“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Maine Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on January 18, 2021

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Maine ranks 49th among states and provinces with markers in this database. Maine is a state in the United States of America located in the American Northeast. It is also in the New England region. Maine is some 35 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 1.3 million people. The state is divided into 16 counties and all of them have entries in this database. In Maine we have discovered historical markers in 102 cities and towns lying in 97 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 458 historical markers in Maine, by our count. We have cataloged 454 historical markers and 127 war memorials—each individually presented on 566 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another four historical markers in Maine that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first Maine marker in the database, Bonney Park, was added May 28, 2007. It was photographed in Auburn in Androscoggin County. The last one added was submitted on December 5, 2020, and titled Founder of Steep Falls. It is in Steep Falls in Cumberland County. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Maine was erected in 1859. It was this one: Reverend William I. Reese, and one of our correspondents found it in Portland in Cumberland County on December 12, 2011.

Maine Historical Topics
121 • Waterways and Vessels
113 • Industry and Commerce
76 • Settlements and Settlers
63 • Civil War
46 • Forts or Castles
40 • Colonial Era
38 • World War II
31 • World War I
30 • Military
29 • Revolutionary War
    ... and others ...

Mainers don’t want to forget their Waterways and Vessels history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Maine about Waterways and Vessels—121 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is Industry and Commerce with 113 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Waterways and Vessels topic was also Bonney Park, added May 28, 2007. It had been erected in Auburn in Androscoggin County. The last one submitted was submitted on April 18, 2020, and titled Site of the First Sawmill. It had been erected in Bucksport in Hancock County. The earliest marker erected with the Waterways and Vessels topic that we have listed was erected in 1904. It is First Permanent English Settlement in Machias Bay, found in Machias in Washington County on April 22, 2012.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Maine? What we know is that John Ford Memorial is the most viewed entry in the database from Maine since it was added in 2009. It is located in Portland in Cumberland County. This year so far, the most viewed Mainer entry is located in South Portland in Cumberland County. It is Liberty Ship Memorial.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Maine county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Cumberland County, with 101 of them. It is followed by Hancock County with 83 markers. The Portland area of Cumberland County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 35. In Hancock County the area with the most markers, 46, is Bar Harbor.

Historical Markers in These
Maine Counties
101 • Cumberland County
83 • Hancock County
69 • Waldo County
56 • York County
54 • Kennebec County
45 • Washington County
40 • Knox County
37 • Penobscot County
30 • Sagadahoc County
24 • Aroostook County
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Maine with the most markers we again find Bar Harbor at the top of the list with 46 markers in or near it. It is followed by Augusta in Kennebec County with 40 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 04609 at the top of the list with 46 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 04609 is assigned to Bar Harbor ME.) It is followed by ZIP Code 04330 with 36 markers. (04330 is assigned to Augusta ME including the Chelsea, Sidney, and Togus delivery areas.)

Historical Markers Near These
Maine Cities and Towns
46 • Bar Harbor
40 • Augusta
35 • Portland
31 • Belfast
28 • Bangor
22 • Bath
22 • Cape Elizabeth
21 • South Portland
17 • Searsport
15 • Calais
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Cumberland County, the first marker added to the database from there, Franklin Street Wharf, was added July 7, 2009. It was erected in 2007 in Portland. The last one submitted—also the last one submitted in all of Maine—was uploaded on December 5, 2020, and is titled Founder of Steep Falls, in Steep Falls. The earliest marker erected in Cumberland County that we have listed was erected in 1859. It was Reverend William I. Reese, found in Portland on December 12, 2011.

Latest entry from Maine. Click to go there
By TeamOHE, June 3, 2019
Latest Entry from Maine
“Founder of Steep Falls”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Bar Harbor. The first: Frenchman Bay, was added December 13, 2009. The last: Drink in the View added on August 5, 2017. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1897: Civil War Memorial, added on April 14, 2012.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

There is no organization in charge of erecting official historical markers state-wide in Maine today. A number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Maine have been marked with history. Check out Somerset County, Oxford County and Franklin County. We've only found, respectively, 3, 2, and 2 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of Maine might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Jan. 18, 2021