National Register Listings in
Waldo County, Maine

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Maine is home to the only national monument dedicated to a writer: The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine is dedicated to the writer and conservationist, Percival Baxter, who donated the land for the monument. Baxter is best known for his efforts to protect the wilderness areas of Maine.
Waldo County, located in the beautiful state of Maine, has a rich and interesting history that has shaped its development over time. The area was initially home to Indigenous peoples, particularly the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes, who lived in the region for thousands of years before European settlers arrived.

In the early 17th century, English explorers and traders established contact with the Native communities along the coast of present-day Maine, and by the mid-1600s, European settlement began. The land that is now Waldo County was part of the expansive Plymouth Colony before it was later incorporated as part of Massachusetts.

During the American Revolution, the area around present-day Waldo County played a significant role. Supporting the ideals of independence, local militias actively fought against British forces and participated in several key battles and skirmishes. The town of Castine, located in present-day Waldo County, was actually occupied by the British for a period of time during the war.

In 1827, Waldo County was officially established and named after Samuel Waldo, a prominent landowner and colonial leader. The county's growth and development were largely influenced by the agriculture and maritime industries. Coastal towns like Belfast and Searsport became major centers for shipbuilding and shipping, contributing to the county's prosperity. The industrial revolution in the 19th century brought further economic growth and diversification to the area.

Today, Waldo County is known for its picturesque landscapes, charming small towns, and strong sense of community. Its rich history can still be seen in the preserved historic buildings, museums, and cultural events that celebrate the region's past.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Waldo County, Maine.

  • 1789: Waldo County is established as a county in the state of Maine.
  • 1808: The county's first courthouse and jail are built in Castine, the original county seat.
  • 1827: The county seat is moved from Castine to Belfast, where a new courthouse and jail are constructed.
  • 1861-1865: Waldo County residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1873: The Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad is completed, connecting the county to the rest of Maine's railway network.
  • 1874: The town of Swanville is incorporated in Waldo County.
  • 1901: Unity College, a private college, is founded in Unity, Maine.
  • 1937: The Penobscot Narrows Bridge, connecting Waldo County to Prospect, is completed.
  • 1967: The Waldo-Hancock Bridge, a suspension bridge spanning the Penobscot River, is opened to traffic.
  • 1989: The Waldo County Village of Heritage Park is established in Unity, showcasing historic buildings of the area.