Maine House Dist.
Maine Senate Dist.
Area in square mi.
Statehood began a period of
explosive population growth, slowing only forty years later:
Medal of Honor winners: Civil War
THOMAS BELCHER; FRANCIS S. HESSELTINE; THOMAS TAYLOR; SIDNEY W. THAXTER; HENRY W.
Indian Wars HENRY J.
Corner of Main and
All Souls Congregational
6/18/92, 10 Broadway
218 Ohio Street
Bangor Fire Engine
House No. 6 4/7/88, 284 Center Street
Bangor Hose House
No. 5 9/11/97
247 State Street
Bangor House 2/23/72
174 Main Street
Bangor Mental Health
Institute 7/16/87, 656 State Street
Bangor Standpipe 8/30/74
Historic District 8/2/77, Union Street
Battleship Maine Monument
Junction of Main and
Blake House 10/31/7, 107 Court Street
Bounded by Garland,
Essex, State, Park and Center Streets
Bryant, Charles G.,
6/20/86, 16--18 Division Street
Connors House 10/6/83, 277 State Street
Farrar, Samuel, House
123 Court Street
212 Kenduskeag Avenue
Grand Army Memorial
Home 10/31/72, 159 Union Street
Great Fire of 1911
6/14/84, Harlow, Center, Park,
York, and Central Streets
House 10/9/79, 15 5th Street
Hammond Street Congregation
Church 7/8/82, Hammond and High Streets
Jenkins, Charles W.,
House 9/18/90, 67 Pine Street
4/2/73, 48-50 Penobscot Street
Low, Joseph W., House
51 Highland Street
Morse & Co.
Office Building 4/2/73
Morse Bridge 2/16/70, Valley Avenue, over
Mount Hope Cemetery
District 12/4/74, U.S. 2
178 State Street
Smith, Zebulon, House
55 Summer Street
St. John's Catholic
Symphony House 10/26/72, 166 Union Street
Veazie, Jones P.,
House 6/23/88, 88 Fountain Street
6/18/92, 97--99 Ohio Street
West Market Square
12/27/79, W. Market Sq.
7/18/74, 34 Hammond Street
Whitney Park Historic
District 10/13/88, Roughly bounded by
8th, Union, Pond and Hayford Streets
Williams, Gen. John,
62 High Street
[BAN-gor or BANG-gor] is the major city in, and county seat of, Penobscot County, incorporated as a town on February
24, 1834 from the former Kunduskee (or Kenduskeag) Plantation. On March 26, 1853 the
"Queen City" was incorporated as a city just at the
beginning of its legendary history as a booming community when logging was king.
The area was first settled by Jacob Buswell and his family in
1769. Others came and went, but even by the beginning of the 19th century
Kenduskeag Plantation was a struggling frontier outpost. One estimate has
the population at about 150 in 1790.
the War of 1812, the British forged up the Penobscot River, shelled the
community, and ignited a disastrous fire virtually destroying it.
Life was breathed into the area when Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820. At the time, the vast
Maine timberlands were put on the block for private speculation. The wealth of the woods
drew investors and fortune hunters.
By the 1830s, Bangor, now a city, was building 500 structures
annually. It boasted luxury residences, a grand hotel, a lovely downtown and hoped to surpass Boston in size
In 1834, the 264-acre Mount Hope
Cemetery was established. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places,
it is the second oldest garden cemetery in America, designed to serve as a haven for the living as well as a final resting-place for the
deceased. (Another picture.)
However, the financial panic of
1837 brought much of the City's creativity and optimism to a halt. Lumbering
finally revived the economy and dominated it in the mid- to late 19th century.
Foundries were built to provide stoves for the lumber camps, and the machinery to run huge
sawmills; the shoe industry made boots; the tool and dye industry supplied the tools needed in
the woods; the ships were built to haul lumber to distant ports.
Until the 1870s, Bangor was the lumber capital of the world with a billion board feet of lumber
shipped from its docks. By the 1880's, the lumber industry had declined
significantly, as did the city's economy.
Other smaller industries soon emerged to fill the economic gap left by lumber - shoes, paper, fishing
rods, tourism. Cheap hydroelectric power encouraged quantity and diversity. This industrial adaptation would
come to a tragic halt on April 30, 1911, the day of the Great Fire. Fifty-five commercial and residential acres
burned in one of Maine's worst fires.
The economic disaster of the Great Fire was real, but the city rebuilt quickly with the best
materials available, in the most avant-garde styles, using architects from Boston and New York as well as
Bangor. The Great Fire District is an architectural monument to the dynamic spirit and will to survive.
In the 20th century, with the coming of the automobile, Bangor emerged as the financial, retail and cultural
center for northern and eastern Maine and the Maritimes.
The river, rail service, and the emerging Eastern Maine
Medical Center contributed to its continued growth.
Air Force Base provided an economic and civic boost during the Cold War until
its decommissioning in 1968. The City's creation of Bangor International
Airport, capitalizing on its strategic position along the great circle route
from Europe to key locations in the United States, turned the potential
liability into an economic asset.
Strict historical ordinances, downtown restoration and revitalization,
and interest in Bangor's
older residential neighborhoods has mark a change of attitude from the "new is always better" approach of
Urban Renewal in the late 1960s. During that period, the classic Union
Station was razed, along with many other historic structures. The landmark
"Standpipe" at left, however, still towers over the city.
area remained a huge parking lot for nearly two decades with development
hindered by the
phenomenal expansion of a former dairy farm's
fields into the
huge and growing Bangor Mall complex.
years have seen real renewal in the city's downtown with a children's museum, a
local theater company, and recreational development of the Penobscot
The Queen City's famous citizens include Hannibal
Abraham Lincoln's first Vice-President; William S. Cohen,
a U.S. Senator and Secretary of Defense; and a series of governors:
William D. Williamson
1838-39;41-42 Edward Kent
1881-1883 Harris M. Plaisted
1889-1893 Edwin C. Burleigh
1921-1921 Frederick H.
1959-1959 Robert N.
1987-1995 John R. McKernan, Jr.
The Bangor Auditorium, with its trademark Paul
Bunyan presence, and nearby Bass Park raceway, attract major events to the
Chadbourne, Ava Harriet.
Place Names and The Peopling of its Towns
Scree, Trudy I.
Mount Hope Cemetery: A Twentieth-Century History.