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Bristol Town

Bristol Town Hall is located at 1268 Bristol Road, Bristol ME 04539; phone: 207-563-8001.

Maine, May 2010

Near the Atlantic Coast, Bristol, Lincoln County
Johanna E. Roche, photographer.

Beginnings [1,2,3]

Bristol was incorporated in 1765 from a tract known as Walpole, Harrington and Pemaquid. It was named for England's maritime city of Bristol.

Bristol is located on the scenic Pemaquid Peninsula, approximately 60 miles north of Portland, and is made up of five charming villages: Bristol Mills (04539), Round Pond (04564), Chamberlain (04541), New Harbor (04554) and Pemaquid (04558).

From 1815 to 1847 it ceded land to Nobleboro, Bremen and Damariscotta. Finally, in 1915 it provided land to form the town of South Bristol, and has maintained its boundaries intact since that time.

The first title to these lands was acquired by John Brown who bought the territory and Damariscotta in 1625. The earl conveyancer of these lands was Abraham Shurt, and Nathaniel I. Bowditch, the well-known Boston conveyancer, dedicated his book "to the memory of Abraham Shurt, the father of American conveyancing, whose name is associated alike with my daily toilet, and my daily occupation." There is a tablet erected to commemorate the execution of this first deed in America which conveyed a large part of Pemaquid, including Bristol, from the well-known Sagamore Samoset to John Brown. Sewall wrote that "Pemaquid under titles from the President of the Council of New England became a noted place and the busiest on the coast." Pemaquid at this time included the land east of Falmouth, now Portland, and west of the Penobscot River.

It may be interesting to mention that some of the Popham people are supposed to have landed at Pemaquid in 1607, and there is a tablet placed in the tower built over the Fort at Pemaquid Harbour, to commemorate the landing of these Englishmen on the New England Shores.

  1., accessed May, 2010.
  2., accessed May 2010
  3. Allan Forbes, Towns of New England and Old England, Ireland and Scotland, Part I, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1921.
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