Port Clyde is the southernmost town on the Saint George peninsula in Knox County, Maine. Port Clyde is about 21 nautical miles (31 kilometers or 19 miles by air) southeast of Boothbay Harbor and almost 50 nautical miles (85 kilometers or 53 miles) east-northeast of Portland. A classic Maine fishing village, Port Clyde's economy is based on lobstering, recreational boating, and tourism. Port Clyde is also popular with writers and artists. In 2010, over 39.6 thousand people lived in the Port Clyde urban area.
People were fishing from the future Port Clyde long before Europeans arrived there. The indigenous Penobscot Nation and their ancestors have lived there for some 11 thousand years. The Penobscot hunted and fished, moving to follow the richest seasonal food sources.
First contact with Europeans came with the fur trade. When Europeans began to arrive to settle the Port Clyde area, they brought epidemics, alcohol, and Christianity with them. By 1670, the area was inhabited by French and English settlers. The Penobscot fought with the French during the French and Indian War, earning the scorn of the British.
Even after they fought with the rebels during the American Revolution, the Penobscot tried to hold onto their lands through treaties that they could not enforce. By the early 19th Century, almost all of their lands had been taken by the settlers, and the Penobscot lived on reservations as wards of the State of Maine.
In 1784, the First Baptist Church opened in Port Clyde. In the early 1800s, several new churches sprang up from the original church. The first school opened in the 1780s to teach the children of Samuel Watts. By 1792, Port Clyde had four school districts, and by the late 19th Century, there were about 20 schools in Port Clyde.
The first settlers exported fish and cord wood from Port Clyde. By 1859, a cannery operated in Port Clyde where lobsters were canned. Clams were also canned until the late 20th Century, and a mussel-processing factory operated in Port Clyde until 2008.
Three generations of the famous Wyeth family have had a summer home in Port Clyde since the early 1920s. In 2006, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts bought a home just off the Port Clyde coast.
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