Bristol is a town in Lincoln County, incorporated on June 21, 1765 from a tract known as Walpole, Harrington and Pemaquid.
It was named for England's maritime city of Bristol.
From 1815 to 1847 it ceded land to Nobleboro, Bremen and Damariscotta. Finally, in 1915 it provided land to form the town of South Bristol, and has maintained its boundaries intact since that time.
Bristol was settled by Europeans as early as 1625. The Pemaquid Patent granted in 1631 included the area. On the east bank of the Damariscotta River, Sir. William Phipps built Fort William Henry in 1692, but it was overrun by the French in 1696. Col. David Dunbar, who became superintendent and governor of the Province of Sagadahoc in 1729, repaired the fort in 1729-1730 calling it Fort Frederick and naming the place Harrington. The Harrington Meeting House was built between 1772 and 1775.
The southern end of the town consists of Pemaquid Neck on which the village of New Harbor is located, along with Pemaquid Beach and Pemaquid Light. It was visited by Europeans as early as 1569. The Pemaquid area is said to be the home of the Indian Samoset, who greeted the Pilgrims in 1621 in English.
Bristol hosts three nature preserves managed by the Nature Conservancy. Bass Rock at Round Pond is a preserve whose twelve acres look out on Muscongus Sound. La Verna Preserve features hardwoods and conifers surrounding 3,600 feet of shore frontage on Muscongus Bay on the Pemaquid Peninsula. The dense forest gives way to swamp, freshwater marsh and overgrown farmland in places.
From Maine: An Encyclopedia (www.themaineencyclopedia.com)
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