Historical United States Census totals for Penobscot County, Maine

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This article shows U.S. Census totals for Penobscot 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 Penobscot 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. Penobscot County also contains an Indian reservation, which is considered to be a distinct entity independent from any municipality, although this has not always been the case in the past. Due to the large extent of unincorporated territory in Penobscot 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, unorganized entities and Indian reservations (when recognized as independent entities), should yield the county total.

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

Corporate changes since 1900[edit]

  • 1901 – New town of Millinocket incorporated from previously unorganized territory (formerly part of T3 Indian Purchase)
  • 1907 – New town of East Millinocket incorporated from previously unorganized territory (formerly part of TAR7 WELS)
  • 1907 – Mattamiscontis disincorporated; may have been briefly subsequently organized as plantation (see notes to the 1900 Census below), but ultimately reverted to unorganized territory
  • 1921 – Drew Plantation incorporated as a town
  • 1934 – Drew disincorporated; subsequently organized as a plantation
  • 1935 – Kingman disincorporated; subsequently organized as a plantation, but later reverted to unorganized territory
  • 1936 – Mount Chase disincorporated; subsequently organized as a plantation
  • 1937 – Carroll disincorporated; subsequently organized as a plantation
  • 1938 – Argyle disincorporated and reverted to unorganized territory
  • 1939 – Prentiss disincorporated; subsequently organized as a plantation, but later reverted to unorganized territory
  • 1953 – Stacyville Plantation incorporated as a town
  • 1979 – Mount Chase Plantation re-incorporated as a town
  • 1981 – Lakeville Plantation incorporated as a town
  • 1993 – Greenfield disincorporated and reverted to unorganized territory

1900[edit]

County Total: 76,246

  • Bangor (city) 21,850
  • Old Town (city) 5,763
  • Brewer (city) 4,835
  • Orono 3,257
  • Dexter 2,941
  • Hampden 2,182
  • Lincoln 1,731
  • Newport 1,533
  • Orrington 1,266
  • Hermon 1,183
  • Patten 1,172
  • Corinna 1,170
  • Enfield 1,062
  • Corinth 1,042
  • Bradford 954
  • Kingman 936
  • Carmel 932
  • Exeter 879
  • Garland 857
  • Dixmont 843
  • Charleston 842
  • Milford 838
  • Lee 801
  • Levant 789
  • Newburgh 734
  • Winn 688
  • Bradley 682
  • Eddington 663
  • Plymouth 658
  • Holden 602
  • Greenbush 586
  • Lagrange 574
  • Veazie 555
  • Springfield 532
  • Etna 527
  • Mattawamkeag 527
  • Howland 519
  • Stetson 503
  • Prentiss 502
  • Carroll 487
  • Glenburn 461
  • Hudson 430
  • Kenduskeag 423
  • Passadumkeag 409
  • Burlington 394
  • Chester 363
  • Argyle 320
  • Alton 314
  • Lowell 300
  • Mount Chase 299
  • Medway 297
  • Clifton 236
  • Greenfield 160
  • Woodville 160
  • Maxfield 115
  • Edinburg 65
  • Mattamiscontis 28

Unincorporated territory reported 2,206 residents. This consisted of 905 residents in organized plantations, and 1,301 residents in unorganized territory. An additional 269 residents lived on an Indian reservation.

1910[edit]

County Total: 85,285

  • Bangor (city) 24,803
  • Old Town (city) 6,317
  • Brewer (city) 5,667
  • Orono 3,555
  • Dexter 3,530
  • Millinocket 3,368
  • Hampden 2,380
  • Lincoln 1,988
  • Newport 1,747
  • Patten 1,406
  • Corinna 1,237
  • Orrington 1,219
  • Hermon 1,210
  • Carmel 1,050
  • Corinth 1,034
  • Enfield 970
  • Milford 967
  • Bradford 930
  • East Millinocket 923
  • Exeter 888
  • Charleston 864
  • Garland 817
  • Dixmont 757
  • Lee 748
  • Kingman 741
  • Levant 707
  • Newburgh 694
  • Winn 655
  • Bradley 634
  • Eddington 611
  • Holden 609
  • Lagrange 590
  • Plymouth 590
  • Veazie 557
  • Etna 523
  • Mattawamkeag 517
  • Howland 494
  • Medway 489
  • Greenbush 485
  • Kenduskeag 481
  • Stetson 480
  • Carroll 472
  • Prentiss 472
  • Springfield 459
  • Glenburn 457
  • Passadumkeag 445
  • Hudson 403
  • Burlington 370
  • Chester 349
  • Alton 259
  • Lowell 259
  • Argyle 233
  • Mount Chase 227
  • Clifton 217
  • Greenfield 195
  • Woodville 125
  • Maxfield 79
  • Edinburg 45

Unincorporated territory reported 1,667 residents. This consisted of 1,173 residents in organized plantations, and 494 residents in unorganized territory. An additional 320 residents lived on an Indian reservation.

