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Along the Penobscot: Orrington

Did you know Orrington's name was the result of a spelling mistake?

When settlers arrived in what is now the town of Orrington, they intended to name it "Orangetown" after Orangetown, Maryland, but it was written into the record books in Massachusetts as Orrington. Reportedly, "orring" was considered a reasonable phonetic rendering of orange before English spelling was standardized.

Captain John Brewer first arrived in Orrington in 1770, settling at the mouth of the Segeunkedunk Stream. His original petition for township was denied as the Revolutionary War began. During the war, the settlers of Orrington were harassed by the British from the River and they eventually left their settlement, not returning until the end of the war. On March 21, 1788, the town was officially incorporated and the village became well-known for farming and its lumber mills.

Over the years, the town has belonged to Lincoln, Hancock, and now Penobscot county as county boundaries have changed. Today, the town is the southernmost in Penobscot County.


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