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Mount Chase, Maine
Mount Chase, ME.jpg
Country United States
State Maine
County Penobscot
Area
 • Total 37.73 sq mi (97.72 km2)
 • Land 36.65 sq mi (94.92 km2)
 • Water 1.08 sq mi (2.80 km2)
Elevation
886 ft (270 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 201
 • Estimate 
(2012)
200
 • Density 5.5/sq mi (2.1/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
04765
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-47560
GNIS feature ID 0582610

Mount Chase is a town in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. The population was 201 at the 2010 census.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.73 square miles (97.72 km2), of which, 36.65 square miles (94.92 km2) of it is land and 1.08 square miles (2.80 km2) is water. It is heavily forested and includes scenic lakes. It is situated 10 miles from Patten and 15 miles from the north entrance to Baxter State Park. Katahdin is visible from many locations.

Mt. Chase

Mt. Chase is a peak of volcanic origin with a height of 2440 feet.

Upper Shin Pond

Upper Shin Pond is a large lake of 544 acres with a maximum depth of 64 feet.

Lower Shin Pond

Lower Shin Pond is a large lake measuring 560 acres with a maximum depth of 25 feet.

History

The land surrounding Mt. Katahdin is believed to have been utilized by Penobscot and Maliseet peoples for thousands of years. Local names for peaks, waterways, and other landmarks reflect this heritage.

The town of Mount Chase acquired its name from its prominent mountain peak, described above. Its first permanent residents are dated to 1838, although two families are included in the 1837 Maine Census. In 1860 the population was 250, and in 1862 it was organized and renamed the Mount Chase Plantation. On March 2, 1864, it became the town of Mount Chase. In 1880 it had 310 residents; in 1900 there were 299.

In the aftermath of the American Civil War, the railroad extended its lines along the Penobscot River from Bangor to Mattawamkeag. An 1882 history described Mount Chase as located "on the stage line from the European & North American Railroad at Mattawamkeag to Fort Kent in the extreme north of the State, on the St John." Residents and tourists could now take advantage of the 50-mile stage route from Mattawamkeag to Mount Chase, and supplies could be shipped in and goods or wild game out more readily.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 262
1880 310 18.3%
1890 284 −8.4%
1900 299 5.3%
1910 227 −24.1%
1920 239 5.3%
1930 210 −12.1%
1940 198 −5.7%
1950 250 26.3%
1960 179 −28.4%
1970 197 10.1%
1980 233 18.3%
1990 254 9.0%
2000 247 −2.8%
2010 201 −18.6%
2014 (est.) 199 −1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 201 people, 94 households, and 57 families residing in the town. The population density was 5.5 inhabitants per square mile (2.1/km2). There were 297 housing units at an average density of 8.1 per square mile (3.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.0% White, 0.5% African American, 3.0% Asian, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.5% of the population.

There were 94 households, of which 20.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 1.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 1.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.4% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.72.

The median age in the town was 50.1 years. 18.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 3.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 17% were from 25 to 44; 41.3% were from 45 to 64; and 20.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 55.2% male and 44.8% female.

Economy and industries

Early workers were attracted to the Mount Chase area for opportunities working for lumber companies. In 1881, A Gazetteer of the State of Maine, emphasized that the area was "well wooded" and offered a saw mill on Crystal Brook at the eastern side of town. However, another contemporary work pointing out that farming was by then the major occupation of Mount Chase's inhabitants. Maintaining sporting camps and offering wilderness guide services have continued as means of support to the present time. Recent decades have seen the rise of snowmobiling as a major winter sport.

According to American Community Survey estimates, the most common industry category for Mount Chase is "agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining," followed by "retail trade."

Hotels and sporting camps

Shin Pond House/Shin Pond Village

The Shin Pond House was established in the 1870s by Charles H. Sibley and was initially Mount Chase's only hotel. The next hotel keeper was Ted Crommett. The original Shin Pond House burned and was rebuilt in 1912 by Zenas L. Harvey, who added cabins to the lodging options. After a fire in 1949, Arthur and Edna Augustine purchased the property and built a new Shin Pond House. After their tenure, the building was destroyed by another fire in 1979. In the early 1980s Craig and Terry Hill envisioned a recreational resort on the former Shin Pond House site, called the Shin Pond Village. They built a general store, public laundry and public showers. Campsites and guest suites were added, along with new cabins.

Point-of-Pines Camps

Point-of-Pines Camps was created on Upper Shin Pond and operated by G. F. Root. In 1952 it was included in a survey of Maine wilderness sporting camps, though described as "less wilderness in concept and category."

Mt. Chase Lodge

Mt. Chase Lodge was established in 1960 on Upper Shin Pond as a recreational sporting lodge. Since 1976 Rick and Sara Hill have operated the lodge.

Driftwood Lodge and Camps

The Driftwood Lodge and camps is located on the east side of Upper Shin Pond. It is managed by Paul and Tracy Reed and features a guide service for bear hunters.

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