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The town was named after the English town of Scarborough, North Yorkshire. The area was once inhabited by the Saco tribe of Native Americans. They were driven off in 1676 during King Philip's War and killed or sold into slavery to the West Indies. After an attack on Cape Elizabeth by Indians from Canada in 1690, some survivors made their way upriver to a waterfall where they hid behind rocks and later found a canoe left there for them; they paddled downriver back to Boston with news of what had happened at York (now Portland). In 1705, John Phillips built a sawmill here at his place on the falls; he also operated it as an inn for travelers en route between Casco Bay and Falmouth (now Portland) until 1723 when he moved it across river above present-day Scarborough village. In 1844 William Wentworth Brown led efforts that established this area as one of Maine's first summer resorts.