|• Total||37.84 sq mi (98.01 km2)|
|• Land||9.81 sq mi (25.41 km2)|
|• Water||28.03 sq mi (72.60 km2)|
|Elevation||20 ft (6 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||1,040|
|• Density||106.3/sq mi (41.0/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0582751|
Stonington is a town in Hancock County, Maine, United States, located on the southern portion of the island of Deer Isle. The population was 1,043 at the 2010 census. It includes the villages of Oceanville and West Stonington. A picturesque old seaport and tourist destination on Penobscot Bay, the town is home to Stonington Municipal Airport, and terminus for mailboat ferry service to the island town of Isle au Haut.
The first people to live on Deer Isle, as early as 6,100 years ago, were Native Americans known as the Etchemins. The first European to venture into the region was Estevan Gomez, a Portuguese working for the Spanish Crown.  Gomez sailed his ship La Anunciada up the Eggemoggin Reach, amongst other places along the Maine coast, looking for gold and the Northwest Passage. It was the French, however, who would be the most active in the region, establishing a fort in Castine and intermarrying with Abenaki natives. A body buried in full armor (believed to be French) was even discovered on nearby Campbell Island (+44° 13' 20.03", -68° 36' 33.24", south of Oak Point).
The first white settler of Deer Isle was one William Eaton (b. 1720 Salisbury, MA, d. circa 1790 Seabrook, NH) and family, arriving on the island prior to August 4, 1762. They settled in an area now known as Scott's Landing located near the Deer Isle/Little Deer Isle Causeway (so named for the second owner of the property: Nathaniel Scott) By 1765, migration to Deer Isle had begun in ernest and Eaton, along with 16 other families who settled around Scott's Landing, petitioned Massachusetts requesting legal title to the land which they now occupied. The largest group of these settlers came from Newburyport, Massachusetts and were mostly of Scottish and Irish descent.  Ironically, those settlers hadn't come looking for a new life on the sea, but one on the land. Remnants (mostly cellar holes) of the original farms can still be found at Scott's Landing and the land they cleared is still open. Within a few decades, the acidic soil became exhausted, so inhabitants of Deer Isle took to the sea. Sailors on the island became noted for maritime skills. Full crews for two America's Cup teams were recruited from this small down east island for the America's Cup Races of 1895 on The Defender and again in 1899 on Columbia. Settlers continued their southward migration on the island and eventually established the village of Green's Landing (as Stonington was initially known) after 1800. 
That sparsely populated little village became active in shipbuilding, seafaring, fishing and lobster fishing, though didn't change much in it's first 70 or so years. That is, until the granite boom around 1870, when quarrying became a major occupation. Stone excavated in the area has been used to build important structures across the country, including the approaches to the Brooklyn Bridge (Manhattan, NYC, 1880′s), Croton Aqueduct (NY, 1880), Holyoke Dam (Holyoke, MA, 1890′s), Piers for Manhattan/Brooklyn Bridge (Manhattan, 1905), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA 1907), Rockefeller fountain bowl (Pocantico, NY, 1913), John F. Kennedy Memorial, (Arlington, VA, 1966) and the new Yankee Stadium Among many, many others. Europeans, mainly from Italy, migrated to implement their old-world skills as stonecutters at the numerous in-town granite quarries. Crotch Island (+44° 8' 25.20", -68° 40' 17.26"), the best known island quarry was one of 33 major island quarries along the Maine coast providing work for an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people, creating a boom-town atmosphere. Some other major quarries in operation at the time were The Settlement Quarry (on Deer Isle), Green Island Quarry, and St. Helena Quarry (both separate island quarries). Some of these new imigrants were housed in bunkhouses on Crotch Island itself, while others lived in hotels and large boarding houses built for that purpose in Greenslading-- the current Tewksbury Builiding being one of many still in use. Mosts of those original buildings in town have since been transformed into restaurants, galleries and shops.
On February 18, 1897, Green's Landing set off and incorporated by the Maine State Legislature as Stonington-- clearly named for its granite quarries.
To the west of the main harbor lies Steamboat Wharf, once busy with steamboats arriving daily from ports such as Rockland. Transporting freight and numerous passengers from as far as Boston on a daily basis, this wharf was Stonington's vital link to other island communities and beyond. This area also was one of the last bastions for the once thriving sardine industry on the east coast. The wharf at one time housed the famous Stonington Packing Company, closing it's doors in the late 1990's. It is now home to the Isle au Haut Boat Company. Before the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge connected to the mainland in 1939, the wharf was an essential link to Deer Isle in general, and Stonington in particular. The harbor has long been filled with Friendship Sloops, which are powered by sail only. Lobstermen once used them to haul traps. Most of their trips were to the outer islands (like York Island) near Isle au Haut, fishing during the week and returning to the harbor on weekends. This changed with the advent of gasoline or diesel engines, along with new hull designs, which enabled fishermen to make day trips to fishing grounds in Penobscot Bay.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.84 square miles (98.01 km2), of which, 9.81 square miles (25.41 km2) of it is land and 28.03 square miles (72.60 km2) is water. Located on the southern end of Deer Isle, Stonington is situated in Penobscot Bay and the Gulf of Maine, part of the Atlantic Ocean.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,043 people, 515 households, and 305 families residing in the town. The population density was 106.3 inhabitants per square mile (41.0 /km2). There were 993 housing units at an average density of 101.2 per square mile (39.1 /km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.0% White, 0.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.4% of the population.
There were 515 households of which 19.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.7% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.8% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.03 and the average family size was 2.56.
The median age in the town was 50.7 years. 14.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19.6% were from 25 to 44; 35.8% were from 45 to 64; and 23.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 49.7% male and 50.3% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,152 people, 502 households, and 326 families residing in the town. The population density was 117.5 people per square mile (45.4/km²). There were 909 housing units at an average density of 92.7 per square mile (35.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.79% White, 0.09% African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 1.48% from other races, and 0.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.87% of the population.
There were 502 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.2% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.78.
In the town the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 88.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $28,894, and the median income for a family was $34,375. Males had a median income of $27,500 versus $19,063 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,634. About 9.6% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.6% of those under age 18 and 16.5% of those age 65 or over.
Sites of interest
- The Art Galleries of Stonington, Maine
- Crockett Cove Woods
- Deer Isle Granite Museum
- Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society & Museum
- Island Heritage Trust of Deer Isle & Stonington, Maine
- Mark Island Light
- Stonington Opera House
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- Ann Rea, Estevan Gomez, Navigator and Explorer; Bangor Area Information Resources Network
- Spoffard-Watts, Edith (1997). Deer Isle, Maine 'From Pre-History to the Present'. Penobscot Press. pp. 17–21. ISBN 0-089725-310-8 Check
- Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 103–104.
- "DEER ISLE GRANITE INSTALLATIONS". Retrieved 15 December 2013.
- Osgood, Kris (22 April 2009). "Maine granite graces YankeeStadium". The Working Waterfront. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- George J. Varney, History of Deer Isle, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts 1886
- Maine.gov -- Stonington, Maine
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Centennial Committee of Stonington, Maine (1997), Stonington Past and Present, Penobscot Bay Press
- DIS Historical Society (2004), Deer Isle and Stonington, Arcadia
- Edith Spoffard-Watts (1997), Deer Isle, Maine 'From Pre-History to the Present, Penobscot Press
- Town of Stonington, Maine
- Stonington Public Library
- Deer Isle - Stonington Chamber of Commerce
- Maine's Hidden Treasure, a photo-essay by Thomas R. & Deborah A. Fletcher
- Isle au Haut Ferries & Island Information