Maine: An Encyclopedia


Location Map for Whitneyville

Location Map for Whitneyville

Year Population
1970 155
1980 264
1990 241
2000 262
2010 220
Whitneyville Population Chart 1850-2010

Population Trend 1850-2010

Geographic Data
N. Latitude 44:43:30
W. Latitude 67:31:17
Maine House District 138
Maine Senate District 6
Congress District 2
Area sq. mi. (total) 14.6
Area sq. mi. (land) 14.3
Population/sq.mi. (land) 15.4
County: Washington

Total=land+water; Land=land only
Open Spaces in Whitneyville (2004)

Open Spaces in Whitneyville (2004)

[WHIT-nee-vil] is a town in Washington County, incorporated on February 10, 1845 from a portion of Machias.

On the west bank of the Machias River, it was the site where the vessel Margaretta was hidden from the British after her capture in 1775.

Lumbering and blueberry growing have been the mainstays of the local economy over the years. The town is a long, narrow north-south mile-wide strip of land on U.S. Route 1A between Jonesboro and Machias.

Irrigated Blueberry Field (2004)

Irrigated Blueberry Field (2004)

According to the cataloger note [condensed] from the Fogler Library for the Whitneyville Agency, cited below,

The Eastern Mill and Land Company, the forerunner of the Whitneyville Agency, was formed in 1841 by a group of landowners and lumbermen, especially Joseph Whitney of Calais. Whitney owned sawmills at Middle Falls, later called Whitneyville.

In order to ship its lumber at the port in Machias, the company began constructing a railroad from Whitneyville to Machiasport in 1839.  Called the Palmer and Machiasport Railroad, it was completed in 1843. In 1866, James D. Pope bought seven-eighths of the Eastern Mill and Land Company, changing its name in 1870 to the Whitneyville Agency, and the name of the railroad to the Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad.

The production of lumber at the Whitneyville sawmills reached its peak in 1875, dropping quickly after that until it ceased entirely in 1892. The Agency mills and machinery were destroyed by fire in 1902.

"The Lion" Steam Engine (courtesy Maine State Museum)

“The Lion” Steam Engine (courtesy Maine State Museum)

The locomotive Lion, which operated on the narrow gauge Whitneyville railroad from 1846 to 1890, is now at the Maine State Museum in Augusta. [See Forestry and Railroads.]

A Greek revival school house built in 1868 was converted to become  the Whitneyville Public  Library “to create and maintain a free library” and “to increase the skill of handicrafts.”

Form of Government: Town Meeting-Select Board.

Additional resources

Bodger, John C. Concise Illustrated History of the Town of Whitneyville 1845-1995. Machias, Me. J.C. Bodger. 1995. (Cutler, Me. Fundy Bay Printing)

Lion Locomotive Collection 1937-1995. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]

Sullivan, Charles H. Historical Data Relating to the Machiasport Rail Road. Whitneyville, Me. C.H. Sullivan. 1940? [Maine State Library]

Whitneyville Agency. Records 1853-1885. [University of Maine, Raymond H. Fogler Library, Special Collections]

National Register of Historic Places – Listings

Whitneyville Congregational Church, Main Street

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