Old Town - Encyclopedia

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OLD TOWN, a city of Penobscot county, Maine, U.S.A., on the Penobscot river, about 12 m. N.E. of Bangor. Pop. (1890) 53 12; (1900) 57 6 3, of whom 1247 were foreign born. It is served by the Maine Central and the Bangor & Aroostook railways, and by an electric line connecting with Bangor. The city proper is on an island (Marsh, or Old Town Island), but considerable territory on the W. bank of the river is included within the municipal limits. The manufacture of lumber is the principal industry of the city. On Indian Island (opposite the city) is the principal settlement of the Penobscot Indians, an Abnaki tribe, now wards of the state. The abbe Louis Pierre Thury was sent here from Quebec about 1687 and built a church in 1688-1689; in 1705 the mission passed under the control of the Jesuits. The first white settler in the vicinity seems to have been John Marsh, who came about 1774, and who bought the island now known as Marsh Island. From 1806 to 1840, when it was incorporated as a separate township, Old Town was a part of Orono. In 1891 it was chartered as a city. One of the oldest railways in the United States, and the first in Maine, was completed to Old Town from Bangor in 1836.

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