Deepwoods Training Center
Old Town, Maine
Old Town, Maine is a unique island community that sits on the edge of the Great North Woods, on several islands in the Penobscot River. A residential community of 8,500, Old Town's acres of forest and beautiful waters attract outdoor enthusiasts from hunters and anglers, hikers and canoeists, bird watchers and photographers.
The early history of Old Town is authentically Native American. What is now known as Indian Island is regarded by most historians as the headquarters of the Tarratine tribe for centuries before the first white settlers. Old Town derives its name from an acknowledgment of this heritage. In 1774, Joseph Marsh built upon the south end of the island that now bears his name. The economic development of Old Town began in 1798 when Richard Winslow built a water powered sawmill near the present downtown.
The 1950's and 1960's saw the economic mainstay of the community remain with pulp and paper, wood products, canoes, and shoes. Improvements in regional transportation symbolized by the construction of the interstate highway led to the decline of Old Town as a commercial center, as Bangor grew in importance, but made it easier for Old Town residents to work in Bangor. Today, nearly as many Old Town residents work in Bangor as work in Old Town. The University of Maine also grew during this period. The University provides employment opportunities to Old Town residents. The University also places residential pressure on the community, as students seek housing.
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