Vinalhaven, Maine

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{land, century, early}
{water, park, boat}
{area, community, home}
{island, water, area}
{build, building, house}
{town, population, incorporate}
{city, large, area}
{church, century, christian}
{line, north, south}

Vinalhaven is a town located in the Fox Islands in Knox County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,235 at the 2000 census. It is home to a thriving lobster fishery and hosts a summer colony. Since there is no bridge to the island, Vinalhaven is accessible from Rockland via an approximately hour-and-fifteen-minute ferry ride across West Penobscot Bay, or by air taxi from the Rockland airport.

Contents

History

Archeological remains indicate that the island was first inhabited 3800–5000 years ago by the Red Paint People. Later, it became Abenaki territory. Europeans visited in the 16th century, and English Capt. Martin Pring named the archipelago "Fox Islands" in 1603. The first permanent English settlement occurred in 1766 when Thaddeus Carver from Marshfield, Massachusetts, arrived, and later purchased 700 acres (2.8 km2) on the southern shore near what would become known as Carver's Harbor.

Others soon followed to establish the remote fishing community in the Gulf of Maine. The first families of Vinalhaven are considered to be Arey, Calderwood, Carver, Coombs, Dyer, Ginn, Greem, Hopkins, Lane, Leadbetter, Norton, Philbrook, Pierce, Robert, Smith, Warren and Vinal. On June 25, 1789, Vinalhaven was incorporated as a town, named for John Vinal.[1] In 1847, the North Island was set off as North Haven.

High quality granite was discovered in 1826, and Vinalhaven became one of Maine's largest quarrying centers for the next century. Today the island is dotted with abandoned old quarries, many of which have since filled with groundwater and are popular swimming holes for residents and visitors alike. Pinkish-gray Vinalhaven granite, excavated by the Bodwell Granite Company, can be seen in the State Department Building in Washington, Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, and the Union Mutual Life Insurance Building in Boston.[2]

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