|Maine House||District 130|
|Maine Senate||District 8|
|Area sq. mi.||(total) 56.5|
|Area sq. mi.||(land) 51.6|
Total=land+water; Land=land only
Its name was changed to Bucksport on June 12, 1817.
The picturesque 1860 East Bucksport Methodist Church is nestled among trees on Church Road off Maine Route 46.
A grange hall, Floral Grange #158, is just north of Bucksport village on the River Road, Route 15 to Orrington and Bangor.
Rural East Bucksport is far removed from the main village near U.S. Route 1.
The small church, the grange, and the farms on Route 46 reflect its rural origins.
Northeast Historic Film is a moving image archives and research and education center. It is located in the restored historic 1916 Alamo Theater on Main Street in downtown Bucksport.
NHF, a nationally recognized institution, maintains Maine’s earliest television material, home movies produced in the early 1900’s, silent films and other archival moving images of northern New England.
Colonel Jonathan Buck, namesake of the town, brought with him a legend and a tourist attraction.
Allegedly charged with executing a woman condemned as a witch, Buck, so the story goes, was on the receiving end of a curse that would be a reminder of the injustice he perpetrated.
The Buck hex, some claimed, was responsible for a leg appearing on his granite monument after his death. Several efforts to erase the image have been to no avail since it reappears thereafter, apparently a defect in the stone.
Jed Prouty’s Tavern and Inn, still in operation in the early 21st century but no longer, was a stage stop for the Bangor to Castine route in the summer. The local paper mill (once St. Regis, then Champion, then Verso) dominates the north end of town and sits across the Penobscot River from Fort Knox. In 2015 it was sold for scrap.
Bucksport was the home of painter Henrietta Benson Homer, mother of Winslow Homer.
The town is the birthplace in 1889 of six-term U.S. Representative Frank Fellows. He attended the public schools and the East Maine Conference Seminary in Bucksport before entering the University of Maine at Orono.
Bucksport Harbor, in the main channel of the Penobscot River, lies just north of Verona Island. A harbor park and a series of floating docks, provides an attraction for small boats. It also is a fine spot for tourists to enjoy scenic views of Fort Knox, across the river in the town of Prospect, and the old and new bridges across the river.
Form of Government: Council-Mayor-Manager.
Pooler, Bernard, et al. The 150th anniversary of Bucksport, Maine June 25, 1942. Bucksport, Me. Published and printed by the Bucksport Free Press. 1942.
Babcock, Blakely B. Jonathan Buck of Bucksport: The Man and the Myth. An historical inquiry into the life of a Maine patriot during the years of the American Revolution. Ellsworth, Me. The Ellsworth American. 1975?
Buck, Alice F. Bucksport, Past And Present. Maine. 1951.
Buck, Rufus. The History of Bucksport to 1857. Bucksport, Me. Buck Memorial Library. c2004.
Bicentennial Edition History of Bucksport. Bucksport, Me. Bucksport Bicentennial Committee. 1992.
Golden, Richard. Old Jed Prouty: A Narrative of the Penobscot. New York. Dillingham. c1901.
Hall Family. Family Papers, 1849-1925 (bulk 1849-1870). (Cataloger Note: Daniel Hall was an inventor living in Bucksport. Samuel P. Hall was a merchant in Bucksport, who sold flour and corn. Robert Henry Eddy was a civil engineer and solicitor of patents. He was born in 1812 and died in 1888. These are the papers of a family living in Bucksport. A large part of the papers are about Daniel Hall and his inventions. Included are correspondence relating to patents and marketing of the recumbent chair and bag tie, and bills of sale which are for supplies and repairs to the schooners Columbia, Lucy, and Yankee out of Bucksport.) [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]
Joost, Arthur M. Shipbuilding & Shipping in Bucksport. c1990. Bucksport, Me. Evangel Printers.
