Historical United States Census totals for Hancock County, Maine

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This article shows U.S. Census totals for Hancock County, Maine, broken down by municipality, from 1900 to 2000.

There are two types of incorporated municipalities in Maine, towns and cities. The tables below differentiate between towns and cities.

Most areas of New England are entirely divided into incorporated municipalities, with no unincorporated territory. In the three northern New England states, however, some unincorporated territory does exist, generally in areas that are very sparsely populated. Maine contains significantly more unincorporated territory than the other states, with the bulk of it in interior and northern counties, including Hancock County.

Some unincorporated territory in Maine is organized into a third type of town-level municipality unique to Maine, called a plantation (considered to be “organized”, but not incorporated), while some is entirely unorganized. Hancock County does not currently contain any plantations, but it has included plantations in the past. All of the unincorporated territory that currently exists within the county is unorganized. Due to the large extent of unincorporated territory in Hancock County, separate sections with detailed historical census totals for such areas follow the main tables below. For any census, adding up the totals for each town-level municipality, including any plantations and unorganized entities, should yield the county total.

For more information on the New England municipal system, see New England town.

Corporate changes since 1900[edit]

  • 1905 – New town of Southwest Harbor formed from Tremont
  • 1913 – Isle Au Haut left Hancock County and switched to Knox County
  • 1918 – Eden changed its name to Bar Harbor
  • 1976 – Osborn Plantation incorporated as a town
  • 1979 – Long Island Plantation incorporated as a town and changed its name to Frenchboro
  • 1981 – Great Pond Plantation incorporated as a town
  • 2004 – Verona changed its name to Verona Island

1900[edit]

County Total: 37,241

  • Eden 4,379
  • Ellsworth (city) 4,297
  • Bucksport 2,339
  • Deer Isle 2,047
  • Tremont 2,010
  • Blue Hill 1,828
  • Stonington 1,648
  • Mount Desert 1,600
  • Orland 1,251
  • Gouldsboro 1,259
  • Franklin 1,201
  • Brooksville 1,171
  • Penobscot 1,156
  • Sullivan 1,034
  • Brooklin 936
  • Castine 925
  • Sedgwick 902
  • Hancock 900
  • Surry 900
  • Swans Island 758
  • Lamoine 594
  • Winter Harbor 571
  • Trenton 459
  • Cranberry Isles 374
  • Amherst 364
  • Dedham 327
  • Eastbrook 248
  • Verona 234
  • Mariaville 218
  • Waltham 192
  • Isle Au Haut 182
  • Aurora 152
  • Otis 152
  • Sorrento 117

Unincorporated territory reported 516 residents. This consisted of 359 residents in organized plantations, and 157 residents in unorganized territory.

1910[edit]

County Total: 35,575

  • Eden 4,441
  • Ellsworth (city) 3,549
  • Bucksport 2,216
  • Stonington 2,038
  • Deer Isle 1,946
  • Mount Desert 1,569
  • Blue Hill 1,462
  • Gouldsboro 1,349
  • Orland 1,224
  • Brooksville 1,176
  • Franklin 1,161
  • Sullivan 1,132
  • Tremont 1,116
  • Penobscot 985
  • Brooklin 936
  • Castine 933
  • Sedgwick 909
  • Southwest Harbor 888
  • Hancock 843
  • Swans Island 749
  • Surry 734
  • Winter Harbor 590
  • Lamoine 482
  • Cranberry Isles 399
  • Trenton 354
  • Dedham 353
  • Amherst 275
  • Verona 229
  • Eastbrook 213
  • Waltham 182
  • Mariaville 171
  • Isle Au Haut 160
  • Sorrento 147
  • Otis 115
  • Aurora 114

Unincorporated territory reported 435 residents. This consisted of 323 residents in organized plantations, and 112 residents in unorganized territory.

