Maine played an important role in the Underground Railroad: Maine was a major stop on the Underground Railroad, which was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to freedom in the North.
Knox County, located in the midcoast region of Maine, has a rich and diverse history that spans several centuries. The area was originally inhabited by the Penobscot and Abenaki Native American tribes, who had a strong presence along the coast. European exploration and settlement began in the 17th century, when British traders arrived, followed by French and Dutch settlers.

In the early 18th century, Knox County was part of the contested border region between British and French territories. The area played a significant role in the French and Indian War, with Fort St. George (now Thomaston) being a strategic location for both sides. British forces eventually gained control over the area, establishing settlements and forts to protect their interests.

The 19th century brought prosperity to Knox County through shipbuilding and maritime trade. Several towns along the coast, such as Rockland and Camden, thrived as major commercial centers. The granite industry also boomed during this time, with many local quarries supplying building materials for cities like Boston and New York. The county was named after Henry Knox, a Revolutionary War general and the first U.S. Secretary of War.

In the 20th century, Knox County continued to be a hub of maritime activity, but the decline of the shipping industry and the Great Depression had a significant impact. However, the area experienced a revival in the later years, with the development of tourism and a focus on preserving its natural beauty and historic sites. Today, Knox County is known for its picturesque coastal towns, historic lighthouses, and scenic landscapes that attract visitors from near and far.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Knox County, Maine.

  • 1790: Knox County was established by the Massachusetts State Legislature.
  • 1792: Thomaston was incorporated as a town.
  • 1796: Camden was incorporated as a town.
  • 1826: The Knox and Waldo Canal was completed, connecting Thomaston and Belfast.
  • 1854: Rockland was incorporated as a city.
  • 1871: The Maine State Prison was built in Thomaston.
  • 1903: The Knox County Courthouse was constructed in Rockland.
  • 1940s: The defense industry boomed in Knox County during World War II.
  • 1980s: The economy shifted towards tourism and service industries.
  • 2000s: Knox County experienced population growth and increased development.