“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 February 3, 2023

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Maine ranks 46th 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 116 cities and towns lying in 113 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 770 historical markers in Maine, by our count. We have cataloged 687 historical markers and 179 war memorials—each individually presented on 845 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 83 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.

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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 October 23, 2022, and titled Round-the-World Flight 1924. It is in Brunswick in Cumberland County and had been erected in 1925. 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
200 • Waterways and Vessels
195 • Industry and Commerce
117 • Settlements and Settlers
86 • Civil War
71 • Forts and Castles
69 • Colonial Era
68 • World War II
59 • Architecture
53 • Parks and Recreational Areas
53 • World War I
    ... 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—200 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is Industry and Commerce with 195 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 October 13, 2022, and titled S.L. Wadsworth & Son. It had been erected in Eastport in Washington 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 Biddeford in York County. It is The Thacher Hotel / L'Hôtel Thacher.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Maine county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Cumberland County, with 182 of them. It is followed by York County with 134 markers. The Portland area of Cumberland County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 78. In York County the area with the most markers, 32, is Kennebunk.

Historical Markers in These
Maine Counties
182 • Cumberland County
134 • York County
106 • Hancock County
73 • Waldo County
70 • Kennebec County
66 • Washington County
50 • Androscoggin County
42 • Knox County
41 • Penobscot County
30 • Sagadahoc County
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Maine with the most markers we again find Portland at the top of the list with 78 markers in or near it. It is followed by Augusta in Kennebec County with 56 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 04101 at the top of the list with 73 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 04101 is assigned to Portland ME.) It is followed by ZIP Code 04330 with 52 markers. (04330 is assigned to Augusta ME including the Chelsea, Sidney, and Togus delivery areas.)

Historical Markers Near These
Maine Cities and Towns
78 • Portland
56 • Augusta
50 • Bar Harbor
37 • Cape Elizabeth
32 • Kennebunk
31 • Belfast
29 • Biddeford
29 • Bangor
27 • South Portland
25 • Auburn
    ... 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 October 23, 2022, and is titled Round-the-World Flight 1924 and was erected in 1925, in Brunswick. 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 Dennis Wilson, Brunswick Parks and Recreation Department, October 7, 2022
Latest Entry from Maine
“Round-the-World Flight 1924”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Augusta. The first: Adolphe J. Gingras, was added November 28, 2017. The last: Kennebec Arsenal / L'Arsenal du Kennebec added on November 18, 2021. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1881: Civil War Memorial, added on December 2, 2017.

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 Oxford County, Somerset County and Franklin County. We've only found, respectively, 4, 3, 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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Feb. 3, 2023