1920[edit]

County Total: 87,684

  • Bangor (city) 25,978
  • Old Town (city) 6,956
  • Brewer (city) 6,064
  • Millinocket 4,528
  • Dexter 4,113
  • Orono 3,133
  • Lincoln 2,452
  • Hampden 2,352
  • Newport 1,709
  • Patten 1,498
  • Corinna 1,394
  • East Millinocket 1,392
  • Hermon 1,190
  • Orrington 1,174
  • Milford 1,128
  • Enfield 1,041
  • Carmel 918
  • Corinth 891
  • Exeter 807
  • Bradford 738
  • Howland 724
  • Lee 724
  • Charleston 720
  • Garland 677
  • Bradley 672
  • Winn 638
  • Kingman 604
  • Dixmont 602
  • Levant 602
  • Newburgh 578
  • Plymouth 576
  • Mattawamkeag 553
  • Holden 549
  • Eddington 527
  • Veazie 504
  • Springfield 497
  • Lagrange 478
  • Kenduskeag 451
  • Stetson 427
  • Carroll 395
  • Medway 390
  • Etna 386
  • Greenbush 381
  • Glenburn 377
  • Prentiss 373
  • Hudson 369
  • Passadumkeag 354
  • Burlington 330
  • Chester 285
  • Mount Chase 239
  • Lowell 212
  • Alton 209
  • Clifton 185
  • Argyle 170
  • Greenfield 108
  • Woodville 100
  • Maxfield 67
  • Edinburg 41

Unincorporated territory reported 2,154 residents. This consisted of 1,159 residents in organized plantations, and 995 residents in unorganized territory. (Note: the Penobscot Indian Reservation was not broken out separately in the 1920 through 1940 censuses.)

1930[edit]

County Total: 92,379

  • Bangor (city) 28,749
  • Old Town (city) 7,266
  • Brewer (city) 6,329
  • Millinocket 5,830
  • Dexter 4,063
  • Orono 3,338
  • Lincoln 2,970
  • Hampden 2,417
  • Newport 1,731
  • Howland 1,605
  • East Millinocket 1,593
  • Corinna 1,485
  • Patten 1,278
  • Hermon 1,204
  • Orrington 1,167
  • Milford 1,203
  • Enfield 1,138
  • Corinth 931
  • Carmel 881
  • Exeter 773
  • Bradford 721
  • Charleston 716
  • Garland 673
  • Bradley 671
  • Lee 669
  • Levant 596
  • Veazie 568
  • Winn 560
  • Newburgh 551
  • Holden 543
  • Dixmont 538
  • Kingman 495
  • Eddington 487
  • Lagrange 468
  • Plymouth 468
  • Mattawamkeag 461
  • Springfield 451
  • Stetson 420
  • Etna 418
  • Medway 406
  • Kenduskeag 397
  • Greenbush 373
  • Hudson 363
  • Glenburn 357
  • Prentiss 330
  • Passadumkeag 325
  • Burlington 301
  • Carroll 293
  • Chester 253
  • Mount Chase 210
  • Alton 209
  • Lowell 161
  • Clifton 156
  • Argyle 120
  • Greenfield 119
  • Maxfield 116
  • Woodville 115
  • Drew 110
  • Edinburg 45

Unincorporated territory reported 1,195 residents. This consisted of 844 residents in organized plantations, and 351 residents in unorganized territory. (Note: the Penobscot Indian Reservation was not broken out separately in the 1920 through 1940 censuses.)

1940[edit]

County Total: 97,104

  • Bangor (city) 29,822
  • Old Town (city) 7,688
  • Brewer (city) 6,510
  • Millinocket 6,223
  • Dexter 3,714
  • Orono 3,702
  • Lincoln 3,653
  • Hampden 2,591
  • Newport 2,052
  • East Millinocket 1,663
  • Patten 1,548
  • Orrington 1,517
  • Corinna 1,515
  • Milford 1,264
  • Howland 1,189
  • Hermon 1,182
  • Enfield 979
  • Corinth 954
  • Carmel 870
  • Mattawamkeag 843
  • Charleston 768
  • Exeter 751
  • Bradford 734
  • Bradley 716
  • Holden 680
  • Levant 661
  • Medway 623
  • Lee 618
  • Garland 610
  • Veazie 597
  • Newburgh 591
  • Winn 585
  • Dixmont 576
  • Eddington 571
  • Lagrange 508
  • Glenburn 500
  • Plymouth 462
  • Etna 460
  • Springfield 442
  • Greenbush 439
  • Stetson 408
  • Kenduskeag 387
  • Hudson 372
  • Burlington 338
  • Alton 286
  • Passadumkeag 277
  • Chester 258
  • Clifton 168
  • Lowell 161
  • Woodville 133
  • Greenfield 110
  • Maxfield 67
  • Edinburg 34

Unincorporated territory reported 2,734 residents. This consisted of 2,311 residents in organized plantations, and 423 residents in unorganized territory. (Note: the Penobscot Indian Reservation was not broken out separately in the 1920 through 1940 censuses.)

