About the Area
Explore our communities. Enjoy the ride.
Alna was first settled in 1663. In 1794, it was incorporated as the town of New Milford. In 1811, however, finding the name “too industrial,” residents changed it to Alna (Latin for “alder trees” which proliferated in the town). The Alna Meeting House (1798) is a rare example of an 18th-century church, with its high pulpit and box pews unchanged for more than two centuries.
Bremen stretches 21 miles along the west bank of the tidal Medomak River and northern reaches of Muscongus Bay. It encompasses three villages — Broad Bay, Medomak, and Muscongus — and 1,400 acres of fresh-water ponds. The Todd Audubon Sanctuary in Bremen consists of 30 main-land acres and, just off the coast, the 330-acre island of Hog Island Audubon Camp.
Each village in Bristol — Bristol Mills, Pemaquid Harbor, Pemaquid Point, Pemaquid Beach, Pemaquid Falls, New Harbor, Chamberlain, and Round Pond — has its own center, most with restaurants and small businesses. Visitors are drawn to Pemaquid Point’s iconic lighthouse, Fishermen’s Museum, and art gallery. Colonial Pemaquid, a state park, includes a replica of the fort built there in 1692.
The historic coastal village of Damariscotta, once a famous shipbuilding town, overlooks a tidal river, the Damariscotta, and is the peninsula’s year-round commercial center, with shops, galleries, and restaurants. It’s home to several historic landmarks, arts organizations, and the Damariscotta River Association, a community land trust — all dedicated to preserving the area’s rich cultural and natural heritage.
The town of Edgecomb, on rolling hills between the Sheepscot and Damariscotta Rivers, is home to Fort Edgecomb, now a state park, built in 1809 on the Sheepscot to protect Wiscasset and its shipping from possible British attack. A block house with parade grounds and remains of fortifications offer a beautiful view of the Narrow, Westport Island, and the Edgecomb shore.
Rural Jefferson lines the northern and northwestern shores of Damariscotta Lake and includes Damariscotta Lake State park, known for its fine-sand beach and good bass and togue fishing. This peaceful town offers many lovely views of the lake, especially at its first town house, built in 1835, on the Bunker Hill Road. Jefferson also encompasses a number of fresh-water ponds.
The small rocky island of Monhegan, 10 miles offshore, is home for people who make their living fishing and lobstering, and a summer haven for artists and other visitors seeking quiet relaxation and natural beauty. Access is by boat. Monhegan has no cars or paved roads. Miles of walking trails lead through this rugged, undeveloped landscape of woods and high ocean cliffs.
Newcastle lies between two rivers, the Sheepscot and the Damariscotta, and includes the Sheepscot Historic District, which was settled in the 1620s. By 1800, Newcastle was a large and thriving ship-building town. Lincoln Academy, the region’s high school, was built in 1801. St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, completed in 1808, is the oldest Catholic Church in New England.
First settled in the 1720s, Nobleboro calls itself “the little town with a big heart.” A monument on the town common honors Lt. Col. Arthur Noble, who commanded a regiment that included many Maine men at the 1745 capture of Fort Louisburg on Cape Breton Island. Noble’s son led the effort to have the town incorporated, which occurred in 1788.
South Bristol, bordered by the Damariscotta River on the west and Muscongus Bay on the east, is a center for the traditional maritime trades of lobstering, fishing, and clamming. Mussels and oysters are cultivated in the river; fishing boats anchor in “The Gut” separating South Bristol from Rutherford Island. South Bristol’s Thompson Ice House appears on the National Register of Historic Places.
Waldoboro, on the banks of the Medomak, is named for General Samuel Waldo, a settler of German descent whose land grant in the early 1700s included much of the current town. Waldoboro became a ship- building community where, in 1888, the east coast’s first five-masted schooner was built. Waldoboro was largely settled by Germans; the German Meeting House, c. 1772, is their enduring monument.
The three villages of quiet, pastoral Whitefield — King’s Mills, Whitefield, and Coopers Mill — are linked by the gentle Sheepscot River, which meanders through the town. It’s named for celebrated British evangelist George Whitefield, who inspired colonists before they settled the town in 1770. Today, Whitefield’s population is a cooperative mix of farmers, artists, woodsmen, and other professionals.
Wiscasset, settled in the early 1700s, has one of the deepest harbors in Maine, though it’s 14 miles from the sea. It became a great shipbuilding and lumber center, home port to square-rigged ships carrying cargo around the world. Today it boasts fine 18th- and 19th – century homes, historic buildings, museums, and the Maine Art Gallery, along with antique shops, boutiques, and restaurants.