Dresden, Maine

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Dresden is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States that was incorporated in 1794. The population was 1,625 at the 2000 census.



The town was originally settled in 1752 under the name Frankfort by French and German Huguenots, who were part of the first wave of French speaking immigrants to arrive in Maine, but were distinguished from later arrivals by their Protestant faith. First called Frankfort, so that the new French immigrants could pretend to be German, the town was incorporated as Pownalborough in 1760, when Lincoln County was created in the Maine District of Massachusetts. Pownalborough included the Town of Wiscasset, which was soon set off on its own as the shire town of the county. When the present territory was incorporated in 1794, Lincoln County Probate Judge Jonathan Bowman chose Dresden as the new name of the town because he liked the sound of it.

Dresden is located on the southern side of the Eastern River.[1] Dresden also offers some historical sites as well, including an old, brick school building and the Pownalborough Courthouse, which is now used as a museum and is open to the public. The Pownalborough Courthouse was built in 1760 and was the first seat of government east of the Kennebec River. The families who settled Dresden and those who were soon afterward sent there by the government of Massachusetts played a crucial role in the battle for American independence in Maine. Robert Treat Paine, John Hancock, and John Adams appeared at the Court House in the Revolutionary Era. Well known local families included the Houdlettes, Mayerses, Bridges, Bowmans, Percys, Johnsons, and Trussells, who variously left their marks on the history of the town, the state, and the country.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.2 square miles (85.9 km²), of which, 30.6 square miles (79.4 km²) of it is land and 2.5 square miles (6.5 km²) of it (7.60%) is water. Dresden has two rivers running through it: the Kennebec River and the Eastern River. The Eastern River merges into the Kennebec River at the southern tip of Green Point and the south eastern side of Swan Island. The Eastern River has long been a favored spot to fish for smelt in shacks concentrated above holes made in the winter ice. Dresden's other notable geographical features are Blinn's Hill and The Great Bog. At a modest 440 feet above sea level, Blinn's Hill still affords a view of the White Mountains, more than 100 miles away, from its summit. The Great Bog is primieval and lies not far from the natural foot of Blinn's Hill. Other scenes of Dresden are gentle and reminiscent of England, Wales, Ireland, and the softer countryside of Russia.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 1,625 people, 642 households, and 455 families residing in the town. The population density was 53.0 people per square mile (20.5/km²). There were 739 housing units at an average density of 24.1/sq mi (9.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.42% White, 0.25% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.49% Asian, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.12% of the population.

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