Maine: An Encyclopedia


Location Map for Eliot

Location Map for Eliot

Year Population
1970 3,497
1980 4,948
1990 5,329
2000 5,954
2010 6,204
Eliot Population Chart 1810-2010

Population Trend 1810-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 43:08:49
W. Latitude 70:47:22
Maine House District 2
Maine Senate District 35
Congress District 1
Area sq. mi. (total) 21.3
Area sq. mi. (land) 19.7
Population/sq.mi. (land) 314.9
County: York

Total=land+water; Land=land only

Clipper Ships Built Here

  • Nightingale–1851
  • Josephine–1852

Sign: Welcome to Eliot (2012)[EL-ee-ut] is a town in York County, on the east side of the Piscataqua River dividing Maine from New Hampshire.  It was incorporated on March 1, 1810 from a portion of Kittery.

Settled in the 1630’s it was part of the Piscataqua Plantation created in 1647.

Nicholas Frost was one of the earliest settlers, arriving at Sturgeon Creek about 1636. Its many historic sites include Maine’s first Quaker Meetinghouse built in 1776.

Kittery-Portsmouth Bridge from Eliot (2001)

Kittery-Portsmouth Bridge ’01

Marina in Eliot (2001)

Marina in Eliot (2001)

The Frost garrisons and house were built for a single family’s defense against the Indians. Later a garrison was erected for group defense, including the sheltering of livestock.  At one time the buildings were connected by tunnels.

John Hill Grange (2012)

John Hill Grange (2012) * @

Fogg Library (2012)

Fogg Library (2012) @

In 1886 Eliot was described as follows in the Gazetteer of Maine:

The farm-houses and buildings are generally neat and in good repair; while the western part adjacent to the river is adorned with handsome cottages, with gardens and fine orchards.  The west branch of York River gives several small water-powers, which are improved by one grist mill and two saw-mills.  A small tide-power on Sturgeon Creek was also utilized in earlier times.

At the time it had eight schoolhouses and a population, in 1880, of 1,640.  The current Eliot Elementary School could have held all the students of 1880.

Eliot Elementary School (2012)

Eliot Elementary School (2012) @

A growing residential community serving the Kittery and Portsmouth areas, its population expanded by almost 12 percent in the 1990-2000 decade

Police Station (2012)

Police Station (2012) @

Fire Department (2012)

Fire Department (2012) @

Eliot Commons Mall (2012)

Eliot Commons Mall (2012) @

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

Church in Eliot (2012)

Church in Eliot (2012) @

Small Market in Eliot (2012)

Small Market in Eliot (2012) @

Country Living (2012)

Country Living (2012) @

Additional resources

Bartlett, Ralph Sylvester. The History of York County, Maine, and a rambling narrative about the town of Eliot and its mother-town old Kittery with personal reminiscences . . . . Boston. Jerome Press. c1938.

Beard, Frank A. and Bette A. Smith. Maine’s Historic Places: Properties on the National Register of Historic Places. Camden, Me. Down East Books. c1982.

Eliot Farmers’ Union (Maine). Records, 1915-1946. (bulk 1916-1936). (Cataloger Note: The collection contains records of the Eliot Farmers’ Union, a store in Eliot, Maine, owned and operated by John W. Staples. The store seems to have been in existence from 1915 to 1946 and sold grain, flour and groceries.) [Orono. University of Maine. Raymond H. Fogler Library. Special Collections.]

*Maine. Historic Preservation Commission. Augusta, Me.  Text and photo from National Register of Historic Places:,

Fogg Memorial Library: 91001817.PDF
Frost House and Garrison: 71000045.PDF
Paul Family Farm: 98001232.PDF

Old Eliot: A Reprinting in Three Books of the Sixty Historical and Genealogical Magazines Published in Eliot, Maine, between 1897 and 1909. Somersworth N.H. New England History Press. [Maine State Library]

Paul Family. Papers, 1771-1917. (Cataloger Note: The collection contains personal papers of various members of the Paul family of Eliot, including letters to and from Civil War soldiers.) [Orono. University of Maine. Raymond H. Fogler Library. Special Collections.]

