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Old Town, Maine

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Title: Old Town, Maine  
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Old Town, Maine

Old Town, Maine
Main Street
Main Street
Official seal of Old Town, Maine
Location of Old Town, Maine
Location of Old Town, Maine
Country United States
State Maine
County Penobscot
Settled 1774
Incorporated (town) March 16, 1840
Incorporated (city) March 30, 1891
 • Total 43.28 sq mi (112.09 km2)
 • Land 38.85 sq mi (100.62 km2)
 • Water 4.43 sq mi (11.47 km2)
Elevation 108 ft (33 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 7,840
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 7,759
 • Density 201.8/sq mi (77.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 04468
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-55225
GNIS feature ID 0572733

Old Town is a city in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. The population was 7,840 at the 2010 census. The city's developed area is chiefly located on relatively large Marsh Island, though its boundaries extend beyond that. The island is surrounded and defined by the Penobscot River to the east, and the Stillwater River to the west.


Abenaki Indians called it Pannawambskek, meaning "where the ledges spread out." The French established a mission here in the 1680s. Later 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, the reservation is the current and historical home of the Penobscot Nation.[4]

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.[5]

Old Town may be best known for Old Town Canoe Co., a major manufacturer of canoes and kayaks, which has been based in Old Town for over 100 years. Its location along a series of drops in the Penobscot River, near the head of tide just downstream in Bangor, made it an ideal location in the 1800s for sawing lumber from the millions of board feet of spruce and pine logs floated annually down the Penobscot.[6]

Many of the residents work for the Georgia-Pacific paper mill, which is being redeveloped for adaptive reuse.

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 (44.943047, -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.[1] With its business district located on an island, Old Town is drained by the Stillwater River and Penobscot River.

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.[8]
Climate data for Old Town, Maine
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −2
Average low °C (°F) −12
Precipitation mm (inches) 81
Source: Weatherbase [9]


Center Street

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 7,840 people, 3,382 households, and 1,884 families residing 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[10] of 2000, there were 8,130 people, 3,426 households, and 1,993 families residing in the city. The population density was 212.3 people 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.

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.


Located on Stillwater Avenue is the Old Town High School. It enrolls students from over four neighboring towns such as Milford, Alton, Bradley and Greenbush among others. In 2006/2007 the school changed its mascot from the Old Town Indians to the Old Town Coyotes. A new community project to renovate the high school track and bolster the school's athletic facilities broke ground in 2013.[11] Old Town's school colors are green and white.

  • Old Town School Department[12]
  • Stillwater Montessori School[13]

Historic buildings

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places:

Sites of interest

  • Old Town Museum[16]
  • Sewall Park on Perch Pond (formerly known as Mud Pond)[17]

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 240–241. 
  5. ^ Varney, George J. (1886), Gazetteer of the state of Maine. Old Town, Boston: Russell 
  6. ^ Old Town's Rich Heritage
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  8. ^ Climate Summary for Old Town, Maine
  9. ^ "". Weatherbase. 2013.  Retrieved on October 20, 2013.
  10. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  11. ^
  12. ^ Old Town School Department
  13. ^ Stillwater Montessori School
  14. ^ St. Anne's Church and Mission Site (1830)
  15. ^ St. James Episcopal Church (1892)
  16. ^ Old Town Museum
  17. ^

External links

  • City of Old Town, Maine
  • Old Town Public Library
  • Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce
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