Warren, Maine

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Warren is a town in Knox County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,794 at the 2000 census. It includes the villages of East Warren, Warren and South Warren, the latter home to the Maine State Prison and minimum security Bolduc Correctional Facility.



Part of the Waldo Patent, it was called the Upper Town of St. Georges Plantation. It was first settled by Europeans in 1736 under the auspices of Brigadier-General Samuel Waldo, its proprietor. [1] Development was hindered, however, by the ongoing French and Indian Wars. In 1753, a blockhouse was built and placed under the command of Captain Thomas Kilpatrick, known by terrified Indians as "Tom-kill-the-devil." War raged across Maine between 1754–1758, and local settlers took refuge in the blockhouse or at another in Cushing. [2] Hostilities ended in 1759 with the Fall of Quebec. On November 7, 1776, Upper Town of St. Georges Plantation was incorporated as a town, named after Joseph Warren, a Revolutionary War hero.[3]

Hay was the principal crop. Shipbuilding was an important industry, and between 1770–1850, 224 vessels were built, varying from 53 to 1,127 tons. Warren had quarries to extract granite and limestone. Falls on the St. George River provided water power, with the first sawmill built in 1785. Woolens were manufactured at the Georges River Mills, and snowshoes at the Warren Shoe Factory. The Knox and Lincoln Railroad opened on November 6, 1871. [4]

The General Henry Knox Canal system (named after Henry Knox, who purchased the locks in 1794) was initially built by Charles Barrett in 1793 to connect the tidewaters of the St. George River with St. George Lake in Liberty, facilitating the shipment of lumber and lime. But the locks fell into decay following Knox's death in 1806. In 1848, the canal was reopened for navigation by the Georges Canal Company at a cost of $80,000. It again fell into disuse following 1877, rendered obsolete by the railroad. The canal banks and one lock may still be seen in Warren, however, uncovered as part of a river beautification project in 1966.[3]

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