Remick, Oliver Philbrick. A Record of the Services of the Commissioned Officers and Enlisted Men of Kittery and Eliot, Maine: who Served in the American Revolution. Somersworth, N.H. New England History Press. 1986.

Spinney, Alfred, 1855-1939. Papers, 1883-1921. (Cataloger Note: The papers of a bridge builder in Eliot, Maine. Included are 15 diaries from 1883-1892, 1894, and 1898-1901; 2 weekly time books covering 1895-1897; receipts; lists of goods purchased; lists of materials for bridge construction; and notices of sale of lands for unpaid taxes in Eliot in 1920 and 1921.) [Orono. University of Maine. Raymond H. Fogler Library. Special Collections.]

Varney, George J. A Gazetteer of the State of Maine. 1886. p2. 217-218.

National Register of Historic Places – Listings

Fogg, William, Library

William Fogg Library (2012)

William Fogg Library (2012)

[Old Road] The 1907 Fogg Library, designed by Boston architect C. Howard Walker, illustrates the pattern of philanthropic efforts to establish Maine public libraries as local institutions at the turn of the 20th century. The library was given to the town by Dr. John S.H. Fogg as a memorial to his father William Fogg. Dr. Fogg was born in Eliot in 1826, graduated from Bowdoin College and Harvard Medical School and settled in South Boston.

At his death in 1893, he willed his collection of 5,000 autographs and books to the Maine Historical Society and funds for the library’s construction and maintenance. Although a Library Association had been established, public financial support of the library became unnecessary. At its opening, the Library contained 6,000 volumes: Fogg’s collection, the association’s holdings and new books purchased by the library trustees.*

Frost Garrison and House

[Frost’s Hill] Southern Maine people were involved in a great many blood skirmishes with the local Indians during much of the French and Indian War. In order to protect themselves, it was necessary to build many strong garrison houses. Col John Frost joined citizens who built garrisons in the Eliot area. In about 1733 he built a house on Frost’s Hill,the second to be erected on the Frost Hill land that the Frosts had owned since 1660.

1778 Frost Family Home (1970)

1778 Frost Family Home (1970)

1735 Garrison/Powder House (1970)

1735 Garrison/Powder House (1970)

Within a few years, he erected a small garrison about 30 feet behind the house. This small building was later used as a powder house. The large garrison was erected for neighborhood use in 1738. Many other families had garrison houses. At one time there were 28 in Eliot. The arrowhead marks found around the large garrison’s portholes indicate that Indians had attacked it on at least one occasion.

The old Frost Family home built about 1778 replaced an earlier garrison house built in 1733 and which was destroyed in 1760.* [No photographer credited]

Paul Family Farm

[106 Depot Road] The Paul Family Farm is comprised of a two-story frame dwelling with Federal and Greek Revival style elements believed to have been built (but not fully completed) in 1804-05, a mid-19th century detached barn and a group of three early twentieth century outbuildings including a garage/woodshed, work shop, and a second garage. The property is noteworthy for the architectural significance of the house and the ancillary buildings which are representative examples of their type and method of construction. In addition, the house has artistic significance by virtue of the extant “Eaton School” stenciling that survives in one of the first floor rooms.

Paul Family Farm (1998)

Paul Family Farm (1998)

The property was initially settled by Moses Paul (1753-1812) and his wife Jane Tucker Paul (1757-1811). They occupied a two-story frame dwelling built about 1780 that is thought to have stood to the east of the existing house. Hugh Tucker Paul (1781 -1852) was one of four children born to Moses and Jane. In 1808, he married Dorcass Shapleigh (1780- 1840) and  the existing house was largely completed by then. Although it would appear that they farmed the land, given by his father, Hugh was a shipbuilder by trade and is known to have constructed at least four vessels in the period between 1806 and 1820. The largest of these was the Brig Florida of 268 tons displacement built at Somersworth, New Hampshire in 1818. At the taking of the 1850 census Hugh Tucker Paul is listed as residing in the household of his son Moses Paul, Jr., both of whom gave their occupations as “Farmer.”* [Kirk F. Mohney photo]

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