Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Entries listed under "historic sites"

Calais

Location Map for Calais

in eastern, coastal Washington County and named for the French port, was briefly settled in 1604 when a French expedition arrived on St. Croix Island. Today it features late 19th century historic brick structures, modern state and federal buildings, and a visitor center. Home to Washington County Community College. See video and photos. Continue reading

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Capitol Park

Capitol Park (2004)

Capitol Park is significant as a landscape design, dating from 1827, that survives with its spatial structure intact. It is unique as an early example of a designed landscape and as a remarkable survivor within the Capitol complex. Although the … Continue reading

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Castine

Location Map For Castine

In 1629 the British authorized a trading post at what was then Pentagoet. The post was destroyed by the French in 1631 and in 1634. Two forts are among the many historic sites. Maine Maritime Academy, and its training ship are located in the town. Continue reading

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China

Location Map For China

in Kennebec County near Augusta, incorporated 1818, is the birthplace of a member of Congress and a Quaker educator-author. China Lake, around which Quakers and Baptists settled in the early 19th century, dominates the community and its history as a recreational center. See photos. 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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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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Dresden

Location Map for Dresden

is site of the 1761 Pownalborough Courthouse, the first built in Maine, visited by future President John Adams, Daniel Webster, and Benedict Arnold on his way to Quebec. The Earle R. Kelley Wildlife Management Area and the Dresden Bog are here in the area first settled in 1752. Continue reading

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Durham

Durham Community School on the Royalsborough Road (2013)

The 1835 Union Church was a community meeting house, then in 1922, the Town Office, and recently home of the Durham Historical Society. The early 20th century religious movement known as the Sandfordites, after their leader Frank W. Sandford, built their 1897 temple “Shiloh” here. Runaround Pond offers a pleasant canoe trip through water lilies and bird life. See video and photos. Continue reading

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Eagle Lake

Location Map for Eagle Lake

settled 1840’s by Acadian-French and Irish immigrants, it was named for the many eagles at the Lake by a Major Strickland during the Aroostook War. Eagle Lake spawns the Fish River, which empties into the St. John River at Fort Kent. See photos. It is the birthplace and residence of former Maine House Speaker John L. Martin. 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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Glenburn

Location Map for Glenburn

The town is becoming a major suburb of the Bangor area with population expanding nearly four-fold in the 40 years 1970-2010, and growing 16 percent 2000-2010. Glenburn’s school contains the public library. See photos. In Penobscot County, it was incorporated in 1822 under the name of Dutton, changed to Glenburn in 1837. Dutton held a major interest in the original township, became a Judge of Probate and a founder of Bangor Theological Seminary. Continue reading

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Hallowell

Location Map for Hallowell

Early in the 19th century, Hallowell on the Kennebec has become an important commercial center in the District of Maine. River ice and shipbuilding were staple industries. Granite quarries were active and productive in the 19th century, with one on “Granite Hill.” Maine’s smallest city in area has a vital downtown with antique and book shops, along with restaurants. See photos. The first settler arrived in 1762; surveyor Ephraim Ballard, in 1776; his wife Martha, the next year. Maine’s first Anti-Slavery Society was founded here in 1833. 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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Industry

Location Map for Industry

Settled in 1783, Industry’s main villages are Allens Mills, at the southern end of Clearwater Pond, and West Mills. The mills produced wood and leather products, tools and flour. See photos. Goodridge Corner school, the “little red schoolhouse,” is the home of the town’s historical society. Continue reading

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Jefferson

Location Map for Jefferson

Abandoned granite quarries and clay banks where bricks were made suggest the early economic activities of the area. See photos. Several fine farm houses and barns have survived to recall the great heritage of the town. See images below from the Library of Congress of the old cattle pound. Continue reading

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Katahdin Iron Works

Kilns and Smelting Furnaces at Katahdin Iron Works

National Register of Historic Places – Listings Katahdin Ironworks [Northwest of Brownville Junction at Silver Lake] Katahdin Iron Works Township, T6 R9 NWP, is an unorganized township northwest of Brownville and just east of Gulf Hagas and The Hermitage. Red … Continue reading

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Kennebec Bridge

New Kennebec Bridge (2016)

This bridge, built in 1931 by the American Bridge Company and slated for replacement in 2013, was described in the Federal Infrastructure Projects web site as noted below. The project replaces an 80 year-old moveable span truss bridge at the … Continue reading

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New Portland

Location Map for New Portland

North New Portland hosts Morton’s Country Store, the Community Church, and Chase Memorial Hall. This village lies at the junction of routes 146 and 16, with Gilman Stream, and its Dam, flowing through it. See photos. The Carrabassett River, with its spectacular rocky bed, passes through East New Portland Village and under an arch bridge. Continue reading

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Peaks Island

Approaching the Island (2014)

The Island is a City of Portland neighborhood in Casco Bay, accessible by ferry from the terminal on Portland’s waterfront.  The brief trip carries freight, vehicles, bicycles and tourists. While the population is about 900, the number of people on … 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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Shirley

Location Map for Shirley

Located just south of Greenville on Maine combined Routes 6 and 15, its main village, Shirley Mills (see photos), grew up around early 19th century clapboard and saw mills, using water from the Piscataquis River. Along the east side of the pond, the B&A Railroad North Road runs north along the river. It was created from the old rail bed. Continue reading

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South Solon Meeting House

Toward the Balcony (2003)

The 1842 South Solon Meeting House in Solon, is a period piece well preserved, with colorful murals depicting religious themes on the walls. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Meeting House is located about five miles Southeast … Continue reading

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Stow

Location Map for Stow

Stow borders New Hampshire, which may be reached by Maine Route 113 north from Fryeburg. It was once the home of the Pequawket Indians, who traveled the Pequawket Trail to Biddeford Pool during the summers to fish and gather shellfish. The Cold River enters the state in Stow and flows south through most of this narrow north-south shaped town. Continue reading

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Wales

Rolling Hills in Rural Wales (2002)

The early settlers arrived in about 1773, some of whom came from Wales in Britain. See photos.The gentle hills in the town reflect the landscape of the old country. With access to Sabattus Pond, the town is within easy reach of Lewiston-Auburn via Maine Route 132, and of Gardiner by way of Routes 9 and 126. Continue reading

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Winslow

Winslow is on the east side of the Kennebec River, across from Waterville, on Routes U.S. 201 and Maine routes 32, 100, 100A, and 137. See photos. A reconstructed blockhouse of Fort Halifax, which incorporates many original timbers, stands on the fort’s original site. Continue reading

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