Verona Island, Maine

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Verona Island is a town located on an island of the same name in the Penobscot River in Hancock County, Maine, United States. The population was 533 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

This island and community has undergone numerous name changes. It was originally Penobscot Island, part of the Waldo Patent. When Henry Knox bequeathed it to his orphaned grandchildren, it became known as Orphan Island. In 1839 it became the plantation of Wetmore Isle. The name was changed to Verona (after Verona, Italy) upon its incorporation as a town on February 18, 1861. The town recently lengthened its name to Verona Island, matching the name of the land form on which it was located, in a March 27, 2004 referendum [1].

The island was once a shipbuilding village. In 1905 the last vessel was built. This was the Roosevelt, which carried Robert Peary from New York to the Arctic in 1908 for his final expedition to the North Pole.[2]

The Waldo-Hancock Bridge (carrying U.S. 1), which opened November 16, 1931 to connect Verona Island and Prospect, Maine in Waldo County, is on the National Register of Historic Places but was in such bad condition that it was replaced. As of March, 2009 the Waldo-Hancock Bridge has not been dismantled, and stands in disrepair.

The new bridge, opened in October 2006, is called the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory. The legislature's Transportation Committee originally decided it would be named the Downeast Gateway Bridge, but strong opposition by community leaders from eastern Waldo County forced this decision to be reconsidered. The new name was unanimously approved on March 9, 2006 by the legislature's Transportation Committee.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 8.7 square miles (22.6 km²), of which, 6.2 square miles (16.1 km²) of it is land and 2.5 square miles (6.4 km²) of it (28.56%) is water.

The highest point is McCloud Mountain, elevation 344 feet.

Demographics

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 533 people, 223 households, and 161 families residing in the town. The population density was 85.6 people per square mile (33.0/km²). There were 262 housing units at an average density of 42.1/sq mi (16.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.69% White, 0.19% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.19% of the population.

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