RUMFORD, Me., town of Oxford County, on the Androscoggin river and on the Maine Central Railroad, 57 miles north of Lewiston. Rumford Falls, "New England's Niagara,* has been utilized for one of the greatest power plants in the East, including a hydroelectric station completed 1918, developing a capacity of 30,000 horse power. At the headwaters of the Androscoggin River seasonal storage is af forded by a system of six lakes, the Rantz chain, for which it forms the outjet.
of these has been improved by regulating dams, raising the natural level four feet in one case, 12 feet in another, 20 feet in three of them and 45 feet in one, creating an available storage ca pacity of 30,000,000,000 cubic feet, with a surface area of 125 square miles. At Rumford a series of three rapids cover a distance of one mile with a total drop of 180 feet. The fall over the first group is 100 feet and is that developed in the hydroelectric plant. It is obtained with the aid of a dam 40 feet high at the head of the rapids, a solid concrete structure 250 feet long. The fall of the second group of rapids is 50 feet. The remaining 35-foot drop is developed
mechanically in the mill of a paper company, which, in addition, buys electrical energy from the Rumford Falls Power Company. The smaller rapids are developed by a system of canals, one flowing into the other. In conjunc tion with the dam at the first group of rapids there is a canal 100 feet wide and 15 feet deep, blasted out of the solid ledge, which car ries the water to a gatehouse, thence through tunnels, bored 16 feet in diameter through solid rock and lined with concrete, to the water wheels in the power station on the bank of the river.
The chief industries are paper, paper bags and supplemental chemical works. Since 1900 a notable undertaking has been the building of commodious houses that could be rented at reasonable rates to workers in the several industries; a mechanics' institute and a Car negie library are the prominent municipal in stitutions. Pollucite, a geological rarity, occurs with beryl in pegmatite veins in the rocks at Rumford. Pop. about 10,000.