Maine: Hancock County

Hancock County (pop. 54,418) is one of 10 Hancock counties – all named for John Hancock (1737-1793), the early American patriot who is best known today for his signature on the Declaration of Independence.

Hancock County has the longest coastline of any county in Maine. Its economy depends mostly on fishing and tourism – much of the tourism being at Acadia National Park, the first national park located east of the Mississippi River (1919).

It was originally called Lafayette National Park.

Most of Acadia is on Mount Desert Island. Mount Desert is the second-largest island on the east coast of the U.S. (after Long  Island).

Cadillac Mountain (elev. 1,528), on Mount Desert Island, is the highest point in the U.S. within 25 miles of the Atlantic coast.

The view from Cadillac Mountain

Many wealthy and influential Americans such as John D. Rockefeller, Jr., J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the Astor family have had homes in Bar Harbor (pop. 5,235), on the east side of Mount Desert Island.

Many cruise ships now visit Bar Harbor.

The county seat of Hancock County is the city of Ellsworth (pop. 7,741), located a few miles inland from Mount Desert Island.

The Great Fire of 1933 destroyed most of Ellsworth’s downtown and many homes.

City Hall was built after the fire.

The Grand is a former movie theater in downtown Ellsworth that opened in 1938. It’s now a performing arts center for the community.

Concerts, plays, and movies

In the town of Hancock (pop. 2,394) is a large fiberglass lobster, available for photo opportunities.

His name is Wilbur.

Author E.B. White (1899-1985) lived for many years in the town of Brooklin (pop. 824).

NEXT: WASHINGTON COUNTY

maine map - working copy copy

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One comment on “Maine: Hancock County

  1. dot says:

    I think I really like the Cranberry Islands…..not, knowing the ‘Blueberry Island,’ alas.

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