Historical Markers in
Hancock County, Maine

75 Years of Quality Paper Making A Steadfast Light Acadian Lights Acadia’s Founding Father Agamont Park and Early Artists / Le parc Agamont et les artistes Alessandro Fabbri, Lieutenant, U.S.N.R.F. Bar Harbor Soldiers Monument Bar Island Bass Harbor Head Light Bass Harbor Head Light Bass Harbor Head Light Station Burial Place of British officers, Cadillac Mountain Carriage Roads - Building the Roads Carriage Roads - The Gate Lodges Civil War Memorial Civil War Memorial Civil War Memorial Cobbling the Cove Connected by Water Cottage Street Criterion Theatre / Le Théâtre Criterion Defenders of the Union Discover Architectural Gems in a DownEast Village Donald A. Wood Band Stand Down East Lights Drink in the View Eastbrook War Memorial Eggemoggin Reach History Fires Changed the Face of Winter Harbor Again & Again Forever Protected Fort George Fort George & the Penobscot Expedition Fort Knox Franklin Veterans Memorial Frenchman Bay Gateway to Acadia George Bucknam Dorr Glacial Freight Gouldsboro Town Park Gouldsboro Veterans Memorial Granite Foundations Historic Architecture in Sullivan Harbor Holy Redeemer / Église de Holy Redeemer Icy Depths John Godfrey Moore Joseph T. Musetti Jr. Veterans Memorial Park Karl A. Jacobson Life on the Ocean’s Edge Lighthouses Warned Ships of Danger Down East Line of Argyle Street Linking oceans, rivers and lakes Looking to the Future Mariners Beware! Natural Seawall Not a Typical Military Barracks Ocean Highways Of Ships and Men Old Town Hall Site Once a Busy Waterfront Penobscot River Peregrine Falcons Return to Acadia Picture Perfect? Rich in Heritage River of Life Sand Beach Satterlee Field Seawater Bay Secrets of the Sand Sieur de Monts Spring: The Heart of Acadia National Park Signs of the Seasons Site of the First Sawmill Somes Sound Sounds of the Sea St. Saviour's Episcopal Parish Welcomes You Stephen Tyng Mather Stonecutter Stonington War Memorial Summer Rusticators, the Tourist Trade and the Waukeag House Hotel The 1947 Fire The Abbe Museum & Congregational Church / Le Musée Abbe et L'Élise Congrégationaliste The French Connection The Kedge The Legend of the Buck Memorial The Phineas Heywood House The Town of Bucksport The view of Frenchman Bay The Village Burying Ground The Village Green / Le Jardin Public The YWCA and Jesup Memorial Library / La YWCA et la bibliothèque Jesup Thunder Hole Thunder Hole Ranger Station Times of War To the Top! Unusual Pocket Beach Veterans Memorial Village Green Volcanic Landscape Exposed Wabanaki Traditions Waldo-Hancock Bridge West Gouldsboro Great War Memorial What Do Park Rangers Do? When the ocean was the great highway for travel Wigwam/wikuwam World War Memorial “Hot Line” to Europe
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Maine was originally part of Massachusetts: Maine was a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and was officially recognized as a separate state on March 15, 1820, becoming the 23rd state of the United States.
Hancock County, located in the state of Maine, has a rich and varied history that stretches back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Indigenous peoples, specifically by the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes, who relied on fishing, hunting, and gathering for their livelihood. European settlement began in the early 17th century, with the arrival of French and English explorers and fur traders, who established trading posts along the coast.

In the 18th century, Hancock County saw an influx of European settlers, predominantly from England and Scotland. The region played a significant role in the American Revolution, with many local residents participating in the war effort. In 1789, Hancock County was officially established, named after John Hancock, a prominent Founding Father and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence.

During the 19th century, Hancock County experienced rapid growth and development. Industries such as fishing, shipbuilding, and lumbering thrived, thanks to the county's abundant natural resources and access to shipping routes. The city of Ellsworth became the county seat and a major center of commerce. Tourism also began to play a significant role, with wealthy visitors coming to admire the beautiful coastal landscapes and enjoy the summer resorts and cottages that sprang up along the shores.

In the 20th century, Hancock County continued to evolve. The decline of traditional industries such as fishing and shipbuilding led to a shift towards a more service-based economy, with an emphasis on tourism, education, and healthcare. The county is also home to Acadia National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the United States, which further bolstered the region's popularity as a tourist destination. Today, Hancock County remains a vibrant and picturesque area, offering a blend of historical charm and natural beauty.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Hancock County, Maine.

  • 1604: French explorer Samuel de Champlain visits the area now known as Hancock County.
  • 1613: The French establish a trading post on Mount Desert Island.
  • 1629: The French trading post is destroyed by the English.
  • 1763: The Treaty of Paris ends the French and Indian War, and the area becomes part of the British colony of Massachusetts.
  • 1765: The town of Hancock is incorporated.
  • 1789: The District of Maine secedes from Massachusetts and becomes part of the United States.
  • 1789-1820: The area experiences rapid settlement and growth.
  • 1827: The town of Ellsworth is incorporated.
  • 1848: The town of Bar Harbor is incorporated.
  • 1852: The town of Bucksport is incorporated.
  • 1861-1865: The American Civil War affects Hancock County, with many residents serving in the Union Army.
  • 1870s: The region becomes a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from across the United States.
  • 1909: Acadia National Park is established, protecting large areas of Mount Desert Island.
  • 1918: The Great Fire of 1918 devastates large parts of Hancock County, including Bar Harbor.
  • 1947: The town of Stinson Beach is incorporated.
  • 1959: The town of Blue Hill is incorporated.
  • Present: The region continues to thrive as a popular tourist destination, known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities.