Somerset County (pop. 52,228) is Maine’s third-largest county in square miles. It was named for Somerset County, England. The states of Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania also have Somerset counties.
The county shares a long border with Quebec. U.S. Highway 201 in the county is officially known as the Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway.
The county seat of Somerset County is Skowhegan (pop. 8,589). The name comes from an Indian word meaning “gathering place.”
Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995), U.S. senator from Maine from 1949 to 1973, was born in Skowhegan. She was Maine’s first female senator.
“The World’s Tallest Indian” is a 62-foot sculpture (with a 20-foot base) in downtown Skowhegan. It was built in 1969.
The Skowhegan State Fair calls itself “The Nation’s Oldest Consecutively Running Agricultural Fair.” It began in 1818 and has been running for 195 years.
Just west of Skowhegan is Madison (pop. 4,855), home of Backyard Farms, which has a 42-acre greenhouse (about the size of 30 football fields) growing vine-ripened tomatoes.
The town of New Portland (pop. 718) is known for the Wire Suspension Bridge, built in 1866 across the Carrabassett River.
NEXTY: AROOSTOOK COUNTY