Town of Limerick

55 Washington Street

Limerick, ME 04048


History of Limerick

The picturesque town of Limerick, Maine is located among the foothills of the White Mountains in York County. The 2000 census gives Limerick, Maine a population of 2240 and declares it to be the second fastest growing town in the county. Despite this rapid growth, it remains a typical New England small town.

Limerick was one of a group of towns called by Indians the "Five Ossipee Towns". In 1668 the Indians sold this land to Francis Small, a trader from Kittery, for two blankets, two gallons of rum, two pounds of powder, four pounds of musket balls and twenty strings of beads.

Small conveyed half interest to Major Nicholas Shapleigh in 1669, and in 1773 descendents of Small and Shapleigh agreed to give lawyer James Sullivan of Biddeford, " one half of thirteen thousand acres of land he had laid out, provided that Sullivan oblige himself to defend our claims". Sullivan and thirteen of his friends and associates from Biddeford and Saco settled in the area. Each man signed his name on a lead plaque, which was deposited on the north bank of the Little Ossipee River. The plaque is currently in the care of the Maine Historical Society. Because of Sullivan’s great support, hard work, and character, the other settlers honored him by naming the town Limerick after his father’s birthplace in Ireland.

Proprietors of Limerick and have no knowledge of anne improvement of possession at that time between the two osebes". He recorded the deed to his property in Alfred in October 1772 having settled on the property where the Vermette family lives today. A monument commemorating this first homestead was erected on this site and dedicated by the Bicentennial Commission on August 10, 1975.

Farming was the leading industry in this small Maine town for early settlers. Nine out of ten of the people were farmers who received their main income from the sale of cattle, hay and dairy products. By the early 1800’s other businesses had developed in Limerick. There were 4 blacksmith shops, 4 furniture makers. 4 shoemakers, 3 tanneries, 2 hat makers, and 2 harness makers. Manufacturing came in 1846 when James Bradbury built the original mill and established Limerick Manufacturing Co. In 1857 Joshua Holland bought that company. Holland Blankets became famous throughout the country and were supplied to thousands of soldiers during the Civil War. The lower village, known as "Hollandville", was named after this man. During the 1920-30-40’s, the lower village area was called "Deepvale". These names have faded into history and most folks today think of our town as simply Limerick, Maine.

Even before the town was incorporated in 1787, education was important to our citizens. In 1775 the sum of 20 pounds was raised at Town Meeting for "school keeping". Today Limerick is part of SAD #57 having joined with five neighboring towns to provide quality education for its children. Our secondary school is called Massabesic High School and by sharp contrast, in 2001, the town raised $1,262,792 for its share of "school keeping" in the district.

This is only a thumbnail sketch of our community. There is so much more that could be said! Our history is rich in folklore and the comings and goings of many citizens, some famous, some just ordinary folks going about their daily routines. Should you wish to know more about the picturesque small town of Limerick, Maine, visit the Limerick Historical Society page and the other links available or better yet, come to visit us in person.

We are always making history!

Welcome to Limerick Sign

Tibbetts Veterans Memorial Park Revitalization Committee

This committee was established in June 2016 to add a monument to honor veterans of all wars. Through the research of deeds and charters, it was found that in 1943 Minnie Walker, a Limerick resident, donated the land in honor of Hermann K. Tibbetts, Jr. who was killed at Pearl Harbor and remains MIA. He was the the first resident of Limerick to lose his life (one of seven) during WWII. She requested in her deed that this property would remain a park in memory of veterans of all wars, that a corporation be formed and a sign erected which said "Tibbetts Memorial Park" in honor of all who served. The park was dedicated at a Memorial Day Celebration in May of 1945.

Researching and verification of veterans from the Revolutionary War to the present was a monumental task. Information from many sources was used to be as accurate as possible.

With a basic design in mind, members of the committee viewed monuments in several towns. It was decided that our monument should consist of "New Hampshire" granite because it matched the landscape of our community. Proposals from several monument companies were reviewed with prices ranging from $37,000 - $83,000. We decided to accept a proposal from Windy Ridge Corporation in Tamworth, N.H.

Funding was the next order of business which the townspeople overwhelmingly supported. Donations, barbecues, pie sales, raffles and granite paver sales for any veteran have made this project a reality.

Upon inspecting the present rock wall, it was determined that action needed to be taken before erecting monuments in close proximity to it. The committee determined that the wall should be a maintenance issue, approached the Select Board and the Town to place an article on the 2017 warrant to help fund replacement of the wall. The townspeople graciously approved. The old wall was torn down; the new wall was begun shortly after Memorial Day and completed by midsummer. Electrical, lighting and water were updated.

Granite pavers, honoring any veteran, will be placed in adjoining walkways in the front of the monuments. To date 125 have been sold and will be placed in early spring 2018.

All monuments and a new sign were in place by November 12th, 2017. Walkways, handicap parking and landscaping will be completed before Memorial Day 2018.

Planning is in progress for a re-dedication ceremony on Memorial Day 2018.

The Committee wishes to thank everyone who has helped with this revitalization of Tibbetts Memorial Park.

One last note – Through our research we realized that Hermann K. Tibbetts, Jr.’s unidentified remains were buried in Honolulu, HI where he was killed at Hickham Field on Dec. 7, 1941. We have helped to identify "next of kin", DNA has been submitted and it is our hope that his remains will be identified and returned to his final resting place with his family in Highland Cemetery.

Map of LimerickEntering Limerick Village