Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Albany

Location Map for Albany

an unorganized township in Oxford County, was originally incorporated as a town on June 20, 1803 from its earlier designation as Oxford Plantation. It lies just south of the town of Bethel and on the edge of the scenic White Mountains National Forest in Western Maine. The town house, grange, and congregational church, all near Routes 5 and 15, are historic landmarks. Continue reading

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Athens

Location Map for Athens

Settled by Revolutionary War soldiers, Athens incorporated in 1804. Somerset Academy now serves as town office, American Legion hall, and Christian Fellowship meeting place. The Union Meetinghouse has served the community since 1840. Athens has hosted a small agricultural fair for many years. Continue reading

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Auburn

Location Map for Auburn

home to two U.S. Senators: William D. Hathaway and Olympia J. Snowe; 5th largest city by population; Androscoggin County seat; 20+ National Historic Register places. It also hosts Central Maine Community College. Continue reading

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Bath

Location Map for Bath

The city’s Customs House was an important center for revenue and recording the history of shipping in the area. The nearby elegant City Hall dominates the downtown. Home to Bath Iron Works on the Kennebec River, the city has had a long history of shipbuilding, including nine clipper ships during the 1850’s. Continue reading

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Belfast

Location Map for Belfast

its historic district features a variety of architectural styles, primarily from the booming 19th century economy. Located on Penobscot Bay, its shipping and shipbuilding brought a population explosion between 1810 and 1850. In the mid-20th century, Belfast was home to the chicken broiler industry. It has transformed into a tourist destination, touting its historic structures. See video and photos. Continue reading

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Bowdoin

Location Map for Bowdoin

Settled before the Revolutionary War, it is named for James Bowdoin II, a governor of Massachusetts. Typical of early towns, Bowdoin had 15 school houses in 1870; by 2010 it, one elementary school. More than tripled in population since 1970,the still rural town is becoming a commuter community with easy access to Interstate 95. See photos and video. Continue reading

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Brooksville

Location Map for Brooksville

in Hancock County, incorporated in 1817. Its Cape Rosier recalls James Rosier who accompanied George Weymouth in explorations of 1605. Brooksville boasts one of the best harbors for small boats: Bucks Harbor. Helen and Scott Nearing lived here. See photos. Continue reading

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Brunswick

Location Map For Brunswick

Since the demise of textile and shoe manufacturing, Brunswick has become a service center for the region and a residential community for commuters to the greater Portland area. With Bowdoin College, Maine State Music Theater, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, Pejepscot Historical Society, and many historic buildings, it is a powerful cultural magnet. AMTRAK service to Boston resumed in 2012. The town has a 66 mile ocean shoreline and 12 miles along the Androscoggin River. Continue reading

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Bucksport

Location Map For Bucksport

in Hancock County was settled in 1762. Jed Prouty’s Tavern and Inn, no longer operating, was a stop for the Bangor to Castine stage route. The paper mill (once St. Regis, then Champion, then Verso) dominates the north end of town and is across the Penobscot River from Fort Knox. Northeast Historic Film, a moving image archives, research and education center is located here. See photos. Continue reading

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Camden

Location Map for Camden

The village, at the foot of Mt. Battie, is at Camden Harbor on Penobscot Bay and U.S. Route 1. In 1880 the first summer cottages were built and and a flood of seasonal and semi-permanent residents began. The Opera House hosts many cultural events, including the Camden Conference and the Camden Film Festival. Edna St. Vincent Millay graduated from high school here. See video and photos. Continue reading

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Cherryfield

Location Map For Cherryfield

in Washington County, incorporated 1816, straddles the Narraguagus River. See photos. Once a favorite spot for catching the now endangered Atlantic Salmon, it is a blueberry growing and processing center. A shipbuilding community, it produced the bark Belgrade, which rounded Cape Horn with 56 local men during the California gold rush. Continue reading

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Columbia Falls

Location Map For Columbia Falls

in Washington County, incorporated in 1863 from a portion sister community, Columbia. The blueberry industry has sustained the local economy, keeping the population stable and growing, however modestly. This former lumbering and shipbuilding community boasts several notable homes from the bygone era. The Ruggles House built for lumberman and judge Thomas Ruggles, is one. See photos. Continue reading

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Cornish

Location Map for Cornish

in York County, incorporated 1794, probably named for settlers from Cornwall, England. The main street features tourist attractions such as lodging, eating, and antiques. Cornish village is located where the Ossipee River feeds into the Saco River. Little River enters the Ossipee just before its link to the Saco. See photos. Continue reading

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Cumberland

Location Map for Cumberland

in Cumberland County, incorporated 1822, includes two islands in Casco Bay: Sturdivant and Basket. Basket Island, is a nature preserve of .9 acres of mixed forest and shell and gravel beaches. The town, a suburb of Portland, grew by almost 23 percent between 1990 and 2000, and continues its population growth. See photos. Continue reading

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Cundys Harbor

Cundys Harbor Village (2014)

