Fort George - Why This Place?
For a small town on the coast of Maine, the place we now call Castine has a long history. Nestled at the mouth of the Penobscot River and possessing a protected deep water harbor, geography has made Castine a place far more important than its size would suggest. Prior to European exploration, the region was home to Native Americans, the Wabanaki, for thousands of years and their descendents, the Penobscots, continue here as a sovereign tribal nation. French explorer Samuel de Champlain visited the bay, soon followed by English explorers. By 1630 a French military post, Fort Pentagoet, was established on the spot of the present-day Catholic Church. A series of colonial wars across the region created an informal borderland between French Acadia to the east and English New England to the west. The fall of New France in 1760 brought the colonial wars to an end and opened the way for English settlement. By 1775, the small but growing town of Bagaduce (the name Castine is not adopted until 1796) was shocked by the outbreak of war between Great Britain and her American colonies.