Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Entries listed under "historic districts"

Alfred

Map of Maine Showing the location of Alfred. Green areas are unorganized territories.

Originally, the area was known to the Native Americans as Massabesic and was acquired from Chief Fluellin in 1661 by Major William Phipps. Later a Shaker community settled on a hill overlooking what is now called Shaker Pond. Alfred is the county seat of York County and was the site of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the 1930’s. Continue reading

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Alna

Location Map for Alna

Head Tide village, poet Edwin Arlington Robinson’s birthplace, is a “small, picturesque river community with many … well-preserved 19th century buildings.” Video. Alna is home to the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington narrow gauge railway museum. The Sheepscot River runs through the town, the site of canoe trips from Whitefield to Wiscasset. Continue reading

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Bangor Historic Register

84-96 Hammond Street (2016)

National Register of Historic Places –Bangor Bangor’s architectural history is influenced by the great houses built in the boom years of the nineteenth century, with its resident lumber barons and its related commerce. The city’s role as a regional hub … 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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Bethel

Location Map for Bethel

one of the oldest villages in western Maine, incorporated in 1796 from Sudbury Canada Plantation. Its name signifies the “House of God,” possibly inspired by its location among the Oxford Hills. The Middle Intervale Meetinghouse was built in 1816. West Bethel village is along a canoe trip route on the Androscoggin River. See photos. Continue reading

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Blue Hill

Blue Hill Birdseye View 1896

Settled in 1762, its name derives from Blue Hill just north of the town’s main settlement. Blue Hill Falls and East Blue Hill are other settlements. Jonathan Fisher House, on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the town’s major assets. Blue Hill was the original site in 1986 of Northeast Historic Film. 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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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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Chesuncook

Chesuncook Village (1972)

[chu-SUN-cook] is an unorganized township (T5 R13 WELS) in Piscataquis County. The name means “at the place of the principal outlet,” according to McCauley. Chesuncook Lake extends south to T3 R12 WELS. Ripogenus Dam, constructed 1916-1920 “at the place of … Continue reading

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Damariscotta

Location Map for Damariscotta

in Lincoln County, contains Native American shell middens (heaps), built 8 clipper ships, and borders the Great Salt Bay nature preserve. Walt Disney’s Bambi was “born” here. See photos. Continue reading

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East Machias

Location Map for East Machias

in Washington County, incorporated 1826. Benjamin Foster built a house here in 1765 and served in the Revolutionary War. Washington Academy, a private boarding school serving grades 9-12, was established in 1792 and is one of the oldest academies in Maine. See photos. Continue reading

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Eastport

Location Map for Eastport

is on Moose Island at the end of a peninsular surrounded by Cobscook Bay and Passamaquoddy Bay. See video and photos. Visited by European fishermen and traders in the 1600’s, the area was settled in 1772. A proposed oil refinery was rejected based on concerns about oil spills and environmental threats. Once a fish canning center (the first sardine cannery in the U.S. opened in 1875), the city struggles against its isolated location. The historic downtown has undergone substantial restoration. Continue reading

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Fairfield

Location Map for Fairfield

Fairfield Center, with its impressive church and grange hall, is at the crossroads of routes 23 & 104. The old Lawrence High School is near the veterans park with its gazebo and shade trees. See photos. In the fall, a popular destination for apples and pumpkins is The Apple Farm. Fairfield, incorporated in 1788 in Somerset County, now hosts Kennebec Valley Community College. 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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Freeport Historic Register

E.B. Mallett Office Building (2016)

National Register of Historic Places – Freeport Mallett, E. B., Office Building [Mill Street] E.B. Mallett Office Building (2016) Perhaps more than anyone, Edmund Buxton Mallett, Jr. (1853-1923) shaped the town’s character. In 1883 he moved from Pownal to launch … 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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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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Gray

Location Map for Gray

While Gray has a storied history, the center of Gray village is a busy contemporary place, the crossroads of 5 highways. See video and photos. In the 1770s it was attacked by Indians, destroying cattle, the meetinghouse and all houses. Home to the historic Pennell Institute and a suburb of the Portland area, Gray includes most of Little Sebago Lake and Crystal Lake. Continue reading

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Greenville

Location Map for Greenville

On the shore of Moosehead Lake, it serves as the gateway to Lily Bay State Park and to the upper reaches of the lake via combined Maine Routes 6 and 15. See video and photos. It is also an access point for Elephant Mountain and the preserved site of a B-52 bomber crash in 1963. In 1853 Henry David Thoreau met his guide, Joseph Atteon, in Greenville before boarding a steamboat passing Mount Kineo, to Northeast Carry for the portage to the West Branch of the Penobscot River. Continue reading

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Historic Preservation Commission, Maine

Maine Historic Preservation Commission (2001)

The Commission is responsible for the identification, evaluation, and protection of Maine’s significant cultural resources as directed by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. It is located at 55 Capitol Street in Augusta. It consists of eleven members as … Continue reading

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Houlton

Location Map for Houlton

In 1828 a military post was established and the military road to supply the post was completed in 1832. The garrison stayed until the Webster-Ashburton treaty was completed in 1842. See photos. Served by the New Brunswick and Canada Railway as late as 1886. By 1894 the new Bangor and Aroostook Railroad connected the town to central Maine. The “Houlton Band” of the Maliseet Indians has its tribal offices near the Canadian border. Continue reading

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Kennebunk

Location Map for Kennebunk

The name means “the long cut bank” for a land formation near the sea. Shipbuilding and shipping were once staples of the economy, now oriented to tourism and light manufacturing. See photos. The conversion of historic buildings for contemporary use and the historic districts have enhanced Kennebunk’s attraction for visitors and new residents. Continue reading

