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A Brief Early History of Georgetown
Georgetown Island lies between the mouth of the Sheepscot River and the Kennebec River on the Gulf of Maine. The Abenaki Indians called the island Erascohegan, meaning “good spear fishing”. John Parker, a fisherman from Bedfordshire, England, purchased it in 1649 from Chief Mowhotiwormet, commonly known as Chief Robinhood, for a hogshead of rum and some pumpkins. Parker built the first permanent homestead on what eventually became known as Parker‘s Island.
The Kennebec River valley was attacked and burned in 1676 during King Philip’s War, then again in 1689 at the outset of King William’s War, and was not resettled until after the 1713 Treaty of Portsmouth. The town of Newtown-on-Arrowsic was rebuilt in 1714 on the southern end of Arrowsic Island, which was incorporated in 1716 by the Massachusetts General Court as Georgetown-on-Arrowsic, named for Fort St. George. The town’s boundaries were extended to encompass Parker’s Island, Woolwich, Phippsburg and Bath (including West Bath). Abandoned during Drummer‘s War and beleaguered during the French and Indian Wars, the region resettled slowly in the 1750s until peace was assured with the fall of Quebec in 1759.
About half of Parker‘s Island provided grazing land, and some residents raised livestock, producing butter and cheese. In 1858, there were two sawmills, a pail maker and a shipbuilder. but the merchant marine and fishing were the town’s principal occupations. By 1841, all the other parts of Georgetown had been set off and incorporated as towns, leaving Parker’s Island with the sole claim to the ancient name. Today, Georgetown is home to several boat builders, fishermen, retirees and many summer residents and artists. It is the home of Reid State Park and is a noted site for bird watching.
Volunteers are needed to serve on the following Boards and Committees:
Board of Appeals – 1 Full Time Member ; 1 Alternate Member
Financial Advisory Committee – 1 Full Time Member
Harbor Committee – 1 Alternate Member
Planning Board – 1 Alternate Member
If you are interested in serving on any of these committees or boards, please contact Mary McDonald in person at the Town Office or call at 371-2820.