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.

When the lumber industry began to decline, residents turned their focus to farming. A walk through the town shows evidence of this history - hitching posts, abandoned cellars and orchards.

Today, Winterport's downtown area retains much of its 19th century charm with a walkable downtown area.