Penobscot County, Maine
Bangor, chief town. This section of country constituting a county, is rather a district within the state, to be divided into counties as exigencies may require. Not more than a fourth part of the territory is settled, incorporated into towns, or even granted. With the exception of a small portion at its southern boundary, it comprises a fertile wilderness, densely wooded, pierced in every direction with mill streams, and adorned with beautiful lakes. It contains a larger extent of territory than the whole agricultural state of Vermont, with its 14 large and flourishing counties; of no better soil, at a greater distance from the ocean, in nearly the same latitude, and, in 1837, with a population of no less than 31 to a square mile.
In 1837 before a part of this territory was set off to form Piscataquis county, it comprised an area of 10,578 square miles. It was incorporated as a county in 1816. In 1790, it contained a population of only 1,154. In 1820, the population was 13,870; 1830, 31,530; and in 1837, 54,961. Population to a square mile, 5 and a fraction. Increase of population, in 7 years, 74 per cent.
There are some mountains in this county, but the surface is generally undulating, containing as small a portion of waste land as any county in the state, in proportion to its size.
With regard to soil, it is conceded by all who have traveled through the territory and examined it, that its quality, for the production of all the commodoties necessary for the wants and comforts of man, is better than the soil of New England generally.
The manufactures of this county consist principally of lumber, of which an immense amount is annually transported. Other manufactures, however, are rising on the banks of its rivers, and will doubtless increase with its population. In 1837, there were 39,154 sheep in the county of Penobscot, and its wheat crop, the same year, amounted to 202,143 bushels.
Large portions of the soil of this almost wilderness county are stated to be exceedingly luxuriant, equalling in quality the famed lands of the Ohio valley. There are doubtless large tracts of land in the valley of the Mattawamkeag, Aroostook, St. Johns, and Madawaska, as fertile, and which will ultimately become as valuable for their agricultural productions, as any in our country.
The water power of this county is unrivalled by any section of country of its extent in the world, and the noble Penobscot furnishes it with a cheap and convenient passage for the wants of its people from abroad, and for the surplus productions of the soil at home.
When the resources of this county are more fully developed and better understood; when the healthfulness of the climate, the purity of the air and water, are fairly compared with those of the western and southern prairies, and when the value of a surplus bushel of wheat, or a fat ox on the banks of the Ohio, is compared with the value of the same productions on the banks of the Penobscot, we trust there will be less complaint against the soil of New England, for the want of patronage it affords to the enterprize, comfort, and wealth of her children.