Brunswick, Maine

Brunswick, Maine

Infobox Settlement |official_name = Town of Brunswick

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

image_caption = Federal Street
established_title2 = Incorporated (town)
established_date2 = 1738
established_title = Settled
established_date = 1628
government_type =
subdivision_type =
subdivision_name =
subdivision_type1 = County
subdivision_name1 = Cumberland
leader_title =
leader_name =
area_total_km2 = 140.4
area_land_km2 = 121.2
area_total_sq_mi = 54.2
area_land_sq_mi = 46.8
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 21,172
population_density_km2 = 174.7
population_density_sq_mi = 452.6
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd=43 |latm=54 |lats=39 |latNS=N
longd=69 |longm=57 |longs=47 |longEW=W
region =
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 04011
website =
footnotes =

Brunswick is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 21,172 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area. Brunswick is home to Bowdoin College, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and the Naval Air Station Brunswick.


Settled in 1628 by Thomas Purchase and other fishermen, the area was called by its Indian name, Pejepscot, meaning "the long, rocky rapids part [of the river] ." In 1639, Purchase placed his settlement under protection of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. During King Philip's War, Pejepscot in 1676 was burned and abandoned, although a garrison called Fort Andros was built on the ruins during King William's War. The Treaty of Portsmouth of 1713 then brought peace to the region between the Abenaki Indians and English settlements.

In 1714, a consortium from Boston and Portsmouth bought the land, thereafter called the Pejepscot Purchase. The Massachusetts General Court constituted the township in 1717, naming it Brunswick in honor of the House of Brunswick and its scion, King George I. A stone fort called Fort George was built in 1715 near the falls. But on July 13, 1722, warriors from Norridgewock burned the village. Consequently, Governor Samuel Shute declared war on the Abenakis. In 1724, 208 English troops left Fort Richmond and sacked Norridgewock during Dummer's War. Brunswick was again rebuilt in 1727, and in 1738 incorporated a town. It became a prosperous seaport, where Bowdoin College would be chartered in 1794.

The Androscoggin River falls in 3 successive stages over a distance of 41 feet, providing water power for industry. Brunswick became a major producer of lumber, with as many as 25 sawmills. Some of the lumber went into shipbuilding. Other firms produced paper, soap, flour, marble and granite work, carriages and harness, plows, furniture, shoes and confections.

The town was site of the first cotton mill in Maine, the Brunswick Cotton Manufactory Company, built in 1809 to make yarn. Purchased in 1812, the mill was enlarged by the Maine Cotton & Woolen Factory Company. In 1857, the Cabot Manufacturing Company was established to make cotton textiles. It bought the failed Warumbo Manufacturing Company and expanded the brick factory along the falls. Needing even more room, the company in 1890 persuaded the town to move Maine Street.

Brunswick today has a number of historic districts recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Pennellville Historic District, to preserve shipbuilders' and sea captains' mansions built in the Federal, Greek Revival and Italianate architectural styles. Principal employers for Brunswick include Naval Air Station Brunswick, L.L. Bean, Bath Iron Works, as well as companies that produce fiberglass construction material and electrical switches. A number of health services providers serving Maine's mid-coast area are located in Brunswick.

The book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe while she was living in Brunswick because her husband was a professor at Bowdoin. She got a key vision for the book in the First Parish Church. A scene in the 1993 movie "The Man Without a Face" was filmed in the town.

Notable residents

* Gorham Dummer Abbot, clergyman & teacher
* John Stevens Cabot Abbott, clergyman & author
* Dale Arnold, sportscaster & radio personality
* Corey Beaulieu, musician
* Josh Casaubon, actor
* Fanny Chamberlain, wife of Joshua Chamberlain
* Joshua Chamberlain, general & governor
* Robert P. T. Coffin, poet
* Robert P. Dunlap, governor
* Charles Carroll Everett, theologian
* John Gould, reporter & columnist
* Alfred Otto Gross, ornithologist
* Frederic Aldin Hall, professor & chancellor
* Joshua Herrick, congressman
* Angus King, governor
* Stump Merrill, baseball player
* Will Montgomery, football player
* Benjamin Orr, congressman
* Alpheus Spring Packard, professor
* George Palmer Putnam, publisher
* Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist & author
* Jeff Thisted, game show host


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 54.2 square miles (140.4 km²), of which, 46.8 square miles (121.2 km²) of it is land and 7.4 square miles (19.3 km²) of it (13.72%) is water. Brunswick is located at the head of Casco Bay, as well as the head of tide and head of navigation on the Androscoggin River.

The town is crossed by Interstate 295, U. S. routes 1 and 201, and state routes 24, 123 and 196. It borders the towns of Freeport to the southwest, Durham to the northwest, Bath to the northeast, and Harpswell to the south. Separated by water, it is near the towns of Topsham to the north, and West Bath to the east.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 21,172 people, 8,150 households, and 5,150 families residing in the town. The population density was 452.6 people per square mile (174.7/km²). There were 8,720 housing units at an average density of 186.4/sq mi (72.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.35% White, 1.71% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.67% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.62% of the population.

There were 8,150 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.8% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the town the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $40,402, and the median income for a family was $49,088. Males had a median income of $32,141 versus $24,927 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,322. About 5.0% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.6% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.


* Brunswick High School
* Children's School of Arts & Science
* [ Saint John's Catholic School]
* [ Bowdoin College]

ites of interest

* [ Bowdoin College Museum of Art]
* [ Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum]
* [ Pejepscot Historical Society & Museums]
** Joshua L. Chamberlain House
** Pejepscot Museum
** Skolfield-Whittier House
* Pennellville Historic District


Further reading

* [ History of Brunswick, Maine]
* [ Historical Sketch of Brunswick, Maine]
* [ History of Brunswick, Topsham & Harpswell, Maine]
* [ History of the Town Commons, Brunswick, Maine]
* [ History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, Maine] Including Ancient Pejebscot. By George Augustus Wheeler and Henry Warren Wheeler. Published 1878. Full image at
* [ House of Harriet Beecher Stowe]

External links

* [ Town of Brunswick, Maine]
* [ Curtis Memorial Library]
* [ New Meadows River Watershed Project]
* [ Adventures in Language & Culture]

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