Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Acton

Location Map for Action

is a town in York County, incorporated on March 6, 1830; it ceded land to Shapleigh in 1831. It was part of a much larger tract of land in purchased in 1661 by Francis Small from Chief Sunday of the Newichawannock Tribe. Settled in 1776, the town’s first mill, a grist mill, was built on the Salmon Falls River in 1779 by Joseph Parsons. Continue reading

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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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Alton

Location Map for Alton

Near Bangor and the University of Maine in Orono, home to the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge and Alton Bog, it has steadily gained population since 1970. The Refuge is the site of an archaeological project on Pushaw Stream; evidence suggests occupation by prehistoric Indian cultures dating back approximately 7,000 years. Continue reading

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Andover

Location Map for Andover

The Appalachian Trail crosses B Hill Road in nearby Andover North Surplus. AT&T built the Telstar satellite station here in the 1960s. Community photos. Native American Molly Ockett was buried in an unmarked grave in Andover’s Woodlawn Cemetery in 1816. Continue reading

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Archaeology

Outline of a Building at Pemaquid (2001)

The views above represent products of historic archaeology, showing outlines of buildings in the early years of the Pemaquid settlement. The views of digs at shell middens above, often a target of archaeologists, provide a view of prehistoric archeological research. … Continue reading

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August 12

Chimney Pond in Baxter State Park (August 2001)

August 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1676 Death in battle of Native American King … Continue reading

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August 19

Chimney Pond in Baxter State Park (August 2001)

August 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1803 An armed force of 208 men leaves … Continue reading

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August 23

Chimney Pond in Baxter State Park (August 2001)

August 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1724 English colonials raid Norridgewock, kill Jesuit Father … Continue reading

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Bomazeen

A sagamore of the Norridgewock Indians, killed in the English colonials’ raid on Norridgewock in August of 1724. He was shot fleeing the attackers in an attempt to warn others. Also, a Boy Scout camp by that name in the … 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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Damariscove Island

Map Showing the location of Damariscove Island. Green areas are unorganized territories.

Just south of Booth Bay, the island was one of the earliest places along the Maine coast inhabited by Europeans. Even before the Pilgrim’s Mayflower arrived, fishermen from England, France, Spain and Holland caught and dried cod, which was shipped … Continue reading

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December 15

White horse and goats in the snow in New Portland (December 2009)

December 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1725 “Dummer’s Treaty” is signed by four sagamores … Continue reading

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Eckstorm, Fannie Hardy

(1865-1946), a historian of the Penobscot Indians, was born in Brewer. She also wrote historical articles about the lumber and fur industries in the Penobscot Valley. She was respected for her exact research on the history of the Penobscot Indians, … Continue reading

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Eliot

Location Map for Eliot

in York County, settled in the 1630s, on the east side of the Piscataqua River dividing Maine from New Hampshire, is a growing residential community serving Kittery and Portsmouth. See photos. Its population expanded by almost 12% in the 1990-2000 decade. Eliot was home to Maine’s first Quaker Meetinghouse built in 1776. Continue reading

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Falmouth

Location Map for Falmouth

In 1658, a town named Falmouth was created but was destroyed by Indians in 1689. In 1718 a town was again established. Much of the original area was later distributed to new towns: Cape Elizabeth, Portland, and Westbrook. Falmouth is a rapidly growing suburban community, having increased over 35% in population between 1990 and 2000. Percival Baxter donated Mackworth Island to the state, now a nature preserve in the town. Continue reading

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February 2

The Wire Bridge in New Portland (2001)

February 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 1692 Indian raid, with French encouragement, on the town of … Continue reading

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Fort William Henry

Fort William Henry (2001)

is located in the town of Bristol, Lincoln County, in the Pemaquid area. Built in 1692, it was destroyed in 1696 by the French under the leadership of Baron de Castin. The tower, and parade grounds are replicas built in … 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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Greenbush

Helen S. Dunn School (2012)

