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Along the Penobscot: Winterport

Nestled along the western bank of the Penobscot River, the Town of Winterport was settled in 1766 as a part of the town of Frankfort. The town was officially incorporated as Winterport in March of 1860 and served as a busy center of trade and shipping during the winter months.

Courtesy of Winterport Historical Society

As its name suggests, the harbor, located on an estuary of the Penobscot River, rarely froze. Before the days of ice breaking vessels, goods and travelers headed to Bangor were offloaded in Winterport and traveled north to Bangor by wagon or sled. Throughout the 1800s the port and region were a hub for the lumber industry which brought a great boom of prosperity to the town.


Winterport also was a bustling ship building town, with 140 ships being built by the year 1880.


When the lumber industry began to decline, many residents shifted their focus to things like farming, commercial fishing, granite quarrying, and building the foundation for a strong, but small, town.


Today, the walkable downtown of Winterport mixes the 19th century charm of hitching posts and historic homes with new businesses like Winterport Winery and Penobscot Bay Brewery.