Ogunquit, Maine

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Ogunquit (pronounced /oʊˈɡʌŋkwɨt/ oh-GUN-kwit) is a town in York County, Maine, United States. As of the 2000 census its population was 1,226. The popularity of the town as a summer resort is epitomized by its motto, "Beautiful Place by the Sea."

Ogunquit is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Ogunquit, which meant "coastal lagoon" to native Abenaki Indians, was first a village within Wells, which was settled in 1641. The first sawmill here was established in 1686, and shipbuilding developed along the tidal Ogunquit River. Besides constructing schooners and brigs, local shipwrights built the famous "Ogunquit dory."

At what was then called Fish Cove, near the unnavigable Josias River, fishing was a major livelihood. But the cove was unprotected by a headland or breakwater from Atlantic storms, so fishermen had to protect their boats by hauling them ashore each night. Resolving to create a safe anchorage, they formed the Fish Cove Harbor Association, and dug a channel across land they purchased to connect Fish Cove with the Josias River. When the trench was complete, in roared the ocean, its erosion helping to further widen the passage. The resulting tidewater basin would be called Perkins Cove, across which spans a manually-operated draw footbridge, possibly one of the most photographed objects in Maine. With a 3 and a half mile beach of pale sand and dunes forming a barrier peninsula, connected to the mainland in 1888 by bridge across the Ogunquit River, the weatherbeaten old village was discovered by artists. It became a popular art colony and tourist area. Particularly after 1898, when the Ogunquit Art Colony was established, it was not unusual to see artists and fishermen plying their respective trades around Perkins Cove. To accommodate summer crowds, several grand seaside hotels and inns were built. Ogunquit is also known for its historical trail known as Marginal Way, which stretches approximately one and one-half miles along the craggy coastline. The walk is scenic, embracing the coast from Perkins Cove to Ogunquit Beach [1]. Today, Ogunquit remains a vibrant seasonal resort town, having separated from Wells in 1980. Visitors often arrive from great distances and in great numbers, some from Canada. Part of Stephen King's The Stand, published in 1978, is set in Ogunquit.

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