1950[edit]

County Total: 108,198

  • Bangor (city) 31,558
  • Old Town (city) 8,261
  • Orono 7,504
  • Brewer (city) 6,862
  • Millinocket 5,890
  • Dexter 4,126
  • Lincoln 4,030
  • Hampden 3,608
  • Newport 2,190
  • Orrington 1,895
  • Corinna 1,752
  • Hermon 1,728
  • Patten 1,536
  • Howland 1,441
  • Milford 1,435
  • East Millinocket 1,358
  • Enfield 1,196
  • Corinth 1,167
  • Carmel 996
  • Mattawamkeag 803
  • Bradford 793
  • Bradley 786
  • Veazie 776
  • Charleston 771
  • Holden 754
  • Exeter 734
  • Medway 725
  • Levant 706
  • Glenburn 694
  • Eddington 664
  • Dixmont 631
  • Lee 610
  • Newburgh 599
  • Garland 581
  • Lagrange 511
  • Winn 497
  • Plymouth 496
  • Greenbush 477
  • Etna 458
  • Hudson 455
  • Stetson 434
  • Burlington 425
  • Springfield 414
  • Kenduskeag 387
  • Passadumkeag 331
  • Alton 314
  • Chester 256
  • Clifton 193
  • Lowell 192
  • Woodville 91
  • Greenfield 88
  • Edinburg 36
  • Maxfield 26

Unincorporated territory reported 2,634 residents. This consisted of 1,838 residents in organized plantations, and 796 residents in unorganized territory. An additional 323 residents lived on an Indian reservation.

1960[edit]

County Total: 126,346

  • Bangor (city) 38,912
  • Brewer (city) 9,009
  • Old Town (city) 8,626
  • Orono 8,341
  • Millinocket 7,453
  • Hampden 4,583
  • Lincoln 4,541
  • Dexter 3,951
  • Orrington 2,539
  • East Millinocket 2,392
  • Newport 2,322
  • Hermon 2,087
  • Corinna 1,895
  • Milford 1,572
  • Holden 1,375
  • Howland 1,362
  • Veazie 1,354
  • Patten 1,312
  • Medway 1,266
  • Carmel 1,206
  • Corinth 1,138
  • Enfield 1,098
  • Glenburn 965
  • Eddington 958
  • Bradley 951
  • Mattawamkeag 945
  • Levant 765
  • Charleston 750
  • Exeter 707
  • Bradford 690
  • Stacyville 673
  • Newburgh 636
  • Kenduskeag 584
  • Garland 568
  • Greenbush 565
  • Lee 555
  • Dixmont 551
  • Hudson 542
  • Winn 526
  • Plymouth 494
  • Etna 486
  • Springfield 426
  • Lagrange 424
  • Stetson 420
  • Passadumkeag 355
  • Burlington 353
  • Alton 303
  • Chester 261
  • Clifton 227
  • Lowell 132
  • Greenfield 100
  • Woodville 49
  • Maxfield 39
  • Edinburg 19

Unincorporated territory reported 1,610 residents. This consisted of 780 residents in organized plantations, and 830 residents in unorganized territory. An additional 383 residents lived on an Indian reservation.

1970[edit]

County Total: 125,393

  • Bangor (city) 33,168
  • Orono 9,989
  • Brewer (city) 9,300
  • Old Town (city) 8,741
  • Millinocket 7,742
  • Lincoln 4,759
  • Hampden 4,693
  • Dexter 3,725
  • Orrington 2,702
  • East Millinocket 2,567
  • Hermon 2,376
  • Newport 2,260
  • Holden 1,841
  • Milford 1,828
  • Corinna 1,700
  • Veazie 1,556
  • Medway 1,491
  • Howland 1,468
  • Eddington 1,358
  • Carmel 1,301
  • Patten 1,266
  • Corinth 1,212
  • Glenburn 1,196
  • Enfield 1,148
  • Bradley 1,010
  • Mattawamkeag 988
  • Charleston 909
  • Newburgh 835
  • Levant 802
  • Kenduskeag 733
  • Exeter 663
  • Lee 599
  • Garland 596
  • Greenbush 591
  • Bradford 569
  • Dixmont 559
  • Stacyville 547
  • Plymouth 542
  • Etna 526
  • Winn 516
  • Hudson 482
  • Stetson 395
  • Lagrange 393
  • Alton 340
  • Springfield 336
  • Passadumkeag 326
  • Burlington 266
  • Chester 255
  • Clifton 233
  • Lowell 154
  • Greenfield 117
  • Edinburg 67
  • Woodville 62
  • Maxfield 24

Unincorporated territory reported 1,254 residents. This consisted of 660 residents in organized plantations, and 594 residents in unorganized territory. An additional 317 residents lived on an Indian reservation.