Located on the east bank of the Penobscot River, Greenbush includes several islands, the largest of which, Olamon, abuts Olamon Stream as it empties into the river. Olamon, the name of a village near the island, means “red paint.” The Indians traveled up the stream to retrieve the red ochre they used as paint for decorating their bodies. Greenbush village is on the River and U.S. Route 2. A smaller village, Cardville, is in the middle of the township on the Cardville Road. Continue reading

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Greene

Location Map for Greene

With the Androscoggin River as its west boundary, the town’s east lies substantially along Sabattus Pond. The more densely populated area surrounds Route 202 near Greene Village. South from there is a rural landscape and views of Sabattus Pond. Inventor Leonard Norcross lived here in the early 19th century as a young boy. Since 1970 the increasingly suburban community in the Lewiston-Auburn area has more than doubled its population. Continue reading

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Hanover

Location Map for Hanover

Hanover is experiencing home and vacation property development at a more rapid pace. The small town is receiving more interest within the greater area as development in neighboring larger towns is spreading. As with many Maine communities, the number of full-time residents is declining as non-resident vacation homes increase. 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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Indian Lands Claim

were pursued in 1977, when the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy and Maliseet Indians sued the State of Maine claiming that all treaties granting land to Maine were null and void because they were never ratified by Congress. According to William Cronin, The Massachusetts … Continue reading

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Indian Reservation, Penobscots

Indian Island in the Penobscot River (2005)

The Reservation in Penobscot County, is the home of the Penobscot Tribe of Maine’s Native American population, and is located on Indian Island in the Penobscot River and within the boundaries of the community of Old Town. See photos. The Penobscot Nation Council, headquartered on the Island, is composed of elected members, lead by a Chief and a Vice Chief. It is the birthplace in 1871 of Cleveland Indians baseball player Louis Sockalexis. Dancer and entertainer Molly Spotted Elk was born here in 1903. Continue reading

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Indian Reservation, Pleasant Point

Location Map for Pleasant Point Reservation

The Pleasant Point Reservation, within the town of Perry just north of Eastport, is know to its members as “Sipayik.” See photos. The Governor is the administrator for all financial determinations, and the Lieutenant Governor is the assistant to the Governor. A six member Council makes policy for the tribe. Continue reading

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July 11

Schooner on Penobscot Bay (July 2007)

July 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1713 The “Treaty of Portsmouth” ceding Indian lands … Continue reading

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July 15

Schooner on Penobscot Bay (July 2007)

July 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1625 Samoset, an Indian sagamore, granted a deed, … Continue reading

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July 5

Schooner on Penobscot Bay (July 2007)

July 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1605 Samuel de Champlain arrives in Wiscasset and … Continue reading

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June 13

Bathers at Old Orchard Beach on Saco Bay (June 2010)

June 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1716 Incorporation of the town of Georgetown 1722 In … Continue reading

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June 4

Bathers at Old Orchard Beach on Saco Bay (June 2010)

June 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1605 George Weymouth kidnaps five Indians to England as … Continue reading

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Leeds

Location Map for Leeds

While not as important to the local economy as it was in the 19th Century, farming still thrives in some areas of the community. Amid the farms of rural Leeds, the DeCoster mill, on a railroad line in North Leeds, dominates the landscape. The east shore of Androscoggin Lake brings several miles of shore frontage to the community in the northeast corner, including Stinchfield Beach. The Androscoggin River forms the western boundary separating Leeds from Turner. Continue reading

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Machiasport

Location Map for Machiasport

The town lies primarily on the west side of Machias Bay as the Machias River enters the Bay. It offers many sheltered harbors including the well known Bucks Harbor. Machiasport was at the center of controversy in the late 1960’s when an oil terminal was proposed, unsuccessfully, for the quiet coastal community. Continue reading

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Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act 1979

INDIAN TERRITORIES CHAPTER 601 MAINE INDIAN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT (To Indian Lands Claims article.) 30 § 6201. Short title INDIAN TERRITORIES CHAPTER 601 MAINE INDIAN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT 30 § 6201. Short title This Act shall be known and may be cited … Continue reading

