Saco, a river of New England, rising in the White mountains, in Co÷s co., N. H., and formed by the junction of three principal branches at Bartlett, Carroll co. It flows S. E. until it enters Maine, then makes an abrupt turn N., and again pursues a S. E. direction through that state to the ocean at Saco. The main branch passes through the noted Notch of the White mountains. Its falls afford valuable water power. The principal of them are the Great falls, at Hiram, 72 ft.; Steep falls, at Limington, 20 ft.; Salmon falls, at Hollis and Buxton, 30 ft.; and Saco falls, 42 ft. This last fall is about 4 m. from the mouth of the river, and is at the head of tide water. The river has an ordinary rise in the spring of from 6 to 15 ft., but it has frequently very far exceeded that height, causing destructive inundations. The entire length of the river is estimated at 160 m.
Saco, a city, port of entry, and one of the shire towns of York co., Maine, on the E. bank of the Saco river, about 4 m. from its mouth, and on the Portland, Saco, and Portsmouth, and the Boston and Maine railroads, 13 m.. S. W. of Portland; pop. in 1870, 5,755. It is connected with Biddeford, an active and thriving city on the opposite side of the river, by four bridges. The sea beach within the city (the part of which called Old Orchard beach is 3 1/2 m. from the railroad depot) has unsurpassed facilities for driving and bathing, and has several hotels. It has little foreign commerce, but a considerable coasting trade. The number of vessels belonging to the port on June 30, 1874, was 23, aggregate tonnage 3,766. Ship building is carried on. A few vessels and boats are engaged in the cod and mackerel fisheries. Cotton goods, cotton machinery, boots and shoes, belting, brick, brushes, carriages, hubs and wheels, loom harnesses, lumber, and leather are manufactured. There are two national banks, with a joint capital of $200,000; two savings banks, with about $1,500,000 deposits; a fire insurance company, a weekly newspaper, an Athenaeum with a library of 2,000 volumes, and Baptist, Christian Congregational, Episcopal, Freewill Baptist, Methodist, and Unitarian churches. - Saco was separated from Biddeford as Pepperellboro' in 1762. The name was changed in 1805, and in 1867 a city charter was obtained.