History of Westport, Maine
A Gazetteer of the
State of Maine
By Geo. J. Varney
Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill,
Boston 1886
Transcribed by Doreen Crocker

Westport is an island situated in Shepscot River between Woolwich and Boothbay, in Lincoln County. It is eleven miles long, and about a mile wide. The surface is uneven, and the northern extremity terminates in a narrow headland called Squam Heights. The remains of an earth-work fortification are here to ne seen by whoever us curious enough to climb the steep sides of the promontory. It was erected during the war of 1812, and bore the name of Fort McDonough. At the time of the engagment between the Enterprise and Boxer, off the mouth of the river, this work was mounted by a star battery of six guns arranged to command the river with a plunging fire, and was protected by a chevaus de frise,-a barrier of fallen timber trees bristling with sharpened branches and pointed stakes, which ran across the island from shore to shore below the battery.

The soil of Westport, ia a clay loam. Fair crops of potatoes, barley, oats and wheat are readily obtained. Westport has several execellent tide powers, which are improved for mills. There are three saw-mills which do more or less work, that of the Heal Brothers being the largest. But the principal occupation of the inhabitants is on the sea. The island is connected with Woolwich by a bridge 1,350 feet long. A ferrty connects it with Wiscasset at a point about three miles from the station of the Knox and Lincoln railroad.

Among the eminent cotizens of former days were James McCarty, Samuel and Ezekiel Tarbox, John and Joseph Hodgdon. The Methodist denominatio is the only one having a church edifice on the island. Westport has four public schoolhouses; the school property being valued at $2,000. The evaluation of estates in 1870 was $180,392. In 1880 it was $100,435. The rate of taxation in 1880 was 2 and a half per cent. The population in 1870 was 699. In 1880 it was 612.

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