1980[edit]

County Total: 137,015

  • Bangor (city) 31,643
  • Orono 10,578
  • Brewer (city) 9,017
  • Old Town (city) 8,422
  • Millinocket 7,567
  • Hampden 5,250
  • Lincoln 5,066
  • Dexter 4,286
  • Orrington 3,244
  • Hermon 3,170
  • Newport 2,755
  • Holden 2,554
  • East Millinocket 2,372
  • Glenburn 2,319
  • Milford 2,160
  • Corinna 1,887
  • Medway 1,871
  • Eddington 1,769
  • Corinth 1,711
  • Carmel 1,695
  • Veazie 1,610
  • Howland 1,602
  • Enfield 1,397
  • Patten 1,368
  • Newburgh 1,228
  • Kenduskeag 1,210
  • Bradley 1,149
  • Levant 1,117
  • Greenbush 1,064
  • Charleston 1,037
  • Mattawamkeag 1,000
  • Bradford 888
  • Exeter 823
  • Dixmont 812
  • Plymouth 811
  • Hudson 797
  • Etna 758
  • Garland 718
  • Lee 688
  • Stetson 618
  • Stacyville 554
  • Lagrange 509
  • Winn 503
  • Alton 468
  • Clifton 462
  • Springfield 443
  • Chester 434
  • Passadumkeag 430
  • Burlington 322
  • Mount Chase 233
  • Woodville 226
  • Greenfield 194
  • Lowell 194
  • Edinburg 126
  • Maxfield 64

Unincorporated territory reported 1,364 residents. This consisted of 605 residents in organized plantations, and 759 residents in unorganized territory. An additional 458 residents lived on an Indian reservation.

1990[edit]

County Total: 146,601

  • Bangor (city) 33,181
  • Orono 10,573
  • Brewer (city) 9,021
  • Old Town (city) 8,317
  • Millinocket 6,956
  • Hampden 5,974
  • Lincoln 5,587
  • Dexter 4,419
  • Hermon 3,755
  • Orrington 3,309
  • Glenburn 3,198
  • Newport 3,036
  • Holden 2,952
  • Milford 2,884
  • Corinna 2,196
  • Corinth 2,177
  • East Millinocket 2,166
  • Eddington 1,947
  • Medway 1,922
  • Carmel 1,906
  • Veazie 1,633
  • Levant 1,627
  • Enfield 1,476
  • Howland 1,435
  • Newburgh 1,317
  • Greenbush 1,309
  • Patten 1,256
  • Kenduskeag 1,234
  • Charleston 1,187
  • Plymouth 1,152
  • Bradley 1,136
  • Bradford 1,103
  • Garland 1,064
  • Hudson 1,048
  • Dixmont 1,007
  • Etna 977
  • Exeter 937
  • Stetson 847
  • Lee 832
  • Mattawamkeag 830
  • Alton 771
  • Clifton 607
  • Lagrange 557
  • Stacyville 480
  • Winn 479
  • Chester 442
  • Passadumkeag 428
  • Springfield 406
  • Burlington 360
  • Greenfield 267
  • Lowell 267
  • Mount Chase 254
  • Woodville 215
  • Edinburg 107
  • Maxfield 86
  • Lakeville 45

Unincorporated territory reported 1,471 residents. This consisted of 608 residents in organized plantations, and 863 residents in unorganized territory. An additional 476 residents lived on an Indian reservation.

2000[edit]

County Total: 144,919

  • Bangor (city) 31,473
  • Orono 9,112
  • Brewer (city) 8,987
  • Old Town (city) 8,130
  • Hampden 6,327
  • Lincoln 5,221
  • Millinocket 5,203
  • Hermon 4,437
  • Glenburn 3,964
  • Dexter 3,890
  • Orrington 3,526
  • Newport 3,017
  • Milford 2,950
  • Holden 2,827
  • Corinth 2,511
  • Carmel 2,416
  • Levant 2,171
  • Corinna 2,145
  • Eddington 2,052
  • East Millinocket 1,828
  • Veazie 1,744
  • Enfield 1,616
  • Medway 1,489
  • Greenbush 1,421
  • Charleston 1,397
  • Newburgh 1,394
  • Hudson 1,393
  • Howland 1,362
  • Plymouth 1,257
  • Bradley 1,242
  • Bradford 1,186
  • Kenduskeag 1,171
  • Patten 1,111
  • Dixmont 1,065
  • Etna 1,012
  • Exeter 997
  • Garland 990
  • Stetson 981
  • Lee 845
  • Mattawamkeag 825
  • Alton 816
  • Lagrange 747
  • Clifton 743
  • Chester 525
  • Passadumkeag 441
  • Winn 420
  • Stacyville 405
  • Springfield 379
  • Burlington 351
  • Lowell 291
  • Woodville 286
  • Mount Chase 247
  • Edinburg 98
  • Maxfield 87
  • Lakeville 63

Unincorporated territory reported 1,773 residents. This consisted of 324 residents in organized plantations, and 1,449 residents in unorganized territory. An additional 562 residents lived on an Indian reservation.

Plantations[edit]

As of 1900, Penobscot County contained seven plantations: Drew, Grand Falls, Lakeville, Seboeis, Stacyville, Summit, and Webster. By the 1920s, the number had dropped to five, as Summit apparently surrendered its organization sometime between 1910 and 1920 (see notes to the 1910 Census below), and Drew incorporated as a town in 1921. The number would increase again between 1934 and 1940, as five of the six towns in Penobscot County that disincorporated during that period subsequently became plantations: Drew (1934), Kingman (1935), Mount Chase (1936), Carroll (1937), and Prentiss (1940). This brought the number of plantations in the county to ten. In Drew’s case, this marked a return to plantation status after a short time as a town.