*Maine. Historic Preservation Commission. Augusta, Me. Text and photo from National Register of Historic Places: http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/text/xxxxxxxx.PDF, http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/photos/xxxxxxxx.PDF
Brown-McDonald Double House: 97001129.PDF
Buck Memorial Library: 87002193.PDF
Bucksport Railroad Station: 75000091.PDF
Duck Cove School: 93000640.PDF
Elm Street Congregational Church and Parish House: 90000925.PDF
Emery, James, House: 74000151.PDF
Prouty, Jed, Tavern and Inn: 86000074.PDF
Wilson Hall: 83000452.PDF
Marshall, Eliza Payne Gross. History of Bucksport, Maine. Clearwater, Fla. M.G.D. Hinckley. 1963.
Senior, Sigmad. Colonel Jonathan Buck, Maine Patriot and Selective Stories. Stevens Point, WI. Artex Publishing. c1989.
National Register of Historic Places – Listings
Brown–Pillsbury Double House
[188-190 Franklin Street, corner of Franklin and McDonald Street] Built about 1808, the Double House is a two-story Federal style frame dwelling with several noteworthy architectural features. It was built for local businessmen and fellow Masons Jonathan H. Brown and Moody Pilsbury. Pilsbury sold his half interest in the house (as well as a store and wharf) to Brown in 1810. One side became the parsonage for the Methodist Church in 1871, continuing until 1934.
The plan and detailing of both units is nearly identical. From the outside, the House is a relatively typical example of a mid-Federal period village residence. However, it is distinguished in that it is a double house with entrances in the gable ends rather than along the side elevation facing the street. This required the use of back-to-back spiral stairways, the most notable features of the interior. Although a number of architecturally distinguished Federal style houses exist in Bucksport, the Double House appears to be a unique representative of local building practices in the first decade of the nineteenth century.
Buck Memorial Library
[Main Street] This building is one of four fine public libraries designed for coastal towns by George Clough of Boston and Blue Hill. Together with the 1893 Porter Public Library in Machias, the 1906 Vinalhaven Public Library and the 1903 Rockland Public Library, this is one of the most architecturally sophisticated small libraries in Maine. It is also among the most notable small examples of Romanesque Revival architecture in Maine.
The building was a gift to the town by the widow and daughter of R.P. Buck, a member of a prominent local family, who became a successful merchant in New York City. Architect George Clough retired to his native town of Blue Hill in the 1890s, having been a summer resident for over a decade.*
Bucksport Railroad Station
[Main Street] This building is a survivor of the typical small town railway stations that sprang up in the latter third of the 19th century as railroad development mushroomed to include relatively small communities with subordinate branches. The earliest rail lines in Maine connected only the larger towns on the coastal route. By the 1870s, smaller towns like Bucksport, centers of maritime activity, were tied into the main routes. In 1851 the Northeast American and European Railway Company was formed and was responsible for the line running from Bangor to Bucksport.
In 1869 citizens of Bucksport held a “railway meeting” and decided in favor of rail service. In September of 1870 the town met again and voted to raise money for building the road. By September 1874 the first locomotive arrived by sea and was landed near the newly built station at the foot of Mechanic Street. It came by ship since the gauge of the Bangor to Bucksport road was different from that of the main line.
Within a year or two the N.A. & E.R. Co. was defunct and the line was run by the Bucksport and Bangor Railroad Company, a locally based group. In 1884 the Maine Central Railroad took over on a 999 year lease and changed the gauge to conform to the rest of its system. Rail passenger service has ended but freight service continued to service the local paper mill, which was closed in 2014.*
Duck Cove School
[Maine Route 46, east side, at junction with Stubbs Brook Road] Located in a rural are on Route 46, the Duck Cove School was built in 1895. The building is an architecturally unusual and well preserved example of a 19th century one-room school.
It represents a common theme in the educational patterns of Maine towns. One-room frame (in some cases brick or rarer still, stone) buildings were erected throughout a community’s several districts. In 1859 Bucksport had 22 schoolhouses in the town’s 18 school districts. The number had fallen to 15 when the school was built. One factor was the dramatic population drop which Bucksport, like most rural areas of the State, experienced during the second half of the 19th century.
