Early History

The territory between Muscongus and the Penobscot was granted to Thomas Leverett and John Beauchamp in 1629. However, there was no known attempt at settlement and only two or three individuals or families are known to have lived on the river in the 1600's.

In 1736 Samuel Waldo of Boston, who had gained a controlling interest in the patent of 1629, brought Scotch-Irish families to the St. George River. For many years their log homes and small clearings marked the easternmost frontier of British settlement in what is now the United States. Waldo had agreed with the Indians that settlers were not to live on the east side of the river below the Creek in Thomaston. Therefore, St. George remained unsettled until after the French and Indian War in 1763.

Children and grandchildren of the Scotch-Irish in Cushing and Warren began settling in St. George in the 1760s and 1770s. At the same time, settlers from older English settlements to the westward were building homes on the ocean side of the peninsula. A map made in 1776 shows 19 dwellings in what is now St. George.

Settlement seems to have stalled during the Revolution. Three settlers had their land confiscated because of their Loyalist sentiments and departed. The home of Samuel Watts at Wallston was raided by the British and Watts was held prisoner for some time at Castine. The local Committee of Safety stationed a guard at Tenants Harbor at one point during the war.

After the Revolution a virtual land rush occurred. Because they were Loyalists, the Waldos' property had been confiscated. It seems to have been assumed that properties not occupied before the Revolution were up for grabs. Dozens of men, many of them veterans, brought their families here in the 1780s. Those settlers were later obliged to buy their land from Lucy Knox, the only Waldo heir who had sided with the Patriots.

There are precious few structures remaining in St. George that predate 1800 because, even at that date, most homes were built of logs. The oldest building in town is that of Captain Samuel Watts; now occupied by the Francavilla family. This house dates from the early 1770's.

During the War of 1812 there were two noted engagements with the British. British raiders rowed up the river in dense fog in June 1814 and captured the fort which had been erected by the U.S. government in 1809 to protect the growing commerce at Warren and Thomaston. The raiders then retreated down the river. In August of 1813 the local militia turned out and repelled raiders from the ship Bream (or Brim). Two vessels belonging to Hart and Watts were destroyed or taken.