1920[edit]

County Total: 30,361

  • Bar Harbor 3,622
  • Ellsworth (city) 3,058
  • Bucksport 1,906
  • Deer Isle 1,718
  • Blue Hill 1,564
  • Mount Desert 1,497
  • Stonington 1,353
  • Gouldsboro 1,282
  • Tremont 1,029
  • Brooksville 1,019
  • Franklin 925
  • Sullivan 916
  • Orland 910
  • Penobscot 870
  • Brooklin 856
  • Sedgwick 830
  • Southwest Harbor 824
  • Hancock 770
  • Castine 743
  • Surry 658
  • Swans Island 566
  • Winter Harbor 503
  • Cranberry Isles 410
  • Lamoine 327
  • Trenton 314
  • Dedham 286
  • Verona 233
  • Eastbrook 204
  • Amherst 198
  • Waltham 154
  • Sorrento 140
  • Mariaville 131
  • Otis 122
  • Aurora 95

Unincorporated territory reported 328 residents. This consisted of 254 residents in organized plantations, and 74 residents in unorganized territory.

1930[edit]

County Total: 30,721

  • Bar Harbor 4,486
  • Ellsworth (city) 3,557
  • Bucksport 2,135
  • Mount Desert 2,022
  • Blue Hill 1,439
  • Stonington 1,418
  • Deer Isle 1,266
  • Gouldsboro 1,115
  • Tremont 954
  • Orland 891
  • Southwest Harbor 888
  • Sullivan 873
  • Franklin 820
  • Brooksville 810
  • Brooklin 782
  • Hancock 760
  • Castine 726
  • Penobscot 708
  • Sedgwick 699
  • Swans Island 576
  • Winter Harbor 517
  • Surry 488
  • Lamoine 354
  • Cranberry Isles 349
  • Trenton 338
  • Dedham 279
  • Verona 228
  • Eastbrook 199
  • Amherst 163
  • Mariaville 155
  • Sorrento 143
  • Waltham 135
  • Otis 88
  • Aurora 86

Unincorporated territory reported 274 residents. This consisted of 224 residents in organized plantations, and 50 residents in unorganized territory.

1940[edit]

County Total: 32,422

  • Bar Harbor 4,378
  • Ellsworth (city) 3,911
  • Bucksport 2,927
  • Mount Desert 2,047
  • Stonington 1,493
  • Blue Hill 1,343
  • Deer Isle 1,303
  • Southwest Harbor 1,260
  • Tremont 1,118
  • Gouldsboro 1,068
  • Orland 1,015
  • Brooksville 805
  • Sullivan 801
  • Hancock 761
  • Franklin 742
  • Sedgwick 718
  • Penobscot 680
  • Castine 662
  • Brooklin 656
  • Winter Harbor 518
  • Surry 497
  • Lamoine 454
  • Swans Island 452
  • Trenton 403
  • Verona 391
  • Cranberry Isles 334
  • Dedham 293
  • Eastbrook 188
  • Sorrento 188
  • Waltham 157
  • Amherst 146
  • Otis 134
  • Mariaville 132
  • Aurora 81

Unincorporated territory reported 366 residents. This consisted of 235 residents in organized plantations, and 131 residents in unorganized territory.

1950[edit]

County Total: 32,105

  • Ellsworth (city) 3,936
  • Bar Harbor 3,864
  • Bucksport 3,120
  • Mount Desert 1,776
  • Stonington 1,660
  • Southwest Harbor 1,534
  • Blue Hill 1,308
  • Deer Isle 1,234
  • Gouldsboro 1,168
  • Orland 1,155
  • Tremont 1,115
  • Castine 793
  • Sullivan 762
  • Hancock 755
  • Brooksville 751
  • Franklin 709
  • Penobscot 699
  • Sedgwick 614
  • Winter Harbor 568
  • Brooklin 546
  • Swans Island 468
  • Surry 448
  • Lamoine 443
  • Dedham 374
  • Verona 374
  • Trenton 358
  • Cranberry Isles 228
  • Sorrento 201
  • Eastbrook 199
  • Waltham 154
  • Mariaville 153
  • Amherst 151
  • Otis 109
  • Aurora 91

Unincorporated territory reported 287 residents. This consisted of 183 residents in organized plantations, and 104 residents in unorganized territory.