Cundys Harbor is a village within the town of Harpswell, in the area known as East Harpswell. It is located in the southeastern portion of this sprawling coastal town, on Sebascodegan Island. In 1985 the Maine Historic Preservation Commission described … Continue reading

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Dover-Foxcroft

Location Map for Dover-Foxcroft

the county seat of Piscataquis County, born of the union of Dover and Foxcroft in 1922, and home to Foxcroft Academy and three members of Congress, is the commercial center of the area. See photos. Continue reading

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Eastbrook

Sign: Town Line, Entering Eastbrook from Waltham (2003)

in Hancock County, incorporated 1837, Settled in 1800, an early settler built the first house and established its first mill. In 1886 Eastbrook had four mills – two sawmills, one producing staves, and one manufacturing shingles. It still has several historically significant buildings. See photos. Lyle Frost Wildlife Management Area offers canoeing; wildlife to be seen: eagles, deer and water birds. Continue reading

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Ellsworth

Location Map for Ellsworth

Settled in 1763, it has relied on lumbering, shipbuilding, and industry to support its economy. The classic Grand Theater has been saved as an active movie and performance space. See photos. At the confluence of seven highway routes, the city is a shopping center for the area and summer tourism. The Col. John Black Mansion, a modified Georgian design, was home to the land agent for William Bingham. Continue reading

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Farmingdale

Location Map for Farmingdale

On the Kennebec River just north of Gardiner, it is a residential community serving the Augusta-Gardiner capital area. Several large homes overlook the Kennebec River. See photos. West of the main street, in a suburban-rural area, it touches on Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area at Jimmies Pond near the Outlet Road. Continue reading

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Freeport

Location Map for Freeport

is a popular center of “outlet” stores, including the legendary L. L. Bean, which has a virtual campus of retail buildings. See video and photos. It was named, say some, for Sir Andrew Freeport, a character in Addison’s Spectator Papers. Freeport-built vessels Lafayette and Blen were captured and burned by Confederate raiders. Arctic explorer Donald B. MacMillan lived in Freeport, as did a young John Gould, later author, humorist, and newspaper editor. Continue reading

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Fryeburg

Location Map for Fryeburg

a town in Oxford County, incorporated in 1777 on the site of an Indian settlement known as Pequawket. See photos. Daniel Webster was a teacher at Fryeburg Academy in 1802. Native American Molly Ockett was born about 1740 into the Pigwacket tribe. The Battle of Lovewell’s Pond was one long day in 1725, during which the leader of the white volunteers, Captain Lovewell, was slain along with the Indian leader Pangus. Continue reading

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Georgetown

Location Map for Georgetown

Settled in the early 1600s, it shares its early history with nearby Phippsburg and Arrowsic. See photos. It is home to Reid State Park and to the summer residence of sculptor William and artist Marguerite Zorach. Their daughter, artist Dahlov Ipcar, has also been a resident. The Josephine Newman Sanctuary and the Ledgewood nature preserve are here. Continue reading

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Gorham

Location Map for Gorham

First called Narragansett Number 7, it was granted to men who fought in the Narragansett War of 1675. Gorham Academy, founded 1803, became Western State Normal School, University of Maine at Gorham, and now Gorham Campus of the University of Southern Maine. The home of former governor Percival P. Baxter has become a museum of Indian artifacts and rare coins. Several other notables lived here. Continue reading

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Harpswell Center

Harpswell Town House and Kellogg Church (2013)

During Harpswell’s early settlement and before a bridge connected it to the rest of the town, Harpswell Neck was the site of several small villages.  Harpswell Center hosted a church, the 1759 meetinghouse (later the town office), and a 1793 … Continue reading

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Harpswell, North

Skolfield Shores Kiosk at Merriconeagan Farm (2011)

In Harpswell, this is the northern most village on Harpswell Neck, the others being West and South Harpswell. It centers on the intersection of Route 123 from Brunswick and the Mountain Road, which links North Harpswell to the islands via … Continue reading

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Island Falls

Location Map for Island Falls

William Sewall became a wildlife guide and companion to Theodore Roosevelt in the 1870′s. The town has frontage on almost half of Pleasant Lake. See photos. The nearby Walker Settlement hosts a golf course and residential development near the lake. Several large homes recall the heady days when potato was king in the County. One of those was that of Governor Carl E. Milliken. Island Falls has had industry in the form of lumber mills, grist mills and a starch factory. Continue reading

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Kennebec County

Map of Maine Counties and Baxter Park

is the fourth largest in population of the sixteen counties, located in central Maine and bisected by the Kennebec River. It was formed on February 20, 1799 from the northern part of Lincoln County.  It lost a large part of … Continue reading

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Kittery

Location Map for Kittery

in York County serves as the gateway to Maine from points south with its old and more modern bridges spanning the Piscataqua River. See video & photos. The federal government established the Navy Yard in 1806. The 74-gun ship Washington was the first vessel built there in 1815. The town’s long history is partially illustrated by the substantial list of historic sites. Continue reading

