Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Waldoboro

Location Map for Waldoboro

Location Map for Waldoboro

Year Population
1970 3,146
1980 3,985
1990 4,601
2000 4,916
2010 5,075
Waldoboro Population Chart 1790-2010

Population Trend 1790-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 44:06:23
W. Latitude 69:22:20
Maine House District 91
Maine Senate District 13
Congress District 1
Area sq. mi. (total) 78.8
Area sq. mi. (land) 71.2
Population/sq.mi. (land) 71.3
County: Lincoln

Total=land+water; Land=land only

Clipper Ship Built Here

  • Wings of the Morning–1852
  • Spark of the Ocean–1853
  • Woodcock–1853
Early Morning Moody's Diner (2001)

Early Morning at Moody’s (’01)

Vacant Church (2012)

Vacant Church (2012) @

Waldoboro Downtown (2005)

Downtown (2005) @

Downtown (2015)

Downtown (2015)

[WAL-dowe-bur-row] is a town in Lincoln County, incorporated on June 29, 1773. Originally Waldoborough, it was named for General Samuel Waldo and incorporated from the plantation known as Broad Bay.

A settlement attempted in the 1730’s was destroyed by Indians, but a second attempt in the 1750’s, promoted by Samuel Waldo, son of the General, became a permanent one.

Old German Church and Cemetery (2005)

Old German Church and Cemetery (2005)

According to Isaacson, a grave marker in the Old German Cemetery reminds a visitor of the town’s history: “This town was settled in 1748 by Germans who immigrated to this place with the promise and expectation of finding a prosperous city, instead of which they found nothing but wilderness.” (p. 259) The swindler was none other than General Samuel Waldo.

Broad Bay Congregational Church (2005)

Broad Bay Congregational Church (2005)

The town swapped land with Bremen in 1830, 1853, and 1856 before attaining its current boundaries.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, granite quarries provided the town with a prosperous economic base.

A branch of the Granite Cutters’ Union was established in 1899; the Quarrymen’s Protective Union followed in 1902.

Waldoborough Historical Society Museum (2014)

Historical Society Museum ’14

Waldoboro Post Office (2015)

Waldoboro Post Office (2015)

Now the local economy is supported by artists, authors, and crafters. Several alpaca farms produce finished yarns, rugs, and other fiber products.

Waldo Theater (2005)

Waldo Theater (2005) @

According to its planning department:

“The Medomak River is the most productive clam flat in the State of Maine. . . . Waldoboro has a stable and growing agricultural base which includes produce, hay, livestock, horse stables, blueberry fields, Christmas trees, and nursery operations.”

Moody’s Diner, opened in 1934, has been made famous by Maine humorist Tim Sample, whose hilarious routine has created an image of a down home atmosphere – justifiably.

Orff's Corner Church (2012)

Orff’s Corner Church (2012)

Orff’s Corner Community Church in North Waldoboro was established in 1839 by George W. Genther.  In 1895 the bell tower was added. U.S. Representative and shipbuilder Isaac Reed was born in here in 1809.

Meeting Hall, Winslow Mills Rd. (2012)

Meeting Hall, Winslow Mills Road (2012) @

Along the Winslow Mills Road are two apparently abandoned buildings: a church at about number 988 and a meeting hall, possibly a grange, nearby.

Most people know Waldoboro by its location on U.S. Route 1, where convenience stores populate the commercial strip.

Boyington Preserve is a 25 acre parcel of blueberry fields on Clarry Hill,leased to and harvested by local blueberry farmers.*

Burkett Mill Preserve has 395 acres with a mix of cut-over woodland, more mature forests, and several wetlands.*

The Osborn-Finch nature preserve, on Dutch Neck, consists of red spruce, northern red oak, and balsam fir bordering an old field with frontage on the Medomak River.

Reef Point Preserve is a 55 acre, wooded parcel with nearly 1,000 feet of frontage on the Madomak River.*

Goose River Peace Corps Preserve is a 54 acre wooded parcel with wetlands and 700 feet of frontage on the Goose Rivera, featuring a short loop trail.*

*Managed by the Madomak Valley Land  Trust.

Form of Government: Town Meeting-Select Board-Manager.

Additional resources

Biscoe, Mark Wyman. Merchant of the Medomak: Stories from Waldoboro Maine’s Golden Years, 1860-1910. Newcastle, Me. Lincoln County Publishing Co. 2004. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections; Maine State Library]

Chadbourne, Ava Harriet. Maine Place Names and The Peopling of its Towns.

