Ellsworth Maine, founded in 1800, is often called the gateway to the Downeast region and currently serves as its commercial center. Most anyone driving to Acadia National Park or Bar Harbor will pass through this town. Located at a major crossroads along U.S. Route 1 in Hancock County, Ellsworth has been the focus of much development for the eastern Maine region. With Acadia National Park at its back door, growth has been noticeable. The current population is approximately 6,456 (year 2000 census) and it covers 60,800 acres.
The area was first settled along the Union River by the British in 1763 and was then known as New Bowdoin. As with many coastal inlet towns, lumber and boat building were primary industries. Today, Ellsworth has a diversified and robust economy filled with retail shops, banking and professional firms, restaurants, large shopping centers, a public marina, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, two golf courses, movie theaters, an art center and more. (see fall foliage)
There are two places of significant mention - the Black Mansion (also known as Woodlawn) and Birdsacre. The Black Mansion, built in 1828 for Colonel John Black, is preserved in historical detail with rare period furniture. Colonel Black was a key figure in understanding the true wealth of the area, including as far east as Gouldsboro, was not in agriculture but rather in lumber. This key distinction opened up the region's development and dispersion of its natural woodland resource to the world, largely via the Union River. Historically accurate costumed guides are ready to explain the history and furnishings of the main mansion and its outer buildings from May 15 through October 31. Grounds are open year round.
Birdsacre (The Stanwood Museum and Bird Sanctuary) is a memorable and unique “natural” museum featuring a nature walk through a picturesque sanctuary filled with a variety of Maine wildflowers, wooded glens, small ponds full of aquatic life, and a bird nesting area. The addition of picnic areas, strategically placed benches, charcoal grills and a fireplace make this a special place for discovery and relaxation in a natural setting.
You might consider doing some necessity shopping while in Ellsworth, Maine before continuing your drive the road to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island or via U.S. Coastal Route One heading further Down East towards Acadia National Park at the Schoodic Peninsula .
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Ellsworth, Maine Chamber: (207) 667-5584
Fire Department: (207) 667-8666 Emergency: (207) 667-2525
County Ambulance: (207) 667-3200
Ellsworth Public Library: (207) 667-6363
Ellsworth, Maine Municipal Address:
One City Hall Plaza
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