1960[edit]

County Total: 32,293

  • Ellsworth (city) 4,444
  • Bar Harbor 3,807
  • Bucksport 3,466
  • Mount Desert 1,663
  • Southwest Harbor 1,480
  • Stonington 1,408
  • Blue Hill 1,270
  • Orland 1,195
  • Deer Isle 1,129
  • Gouldsboro 1,100
  • Tremont 1,044
  • Castine 824
  • Hancock 806
  • Winter Harbor 756
  • Sullivan 709
  • Penobscot 706
  • Franklin 627
  • Brooksville 603
  • Sedgwick 574
  • Surry 547
  • Brooklin 525
  • Lamoine 484
  • Dedham 438
  • Verona 435
  • Swans Island 402
  • Trenton 375
  • Sorrento 196
  • Cranberry Isles 181
  • Amherst 168
  • Eastbrook 167
  • Waltham 153
  • Mariaville 144
  • Otis 100
  • Aurora 75

Unincorporated territory reported 292 residents. This consisted of 151 residents in organized plantations, and 141 residents in unorganized territory.

1970[edit]

County Total: 34,590

  • Ellsworth (city) 4,603
  • Bucksport 3,756
  • Bar Harbor 3,716
  • Mount Desert 1,659
  • Southwest Harbor 1,657
  • Blue Hill 1,367
  • Gouldsboro 1,310
  • Orland 1,307
  • Stonington 1,291
  • Deer Isle 1,211
  • Castine 1,080
  • Hancock 1,070
  • Winter Harbor 1,028
  • Tremont 1,003
  • Sullivan 824
  • Penobscot 786
  • Franklin 708
  • Brooksville 673
  • Surry 623
  • Lamoine 615
  • Brooklin 598
  • Sedgwick 578
  • Dedham 522
  • Verona 437
  • Trenton 392
  • Swans Island 323
  • Sorrento 199
  • Eastbrook 188
  • Cranberry Isles 186
  • Waltham 167
  • Amherst 148
  • Otis 123
  • Mariaville 108
  • Aurora 72

Unincorporated territory reported 262 residents. This consisted of 132 residents in organized plantations, and 130 residents in unorganized territory.

1980[edit]

County Total: 41,781

  • Ellsworth (city) 5,179
  • Bucksport 4,345
  • Bar Harbor 4,124
  • Mount Desert 2,063
  • Southwest Harbor 1,855
  • Orland 1,645
  • Blue Hill 1,644
  • Gouldsboro 1,574
  • Deer Isle 1,492
  • Hancock 1,409
  • Castine 1,304
  • Stonington 1,273
  • Tremont 1,222
  • Winter Harbor 1,120
  • Penobscot 1,104
  • Franklin 979
  • Sullivan 967
  • Lamoine 953
  • Surry 894
  • Dedham 841
  • Sedgwick 795
  • Brooksville 753
  • Trenton 718
  • Brooklin 619
  • Verona 559
  • Swans Island 337
  • Otis 307
  • Sorrento 276
  • Eastbrook 262
  • Amherst 203
  • Cranberry Isles 198
  • Waltham 186
  • Mariaville 168
  • Aurora 110
  • Osborn 47
  • Frenchboro 43

Unincorporated territory reported 213 residents. This consisted of 45 residents in organized plantations, and 168 residents in unorganized territory.

1990[edit]

County Total: 46,948

  • Ellsworth (city) 5,975
  • Bucksport 4,825
  • Bar Harbor 4,443
  • Gouldsboro 1,986
  • Southwest Harbor 1,952
  • Blue Hill 1,941
  • Mount Desert 1,899
  • Deer Isle 1,829
  • Orland 1,805
  • Hancock 1,757
  • Tremont 1,324
  • Lamoine 1,311
  • Stonington 1,252
  • Dedham 1,229
  • Castine 1,161
  • Winter Harbor 1,157
  • Franklin 1,141
  • Penobscot 1,131
  • Sullivan 1,118
  • Trenton 1,060
  • Surry 1,004
  • Sedgwick 905
  • Brooklin 785
  • Brooksville 760
  • Verona 515
  • Otis 355
  • Swans Island 348
  • Sorrento 295
  • Eastbrook 289
  • Waltham 276
  • Mariaville 270
  • Amherst 226
  • Cranberry Isles 189
  • Aurora 82
  • Osborn 72
  • Great Pond 59
  • Frenchboro 44

Unincorporated territory reported 178 residents, all in unorganized territory.

