Anson, formerly known as Plantation Number One in Somerset County, was incorporated on March 1, 1798. Settled in 1772, it was named for British Lord George Anson. During the 19th century it ceded land to Industry (1823) and New Portland (1830), and annexed land from Embden (1828) and New Vineyard (1840).
It has been known as Brookfield, Seven Mile Brook Plantation, and Titcomb Town. North Anson, now a village in the town, was briefly a separate town by that name between 1845 and 1855. The rocky Carrabassett River flows through North Anson to the Kennebec River in Madison.
During the mid-twentieth century many residents in Anson village (in the south), especially those near the Kennebec River, worked in the Madison paper mills. The twelve o’clock whistle not only signaled lunch time for the workers, but was a marker for life in town, including mothers admonishing children to be home when the whistle blows.
The town office lies near the bridge to Madison in Anson village. The upper floors were once used for minstrel shows, community events, and town meetings. It was also the basket ball court for the elementary school in the 1950’s.
Benedict Arnold’s trail to Quebec cuts through the town in Anson village along the Kennebec.