Perkins Township, Maine

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Perkins Township (Swan Island) is an unorganized territory in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States. Originally incorporated as the town of Perkins, it has been uninhabited since being abandoned by the 1940s. The township comprises Swan Island, Little Swan Island and some tidal flats - all within the Kennebec River between the towns of Richmond and Dresden, Maine.

The "Swan Island Historic District" (Perkins Township Historic District) comprises much of the township with 8 buildings, 5 structures and 1,500 acres (6.1 km2). Some of the buildings date to the 1750s. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

The town of Perkins was incorporated in the mid-19th century and then disincorporated in 1918, becoming Perkins Township, its legal name. Its population was 0 at the 2000 census.

The township is managed by the Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife as the Steve Powell Wildlife Management Area. This web page provides information on public access - which is restricted. Swan Island is known for its abundant wildlife.



During the 19th century, the town of Perkins was a community of almost 100 residents who under-took shipbuilding, farming and ice harvesting. The island also attracted summer residents who built summer homes, and its most famous summer resident was Thomas Handasyd Perkins. The town was named for him when it was incorporated in the mid-19th century, after he paid for incorporation.

Besides town government the town also had a schoolhouse and cemetery. However the town was disincorporated in 1918, so it became a township managed by the state. By the mid 1940s the Great Depression and ongoing pollution of the Kennebec River led to the decline of the island's industries and the island was abandoned.

Little was done until the 1990s when efforts were made to protect some of the buildings, a process that is ongoing.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the location has a total area of 9.7 km² (3.7 mi²). 5.8 km² (2.2 mi²) of it is land and 3.9 km² (1.5 mi²) of it (40.37%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were no people living in the location.


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