Maine: An Encyclopedia
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Townships

BKP Bingham’s Kennebec Purchase
BPP Bingham’s Penobscot Purchase
ED Eastern Division
EKR East of the Kennebec River
EPR East of the Penobscot River
EUR East of the Union River
IP Indian Purchase
LS Livermore Survey
MD Middle Division
NBKP North of Bingham’s Kennebec Purchase
NBPP North of Bingham’s Penobscot Purchase
ND Northern Division
NWP North of Waldo Patent
OIP Old Indian Purchase
SD Southern Division
TS Titcomb Survey
WELS West of the Easterly Line of the State
WBKP West of Bingham’s Kennebec Purchase
WKR West of the Kennebec River

is the designation of minor civil divisions that have no organized local government, such as a plantation, town or city.

School Bell Commemorating the Maine Unorganized Territory School System (2001)

Bell Recalling the Unorganized Territory School System (2001)

Townships are administered directly by the State government. Taxes are due directly to the State Bureau of Taxation, with funds disbursed to support township services such as schools. The bell at right, on the grounds of the State House in Augusta, commemorates the State’s education efforts in the unorganized townships: “This bell called pupils to a rural school in Washington County for 124 years.”

Townships may have names or may simply be designated by a township and range identification, such as T3 R4 WELS or T5 ND BPP.  T stands for township, and R indicates a range.

WELS is an abbreviation for “West of the Easterly Line of the State,” referring to the north-south line extending from Hamlin in the north to Amity in the south in Aroostook County. It provides a reference for the townships west of this line.

Townships are designated occasionally by letters, but primarily by the numbers 1 through 19 from south to north, the southernmost being TB R11 WELS just north of Katahdin Iron Works Township in Piscataquis County. Ranges are counted from the easterly line toward the west, although no townships exist in the first range. Three unnamed townships in the second range are designated TA R2 WELS, TC R2 WELS and TD R2 WELS. The western most township is designated T5 R20 WELS on the Quebec border in Somerset County.

A town that has become a township is said to have “deorganized” to become an unorganized township.

Other supplemental descriptors refer to geographic and/or historic features, usually in abbreviated form. (See panel at left.)

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