History of Islesborough, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine

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

Islesborough consists of one long island and several small ones in Penobscot Bay,. Waldo County. The largest of these, formerly known as "Long Island," is 11 miles in length, and three miles in width in the widest part, but scarcely more thaii three rods in the narrowest, which is at the middle. The other islands are Sevenhundred-acre Island, Warren's, Spruce, Ensign, Job's, Lime, Lasell's, Mark, Saddle, Mouse, and several others smaller. The entire land area is about 6,000 acres. Turtle's Head is a long promontory at the north. The harbors are Sabbath Day Harbor and Bounty Cove, on the eastern side; Seal Harbor, Crow Cove, on the western side; and Gilkey's Harbor on the south-western side. At the end of the neck which forms the north-western side of the island, is Gilkey's Harbor Light. The rocks are for the most party slaty schists. The soil is fair, and, with the abundant dressing from shore and stable, yields well in hay and potatoes, which are the crops chiefly cultivated. Spruce and fir make up the bulk of the scanty forests. The piineipal body of fresh-water pond is Meadow Pond, having an area of about 12 acres. It lies about onethird of a mile from the seashore, its surface being 60 feet higher, and its outlet furnishes three good water-powers. There are also fine opportunities to make use of tide-power. The inhabitants are hardy, industrious, and intelligent. Fishing and navigation are the principal occupations of the inhabitants. In 1855, 153 vessels sailed from Islesborough, many of which were owned in the town,-where, also, most of the masters resided.

Islesborough was first settled in 1769 by William Pendleton and Benjamin Thomas. It was incorporated January 28, 1789. The titles to the lands were secured in 1801 from General Henry Knox. One of the first settlers named Gilkey, before he had made much improvement, was impressed into the British service, while his wife and two children were left in poverty on the island to gain a living as best they could. The town was first represented in general court in 1820, by Thomas Waterman.

In June 1794, Elder Thomas Ames was ordained as the first pastor of the town. The churches at present are the Free Baptist, and the 1st and 2d Baptist. Islesborough has eight public school-houses; and the school property is valued at $3,500. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $153,703. In 1880 it was $158,033. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 2½ per cent. The population in 1870 was 1,230. In 1880 it was 1,208.

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