TOWN OF NEWCASTLE, MAINE
Newcastle is located on U.S. Route 1. It is a town between the Sheepscot and Damariscotta Rivers. Nearby Great Salt Bay is the first marine shellfish area to be protected by Maine legislation. Dodge Point Public Reserved Land, with over 8,000 feet of frontage on the western shore of the Damariscotta River, encompasses 521 acres. Recreation there includes hiking and cross-country skiing, and fishing.
The family home of Frances Perkins, the first woman Secretary of Labor from 1933-1947 under President Franklin Roosevelt is located in Newcastle on the River Road.
The earliest settlement in Newcastle was at Sheepscot, called Sheepscot Farms. The settlement in Sheepscot grew and enjoyed more than 50 years of tranquility and success. There were some 100 residents.
There were 7 garrisons erected around the 1700s due to mounting problems with native Indians.
Newcastle was incorporated into a District on June 19, 1753, in the county of York. A District is not a town and, as such could not send a representative to the General Assembly. It was brought to the attention of the General Assembly. To rectify that, on August 23, 1775, Newcastle became a town.
Some say Newcastle is the 12th town, and some say it is the 30th town established in Maine.
Newcastle was named for the Duke of Newcastle. It was a compliment to him as the principal secretary to King George II.
The Europeans brought boat building to this quaint area. Boats such as the Ontario, Golden Rule, Thomas Kennedy, State of Maine and Virginia Dare were built in Newcastle.
There were once great sawmills and grist mills at Damariscotta Mills. In 1799 the first schoolhouse was built in Sheepscot. The oldest Catholic Church in New England, still in continuous use, is located at Damariscotta Mills. It is Saint Patrick's Catholic Church on Academy Hill Road. One of the last bells cast by Paul Revere hangs inside.
In 1871 the 1st train arrived in Newcastle operated by the Knox Lincoln Railroad. In 1959 connecting passenger train service was ended by Maine Central Railroad.
Newcastle residents have a strong sense of community. It is a place where people know their neighbors and welcome visitors. Newcastle residents enjoy evenings watching the abundant wildlife and nature that surrounds them. Quiet walks and time to reflect in this fast paced world. That is the way life should be and the way life is in Newcastle, Maine.
- Excerpts provided by Arlene Cole & Edmee Dejean -
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