Patten, Maine

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Patten is a town in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. The town was named for Amos Patten, an early settler.[1] The population was 1,200 at the 2009 census.


Geography and history

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 38.5 square miles (249.7 km²), of which, 38.4  square miles (249.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.16%) is water.

Patten lies on the western edge of the Mattawamkeag River system basin, almost at the edge of the East Branch of the Penobscot River's basin. Two major Mattawamkeag tributaries occupy its area: in the north, Fish Stream (formerly known as the "Mattawamkeag West Branch", and in the south, small feeders of the Molunkus Stream. Fish Stream is navigable by very small craft as far as Island Falls, Maine, around 10 miles distance, for about six months of the year. In the early days of lumbering it was used to drive local cutting downstream, eventually to the mills at Old Town, Maine and Bangor. The amount of water power, however, did not favor the development of large-scale industry, although small mills and workshops utilized its power during most of the town's history.

Two factors explain Patten's comparatively early development, and its position as the major town of the Penobscot panhandle and southwestern Aroostook in the nineteenth century. First, it is the first town beyond the Mount Katahdin range, giving it access to the upper East Branch and lower Allagash basins, which were leading lumbering areas. Second, it has the best agricultural land in the proximity of those basins. As a result, lumbering stimulated very early development of commerce and farming; and the town early gained the status as the distribution center and cultural nexus of all the towns west of Houlton, Maine and north of Lincoln, Maine.

The 6 buildings of the Bradford Farm (1840) in Patten are listed on National Register of Historic Places, and are now occupied by the "Bradford House" Bed & Breakfast Inn.


As of the census[2] of 2009, there were 1,200 people, 506 households, and 326 families residing in the town. The population density was 28.9 people per square mile (11.2/km²). There were 1106 housing units at an average density of 14.4/sq mi (5.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.37% White, 0.18% African American, and 0.45% from two or more races.

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