Of the ten plantations that existed in 1940, four remain today – Drew, Carroll, Seboeis and Webster. Three have incorporated as towns (Stacyville and Lakeville for the first time, Mount Chase as a re-incorporation). The remaining three have surrendered their organization and reverted to unorganized territory: Kingman (1945), Grand Falls (1981), and Prentiss (1990).

In addition to the above, there is also some evidence suggesting that the former town of Mattamiscontis may have been briefly organized as plantation around 1907, following its disincorporation as a town. If it was, however, it did not last long enough in this status to be tabulated as a plantation in any decennial census (see notes to the 1900 Census below).

1900

  • Stacyville 347
  • Lakeville 129
  • Webster 124
  • Drew 120
  • Seboeis 96
  • Grand Falls 52
  • Summit 37

1910

  • Stacyville 577
  • Drew 247
  • Webster 103
  • Lakeville 96
  • Seboeis 86
  • Grand Falls 50
  • Summit 14

1920

  • Stacyville 583
  • Drew 286
  • Webster 87
  • Lakeville 84
  • Seboeis 83
  • Grand Falls 36

1930

  • Stacyville 600
  • Webster 90
  • Lakeville 60
  • Seboeis 41
  • Grand Falls 53

1940

  • Stacyville 717
  • Kingman 367
  • Prentiss 337
  • Carroll 304
  • Mount Chase 198
  • Drew 93
  • Webster 89
  • Seboeis 80
  • Lakeville 71
  • Grand Falls 55

1950

  • Stacyville 679
  • Prentiss 315
  • Carroll 288
  • Mount Chase 250
  • Webster 92
  • Drew 72
  • Seboeis 70
  • Lakeville 50
  • Grand Falls 22

1960

  • Prentiss 227
  • Mount Chase 179
  • Carroll 147
  • Webster 79
  • Seboeis 77
  • Drew 43
  • Lakeville 21
  • Grand Falls 7

1970

  • Mount Chase 197
  • Prentiss 159
  • Carroll 132
  • Seboeis 63
  • Webster 56
  • Drew 32
  • Lakeville 15
  • Grand Falls 6

1980

  • Prentiss 205
  • Carroll 175
  • Webster 82
  • Drew 57
  • Seboeis 53
  • Lakeville 32
  • Grand Falls 1

1990

  • Prentiss 245
  • Carroll 185
  • Webster 95
  • Drew 43
  • Seboeis 40

2000

  • Carroll 144
  • Webster 82
  • Drew 57
  • Seboeis 41

Unorganized territory[edit]

Like all of Maine's interior counties, Penobscot County contains a significant amount of unorganized territory. Most of it is in the northern part of the county, an area which has historically been very sparsely populated. There are also some unorganized areas in the east central part of the county along the border with Hancock and Washington counties, another sparsely populated area.

Historically, about two-thirds of the county’s land area was incorporated or organized, leaving the remaining one-third unorganized. There are at least twenty-five townships in the county which have never been organized, along with a few additional gore-like entities. The general divider between the organized and unorganized portions of the county historically followed the northern or interior boundaries of Seboeis, Mattamiscontis, Chester, Woodville, East Millinocket and Medway, and the border with Aroostook County north of Mattawamkeag, Kingman and Drew. With the exception of two townships along the border with Hancock and Washington counties, all territory to the south and east of that line was historically organized, although several municipalities had not advanced beyond the plantation stage. The two townships that were never organized at all are T3R1 NBPP, also known as Twombly Twp. (along the Hancock County line between Burlington and Lakeville), and T5R1 NBPP, also known as Whitney Twp. (in the corner east of Lakeville and south of Carroll, along the border with Washington County). Communities which were historically plantations rather than towns include Seboeis, Webster, Grand Falls, Drew (was a town only for a short period in the early 20th century), Lakeville (did not incorporate as a town until 1981) and Summit. All of these communities are in the area to the immediate south of the above line, and/or along the border with Hancock and Washington counties. The former town of Mattamiscontis and the former Summit plantation both dissolved early in the 20th century, reverting to unorganized territory.

North or to the interior of the line described in the previous paragraph, the only areas that have ever been organized are the town of Millinocket, and three municipalities in the northeast part of the county along the border with Aroostook County (Mount Chase, Patten and Stacyville). Millinocket does not border any other municipality which has ever been organized; it nearly touches East Millinocket, but the two are separated by a narrow strip of territory, most of which is water. Mount Chase, Patten and Stacyville are isolated from any other organized municipalities in Penobscot County, but all three border towns across the county line in Aroostook County. Stacyville was a plantation until the 1950s, and Mount Chase also operated as a plantation between the 1930s and 1970s, but all three are currently incorporated towns.

Between 1935 and 1945, a large number of municipalities in Maine dissolved and reverted to unorganized townships. While six towns in Penobscot County disincorporated around this time period, most of these communities adopted plantation forms of government rather than dissolve entirely, and no municipalities which had historically been plantations dissolved. As a result, only two former municipalities reverted to unorganized territory during this time: Argyle (a town until 1938, when it disincorporated and reverted to unorganized territory) and Kingman (a town until 1935, then became a plantation; surrendered its organization in 1945). A few additional communities have joined them more recently, including Grand Falls (a plantation which surrendered its organization in 1981), Prentiss (once a town, later a plantation, surrendered its organization in 1990), and Greenfield (a town which disincorporated in 1993).

