DescriptionThe Abenaki Indians called this island in the Kennebec River skowhegan—“a place to watch”—as they looked for salmon in the depths below the falls. One still watches: A 62-foot Native American sculpted in wood by Bernard Langlais rises above town in honor of those who first watched from this spot.
In 1771 the island's second settlers arrived, drawn by timber and the river's plenty. Their village was brushed by Revolutionary history in 1775, when Col. Benedict Arnold's expedition crossed the island en route to Québec; a granite boulder marks the site.
Although Skowhegan gradually evolved into a predominantly manufacturing city, the colorful history of log driving on the Kennebec did not end until 1976. A paper pulp mill with an 800-ton daily capacity, 7 miles south on US 201, is further evidence of the area's continued interest in lumbering.
Lakewood Theater, on Lake Wesserunsett 6 miles north of Skowhegan on US 201 to 76 Theatre Rd. in Madison, is Maine's state theater. Established in 1901, it is one of the oldest continuously operating summer stock theaters in the country. Matinee and evening performances run mid-May to mid-September; phone (207) 474-7176.
Visitor InfoSkowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce 23 Commercial St. SKOWHEGAN, ME 04976. Phone:(207)474-3621
Things to SeeMargaret Chase Smith Library