Living in Waldoboro, Maine

The economy of this picturesque town north of Portland is based on tourism and natural resources.
By: Sandra Ward
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Dutch Neck

Dutch Neck

Waldoboro is a sprawling, picturesque town in Lincoln County with a hint of grittiness left over from its days as an industrial mill town and major shipbuilding port in the 19th and early 20th century. Located about 54 miles north of Maine's largest city, Portland, Waldoboro straddles coastal U.S. Route 1, the main tourist thoroughfare in the Midcoast region. It is about 150 miles from Boston. The summer resort areas of Wiscasset, Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta, Camden and Rockport are a short drive away. Fishing, farming and outdoor recreation are popular pursuits, given Waldoboro's prime spot at the head of the Medomak River on Muscongus Bay.

History

Originally called Broad Bay, Waldoboro was settled in the mid-18th century by German immigrants brought to Maine by a wealthy Boston merchant named Samuel Waldo, one of several affluent Bostonians who won claim to a land grant from the English known as the Waldo Patent. Waldoboro became an important shipping center. Those days are recalled today as it proudly proclaims its claim to fame: home of the five-masted schooner.

Economy

The magnificent homes and saltwater farms built during Waldoboro's heyday still grace its downtown and tower over the sloping waterfront, in what has become a bedroom community for more bustling cities, including Maine's capital city of Augusta to the west, and the twin cities of Lewiston-Auburn, where Bates College is located. Bangor to the north is also an easy drive. A year-round population of slightly more than 5,000 is spread out over about 75 square miles of land situated along the Medomak River. The community swells by an additional 800-plus members in the summertime, as vacationers are drawn to its seaside and countryside, perfect for gardeners and boaters, as well as its small-town ambiance.

Jobs tend to be centered on tourism, services, retailing, natural resources and the arts. A regional high school, middle school and grade school, as well as a private, evangelical Christian academy, are all located in Waldoboro.

Median household income is roughly $44,186, below the statewide median of $48,405. The median house cost is $120,000 and the property tax rate is 13.10.

Weather

Waldoboro offers four distinct seasons, with July the warmest month of the year, at 78 degrees Fahrenheit on average, and January the coldest, with an average high of 29 degrees. November tends to be the wettest month, with more than 5 inches of precipitation on average.

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