Old pier. Late sun gilds
the gray wood gold. You are still
not tired of beauty.
Wiscasset Art Walk 2019: June 27, July 25, Aug. 29, Sept. 26, 5-8pm
The historic town of Wiscasset is fondly known as the prettiest village in Maine. Situated just under 45 miles from Portland, it overlooks the Sheepscot River and spans roughly 28 square miles. The population is just over 3,700 residents.
Originally a Native American settlement, Wiscasset was first settled by European immigrants in 1663. The seaport town was a center for shipbuilding, fishing, and lumber and, until 1807, was the busiest seaport north of Boston.
Today, you can still experience the charm of an earlier Wiscasset by touring the historic district's collection of 18th and 19th century homes. But it's also a modern community with terrific shops and art galleries, a variety of places to eat, and a zip line park just south of the village. Take advantage of the proximity to the Sheepscot River with a lobster roll on the pier, rent a kayak, or just enjoy the views!
Museum in the Streets
Wiscasset is very proud of its heritage and to show off its history to visitors, a series of informational panels have been installed throughout the Village which include historic photos and stories about times past. While enjoying the Village today, follow the self-guided tour map to appreciate how life was way back then.
Historic New England in Wiscasset
The Village is host to two Historic New England sites, Castle Tucker and the Nickels-Sortwell House. Both are grand and open to the public for guided tours. Castle Tucker, at 2 Lee Street, was built in 1807 by a prominent local citizen, judge Silas Lee, and sold to Captain Richard Tucker, scion of a prominent Wiscasset shipping family, in 1858. Its architecture is unusual with a square, Federal-style center and two Regency-style bows on the north and south facades. Two-story high windows overlook the Sheepscot River. The house tells the story of the Tucker family during 150 years of economic boom and bust. The Tuckers resided in the house until the late 20th century when it was given by the family to Historic New England.
The Nickels-Sortwell House, at 121 Main Street, was built by Captain William Nickels in 1807 and is a superb example of Federal-style architecture. It has a magnificent elliptical stairway with rope-like carvings and an original oval skylight above. Captain Nickels intended to show his prosperity to the world with this mansion overlooking the Village, but suffered financial hardship as a result of the Embargo Act. Much of Wiscasset, which derived its wealth from shipping, suffered the same fate. The house was later a hotel, then a summer home for the Sortwell family of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Things to Do and See
The mid-coast area is a great launching pad for the many, many wonderful things to do and see in coastal Maine. Whether your interests are art, history, nature, eating, shopping, exploring . . . visit the local Chambers of Commerce for details about local sights and accommodations. Wiscasset and the surrounding communities of Bath, Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta, and Rockland-Camden all have vibrant Chambers to help you plan your visit.
Wiscasset Art Walk 2019: June 27, July 25, Aug. 29, Sept. 26, 5-8pm.