Penobscot is situated in the southern part of Hancock
County, having Penobscot Bay on the west, and South Bay (an extention of Castine Harbor) in the southern part.
Castine lies on the south-west, Surry and Bluehill on the east, and Orland on the north. The surface is generally
level, the greatest eminence being Togus Hill, which has a height of perhaps 300 feet. The ponds are Pierce’s,
Wight’s and Turtle. Granite is the prevailing rock. The soil is a clay loam. The crops principally cultivated are
wheat, potatoes and hay.
There are in operation in town three stave, one saw and one meal and flour mill; other manufactures are bricks,
fish barrels, lime casks, carriages, harnesses, coffins, boots and shoes. There has been quite a business done
by a mitten factory, whose annual product has reached $12,000. The Penobscot Mining Company is a corporation of
the town. The principal village is at the head of Northern Bay. This is 22 miles from Ellsworth on the Bucksport
and Deer Isle stage-line.
Penobscot was a district of the ancient Pentagoet. Its name is from the Indian “Penobskeag,” or “Penopeauke,” signifying
a rocky place. In its original form it included Castine and the easterly part of Brooksville, its early history
is involved with that of these towns. It was township No. 3, in the grant to David Marsh, and others. The first
survey of the town was made by John Peters; and the following names appear among its earliest municipal officers:
John Lee, Jeremiah and Daniel Wardwell, John and Joseph Perkins, John Wasson, David Hawes, Elijah Littlefield,
Isaac Parker and Peltiah Leach. As given by H. B. Wardwell, in Wasson’s Survey of Hancock County, the first settlers
within the present limits of Penobscot were Duncan and Findley Malcolm, Daniel and Neil Brown. They were Scotchmen,
and being loyalists or tories, left for St. Andrews when the English evacuated Bigaduce (Castine) at the close
of the Revolution. The first permanent settler was Charles Hutebings, in 1765. The first child of English parents
was Mary Hutchings. In 1765 also came Isaac and Jacob Sparks, Daniel Perkins, Samuel Averill and Solomon Littlefield.
Others of the early period were Giles Johnson, Elijah Winslow, Pelatiah Leach, Jonathan Wardwell, Andrew Herrick,
David Dunbar, Elijah Littlefield and Eliphalet Lowell, nearly all of whom came from towns in Maine. Among the notable
citizens of a later date were Hon. William Grindle, Samuel Leach and William Eastman, Esqrs.
The plantation name of Penobscot was Major-bigwaduce. it was incorporated under its present name in 1787. Castine
was set off in 1796, and a portion for Brooksville in 1817.
The Methodists have four churches in Penobscot, and the Baptists one. Farmers’ clubs and Temperance lodges furnish
the public entertainment. The number of public schoolhouses is twelve; and the school property is valued at $1,625.
The valuation of real estate in 1870 was $227,356. In 1880 it was $215,237. The rate of taxation in 1880 was 18
mills on the dollar. The population in 1870 was 1,418. In 1880 it was 1,341.