Phippsburg, Maine

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Phippsburg is a town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States, on the west side of the mouth of the Kennebec River. The population was 2,106 at the 2000 census. It is within the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical rea. A tourist destination, Phippsburg is home to Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, Fort Popham State Historic Site, it is also home to the Fort Baldwin which over looks Fort Popham, and Popham Beach State Park, as well as Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge. The town includes part of Winnegance.



Site of the Popham Colony, Phippsburg was — between 1607 and 1608 — the first English settlement attempted in New England. During its brief existence, colonists built Virginia of Sagadahoc, the first ship in Maine's long history of shipbuilding. [1]

The next British settlement at the mouth of the Kennebec River began in 1653; Thomas Atkins, a fisherman, purchased from the sachem Mowhotiwormet, commonly called Chief Robinhood, the southern end of Phippsburg (with the exception of Popham). Atkins Bay bears his name. The population gradually increased until King Philip's War, when Indians in August 1676 attacked the eastern side of the Kennebec River, massacring and scalping the colonists, or else carrying them into captivity. Dwellings were burned and stocks of cattle killed. The entire area was abandoned. [2]

Resettlement commenced in 1679 at Newtown, located on the southern end of Arrowsic Island (across the river from present-day Phippsburg Center), but in 1689 the area was again destroyed and deserted during King William's War. With the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1713, conflict was formally ended between the Abenaki Indians and English settlements. In 1714, Newtown was reestablished, then incorporated in 1716 as Georgetown-on-Arrowsic by the Massachusetts General Court. Also in 1716, the Pejepscot Proprietors established a little fishing village called Augusta at the Small Point Harbor area of Phippsburg. Dr. Oliver Noyes, director of the colony, erected a stone fort 100 feet (30 meters) square to protect it. In 1717, Governor Samuel Shute held a conference at Georgetown-on-Arrowsic with tribal delegates, who arrived in a flotilla of canoes and encamped on Lee Island opposite the town. [3]

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