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

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

Northport, in Waido County, lies on the west side of Penobscot Bay, and adjoins Belfast on the south. Lincoinville bounds it on the south-west, and a portion of Belmont, is in contact with it on the north-west. The town projects somewhat more than its neighbors into the bay, and its eastern part, therefore, enjoys more of the cool sea-breezes. There are 9 miles of sea-coast, and the width of the town is about 4 miles. There are many hills,—Temperance, Nudgett’s, Bird’s, etc. Mount Percival, with two peaks 400 and 600 feet in height respectively, affords fine views of the bay. Spruce Head, projecting into the bay on the south, is a noticeable point from passing vessels. There are 3 small villages, all on the coast. Brown’s Corner occupies a cove near the northern line of the town, and Saturday Cove is a pleasant little village in the more southern part. It has its name from the landing here on Saturday, it is said, of a company of the early settlers of Belfast. Wesleyan Camp Ground is a picturesque collection of summer cottages in a pretty grove on a projecting portion of the shore, about half a mile south of Brown’s Corner. Formerly the people who met here in their annual camp meetings lived in canvas tents, but gradually they began to build cottages, and spend several weeks in the place. There are now about 300 cottages, and a large hotel which, in the summer of 1878, entertained upwards of 3000 guests; and while the annual religions meeting in August still remains the leading feature, the place is becoming a popular watering place. A stage-line connects the villages with Belfast and Rockland. During the warm season the steamers touch at the wharf, and there are daily excursions from the shore and river towns. It is already entitled to be called the Cottage City of the Penobscot. Saturday Cove is also finely situated, having a pleasing view of the bay and a cosy hotel. The village has a retired position, which, for some, increases its attractiveness.

The number of old people in the town gives evidence of the salubrity of the climate. The oldest inhabitant was Mrs. Rebecca Pendleton, who died in 1863, at the age of 104 years and 6 months.

There are none but small streams in the town, Saturday Cove and Little Harbor streams being the largest. Pitcher and Knight’s ponds, closely connected bodies of water, extend along a large portion of the southern boundary. The manufactories of the town consists of two saw-mills, one of which manufactures lumber, and cooper’s wares, and the other adds treenails to these productions. There is also a boat builder, and furniture, cooperage and carriage factories. The Northport Cheese Factory produces large quantities of cheese that finds ready sale. Farming and fishing are the chief occupation of the people. There has been a large increase of improved stock in town within a recent period. The soil is clay and sandy loam. Granite is the principal rock.

The first who made attempts to settle in this town were Thomas Burkmar, Samuel Bird, David Miller, Colonel Thomas, Stephen and John Knowlton, H. Flanders, Adam Patterson, Mark and John Welch, Zachariah Lawrence, Captain Ebenezer Frye, Major Benjamin Shaw, David Alden, Henry Pendleton, and Micaiah Drinkwater. They arrived but a short time prior to the Revolution, and had scarcely more then begun to put their plans for homes into execution, when they were called to the more exciting life of the army. There were no further settlements until the peace, when immigrants began to appear from all parts of the State. During the war of 1812, a descent by the British from Castine was made upon the settlers of Northport, and several citizens were plundered. Some shots also were exchanged along the shore, but none of the inhabitants were killed. One shot that imbedded itself in the house of Jones Shaw, has since been one of the notable things of this shore.

Northport was incorporated Feb. 13, 1796. There are in the town a Christian, a Baptist and Methodist church. There are 9 public schoolhouses; and the school property is valued at $2,700. The population in 1870 was 902. In 1880 it was 872. The valuation in 1870 was $180,726. In 1880 it was $196,253. The rate of taxation in the latter year was 3 per cent.

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