Echoes of Industry: A Walk Around Wayne’s Historic Mill Pond

Johnson's Woolen Mill on Wayne's Mill Pond, around 1870

Discover the fascinating industrial history of Wayne village on this guided walk around the historic Mill Pond and along the stream below the dam. The old foundations come to life through guided narrative and a downloadable PDF of historic photos. Bring your smartphone (who doesn’t) or a tablet (even better) to download the material before we get started.

We’ll start in the 1857 home of Holman Johnson, the “Shovel Handle King of America,” whose vision and entrepreneurship transformed the town into a water-powered industrial hub.

As we explore the rugged path along the stream, you’ll see remnants of the old sawmill and Johnson’s impressive shovel handle factory. Back up on the bridge and around the pond, we’ll learn about the crutch factory, the woolen mill and the booming retail district along Main Street. Hear about the great fires of 1863 and 1923, and experience some fantastic “you are here” photos of the flood of ’36.

The walk also features a detailed history of the Masonic Hall, the last remaining piece of Wayne’s industrial heritage and a building currently under rehabilitation in partnership with Maine Preservation. This iconic structure serves as a testament to the importance of preserving and revitalizing historic buildings for the benefit of future generations.


A portion of the walk does take us down along the Mill Stream below the dam. It's a rugged but stable footpath, so wear comfortable shoes. It's not wheelchair accessible, unfortunately, but a sturdy baby stroller has made the trip!

Starting Location:

The Greek Revival house in the center of Wayne, next to the General Store. Parking on the street, behind the store or in the municipal lot on Memorial Park Lane across the footbridge. We'll start inside the Johnson House. Enter through the front door.

Ending Location:

We'll walk around the pond clockwise and end in front of the General Store.
506 Main Street
Wayne, Maine 04284

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Learn more about SDGs

  • 08 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 09 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

May 4, 2024 / 2:00 PM

Led by: Dean Gyorgy
Duration: One hour
City/Town: Wayne
County: Kennebec
Language(s): English