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Dresden, Maine
Pownalborough Courthouse
Location in Lincoln County and the state of Maine.
Location in Lincoln County and the state of Maine.
Country United States
State Maine
County Lincoln
Incorporated 1794
 • Total 33.21 sq mi (86.01 km2)
 • Land 30.45 sq mi (78.87 km2)
 • Water 2.76 sq mi (7.15 km2)
210 ft (64 m)
 • Total 1,725
 • Density 57/sq mi (21.9/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-18475
GNIS feature ID 0582446

Dresden is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States, that was incorporated in 1794. The population was 1,725 at the 2020 census.


The town was originally settled in 1752 under the name Frankfort by French and German Huguenots, who were part of the first wave of French speaking immigrants to arrive in Maine, but were distinguished from later arrivals by their Protestant faith. William Shirley built Fort Shirley in the community at the same time Fort Halifax (Maine) was built. First called Frankfort, so that the new French immigrants could pretend to be German, the town was incorporated as Pownalborough in 1760, when Lincoln County was created in the Maine District of Massachusetts. Pownalborough included the Town of Wiscasset, which was soon set off on its own as the shire town of the county. When the present territory was incorporated in 1794, Lincoln County Probate Judge Jonathan Bowman chose Dresden as the new name of the town because he liked the sound of it.

Dresden is located on the eastern side of the Kennebec River. Dresden also offers some historical sites as well, including an old, brick school building and the Pownalborough Courthouse, which is now used as a museum and is open to the public. The Pownalborough Courthouse was built in 1760 and was the first seat of government east of the Kennebec River. The families who settled Dresden and those who were soon afterward sent there by the government of Massachusetts played a crucial role in the battle for American independence in Maine. Robert Treat Paine, John Hancock, and John Adams appeared at the Court House in the Revolutionary Era. Well known local families included the Goodwins, Houdlettes, Mayerses, Bridges, Bowmans, Percys, Johnsons, and Trussells, who variously left their marks on the history of the town, the state, and the country.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.21 square miles (86.01 km2), of which, 30.45 square miles (78.87 km2) of it is land and 2.76 square miles (7.15 km2) is water. Dresden is drained by the Kennebec River and Eastern River, which merges into the former at the southern tip of Green Point and the south eastern side of Swan Island. The Eastern River has long been a favored spot to fish for smelt in shacks concentrated above holes made in the winter ice.

Dresden's other notable geographical features are Blinn's Hill and The Great Bog. At 440 feet (134 m) above sea level, Blinn's Hill still affords a view of the White Mountains, more than 100 miles (160 km) away. The Great Bog is primeval and lies not far from the natural foot of Blinn's Hill.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 700
1810 1,096 56.6%
1820 1,338 22.1%
1830 1,559 16.5%
1840 1,647 5.6%
1850 1,419 −13.8%
1860 1,247 −12.1%
1870 990 −20.6%
1880 1,032 4.2%
1890 1,043 1.1%
1900 882 −15.4%
1910 815 −7.6%
1920 620 −23.9%
1930 629 1.5%
1940 631 0.3%
1950 729 15.5%
1960 766 5.1%
1970 787 2.7%
1980 998 26.8%
1990 1,332 33.5%
2000 1,625 22.0%
2010 1,672 2.9%
2020 1,725 3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,672 people, 700 households, and 482 families residing in the town. The population density was 54.9 inhabitants per square mile (21.2/km2). There were 819 housing units at an average density of 26.9 per square mile (10.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.6% White, 0.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.

There were 700 households, of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.1% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.78.

The median age in the town was 45 years. 20.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.6% were from 25 to 44; 36.3% were from 45 to 64; and 13.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 51.3% male and 48.7% female.

Site of interest


Dresden is part of the Kennebec Intra-District Schools Regional School Unit.

For the 2011 to 2012 school year, there were approximately 104 students in Dresden Elementary School.

Notable people

  • David Kidder, US congressman
  • Jeffrey Pierce, state legislator
  • Lewis Turco, poet, teacher and writer

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Dresden (Maine) para niños

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