2000[edit]

County Total: 51,791

  • Ellsworth (city) 6,456
  • Bucksport 4,908
  • Bar Harbor 4,820
  • Blue Hill 2,390
  • Hancock 2,147
  • Orland 2,134
  • Mount Desert 2,109
  • Southwest Harbor 1,966
  • Gouldsboro 1,941
  • Deer Isle 1,876
  • Tremont 1,529
  • Lamoine 1,495
  • Dedham 1,422
  • Franklin 1,370
  • Trenton 1,370
  • Surry 1,361
  • Penobscot 1,344
  • Castine 1,343
  • Sullivan 1,185
  • Stonington 1,152
  • Sedgwick 1,102
  • Winter Harbor 988
  • Brooksville 911
  • Brooklin 841
  • Otis 543
  • Verona 533
  • Mariaville 414
  • Eastbrook 370
  • Swans Island 327
  • Waltham 306
  • Sorrento 290
  • Amherst 230
  • Cranberry Isles 128
  • Aurora 121
  • Osborn 69
  • Great Pond 47
  • Frenchboro 38

Unincorporated territory reported 215 residents, all in unorganized territory.

Plantations[edit]

As of 1900, Hancock County appears to have contained five plantations. Much of present-day Hancock County was originally laid out as numbered townships, and four of the plantations had simply kept their numbers when they organized as plantations. These were Plantation No. 7, Plantation No. 8, Plantation No. 21, and Plantation No. 33. The fourth plantation, Long Island, was named for the offshore island on which it was located. There is some question as to Plantation No. 7’s status; the 1900 and 1910 Census reported it as a plantation, but the author of this article has been unable to find confirmation of this in any other source. Plantation No. 8 surrendered its organization in 1913. According to the 1920 census reports, Plantation No. 7 also surrendered its organization some time between 1910 and 1920. The three other plantations have all since incorporated as towns. Their dispositions are as follows:

  • Plantation No. 21: changed its name to Osborn in 1923; incorporated as a town in 1976
  • Long Island: changed name to Frenchboro and incorporated as a town in 1979
  • Plantation No. 33: apparently changed its name to Great Pond some time between 1970 and 1980 (shown as Great Pond Plantation in the 1980 Census); incorporated as a town in 1981

With Great Pond’s incorporation as a town, there are no longer any active plantations in Hancock County.

1900

  • Long Island 174
  • No. 33 82
  • No. 21 58
  • No. 7 28
  • No. 8 17

1910

  • Long Island 197
  • No. 33 54
  • No. 21 39
  • No. 8 19
  • No. 7 14

1920

  • Long Island 164
  • No. 33 49
  • No. 21 41

1930

  • Long Island 145
  • No. 33 45
  • Osborn 34

1940

  • Long Island 119
  • No. 33 76
  • Osborn 40

1950

  • Long Island 97
  • Osborn 49
  • No. 33 37

1960

  • No. 33 58
  • Long Island 57
  • Osborn 36

1970

  • Long Island 56
  • No. 33 43
  • Osborn 33

1980

  • Great Pond 45

There have been no plantations in Hancock County at any time since the 1980s.

Unorganized Territory[edit]

Like all of Maine's interior and northern counties, Hancock County contains a significant amount of unorganized territory. Most of the unorganized territory in Hancock County is in areas which have historically been very sparsely populated. The coastal and southwestern areas of the county have historically been fully incorporated. Further inland to the northeast, lower-lying areas with access to lakes and rivers have generally been incorporated or organized, while more mountainous or remote areas have often never had any significant population and have remained unorganized. The northeastern part of the county is largely unorganized, as is the area along the eastern edge bordering Washington County. Along the eastern edge of the county, the unorganized territory actually comes quite close to the coast (the coastal town of Gouldsboro borders an unorganized township on its northern side). There is also an unorganized tract called Township No. 8 (also known as T8 SD) located in an otherwise fully incorporated area, bounded by Ellsworth, Hancock, Franklin, Waltham and Mariaville. This is a remnant, measuring about 15 square miles (39 km2), of what was once a larger survey township.

