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Old Town, Maine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Old Town, Maine
Flag of Old Town, Maine
Official seal of Old Town, Maine
Location of Old Town, Maine
Location of Old Town, Maine
Old Town is located in the United States
Old Town
Old Town
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 44°56′35″N 68°40′35″W / 44.94306°N 68.67639°W / 44.94306; -68.67639
CountryUnited States
Incorporated (town)March 16, 1840
Incorporated (city)March 30, 1891
 • MayorKyle Smart
 • Total43.24 sq mi (111.98 km2)
 • Land38.81 sq mi (100.52 km2)
 • Water4.43 sq mi (11.46 km2)
108 ft (33 m)
 • Total7,431
 • Density191.47/sq mi (73.93/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
04468, 04489 (Stillwater)
Area code207
FIPS code23-55225
GNIS feature ID0572733

Old Town is a city in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. The population was 7,431 at the 2020 census.[2] The city's developed area is chiefly located on the relatively large Marsh Island, but its boundaries extend beyond it. The island is surrounded and defined by the Penobscot River to the east and the Stillwater River to the west.

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Abenaki Indians called it Pannawambskek, meaning "where the ledges spread out," referring to rapids and drops in the river bed. The French established a Jesuit Catholic mission here in the 1680s. Nearly a century later after Great Britain took over French territory following its victory in the Seven Years' War, the area was settled by English pioneers in 1774. The name Old Town derives from "Indian Old Town", which was the English name for the largest Penobscot Indian village, now known as Indian Island.

Located within the city limits but on its own island in the Penobscot River, the reservation is the current and historical home of the Penobscot Nation.[3]

In 1820, when the present city was set off from neighboring Orono (named for a Penobscot sachem), it was given the name Old Town because it contained the Penobscot village. Over time, the Penobscot village ceased to be called Old Town, and the name migrated to the much newer American settlement across the river.[4]

Old Town may be best known for Old Town Canoe Co., a major manufacturer of canoes and kayaks, which has been based in the city for more than 100 years. The city's location along a series of rapids in the Penobscot River, near the head of tide just downstream in Bangor, made it an ideal location in the 1800s to marshal the water power for mills to process lumber from the millions of board feet of spruce and pine logs floated annually down the Penobscot.[5]

Today many residents work for the University of Maine in Orono and the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, the two largest employers in the area. Old Town is home to the Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Limited-owned Old Town paper mill.[6]

The city of Old Town includes Treat-Webster Island (a.k.a. "French Island"), a predominantly residential neighborhood located on a small island in the middle of the Penobscot River. French Island is the intermediate land mass between Milford and Old Town; it is connected on either side by a bridge.


Old Town is located at 44°56′35″N 68°40′35″W / 44.94306°N 68.67639°W / 44.94306; -68.67639 (44.943047, −68.676461).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.28 square miles (112.09 km2), of which 38.85 square miles (100.62 km2) is land and 4.43 square miles (11.47 km2) is water.[8] With its business district located on an island, Old Town is drained by the Stillwater River and Penobscot River.

A small neighborhood north of Stillwater Avenue on the mainland side of the Stillwater River is recognized by the United States Postal Service as "Stillwater," and has its own post office and ZIP code. The Census Bureau does not recognize Stillwater and counts that area as part of Old Town.

The city is crossed by Interstate 95, U. S. Route 2 and 2A, and state routes 16, 43 and 116. It borders the towns of Orono to the south, Glenburn to the west, Hudson to the northwest, Alton and Argyle Township to the north, and (separated by water) is near Milford east, and Bradley to the southeast.


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Old Town has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.[9]

Climate data for Old Town, Maine
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 29
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 10
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.2
Source: Weatherbase [10]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
Center Street

2010 census

As of the census[12] of 2010, there were 7,840 people, 3,382 households, and 1,884 families living in the city. The population density was 201.8 inhabitants per square mile (77.9/km2). There were 3,665 housing units at an average density of 94.3 per square mile (36.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.1% White, 0.9% African American, 1.6% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.

There were 3,382 households, of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.3% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.76.

The median age in the city was 33 years. 17.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 20.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.3% were from 25 to 44; 23.6% were from 45 to 64; and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.

2000 census

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 8,130 people, 3,426 households, and 1,993 families living in the city. The population density was 212.3 inhabitants per square mile (82.0/km2). There were 3,686 housing units at an average density of 96.3 per square mile (37.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.62% White, 0.65% African American, 1.48% Native American, 1.83% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.52% of the population.

There were 3,426 households, out of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.8% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.83.

Pushaw Lake

In the city, the population was spread out, with 20.0% under the age of 18; 18.3% from 18 to 24; 27.0% from 25 to 44; 20.8% from 45 to 64; and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,886, and the median income for a family was $40,589. Males had a median income of $32,961 versus $23,723 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,100. About 11.8% of families and 18.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.6% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.


Logo for RSU #34

Old Town is part of Regional School Unit (RSU) #34, which includes the towns of Alton, Bradley, and Old Town. The RSU is composed of five schools: Alton Elementary School, Viola Rand Elementary School, Old Town Elementary School, Leonard Middle School, and Old Town High School.[14] In 2006–2007 the school changed its mascot from the Old Town Indians to the Old Town Coyotes.[15][16] A new community project to renovate the high school track and bolster the school's athletic facilities broke ground in 2013.[17] Old Town's school colors are green and white.

  • RSU #34: Alton, Bradley, and Old Town[18]
  • Stillwater Montessori School[19]


Old Town uses a city council with seven elected councilors, including a Council President. As of March 2020, the current mayor of Old Town is David Mahan.[20]

Historic buildings

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places:

Sites of interest

  • Old Town Museum[23]
  • Sewall Park on Perch Pond (formerly known as Mud Pond)[24]

Notable people

Penobscot office on Indian Island


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  2. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Old Town city, Maine". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  3. ^ Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts: A.J. Coolidge. pp. 240–241. coolidge mansfield history description new england 1859.
  4. ^ Varney, George J. (1886), Gazetteer of the state of Maine. Old Town, Boston: Russell
  5. ^ Old Town's Rich Heritage Archived 2007-09-01 at the Wayback Machine, Old Town website
  6. ^ Robinson, Steve (March 29, 2023). "High Electricity, Fiber Costs Shutter Old Town Mill". The Maine Wire. Archived from the original on June 2, 2023. Retrieved August 25, 2023.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  9. ^ Climate Summary for Old Town, Maine
  10. ^ "". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on October 20, 2013.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  14. ^ "Regional School Unit #34". RSU #34. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  15. ^ Bangor Daily News: 3/11/2014
  16. ^ Portland Press Herald: 5/31/2014
  17. ^ "Community support enables Old Town High School to begin building new track as part of proposed $1.5 million athletic facilities project". May 7, 2013.
  18. ^ RSU#34
  19. ^ Montessori School
  20. ^ "City Council ~ City of Old Town, Maine". City of Old Town. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  21. ^ St. Anne's Church and Mission Site Archived 2015-01-20 at the Wayback Machine (1830)
  22. ^ St. James Episcopal Church Archived 2015-01-20 at the Wayback Machine (1892)
  23. ^ Old Town Museum
  24. ^ "Parks - City of Old Town, MaineĀ". Archived from the original on July 9, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  25. ^ Anstead, Alicia (October 14, 1995). "Molly Spotted Elk Dancing her way across the globe". Bangor Daily News. Bangor, Maine. p. 1. Retrieved January 20, 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 April 2024, at 02:45
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