History of Mattawamkeag, Maine, USA


Mattawamkeag Cemetery

Martin Cemetery


Pine Tree Lodge - Under new Construction

Mattawamkeag is the location of an ancient Indian Village which borrowed its name from the river at whose mouth it is located. The Mattawamkeag River is the largest eastern branch of the Penobscot River. Its entrance is clearly distinguishable in low water by large white gravel bar, hence the word is most often translated as "A River with Many Rocks at It's Mouth." The name was later translated to the town.

Mattawamkeag, the town, was incorporated in 1860. It was formerly known as Township No. 1 East Indian Purchase. White men came in about 1829 when Col Stanley built a log cabin or shanty for the accomodation of men engaged in hauling supplies for the lumbermen over the frozen roads of Penobscot ice. It was closed up during the summer season and Stanley soon left for Houlton after selling his place to Milliken and John Rollins. In 1829 the United State government started the Military Road to Houlton and completed it as far as Mattawamkeag that year. In 1830 Capt. George Waite, who had been hauling supplies to lumbermen, bought out Milliken and John Rollins. George Waite purchased some land and built a frame house a little farther above the creek.

In 1830 James Penley and George Wallace of Old Town erected a hotel on the site of the early Mattawamkeag stagehouse, then sold it to Thomas Pratt of Old Town; perhaps Ira Wadleigh owned an interest in it.

In 1835 only 2 families remained, George Waite, farmer, hotel owner and owner of teams, and James Thompson, carrier of the Bangor and Houlton mail, probably the first to carry mail on the Bangor and Houlton Road, who built the house know as the McDonald house, just north of Libbey and Stratton store.

Henry David Thoreau passed through Mattawamkeag in 1847 where the Houlton stagecoach stopped. Here Throeau found a "substantial bridge" over the Mattawamkeag River.

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