Goosefare Brook

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Goosefare Brook is a stream which forms the south eastern border of Old Orchard.[1] Originating in the Saco Heath, it flows through portions of Saco adjacent to I95 and crosses beneath the Boston and Maine Springfield Terminal Railroad. From here it joins with Bear Brook and flows into the sea adjacent to Ocean Park just south of Route 9 through a large salt water marsh.[2]


The name of the waterway probably comes from the large amount of geese that once gathered there.[3]

The Goose Fair Brook rises in a heath in the northern part of Saco, and empties into the ocean about half-way between the Saco River and the town of Scarborough . It is a shallow stream, and at low tide is easily crossed. Here was an ancient wading-place, and here upon the marshes flocked multitudes of wild geese ; from which, probably, the river received its name.

—John Staples Locke, Old Orchard, Maine: Pen and Pencil Sketches

Many variations of this name have been used over the years, including Goosefair Brook, Goosefaire Brook, Goose Fair Brook and Goose Fare Brook.[1]


The bridge over the brook collapsed entirely in 1896 and was rebuilt that year.[4]


Goosefare Brook has been on Maine’s list of Urban Impaired Streams as recently as 2012. Stormwater runoff from impervious cover, especially from US Route 1 and ME Route 5, is the largest source of pollution for the Goosefare watershed.[2] Additionally, the watershed flows through the former site of Saco Steel Company/Earth Waste Systems at 29 Lund Road in Saco. This scrap metal recycling facility contributed a large amount of heavy metal pollution in the past, though clean up has been underway since the early 2000s.[5][6] The Final Goosefare Brook Watershed Management Plan was completed in May 2016 and implementation has begun. The Goosefare Brook Restoration Committee was formed in 2017 to act as a steering committee for this plan.[7]


See Also

Goosefair Brook Watershed Management Plan


  1. 1.0 1.1 Town of Old Orchard, "The First Annual Report of the Municipal Officers and Supervisor of Schools of the Town of Old Orchard for the Year Ending February 1, 1884" (1884).
  2. 2.0 2.1 TMDL Assessment Summary 2012. Appendix 12. Goosefare Brook. Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Accessed 6/12/2019
  3. Locke, John S. Old Orchard, Maine: Pen and Pencil Sketches. Boston: Graves, Locke, 1879
  4. Town of Old Orchard, "Fourteenth Annual Report of the Town of Old Orchard for the Year Ending Jan. 31, 1897" (1897). Old Orchard Books. 7.
  5. Goosefare Brook TMDL Final Report. Thomas Woodcock, Melissa Evers. Maine Department of Environmental Protection. September 2003. Accessed 6/2/2019
  6. Brownfields 2010 Cleanup Grant Fact Sheet: Saco, ME. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Land and Emergency Management (5105T). EPA 560-F-10-023 April 2010. Accessed 6/2/2019
  7. Goosefare Brook Watershed Management Plan. Accessed 6/2/2019