Higgins Beach is an oceanfront community of approximately 350 homes and cottages. In the late 1800's the land was owned and controlled by the Higgins family, specifically Edward and Walter Higgins. The land featured some 3600 feet of bold Atlantic oceanfront, the original Higgins farm and approximately fifty cottages scattered about the property. The cottages were owned by and rented out by the Higgins family. In the late 1890's, the family formally divided the land and began selling lots. The new owners were primarily working class folks from greater Portland and to a lesser extent from other New England states. Many families pitched tents for their summer excursions until they could afford to build cottages on their property. Transportation to the beach was by horse and buggy. The roads were not paved.
Drinking water in early years was brought over on a man-made aqueduct from nearby Cape Elizabeth. For many years a clay pipe sewer system served a lot of the cottages, but in the mid 1980's a public sewer system was installed, and the gentrification of the beach as a summer neighborhood only changed forever.
Higgins is known for being a "walking community"...once you are there you can forget about cars, planes or buses or trains and just concentrate on enjoying the quality beach life. When the Higgins brothers originally laid out a parcel map for selling lots on their farm, almost all of the lots were 50' x 100'. Some people just cheated a bit and bought two or three, but most of the properties are still on the original lot size.
The beach has a very active association with its own clubhouse where owners can hold private parties. Every Wednesday morning, the line of people will come out the door as everyone comes up for doughnuts and coffee or to just visit. Several times during the summer the association sponsors free outdoor concerts at the clubhouse, and of course your attendance will be almost mandatory at the annual July 4th parade.
At the entrance to the beach you fill find the Higgins Beach Market where all kinds of spirits, coffee, sandwiches and pizza can be purchased.
At low tide, the beach will be 100-300 yards deep and presents a great walking experience. Children will spend hours searching for treasures in the west end tidal pools, and adults and children alike will always be searching for sand dollars by the rock.
If the waters of the Atlantic are too cold for you, one can always venture toward the Spurwink River on the East end of the beach where the sun will have warmed up the out flowing waters by ten or more degrees. Here you will also come across the wreck of the coal ship Howard Middleton which hit a ledge and came ashore here in the late 1800's. You can still find coal nuggets in the sand today.
Maine....The Way Life Should Be!