Have you ever wondered why Brewer was called Brewer? Did you know that Brewer was actually Orrington at one point? Did you know that there's a whole lot of history about the first towns that were incorporated in Penobscot County that is accessible anytime you want to see it?
It's pretty fascinating learning about the people and origins of where we live here in the Bangor area- who the influencers were, where they came from, why they ended up *here*, and why we call towns the names that we call them.
I've been poking around some digital archives sites available through Maine.gov and The University of Maine and came across a research paper written by William F. Fox in 1956 called 'An Investigation of the Origin of Place Names of Towns in Penobscot County, Maine'. It's a 162-page document that is full of great history and accounts that give us a big picture look at the past, of the origins of the settlers that came to live in the Bangor area.
The hows and whys of the town names near Bangor
What's great about this research paper is that you get a feel for history as it unfolds, with the research starting with the first incorporated towns of Penobscot County and moving through time with information on when towns became incorporated then diving into what previous names had been, then, how it was eventually settled on what the name would be.
What's in the name?
When it comes to the naming of a town, the time of incorporation in the 16th and 17th centuries relied on community members deciding the name. Sometimes names were based on prominent figures of a settlement, the history of these people, their connections to other locations in the United States, or even biblical references.
Check out how the first incorporated towns of Penobscot County got their names and learn a little something about the towns you live near.