Historically, about two-thirds of the county’s land area was incorporated or organized, leaving the remaining one-third unorganized. There are at least a dozen full-sized townships in the county which have never been organized, along with the remnants of a few additional townships whose territories were partially taken to form incorporated towns. The general divider between the organized and unorganized portions of the county historically followed the northern or interior boundaries of Amherst, Great Pond, Aurora, Osborn, Eastbrook, Franklin, Sullivan and Gouldsboro. With the exception of Township No. 8, all territory to the south or west of that line was historically organized, although several municipalities did not advance beyond the plantation stage until the 1970s or later, if at all. North or to the interior of that line, all territory is, and has historically been, unorganized.

The areas of Hancock County that are entirely unorganized cover about 500 square miles (1,300 km2), with a population of about 200. This covers about 30% of the county’s land area, but includes less than 1% of its population. Two unorganized townships, T3 ND and T8 SD, have large enough populations to maintain a registrar and clerk to conduct elections for state and federal offices, although they do not have true organized municipal governments (No. 3 is in the northeastern part of the county, adjacent to the Penobscot County town of Burlington; No. 8 is described in the first paragraph of this section). A similar entity has also been formed by a group of two unorganized townships banding together: the “Unorganized Township of DTT9 & T10” (T9 SD and T10 SD are in the southeastern part of the county, east of Franklin and northeast of Sullivan; T9, the westernmost of the two, is a remnant of what was once a larger survey township).

Over the years, the U.S. Census Bureau has used different methods to compile data for unorganized territory in Maine. From 1900 to 1950, data was tabulated for each individual unorganized entity. In 1960, a single catch-all “Unorganized Territory” listing was provided for each Maine county, generally with no further breakdown. Since 1970, the Census has grouped contiguous areas in each county into one or more “unorganized territories”. As of the 2000 Census, three such areas are recognized within Hancock County:

  • East Hancock Unorganized Territory: the unorganized area to the north or east of Amherst, Great Pond, Aurora, Osborn, Eastbrook, Franklin, Sullivan and Gouldsboro. This covers the bulk of the historically unorganized territory in Penobscot County.
  • Central Hancock Unorganized Territory: T8 SD, an unorganized tract measuring about 15 square miles (39 km2), bounded by Ellsworth, Hancock, Franklin, Waltham and Mariaville. This is a remnant of what was once a larger survey township. This township constitutes an Unorganized Territory in its entirety because it does not border any other land that is unorganized.
  • Northwest Hancock Unorganized Territory: T32 MD. This township constitutes an Unorganized Territory in its entirety because it does not border any other land that is both unorganized and within Hancock County.

The roster of Unorganized Territories in Hancock County has not changed since Unorganized Territories were first created for the 1970 Census.

The listings below provide population figures for 1) all unincorporated territory, including plantations; 2) organized plantations, for which breakouts are available in the main tables above; and 3) unorganized territory, with any available breakouts provided.

1900

All unincorporated territory 516

Organized plantations 359

Unorganized territory 157

  • T39 MD 75
  • T10 SD 19
  • T32 MD 12
  • T28 MD 10
  • T22 MD 3
  • Islands: 38 (see “Notes” section below)

1910

All unincorporated territory 435

Organized plantations 323

Unorganized territory 112

  • T28 MD 17
  • T32 MD 17
  • T10 SD 13
  • T9 SD 1
  • Islands: 64 (see “Notes” section below)

1920

All unincorporated territory 328

Organized plantations 254

Unorganized territory 74

  • T8 SD 21
  • T7 SD 19
  • T32 MD 18
  • T10 SD 16

1930

All unincorporated territory 274

Organized plantations 224

Unorganized territory 50

  • T7SD 19
  • T32 MD 14
  • T10 SD 9
  • T8 SD 8

1940

All unincorporated territory 366

Organized plantations 235

Unorganized territory 131

  • T8 SD 35
  • T16 MD 13
  • T10 SD 11
  • T3 ND 8
  • T28 MD 7
  • T7 SD 5
  • T22 MD 2
  • T32 MD 2
  • T4 ND 1
  • T9 ND 1
  • T34 MD 1
  • Islands: 45 (see “Notes” section below)

1950

All unincorporated territory 287

Organized plantations 183

Unorganized territory 104

  • T8 SD 75
  • T7 SD 9
  • T10 SD 6
  • T9 SD 5
  • Islands: 9 (see “Notes” section below)

1960

All unincorporated territory 292

Organized plantations 151

Unorganized territory 141

The 1960 Census reported all unorganized territory in Hancock County under a single catch-all listing. No breakdown is available.

