Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Entries listed under "history"

A Brief History of Maine

This brief sketch focuses on the highlights of Maine History and is not intended to be as extensive as the many available works on the subject. Each of the sections includes a link to the Timeline for the period covered. To view the Timeline for a particular period, in the Table of Contents click on the dates under the TimeLink column. 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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Courts, Judicial Department

Pownalborough Courthouse, Dresden (2000)

The 1761 Pownalborough Courthouse was the first built in Maine and the only one built prior to the Revolution. It was part of the Massachusetts court system, from which Maine separated in 1820. For details of early court history in … Continue reading

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Crossword History

History Crossword Layout

Although Maine’s history of human settlement goes back 12,000 years, and evidence of Norse visits date from about 1000 AD, written documentation begins in the late 15th century when John and Sebastian Cabot visited explored the coast. This puzzle focuses … Continue reading

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Cultural Resources

Pejepscot Historical Society on Park Row in Brunswick (2002)

Cultural resources in Maine range from the many community institutions to larger institutions with statewide or broader significance. This page contains a brief summary. Acton Shapleigh HS Albany Township History Allagash HS Alexander – Crawford HS Andover HS Androscoggin HS … Continue reading

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Economy, Labor History

Panel 1

People who have worked on farms, in forests, on the seas, in mills, factories and offices — all have contributed to the Maine economy over the past nearly four centuries.  In the twenty-first century more people are working in commercial, … Continue reading

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Education, Maine Studies

While commentators and educators had been advocating for schools to include Maine studies in their curricula for decades, the first state mandate was effective on August 20, 1955: Chapter 300 AN ACT Relating to the Teaching of the Industrial and … 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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History of the Court System – Long Form

HISTORY OF The COURT SYSTEM OF THE STATE OF MAINE [1636-1961] David Q. Whittier, Esq. for the Maine State Archives, 1971* This is the long version, verbatim except for footnotes. A condensed version is also available. Maine court history can … Continue reading

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History of the Court System of the State of Maine: 1636-1961 – Condensed

Pownalborough Court House, 23 Courthouse Road, in Dresden (2005)

David Q. Whittier, Esq. for the Maine State Archives, 1971* Maine court history can be divided into four distinct periods:  Early Colonial, 1620-1677; Provincial, 1677-1780; District, 1780-1820; State, 1820-present. EARLY COLONIAL PERIOD The first court constituted by legal authority in … Continue reading

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King, William

Portrait of Governor William King

(1768-1852) the first governor of Maine, was a wealthy business owner and politician. At one point, the wealthiest ship owner in Maine, he was active in politics representing first Topsham then Bath in the Massachusetts legislature at various times between … Continue reading

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Mapleton

Location Map for Mapleton

is a town in Aroostook County, incorporated in 1880 from Mapleton Plantation. The early settlers, arriving in about 1836, were from New Brunswick. Potatoes have been a major part of its economy in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Aroostook War of the 1840s discouraged settlement until the 1850s. Continue reading

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Pilgrims

“In the fall of 1620 the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth during a disagreeable storm, and, noting the excellent opportunity for future misery, began to erect a number of rude cabins.”  — Bill Nye Members of the Plymouth Colony began trading … Continue reading

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Timeline of Maine History : Home

Beginning Major Eras in Maine History ? Origins 1492 Exploration and Early Settlement 1652 Massachusetts and the Colonial Period 1775 The American Revolution 1790 Developing a Maine Identity 1820 Early Statehood 1850 Growth, Civil War, and Economic Change 1900 Reform … Continue reading

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Timeline of Maine History 01: Origins

Ripples in the Sand

23,000 BCE – 1121 -23,000 The most recent glacial episode in Maine began about 25,000 years ago, when the Laurentide ice sheet overspread New England. -19,000 Climatic warming forced the Laurentide ice sheet to start receding. -11,800 Ice sheet recedes … Continue reading

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Timeline of Maine History 02: Exploration and Early European Settlement

Weymouth Cross, Allen Island

1492-1650 European explorers cruise the Maine coast in search of opportunities for their patrons, especially in the rich fisheries of the Gulf of Maine. Missionaries and settlers follow, bringing diseases that devastate Native American populations. 1492 Christopher Columbus “discovers” America. … Continue reading

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War of 1812

After its success in achieving independence with the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783, the United States hoped to avoid conflict with European countries. However,  in 1793 France declared war on Great Britain, both of which then began harassing … Continue reading

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Williamson, William D.

William D. Williamson, Maine Senate President 1820-1821 (courtesy Maine State Archives)

(1779-1846) a U.S. Representative, was born in Canterbury, Connecticut on July 31, 1779, then moved in boyhood with his father to Amherst, Massachusetts. He attended the common schools and Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and was graduated from Brown University in … Continue reading

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