About Quizzes

History of Bangor, Maine

Bangor sits on the west bank of the Penobscot River, at the head of navigation 60 miles from the ocean. It is the commercial and cultural center of eastern Maine and was the focal point of an enormous trade in Maine pine in the middle of the 19th century. Samuel de Champlain sailed up the Penobscot as far as the site of Bangor in 1604. He was searching for the mythical city of "Norumbega," but found instead an important rendezvous spot of the natives. Bangor's Norumbega Park commemorates Champlain's voyage. In 1769, the first permanent settler, Jacob Buswell, arrived from Salisbury, Massachusetts. The first sawmill was built in 1772. Originally known as Kenduskeag or perhaps Cunduskeag, Bangor was incorporated as a town in 1791, with the name chosen by the Reverend Seth Noble, to commemorate his favorite hymn. Bangor was occupied by the British in 1814. The first bridge was built across the Penobscot to Brewer in 1831. The city was incorporated in 1834. Starting around 1820, Bangor experienced a prolonged period of prosperity, founded on the timber that was harvested and shipped around the world. Ships were built in Bangor's shipyards along the river and carried Maine pine to overseas destinations. Substantial fortunes were made, and some of the fine houses on the east side of Bangor were designed by Charles Bulfinch of Boston. The origins of the Bangor Public Library can be traced to a collection of seven books owned by the Bangor Mechanic Association in 1830. The present building on Harlow Street was built in 1913 to replace an earlier building that was destroyed by fire. Bangor is home to Husson College and Eastern Maine Technical College. The main campus of the University of Maine is at Orono, eight miles from Bangor. Bangor is the home of celebrated horror author, Stephen King.