|Maine House||District 130|
|Maine Senate||District 8|
|Area sq. mi.||(total) 27.5|
|Area sq. mi.||(land) 25.4|
Total=land+water; Land=land only
[OR-ing-tun] was the first town in Penobscot County, incorporated on March 21, 1788 from New Worcester Plantation, also known as China Plantation.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.