Do you know why Lewiston was given its name?

Who was honored in the naming of Lincoln Street? (No, it wasn’t President Abraham Lincoln.) Why is downtown Main Street so wide?

Answers to these and many other questions are found in “Frontier to Industrial City: Lewiston Town Politics, 1768 to 1863,” written by local author Douglas I. Hodgkin. The book covers Lewiston politics and economic development from its settlement to its organization as a city during the Civil War. It provides details of how Lewiston grew from a settlement carved from the wilderness to a boomtown stimulated by the construction of canals and textile mills.

The 20 chapters describe how government operated and how services were delivered. There are details on how the Irish contributed to the building of the city and affected local politics and how the local Republican Party emerged in the 1850s.

The book is richly illustrated with four dozen pictures and two dozen tables of information.

“This has been a fascinating 10-year project,” Hodgkin said. “I’ve learned a tremendous amount about Lewiston and about American history of the early 19th century.”

A professor emeritus of Bates College, Hodgkin has authored several works on Lewiston history, including “Lewiston Memories,” “The Grange at Crowley’s Junction,” and “Fractured Family.” He is editor of the Androscoggin Historical Society newsletter and a member of Lewiston’s Historic Preservation Review Board.

The book, published by Just Write Books of Topsham, is available at Percy’s Burrow in the Auburn Mall, Mr. Paperback in the Promenade Mall, Lewiston, and at the Bates College store in Chase Hall on Campus Avenue, Lewiston. It is also available at the Androscoggin Historical Society and from the author. Hodgkin may be contacted at [email protected] or 782-3072.

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