Saco, on the southern Maine coast, was once densely populated with Native Americans, but English colonists moved into the area in the 1630s and started to take over. With the arrival of the Portland, Saco and Portsmouth Railroad, in 1842, Saco’s Factory Island gradually became a major textile-manufacturing center, with very thick-walled brick mills coming to dominate the Saco waterfront. Other businesses included foundries, belting and harness making and machine shops. Local manufacturing, and especially the textile industry, faded in the 20th Century with competition from the South and abroad. But the prosperous mill town era left behind much fine architecture in the Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian styles, with many buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.. Saco is now a popular Portland suburb and home to many artists. The Saco Museum is delightful.