Rangeley, Maine

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Rangeley, Maine
Quill hill
Quill hill
"We make Freddy Kruger look like a kid with a toothpick"
Rangeley is located in Maine
Rangeley is located in the United States
Coordinates: 44°57′34″N 70°42′58″W / 44.95944°N 70.71611°W / 44.95944; -70.71611
CountryUnited States
Bald Mountain
 • Total55.62 sq mi (144.06 km2)
 • Land41.48 sq mi (107.43 km2)
 • Water14.14 sq mi (36.62 km2)
1,614 ft (492 m)
 • Total18
 • Estimate 
 • Density28.2/sq mi (10.9/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)207
FIPS code23-61840
GNIS feature ID0582690

Rangeley is a town in Franklin County, Maine in the United States. The population was 1,168 in the 2010 census. The town is on the east side of Rangeley Lake, in the Western Maine mountains. It is a popular summer resort. The winters are very cold with a snow cover. A sign in town says that Rangeley is halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.

History[change | change source]

Rangeley is named after an English settler, Squire James Rangeley. He had a 31,000 acre piece of land that was bought in 1796 by his father. He came in 1825 to build the town. He built a sawmill, a gristmill, a mansion, and a ten-mile road to get to other towns.[2]

The Phillips and Rangeley railroad opened in 1891 and tourists from Boston; Hartford; New York; and Philadelphia started to come. In the early 1900s, Rangeley became a summer resort area with camps, cabins, summer homes, and hotels. The cool mountain climate and plenty of sport fishing make this a likeable town.

Some local people became fishing guides for visitors. Among the fishermen was President Herbert Hoover. The big hotels went away during World War II. The Rangeley Lake House was torn down in 1958. New hotels have taken their place, so Rangeley remains popular.[3]

Notable people[change | change source]

One of many famous people who lives in Rangeley is Kurt Russell, the movie star. He quietly owns a home in the mountains here. He is locally called by the name "Snake Plisskin".[4] His father, the actor Bing Russell, was a native of Rangeley.[5]

Wilhelm Reich, a well-known Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst made his home in Rangeley during his later years. He took over a large estate (175-acre (71 ha)) and named it Orgonon. It became his home, laboratory and research center. Reich is buried here on the grounds. It is now open to the public as the Wilhelm Reich Museum, with rental cottages available.[6]

The Reich Museum (Orgonon, home of Wilhelm Reich)
Swimming area at Rangeley Lake State Park

References[change | change source]

  1. "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  2. Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums (1970). Doris A. Isaacson (ed.). Maine: A Guide 'Down East'. Rockland, Me: Courier-Gazette, Inc. p. 390.
  3. Rangeley Lakes History
  4. Emily Burnham (27 January 2012). "The famous faces of Maine". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  5. Larry Mahoney. "Kurt Russell enjoys alumni tourney; Actor friend of Walsh makes first appearance at UMaine hockey golf event". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  6. "Rental Cabins". Wilhelm Reich Infants trust. Retrieved 12 September 2015.

Other websites[change | change source]