The areas of Penobscot County that are entirely unorganized cover about 1,300 square miles (3,400 km2), with a population of about 1,450 people. This covers about 38% of the county’s land area, but includes only about 1% of its population. Two unorganized townships, the former municipalities of Kingman and Prentiss, have a large enough population to maintain a registrar and clerk to conduct elections for state and federal offices, although they do not have true organized municipal governments. There is also a similar entity called Indian Purchase Township, apparently consisting of one or both of the Indian Purchase townships adjacent to Millinocket.

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, seven such areas are recognized within Penobscot County:

  • North Penobscot Unorganized Territory: the unorganized area north or to the interior of Seboeis, Maxfield, Howland, Enfield, Chester, Lincoln, Woodville, Medway and East Millinocket. It encompasses all territory to the north or interior of those communities except for the towns of Millinocket, Stacyville, Patten and Mount Chase. This covers the bulk of the historically unorganized territory in Penobscot County, as well as the former town of Mattamiscontis.
  • East Central Penobscot Unorganized Territory: the former town of Greenfield, and the former Grand Falls and Summit plantations.
  • Argyle Unorganized Territory: the former town of Argyle, which is its own Unorganized Territory because it does not border any other land that is unorganized.
  • Kingman Unorganized Territory: the former town (later plantation) of Kingman, which is its own Unorganized Territory because it does not border any other land that is unorganized.
  • Prentiss Unorganized Territory: the former town (later plantation) of Prentiss, which is its own Unorganized Territory because it does not border any other land that is both unorganized and within Penobscot County.
  • Twombly Unorganized Territory: Twombly Twp. (T3R1 NBPP), which is its own Unorganized Territory because it does not border any other land that is both unorganized and within Penobscot County.
  • Whitney Unorganized Territory: Whitney Twp. (T5R1 NBPP), which is its own Unorganized Territory because it does not border any other land that is both unorganized and within Penobscot County.

When the Unorganized Territories were first created for the 1970 Census, there were six in Penobscot County. North Penobscot, Argyle, Kingman, Twombly and Whitney were similar to their present-day state. The sixth Unorganized Territory, Summit, consisted of the former Summit Plantation (T1 ND). For the 1990 Census, with Grand Falls having surrendered its organization and reverted to unorganized territory, the adjacent Grand Falls and Summit were combined to form East Central Penobscot Unorganized Territory. For the 2000 Census, East Central Penobscot Unorganized Territory was expanded to include the former town of Greenfield, which had disincorporated. A new Prentiss Unorganized Territory was also added for the 2000 Census, reflecting the former Prentiss Plantation having surrendered its organization.

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 2,206

Organized plantations 905

Unorganized territory 1,301

  • T3 Indian Purchase 1,144
  • Long A Twp. (TAR8 & 9) 50
  • Herseytown Twp. (T2R6) 49
  • T6R7 17
  • TAR7 16
  • T2R8 NWP 7
  • T3R1 7
  • T2R9 5
  • T6R8 5
  • T5R7 1

1910

All unincorporated territory 1,667

Organized plantations 1,173

Unorganized territory 494

  • Herseytown Twp. (T2R6) 208
  • Long A Twp. (TAR8 & 9) 75
  • T3 Indian Purchase 44
  • Grindstone Twp. (T1R7 WELS) 40
  • T6R7 26
  • T2R8 NWP 21
  • Soldiertown Twp. (T2R7) 15
  • Mattamiscontis Twp. (T1R7 NWP) 12
  • T4R7 12
  • T2R9 11
  • T6R8 11
  • TAR7 7
  • T5R7 6
  • T3R1 3
  • T3R7 2
  • T7R8 1

1920

All unincorporated territory 2,154

Organized plantations 1,159

Unorganized territory 995

  • Herseytown Twp. (T2R6) 207
  • T7R7 75
  • Grindstone Twp. (T1R7 WELS) 70
  • T3 Indian Purchase 62
  • T7R8 61
  • T6R6 59
  • T8R8 49
  • T3R7 48
  • T1R6 46
  • Soldiertown Twp. (T2R7) 45
  • T4R7 45
  • Long A Twp. (TAR8 & 9) 42
  • T5R8 39
  • T6R7 38
  • T3R9 33
  • T8R7 23
  • T2R8 WELS 14
  • T2R8 NWP 13
  • T6R8 9
  • Mattamiscontis Twp. (T1R7 NWP) 7
  • TAR7 6
  • Summit Twp. (T1 ND) 4

