Maine: An Encyclopedia


Location Map for Orrington

Location Map for Orrington

Year Population
1970 2,702
1980 3,244
1990 3,309
2000 3,526
2010 3,733
Orrington Population Chart 1790-2010

Population Trend 1790-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 44:43:30
W. Latitude 68:46:48
Maine House District 130
Maine Senate District 8
Congress District 2
Area sq. mi. (total) 27.5
Area sq. mi. (land) 25.4
Population/sqmi (land) 147.0
County: Penobscot

Total=land+water; Land=land only
1807 Orrington Pound (2003)

1807 Orrington Pound (2003)

[OR-ing-tun] was the first town in Penobscot County, incorporated on March 21, 1788 from New Worcester Plantation, also known as China Plantation.

In the 19th century it ceded land to Brewer (1812 and 1841) and annexed land from Bucksport (1816 and 1850). United Methodist Church in North BucksportSign: Welcome to Orrington (2003)

The first settler in the area was Colonel John Brewer in 1770 who made his home at the mouth of the Sededunkehunk Stream, now just over the line in Brewer.

The first settlers within the current borders of the town arrived in 1778.

Building with a Sign "Orrington Corner 1837" (2003)

Building with a Sign “Orrington Corner 1837” (2003)

The origin of the name Orrington has at least two versions, both of which involve random events. Either the originally desired “Orangetown” was misspelled, or the name was selected by Massachusetts authorities from a book because it sounded good!

Veterans Memorial (2003)

Veterans Memorial (2003)

United Methodist Church in Orrington (2003)

United Methodist Church

In 1886, George Varney, in his Gazatteer of Maine, observed,

There are many good farms in this town, and many very attractive residences. A drive along some of its roads is delightful. . . . [Orrington Great Pond] furnished at East Orrington power for a saw-mill, and a short distance below for a shingle-mill and tannery; then by successive falls, for two grist-mills and another saw-mill. . . . At [Sweets Pond] are two lumber-mills and a grist-mill. Other manufactures in the town are drain-tile, earthen-ware, churns, boots and shoes, etc.

Town Office with Veterans Honor Role (2003)

Town Office with Veterans Honor Role (2003)

Orrington is the only town to belong to the counties of Lincoln, Hancock, then Penobscot as those boundaries changed with the creation of new counties.

The town, on the east bank of the Penobscot River, is a suburb of the Bangor-Brewer area, showing moderate but consistent growth in recent decades.

1807 Orrington Pound (2003)

1807 Orrington Pound (2003)

As part of the agricultural tradition throughout Maine is the usually circular, rock walled cattle pound, often used as a site to buy and sell farm animals, and to hold wandering livestock to keep them from destroying crops.

Form of Government: Town Meeting-Select Board-Manager.

Additional sources

Chadbourne, Ava Harriet. Maine Place Names and The Peopling of its Towns.

Cox, H. Russell. History of Orrington, Maine. Brewer, Me. Cay-Bel Publishing Co.. c1988.

Miscellaneous Records of Orrington, Penobscot County, Maine 1798-1929. Compiled by Daivd Livingstone Swett. Rockport. Me. Picton Press. c1998. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections; Maine State Library]

Phillips, William J. The Education of a Town: A Study of the School System in Orrington, Maine, 1850-1900. 1973. (Thesis (M.A.) in History–University of Maine, 1973.) [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]

Shaw, Richard R. The Lower Penobscot River Region. Dover, N.H. Arcadia. 1996.

Varney, George J. A Gazetteer of the State of Maine. 1886. pp. 417-418.

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This entry was last modified: April 03, 2017 12:10 AM

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