Waterville was first settled in the late 1760's and originally was home to one hundred settlers on both sides of the Kennebec.  The East Side, the first side, became known as Winslow in Honor of the General, and the West Side, Ticonic for the Falls.  In 1771, Massachusetts incorporated both sides of the area as Winslow, and by the late 1790’s more people were living on the East Side than the west, due to the superior mill sites along the Messalonskee Stream. 

 In 1802 Waterville became a town.

The dam was built and saw mills sprung up becoming an important source of revenue for the time.  In addition, the port in town received cargo and shipped lumber and other goods south on the Kennebec River.  Fishing was also an important source of revenues for the town, with salmon, shad and alewives shipped primarily to markets in Boston.  ship building was also an important industry.

In 1814 The largest ship built in Waterville, the Francis and Sarah (290 tons), was launched.

It was in 1818 that the school originally known as the Maine Literacy and Theological Institution was established.  Later becoming Colby College.  Colby was originated as a religious (Baptist) school but soon become non-sectarian.

The bridge that crosses the Kennebec was opened in 1824. It was known as the Ticonic bridge.

In 1849, shirtmaking came to town.  the Hathaway shirt factory was launched. Soon, paper mills and garment mills had taken over the river. 

In 1870 Maine Central Railroad (previously the Androscoggin & Kennebec, the Penobscot & Kennebec, the Portland & Kennebec and other roads) selected Waterville as its’ rail center.  In 1874 a steel railroad bridge replaced the wooden one across the Kennebec River. New shops were built by the railroad in 1886.

In 1888 Waterville had grown large enough to be known as a city.

1891 Levine's Brothers department store opened.

1952 Colby College completely moved to Mayflower Hill.         

1953 Channel 5, WABI-TV goes on the air with CBS.            

1954 Edmund Muskie, presiential candidate, becomes mayor.    

1977 -  John Martin’s Manor is opened.

2000 - HBO films "Empire Falls" in Waterville