Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Entries listed under "O"

O’Brien, Jeremiah

(1778-1858) a U.S. Representative; born in Machias, on January 21, 1778. He attended the common schools, then engaged in lumber manufacturing and in shipping. A member of the Maine State Senate 1821-1824, he was elected to the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and … Continue reading

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Oakfield

Location Map for Oakfield

Originally settled in 1831 and organized for the assessment of taxes in 1866, the town itself was incorporated on February 24, 1897. See photos. The main village, is located on the Mattawamkeag River, just south of Smyrna Mills. Its mountainous terrain, known as the Oakfield Hills, earned it the name “Switzerland of the Aroostook” by one observer. Sam Drew Mountain is the highest point at 1,516 feet.
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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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Ockett, Molly

(c1740-1816) succeeded in living her life according to Wabanaki traditions and, for the most part, on ancestral land because she was savvy enough to learn how to adapt to the encroaching white settlers and their way of life without assimilating … Continue reading

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Ogunquit

Location Map for Ogunquit

Ogunquit, before 1980, was a village corporation and functioned for the most part as a town of its own, supporting its own police, fire, highway and sewer departments. The town is a well known actors and artists colony, featuring the historic Ogunquit Playhouse and beautiful beaches. Perkins Cove, south of the main village on Shore Road, combines a working waterfront, a restaurant, an art museum, and fine cottages. Continue reading

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Old Orchard Beach

Location Map for Old Orchard Beach

See photos. Richard Boynthon settled the area in 1631 and hosted meetings of the councilors governing Sir Fernando Gorges‘ Province of Maine in the early 17th Century. Thomas Roger planted an apple orchard in 1638 that became known as “Rogers’ Garden by the Sea” by 1657. The Boston to Portland railroad passed within two miles of town in 1842 and the Grand Trunk Railroad connected Old Orchard Beach to Montreal in 1853, encouraging Canadians to visit the beach. By 1873 the Boston & Maine Railroad passed through the town, now served by Amtrak. 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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Oliver, James

(1895-1986) a U.S. Representative was born in South Portland on August 6, 1895. He attended the public schools, and earned an A.B. from Bowdoin College in 1917. During the First World War, Oliver enlisted on June 4, 1917, attended the … Continue reading

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Orient

Location Map for Orient

The name derives from its eastern location adjoining New Brunswick. Its eastern point lunges into Grand Lake and North Lake on the Canadian border, accessible by the Boundary Road. Sunset Park and other camping areas are attractive vacation locations. U.S. Route 1 runs north-south through the middle of the township. Orient village is just east of Route 1 on the Boundary Road. Continue reading

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Orland

Location Map for Orland

In addition to Alamoosook Lake, the town hosts Craig, Heart and Toddy ponds, and the State’s Craig Brook Fish Hatchery. See video and photos. Located just east of Bucksport, Orland is a growing community, whose old village center is located on the Orland River, where the old village school and the general store are located. H.O.M.E., a crafters’ cooperative was established by Sister Lucy Poulin in 1970. 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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Orrington

Location Map for Orrington

The town, on the east bank of the Penobscot River, is a suburb of the Bangor-Brewer area, showing moderate but consistent growth in recent decades. As part of the agricultural tradition throughout Maine is the usually circular, rock walled cattle pound, often used as a site to buy and sell farm animals, and to hold wandering livestock to keep them from destroying crops. Continue reading

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Orrs Island

Orrs Island Bridge from Great Island in Harpswell at Sunset (2003)

Inhabited since 1762, the island has many historic structures, such as the 1855 Meetinghouse and 1900 Chapel, that have survived the test of time. Part of the town of Harpswell, it is home to the Coastal Studies Center of Bowdoin College, on the shore of Harpswell Sound near Casco Bay. Several wooded walking trails offer ocean views. Continue reading

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Osborn Plantation

Location Map for Osborn

Osborn hosts two lots of Maine’s Public Reserved Lands with many trees well over 100 years old. The Osborn lots have a long history of timber management. Spectacle Pond, through which the Union River flows, is a major asset of the town. With few major roads, it is served in its northwest corner by Maine Route 179. Continue reading

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Ospreys

Osprey Overlooking Harpswell Sound (2012)

The Osprey, or “fish hawk,” is a powerful large bird with a wingspan sometimes reaching six feet. Its threatening physical size and sharp talons contrast with its almost ridiculously timid “cheep, cheep” chirping voice. It can be found across the … Continue reading

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Otis

Location Map for Otis

Located just north of Ellsworth, the town is dominated by Floods Pond and Beech Hill Pond, with several smaller ponds and streams mixed in. See photos. The small, old cemetery and the working forest symbolize Otis’ past and present as a sparsely populated, wooded area off the major highways. Continue reading

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Otis, John

(1801-1856) a U.S. Representative, was born in Leeds on August 3, 1801. He attended the common schools and was graduated from Bowdoin College in 1823. Otis studied law, was admitted to the bar and began his practice in Hallowell in … Continue reading

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Otisfield

Location Map for Otisfield

Just north of the town of Casco on Maine Route 121, it offers substantial frontage on Pleasant and Thompson Lakes. The Crooked River serves as its boundary with Harrison. The Bell Hill Meetinghouse and Bell Hill Schoolhouse are well-preserved National Register historic structures in a rural setting. Continue reading

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Outdoor Recreation

Rafting near The Forks (2004)

in Maine is a matter of picking the freely available natural resources: streams and lakes for canoeing, nature preserves and mountains for hiking, rivers for rafting, forests and parks for camping, among the many non-motorized options. Not to mention hunting … Continue reading

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Owls Head

Location Map for Owls Head

The Knox County Regional Airport is located in Owls Head and is one of Maine’s busiest during the summer months. Owls Head State Park offers views of Penobscot Bay and the nearby Owls Head Transportation Museum contains vintage aircraft frequently flown over the Bay. Owls Head Light Station marks the southern entrance to Rockland Harbor. Continue reading

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Oxbow

Location Map for Oxbow

Virtually all of the plantation’s population is located along the Oxbow Road, leading West from Maine Route 11. See photos. Aroostook River through the area make shapes similar to oxbows, the harness that keeps oxen attached to their loads. The western end of the Oxbow Road is marked by the “Oxbow Checkpoint,” an entry point to the North Maine Woods, most of which is privately owned. Continue reading

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Oxford

Location Map for Oxford

Routes 26 (the commercial strip) and 121 serve the community. See photos. The Oxford Casino is on Route 26 in the south of town. Oxford village, at the north end of Thompson Lake, hosts the town office, post office, and a small veterans memorial park. The Congregational Church was established in 1806 and is listed on the National Register. Though famous for auto racing at Oxford Plains Speedway, the nearby Androscoggin River passes several sizable ponds and Thompson Lake abuts the main village. Continue reading

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Oxford County

Map of Maine Counties and Baxter Park

is the seventh largest in population of the sixteen counties, located in western Maine along the New Hampshire border to the east and the Province of Quebec border to the north. The northern parts of York and Cumberland counties were … Continue reading

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Oxford County Nature Preserves

Mooselookmeguntic Lake from Height of Land in Township D (2007)

Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1992 spans the Maine-New Hampshire border. 5,000 of the total of 17,500 acres lie in Maine. A Magalloway River trail leads off Maine Route 16. In addition, about 20 miles of logging trails … Continue reading

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River Otter

River otters are water-adapted mammals, with long, streamlined bodies, short legs, webbed toes, and long, tapered tails. Their short, thick fur is a rich brown above, and lighter, with a silvery sheen, below. Adult males average four feet in length, … Continue reading

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