Woolwich, Maine

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Woolwich, Maine
settlement_type = Town
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption = Hell Gate on the Sasanoa River



pushpin_label_position =left
pushpin_map_caption =Location within the state of Maine
pushpin_mapsize =

|mapsize =
map_caption =

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Maine
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Sagadahoc
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = 1759

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 107.9
area_land_km2 = 90.8
area_water_km2 = 17.1
area_total_sq_mi = 41.7
area_land_sq_mi = 35.0
area_water_sq_mi = 6.6

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 2810
population_density_km2 = 31.0
population_density_sq_mi = 80.2

timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 13
elevation_ft = 43
latd = 43 |latm = 57 |lats = 0 |latNS = N
longd = 69 |longm = 46 |longs = 59 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 04579
area_code = 207
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 23-87460
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0582829
website =
footnotes =

Woolwich is a town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,810 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located beside Merrymeeting Bay, Woolwich is a suburb of the city of Bath.


Called Nequasset after Nequasset Lake by Abenaki Indians, it was first settled in 1638 by Edward Bateman and John Brown. They would purchase the land in 1639 from the sachem Mowhotiwormet, commonly known as Chief Robinhood, who lived near Nequasset Falls. At Day's Ferry on the Kennebec River, Richard Hammond operated a fortified trading post. His household of 16, including servants, workmen and stepchildren, conducted a lucrative fur trade with the Indians. But in the first blow of King Philip's War in the area, on the evening of August 13, 1676, warriors ingratiated themselves into the stockaded trading post, then killed the elderly Hammond and his stepson as they returned for the night. Others were either slain and scalped or taken into captivity. Buildings were looted and burned, and the cattle slain.

Nequasset was attacked during King William's War, when inhabitants were again or forced to abandon their homes. It was assailed again in 1723 during Dummer's War, when the Norridgewocks and their 250 Indian allies from Canada, incited by the French missionary Sebastien Rale, burned dwellings and killed cattle. Following Governor William Dummer's peace treaty of 1725, resettlement would be slow until the 1759 Fall of Quebec. Nequasset had become a district of Georgetown, but on October 20, 1759, the plantation was set off and incorporated by the Massachusetts General Court, named after Woolwich, England.

The peninsula was heavily wooded, providing timber for shipbuilding. It also had excellent soil for agriculture. By 1858, industries included 2 sawmills, 2 gristmills and a shipyard. By 1886, the community also produced bricks and leather. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers twice widened Upper Hell Gate on the Sasanoa River, which separates Woolwich from Arrowsic. Originally constricted by curves and ledges, which were made even more dangerous by swift currents, the half mile (0.8 kilometer) stretch was widened in 1898 to a minimum of 90 feet (27 meters), then again in 1908 to a minimum of 140 feet (40 meters) and depth of 12 feet (4 meters). The Sasanoa River now permits safer passage between Bath and Boothbay Harbor.

Notable residents

* Wilmot Brookings, pioneer, judge & politician
* John W. Brown, union leader
* Sir William Phips, governor


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 41.7 square miles (107.9 km²), of which, 35.0 square miles (90.8 km²) of it is land and 6.6 square miles (17.1 km²) of it (15.85%) is water. Woolwich is on a peninsula, with Merrymeeting Bay and the Kennebec River to the west, Sasanoa River to the southwest, and Back River to the southeast.

It is crossed by U. S. Route 1, and state routes 127 and 128. It borders the towns of Dresden to the north and Wiscasset to the east. Separated by water, it is near Bowdoinham to the west, Bath to the southwest, Arrowsic to the south, and Westport to the southeast.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 2,810 people, 1,101 households, and 824 families residing in the town. The population density was 80.2 people per square mile (31.0/km²). There were 1,210 housing units at an average density of 34.5/sq mi (13.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.62% White, 0.36% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.14% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.82% of the population.

There were 1,101 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.9% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.1% were non-families. 19.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the town the population was spread out with 23.8% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 28.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 104.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $41,741, and the median income for a family was $47,984. Males had a median income of $34,673 versus $22,625 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,097. About 5.6% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.


The town is home to one school serving grades K-8, Woolwich Central School, which is a part of the Union 47 school district.

ites of interest

* Robert P. Tristram Coffin Wildflower Sanctuary
* Montsweag Preserve
* [http://www.umbrafxweb.com/WOOLWEB/HOME.HTML Woolwich Historical Society & Museum]


Further reading

* [http://history.rays-place.com/me/woolwich-me.htm History of Woolwich, Maine (1886)]
* [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mesagada/woolwich.htm Brief Description and History of Woolwich, Maine]
* [ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/me/kennebec/kennebecvalley/shwhitney/kv44-58.txt Kennebec Valley -- Sagadahoc County (1887)]
* A. J. Coolidge & J. B. Mansfield, "A History and Description of New England", 1859; H. O. Houghton & Company, printers; Cambridge, Massachusetts
* [http://w3.salemstate.edu/~ebaker/Phipsweb/phipsindex.html Archeology of the Phips Homestead]
* [http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~walkersj/JamesPhips.htm Biography of James Phips]

External links

* [http://www.woolwichme.com/ Town of Woolwich, Maine]
* [http://www.patten.lib.me.us/ Patten Memorial Library]
* [http://www.lkrlt.org/ Lower Kennebec Regional Land Trust]
* [http://maine.gov/local/sagadahoc/woolwich/ Maine.gov -- Woolwich, Maine]

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