WESTBROOK, Maine — The demolition of Westbrook's Saccarappa Falls dams commenced Tuesday with breaching and removal of the eastern channel's head wall.

Nonprofit advocacy group Friends of the Presumpscot River posted about the historical moment on its Facebook page Tuesday, sharing messages on the significance behind the event as well as photos and videos from the community.

"This a view that has not been seen since the 1800s," group president Michael Shaughnessy wrote in a press release. "It is the sight of a river being freed, a fishery being restored and the beauty of a river again gaining its life again."

Saccarappa-Falls
Saccarappa Falls
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Last Monday, the group shared to Facebook that the staging for construction was being implemented, with impoundment drawn down to about 6 feet.

Tuesday's view had not been seen for more than 100 years, the group said.

"What was sacred to the first people is being born again," Shaughnessy wrote in the release. "Chief Polin is smiling."

According to the group's website, Polin led the first documented dam protest in Maine during the mid-1700s in order to regain a vital food source and way of life for his people. In 1756, he was killed for his efforts, states the group.

During its early days as an unincorporated village, the area was once known as Saccarappa, which means "falling toward the rising sun." It eventually divided into two municipalities – Westbrook and Deering. One of Westbrook's three elementary K-4 schools, Saccarappa School, retains the name.