Prouts Neck is a peninsula in the town of Scarborough, Maine, in the United States. Prouts Neck first appears on a map by Samuel de Champlain from his 1604 explorations of New England. In early times it was known as Black Point because of the dark appearance of its forests. Captain Thomas Cammock, a nephew of the Earl of Warwick was the first European settler of what is now called Prouts Neck. In 1631, he was granted an area of about 1500 acres by the Plymouth Council for New England which had jurisdiction, granted by the King, over all of New England. Ownership passed through several early families and settled for a time with Timothy Prout, a Boston merchant, who lived there from 1728 to 1768. The name Prout’s Neck became well established, but by 1830 the Libby family had purchased most of the Neck and the name became Libby’s Neck till the late 1870s, by which time most of the Libby land had been sold off to members of the growing summer community and the name reverted to Prouts Neck (more often written without the apostrophe). Prouts Neck is known also for artist Winslow Homer (1836–1910), whose studio overlooking Cannon Rock is a National Historic Landmark.
Prouts Neck, or just "Prouts" to residents, is a mostly seasonal summer community. The neck itself is not completely gated, but it is well patrolled by local police. The peninsula is almost completely built out, meaning that existing houses sell for a significant premium, and land for new ones is difficult to come by. There are a number of antique summer "cottages" that have been in families for generations, several of which were designed by noted architect John Calvin Stevens. These cottages are unique in that many have not changed for well over one hundred years, presenting an interesting view of a bygone era. Although there were once many hotels on Prouts Neck, including the Jocelyn, and most notably the Checkley, the only one that remains is the august and venerable Black Point Inn, which has recently undergone a complete renovation designed by Gawron Turgeon Architects and is open to the public on a seasonal basis.
The Prouts Neck Country Club (PNCC), established in 1907, is a private country club with an 18 hole golf course, putting green, driving range, tennis courts, golf shop, tennis pro shop, and clubhouse with an outstanding staff. Membership is restricted to residents of the neck and their guests.
The Prouts Neck Bathing Association (PNBA) is responsible for maintenance and regulation of the private Beach Club.
The Prouts Neck Yacht Club (PNYC) is located on the southwestern corner of the peninsula, also known as Western Point. The club conducts sailing classes for children from age 6-17 as well as classes for adults. The club operates moorings for both powerboats and sailboats. The club owns a fleet of 420s, a fleet of Prams, a few Optimists and a fleet of about 8 Sonars. Prouts Neck Yacht Club has adult Sonar races weekly as well as 2 inter-club regattas each summer, (one in August, one in July), both called the Golden Cleat Regatta.
Famous families that have summered in Prouts Neck for generations include members of the Rockefeller family, descendants of Andrew Carnegie and more. Other famous residents include NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and actress Glenn Close.
- Black Point Inn History
- Tolles, Bryant Franklin (2008). Summer by the Seaside: The Architecture of New England Coastal Resort Hotels (1820-1950). Lebanon, New Hampshire. pp. 148–149.