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Royal River Park, Yarmouth

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Park · Nature / Park
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Royal River Park is an urban park in Yarmouth, Maine, United States. It is located to the northwest of the town center, between East Elm Street to the west and Bridge Street to the east. U.S. Route 1 runs through the park via an overpass.

The park is named for the Royal River, which passes through the park at its northern extremity, about 0.5 miles (0.80 km) west of Yarmouth's harbor, into which it empties after its 39 miles (63 km) journey from its source. The park runs along the southern banks of the river for about 0.57 miles (0.92 km). At its widest point, the park is about 700 feet (210 m) wide.

The park has entrances at East Elm Street, Mill Street, Yarmouth Crossing Drive, William H. Rowe Elementary School and Bridge Street.

The more easterly of the two pedestrian bridges in the Royal River Park is built on old abutments for a trolley line which ran between Yarmouth and Freeport between 1906 and 1933. The Beth Condon Memorial Pathway crosses the bridge.
Three of the town's four waterfalls are within the bounds of the park. The Third (or Baker) Falls were, by far, the most industrious of the four. The first buildings — Jeremiah Baker's grist mill, a carding mill and a nail mill — wears erected in 1805 on the eastern side of the river. On the western (or town) side of the river was a scythe and axe factory owned by Joseph C. Batchelder. Benjamin Gooch's fulling mill followed in 1830, but it later moved to the Fourth Falls.
The Yarmouth Paper Company, which produced paper pulp, was built in 1864. The main access road to it was an extended version of today's Mill Street, off Main Street. The original building burned in 1870. Two years later, a soda pulp mill — named C.D. Brown Paper Company — was built, to which Samuel Dennis Warren and George Warren Hammond bought the rights in 1874 and renamed it the Forest Paper Company. Beginning with a single wooden building, the facility expanded to ten buildings covering as many acres, including a span over the river to Factory Island. Two bridges to it were also constructed. In 1909, it was the largest such mill in the world, employing 275 people. The mill used 15,000 cords (54,000 m3) of poplar each year, which meant mounds of logs were constantly in view beside Mill Street. Six railroad spurs extended from the tracks running behind Main Street to the Forest Paper Company, traversing today's Royal River Park. Rail cars delivered logs, coal, soda and chlorine to the mill and carried pulp away. The mill closed in 1923, when import restrictions on pulp were lifted and Swedish pulp became a cheaper option. The mill burned in 1931, leaving charred remains on the site until the development of the Royal River Park in the early 1980s. In 1971, the Marine Corps Reserve tore down the old factory, before a Navy demolition team used fourteen cases of dynamite to raze the remains. Most of the remaining debris was crushed and used as fill for the park but several remnants of the building are still visible today.
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Royal River Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
25 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The river was flowing fast on the first really warm day of 2022. Everything was still brown, but it was a great day to take a walk and enjoy the weather. Some of the interesting sights were the... 
    The river was flowing fast on the first really warm day of 2022. Everything was still brown, but it was a great day to take a walk and enjoy the weather. Some of the interesting sights were the...  more »
  • This is a free park that's a nice stop for an hour or so. We walked the length of the park for a shaded, mostly flat stroll. We stopped to learn about what the land had been before. Although there... 
    This is a free park that's a nice stop for an hour or so. We walked the length of the park for a shaded, mostly flat stroll. We stopped to learn about what the land had been before. Although there...  more »
Google
  • Great park, but I wish the town of Yarmouth didn't get rid of the trash barrels. Now people just leave bags of dog waste and empty cans on the ground near where the signs are that say to carry out your waste. I was told by someone in the town office they got rid of the barrels because that's what they do in state parks and they didn't want people using the barrels for household trash.
  • A great walk and some interesting historical structures from the old burned down paper mill.

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