EXPLORE WISCASSET

EARLY HISTORY

What we know today as the Village of Wiscasset was first settled in the 1660s and grew into the "parish" of Wiscasset point.  It became part of the new town of Pownalborough in 1760. By 1794, Wiscasset became the shire town for Lincoln County and the courts were moved here from their original Dresden location where the historic Pownalborough Court House is still located.

THE RIVER and PROSPERITY

The Sheepscot River, forming the town's eastern boundary, has one of the deepest harbors in Maine even though it's 14 miles from the sea.  Wiscasset rapidly grew into a busy fishing and shipbuilding center, and lumber port. By the end of the Revolutionary War, the town was the leading shipping port east of Boston.  In 1800, 30 locally-owned square-rigged vessels carried cargo all over the world.

The handsome homes, churches, commercial, and public buildings were built during this era of prosperity, prior to the 1807 Embargo and the War of 1812. Many of the early buildings survive and make up one of Maine's most architecturally significant villages, a National Register Historic District.

SELF-GUIDED TOUR

Enjoy a historic walk, guided by the Museum in the Streets map and panels throughout the Village, and visit Castle Tucker and the Nickels-Sortwell House - both Historic New England properties - the Governor Smith House, the Public Library, the 1811 Old County Jail, the "new" 1824 Lincoln County Court House, the old Academy, and many more significant sites and buildings.

Museum in the Streets panels, located throughout the Village, illustrate a way of life long gone by.

Museum in the Streets panels, located throughout the Village, illustrate a way of life long gone by.

Castle Tucker, another Historic New England property, tells the story of a family, over multiple generations, which adapted to changing economic and social times.

Castle Tucker, another Historic New England property, tells the story of a family, over multiple generations, which adapted to changing economic and social times.

The Nickels-Sortwell House on Main Street is owned and managed by Historic New England and represents the shipping wealth that contributed to Wiscasset's remarkable trove of 18th century homes.  

The Nickels-Sortwell House on Main Street is owned and managed by Historic New England and represents the shipping wealth that contributed to Wiscasset's remarkable trove of 18th century homes.  

The Sheepscot River has played an important role in the community throughout its history.

The Sheepscot River has played an important role in the community throughout its history.

Banner photo: Wiscasset Village by Rick Scanlan Photography