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Charleston, Maine
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Charleston, Maine is located in Maine
Charleston, Maine
Charleston, Maine
Location in Maine
Country United States
State Maine
County Penobscot
Incorporated 1811
 • Total 40.56 sq mi (105.05 km2)
 • Land 40.55 sq mi (105.02 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
318 ft (97 m)
 • Total 1,558
 • Density 38/sq mi (14.8/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-12105
GNIS feature ID 0582404

Charleston is a town in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. It is part of the Bangor Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,558 at the 2020 census. Charleston includes the village of West Charleston and is home to the Higgins Classical Institute, a Christian school.


Charleston was first settled as early as 1795 by Charles Vaughan. The land was granted on July 14, 1802, by the Massachusetts General Court to John Lowell. Known as T2 R5 NWP, or Township 2, Range 4, North of the Waldo Patent, it was incorporated on February 16, 1811, as New Charlestown, to distinguish it from Charlestown, Massachusetts, when that state included the province of Maine. But in 1820, Maine achieved statehood, so any confusion between the two ceased. Consequently, in 1827 the name was shortened to Charleston.

Sawmills were established to operate by water power at the streams. But Charleston was primarily an agricultural town. Its large farms were noted for raising horses and cattle. In 1837, the Higgins Classical Institute was founded. By 1870, the community had a population of 1,191. Between 1901 and 1930, the Bangor Railway & Electric Company operated trolleys on an electric railway between Bangor and Charleston.

In late 1950, construction began on the Charleston Air Force Station, part of the Aerospace Defense Command. Known as Bull Hill for its location in the town, the station was completed in early 1951, and fully manned and operational in 1952. After the base closed, it was transformed into the Charleston Correctional Facility, which opened in 1980.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 40.56 square miles (105.05 km2), of which, 40.55 square miles (105.02 km2) of it is land and 10.01 square miles (25.93 km2) is the Weymouths land. Charleston is drained by Rollins Brook and South Gate Brook.

The town is located near the intersection of Charleston Road and South Stagecoach Road-Atkinson Road, between Route 15 (Bangor Road) and Route 221, and halfway between Schoodic Lake and Sebasticook Lake.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 859
1840 1,269 47.7%
1850 1,283 1.1%
1860 1,430 11.5%
1870 1,191 −16.7%
1880 1,110 −6.8%
1890 971 −12.5%
1900 842 −13.3%
1910 864 2.6%
1920 720 −16.7%
1930 716 −0.6%
1940 768 7.3%
1950 771 0.4%
1960 750 −2.7%
1970 909 21.2%
1980 1,037 14.1%
1990 1,187 14.5%
2000 1,397 17.7%
2010 1,409 0.9%
2020 1,558 10.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,409 people, 481 households, and 347 families living in the town. The population density was 34.7 inhabitants per square mile (13.4/km2). There were 546 housing units at an average density of 13.5 per square mile (5.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.6% White, 0.6% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.2% Asian, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.

There were 481 households, of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.5% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 27.9% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 2.95.

The median age in the town was 38.7 years. 24.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.7% were from 25 to 44; 29.9% were from 45 to 64; and 10.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 56.2% male and 43.8% female.

See also

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