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Bucksport, Maine

HistoryEdit The first inhabitants of Bucksport were a 5,000 year old prehistoric culture known as theRed Paint People, that would later be referred to as the Maritime Archaic. They were thought to be a highly advanced native fishing culture that buried red paint in their graves along with stone tools and weapons. The first archaeological dig in the state of Maine, if not the entire United States, was initiated by Professor Charles Willoughby in 1891 on Indian Point, on a site where the present-day mill is located.[4] Once territory of the Tarrantine (now called Penobscot) Abenaki Native Americans, it was one of six townships granted by the Massachusetts General Court to Deacon David Marsh of Haverhill, Massachusetts and 351 others. Colonel Jonathan Buck and a number of the grantees arrived in 1762 to survey the land, then returned to Haverhill. In June 1763, Buck came back to settle permanently what was known as Plantation No. 1, building a sawmillon Mill Creek, as well as a house and store. By 1775 the plantation had 21 families.[5]Legend has it that Buck burned his mistress for being a witch, and that she promised to return and seek vengeance on the town. It is believed to be her foot and leg that appears on his tombstone, reappearing each time it has been replaced.[6][7] During the Revolutionary War, the British military built Fort George at Castine. On April 14, 1779, the stronghold became the site of a major American naval defeat called thePenobscot Expedition. The following day, when most of Plantation No. 1 was deserted, the 16-gun Royal Navy sloop HMS Nautilus anchored at the harbor. Its crew burned the town, sparing only those remaining inhabitants who swore allegiance to the Crown. But following the peace treaty of 1783, the town was resettled and called Buckstown Plantation after its founder. Incorporated on June 27, 1792 as Buckstown, it was renamed Bucksport in 1817. The town was occupied by the British during the War of 1812. In 1851, the East Maine Conference Seminary was opened by the Methodist Church as a preparatory school, but closed in 1933 when Bucksport opened its first public secondary school.[8] In 1780, the Jed Prouty Tavern and Inn was built in downtown Bucksport. It was expanded to a 17 room hotel around 1820. It is now being turned into a nursing home for the elderly. Bucksport is also well known for its bizarre and fantastic stories. In 1892, a circus elephant named Charlie broke loose and roamed the town a free animal. He was finally captured, with the help of a pit bull, who cornered the elephant so his handlers could secure him.[citation needed] On the evening of October 13, 1876, a triple homicide took place, leaving an old man named Robert Trim, his 32-year-old daughter Melissa Thayer, and Thayer's 4-year-old daughter Josie murdered and their family farm burned to the ground. The authorities soon arrested a sea captain despite the lack of witnesses, evidence or motive, and his trial was one of the biggest the young state had ever seen. The captain was found guilty and sentenced to life in Thomaston Prison.[9] In 1898, another notorious murder took place. A woman named Sarah Ware went missing on the evening of September 17, and her beheaded and badly decomposed body was discovered by a search party two weeks later near Miles Lane. A man named William Treworgy was eventually tried for the murder but was acquitted, and the case was never solved.[10] Bucksport is depicted in the 1960s ABC television series Dark Shadows, most prominently in the 1840 time period, as located near the fictional town of Collinsport. Bucksport's history and reputation were rumored to be the predominant inspirations for the fictional Collinsport several years before the writers of the serial incorporated Bucksport into the storyline.[citation needed] The town's terrain is uneven, riven with ponds and streams. Farmers grew hay andpotatoes. Shipbuilding, however, would become the principal occupation. Many worked atfisheries, sailing to the Grand Banks for their catch. Other industries produced lumber, ships' pumps, blocks, plugs, wedges and wheels, boats, barrels, carriages, leather, bootsand shoes and stone work. In 1874, the Bucksport and Bangor Railroad was completed. It provided Bangor with shipping access to Penobscot Bay during winter months when the Penobscot River froze.[11] The Maine Seaboard Paper Company in 1930 opened the Bucksport Mill, a paper mill with two machines which manufactured 300 tons of newsprint per day. Now it is owned byVerso Paper, and has 4 machines with a capacity to manufacture 482,800 tons annually. The factory produces lightweight coated paper used in such publications as Time Magazine and the L. L. Bean catalog.[8] On 1 October 2014, it was announced by Verso that they would be closing the mill, effective on 1 December, laying off 570 workers.[12] Bucksport Harbor in 1905 E. M. C. Seminary c. 1907 Buck Mem. Library c. 1908 Bucksport Bank c. 1910

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