A Brief History of Machiasport

Incorporated 1826
Settled in 1763

Machiasport, was once part of the town of Machias (Machias Port), attracted the attention of explorers and traders as a valuable port at an early date. Before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth there were French and English trading posts on Cross Island (in neighboring Cutler) as well as Birch Point (Clarks Point). Evidence of the Native American settlement is also found along the shoreline. The settlement occurred after extensive fires in western Maine in the 1760s forced families to seek out hay and timber lands. Grass flats (marsh grass) were a favorite for the livestock and its abundance was attractive to the early settlers. Captain Thomas Buck of Plymouth, Massachusetts, is said to have carried the first settlers in 1763. Machiasport was separated from Machias and incorporated as the Town of Machiasport in 1826.

Machiasport is a picture-perfect Maine village, with a remarkable cluster of white clapboard historic buildings overlooking an expanse of the Machias Bay. Set among tall maples and pines, these historic structures, the Federal-period Gates House (circa 1810) and Cooper-House (circa 1826), the magnificently steepled Congregational Church (1832), and the bold Italianate Liberty Hall (1873), all capture the lively spirit and history of this lovely town.

The most significant natural resources in Machiasport are marine resources, which are the basis of the local economy. Machiasport’s extensive tidal flats and clean marine waters yield an abundance of inter tidal, marine, and avian life. Extensive mud flats support clam flats and sea worms as well as wading waterfowl and shorebirds. Machiasport has many critical natural resources, most significantly wildlife habitat. Bald eagle and various shore bird and migrant bird species are found throughout the town. The Machias River and East Machias River, both of which flow through the north part of Machiasport, are rated as high value for their fresh water fisheries and among only a handful of rivers supporting young Atlantic salmon.

Contact the Machiasport Historical Society

344 Port Road
P.O. Box 301
Machiasport, Maine 04655

Maps of the 5 Districts/Hamlets/Villages