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Limington

Location Map for Limington

Limington Academy, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was incorporated in 1848. See video and photos. After 200 years, the old Town Hall was replaced by a modern Municipal Complex. Primary education now takes place in the Emery Memorial School, a major change from the old Longfellow School. Nevertheless, the main village retains its historic character thanks to the local efforts to establish its Historic District. Continue reading

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Mercer

Location Map for Mercer

With forty-one residents in 1800, Mercer exploded to a population of 1,432 (its peak) by 1840. Soon thereafter, Maine’s first starch factory was established. The library and the Grange are two surviving organizations formed in the late 19th century as the population continued to decline. See photos. The town lies on U.S. Route 2 just west of Norridgewock with frontage on North Pond at its southeast corner. Continue reading

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Naples

Location Map for Naples

Blessed with ample access to Long Lake, Sebago Lake at the intersection of U.S. Route 302 and Maine Routes 11, 35 and 114, Naples has long been a vacation resort community. See photos. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Nathaniel Hawthorne have sung its praises. The Songo Lock, built about 1830 and now shared with the town of Casco, linked Long Pond and Brandy Pond with Sebago Lake Continue reading

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Newry

Location Map for Newry

Built in 1872, the Sunday River Bridge, called “he most painted and photographed covered bridge in the state,” crosses the river of the same name. See photos. The Sunday River Ski Resort is located here. On Maine Route 26, Newry is the gateway to the hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail, of Grafton Township. Step Falls Preserve, the first preserve of the Maine Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, has 24 acres of cascades and pools. Continue reading

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Oakland

Location Map of Oakland

Waterville’s commercial strip that is Kennedy Memorial Drive continues into Oakland for about a mile before becoming a more scenic road. See photos. Here the village emerges as it sits at Messalonskee Stream. Long the home of the New England Music Camp, recreational opportunities include access to several of the Belgrade lakes. Continue reading

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Parsonsfield

Location Map for Parsonsfield

Kezar Falls, a village on the Ossipee River named for George Kezar, is the largest in the area at the junction of Maine Routes 25 and 160. The community is split between Parsonsfield and Porter across the river, and is governed and taxed separately by the two towns. An early 20th century sanatorium, Maple Crest, was “located among the beautiful Limerick hills, the wild and picturesque outlines of which may be seen in every direction from the building. The view is in itself enough to stimulate the interest and mental activity so important to the cure of all diseases. Continue reading

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Portland Historic Register

Abyssinian Meeting House (2015)

The City of Portland has over eighty places and historic districts on the National Register, including Eastern Promenade, Evergreen Cemetery, Fort Gorges, Longfellow Monument, Portland City Hall, Portland Observatory, Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Westbrook College Historic District, and Western Promenade Continue reading

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Robbinston

Location Map for Robbinston

has as its eastern border is the scenic St. Croix River and Passamaquoddy Bay. The main village is on U.S. Route 1 along the shore, where most of its population is located. Most of the western portion is undeveloped, with unimproved roads and several lakes and ponds. Continue reading

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Rockland

The Farnsworth Museum (2005)

a city in, and the county seat of, Knox County, it is the home to the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Maine Seafood Festival, a historic working waterfront, historic structures, and birthplace of notable cultural and political figures. Located on U.S. Route 1, the city is a regional service and retail center. Continue reading

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Troy

Classic Barn in Troy (2006)

Maine Route 220 joins U.S. Route 202/Maine Route 9 at Green’s Corner near the shore of Unity Pond. Carleton Pond, Bog, and Stream are accessible from Route 220 in the north end of town. The 1840 Troy Union Meeting House is a classic example of a type of meeting house or church in Maine in the four decades prior to the Civil War. Continue reading

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Washburn

Location Map for Washburn

Long a potato growing and processing area, it lies northwest of Presque Isle on Route 164, which curves through the town and links it with Caribou to the northeast. See photos. Washburn’s main village is in the southwest near the Aroostook River, which crosses its southern portion. The villages of Bugbee, Crouseville, and Adeline are along the river on Route 164. Continue reading

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Waterville

Location Map for Waterville

Waterville is a regional service center for northern Kennebec and southern Somerset counties. See photos. Its downtown and the Kennedy Memorial Drive commercial strip provide business and professional services. It has been home to several U.S. Senators and Maine governors. Colby College is here. Continue reading

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Westport Island

Location Map for Westport

Westport is bounded by the Back, Sasanoa, and Sheepscot rivers, deep inlets from the Gulf of Maine. See photos. It is accessible by the bridge over the Cowseagan Narrows on Maine Route 144 from U.S. Route 1 in Wiscasset. Continue reading

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Winthrop

Maranacook Lake in Winthrop (2013)

n addition to its recreational attractions, the town is a suburban community serving both the Augusta and Lewiston-Auburn areas. See photos. Winthrop is the birthplace in 1899 of Delphia Louis “Del” Bissonette, who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Continue reading

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