Deer Isle Maine

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 2 Feb 1789
Location: Deer Isle, Hancock, Maine, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: One_Place_Studies Maine Hancock_County_Maine
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This profile is part of the Deer Isle, Maine One Place Study.

Deer Isle was settled in 1762 and incorporated in 1789 from Deer Isle Plantation.
The town original town included "Great Deer Island, Little Deer Island, Isle au Haut, and Sheep Island, and several islands between Great Deer Island and Isle au Haut.
At Northwest Harbor, Deer Isle is almost split in two. The remaining narrow land area, at the village, is known as the Haulover.

Parent Page Hancock County
Deer Isle, MaineCategory page



Date Designation Note
-1534 name unknown Wabanaki peoples - the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes
1534-1760Nouvelle FranceUnder French control, no known European settlers
1760unorganized territory
Lincoln, Massachusetts Bay
France surrenders September 8, 1760, Britain officially takes control of the area
1762 Deer Island Plantation, Lincoln, Massachusetts Bay ColonyDeer Island Plantation formed August, 4, 1762 (did not include Little Deer Isle at this time)
1776Deer Island Plantation, Lincoln, Massachusetts America declares independence from Britain July 4, 1776
1789 Deer Isle, Lincoln, MassachusettsDeer Isle incorporated August, 4, 1762 from Deer Isle and Planatation and Little Deer Isle
1789 Deer Isle, Hancock, MassachusettsHancock County is formed June 25, 1789
1820Deer Isle, Hancock, MaineMaine becomes the 23 state March 15, 1820
1874Deer Isle, Hancock, MaineIsle au Haut Isle Au Haut February 28, 1874 from a portion of Deer Isle
1897Deer Isle, Hancock, Maine Stonington incorporated February 18, 1897 from a portion of Deer Isle

Villages, Locations and Settlements

Villages, Locations
and Settlements
Allen's Cove Rev. Samuel Allen
Babbidge's Neck William Babbidge
Burnt Cove Avery Fifield
Campbell's Cove
Campbell's Neck John Campbell
Crockett's Cove Josiah Crockett
Douglass's Cove Robert Douglass
Dow's Point Nathan Dow
Dunham's Point Elijah Dunham
Fish Creek Peter Hardy Jr.
Greenlaw's Neck William Greenlaw
Green's Landing Sullivan Green (1812-1887)
Greenlaw's Cove
Haulover/Carring Place At Northwest Harbor, ..." Also see Map between Long Cove & Greenlaw's Cove
Isle au Haut Peletiah Barter 1792
Long Cove Nathaniel Bray
Moore's Harbor Captain John Moore
Mountainville Thomas RobbinsNOTED: Early Settlers Map reflects Robinson in Error, should be ROBBINS.
North Deer Isle
North West Harbor Ezekiel Morey
Pressey's Cove
Pressey's Point John Pressey
The Reach Samuel Staples Jonathan Torrey
South Deer Isle
Sunset John Raynes
Sunshine Thomas Stinson
Small's Cove Job Small and Thomas Small
South East Harbor Joseph Colby and Belcher Tyler
South West Harbor (Not to be confused the harbor and town on MDI) Samuel Trundy
Stinson's Neck Thomas Stinson, Esq.
Swain's Cove on Little Deer Isle William Swain
Sylvester's Cove Josuha Emerson
Thompson's Cove Thomas Thompson
Toothakers's Cove Elijah Toothaker
Webb's Cove Seth Webb

Historical Names

Name Note
Deer Island Plantation, Lincoln, Massachusetts Bay Colony 1762-1776
Deer Island Plantation, Lincoln, Massachusetts, United States 1776-1789
Deer Isle, Lincoln, Massachusetts, United States 1789-1789
Deer Isle, Hancock, Massachusetts, United States1789-1820
Deer Isle, Hancock, Maine, United States 1820-

Pioneer Settlers

Pioneer Settler Arrival Year
Courtney Babbidge Sr. (1732-1781) 1773
Courtney Babbidge (1761-1834)
Stephen Babbidge (1760-1841)
Joseph Colby (1740-1826) 1766
Thomas Conary (bef.1743-1829)
George Freese (abt.1740-abt.1809) 1763
Peter Hardy (1744-1831) 1775
Peter Hardy (1770-1863)
Thomas Robbins Sr. (bef.1741-1802) 1775
Nathaniel Robbins (bef.1762-1829)
Thomas Saunders (1732-1786) 1771
Thomas Small (abt.1741-1827) 1767
Benjamin Weed (1735-1828) 1763 out of town bounds, at Little Deer Isle


The State of Maine lists over 60 islands that are part of Deer Isle. Maine Islands

Islands Settler/Note
Bradbury Island
Butter Island (1850) Island aka Diorigo Island or Dirigo
Campbell Island
Carney Island
Conary's IslandThomas Conary (bef.1743-1829)
Cutter's Island aka Fog Island
Duck Island (1840)
Eagle Island
Eaton Island (1840)
Freese Island
Gibson's IslandJames Gibson (abt.1737-abt.1820)
Great Spruce Head (1840)
Hog Island
Isle au Haut _ part of Deer isle from 1789 until 1874
Kimball Island aka Little Isle au HautSolomon Kimball (1751-1824)
Little Deer Isle was outside the bounds of Deer Island Plantation until Incorporation of the Town. 1789


Little Spruce Head Island
Pickering Island (1830, 1840) Samuel Pickering (abt 1734-1810)Amos F. Dow (1853-1906 Possibly one of last local owners on Pickering Island (1879-1885).
Pond Island
Sheepshead Island
Stave Island
Thurlow's IslandDavid Thurlow (1774-1857)
White Island aka York's Island
York's Island Captain Benjamin York (abt.1732-1818)
1Most of the islands to the west of the town are considered unorganized territories by the state, including:
Pickering Island, Great Spruce Head Island, Little Spruce Head Island, Butter Island, Eagle Island, Bradbury Island, Hog Island, Pond Island


Maps (Click an image for details)
Blue Hill Bay
Map of Great Isle au Haut
Deer Isle Map with Green's Landing
Little Deer Island Division of Islands
Lots Early Settlers.


Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society : Local History and Genealogy of the area was collected by Dr. Benjamin Lake Noyes and his notebooks are in the Archives.
Note: The Archives are closed due to COVID rules and the Museum is seasonal. The museum/buildings closed for the 2021 season on 10 Sep 2021. Check for current/future changes in their schedule or contact them via email for information.


Capt. Joseph Moore Deer Isle: "The lot taken up by Mr. Kempton is near what is now known as Moore's Harbor, named for a Mr. John Moore, of Castine, who was a fisherman, and who frequently anchored his vessel there during the time of the Revolution and afterward. Mr. Kempton died not far from the year 1839, and his wife survived him a few years. " Town of Deer Isle, Maine. [page] 189

SOUTHWEST HARBOR "Osmond Harper built his house in 1915. Joseph Moore had a store and house near the site of this house. Mrs. Mattie Moore Dolliver’s house was built in 1859 by her father, John Moore, whose home it was during his lifetime, descending to his daughter, Mrs. Dolliver. Joseph’s store is a part of her house. ... " Traditions and Records ... page 204

DEER ISLE, MAINE, William Swain "On Little Deer ,Island there is a very convenient and safe harbor on the southwestern side's known as Swain Cove ... " page 288 History of Deer Isle_Hosmer " William Swain was the first settler upon the lot of land adjoining that of Captain Gray on the southeast, on the southwest side of the island. He was a native of Scotland, and came with the British army to Bagaduce in 1779. He was a master-mariner, and in former years a man of enterprise. ..." page 183 History of Deer Isle_Hosmer

Varney's Gazetteer of the state of Maine has the following:
      Deer Isle in Hancock County, is a group of three islands lying between the northern part of Isle au Haute Bay and Brooklin and Sedgewick on the mainland. It is 35 miles south-south-west of Ellsworth. The town includes Little Deer Isle, Great Deer Isle, and Eagle Isle. The first mentioned and most northerly of the group has an area 6f 1,000 acres, which is well suited to agriculture. Great Deer Isle is about 10 miles in length, from north to south, and near 5 miles in width. The surface in the northern part is rather level, while in the south it is rough. Micaceous limestone was undoubtedly the parent rock of Deer Isle, but it has been crystalized, and is thus rendered unfit for quicklime, though suitable for architectural sculpture. At the "Reach "is a quarry which is operated for this marble, affording a yearly product of 4,000 tons of rough and cut stone ; while roofing slate of a good quality has been found on Little Deer Isle. At this place, it is stated, are found conclusive evidences of an extinct volcano, which in some of the by-gone years, belched forth its showers of ashes, and poured out its molten lava. As will be apparent, the transition series of rocks is well characterized in these islands. Large deposits of silver, also, have recently been found, and two companies now hold property on the island for the purpose of mining this mineral.

The soil is loamy, and the largest crop is potatoes. The forest trees are principally spruce and fir. Along the roadsides in the most thickly settled parts of the town, are many shade trees from five to forty years old, of various kinds, but mostly chestnut. Adam's Hill, is the principal eminence, reaching a height of 256 feet above the sea. Torry's and Marshall's are the only considerable ponds, one being a mile long, the other two miles. Smith's mineral spring has a local celebrity. The manufactures consist of sails, wrought granite; while at Oceanville and at Green's Landing, are establishments for the packing of the various kinds of fish.

Deer Isle was incorporated in 1789, being the fourth town in the county. The first known visit of Europeans was that of Weymouth in 1605. It early received its name from the abundance of deer in its forests. The first settlement was commenced by William Eaton near what is now known as the " Scott Farm," in 1762. The first church was built in 1773, and the first preacher was Rev. Mr. Noble; the first pastor was Rev. Peter Powers. In 1809. Rev. Joseph Brown, a dissenter, 'was installed. The first white child was Timothy Billings, born May, 1764. The privations of the settlers during the war of the Revolution were terrible.

The number of Deer Islanders in the service of the Union during the war of the Rebellion was, soldiers and sailors, 386, and of these 55 were lost. The amount of bounty paid by the town was $59,128.

The climate is quite salubrious, as is apparent from the number of old people, there being 10 between eighty and one hundred years of age. As a summer resort, it is highly esteemed by its visitors, having good hotels, ample boating and fishing facilities, as well as drives. The roads are good, and the buildings are generally in good repair, and a look of thrift prevails. There is a nice town-hall, three stories in height. There are in town two Congregational church-edifices, two Methodist and two Baptist. Deer Isle has three high-schools, and its public schoolhouses number twenty. The school property is valued at $8,810. The valuation of estates in 1870 was $417,211. In 1880 it was 1373,182. The rate of taxation in 1880 was two per cent. The population in 1790 was 682; in 1870, 3,414; in 1880, 3,267.

Additional Resources

Web Sites:
  • Historical Society
  • Maine Genealogy Net
  • Family Search
  • WikiPedia Wikidata: Item Q142486, en:Wikipedia help.gif
  • Maine Encyclopedia


Photo Gallery (Click an image for details)
Deer Isle Village
Herring Fisheries Pinky Schooner
Eagle Island Light
Looking East Towards Deer Isle Village



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