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Islesboro, Maine facts for kids

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Islesboro, Maine
Pendleton Point
Pendleton Point
Location of Islesboro (in yellow) in Waldo County, and Waldo County (red) in the state of Maine
Location of Islesboro (in yellow) in Waldo County, and Waldo County (red) in the state of Maine
Country United States
State Maine
County Waldo
Incorporated 1789
 • Total 68.88 sq mi (178.40 km2)
 • Land 14.29 sq mi (37.01 km2)
 • Water 54.59 sq mi (141.39 km2)
30 ft (9 m)
 • Total 583
 • Density 41/sq mi (15.8/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 207 Exchange: 734
FIPS code 23-35240
GNIS feature ID 0582531

Islesboro is a town in Waldo County, Maine, United States, comprising Islesboro Island and several smaller islands. The population was 583 at the 2020 census. It has a summer colony accessible by state ferry service from Lincolnville Beach three miles to the west, by private boat, or by air taxi service. Home to Warren Island State Park, Islesboro includes the village of Dark Harbor.


Penobscot Indians called it Pitaubegwimenahanuk, meaning "the island that lies between two channels." Situated in upper Penobscot Bay, the narrow, 14-mile island is the marker between East and West Penobscot Bay. It was part of the Waldo Patent. First called Long Island Plantation, it was settled in 1769. It was incorporated as Islesborough on January 28, 1789, although over time the spelling was contracted to Islesboro.

With many harbors and coves, the island was home to the largest commercial shipping fleet in the bay during the 19th century. Following the Civil War, however, Islesboro developed as a Gilded Age resort community, and many large summer homes were built by the wealthy. Their large yachts cruised and raced throughout the Gulf of Maine. The town remains an upper-class enclave and summer colony.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 68.88 square miles (178.40 km2), of which 14.29 square miles (37.01 km2) is land and 54.59 square miles (141.39 km2) is water.

There is one large pond, called Meadow Pond, in the Northern portion of the Island, the work of beavers that have dammed a narrow place. Ice was once harvested from this pond for export to places as far away as India. Hewes Point was named for Paola Hewes, an early pioneer settler.


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Islesboro has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 674
1840 777 15.3%
1850 984 26.6%
1860 1,276 29.7%
1870 1,230 −3.6%
1880 1,208 −1.8%
1890 1,006 −16.7%
1900 923 −8.3%
1910 877 −5.0%
1920 637 −27.4%
1930 697 9.4%
1940 718 3.0%
1950 529 −26.3%
1960 444 −16.1%
1970 421 −5.2%
1980 521 23.8%
1990 579 11.1%
2000 603 4.1%
2010 566 −6.1%
2020 583 3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 566 people, 270 households, and 161 families living in the town. The population density was 39.6 inhabitants per square mile (15.3/km2). There were 850 housing units at an average density of 59.5 per square mile (23.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.9% White, 0.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

There were 270 households, of which 20.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.4% were non-families. Of all households 34.4% were made up of individuals, and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07 and the average family size was 2.57.

The median age in the town was 52.1 years. 17.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 3.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 17.4% were from 25 to 44; 37.5% were from 45 to 64; and 24.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 48.2% male and 51.8% female.

Sites of interest

  • Grindle Point Light
  • Islesboro Historical Society & Museum
  • Sailors' Memorial Museum, located in the former keepers' house at Grindel Point Lighthouse
  • Spragues Beach located near Turtle Head
  • Warren Island State Park
  • Islesboro Community Center
  • The Tarratine Club


Islesboro Ferry Schoolchildren Loading
Schoolchildren in Islesboro, ME boarding the ferry.

Islesboro Central School is one of four island schools in Maine that cover all grades (K–12), the others being North Haven, Vinalhaven, and Mount Desert Island. It is also unique that it allows mainland students to pay tuition to attend from grades 5 through 12. The "magnet" students, and some teachers, who live on the mainland take the ferry across every morning where they are met with a school bus to take them to school. Students come from a range of midcoast towns to attend ICS. The number of the students in the school fluctuates, but is around 100 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The school is a member of the Busline League for middle school sports, and is in Class D, South, in the Maine Principals' Association. The competitive sports offered through the school include cross country running, sailing, soccer, basketball, and Ultimate Frisbee.

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Islesboro para niños

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