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Mattamiscontis Township

Location Map for Mattamiscontis Township

Mattamiscontis (also known as T1 R7 NWP) is located on the west side of the Penobscot River across from Lincoln and north of Howland.  Incorporated as a town on March 8, 1839, it surrendered that status on February 21, 1907 … Continue reading

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May 14

Sheep at Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick (May 2010)

May 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 1691 Charter of William and Mary goes into … Continue reading

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Meddybemps

Location Map for Meddybemps

A boat launch accommodating trailers is located in Meddybemps village at the south end of the lake, which was once the site of a Native American village. Meddybemps Heath is located on near the lake in the northwest corner of the township. See photo. The Ntolonapemk, Eastern Surplus Superfund Site is located in the town. Continue reading

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Molly Mollasses

Sarah Molasses, Daughter of Molly Molasses and John Neptune

Mary Pelagie (1775-1867) an early 19th century Native American Penobscot woman, strove to live an autonomous life in an era in which there were numerous hindrances and hardships associated with womanhood. Existing in the late 18th to early 19th century … Continue reading

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Native Americans

Sign: Maliseet Tribal Offices (2003)

Social and Political Organization An important unit of social organization was the band, a loosely organized collection of people, frequently related family members, who occupied a particular tract of land, moved and camped together, and felt a common identity, including … Continue reading

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Native Americans by County, Percent

Map: Native Americans by County 2010

In 2010 the three counties in which Indian reservations exist had the largest proportion of Native American residents.  Washington leads with 4.5 percent of the county’s population.  Aroostook (1.5%) and Penobscot (.9%) follow.  The Native American population statewide is 0.6%. … Continue reading

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Norridgewock

Location Map for Norridgewock

The village straddles a bend in the Kennebec River at the junction of Maine Routes 8 and 139, and U.S. Routes 2 and 201A. See photos. The Sandy River empties into the Kennebec in the town. Benedict Arnold’s expedition passed through in 1775. Norridgewock was the home of author Rebecca “Sophie May” Clark, and U.S.Representatives Cullen Sawtelle and Stephen D. Lindsey. Continue reading

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Old Town

Location Map for Old Town

The town is heavily influenced by the nearby University of Maine, and the long-lived Old Town Canoe Company maintains an outlet that attracts customers with a broad range of outdoor recreation interests. See photos. DeWitt Field, Old Town’s municipal airport, hash three runways. Since 1669, the area has been the principal home of the Penobscot Indians. Continue reading

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Pemaquid

Pemaquid Point (2007)

[PEM-ah-kwid] was an early settlement on Pemaquid Point in the town of Bristol in Lincoln County. Early explorers such as David Ingram (1569) and Captain Bartholomew Gosnold (1602), visited the area before the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts. The Popham colonists … Continue reading

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Perry

Location Map for Perry

Named for Commodore Oliver H. Perry, a naval hero of the War of 1812, the town was incorporated even as the British still held Eastport only six miles away. Perry is the gateway, via Maine Route 190, to the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation located withing the town, and to the City of Eastport. Boyden Lake dominates the northwest portion of the town, while the southwest has miles of protected coves approaching Cobscook Bay. Continue reading

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Rasles, Sebastian

Father Rasle Monument (2001)

was a Jesuit priest killed by the British in an attack on the Native American village in Norridgewock on August 23, 1724. Born January 28, 1657 in France, he attended college then taught Greek at Nimes in Southern France. There … Continue reading

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Sabattus

Farm across from Waterman

just east of Lewiston, the south end of Sabattus Pond is part of the urban center. The name is that of a Native American chief of the Anasagunticook tribe. Located just east of Lewiston, most of the town’s population appears on a map as an extension of that City, so closely are they located. That portion of the town at the south end of Sabattus Pond is part of the urban center. Continue reading

