Harpswell Historical Society

Incorporated 1979

929 Harpswell Neck Road
Harpswell, Maine  04079

The Harpswell Historical Society is dedicated to the discovery, identification, collection, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of materials relating to the history of Harpswell and its people.

Table of Contents

Historic Park 
and Museum

Links to 
related sites


Maine: An Encyclopedia

The Maine Encyclopedia is an accessible, comprehensive, user-friendly resource with a variety of navigational options andT thousands of internal links to related subjects and individuals. Explore this amazing state of ours: historic, environmentally diverse, scenic, large in area but small in community, a recreational Mecca, and much more.
 Following are some entries in the Encyclopedia.

Bailey Island
[BAY-lee iland] is in the town of Harpswell on Casco Bay. For over two centuries of European settlement, Bailey Island was unconnected from the manland. Though proposed as early as 1872, a bridge was not built until the twentieth century. … Continue reading →

Coastal Studies Center
The Coastal Studies Center of Bowdoin College is located on Orrs Island in Harpswell. In 1981 Irma and William Thalheimer gave the 118 acre property, including the farmhouse and barn, to Bowdoin “to be protected in its natural environment and … Continue reading →

Coffin, Robert
Works by R. P. T. Coffin Christchurch (1924) Book Of Crowns And Cottages (1925) Dew And Bronze (1927) A Book Of Seventeenth-Century Prose (1929) An Attic Room (1929)Golden Falcon (1929) Laud, Storm Center Of Stuart England (1930) The Dukes Of … Continue reading →

Cumberland County
the most populous of Maine’s counties, contains approximately 20% of the state’s population with less than 3% of the state’s land area.  Four of the ten largest communities by population are in Cumberland County. The City of Portland dominates the … Continue reading →

Cumberland County Nature Preserves
Basket Island, Cumberland. 9 acres of mixed forest and shell and gravel beaches. Osprey nest on nearby ledges. Watch out for abundant poison ivy.  Popular picnic spot. Managed by The Nature Conservancy. Bay Bridge Landing, Brunswick. A six-acre wetland park … Continue reading→

Fisheries, Commerical
In 1950, Maine had record seafood landings of 356,266,000 pounds without aquaculture. Maine ranked among the top seafood producing States. In 2009, the last year available for national seafood landings, Maine ranked 11th in pounds landed and 3rd in value. … Continue reading→


Some terms are unique to Maine, others are just obscure but important to an understanding of the topics covered in this publication. All references listed here are from actual usage in the Encyclopedia and will be marked by a green … Continue reading →

Year Population 1970 2,552 1980 3,796 1990 5,012 2000 5,239 2010 4,740 Geographic Data N. Latitude 43:46:24 W. Latitude 69:586:18 Maine House District 64 Maine Senate District 10 Congress District 1 Area sq. mi. (total) 83.9 Area sq. mi. (land) … Continue reading →

Kellogg, Elijah
Selected works . . . The Ark of Elm Island (1897) Arthur Brown, the Young Captain (1870 The Boy Farmers of Elm Island (1869) Brought to the Front, or, The Young Defenders (1876) Burying the Hatchet: or, The Young Brave … Continue reading →

Historically Lobsters, now a major factor in Maine’s commercial fisheries,  were once so plentiful that Native Americans used them to fertilize fields and to bait fish hooks. In colonial times, they were considered “poverty food.” They were harvested from tidal … Continue reading →

Millay, Edna St. Vincent
(1892-1950) was born in Rockland on February 22, 1892 and moved to Camden with her family when she was twelve, graduated from Camden High School, then from Vassar College. Her mother, divorced, had little money for her three daughters, but … Continue reading →

The Osprey, or “fish hawk,” is a powerful large bird with a wingspan sometimes reaching six feet. Its threatening physical size and sharp talons contrast with its almost ridiculously timid “cheep, cheep” chirping voice. It can be found across the … Continue reading →

Peary, Josephine Diebitsch
(1863-1955), Arctic explorer and writer, was born in Washington D.C. and raised in a wealthy environment as the oldest of four children. After graduating from high school, she attended a business college and worked as a clerk at the Smithsonian … Continue reading →

Peary, Robert E.
(1856-1920), who summered on Eagle Island, received a degree in civil engineering from Bowdoin College in 1877, was a noted Arctic explorer who became famous as the discoverer of the North Pole, though many experts believe that the claim has … Continue reading →

Stowe, Harriet Beecher
Selected works The Mayflower, or, Sketches of scenes and characters among the descendants of the Pilgrims (1843) The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution (1855) An inside View of Slavery; or, A tour among the planters (1855) Dred; a Tale … Continue reading →

Timeline of Maine History 03: Massachusetts and the Colonial Period
1651-1774 Massachusetts asserts its claim to Maine and takes over in 1652. Royal commissioners set up an independent government in Maine in 166, but Massachusetts regains control in 1668.  Many towns in Maine are incorporated during the period, developing a … Continue reading →

Timeline of Maine History 04: The American Revolution
1775-1789 1775 Battle of Lexington and Concord begins the Revolutionary War. Second Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia. Benedict Arnold and his expedition reach Swan Island in the Kennebec River, move through the state to Quebec. The British ship Margaretta is … Continue reading →

For the earliest residents, Native Americans, dugout canoes were the vehicles of choice along the coast. Full use of rivers, lakes and streams awaited the invention of the lighter birch bark canoe, which could be carried from one water body … Continue reading →