The Duck Cove School is the last standing rural schoolhouse in town. With the addition of an attached shed for toilets in 1926 and a metal ceiling in the classroom the following year, the building remained in use as a school until 1943, then the building was transferred to the Duck Cove Community Club, which has used and maintained it since then.*
Elm Street Congregational Church and Parish House
[Junction of Elm and Franklin Streets] The Church and Parish House, built 1838 and 1876 respectively, are significant and highly visible aspects of this community’s important historic architecture. The church was created by Benjamin S. Deane (1790-1867), a noted Bangor architect with substantial experience with Maine churches. This is an important example of Deane’s early work in the Greek Revival.
In 1850, an earlier tower was replaced by the existing one. Further changes were made to the church in 1855-56 when the east end was lengthened to accommodate twenty more pews; in 1863 the organ and its housing were installed; and sometime thereafter an elaborate trompe l’oeil (photographically realistic detail) decorative finish was applied to the interior. This apparently survived until 1928 when Harry Cochrane, himself a noted decorator of church interiors, “restored” the interior to its earlier appearance. In 1876 the parish house was built adjacent to the church, but its designer and builder are not known.*
Emery, James, House (Linwood Cottage)
[Main Street] Linwood Cottage is a delightful example of a mid-19th century eclectically designed residence. Built about 1855 for James Emery, the house reflects the impact of the romantic cottage movement in American architecture as fostered during the 1840’s and 50’s by Andrew Jackson Downing and his contemporaries. The Cottage is a composite of Gothic, Italian, and Greek features. Its landscaped setting also conforms to criteria prescribed for a romantic dwelling. It stands on a rise overlooking a river (the Penobscot), is surrounded by trees and shrubs, and has a terraced lawn in front.
The Cottage also commands a view of the water from the parlor, library, and balconies. In 1974 it remained in the possession of the family of James Emery, the man who had it built. The house today ranks among the most unusual of Maine’s mid-19th cottage residences.*
Heywood, Phineas, House
[343 Maine Street] This brick Federal Style building was apparently built around 1824. A detailed history of the house and Phineas Heywood is not currently available from the National Register of Historic Places due to a error in its database. A WIKI articles refers to currently non-existent sources. Heywood (1778-1849) is buried, along with his wife Azubah, in Bucksport’s Oak Hill Cemetery.
The house is said to be “the finest Federal style brick house in the lower Penobscot River valley.” According to one source it was probably the first brick building built in Bucksport and surrounding towns. It remained in the Heywood family until the mid-20th century. The house is significant primarily for its age and condition. [various on-line sources]
Prouty, Jed, Tavern and Inn
[52–54 Main Street] The Tavern is significant as the largest early 19th century hotel in eastern Maine and the most prominent landmark on Main Street. Built about 1783 as a home, it was purchased for a tavern by a man named Sparhawk in 1820. He replaced the hipped roof with a gable roof. The existing Federal style doorway and some of the interior moldings probably date from the conversion to a public house. It had been used, until recently, as a tavern and hotel since 1820.
Bucksport was on the stage route between Bangor and Castine. In about 1850 Daniel Robinson purchased the building, naming it the Robinson House and making major Greek Revival style additions. The name “Jed Prouty” was adopted in the early 20th century to capitalize on the success of a popular play featuring the building. The hotel register includes the names of four presidents, Martin Van Buren, William Harrison, John Tyler, and Andrew Jackson, as well as Jefferson Davis (who also visited Beddington and Harrington) and Daniel Webster.*
[Franklin Street] “Wilson Hall was erected by the Eastern Maine Methodist Conference in 1850-51, and closed its doors in 1933. The sole Methodist Seminary in eastern Maine, and the only seminary in Hancock County, the building was constructed at a critical period in the church’s expansion.
“Methodism made great strides in eastern Maine in the late 1840’s- 1850’s, and approval of plans for a seminary was the first act of the newly formed Eastern Maine Methodist Conference in 1848.
“The building is unique in Bucksport and Hancock County, not only in its function, but also its plan and appearance. Bucksport has no other large, brick, Greek Revival structure, save for the now severely altered Seminary dormitory. The building has been a highly visible local landmark from its construction. Austere, yet beautiful in line and proportion, Wilson Hall is among the major institutional buildings of the period in eastern Maine.”*