Castine predates the Plymouth Colony by 7 years and, being one of the oldest settlements in America, has a rich history. Founded during the winter of 1613 as Fort Pentagöet, named after the French Baron of Pentagöet, Castine is located in eastern Maine or “Down East,” as it is now popularly called. During much of the 17th and 18th centuries, the French Parish of Acadia included parts of eastern Quebec and the Maritime Provinces. The pine-forested land of French controlled Maine extended as far south as Fort Pentagöet and the Kennebec River.
That same year, 1613, English Captain Samuel Argall raided Mount Desert Island, the largest island to be found in present-day Maine, thus starting a long-running dispute over the boundary between French Acadia and the English colonies lying to the south. In 1654, Major General Robert Sedgwick led 100 New England volunteers and 200 of Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers on an expedition against French Acadia. Sedgwick captured and plundered Fort Pentagöet and occupied Acadia for the next 16 years.
This relatively short period ended when the Dutch bombarded the French garrison defending Penobscot Bay and the Bagaduce River, thereby dominating Castine in 1674 and again in 1676. It was during this time that they completely destroyed Fort Pentagöet.
After the Treaty of Breda brought peace to the region in 1667, French authorities dispatched Baron Jean-Vincent de Saint- Castin to take command of Fort Pentagöet. The community surrounding the fort served as the capital of this French colony from 1670 to 1674, and was named Castine after him.
Photo Caption: Maine Maritime Academy at present day Castine, Maine. (All Pictures & Photos are found in Captain Hank Bracker Facebook.)
Award winning Captain Hank Bracker, Author and Master Mariner is the author of “The Exciting Story of Cuba” and “Suppressed I Rise.” Both books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, BooksAMillion.com and many Independent Book Stores. He is presently working on his Seawater, series of books the first of which will be published and available soon. Stay tuned for additional information regarding the publishing date.