Mattawamkeag, Maine

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Mattawamkeag is a town in Penobscot County, Maine, United States located where the Mattawamkeag River joins the Penobscot River.[1] The population was 825 at the 2000 census.


Railroad history

Mattawamkeag's history is inextricably linked to the railroad.

The European & North American Railway built up the Penobscot River valley from Bangor and reached Mattawamkeag in 1869. By October 1871 the line was completed from Mattawamkeag to Vanceboro where it connected through to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. The Maine Central Railroad leased the Bangor-Vanceboro E&NA in 1882 and purchased it in 1955.

In 1889 the International Railway of Maine was completed between Megantic, Quebec, Canada to Mattawamkeag, where it interchanged with the Maine Central. The parent company of the International Railway, Canadian Pacific, obtained running rights from Maine Central for Mattawamkeag to Vanceboro where it regained CPR trackage in New Brunswick. This placed Mattawamkeag on the transcontinental mainline of the Canadian Pacific, running from Saint John to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In 1974, CPR purchased the Mattawamkeag-Vanceboro railway tracks from Maine Central. In 1988, CPR transferred trackage east of Megantic to its subsidiary Canadian Atlantic Railway. In 1994, Canadian Atlantic was sold, with the line running through Mattawamkeag being purchased by J.D. Irving and is now operated as Eastern Maine Railway.

Maine Central was purchased by Guilford Transportation Industries in 1981 and became part of Guilford Rail System. Mattawamkeag is the eastern terminus of GRS, running west to Upstate New York through the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Historic building

The George W. Smith Homestead (1874) in Mattawamkeag is listed on the National Register of Historic Places [2]

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