Frankfort, Maine

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Frankfort is a town in Waldo County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,041 at the 2000 census.



Frankfort is the oldest town on the Penobscot River, first settled in the 1760s by Massachusetts soldiers from nearby Fort Pownall. With the end of the French and Indian War, the Penobscot Valley became part of New England, and more specifically Massachusetts, leading to the first cautious encrochments by English-speaking settlers on the lands of the Penobscot Indians. This process, which would begin in Frankfort, would end with the founding of Bangor, Brewer, Orono, Old Town and other inland settlements, and the eventual restriction of the Penobscot people to their major village at "Indian Old Town", or the present Penobscot Indian Reservation.

Today's Frankfort is just a small portion of the original town, which contained the present-day towns of Frankfort, Winterport, Stockton Springs, and Prospect. Ft. Pownall was thus in Frankfort, and the town's major village was what is now Winterport. Frankfort was a logical place for settlement not only because Verona Island commanded the approach up the river, but because the river above the town froze during the winter, making this the last ice-free port as one ascended — hence the name "Winterport".

One of the first settlers was Joshua Treat, the armorer at Ft. Pownall, whose brother became one of the first settlers of Bangor.

A British fleet anchored off Frankfort in 1814 on its way to sack Bangor and Hampden. The British confiscated provisions from the town and took one ship. The town suffered greatly during the War of 1812 as the British blockade destroyed the coasting trade on which it depended.

In the 19th century an important granite quarry was opened in Frankfort, and the ship-building industry also flourished. The village of Winterport eventually split off to form its own town, however.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.9 square miles (67.1 km²), of which, 24.6 square miles (63.8 km²) of it is land and 1.3 square miles (3.3 km²) of it (4.94%) is water.

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