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Kennebunkport

Location Map for Kennebunkport

in York County, incorporated 1653 as Cape Porpoise. See photos. After early white settlers were driven away by Indian raids, it was reorganized as Arundel in 1718. In 1821 its name was changed to Kennebunk Port. It has long been an attraction for tourists and summer residents. Well-known residents included writers Booth Tarkington and Kenneth L. Roberts. Continue reading

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Lewiston Historic Register

Androscoggin Mill Block (2016)

National Register of Historic Places – Listings – Lewiston Androscoggin Mill Block [269-271 Park Street] Due primarily to demands for an increasing labor force required to operate the many large-scale mills opening, the population of Lewiston grew from just under … 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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Newfield

Location Map for Newfield

The old center of Newfield village was destroyed by the great forest fire of 1947. See photos. The Willowbrook Historic District covers this area and the buildings that survived the fire. In 1984 the application to establish the historic district reported “Very little change in the buildings or landscape has occurred in the last one-hundred years so that the sense of time and place of a remote southwestern Maine rural community of the 19th century remains strongly present.” At the source of the Little Ossipee River, and dotted with ponds and streams, Newfield is a rapidly growing community about twenty miles northwest of Sanford Continue reading

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Norlands

Washburn Norlands Livng History Center (2003)

The Norlands Living History Center in Livermore provides a live-in opportunity to those who want to experience life as early Maine settlers did. Unfortunately, the great barn burned to the ground on April 28, 2008, damaging the adjoining mansion. A … Continue reading

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Orono

Orono Population Chart 1810-2010

The town is named for a well-respected Chief of the Penobscots who supported the American Revolution. See photos. A land-grant agricultural school was established at Orono in 1862, evolving in 1865 into the University of Maine, which now dominates the town’s economy and culture. 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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Richmond

Location Map for Richmond

The main village is located on the west side of the Kennebec River, just south of Gardiner on Maine Route 24, where the river splits to form Swan Island. See photos.Benedict Arnold’s expedition, having first landed at Swan Island in the river across from the town, passed by the remnants of Fort Richmond. The town has a substantial collection of grand houses, including several Greek Revival specimens. Peacock Beach State Park is near the historic Peacock Tavern on U.S. Route 201. 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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Rumford

Location Map for Rumford

Year Population 1970 9,363 1980 8,240 1990 7,078 2000 6,472 2010 5,841 Geographic Data N. Latitude 44:31:19 W. Latitude 70:35:50 Maine House District 115 Maine Senate District 18 Congress District 2 Area sq. mi. (total) 69.9 Area sq. mi. (land) … Continue reading

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Saco

View of Saco Bay, from A Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1886

One half of the Biddeford-Saco metropolitan area, the city has its own extensive beach and Ferry Beach State Park. See photos. It is one stop on AMTRAK’s Downeaster rail service. Occupying the east side of the Saco River as it enters Saco Bay, the city is the eleventh largest community in Maine. Continue reading

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Standish

Location Map for Standish

Named in honor of Captain Miles Standish, the military leader of the Plymouth Colony, the town has a very long shoreline on Sebago Lake in its southwest corner, including its Lower Bay. See photos. In the 19th century, the Oxford-Cumberland Canal allowed passage of boats from Harrison to Portland. Steep Falls was a thriving village historically, with its excellent water power on the Saco River and the railroad station in its midst. Both a recreational area and suburb of Portland, the town is served by six Maine highway routes. Continue reading

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Swan Island

Location Map for Swan Island

in the Kennebec River between Richmond and Dresden in Sagadahoc County is the only state-owned wildlife management area that is also a game preserve providing sanctuary for migrating waterfowl and the resident white-tailed deer. It is also the only management … Continue reading

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Topsham

Location Map for Topsham

Recently the downtown (see photos) has witnessed a renewal with modern buildings. Topsham has been a very rapidly growing community both in population and in commercial development.The area of the Topsham Fair Mall is located adjacent to Interstate 95. Pejepscot Village was once an active community when the Pejepscot Paper Mill was in full production. Falls in the Androscoggin River between Topsham and Brunswick encouraged the development of paper and textile mills which dominated the economy into the 20th century. Continue reading

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Waterford

Location Map for Waterford

The main village (see photos) lies on the shore of Keoka Lake, and State Routes 35, 37 and 118 provide easy access to lakesides, and to the larger communities to the south. The Artemis Ward House commemorates the birthplace of Charles Farrar Browne, the 19th century humorist. North Waterford, at the junction of Routes 35 and 118, is home to the town’s fairgrounds. The general store there provides gas and basic groceries. 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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Wiscasset

Location Map for Wiscasset

is on U.S. Route 1 and the Sheepscot River. See photos and videos. With many historic structures, the town was host to “The Greenland Expedition of 1925,” which included explorers Richard Byrd and Donald McDonald. Since 1918 Camp Chewonki has been offering outdoor programs here. The town was once best known for its Maine Yankee Atomic Power plant. Continue reading

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Woolwich

Woolwich Shore on the Kennebec River from Thorne Head in North Bath (2010)

Woolwich, across the Kennebec River from Bath and with long shores on Merrymeeting Bay, is home to two nature preserves. Settled in the 1600s, it has several historic buildings. Alewives have been a historic part of the community. Continue reading

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York

Loaction Map for York

Most of the town’s inhabitants are located between U.S. Route 1 (inland) and U.S. Route 1A which runs along the coast. Its population has more than doubled in the past thirty years, and grew by nearly 31 percent between 1990 and 2000. Beaches and cottages characterize the coast. Continue reading

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