History of Bucksport, Maine
From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886




Bucksport is the westerly town of Hancock County, and its most northerly town on the Penobscot. It is beautifully situated on the east bank of the river at the "Narrows," forming a lovely picture, with its streets and houses rising on a gentle slope from the water. The sumniit of the hill is crowned by the buildings of the East Conference Seminary, which, standing in bold relief against the sky, makes the most Prominent figure of the village. The streets are 'cery regular; for which the town is largely indebted to Stephen Peabody, Esq., one of the early citizens. Bucksport has the only railroad in the county, the Bucksport arid Bangor Railroad, which, in the winter season, gives Bangor an open port. A railroad to Ellsworth is also projected. A bridge of stone and timber 650 feet in length, connects it with Verona, formerly Orphans' or Wetmore's Island, in the Penobscot. It is popularly said that Bucksport is 18 miles from everywhere, being that distance from Bangor, Ellsworth, and Castine. The centres of busimess are Bueksport Village, North and East Bucksport and Buck's Mills. The soil is uneven but not mountainous, and is beautifully diversified with ponds and streams. The principal elevations of land are Harding's and Picked Mountains, the first of which is 350 feet in height. The majestic stream of the Penobscot forms the western boundary; its shore being fringed with a narrow village for almost the entire length of the town. The soil is chiefly clay and clay loam, and the principal crops are hay and potatoes. The business in which the largest capital is invested is shipbuilding. Other manufactures are lumber in its various forms, carpentry-trimmings, ship pumps, blocks, plugs, wedges and wheels, boats, cooper's-ware, carriages, leather, boots and shoes, stone work, etc.

Bucksport was one of the six townships originally granted by the sovereigns, William and Mary, to David Marsh, of Haverhill, Mass., and 350 others, citizens of Massachusetts and New Hampshire whose title was confirmed in 1764 by the General Court of Massachusetts. In August, 1762, Col. Jonathan Buck, James and William Duncan, Richard Emerson, and William Chamberlain came to the place from Haverhill, Mass., and began the survey of the town. Col. Buck built a saw-mill upon Mill River, a small stream passing through the present village. Laughlin McDonald and his son Roderiek, from Greenock, in Scotland, came in and took up lots the next year. In 1766-7, Asahel Harriman, Jonathan Frye, Benjamin Page, Phineas Ames and others came in and settled according to the condition of the grant, which gave to each actual settler 100 acres of land. The first preacher was Rev. John Kenney, who came in 1795. In 1803, Rev. Mighi!l Blood, became the first settled minister of the town. The village was partially burned by the British in 17T9. Many of the inhabitants had previously been driven away by their incursions. The town was incorporated in 1792, as Buckstown, in honor of the leading citizen, Colonel Buck. The name was changed to Bucksport in 1817. A post-office was first established in 1799. The Gazette of Maine. one of the earliest newspapers in the State. was published here in 1804. The Penobscot Bank was established in 1804, continuing six years. The town has now the Bucksport National Bank, with a capital of $100,000. Its public library contains about 1,700 volumes. Eminent among the later citizens of Bucksport, but now deceased, were John N. Swazey, Jothamn Moulton, Joseph Lee, Stephen Peabody, Samuel M. Pond, Moody Pilsbury, Henry Darling, Enoch Barnard, and Rufus Buck. The town furnished 367 men for the Union forces in the late Rebellion, 66 of whom were lost. A beautiful monument of Scotch granite has been erected to their memory.

The East Maine Conference Seminary was established in the village in 1851, and has done a good work for eastern Maine. Bucksport has three Methodist churches and one Congregationalist. The village schools are graded. The town has nineteen public schoolhouses, valued at $9,000. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $1,219,881. In 1880, it was $1,051,500. The rate of taxation in 1880 was $27,40 on $1,000. The population in 1870 was 3,433. In 1880 it was 3,047.

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