Wells

The Town of Wells, “referred to as the Friendliest Town in Maine,” was named by its early settlers for the cathedral city of Wells in Somerset, England, and is at the center of coastal southern Maine, north of Ogunquit and just south of Kennebunk. From pastoral Drake’s Island to beautiful Moody Beach, the majestic Maine shoreline sweeps in a crescent, bordering the Atlantic with sandy beaches, rocky promontories and picturesque salt marshes.  Behind the dunes, a tidal river flows through the green and gold marshes.  

Wells was founded in 1643, and became the third established town in Maine.  The Abenaki Indians called the area Webhannet, meaning “at the clear stream,” a reference to the Webhannet River.  The town developed as a farming community, producing hay and vegetables.  Other industries included shipbuilding and fisheries.  In the 19th century, with the arrival of the railroad, the town’s beautiful beaches attracted tourists. Many inns and hotels were built along the seashore and it has since transformed into the ultimate vacation destination. Tourism remains important to the economy today, and you can still arrive in Wells by train: the Amtrack Downeaster stops at the Wells Transportation Center on its way north to Portland or south to Boston.

Residents and visitors alike can find many things to do in Wells, from beaches, shopping along Route 1, to nature trails and dining at casual clam shacks & diners to gourmet restaurants.  Ocean View Cemetery on Post Road contains a well-designed Civil War monument and plot honoring its service members. Visitors can walk to Founder's Park just off of Post Road onto Sanford Road, which includes a light walking trail, picnic area, and the first settlement home.

With 7 miles of beach for you to explore, Wells is a beach lover's dream. Drakes Island Beach is a long sandy beach that tends to be uncrowded. Wells' Crescent Beach is great for tide pooling, and private Moody Beach is a 15 minute walk from Ogunquit Beach.  Wells Harbor is home to boats from lobster fishermen to pleasure yachts and fishing charters.

Within Wells Harbor you can canoe or kayak up the Webhannet River, paddleboard around the calm waters, or venture out to see the Wells breakwater. Wells Harbor is also home to Wells Harbor Park where concerts in the Gazebo are free in summertime, and special events like craft fairs, Chilifest and Harborfest take place every year.

Wells is also a nature lover’s paradise. Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farms and the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge offer walking trails for nature study, hiking, and photography.  

Wells is also home to Maine farms and weekly farmer’s markets. You can pick your own strawberries or apples in season at Spiller Farm or Chase Farms. Reny’s, a department store that bills itself as “a Maine Adventure” has a location in the Wells Shopping Plaza. The plaza is also home to the Wells Flagship Cinema, showing first-run movies.

The Wells-Ogunquit Community School District is among the best districts in the state; thanks to the high school’s strong athletic program, teams regularly compete at regional and state championships.

Wells combines the charm of coastal Maine with the joys of a tight-knit year-round community.         

Town Statistics

Population: Approximately 10,000
Land area: 62 square miles
County: York
County Seat: Alfred
Tax rate: $9.95 /thousand for 2015-2016
% of Value: 100%

Office/Department

Phone Number

Clerk

207-646-2882

Code Enforcement Office

207-646-5187

Fire Dept. (emergency)

9-1-1

Fire Dept. (non-emergency)

207-646-7912

Police Dept. (emergency)

9-1-1

Police Dept. (non-emergency)

207-646-9354

Public Works

207-646-3014

Parks and Recreation Dept.

207-646-5826

Sewer District

207-646-5906

Tax Assessor

207-646-6081

Transfer Station

207-646-8647

Water District (KKW)

207-985-3385

Wells Public Library

207-646-8181

 

Public School Information

Office

Phone Number

School Superintendent's Office

207-646-8331

Adult Education

207-646-4565

 

Name of School

Grades Covered

Phone Number

Wells Elementary School

K-4

207-646-5953

Wells Junior High School 

5-8

207-646-5142

Wells High School

9-12

207-646-7011

 

 

 

Private/Parochial Schools

Name of School

Grades Covered

Phone Number

Berwick Academy, South Berwick, ME

pre-K-12

207-384-2164

Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH

9-12

603-772-4311

St. Thomas Aquinas H. S., Dover, NH

9-12

603-742-3206

Portsmouth Christian Academy, Dover, NH

Pre-K to 12

603-742-3617

St. Patrick School, Portsmouth, NH

Pre-K to 8

603-436-0793

Saint Mary Academy, Dover, NH

K to 8

603-742-3299

The School Around Us, Kennebunk, ME

K-8

207-967-3143

The New School, Kennebunk, ME

9-12

207-985-3745

 

Other Contact Information

Office, Dept., etc.

Phone Number

Historical Society of Wells and Ogunquit

207-646-4775

Wells Chamber of Commerce

207-646-2451

Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

207-646-1555

 

Area Hospitals

Hospital

Phone Numbers

York Hospital (York, ME)

207-363-4321, 877-363-4321

Wells Regional Medical Community (Wells, ME)

207-646-5211, 877-363-4321

South Berwick Medical Services (South Berwick, ME)

207-384-8130

Portsmouth Regional Hospital (Portsmouth, NH)

603-436-5110, 800-685-8282

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (Dover, NH)

603-742-5252

Exeter Hospital (Exeter, NH)

603-778-7311, 800-439-3837

Southern Maine Medical Center (Biddeford, ME)

207-283-7000

Maine Medical Center (Portland, ME)

207-871-0111

Goodall Hospital (Sanford, ME)

207-324-4310