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Samoset

(1590?-1655) was the Indian sagamore, from the Pemaquid area, who in 1621 was visiting chief Massasoit when he surprised the Pilgrims of Plymouth with the words, “Much welcome, Englishmen.” According to Isaacson, “He explained that he was a sachem and … Continue reading

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Searsmont

Location Map for Searsmont

The main village is located on the St. George River and is adjacent to Quantabacook Lake. See photos. The town is served by Maine Routes 3, 131 and 173 and lies about ten miles southwest of Belfast. In 1925 the first international radio broadcast was relayed from Belfast through Searsmont and on to New York City. Continue reading

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Shell Middens

Whaleback Shell Midden Sign (2002)

or shell heaps, are scattered along the Maine coast giving evidence of the lifestyles of its ancient inhabitants. A “midden” is a refuse heap, or less delicately – a dump. Whaleback Shell Midden signWhile they are found all over the … Continue reading

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Sockalexis, Louis

Sketch of Louis Sockalexis

1871 Born on Indian Island, grandson of the Chief of the Bear Clan. 1893 Attends St. Mary’s College, Van Buren. 1894-1895 Attends Holy Cross College, Worcester, Massachusetts, batting a powerful .444 over two seasons. 1896 Transfers to Notre Dame in … Continue reading

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Spotted Elk, Molly

Molly Spotted Elk

1903 Born on Indian Island, eldest child of Horace Nelson, a future Penobscot Governor, and Philomena Solis Nelson, a celebrated basket maker. In Penobscot her given name is “Molly Dellis.” After her mother’s early death, Molly raises her seven brothers … Continue reading

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Steuben

Location Map for Steuben

This Washington County fishing and summer residential community projects two peninsulas (Dyer Neck and Petit Manan Point) divided by Dyer Bay into coastal waters. See photos. A small section of Penobscot Indian Territory is located at Dyer Harbor on Dyer Neck. The main village lies at the head of Gouldsboro Bay on U.S. Route 1. Continue reading

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Sweden

Location Map for Sweden

Year Population 1970 110 1980 163 1990 222 2000 324 2010 391 Geographic Data N. Latitude 44:07:24 W. Latitude 70:48:59 Maine House District 71 Maine Senate District 18 Congress District 2 Area sq. mi. (total) 29.7 Area sq. mi. (land) … 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 03: Massachusetts and the Colonial Period

Father Rasle Monument

1651-1774 Massachusetts asserts its claim to Maine and takes over in 1652. Royal commissioners set up an independent government in Maine in 166, but Massachusetts regains control in 1668.  Many towns in Maine are incorporated during the period, developing a … Continue reading

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Timeline of Maine History 05: Developing a Maine Identity

Portland Head Light

1790-1819 1790 Portland Head Light lighthouse, located on Shore Road in what is now Cape Elizabeth, is established on order of President George Washington. Population 96,540, first U.S. census. 1791 Incorporation of the towns of Bangor, Camden, and Readfield. 1792 … Continue reading

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Timeline of Maine History 09: Depression and World War

CCC men near Acton

1930-1949 The 1930’s and 1940’s were difficult for most Americans. During the Great Depression, several projects set the stage for recovery in Maine, such as the Wyman Dam on the Kennebec River, the beginnings of Baxter State Park, the Moosehorn … Continue reading

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Windham

Location Map for Windham

The main village, North Windham, lies adjacent to Sebago Lake and on the shore of Little Sebago Lake at the junction of U.S. Route 302 and Maine Routes 35 and 115. See photos. While Route 302 is a long commercial strip, an old meeting house is adjacent to the Windham Union Church. Young adult offenders are held at the Maine Correctional Center in South Windham. Continue reading

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Winter Harbor

Winter Harbor (2004)

Winter Harbor lies south of U.S. Route 1 through Gouldsboro on Route 186. See photos. It hosts two nature preserves, Schoodic Island and Turtle Island. The town’s recent population decline is due is large part to the closing of the U.S. Navy base. Continue reading

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