Stonington, Maine

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Stonington is a town in Hancock County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,152 at the 2000 census. It includes the villages of Oceanville and West Stonington. A picturesque old seaport and tourist destination on Penobscot Bay, the town is home to Stonington Municipal Airport, and terminus for mailboat ferry service to the island town of Isle au Haut.



The first people to live on Deer Isle, as early as 6,100 years ago, were Native Americans. Their descendants were known to early French explorers as Etchemins; some continued to live on the island even after Anglo-Americans established settlements. The first European to venture into the region was Estevan Gomez, a Portuguese working for the Spanish Crown. Gomez sailed his ship La Anunciada up Eggemoggin Reach, which divides Deer Isle from the mainland. The French, however, would be the most active in the region, establishing a fort in Castine and intermarrying with Abenaki natives. To illustrate French influence, a body buried in full armor (believed to be French) was discovered on nearby Campbell Island. [1]

Toward the end of the French and Indian War, Deer Isle was settled by New England colonists around 1760. From Berwick came descendants of Scots Covenanter George Gray, a prisoner of war taken at the 1650 Battle of Dunbar and shipped to America. Sailors on the island became noted for maritime skills, some even serving as crew in the America's Cup Races of 1895 and 1899. Ironically, their ancestors hadn't come looking for a life on the sea, but on the land. Following a southerly migration from the mainland above, the first settlers established farms and built cabins on the northern part of Deer Island. On the southern part, Green's Landing (as Stonington was initially known) would be settled after 1800. [2]

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