Lincolnville is the only community from the Canadian Border to the State of Florida where U.S. Route 1 touches the Atlantic Ocean. From here, you can look out across a glistening Penobscot Bay and see a myriad of islands set against a brilliant blue sky; each ready for your exploration. Without the crowds and hustle and bustle of other tourist-filled towns and waters, this is the place where you can experience Maine at its finest.
History shows that the first people to live in Lincolnville were most likely Native Americans. However, they were not year-round residents, but similar to the Maine’s summer visitors, they came here for the mild ocean breezes and the seafood. During the warmer months, they would camp along the coastal waters of the Penobscot to fish and dig clams. In the fall, they returned back to the inland forests to prepare for winter.
The first settlement recorded occurred in 1770 when Nathan and Lucinda Knight built a log cabin near a stream and became the area’s first settlers. Then, at the end of the Revolutionary War families seeking free land began to settle here in what were then called the "plantations" of Canaan and Ducktrap. The "free land" turned out to be part of the Waldo Patent, which was claimed by Gen. Henry Knox of Thomaston as part of his wife’s inheritance. Knox eventually demanded and received compensation from the new settlers. In 1802, the two plantations were joined to form the new town of Lincolnville which was named after General Benjamin Lincoln. Lincoln was General George Washington’s second in command of the Continental Army at the time of the British surrender at Yorktown.
In 1850, with lumbering, limestone burning, ship building, and farming as primary occupations, the population of Lincolnville boomed to 2,154 souls. By the 1840s, Lincolnville was shipping 400,000 casks of quicklime a year. The lime was used to make for construction and fertilizer. Unfortunately, the Civil War stopped the growth trend and the population gradually began to decline. By 1905, industrial enterprises closed and young people sought work out of state. However, summer provided residents with many seasonal jobs including caretakers, drivers, cooks, and laundry women. By the 1920 census, there were only 811 people in Lincolnville, many of them farmers. The Depression took its toll on these farmers and seasonal workers.
Today, Lincolnville is home to a growing contingent of remarkable entrepreneurs and a fast growing hospitality industry as more people discover the hidden gem tucked along Maine’s Midcoast between Camden and Bar Harbor.
208 Main St
Lincolnville Center, Maine 04849
With help from the community, the Lincolnville Historical Society relocated a 19th century one-room building across the road. At its new location, the Center Schoolhouse is now home to the new Lincolnville Community Library. It will also be the centerpiece to a park that will be developed on this land, treating visitors to native plantings and an "open air" museum of horse-drawn agricultural implements and other exciting artifacts.
Tue: 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wed: 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Be sure to check out the Lincolnville Community Library Facebook page, or call the library directly to learn about any upcoming events you'd like to participate in during your trip to Lincolnville.
Lincolnville Beach on Route 173,
just 1/8th mile from US Route 1
As soon as you see an original blackboard, bell, and beautiful woodwork, you’ll know this was originally a schoolhouse. Built in 1892, this building served as a school for the Lincolnville Beach area until 1948.Today, the building contains some exciting treasures from the early Lincolnville days, including: historic documents and records, photos, early tools, and some amazing Native American artifacts.
Monday-Friday 12 noon - 3:00pm
Saturday 12 noon - 3:00pm
Sunday 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Other times by appointment
The history of this town extends well beyond the museum and the library. In fact, one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the Lincolnville culture and its story is to explore the work of the artists and craftsman that are so deeply connected to the town’s past and present. Be sure to check out TakeMe2 Lincolnville’s extensive Arts & Culture profile [link to it] for places you’ll want to see during your visit! And while you’re here you will soon discover why so many visitors from our most recent history have decided to call Lincolnville home for themselves and for future generations.
References: Camden Public Library