1970

All unincorporated territory 262

Organized plantations 132

Unorganized territory 130

  • Central Hancock Unorganized Territory 110
  • East Hancock Unorganized Territory 20
  • Northwest Hancock Unorganized Territory 0

1980

All unincorporated territory 213

Organized plantations 45

Unorganized territory 168

  • Central Hancock Unorganized Territory 124
  • East Hancock Unorganized Territory 44
  • Northwest Hancock Unorganized Territory 0

1990

All unincorporated territory 178

Unorganized territory 178

  • Central Hancock Unorganized Territory 138
  • East Hancock Unorganized Territory 40
  • Northwest Hancock Unorganized Territory 0

2000

All unincorporated territory 215

Unorganized territory 215

  • Central Hancock Unorganized Territory 138
  • East Hancock Unorganized Territory 73
  • Northwest Hancock Unorganized Territory 4

Note: The area in and around the eastern half of Hancock County originally was laid out as a series of sequentially numbered townships designated ND (North Division), MD (Middle Division), SD (South Division) and ED (East Division). This area was originally part of Bingham's Penobscot Purchase. Most of the remaining unorganized townships in Hancock County are in the MD or SD sequences. Numbering in MD and SD is continuous, working row-by-row south to north, then west to east within each row. For example, T7 SD is near the coast; T22 MD is directly north, some distance inland; T34 is further directly north, further inland. There are also two ND townships in Hancock County, in the northeast corner of the county. Although the two ND unorganized townships have numbers that are not duplicated by any existing MD or SD unorganized townships, the ND numbering sequence is unrelated to the MD and SD numbering sequence (T3 ND and T4 ND are immediately to the north of T40 MD and T41 MD). Most of the unorganized townships in Hancock are identified only by their survey numbers and have never developed informal township names.

In 2005, the Maine state legislature officially named T8 SD, which had not previously had a generally used name, as Fletchers Landing Township.

Notes[edit]

Unorganized Islands

Several of the censuses between 1900 and 1950 contain listings for offshore islands in Hancock County which appear to have been unorganized territory, but were treated as distinct from any larger unorganized entity. These listings are as follows:

  • 1900: Eagle Island (pop. 30) and Butter Island (pop. 8).
  • 1910: Eagle Island (pop. 31), Marshalls Island (pop. 14), Mount Desert Rock Island (pop. 10), Hog Island (pop. 3), Bear Island (pop. 2), Butter Island (pop. 2), and Pumpkin Island (pop. 2). A footnote describes these areas as “not within the limits of an organized town or plantation”.
  • 1920: according to a footnote, Bear, Butter, Eagle, Hog and Pumpkin islands are returned with the town of Deer Isle; Mount Desert Rock is returned with Long Island Plantation; and Marshalls Island is returned with the town of Swans Island.
  • 1930: a footnote mentions that the above islands were returned independently in 1910, but contains no specific information about their disposition.
  • 1940: “Islands not belonging to any town” (pop. 45). The specific islands are not identified, and no explanation is provided as to how these islands had been handled in 1930.
  • 1950: “Islands not belonging to any town” (pop. 9).

In the 1960 Census, all unorganized territory in Hancock County was included in a single catch-all listing. 1950 and 1940 figures are provided as well, calculated by adding together the unorganized territory originally reported in those two censuses. The 1950 and 1940 totals for unorganized territory include the “Islands not belonging to any town” totals shown above.

It is not clear how those islands have been accounted for in 1960 and subsequent censuses. Modern sources show no such unorganized territory in Hancock County today, so at some point they were apparently either annexed to nearby towns, or a decision was made to treat them as part of those towns for Census purposes.

See also[edit]