Maine: An Encyclopedia

East Machias

Location Map for East Machias

Location Map for East Machias

Year Population
1970 1,057
1980 1,233
1990 1,218
2000 1,298
2010 1,368
East Machias Population Chart 1840-2010

Population Trend 1840-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 44:46:19
W. Latitude 67:26:15
Maine House District 139
Maine Senate District 6
Congress District 2
Area sq. mi. (total) 40.0
Area sq. mi. (land) 35.2
Population/sq.mi. (land) 38.9
County: Washington

Total=land+water; Land=land only
First Congregational Church (2004)

Congregational Church (2004)

Sign: East Machias, settled 1763, incorporated 1826 (2004)[mah-CHI-uhs] is a town in Washington County, incorporated on January 26, 1826 from a portion of Machias.

Settled in 1763, the area now known as Machias, East Machias, and Machiasport had attracted the interest of settlers since 1633.

East Machias was changed to Mechisses in 1840 but was changed back to its current name on April 6, 1841.

Benjamin Foster Historic Marker (2011)

Benjamin Foster Historic Marker (2011)

Benjamin Foster built a house on the site of this historical marker in 1765 and served in the Revolutionary War.

He may have been a relative of Benen Foster who also lived in Machias (which then included East Machias) and outlined his experiences in a deposition given as his application for a war service pension.

U.S. Congress member and state legislator Joshua Lowell lived here during the 19th century.

The town’s population peaked in 1860 at 2,181, then declined each census until a century later in 1960, when the decline ended and a relatively stable population has been maintained.

Veterans Memorial (2011)

Veterans Memorial (2011)

Washington Academy Boys Dorm (2011)

Academy Boys Dorm (2011)

Washington Academy is a private boarding school serving grades 9-12.  Established in 1792, it is one of the oldest academies in Maine.

The institution was originally a feeder school for Bowdoin College in the early 1900s.

Continuing its focus on higher education, in recent years an average 85 percent of the graduating class has been accepted to colleges or universities.

East Machias Town Office (2011)

Town Office (2011)

Masonic Lodge (2011)

Masonic Lodge (2011)

The town lies north of Machiasport at the confluence of the Machias and East Machias rivers and then into Machias Bay. The East Machias River splits the town into commercial and residential areas.

Railroad Bed and Highway Bridge in the Village (2004)

Railroad Bed and Highway Bridge (2004)

Form of Government: Town Meeting-Select Board-Administrative Assistant.

Additional resources

Grant, Flora Case. These Were the Days of My Life: An Autobiography. Dennysville, Me. 1980.

Grant, Flora Case and Henry Smith Whittier. East Machias, 1765-1926. Machias, Me. University of Maine. 1975.

Mason, Albert C. The Munson Family of East Machias. Machias. Me.? Machias Valley News. 1835.

State of Maine Bridge Division. Machiasport and East Machias Bridge Study; Machias River Bridge. Augusta, Me. 1967.

Whittier, Henry S. The Harris Family of East Machias, 1787-1930. 19??

National Register of Historic Places – Listings

East Machias Historic District

[High, Water, and Bridge Street] Until 1826, the history of Machias is also that of East Machias and the use of the term Machias in this text should be taken to mean the Machias area.

East Machias Village (2004)

East Machias Village (2004)

Settled in 1763, the area now known as Machias, East Machias, and Machiasport had attracted the interest of settlers since 1633 when Isaak Allerton opened a trading post at Machias under the auspices of the Plymouth Company. It was soon abandoned when it came into into conflict with the French. In 1688 a census was taken of all settlers living between the Penobscot and the St. Croix Rivers. According to the tally there were nine French settlers living at Machias. As was the case with the French settlement at Pentagoet (Castine), the small settlement at Machias was abandoned by the French. It was settled by the English in 1763.

Early in the fall of 1762, Isaiah Foster and Isaac Larrabee and others came from Scarborough to explore for sources of hay, sites for sawmills, and areas for possible settlement. They eventually reached Machias and were impressed with the area’s possibilities. An association was formed to build a double saw mill at Machias (now the town of Machias). The associates including Sylvanus Scott, Isaiah Foster and Isaac Larrabee, took their families and came to Machias in April of 1763. Joel Bonney and Woodin Foster were hired carpenters to go along. Their small vessel arrived on the 20th of May 1763, anchoring first at the Rim in what is now East Machias.

The little settlement prospered and in 1765 more settlers arrived. By this time many of the settlers had established themselves at East Falls, now East Machias. Samuel Scott, a brother of Sylvanus Scott, Woodin Foster, Benjamin Foster, Daniel Fogg and others erected the first sawmill at East Machias in 1765, and lived in East Machias. Sylvanus Scott settled on the Rim in East Machias. The Rim was known as Scotts point at that time.

In 1770, the grant of a township was given by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. By this grant, the petitioners became owners of the soil within their township. The township included Machias, East Machias, Machiasport, Whitneyville, and Marshfield. On May 12, 1784, Machias was incorporated and in 1790 was divided into four school districts.  The present town of East Machias being one of them. Washington Academy was built in 1823.

In  1826 East Falls was separated from Machias and incor­porated as the town of East Mach. The first town meeting was held on March 6, 1826. East Machias has been a thriving little community. The 19th century economic base, its lumber mills and ship­ yards, are gone but the village remains, a reminder of the early pioneers who carved their home out of the Maine wilderness.

Washington on Academy and the Churches remain in East Machias. citizens of this area played significant roles in the American Revolution and in the War of 1812.

Historic structures in the District include First Congregational Church, Washington Academy, and Woodin Foster’s house.

Talbot, James R., House, US Route 1

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This entry was last modified: March 24, 2017 09:04 PM

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