1930

All unincorporated territory 1,195

Organized plantations 844

Unorganized territory 351

  • T1R6 81
  • Herseytown Twp. (T2R6) 66
  • Long A Twp. (TAR8 & 9) 41
  • Grindstone Twp. (T1R7 WELS) 34
  • T3 Indian Purchase 29
  • T2R8 NWP 21
  • T6R7 15
  • T2R9 13
  • Soldiertown Twp. (T2R7) 12
  • TAR7 10
  • T6R8 5
  • T4 Indian Purchase 4
  • T3R8 4
  • T1R8 3
  • T4R8 3
  • Summit Twp. (T1 ND) 2
  • T2R8 WELS 2
  • Tract Z 2
  • Mattamiscontis Twp. (T1R7 NWP) 1
  • Hopkins Academy Grant 1
  • T6R6 1
  • T3R7 1

1940

All unincorporated territory 2,734

Organized plantations 2,311

Unorganized territory 423

  • Argyle Twp. 128
  • T3 Indian Purchase 116
  • Grindstone Twp. (T1R7 WELS) 82
  • Long A Twp. (TAR8 & 9) 30
  • Herseytown Twp. (T2R6) 21
  • T4 Indian Purchase 11
  • T6R7 8
  • Soldiertown Twp. (T2R7) 7
  • TAR7 6
  • T6R8 6
  • T2R8 NWP 5
  • T1R8 2
  • Mattamiscontis Twp. (T1R7 NWP) 1

1950

All unincorporated territory 2,634

Organized plantations 1,838

Unorganized territory 796

  • Kingman Twp. 358
  • Argyle Twp. 133
  • T3 Indian Purchase 97
  • Long A Twp. (TAR8 & 9) 55
  • Grindstone Twp. (T1R7 WELS) 53
  • T4 Indian Purchase 37
  • Herseytown Twp. (T2R6) 35
  • TAR7 5
  • T6R6 5
  • T6R7 5
  • T6R8 4
  • T2R8 NWP 3
  • T3R8 2
  • T5R7 2
  • Mattamiscontis Twp. (T1R7 NWP) 1
  • T2R8 WELS 1

1960

All unincorporated territory 1,610

Organized plantations 780

Unorganized territory 830

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

1970

All unincorporated territory 1,254

Organized plantations 660

Unorganized territory 594

Starting with the 1970 Census, the unorganized territory in Penobscot County was broken into groups of contiguous territory. Six such entities were recognized in 1970.

  • Kingman Unorganized Territory 264
  • North Penobscot Unorganized Territory 175
  • Argyle Unorganized Territory 155
  • Summit Unorganized Territory 0
  • Twombly Unorganized Territory 0
  • Whitney Unorganized Territory 0

1980

All unincorporated territory 1,364

Organized plantations 605

Unorganized territory 759

  • Kingman Unorganized Territory 281
  • North Penobscot Unorganized Territory 246
  • Argyle Unorganized Territory 225
  • Summit Unorganized Territory 7
  • Twombly Unorganized Territory 0
  • Whitney Unorganized Territory 0

1990

All unincorporated territory 1,471

Organized plantations 608

Unorganized territory 863

For the 1990 Census, the former Summit Unorganized Territory was combined with the former Grand Falls Plantation to form East Central Penobscot Unorganized territory.

  • North Penobscot Unorganized Territory 403
  • Kingman Unorganized Territory 246
  • Argyle Unorganized Territory 202
  • East Central Penobscot Unorganized Territory 12
  • Twombly Unorganized Territory 0
  • Whitney Unorganized Territory 0

2000

All unincorporated territory 1,773

Organized plantations 324

Unorganized territory 1,449

For the 2000 Census, the new Prentiss Unorganized Territory was added, reflecting the former Prentiss Plantation having surrendered its organization and reverted to unorganized territory.

  • North Penobscot Unorganized Territory 443
  • East Central Penobscot Unorganized Territory 324
  • Argyle Unorganized Territory 253
  • Prentiss Unorganized Territory 214
  • Kingman Unorganized Territory 213
  • Twombly Unorganized Territory 2
  • Whitney Unorganized Territory 0

Note: the unorganized townships in Penobscot County are on several different grids:

  • WELS (west of the Easterly Line of the State): as its name suggests, the baseline for this grid is the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick in Aroostook County. In places, it has up to 20 numbered rows, arranged from north to south. The upper rows exist only in Aroostook County, however, so that only rows 1 through 8 enter the modern borders of Penobscot County. A row “A” and “B” also exist in some areas to the south of row 1; west of the Penobscot River, the boundary between this grid and the one to the south of it (NWP) is irregular. The townships on this grid in Penobscot County are generally in ranges 6 through 8, although rows A and B do not exist in all ranges. The towns of Mount Chase, Patten and Stacyville were originally part of this grid. With the notable exception of the territory along the eastern edge, most of the area of Penobscot County covered by the WELS system is remote and very sparsely populated. Many of the townships are identified only by their row and range numbers and have never developed informal township names.
  • NWP (North of Waldo Patent): located in the area to the south of the WELS grid, west of the Penobscot River. Most of the townships in Penobscot County that were originally on this grid are now organized municipalities, but a few remain unorganized. These include T2R8, T2R9, and T3R9; the former town of Mattamiscontis is also sometimes referred to by its designation of T1R7. Ranges are numbered south to north, rows east to west. The northernmost range is generally range 9, although there is a range 10 in some places, as the boundary between this grid and the one to the north of it (WELS) is irregular. All of the never-organized townships on this grid in Piscataquis County are in ranges 8 or 9, and in rows 1 through 3. (Higher-numbered rows are further west, in Piscataquis County).
  • In the area where the WELS and NWP grids meet, there were originally some townships that were numbered sequentially as part of the “Indian Purchase”. Two of these townships remain as unorganized entities, numbers 3 and 4. The town of Millinocket was originally formed from part of T3. The area where the WELS and NWP grids meets also contains a few additional unorganized entities not part of any grid, including Hopkins Academy Grant and Veazie Gore.
  • NBPP (North of Bingham’s Penobscot Purchase): the area to the south of the WELS grid east of the Penobscot River was originally on this grid, which also extended into Washington County. Most of the original townships on this grid are now organized municipalities, but a few have never organized. These include Twombly Twp. (T3R1) and Whitney Twp. (T5R1).