Gross, Esther. (ed.) Waldoborough, 1773-1973: 200 Anniversary: A Pictorial History. Waldoboro Bicentennial Committee. 1985. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]

Isaacson, Dorris A. Maine: A Guide Downeast.

*Maine. Historic Preservation Commission. Augusta, Me.   Text and photos from National Register of Historic Places: http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/text/xxxxxxxx.PDF and http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/photos/xxxxxxxx.PDF

Custom House, Post Office and Public Library: 74000180.PDF
German Church and Cemetery: 70000050.PDF
Waldo Theatre: 86002434.PDF
Waldoborough Town Pound: 76000103.PDF

Miller, Samuel L. History of the Town of Waldoboro.  Wiscasset, Me. Emerson, printer. 1910.  [Library of Congress] http://archive.org/stream/historyoftownofw00lcmill/historyoftownofw00lcmill_djvu.txt (accessed October 10, 2012)

Payne, Frederick G. 200th Anniversary Old German Church and Meeting House, Waldoboro, Maine. Waldoboro, Me. Ladies Auxiliary: Trustees of the German Protestant Society of Waldoboro, Maine. 1972? [Maine State Library]

Stahl, Jasper Jacob. History of Old Broad Bay and Waldoboro. Portland, Me. Bond Wheelwright Co. 1956.

Waldoboro, Maine. Planning Department. “Waldoboro Facts, Figures & Data.” http://waldoboromaine.org/planningDevelopment/factsFigures.pdf (accessed May 14, 2012)

National Register of Historic Places – Listings

German Church and Cemetery

[1 mile South of Waldoboro Village on Maine Route 32] General Samuel Waldo offered inducements for European immigration and in 1752 got Germans to found the settlement of Waldoborough. This church built in 1772, was moved over ice to its present location in 1794.

German Church Interior (1969)

German Church Interior (1969)

At that time the church was an austere frame house owned by 32 German Lutherans. There were no box-like pews, galleries or hanging pulpit back in the 1790s. The church was served for more than 20 years by a series of unlettered pastors. Then at least two ordained ministers came to the church. During the 19th century attendance slowly declined as later generations no longer spoke German, the language of church services. Eventually the church was abandoned and is maintained as a memorial by the German Protestant Society.*  [Roger E. Miller photo]

Hutchins House, 77 Main Street

Ludwig, Godfrey, House, Maine Route 32

U.S. Customhouse and Post Office

[Main Street] This once fine building, in the heart of Waldoboro village, was  the hub of all commercial activity in the Customs District of Waldoboro. The town, at the head of Muscongus Bay, was the trade center for the Lincoln and Knox County area and all towns drained by the Medomak River. It was one of the important shipping and shipbuilding ports of 19th century Maine.

Custom House, P.O., Library (2015)

Custom House, P.O., Library (2015)

Waldoboro Public Library (2015)

Waldoboro Public Library (2015)

The District of Waldoboro was created in 1799. The original wooden customs building was destroyed by fire in 1854 and by 1857 a new combined Post Office and Custom House was completed. In 1913 the customs district was abolished and building was used as a public library until 2007 when a new one opened. A new post office was built shortly after 1913.

Waldo Theatre

[Main Street] Unique among small town movie theaters in Maine, the 1931 Waldo was designed specifically for motion pictures. Built in the depths of the Great Depression, the movie craze was sweeping the country providing an inexpensive escape from hard times. The Theatre was highly successful and showed films through the mid-fifties when it closed. It was used briefly as a Masonic Hall and occasionally for live theater. [See photo above.]

It is one of the first envelope (building within a building) structures. When warm air circulates between inner and outer partitions, human bodies provide much of the space heat on even the coldest day. It accommodates 400 patrons, nearly half of whom sit in the balcony. Indirect lighting in one of three colors illuminate the walls, changing the mood at the flip of a switch. The architect reversed the traditional plan by slanting the floor down from front to back and tilting seats so patrons may watch the elevated screen. Some seats were varying widths; some had headphones. It was described by the Association of Motion Picture Owners of America as one of the best designed small theaters in America.*

Waldoborough Town Pound

Cattle Pound (2014)

Cattle Pound (2014)

Cattle Pound (2014)

Cattle Pound (2014) @

[Washington Road] In 1819 citizens of Waldoboro voted to rebuild the town’s old wooden pound, apparently built in 1785. The result stands in a remarkably complete state, just north of the village. Currently owned by the Waldoborough Historical Society, it serves as a reminder of the less formal, more subsistence way of life in rural America.* [More on cattle pounds in Agriculture]

Wetherill Site, Address Restricted

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