It was granted by the Massachusetts General Court to several residents from Falmouth, Maine. The first grantee to settle would be Merrill Knight in 1793. Organized in 1812 as Plantation Number 1 (also Thompsontown), it was incorporated on February 5, 1821 as the 240th town in Maine. Peru was named in the spirit of liberty and solidarity for Peru, the South American country which declared independence from Spain on July 28, 1821.
With dark soil free from stones, farming was an early industry. The chief crop was hay, and raising sheep became a common occupation. In addition, there were five sawmills which manufactured long and short lumber, as well as specialty products like wooden bowls. In 1870, the population was 931.
View our town’s 2010 census data here.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Peru, ME, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.