Sagadahoc County, Maine

Sagadahoc County, Maine

Infobox U.S. County
county = Sagadahoc County
state = Maine

map size = 200
founded = 1854
seat = Bath | area_total_sq_mi =370
area_land_sq_mi =254
area_water_sq_mi =116
area percentage = 31.41%
census yr = 2000
pop = 35214
density_km2 =54
web =

Sagadahoc County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maine. As of 2000, the population was 35,214. Its county seat is Bath.GR|6 In land area, it is the smallest county in Maine.

Sagadahoc County is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 370 square miles (959 km²), of which, 254 square miles (658 km²) of it is land and 116 square miles (301 km²) of it (31.41%) is water.

Adjacent counties

*Kennebec County, Maine - north
*Lincoln County, Maine - east
*Cumberland County, Maine - west
*Androscoggin County, Maine - northwest

National protected area

* Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge


Sagadahoc County was formerly included in York, and later, in Lincoln County; having been set off from the latter and incorporated in 1854. The exploring company of DeMonts, led by the intrepid Champlain made the first known visit of Europeans to Sagadahoc. Sir William Popham’s colony, having erected buildings and constructed a vessel, after a few months’ sojourn abandoned their settlement in 1608; but English fishermen and trappers continued to visit the rivers and shores of the County. Capt. John Smith, of Virginia fame, explored the region in 1614 ; and on the map of the country which he displayed to King Charles I of England, that monarch entered the name "Leethe" as a substitute for "Sagadahoc."

When the Council of Plymouth was dissolved, and the territory divided, 10,000 acres somewhere on the east side of the Sagadahoc were added to each of seven of the twelve divisions, that each of the noble owners might share in the visionfor New England. The grant to Sir Ferdinand Gorges, in 1622, had for its eastern boundary, the Sagadahoc. From this he granted to Sir Richard Edgecomb, a tract on the north side of the Lake of New Somerset (Merrymeeting Bay) and another on the coast, probably on New Meadows Harbor. The Pilgrims of New Plymouth received their patent rights of trade on the Kennebec in 1623, which was enlarged in 1629 to a right to the soil and exclusive rights of trade within its limits. The boundaries of this grant, like those of most of the early ones, were notaccurately defined; and when the patent passed from its Pilgrim ownership and became the Kennebec Purchase, its wealthy proprietors extended their claims over the territories of their neighbors beyond what generally found warrant in law, when the issues came to be tried in the courts. The indefinite boundaries, therefore, were the cause of much litigation. Rights to the soil were sought from the natives also; the first known being the Nequasset purchase, made in 1639; the islands below soon after, and within 20 years the whole of Sagadahoc County was held under titles from its Indian possessors. The grant to Purchase and Way which, together with the Pejepscot Purchase included a large part of Bowdoinham, and all of Topsham, Bath, West Bath,and Phipsburgh, was made in 1630; Purchase himself having resided near the Pejepscot (Brunswick) Falls since 1627. In 1654 New Plymouth colony instituted a form of government covering all the settlements of the Kennebec. This was succeeded by the more effective jurisdiction of Massachusetts, which continued, with a partial interruption only for a few years by the Duke of York’s government, until Maine became an independent State. In 1672, upon a petition of the settlers for protection, the territory beyond the Kennebec, which had been erected into the county of Cornwall by the Kings’ commissioners,—deputies of the Duke of York, was transmuted into the county of Devonshire; York being limited to the western side of the Sagadahoc. An appearance of right to exercise this jurisdiction had been secured by a new interpretation of the terms fixing the boundary of her patent by Massachusetts. The motive for this movement was found in the new claim of the French, under the treaty of Breda, to the territory as far west as the Kennebec.

The first Indian war in Maine, called King Philip’s war, broke out in 1675; yet the plundering of Mr. Purchas’ house was the only hostile act in Sagadahoc County until August, 1676. At this date occurred the descent of the Indians upon the settlements of Hammond, Clark and Lake, in which 53 persons were made captives by the Indians. The region was now almost wholly abandoned by settlers; and though various small and temporary settlements were attempted, there was no permanent occupation until 1715, when twenty families located on Arrowsic, and the Pejepscot town of Augusta was begun under Dr. Noyes in Phipsburg. Yet these were swept away; and forts and garrison houses were often the only places of safety for the inhabitants, until the fall of the French power in the North in 1759 terminated the Indian wars in Maine. From 1717 to 1720 many Scotch-Irish Presbyterians had come in; and after Governor Dummer’s treaties of 1725—7 the immigrants became numerous.

During the Revolution, there was much alarm in the Sagadahoc region from British cruisers; but no considerable action occurred. Two British armed vessels which threatened Bath, were attacked on their way up the river, and turned back. In the war of 1812, the noted action between the Enterprise and Boxer occurred off its southeastern shore. During the Civil War the county furnished to the Union forces 2,488 men.

Steam-power was first used on the Kennebec as early as 1818, for propelling simple craft; and in 1823 steam communication was opened between Bath and Boston. What became the Bath branch of the Maine Central Railroad was opened to the city in 1849; and the Knox and Lincoln Railroad was opened in 1871. The first newspaper was published in the county in 1820.

Sagadahoc County was set off from Lincoln and incorporated in 1854, Bath being made the shire town. Its valuation in 1870 was $11,041,340. In 1880 it was $10,297,215. The polls in 1870 numbered 4,669, and in 1880, 5,182. The population in 1870 was 18,803. In 1880 it was 19,276. [History of Sagadahoc County, Maine, From A Gazetteer of the State of Maine By George J. Varney Published by B. B. Russell, 57 Cornhill, Boston 1886.]

From 1880 to 2000, the county's population increased by not quite double, to 35,214.cite web | url = | title=U.S. Census Bureau - State & County QuickFacts - Sagadahoc County | accessdate=2007-08-10]

More recently, Sagadahoc County achieved notoriety beyond the State of Maine for the July 1988 strangulation murder of Sarah Cherry and the subsequent trial and conviction of Dennis Dechaine for sexually assaulting and killing her.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000cite web |url=|title=State & County "QuickFacts": Sagadahoc County|accessdate=2007-05-13|publisher=U.S. Census Bureau] , there were 35,214 people, 14,117 households, and 9,641 families residing in the county. The population density was 139 people per square mile (54/km²). There were 16,489 housing units at an average density of 65 per square mile (25/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.49% White, 0.92% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.38% from other races, and 1.21% from two or more races. 1.11% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 14,117 households out of which 33.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.60% were married couples living together, 9.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.70% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 6.60% from 18 to 24, 30.50% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 12.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,908, and the median income for a family was $49,714. Males had a median income of $34,039 versus $24,689 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,378. About 6.90% of families and 8.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.20% of those under age 18 and 6.40% of those age 65 or over.

22.0% were of English, 11.6% Irish, 11.1% French, 10.6% United States or American, 8.0% French Canadian and 7.3% German ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.1% spoke English and 2.2% French as their first language.

Cities and towns

*West Bath

Territories and locations

*Perkins Township (Swan Island) - a ghost town originally incorporated as the town of Perkins.


External links

* [ Sagadahoc County government]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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