About This Place
Searsport is a town in Waldo County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,641 at the 2000 census. Searsport includes the village of North Searsport. The town is known as "the home of the famous sea captains" and the "Antique Capital of Maine."
Searsport was settled in the 1670s and incorporated on February 13, 1845 from portions of Prospect and Belfast. In 1747, when fire destroyed the Province House in Boston, General Samuel Waldo advocated, unsuccessfully, that the capital of Massachusetts be moved to Searsport, which was part of the Waldo Patent he purchased about 1720. It was named after David Sears of Boston after he agreed to grant a large sum of money towards the town's founding. Searsport is noted for its rich maritime history. During the 19th-century the port had 17 shipyards and built 200 ships, while supplying fully one-tenth of the nation's merchant marine deep water captains. The Penobscot Marine Museum faithfully recalls this heritage.
Searsport is Maine's second largest deep water port and is ideally located from the point of view of railroad, wood products and other development interests. Indeed, the town became the Penobscot Bay shipping terminus for the Northern Maine Seaport Railroad, a line opened in 1905 by the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad, which sent potatoes, timber and other products from here by boat, and loaded coal for use by its locomotives, without having to arrange rates with the Maine Central Railroad.