled with ingenuity and strong work ethics can only compliment business efforts. These are assets inextricably woven into the fabric of the Ashland landscape.
- Police protection is provided by a three-member Ashland Police Department. The town enjoys a significantly lower crime rate than that of the state.
- Fire protection in Ashland is provided by a fully trained 32-member volunteer fire department which also provides ambulance service for the town.
- The urban area is served by the Ashland Water and Sewer District.
- Electric service is provided by Maine Public Service Company.
- Telephone service is provided by New England
- Telephone Company and long-distance communication is handled by AT&T.
- The community is fully serviced by several local AM and FM radio stations, a CBS-affiliated television station and several local print mediums.
- Housing and real estate costs are but a fraction of those in other New England states. Single family homes and apartments are readily available for sale or lease and at prices far lower than similar properties in the central and southern areas of the state.
Ashland provides fully-accredited educational instruction and is known throughout the region for its academic excellence. Ashland area students attend grades K-6 at the Ashland Central School which has a student population of about 240. Secondary school students, grades 7-12, attend Ashland Community High School with an enrollment of about 245 students. This facility holds 17 classrooms, a well-stocked library and a gymnasium. The district's forestry program provides valuable training for forestry-related employment.
Post-secondary educational facilities, in Presque Isle, include the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI), which offers a wide range of two and four year degree programs, and the Northern Maine Technical College (NMTC), which offers 19 programs at the associate degree, diploma and certificate levels.
Active social groups:
- Rotary International
- American Legion Odd Fellows
- Fish and Game Club
- Rod and Gun Club
- Many activities for area youth through the municipal recreation department
- Catholic, Congregational, Pentecostal and Advent Christian Churches meet for worship
The Aroostook Valley Health Center, staffed by a physician and a physician's assistant, provides treatment
for acute illnesses and injuries as well as physical examinations, child care guidance, inoculations, routine
lab work, dental care and referral services. The Center also provides the necessary emergency care to stabilize accident victims prior to transport to other medical centers as necessary.
Ashland's business district features an array of services and businesses not common to a community of this size:
- Major Appliances and Furniture
- Automobile Sales and Service Stations
- Hair Salons
- Clothing Store
- Department Store
- Building Material and Hardware Stores
- Rooming Houses
- Insurance and Real Estate Agencies
- Public Library