History of Winterport, Maine
From
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine
By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886
Transcribed by Betsey S. Webber



Winterport lies on the western bank of the Penobscot,
constituting the north-eastern portion of Waldo County. Frankfort
bounds it on the south, Monroe on the west, and Newburg and Hamp-
den in Penobscot County, on the north. Bucksport lies opposite, on
the eastern side of the river. Winterport has a fine harbor, usually
open in winter - whence the name of the town. The surface is some-
what broken, and has many swells, some of the considerable altitude, es-
pecially a range lying in the midst of the town. The water-power is
from Marsh River, which, for a considerable distance, forms the divid-
ing line betwixt Winterport and Frankfort. Cole's Brook, in North
Winterport also furnishes some power. The manufactures consist of
cooperage (two factories), sugar hogsheads and glass-casks, lumber,
cheese and butter (Winterport Cheese and Butter Factory), men's
vests (four factories), harnesses, etc. This was the pioneer town
in the State in the manufacture of clothing. Agriculture furnishes
the chief occupation of the inhabitants, and along the larger streams
and in the interior there are some fine farms. The town is 20 miles
north by north-east of Belfast, on the stage-line between that city and
Bangor.

Formerly what is now Winterport was noted for its ship-building
and commerce. Its capacious wharves, large store-houses and deserted
ship-yards bear evidence of the business which has now departed.
The hard times of 1857, and the depreciation of shipping property
which followed, brought financial ruin to owners and builders; and
only an occasional vessel has since been built here. Thirty or more
years ago Theophilus Cushing ran a steam saw-mill here, the usual
annual product of which was 11,000,000 feet of lumber, and 200,000
sugar-box shooks. The mill ran night and day, employing 100 men. At
this period, also, large quantities of flour, grain and other commodities
were discharged here from the vessels during the winter season, and
hauled 13 miles to Bangor, -- thus making employment for farmers'
teams for many miles around. Since 1870 there has been a large re-
duction of population, many mechanics having removed to the granite-
quarrying localities in and about Penobscot Bay and River, and others
to the Great West.

Winterport was set off from Frankfort and incorporated March
12, 1860. The religious societies are those of the Congregationalists
and Methodists. The number of public schoolhouses is sixteen, which
are valued, with their appurtenances, at $9,000. The population in 1870
was 2,744, and the number of polls, 624. In 1880 it was 2,260, with
523 polls. The valuation in 1870 was $600,300. In 1880 it was
$558,099.

Return to [Maine Towns]

Blind Counter