Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Searsmont

Location Map for Searsmont

Location Map for Searsmont

Year Population
1970 624
1980 782
1990 938
2000 1,174
2010 1,392
Searsmont Population Chart 1820-2010

Population Trend 1820-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 44:21:39
W. Latitude 69:11:39
Maine House District 96
Maine Senate District 11
Congress District 2
Area sq. mi. (total) 39.2
Area sq. mi. (land) 37.8
Population/sq.mi. (land) 36.8
County: Waldo

Total=land+water; Land=land only

Searsmont "Welcome" sign (2016)

[SEERZ-mont] is a town in Waldo County, settled in 1804 and incorporated on February 5, 1814 from Searsmont Plantation. David Sears of Boston, after whom the town is named, was one of ten who bought land in the area held by the heirs of General Samuel Waldo.

Located at the junction of several well-marked Indian trails, Native Americans called it Quantabacook. Author Ben Ames Williams called it Fraternity Village in his novel about the early white settlement of nearby Union.

Settled around 1780, Searsmont was named after David Sears of Boston, a proprietor of many lands in the area.  Searsmont was known for its white pine timber and water resources.  The first lumber mills were built before 1800 in North Searsmont.

Approaching Searsmont Village (2004)

Approaching Searsmont Village (2004)

The main village is located on the St. George River and is adjacent to Quantabacook Lake.

The lake’s name implies “abundant something lake or pond,” but that “something” is not clear to historians.

What is quite clear is that in 1764 some English hunters by the name of Richardson, apparently searching for that “something,” were trespassing on Indian hunting grounds in the area and were warned off by Captain Thomas Goldthwait, the commandant at Fort Point.

In the mid-19th century, Searsmont was briefly home to young Joseph B. Stearns, inventor of  an improvement to telegraph technology that made him a wealthy man.

Searsmont Fire Department (2014)

Fire Department (2014) @

Downtown Searsmont (2014)

Searsmont Village (’14) @

At about 8:15 AM on Sunday May 21, 1871 the third meteorite to land in Maine fell in the town.

Fraternity Village General Store (2004)

Fraternity Village General Store (2004) @

St. George River in Searsmont Village (2014)

St. George River in the Village (2014) @

Searsmont is served by Maine Routes 3, 131 and 173 and lies about ten miles southwest of Belfast.

On March 14, 1925 the first international radio broadcast was relayed from Belfast through Searsmont and on to New York City. That segment was called “the 10 mile long ‘Dog Island’ wave” which ended at Moody Mountain in south Searsport.

The Searsmont Community Building below houses the town office, the library, and the historical society’s museum.

Searsmont Post Office (2014)

Post Office (2014) @

Searsmont Community Building (2014)

Community Building (’14) @

Searsmont Historical Society (2014)

Historical Society (2014) @

The Georges River Land Trust has two nature preserves, Gibson and Porter, on the Woodmans Mills Road (Route 173) in the west of the township.  James Dorso Ruffingham Meadow Wildlife Management Area is in its northwest corner, off Route 3 in North Searsmont. (two photos below)

Sign at Porter Preserve, Georges River Land Trust (2014)

Sign at Porter Preserve, Georges River Land Trust @

Osprey in Nest near Porter Preserve on Woodmans Mill Road in Searsmont (2014)

Osprey in Nest near Porter Preserve (2014) @

Kiosk at Gibson Preserve on Woodmans Mills Road in Searsmont (2014)

Kiosk at Gibson Preserve (2014) @

James Dorso Ruffingham Meadow Wildlife Management Area (2015)

James Dorso Ruffingham Meadow Wildlife Management Area (2015)

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

Additional resources

Albin, Dorothy. Searsmont: The Old Township of Quantabacook 1764-1976. Camden, Me. Camden Herald Publishing Co. Inc. 1977.

“America to Hear British Waves Relayed Nightly Next Winter.” New York Times. March 22, 1925. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=F70711F838581A738DDDAB0A94DB405B858EF1D3 (accessed March 14, 2012)

Papers Relating to the Baptist Meeting House in Searsmont, Maine. 1845-1856. [Maine State Library]

Searsmont Historical Society. Historical Society News 2005. Vol. 3. Issue 1. 2005.

National Register of Historic Places – Listings

Georges River Canal

[Upper Falls, St. George River in Warren to Union town line, extending to Quantabacook Pond in Searsmont] Canals on Georges River, used for access to the forest in its watershed, were important for the development river valley.  Mills were built at its lower falls. Charles Barrett of Hope secured a charter from the Massachusetts General Court in 1793 to build locks and bridges creating a canal. More information at Warren.

Hardscrabble Farm, east side Maine Route 131, 0.5 miles south of the junction with Maine Route 173

Moody Farm, junction of Lawry Road and Maine Route 173

Archeological Site No. 39.1, Address Restricted

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This entry was last modified: April 08, 2017 01:20 AM

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