Much of Hancock and Washington counties was originally 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. Some of the area covered by this numbering scheme extended into the modern boundaries of Penobscot County. All of the townships within Penobscot County that were originally on it were organized municipalities at one point, but a few have dissolved over the years and may sometimes be referred to today by their original grid designations. Summit Township, also known as T1 ND, is the most notable example.

Indian Reservations[edit]

Maine contains three federally recognized Indian reservations. One of these, the Penobscot Indian Island Reservation, is located in Penobscot County. Maine currently treats Indian reservations as distinct entities, not part of any organized municipality or unorganized entity. This has not always been the case in the past; at one time, present-day reservation land was regarded as part of the municipalities or unorganized entities within which it is geographically located.

The main body of the reservation is adjacent to the Penobscot River at Old Town. The reservation also has jurisdiction over the channel of the Penobscot River for some distance to the north, including portions of both the East and West branches beyond the point where they diverge in Medway. Jurisdiction over the East Branch continues as far as the Medway-East Millinocket line, while jurisdiction over the West Branch continues to the Dolby Pond Dam, along the southern boundary of East Millinocket. In most areas, these channels run along town boundaries, but all three pass through the interior of the town of Medway. As a result, Medway’s territory is technically in three major discontinuous pieces separated by river channels under the jurisdiction of the reservation. Medway controls some islands within the channels, however, creating exclaves within reservation territory. Overall, the reservation has jurisdiction over an area measuring about 13 square miles (34 km2). Fewer than 8 square miles (21 km2) are land, however.

For a short distance along the northeast edge of Woodville, the Penobscot River forms the boundary between Penobscot and Aroostook counties. There is a very small portion of river channel at this location, under the jurisdiction of the reservation, which lies within Aroostook County. The portion of the reservation that extends into Aroostook County measures less than 0.25 square miles (600,000 m2), all of it water, with no population.

Treatment of the reservation by the State of Maine, and by the Census Bureau, has varied over time. Prior to 1900, the main body of the present-day reservation appears to have been part of Old Town, and its population was included with Old Town’s, not broken out separately. In 1900 and 1910, the Census provided a separate breakout within Penobscot County for what was labeled “Indian Island”, apart from any town. The 1920, 1930 and 1940 censuses reverted to the pre-1900 convention of including the reservation’s population largely or entirely with Old Town. Since the 1950 Census, the reservation has been considered a distinct entity, independent of any regular municipality, and has been given its own population breakout in each census. It is unclear how long the river channel has been considered part of the reservation; the portion of the reservation within Aroostook County first appeared in the 2000 Census.

The population of the reservation has been recorded as follows:

1900: 269

1910: 320

1920: not reported separately

1930: not reported separately

1940: not reported separately

1950: 323

1960: 383

1970: 317

1980: 458

1990: 476

2000: 562

Notes[edit]

1900 Census

Various sources contain conflicting information on the status of Mattamiscontis at different points in time. The Census reported Mattamiscontis as a town in 1900, but not in any later Censuses. One source indicates that Mattamiscontis was organized as a plantation in 1907. No subsequent mention of Mattamiscontis as a plantation has been found, however, and the Census listed it as an unorganized township in all censuses from 1910 on. This article shows Mattamiscontis as a town in 1900; assumes that it disincorporated in 1907 (based on the above source showing it organizing as a plantation in that year, as no other date of disincorporation has been found); assumes that if it in fact operated as a plantation after 1907, it could not have held this status for long; and shows it as an unorganized township in all censuses since 1910.

1910 Census

Summit appears to have been organized as a plantation for a time in the late 19th century and early 20th century, but the author of this article has been unable to locate a date for its surrender of organization. One source shows it as a plantation as of 1895, and the Census listed it as a plantation in the 1890 through 1910 censuses. From the 1920 Census onward, Summit is shown as an unorganized township. Based on this information, this article shows it as a plantation in 1900 and 1910, and as an unorganized township from 1920 on.

1970 Census

The Census Bureau made a number of revisions to 1970 census totals subsequent to their initial release. The 1970 total for the city of Old Town was originally reported as 9,057; and for the Penobscot Indian Island Reservation, 1. The totals were later revised to those shown in the lists above. This was apparently done to correct an assignment error between these entities; the collective population of the two is the same using either set of figures, so the county total was not affected.

See also[edit]